December Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Some people may be inclined to warm up by a fire during the cold months, but if you’re like me, you prefer to get the feeling back in your hands and toes by dancing it out. Or at the very least, getting your mind blown by some amazing musicians (local and not) in the month of December. The Roots, Erin McKeown, and even some crazy kids who call themselves The Phenomenal Handclap Band will be gracing our city in the next 30 days, so let’s get to the preview!

Right at the beginning of the month, local musician Andy Zipf (and pfriends) will be celebrating the release of his new album, The Long Tail, at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse on Wednesday, December 2 ($10, $50 VIP).

Saturday, December 5 The Big Pink is coming to Black Cat ($13). I have to admit, their name didn’t immediately ring a bell with me, but I recognized their song “Dominoes” as soon as it started playing, and I bet that will happen to some of you, too. If you like Matt & Kim, mixed with a little bit of Kings of Leon, and topped off with a British accent, perhaps you should check these guys out.

Photo courtesy of
‘”Raphael Saadiq @Sugarhill” ATL’
courtesy of ‘Dominick Brady’

Also on December 5, Young @ Heart will be performing at Iona Senior Services ($30-100). OK, so maybe the venue isn’t the coolest, but it’s a benefit concert for Iona, and you get to see people your grandparents’ age singing Coldplay and Radiohead. Seriously, it’s awesome.

Monday, December 7 Raphael Saadiq will be at the 9:30 Club ($35). I love his soulful, upbeat song “100 Yard Dash,” almost as much as I love those Buddy Holly glasses on him. He’s actually got a contest right now too, so you can enter to meet him and ask where he got them!

The Phenomenal Handclap Band is coming to the Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday, December 12 ($10/12). Some of their stuff sounds like Tilly and the Wall or Ting Tings-ish, as in upbeat and danceable, but then they’ll pull out something like “Testimony” which sounds like straight-up 60s guitar grooving.

Erin McKeown has a new album out, and she’s coming to Iota on Thursday, December 17 to play some songs off of it for you ($18). The new stuff sounds less jazzy than her past albums, but all the sweetness and passion in her voice remains. I will still never forget seeing her at Birchmere and overhearing her proud parents comment on how much she’s come out of her shell since she was little. Absolutely adorable.

If you’re in the mood for a matinee, Bach 2 Rock is playing at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, December 20 at 11am ($5). They call themselves “America’s music school” and let students play what they like, have jam sessions, and have shows to encourage the kids to become seasoned performers. Sounds way cooler than marching band (no offense).

For something a little on the funky side, check out folk-rockin’ locals Kid Goat and Hot Coffee, Mississippi Monday, December 21 at Iota ($10). Hot Coffee apparently has a dance number about John Wilkes Booth and a light-up tambourine– how can you say no?

The Roots are doing a two-night show at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, December 29 and Thursday, December 30 ($45). Personally, I don’t care if they are Jimmy Fallon’s house band, I still think these guys are awesome, and they put on a great show.

January heads up: Thievery Corporation is coming to the 9:30 Club for FOUR NIGHTS IN A ROW (Jan 20-23)and they’re all almost sold out, so act fast if you want in on that. I went to see them last year for the first time, and I had an amazing time– so super fun.

Anything else you’re excited about in December that I missed? I know there are a few shows I didn’t include because they’re sold out (coughArcticMonkeyscough), but leave the rest in the comments!

Jasmine is a Spin magazine contributor who is completely obsessed with music and all things new and different. She’s lived in the DC area since 2006, and still has plenty to discover about this great area! Find out why she loves DC.

2 thoughts on “December Concert Preview

  1. Cool, I picked up a ticket to The Big Pink’s gig based on your sales pitch. Yay for cheap concerts!