Pete Souza

Bijan Stephen of The Verge recently offered a “masculinity matrix” for categorizing men online. The four poles were Dad, Uncle, Son, and Nephew, and for our purposes here, we’re going to focus on Dads, or the men who “hand down edicts intended to better your life” and are “good on the grill.” Barack Obama rates squarely as a Dad—lawful and confident (but not pathologically so). And if there’s a long, righteous online ripple of Obama’s Dad-ness, it’s the Instagram feed of Pete Souza. The former White House photographer has eight years of archives from the Obama administration, and he’s been famously posting shots and captions that serve to contrast that presidency with the current one. (When Donald Trump called Omarosa Manigault Newman a “dog,” Souza posted a dignified shot of Obama with one of his loyal pooches.) Souza is calling his upcoming book of Obama photos Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, and it’s safe to assume that although it might be trenchant and occasionally catty, it won’t veer too far from the “Dad” corner of the matrix. The art of trolling, it seems, still has room for nice guys. Oct. 24 at GW Lisner Auditorium. Sold out. —Joe Warminsky

Susan Orlean

My favorite building in the entire world, at least the parts of it that I’ve seen, is the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. I spent countless hours studying at its tables and winding my way through its stacks during college and on subsequent post-graduation visits, and I cannot imagine how awful I’d feel if something happened to my beloved space and the things inside it. (Its years-long renovation was traumatic enough.) Users of the Los Angeles Public Library had to face this fear in 1986, when a massive fire destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. The cause of the fire has been debated in the three decades since, with some suspecting that it was intentionally set. Nonfiction icon Susan Orlean, a woman legendary enough to be portrayed on screen by Meryl Streep, has spent years investigating the L.A. fire, which has resulted in her latest release, The Library Book. Weaving together research and bits of personal history, Orlean’s book looks at the ways we use libraries and why we feel so strongly about them. Let her local discussion serve as a stopgap while we wait for MLK Library to re-open in a mere two years. Oct. 25 at Politics and Prose. Free. —Caroline Jones

Death Becomes Us: True Crime Festival

Do you love true crime? What about podcasts and documentaries? And going to festivals with your friends? Of course you do. It’s 2018, and we all love all of those things. Brightest Young Things has brilliantly rolled them all into one by hosting a “crime pop culture festival” called Death Becomes Us. The weekend-long festival will feature live shows and talks from the likes of Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej of BuzzFeed Unsolved, Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer of the award-winning podcast Criminal, and Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski of Last Podcast on the Left. But don’t just take it from the journalist-detectives; retired homicide detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda, featured in Investigation Discovery’s Homicide Hunter, will speak as well. Kenda and his team are known for solving 356 of the 387 homicide cases that came across his desk, and he’ll be speaking about the memories he still can’t shake, all these years later. Nov. 3 and 4 at GW Lisner Auditorium. $25–$135. —Naomi Shavin

Maria Bamford

One of Maria Bamford’s best known one-liners tells you exactly what to expect from her act: “I never really thought of myself as depressed so much as paralyzed by hope.” It’s all there: the frank discussion of mental illness, the self-deprecation, and the Midwestern sunniness that she both parodies and pines for. Other comedians might mine similar ground, but no one does it with Bamford’s tone and energy as she turns depression, anxiety, and neuroses into punchlines, couching confessions in bizarre absurdity. Her style has made her a mainstay in the “alternative comedy” world—even as that world has become increasingly mainstream—and whether it’s doing voice work, starring in the cancelled-too-soon, semi-autobiographical Lady Dynamite, or performing on stage, Bamford stands alone as one of the most unique voices in comedy. Oct. 12 at The Warner Theatre. $32. —Chris Kelly

Jason Mewes

There are plenty of actors whose entire careers are so defined by one role—James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, to name a few—that it’s impossible to see them as anything else. Another one: Jason Mewes—best known as Jay in the films of Kevin Smith. Mewes has made a career out of playing Silent Bob’s perpetually stoned hetero life partner, but in real life, he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. Thankfully, he sobered up in 2010, and Smith created the Jay & Silent Bob Get Old podcast to help his friend stay that way. Since then, the pair have used retellings of Mewes’ misadventures to entertain fans and remind Mewes why he should stay on the straight and narrow. Now, following in Smith’s footsteps, Mewes is hitting the road on his own to recount his wild days. Because if he’s always going to be Jay, he might as well get something positive of it. Nov. 7 at DC Improv. $22. —Chris Kelly

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre 

Cuban-American choreographer Rosie Herrera creates dances that are over-the-top and highly theatrical, but from a solid Latinx perspective. The Miami-based choreographer worked on Make Believe while she was in residence at Dance Place in 2016, intending to explore what it means to grow up Catholic and carry religious imagery (and baggage) into your adult life. The final piece premiered last summer at the American Dance Festival, and may be more universal. Make Believe deconstructs rituals and spectacles, and finds connections between faithful ardor and romantic love. Don’t expect to see Rihanna’s sexy pope outfit, but knowing Herrera, there could be other costumes fit for the Met Gala. Sept. 15 and 16 at Dance Place. $15–$30.                —Rebecca J. Ritzel

Renée Fleming VOICES: An Evening with Robert Fairchild

A famous dancer retires suddenly from a major ballet company, becomes a Broadway star, and then books a solo recital at the Kennedy Center, curated by an opera diva. That’s Robbie Fairchild’s recent career roller coaster, and we’re the ones who get to watch him take the plunge. Fairchild initially took leaves of absence from the New York City Ballet to star in the musical An American in Paris in Paris, New York, and London. Along came more theater opportunities, followed by a 2017 split from his wife, ballerina Tiler Peck. Fairchild, who is originally from Utah, left City Ballet for good last fall. He’s since posted plenty of #ProvincetownPride pics on his Instagram account. He’s also been documenting rehearsals for his Kennedy Center gig, including new tap dance routines and song-and-dance numbers inspired by Gene Kelly, his longtime idol. The results should be worth seeing onstage, not just your phone. Oct. 12 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. $59–$69. —Rebecca J. Ritzel

