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At first glance, the pairing of Jason Isbell and John Darnielle seems strange. Not only are both popular and capable of headlining on their own, but their audiences wouldn’t appear to have much overlap. Their new records are also nearly sonic opposites. An opportunity for newest Mountain Goats member and multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas to really shine, Goths allows Darnielle to expand into richer compositions and groovy rhythms. It’s an album-length ode to the feeling lonely kids have when they find their crowd. Isbell, meanwhile, mourns a disappearing working class while confronting the racism of his community head on. What ties The Mountain Goats and Jason Isbell together is this shared empathy for the outsider. Read more >>> Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit performs with The Mountain Goats at 7:30 p.m. at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $40–$55. (410) 715-5550. merriweathermusic.com. (Justin Weber)
For something a little different this 4th of July, there’s Splashtown USA. The party features rum cocktails from Cotton & Reed, burgers and hotdogs, a water slide, and music. The event benefits Whitman-Walker Health. The fun lasts from noon to 9:30 p.m. at the open lot at 1717 14th St. NW. Admission is free, with food and drinks available for purchase. (Laura Hayes)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Kick off the sort-of holiday weekend at Comet Ping Pong, where local rock band Des Demonas performs with Mr. Airplane Man, an eclectic duo out of Boston. 10 p.m. at 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $12.
Friday: Acclaimed Spanish language vocalist Leo Dan takes the stage at the Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $49–$99.
Saturday: Throwing Shade, a new monthly day party held on and around U Street NW, promises to eliminate the Saturday afternoon slump in favor of breezy, rooftop chillin’ with ice-cold cocktails and a feel-good summer soundtrack. Farrah Flosscett and Mathias, Throwing Shade resident DJs and District nightlife favorites, have a special way of bringing the dance floor to life with thoughtfully curated soundtracks of party-starting anthems spanning a myriad of genres. Read more >>> The event begins at 3 p.m. at Lost Society, 2001 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 618-8868. lostsociety-dc.com. (Casey Embert)
Saturday: 9:30 Club hosts Phazefest, D.C.’s queer music festival, featuring performances by Homosuperior, Olivia & The Mates, Be Steadwell, as well as the DC Kings. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $15.
Sunday: BJ Barham doesn’t believe in the American Dream. Born in a North Carolina tobacco town, Barham watched his family struggle against American mythology. The American Aquarium frontman has been sober since the fall of 2014, and his songwriting has gained clarity and bite since then. For his first solo record, Rockingham, the American class system is his target. Read more >>> BJ Barham performs with Charley Crockett at 7:30 p.m. at The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. $10–$25. (202) 787-1000. thehamiltondc.com. (Justin Weber)
Sunday: Local songwriter Sean Barna continues to tour in support of his debut LP, Pictures of an Exhibitionist, and stops in Adams Morgan for a show at Songbyrd with opening act Ghost Lit Kingdom. 8 p.m. at 2477 17th St. NW. $12–$14.
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