For more than a decade, Amy Domingues has served as the No. 1 cellist-for-hire in D.C.’s indie-rock scene. She’s played strings on more than a few huge local albums, including Fugazi’s The Argument, two Dead Meadow records, a handful of Bob Mould releases, and Ted Leo & The Pharmacists’ Tyranny of Distance. But all the while, she’s been chipping away at her own to-do list. In a 2007 interview with DCist, Domingues said, “One of the things that I’ve yet to do, one of the instruments I’ve yet to learn, and I keep telling myself I’m going to do it, is to learn viola da gamba,” a fretted, seven-stringed precursor to the cello. Five years later, she’s a student of baroque and Renaissance music at the Peabody Conservatory, specializing in—whaddya know—viola da gamba. Her rock music, too, possesses a kind of early-music flavor, not unlike the dark and woodsy atmospheres on Helium’s best recordings. (The similarity might not be coincidental—Domingues and Helium’s Mary Timony are longtime collaborators.) This week, Domingues’ band Garland of Hours releases its third album, Lucidia, the second GOH release on Domingues’ label Noble Task Records; a record-release show at Black Cat marks the occasion. Don’t come prepared for a recital vibe: This performance is nothing short of a local rocktravaganza, with Jonah Takagi on bass, Stefan Bauschmid (Domingues’ husband) on drums, and the vaunted Timony on guitar. 8 p.m. at Black Cat Backstage. $8.
If you’d like to see National Symphony Orchestra string musicians perform in a very un-symphony-like venue, stop by tonight’s concert at Acre 121, where violinist Glenn Donnellan, violist Ruth Wicker Schaaf, cellist David Teie, and bassist Jeffrey Weisner will perform a variety of works. Free, 7 p.m.
Tonight brings another edition of Gaylarious at Riot Act Comedy: all-gay stand-up comedy, every month. 8:30 p.m. $15.