San Francisco Ballet

Dance people thought the San Francisco Ballet was crazy. 17 days, 12 world premieres. That’s what the company accomplished at its Unbound festival last spring. Now, the West Coast’s best are coming east, and bringing with them six of those 12 new ballets. Four names will be very familiar to D.C. dance audiences, while two will be new. Program A features works by Trey McIntyre, Christopher Wheeldon, and newcomer David Dawson. Program B brings back Edwaard Liang and Justin Peck, plus a piece by British choreographer Cathy Marston. She’s picked Edith Wharton’s novella Ethan Frome as inspiration for what should be a beautiful love triangle. Other pieces on tap are more abstract. With dancers barefoot, en pointe, and wearing sneakers, this six-day showcase likely represents the best contemporary dance D.C. will see all season. Oct. 23 to 28 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. $29–$129. —Rebecca J. Ritzel

NSO Pops: Get Out

Every detail in Jordan Peele’s fantastic Get Out—the best movie of 2017—is thoughtful and considered. Each scene has been turned over and over by fans to suss out all the references and clever bits. Michael Abels’ score is no exception. It’s dark and terrifying, as horror movie compositions should be, but it connects to the movie’s themes deeply by drawing on black music from across the world. From American spiritual chants to West African drumming, Abels twists recognizable sounds into grotesque mutations drained of any hope. The main theme, “Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga,” warns the film’s protagonist and foreshadows what’s to come. In Swahili, it means “listen to your ancestors.” With the National Symphony Orchestra bringing this score to life, fans may gain an even deeper appreciation for Get Out’s details. Sept. 20 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $29–$99. —Justin Weber

Views of Taiwan

The Freer Gallery of Art’s recently renovated Meyer Auditorium is one of D.C.’s great repertory theaters, with programmer Tom Vick consistently bringing audiences the best of Asian cinema, from arthouse favorites to lesser-known titles you won’t see anywhere else. This fall, the gallery screens three new films from Taiwan, including The Great Buddha+, a political satire that’s the feature debut from Huang Hsin-yao; and a new restoration of the 1979 drama Legend of the Mountain, from Dragon Inn director King Hu. Sept. 21 to 30 at the Freer Gallery of Art. Free. —Pat Padua 

Noir City DC

The AFI Silver’s annual film noir festival returns in October for a big-screen celebration of hard-boiled gumshoes, no-good dames, and rapid-fire chin music. And to make better use of your entertainment dollar, every program in the series will be a double bill. The series has been a great way to see classic crime dramas and less frequently revived titles from the era of femmes fatale and private dicks. Celluloid purists will be happy to hear that several 35mm prints are promised. At press time, the final slate has not yet been announced, but fans of this golden era of fatalistic films should start blocking out some time to camp out in Silver Spring this fall. Oct. 10 to 25 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. $13. —Pat Padua

Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project

The National Gallery of Art’s exhibit of Dawoud Bey’s The Birmingham Project is small—just four black-and-white photographic diptychs and a video—but its subject matter couldn’t be weightier. Bey’s images explore the history and legacy of the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African-American girls. Bey pairs portraits of girls who are roughly the same age as the victims along with images of middle-aged women who represent the age the victims would have been had they lived. The bombing became a key moment in the civil rights movement, but the incident, and the photographic evidence of it, also had a big impact on Bey personally, who was only 11 and growing up in Queens at the time. His accompanying video takes the viewer through mundane, unpopulated Birmingham locales as they might have looked before the blast that Sunday morning a half-century ago. Sept. 12 to March 17, 2019 at the National Gallery of Art. Free. —Louis Jacobson

Japan Modern: Prints in the Age of Photography and Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection 

The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are mounting simultaneous exhibitions that chart the interplay between Japanese photography and printmaking during the late 19th and 20th centuries. The emergence of photography threatened to kill off Japan’s traditional woodblock-printmaking industry, but it recovered thanks to photography-influenced neo-romantic and neo-abstraction works. The exhibition of prints is paired with one of roughly 70 photographs made from the 1930s to the 1980s, along with photobooks and experimental films. The photographs, by such prominent names as Shōmei Tōmatsu and Daido Moriyama, range from landscapes to documentary images to more conceptual work. Sept. 29 to Jan. 21, 2019 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Free. —Louis Jacobson

When 6 Is 9: Visions of a Parallel Universe

Reneé Stout has worn many faces over her career: She’s made work as a mystic named Madame Ching, a rootworker named Dorothy, and a hoodoo healer named Fatima Mayfield. The artist channels these alter egos into her paintings, prints, and sculpture. For her next solo show at Hemphill, Stout is assuming a different kind of identity: resistance leader. When 6 Is 9 promises a ticket out of here to an alternate reality, a parallel universe more equitable than our own. Stout’s dreamline work blends abstract elements with conjuring imagery from across the African diaspora (and beyond). Occasionally, the handiwork is that of a fortune teller or card reader summoned by the artist. This show may find her cast as a sort of cosmic underground railroad conductor, peering across generations and dimensions into the upside-down, dreaming of a world that is free. Sept. 29 to Dec. 15 at Hemphill Fine Arts. Free.   —Kriston Capps


