We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
In the mid-’90s, Paul Weller seemed almost obsessed with his suburban roots. Though the soulful Wild Wood benefited from the ex-Jam vocalist’s stylistic retreat from the gritty city, Weller’s socially-engaged-critic side was sorely missed by the time he released Stanley Road. On 2002’s Illumination, Weller’s sixth solo studio album, the modfather is sometimes weathered and wise, sometimes naively folky and pastoral. But he is also angry enough to rock an inspiring tune about excessive militarization (“A Bullet for Everyone”). Illumination is by no means punk, but the recording does contain such surprises as the hooky horn loops built by collaborator Simon Dine of Noonday Underground for the absolutely stellar “It’s Written in the Stars.” And of late, Weller’s group has been playing “A Town Called Malice” and other back-catalog faves. Look for a classic when Weller plays with Fiction Plane at 7:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $35. (202) 393-0930. (John Dugan)