There may just be one D.C. Sound, but there are plenty of D.C. sounds—like neo-garage rock, a steady if never massive current of local indie rock since at least the days of Pussy Galore. In the early and mid-2000s, the masters of pseudomystic local grit were The Apes, who paired Iron Butterfly organs with Stooges strut. Members of the band briefly toyed with heavy, coked-out glam rock as Midnight Kids and now make up Heavy Breathing, whose manic electro at least retains some garage-appropriate scuzz. The group is paired tonight with Cane & the Sticks, whose Peter Hayes, once a member of Dischord act High Back Chairs, has drifted toward garage, not away from it: Hayes’ vocals are disaffected indie-pop cool, but his guitar playing—abusive, bluesy, slightly stoned—is straight-up Blue Cheer. (Jonathan L. Fischer) 9 p.m. at the Ballroom at Artisphere. $8.
Now that we think of it, tonight’s pretty awesome for local and DIY music overall.
New Orleans garage/pop-punk group M.O.T.O. (Masters of the Obvious) plays Smash Records tonight with Baltimore’s Hollywood and D.C. band Highway Cross. 7 p.m. Free. (If you can’t catch M.O.T.O. tonight, see the band Sunday at Yards Park.)
D.C.’s America Hearts plays Bella Cafe & Restaurant alongside Derek Evry & His Band of Misanthropes, Borrowed Beams of Light, and Rob Cheatham & Gunchux. 9 p.m. Free, donations accepted.
Cigarette (D.C.), Tom Evanchuck (Ohio), and Ryan Ford (D.C.) are at Comet Ping Pong. 10:30 p.m. $8.
Possibly most awesome of all, Indiana’s Coffinworm and local band Ilsa play the Corpse Fortress tonight. 7 p.m. More information at DC Heavy Metal.
If you’re not into any of the above guitar-based music, noted New York house DJ Timmy Regisford is at U Street Music Hall for the Red Fridays series. Local DJ/man about town Chris Burns opens. 10 p.m. Free before 11 p.m. for 21+; $10 thereafter.
It’s not a local band, but a long-running local dance night: English pop-rock band Graffiti6 is the special guest at this week’s edition of Liberation Dance Party. The band is known largely for selling a lot of music to TV shows and for its male-modelish frontman Jamie Scott. 9 p.m. at DC9. $8.
If you’re in a sexy-dress-and-high-limit-credit-card mood, take a cab to Eric Roberson‘s performance at The Park at Fourteenth tonight. 8 p.m.
And finally, maybe if you stand outside the Black Cat and beg, you’ll be able to get a ticket to tonight’s sold-out Archers of Loaf show. 9 p.m.
The opening reception for the animated .GIF show “Repetition is a Form of Change” happens tonight at Artisphere. Drinks and .GIFs—-two things easily enjoyed at home, but enjoyed less pathetically in public. 6 p.m. Free.