If you are a certain kind of arts appreciator, you may have learned about Glenstone’s expansion in 2016, in a lengthy New Yorker profile of the famously remote earthworks artist Michael Heizer. Buried in the piece was some excellent news for DMV art aficionados: Heizer would be installing a version of his “Compression Line” at the museum. (He first executed the work in El Mirage Dry Lake in California.) Oh, and: The museum expansion would open in just two years. In a city with so many free museums that it gives new meaning to “embarrassment of riches,” Glenstone is a hidden gem tucked away in Potomac. It’s free to the public, though tours must be scheduled in advance, and it’s more like New York’s Dia:Beacon than any of the museums here. As such, the museum’s expansion still promises to be a huge boon to the area, featuring works from renowned international artists, including some, like Hezier’s, designed specifically for this museum. The names include: Louise Bourgeois, Roni Horn, Brice Marden, On Kawara, Lygia Pape, Martin Puryear, and Charles Ray. The museum has a trademark, highly unique visitor experience, to boot. In case you’re still not sold: Yes, selfies are encouraged. Oct. 4 at Glenstone. Free. —Naomi Shavin


In Macario, a surrealist 1960 film by Roberto Gavaldón, a starving woodcutter makes a deal with Death. It goes badly, as these things do, and when his time is up, the craftsman meets Death in a cave filled with candles representing the lives of people, their shimmering souls. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has recreated the scene with “Pulse” (2006). A piece that graced the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, “Pulse” comprises 300 incandescent light bulbs suspended overhead. The installation is interactive: A viewer touches a sensor interface, which registers his or her heartbeat and transmits it to the nearest light bulb, which then flashes to the same rhythm. With every new viewer who registers their heart rate, the sequence moves forward by one bulb. So viewers can track their heartbeat signatures throughout the exhibition—or they can step back, taking in so many brief candles flickering bravely. Nov. 1 to April 28, 2019, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Free. —Kriston Capps

Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters

Baltimore Sun staff photographer Amy Davis spent a decade photographing former Charm City movie theaters and conducting 300-odd interviews with the people who ran and visited them. Last year, Johns Hopkins University Press published a book showcasing Davis’ work, and now it’s going to be an exhibit at the National Building Museum. For just over a century, Baltimore was home to some 240 movie theaters. Most aren’t showing movies anymore; however, many shells survive in other forms, from convenience stores to churches to football fields. Davis traces how the history of these pleasure palaces illuminates segregation and suburbanization and urban redevelopment in Baltimore and, by extension, just about every other major city in the United States. Nov. 17 to May 2019 at the National Building Museum. $13–$16. —Louis Jacobson

Black Cat 25th Anniversary 

In 1993, former Gray Matter drummer Dante Ferrando and a group of (mostly) musicians—including Dave Grohl—invested in a venue on 14th Street NW so they could host independent music. One move a few doors down the block, 25 years, and a ton of gentrification later, Black Cat continues to be a vital organ in D.C.’s music scene, and a musician-owned venue feels just as—if not more—radical in 2018. With two stages for large and small shows, Food For Thought’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare, and its comforting, no-frills venue vibe, Black Cat will continue to remain a welcomed contrast to the shiny, slick new venues down by the water. To celebrate, they’re throwing a party for two days with a loaded line-up: Subhumans, Ocampo Ocampo & Watt (Mike Watt, Renata Ocampo, and Devin Ocampo), and Ted Leo head up Friday’s lineup, while Ex Hex, Gray Matter, and Hurry Up (Kate Foster and Westin Glass of The Thermals) lead on Saturday. Sept. 14 and 15 at Black Cat. $25. —Justin Weber

Childish Gambino

Back in 2013, Donald Glover explained why he left Community in a series of Instagram posts that detailed his personal and professional fears, like “I’m scared I’ll never reach my potential.” Five years later, it seems as if that fear must be at least partially expunged. Not only is Glover the creator-writer-star of one of the best shows on TV, FX’s Atlanta, but he’s playing Lando Calrissian on the big screen and providing the voice of Simba in next year’s remake of The Lion King. And perhaps most significantly, the project that has been the constant in his career—the music he makes as Childish Gambino—is finally receiving the acclaim of his other work: first with 2016’s Funkadelic homage Awaken, My Love! and most recently with the stunning music video for “This Is America.” Childish Gambino’s live shows have always been exciting affairs; who knows where Glover will take audiences now that he’s on bigger—both literally and metaphorically—stages. Sept. 19 at Capital One Arena. $49.50–$129.50. —Chris Kelly

Bad Moves

If you were to poll local music fans about which band has the best chance to be the next big thing, it’d be a good bet that Bad Moves would be one of the top choices. The power-pop quartet—featuring Emma Cleveland (Booby Trap), David Combs (The Max Levine Ensemble), Katie Park (Hemlines), and Daoud Tyler-Ameen (Art Sorority for Girls)—have made their own impressions on D.C. in many other groups, but together their powers combine into exuberant catharsis, the type of pop that makes you breathe deep and shout. After a few years together, they’re releasing their debut—Tell No One—on Don Giovanni Records. It’s a summer record that’ll just make the cut before fall, but don’t worry: The mosquitos bite in D.C. well into November, so you can crank it up and pretend school’s out for a few more months. Sept. 21 at Black Cat. $10. —Justin Weber


The Trillectro music festival mixes local talent—like rappers Rico Nasty and Beau Young Prince—with worthy national headliners, including R&B songstress SZA and trap producer Baauer. The festival’s creators were inspired to bring D.C. its own festival after they attended California’s Coachella, and in its first iteration in 2012, they mixed electronic music with hip-hop and R&B—genres which often share the same fans, but less often share stages. That legacy continues in the festival’s 2018 celebration: The DJ Carnage—known for his hard, blaring trap beats—is the special guest, and nationally known rappers 2 Chainz, Playboi Carti, and Young Thug fill out the top billings on the lineup. Sept. 22 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $79–$199. —Avery J.C. Kleinman

