Of Note: Nakatani Gong Orchestra, The Funk Parade, Jessy Lanza, And More D.C. Shows To Hit

By Ally Schweitzer and Catherine P. Lewis

Canadian vocalist and producer Jessy Lanza plays Black Cat on Monday.
Canadian vocalist and producer Jessy Lanza plays Black Cat on Monday. Courtesy Terrorbird

Every Thursday, Bandwidth contributors tell you what D.C. shows are worth your time over the next week.

Megafaun and Grandma Sparrow
Thursday, May 1 at DC9, $14

Before Justin Vernon recorded as Bon Iver, he was in a Wisconsin indie-rock band called DeYarmond Edison. Vernon’s three former DeYarmond Edison bandmates, now based in Durham, North Carolina, are the psychedelic rock band Megafaun. Merging vocals reminiscent of Fleet Foxes with off-kilter instrumentation and a lo-fi aesthetic, the trio might not be quite as famous as their former bandmate, but Megafaun’s folk/post-rock style is well worth hearing. Opening the show is the psychedelic Grandma Sparrow.

Nakatani Gong Orchestra
Friday, May 2 at tBack Alley Theater, $12

Friday, acoustic sound artist Tatsuya Nakatani leads a group of 11 local musicians in a large gong ensemble. These instruments, both bowed and struck with mallets, produce a sound both melodic and percussive; Nakatani’s last visit to D.C. saw him performing at the Kennedy Center, so the DIY feel of the Back Alley Theater will give this ensemble quite a different feel. Preceding the ensemble performance, Nakatani will perform a solo percussion set.

The Whigs and Nikki Lane
Friday, May 2 at Rock & Roll Hotel, $15

Athens-based garage rock band The Whigs blend their noisy riffs with some serious pop-influenced hooks—not surprising influences for a band that’s toured with acts ranging from Kings of Leon to Band of Skulls. The fuzz and distortion that permeates their music is perfect for a sweaty Friday night. Opener Nikki Lane has a distinct country point of view; her sassy twang is reminiscent of early Neko Case.

The Funk Parade
Saturday, May 3 on U Street NW; free

Coordinated by the folks behind Listen Local First, the inaugural Funk Parade is an all-day street festival with a participatory parade (from their web site: “Get up, get into it, get involved!”), dance performances and workshops. At night, the funk moves into many of U Street’s top music venues—DC9, Tropicalia,  U Street Music Hall, Patty Boom Boom, and Twins Jazz, among others—with free-admission performances by performers including Cheick Hamala Diabate, Elikeh, and Sugar Bear and EU.

Kohoutek, Taiwan Housing Project, Tulsa
Sunday, May 4 at Velvet Lounge, $8

Kohoutek used to be a D.C.-based band, and the group’s drummer, Scott Verrastro, regularly put on DIY shows at his home on Florida Avenue NW. Those days have passed now that Verrastro has moved to Philadelphia, so Kohoutek’s improvised psych-noise shows in the District are a much rarer occurrence than they used to be. Verrastro still knows how to put together a killer lineup, though: joining Kohoutek are Taiwan Housing Project (a collaboration between Kilynn Lunsford of Little Claw and Mark Feehan of Harry Pussy) and Tulsa, a band featuring members of the psych-shoegaze band Dark Sea Dream.

Jessy Lanza, Ricky Eat Acid
Monday, May 5 at Black Cat Backstage, $12

This week Stereogum declared that R&B-tinged electronic music—inescapable for the last three years—had reached its saturation point. I can’t disagree, but I’m not quite ready to take Jessy Lanza’s electronic-meets-R&B album “Pull My Hair Back” out of my headphones. The whispery Canadian vocalist and producer is too good at earworms. A live video she recently recorded for KCRW is entrancing, particularly her deft performance of “Keep Moving,” a highlight from “Pull My Hair Back” (and my running playlist). Monday night, she’s supported by College Park, Maryland’s own Ricky Eat Acid. (Ally Schweitzer)

Also recommended this week:
Heavy Metal Night at Port City Brewing and Foul Swoops, Flesh Panthers, and Neonates at The Dougout (tonight); Typefighter, Shark Week, Sunset Guns, and Teen Mom at Rock & Roll Hotel (Saturday); A Minor Forest and Two Inch Astronaut at DC9 (Sunday); The Dead Women and Nice Breeze at Galaxy Hut (Monday).

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.