Morrissey has always enchanted the press, but The Smiths had a second genius in the band: guitarist and co-songwriter Johnny Marr. The British guitar hero showcased his signature jangle on tracks like “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” and “This Charming Man,” that still inspire pretty much every indie-pop band today. But he might be best known for his inventive use of tremolo and chorus effects on the group’s dreary but beloved hit “How Soon is Now?” Since The Smiths split in 1987, Marr has stayed busy. Between stints playing with The Pet Shop Boys, The The, and The Pretenders, he managed to find time to develop Electronic, his dance-pop project with New Order’s Bernard Sumner. But for now, Marr is back to making music on his own. He recently released The Messenger, his first album under his own name, and while the album sounds crisply produced, Marr’s fretwork isn’t quite the revelation it once was. Still, seeing the old master live is worth the price of admission, if only to hear which classic tracks he sprinkles in among the new ones.
Johnny Marr performs with Meredith Sheldon at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.