Mark Guiliana

Mark Guiliana gained a huge boost in notoriety because of his playing on David Bowie’s final recording, Blackstar, in which the music icon teamed up with a group of New York’s finest jazz musicians. Even before then, Guiliana was one of the most innovative drummers on the scene, playing music ranging from traditional acoustic jazz to drum ’n’ bass. His resume includes stints with keyboardist Brad Mehldau, saxophonist and fellow Bowie alum Donny McCaslin, and a host of others. Guiliana is starting to increase his profile as a bandleader. His latest project includes bassist Chris Morrissey as well as saxophonists Jason Rigby and Mike Lewis. The absence of a chordal instrument leaves plenty of space for Guiliana’s shifting rhythmic approach and interaction within the band. Though the music can be complex at times, Guiliana is capable of anchoring even the most esoteric music with an undeniable groove. Sept. 24 at Blues Alley. $25. —Sriram Gopal


Rock & Roll Hotel is exactly the right sized venue to see SALES, and this might be exactly the right time. The Orlando, Florida-based duo have a sound that seems almost reverse engineered around the concept of bedroom pop, and a larger venue may well have sacrificed any intimacy. Given their new, critically adored sophomore album, it seems unlikely they’ll play anywhere smaller than 9:30 Club the next time they come through town. SALES are rolling into town toward the end of a North American tour that is so wide-ranging, it could be described as generous. The band’s tour stops include the usual suspects like San Francisco, Portland, and Vancouver, not to mention shows in both Manhattan and Brooklyn—but also Lawrence, Kansas; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; and Gainesville, Florida. By the time SALES’ Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih finish this tour, it seems assured they’ll have cemented a legion of fans. Here’s hoping that by the time they come to D.C. they have some great stories from the road to share, too. Sept. 26 at Rock & Roll Hotel. $17–$19. —Naomi Shavin


Flowchella is a music festival designed to promote D.C.’s authentic hip-hop culture. It’s an independent artist showcase, a DJ competition, and a networking event featuring representatives from major record labels. And best of all: It’s free. Other promoters have attempted to do similar events by charging exorbitant admission fees, but P-Stew, the DJ and radio personality who created Flowchella, says it’s not about turning a profit. “The goal isn’t to make money, the goal is to keep the hip-hop culture in D.C. growing as we rise to become a premier hip-hop market,” he says. P-Stew has scheduled a busy Flowchella itinerary this year, beginning with a two-hour open bar hosted by the Capitol Records staff. Local rapper Kingpen Slim will perform songs from his new project, Trapper’s Delight, and DJ Trini, DJ Malcolm Xavier, and DJ Freeez will spin music representing all eras of hip-hop. Aladdin Da Prince from WKYS is the host for the evening and promises to keep the show running smoothly. The Flowchella tagline, “Do you rap or do you flow?” draws a clear distinction between commercial rappers and true lyricists. Make no mistake, this event is for the real MCs. Sept. 27 at Big Chief. Free. —Sidney Thomas

Tyshawn Sorey

2017 was a fantastic year for Tyshawn Sorey. A prodigious multi-instrumentalist who is perhaps best known for his drumming with celebrated pianist Vijay Iyer, he completed a doctorate in music, released a critically acclaimed album (his sixth), and joined Iyer in the ranks of MacArthur Foundation “geniuses.” The recording, Verisimilitude, showcased the depth of Sorey’s talent as a composer, to the point where the listener is unable to discern the difference between improvised and written passages. Sorey’s ensemble comes to the area as part of the University of Maryland’s Artist Partner Program, whose Speed of Sound Sessions celebrate 21st century composers who reflect contemporary culture. Sept. 28 at MilkBoy ArtHouse. $10–$30. —Sriram Gopal

Rated PG Black Arts Festival

The Rated PG Black Arts Festival is returning to the Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center for a full day of visual and literary arts, engaging discussions, music, and an international food and vendor’s market. The Rated PG Festival is a woman-centered festival that celebrates talent and creativity in the local arts community. Rated PG features an impressive lineup of musicians curated by Yaya Bey, an accomplished singer and visual artist. The jazzy and captivating Tamika Love Jones will perform her new singles, “Wake Up” and “All My Love.” The CooLots, an all female rock/soul band, will bring their unique brand of genre-blending music to the stage. Other musical acts include Zenizen, Saint Mela, and BlaqueStone. DJ Niara Sterling and DJ Boston Chery—who is known for her dope remixes—will keep the positive vibes flowing throughout the day. Rated PG is the grand finale of Black Futures Week (September 23 to 27), a series of curated events that investigate a prosperous future for the African-American community and the entire African Diaspora. Sept. 29 at the Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center. Prices vary. —Sidney Thomas

Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges boogied onto the R&B scene in 2015 with his debut album, Coming Home—a soul-tinged affair channeling the genre’s veritable greats, like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. The Fort Worth, Texas, native sang timeless ballads about his mother, lost loves, and God’s salvation to the tune of jubilant horn arrangements, backing female singers, and doo-wop melodies. But the black community couldn’t connect to his reverence for generations past, and after a soul-crushing performance at Roots Picnic in 2016 where he received a tepid response from the audience, Bridges decided to take a sonic leap. For 2018’s Good Thing, Bridges recruited L.A.-based producer Ricky Reed, who has previously crafted hits for Kesha, Maroon 5, and Meghan Trainor, to break him out of the box of traditional soul music.  His sophomore album proves that Bridges can stack up against contemporary R&B crooners, like Usher, Ginuwine, and Pharrell, with danceable pop hits and sensual slow-burners that sound more authentic for him. Oct. 3 at The Anthem. $55–$279. —Casey Embert


The Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation is visible through two channels: its activism and its weekly jam session at Mr. Henry’s. Last year, however, CHJF co-honchos Aaron Myers and Herb Scott launched a daylong jazz festival, Hillfest, at Garfield Park in Southeast. For 2018, they’re going even bigger. Hillfest features two stages, with the second featuring one musical act (Crush Funk Brass Band) and a lineup of extracurriculars: African fitness, children’s storytelling, dance ensembles. The action on the main stage features a whopping 11 bands. Most of them are local favorites, including Scott, singer Akua Allrich and the Tribe, and Elijah Balbed’s JoGo Project. Topping the bill, though, are a pair of national headliners: R&B vocalist Cheryl Pepsii Riley (“Thanks for My Child”) and vibraphonist Stefon Harris and his band Blackout. The Hill is getting hip. Oct. 6 at Garfield Park. Free. —Michael J. West

Carly Rae Jepsen

If music is an ocean, pop stars are sharks. They have to keep moving; churning out Billboard-charting hit single after single in order to survive. But there’s the rare exception of the pop artist who stands in defiance of that mold, wont to make music on their own terms and timeline in order to write the best possible music. Carly Rae Jepsen, the Canadian pop goddess, is one of those rare talents. It’s been three years since her masterpiece album, 2015’s E*MO*TION, and fans are chomping at the bit for a new album. In those three years, she’s toured a bit, released a handful of singles (“Cut To The Feeling”) and collaborations, but has mostly kept quiet. She’s teased bits and pieces of new music on Instagram, but as of now, there’s no set release date for a new album. This isn’t cause for concern, but rather one for celebration. In an era where pop stars are under immense pressure to keep their profile up, Carly Rae Jepsen is instead taking her time to release a truly worthy follow-up to E*MO*TION. Perhaps we’ll get a taste of what’s to come during her headlining set at this year’s All Things Go Fall Classic. Oct. 7 at Union Market. $59–$129. —Matt Cohen

Wild Pink

In certain corners of the world of indie rock, image is everything. Young bands want to look effortlessly hip and write the coolest songs. And more often than not, looking to the past—the deep past, the stuff you first heard from your parents, not the cool bands an older sibling introduced you to—just isn’t that cool. On their second LP, this year’s stunning and gorgeous Yolk In The Fur, New York’s Wild Pink wear their influences boldly on their sleeve—even if it might make them look totally uncool. Dedicated to the memory of Tom Petty, Yolk In The Fur sounds very much like the product of a band who worshiped the throne of Petty and Jackson Browne as much as ’90s emo favorites like The Promise Ring, The Jealous Sound, and Chamberlain. But what’s remarkable about Wild Pink is that this embrace of influence makes them far effortlessly cooler than any indie band in 2018 trying to be cool. Oct. 9 at Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe. $15–$17. —Matt Cohen

Kali Uchis

In 2012, Kali Uchis was just 18 years old and making mixtapes in the bedroom of her home in suburban Virginia. She never expected her first mixtape, Drunken Babble, to be anything more than a personal creative outlet. But by the release of her 2015 EP, Por Vida, the Colombian-born singer had wooed audiences around the world with a lush jazz alto that compares to Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse. Incessantly reinventing herself, Uchis broke her own mold earlier this year with the release of her debut full-length album, Isolation, and flaunted a natural ability to two-step between genres, whether they be sultry bedroom pop, modern doo-wop, or tropical reggaetón. In a seductive Spanglish, Uchis uses Isolation to tell the tales of her past and present, like being kicked out of her house, the immigrant hustle, and breaking out of toxic relationships—never one to shy away from her own truth. Oct. 9 at 9:30 Club. Sold out. —Casey Embert


After three years, the Philly trio of Allison Crutchfield, Kyle Gilbride, and Jeff Bolt are back together for Fall into the Sun, their Merge Records debut. Their 2015 break-up—spurred by the romantic break-up of Crutchfield and Gilbride—seemed fairly final at the time. Crutchfield went on to sign with Merge, make a solo record, and tour with her sister, Katie Crutchfield, in Waxahatchee. She seemed set to follow her sister’s rise as a solo artist. But in hindsight, signing with Merge was fateful. Who better to mentor musicians trying to make punk rock professionally while letting go of relationship entanglements than Mac and Laura from Superchunk? The groups toured together while Swearin’ got their chops back last year. While Fall into the Sun may not be Swearin’s version of Superchunk’s Foolish, Crutchfield, Gilbride, and Bolt are embracing the changes in themselves. They aren’t trying to get an old groove, but rather better understand a new one. Oct. 9 at Black Cat. $15. —Justin Weber

The Jesus and Mary Chain and Nine Inch Nails

A mere 28 years ago, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Nine Inch Nails came to town under considerably different circumstances. JAMC headlined Lisner Auditorium on their Automatic tour and a little known Nine Inch Nails opened. Suffice to say a lot has changed. Trent Reznor and company are one of the few survivors of alternative rock’s boom days, releasing three excellent EPs over the past few years. The decades have been less kind to JAMC, a band whose trademark fuzz remains relevant, but one that has only been intermittently active (and successful) as a result of the Reid brothers’ constant infighting. Reznor recently shared his fond memories of the tour, reminiscing about JAMC playing 15-minute sets mostly comprised of feedback. These types of youthful shenanigans are unlikely to be replicated given that the band recently rallied to release its first new album in 19 years, 2017’s Damage and Joy. Oct. 9 and 10 at The Anthem. $95–$175. —Matt Siblo


Tribulation are not your—older brother’s? gothic aunt’s?—Swedish black metal band. Over the course of four albums, they have distinguished themselves as something of an anomaly within the genre, a group of corpse-painted dandies who cite Romanticism as a primary inspiration. Malevolent nihilists looking to inflict pain upon the world, they are not. And like their fellow countrymen Ghost, Tribulation aren’t afraid to buck stylistic convention in their embracing of a big rock chorus or a healthy sprinkling of cheese—look at those outfits!—to provide some balance to metal’s aggressive posturing. As is the case with anything that skews campy, the fun is in the experience, reveling in the absurdity of head banging along to songs such as “The Motherhood of God” and “Here Be Dragons.” Oct. 11 at Rock & Roll Hotel. $16. —Matt Siblo

