Lykke Li’s music has been the soundtrack of millennial heartbreak for a decade thanks to the perfect pairing of her distinctive, hushed vocals and indie-pop instrumentation. Throughout it all, her album titles have been instructive, from the breeziness of Youth Novels to the melodramatic Wounded Rhymes to the older-but-not-wiser I Never Learn. This year’s so sad so sexy is no different, even if it seems a little more self-aware this time around. The sadness was a given, but the overt sexiness—suggested, musically at least, by pop-machine songwriting and trap-pop percussion—was not. The new sonic approach might be a bridge too far for some, especially when she verges into reductive territory on “sex money feelings die.” But when she follows the rivers she’s used to, she sounds like the Lykke Li who has sung a generation of listeners through countless breakups. On towering ballad “last piece,” she sings, “Just let me keep the last piece of my heart before you tear it all apart.” Read more>>> Lykke Li performs at 8 p.m. at The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $41. (202) 888-0050. thelincolndc.com. (Chris Kelly)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco performs at 9:30 Club. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $30.
Friday: Dutch DJ and producer Armin Van Buuren performs at Echostage. 9 p.m. at 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $40–$50.
Saturday: Times are bad—like, really bad—and perhaps the only things that can capture this torment are the boundless vocals and anachronistic musical stylings of Florence + The Machine. The band sounds like it comes from some indistinct time in the past, or maybe what druids would use to soundtrack a rave. The songs swell to impossible, cosmic crescendos, with traditional drumming techniques, harps, and most powerfully of all, lead singer Florence Welch’s echoing, infinite vibrato. Her voice can range from quiet hymnal to primal scream, seeming to tell you that everything will be OK, and also that nothing was ever OK to begin with. Though doom is imminent, Florence + The Machine will happily serve as your benevolent spiritual guides and help you navigate the mysterious forces of the universe. During a rainy outdoor performance in 2016, Welch jovially asked the crowd, “Are you drier than it is up here? Are you keeping warm?” No, Florence, we’re all barely treading water out here, but at least a sorceress bedecked in billowing fabric is looking out for our well-being. Read more>>> Florence + The Machine perform at 8 p.m. at The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. $104.50–$179.50. (202) 888-0020. theanthemdc.com. (Stephanie Rudig)
Saturday: Dance music duo The Presets performs at U Street Music Hall. 7 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $25.
Saturday: Comedian Colin Quinn performs at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $35–$45.
Sunday: In their joint exhibition at Photoworks at Glen Echo, Places We Find, it’s not hard to tell Catiana Garcia Kilroy and Sandy Sugawara’s images apart. Kilroy loves repetitive patterns: planks in a whitewashed fence, crowded racks of dresses, a veil of seashells hung from the ceiling, and rows of dimly lit tables in a mess hall. More intriguing, though, are the images in which Kilroy breaks this pattern. In a photograph of Los Angeles’ Union Station, for instance, a row of vertical windows is less intriguing than the dreamy, supple trees and sky seen through them, while in an image of a botanical nursery, the fabric roof has a surface that seems to swell and recede like the ocean. By contrast, Sugawara’s images are all about the painstakingly arranged tableau. One image at a veterans’ memorial consists of water and sky, grounded by a solitary and well focused visitor. Another image, “Thanksgiving,” features an artfully tousled tablecloth on a dining room table. Among several images presumably taken from inside Sugawara’s home, the most impressive is “Self Portrait”—less for the shadow of herself taking the image and more for the blazing rectangle of orange and red, which suggests the artfully raw edges of a Polaroid transfer print. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Nov. 4 at Glen Echo Photoworks, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Free. (301) 634-2274. glenechophotoworks.org. (Louis Jacobson)
Sunday: Classical jazz big band Pink Martini performs at The Anthem. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $35–$95.
Sunday: Ellen Cassedy speaks at Politics and Prose at Union Market about a set of stories by award-winning fiction writer Yenta Mash that she translated, On the Landing, available in English for the first time. 5 p.m. at 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for R&B star John Legend and his A Legendary Christmas tour at MGM National Harbor on Nov. 28. 8 p.m. at 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill. $77.28–$204.55.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for rapper Wale’s 8th annual New Year’s Day show at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Jan. 1, 2019. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $39.50.
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