Joyce Manor

Is it possible for pop-punk to age gracefully? Joyce Manor seem to have figured out the balancing act of mixing the genre’s youthful exuberance and world-weariness, appealing to both those pogoing up front and nursing a beer in the back. The band has consistently released a new record about every two years, and come to town in support of a new album, Million Dollars to Kill Me. The few songs released thus far continue down the path of 2016’s Cody: mid-tempo jams with just enough punch to make its two minutes memorable. Live, Joyce Manor are always at their most electric when they revisit songs like “Leather Jacket” and “Constant Headache,” which are tailor-made for sweat-soaked sing-alongs. Oct. 13 at Black Cat. $20. —Matt Siblo


In some corners of the internet, “Nicki Minaj or Cardi B” has become the “Biggie or 2Pac” of our age. But even if you’ve made peace with the reductive premise—why must we pit female rappers against each other?—the argument doesn’t hold if Junglepussy is not in the conversation. The 26-year-old talent born Shayna McHayle has spent the last few years quietly becoming the best rapper in New York—female or otherwise—by juxtaposing the sexually explicit lyrics her moniker suggests with a wholesome, all-natural approach to self-care. She reached new heights on this year’s JP3, collaborating with fellow New Yorker Wiki and legendary predecessor Gangsta Boo on an album that tackles love and lust on her terms. Oct. 18 at Songbyrd Music House. $20. —Chris Kelly

Tank and The Bangas

In 2017, Tank and The Bangas won NPR’s third annual Tiny Desk Contest—unanimously. Musicians from all around the world submitted over 6,000 contest entries, but Tank and The Bangas, a five-piece collective from New Orleans, won the hearts of the judges. Led by the commanding and whimsical Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Tank and The Bangas truly defy any notion of musical genres. Together, it’s psychedelic funk, smooth jazz, soulful hip-hop, jubilant New Orleans bounce, and heart-wrenching slam poetry all in one. Fearlessly vulnerable and delightfully theatrical, Tank and The Bangas’ Tiny Desk concert was a rollercoaster of spoken word and storytelling, ending with the audience in tears and proving the power of band’s authenticity. Oct. 18 and 19 at 9:30 Club. Sold out. —Casey Embert

Roky Erickson

His feral snarl accompanied by an electric jug, Roky Erickson had one of the most distinct voices in psychedelia. The Texas-born singer-songwriter was the howling front man of The 13th Floor Elevators, whose “You’re Gonna Miss Me” was one of the angriest love songs of ’60s. By the end of the decade, he was out of the music business and in and out of mental hospitals, where he underwent shock treatment. But this is not another story of a burned-out acid casualty. Now 71, those unsettled days are long behind him, and in 2010 he released True Love Cast Out All Evil, his first solo album in 14 years. Oct. 28 at Black Cat. $25. —Pat Padua

Chief Keef

It’s fitting that Chief Keef’s breakthrough mixtape was titled Back From The Dead: Even when he was just a year into his rap career and not even 17 years old, Keef was already fighting back against reports of his demise. That’s been the cycle Keef has faced for years, through myriad legal issues, rap beefs, and disputes with labels and the mayor of his Chicago hometown. Often lost beneath the headlines is just how talented and important Keef is, having spawned one hip- hop subgenre (Chicago’s menacing and metallic drill rap) and influenced most of the rappers that run the charts today (including Lil Uzi Vert and 21 Savage, who are actually older than him). After a year or so out of the spotlight, Keef returned in 2017 with a handful of solid projects and has already released another five this year. Every time, Keef surprises with a new flow or verbal tic or production trick, each one a reminder that Keef—and his career—is very much alive. Oct. 31 at The Fillmore Silver Spring. $25. —Chris Kelly

Songs of Freedom

One might at first do a double take at the grouping of vocalists Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, and Joni Mitchell. But at second glance, it starts to make sense. All three were major stylists of the 1960s (and into the ’70s); all three were advocates for freedom and revolution, if in different senses; and all three were, if not strictly jazz (save Lincoln), profoundly influenced by it. Consider that they come together under the banner of Songs of Freedom, and the grouping seems downright natural. Originally commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center, Songs of Freedom pays tribute to the three singers by way of three other at-first-disparate singers—Alicia Olatuja, Rene Marie, and Theo Bleckmann, all of whom sing jazz and are arresting storytellers in their own rights—and musical director Ulysses Owens Jr. Nov. 3 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery. $20–$35. —Michael J. West

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

The late Palestinian-American activist, scholar, and pianist Edward Said understood how closely intertwined music is with history better than most: “My own enjoyment of today’s pianism,” he wrote in Music at the Limits, “is pointed toward the past. That is to say, to a large degree it is about memory.” He believed enough in the power of music to right historical wrongs to found the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Israeli pianist and friend Daniel Barenboim, a project that brings together young Arab and Israeli musicians. The orchestra outlived Said, and perhaps the two-state solution as well, with vanishingly smaller platforms for the kind of intercultural exchanges that Barenboim still nobly pursues. In a global climate of rising ethno-nationalism, it’s a project that’s all the more relevant. Nov. 7 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $45–$115. —Mike Paarlberg

Kamasi Washington

It’s rare for jazz to have young superstars that reach an audience beyond the genre. With his unrelenting ambition, Kamasi Washington strives to reach far beyond the perceived limits of a genre where popularity often comes with history’s anchor attached. Washington’s latest album, the sprawling Heaven and Earth, is officially a double album well over two-hours long; however, there was a hidden bonus disc in physical copies of the record which rounds things out to an almost even three hours. The audacity of this project—the “Earth” side depicting the world as he sees it outwardly, the inward world on the “Heaven” side, and reality somewhere in between on the bonus “The Choice”—makes it so appealing. From the philosophical theme to the liberal use of choir and orchestra to lift the music higher, it feels like an entire world to get lost in and discover new details with each trip. Despite all of Washington’s world-building, he finds opportunities to keep things familiar, but emboldened: a robust adaptation of Curtis Mayfield’s “Fists of Fury” and a sparkling exploration of The Shirelles “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” In these moments, Washington is as much entertainer as he is artist, a rare balance that promises a can’t-miss performance in D.C.’s best sounding venue, The Lincoln Theatre. Nov. 10 at The Lincoln Theatre. $40–$60. —Justin Weber

Tai Murray

The term “prodigy” gets thrown around a lot in classical music; there’s a whole constellation of youth orchestras, young performer awards, and NPR’s kids classical radio show From the Top that feed parents’ dreams of raising the next wunderkind violinist before they quit and get into punk rock. Tai Murray, however, is the real thing. The Chicago native made her debut with the Chicago Symphony at age 9, and her star has only risen from there. And she doesn’t go easy on herself: Her first recording was of the not-very-audience-friendly violin sonatas of Eugène Ysaÿe, the one-time “greatest violinist in the world,” another term that gets thrown around a lot. Her program at the Phillips takes on other greatest violinists of their time, Fritz Kreisler and Nathan Milstein, an homage, or another high bar she’s set for herself. Nov. 11 at the Phillips Collection. $5–$45. —Mike Paarlberg

Danish String Quartet

Nordic classical music is hot, and the four guys who play in the Danish String Quartet aren’t too bad looking either, if you are into blond, bearded types. Finnish composers Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho are at the top of the world ranks, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is a leading innovator, and Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes has been a go-to concert pianist for a decade. Until 2014, the Danish String Quartet was on track to be just another virtuosic Scandinavian act. Then they recorded Wood Works, an album that took its inspiration from Danish folk music, and followed up last year with the broader-ranging Last Leaf. To call these albums classical crossover would be an insult. They are more like classical throwbacks to the late 19th century, when Romantic composers tromped through Europe in search of proletariat melodies that belonged in the concert hall, or in the case of this upcoming Washington Performing Arts gig, a synagogue. Nov. 12 at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. $35. —Rebecca J. Ritzel

Operetta Wonderland—The Magic of Victor Herbert

In the late 1800s, far from the European center of gravity of classical composition, a bunch of workaday composers were busy churning out new music in a part of Manhattan that came to bederisively called Tin Pan Alley, an apparent reference to the cacophony of dozens of pianos banging away at once. A lot of that music and its composers, though popular in its day, largely disappeared from cultural memory; some lived on. Among the more celebrated was Victor Herbert, an Irish immigrant who wasn’t consistent so much as prolific. His early hits, notably Babes in Toyland, were enough to keep food on the table, and though he went the career route leading the Pittsburgh Symphony, he never matched the appeal of his Tin Pan days. The In Series, which regularly straddles opera and popular music, offers a program of Herbert’s humble operettas, in a decidedly unhumble venue, the Scottish Rite Temple. Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 at the Scottish Rite Temple. $20–$45. —Mike Paarlberg

Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy’s 2018 album Clean is full of angst, from the seductively angry “Your Dog” to the yearning, insecure “Last Girl” and “Cool.” And yet, for all the album’s ennui and frustration, Sophie Allison, the singer-songwriter behind Soccer Mommy, has a success story that seems utterly charmed. The legend goes that heading into her freshman year at NYU, Allison released some songs on Bandcamp, and soon after performed her first show at Silent Barn in Brooklyn. Before she knew it, she signed with the venerable Fat Possum Records. She ended up dropping out of NYU to pursue Soccer Mommy full-time. Clean is her studio debut. “She’s got everything,” bemoans Allison on “Last Girl,” singing about a woman who makes her feel inferior. Probably someone, somewhere feels that way about Allison herself—or maybe not. Soccer Mommy’s songs, raw as they feel, notably never pit you against the protagonist. Listening is like meeting a new friend, but feeling like you’ve known them for much longer. Dec. 1 at Rock & Roll Hotel. $15–$17. —Naomi Shavin

James Reese Europe and The Harlem Hellfighters: The Absence of Ruin

James Reese Europe was a pioneer of ragtime music and the early jazz that developed in New York City just before World War I. During The Great War, Europe fought as a lieutenant with the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” and directed the regimental band. The ensemble traveled throughout the Western Front performing for Allied troops. As a result, Europe is credited with bringing jazz to the European continent. The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz, pianist Jason Moran, developed The Absence of Ruin as an homage to James Reese Europe and as an examination of how war impacts art. The program digs deep into Europe’s compositions through Moran’s original arrangements and features a visual component directed by John Akomfrah (The March) with cinematography by Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival). Dec. 8 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. $19–$59. —Sriram Gopal

Jorja Smith

Tenderness is the name of her game, and SoundCloud starlet Jorja Smith had already imprinted her compelling vocals on the R&B and hip-hop scene before she even released her debut full-length album, Lost & Found, earlier this year. Several high-profile collaborations with artists like Drake, Kali Uchis, and Kendrick Lamar, provided an expansive, worldly audience for Smith as she flaunts her timeless R&B musings. With a sprinkle of soul and a touch of trip-hop, the London-based singer explores routine coming-of-age quandaries, like lousy lovers and heartbreak, alongside acute social issues, like police brutality and racial profiling. Smith’s limitless curiosity and humble self-assurance serves her well as an ambassador not only to twenty-something women but people of color, fully knowing that asking a myriad of impossible questions is a necessary prerequisite of growth. Dec. 11 at The Fillmore Silver Spring. $29.50. —Casey Embert

Dover Quartet

They’re the “It” classical ensemble of the moment, a quartet made up of improbably talented and even more improbably photogenic model-musicians, who just happened to win the Banff competition while they were still teenagers. The Kennedy Center has named the Dover Quartet its debut “quartet-in-residence” for the next three years, a nebulous designation complementing its scattered composer-in-residence Mason Bates. So far it’s unclear what this entails besides playing some commissioned pieces. But it does mean they’ll be spending a lot of time here, and not just in the great marble shoebox: In December, they play the Library of Congress, long D.C.’s hidden gem for chamber music. Their recital there will be an ideal intimate space to see the ensemble up close, doing an odd, all-Austrian concert in which Schoenberg is the most accessible composer on the program. Dec. 18 and 19 at the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium. Free. —Mike Paarlberg


Let go of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and watch this reinterpretation circa 1664. Shakespeare had been dead nearly 50 years by then, and a lot had happened since he expired. Namely, Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans—widely know to have been the enemies of fun—shuttered theaters during an 11-year rule that began with the beheading of King Charles I and ended with the return of his son, Charles II, who restored both the monarchy and the theaters. And that’s when William Davenant wrote up his own version of Macbeth. He turned Lady Macduff into a full character and created her and Macduff as the virtuous couple in contrast to the evil Macbeths. He also scrubbed the play of its comic scenes to make it pure tragedy, but added music in the form of gruesome singing spirits. Not convinced? It was a blockbuster hit in its day and endured on the stage for years. The Folger put their version together with the help of an international team of scholars, some of whom have studied Davenant’s Macbeth for decades, and a director who has set the play in Bedlam. To Sept. 23 at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre. $42–$79. —Alexa Mills


Capitalizing financially on personal tragedy is a sad but true fact of contemporary American society—look at the nonfiction section of any bookstore or library for proof. But as the rabid fascination with the writing of former Trump administration staffers proves, readers will voraciously consume these volumes. In Gloria, playwright Branden Jacob-Jenkins satirizes this phenomenon by telling the story of four aspiring writers who survive a workplace shooting and argue about who should get the rights to tell the story. Critics praised his acute jabbing at tragedy and societal values when Gloria debuted in New York in 2015, and Woolly Mammoth announced its plans to open its season with the play in April, months before journalists were murdered on the job at Annapolis’ Capital Gazette. Memories of that horrific event still linger and will certainly color this production. In some way, the connection between fiction and true events makes the show even more intriguing. Are audiences ready to link humor and horror in this way? Wait and see. To Sept. 30 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. $20–$69. —Caroline Jones

Turn Me Loose

The late Dick Gregory’s best jokes combined comedy with civil rights activism, like this one-liner: “I sat in at a lunch counter for nine months. When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.” And this one: “I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.” Gregory was one of the first African-American comedians to gain widespread success in the 1960s. Turn Me Loose, which premieres this fall at Arena Stage, tells the story of his rise to fame. When it opened in 2016 in New York City, the New York Times called it “scorchingly funny.” Now, a year after his death, the show takes on additional significance for local audiences by memorializing the late, great Gregory, who spent his final years as a Washingtonian. To Oct. 14 at Arena Stage. $56–$115. —Avery J.C. Kleinman


Did the world really need another depiction of a May-December romance? Yes, perhaps, if that depiction is by Simon Stephens, the same playwright who won a Tony for his hyper-creative adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. In the D.C. premiere of Heisenberg, Rachel Zampelli steps into the role Mary-Louise Parker played on Broadway, which is further reason to be excited. Zampelli has a gift for playing characters with a restrained zany streak, including Evita and Rona Lisa Peretti from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The role of an American tourist who charms an older English butcher should suit her. But this isn’t a musical; rather, it’s a play that invokes the name of the scientist who formulated the uncertainty principle. And so this two-person show (Michael Russotto will play the older paramour) turns out to be about much more than we, at first, think. Sept. 18 to Nov. 11 at Signature Theatre. $40–$98. —Rebecca J. Ritzel

Little Shop of Horrors

Audrey II is fricken ravenous, so it’s a good thing she’s headed to a city whose restaurant scene has erupted with options. Too bad blood isn’t on the menu, even at Bourbon Steak—the closest restaurant to the Kennedy Center, where Little Shop of Horrors will take the stage. The musical based on a darkly comedic 1960 film stars a mutant venus fly trap that has a hankering for human flesh, a flower shop assistant named Seymour who has yet to find his chutzpah, and his annoyingly accented love interest. It’s an ideal show for those who wait all year for Halloween to let their freak flags fly. Come for the wacky plot but stay for the quirky mix of doo-wop and Motown music, which is bound to have theatergoers bopping in their seats. Oct. 24 to 28 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. $59–$199. —Laura Hayes

Cry It Out

Caring for an infant alone seems like a terrifying task. They are, after all, half-formed, projectile vomiting blobs who have no way of communicating what they need, so bonding with the nearest person who may understand what you’re going through seems like a necessity. One of these bonds, between two Long Island neighbors and new mothers, is the basis of Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out. Though their professional lives look very different—one is a community college dropout, the other is a corporate lawyer—sharing the experience of motherhood is enough to bring them together and to laugh about the joy and agony of raising a small human. Plays focused on the way women relate to one another proved to be exceedingly popular during the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, particularly Studio’s staging of The Wolves, and this one should follow the same course. Whether you’re a parent or prefer to stay far away from children, the laughs and life lessons Metzler’s play provides are worth hearing. Nov. 14 to Dec. 16 at Studio Theatre. $20–$90. —Caroline Jones