Of Note: The Haxan Cloak, Amen Dunes, And Other D.C. Shows To Hit

By Ally Schweitzer and Catherine P. Lewis

Stirring drone artist The Haxan Cloak plays U Street Music Hall Friday.
Stirring drone artist The Haxan Cloak plays U Street Music Hall Friday.

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

Redline Graffiti
Friday, May 9 at the Hill Center, $10 to $15

Washington Post pop-music critic Chris Richards has an ongoing series at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital called District Sounds, featuring an interview and performance with a local band. May’s installment features electro-rock quartet Redline Graffiti, a chillwave-influenced electronica project that just released a new EP, The Drill. (Catherine P. Lewis)

The Haxan Cloak
Friday, May 9 at U Street Music Hall, $15

I don’t tend to associate Friday nights with cavernous dronescapes, but that’s what’s in store for attendees at tomorrow night’s Haxan Cloak show at U Street Music Hall. U.K.-based artist Bobby Krlic is behind the moniker, and last year released Excavation, the latest LP from his blackened drone project. There’s little glee to be found on the record; on the contrary, it produces an enveloping feeling of loss and helplessness, with moments of heinous beauty. In the right state of mind, The Haxan Cloak can be, somehow, cleansing. (Ally Schweitzer)

Side Yards at the Yards: U.S. Royalty, Shark Week, Drop Electric
Saturday, May 10 at the Yards, free

Sometimes music alone isn’t enough, and the evening party Side Yards at the Yards has you covered: In addition to the Bluejacket beer garden, there will be three stages of sideshow performers, from contortionists and jugglers to fire breathers and sword swallowers. If all that is too boring, then there are still three local rock bands performing: U.S. Royalty, Shark Week and Drop Electric. (CPL)

Protect-U, Peaking Lights Sound System, Maxmillion Dunbar
Saturday, May 10 at Comet Ping Pong, $12

I won’t write anything fawning about two of the acts on this bill—having been friends with them for years—but I will say that this is a record-release show for (my pals) Protect-U, a local electronic duo that tends to play partially improvised, exploratory sets with an ear for abstract house and techno. Joining them is DJ and producer Maxmillion Dunbar (another pal), as well as (not a pal) Aaron Coyes from the great dubby twosome Peaking Lights, whose gorgeous song “Beautiful Son” (from 2012’s Lucifer) still ranks among the best of label Mexican Summer. (AS)

Young Rapids, Big Hush, The Sea Life, The Effects
Saturday, May 10 at Rock & Roll Hotel, $12

D.C. alt-rock band Young Rapids has been a staple of the local music scene for the past few years, performing all around town at venues ranging from the Paperhaus and the Dunes to Comet Ping Pong and the 9:30 Club. But this will be that group’s final show. For this finale, they’ve put together a solid lineup of other great local rock: Big Hush, The Sea Life, and the debut of The Effects (featuring Devin Ocampo from Medications, Matt Dowling from Deleted Scenes and David Rich from Buildings). (CPL)

Cognitive, Palkoski, Existentium
Sunday, May 11 at the Lab, $8 to $10

If you’re taking your mom out to celebrate Mother’s Day, it should probably not be to this show, unless she’s a big death-metal fan: Cognitive is a relatively new tech-death-metal band from New Jersey with a new full-length album out this year. They’ll be joined by two solid locals: grindcore band Palkoski and Baltimore death metal band Existentium. Bring earplugs, but leave the booze at home—the Lab is a dry DIY space. (CPL)

Maimouna Youssef
Wednesday, May 14 at Howard Theatre, $13 to $17.50

Local singer and rapper Maimouna Youssef has been on a roll lately, flipping radio-pop tunes into sharp social commentary. Her new track “Student Loans”—premiered today on this website—transforms Rihanna’s far-from-transgressive hit “Pour It Up” into a critical track about crushing debt. Her new project comes out next Tuesday, and the following night, she plays a release show at Howard Theatre. (AS)

Listen to “Student Loans” here.

Amen Dunes and Amos Piper
Wednesday, May 14 at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, $10 to $12

There’s a lot to love on Love, the forthcoming album (now streaming at Pitchfork) from psych-folk artist Amen Dunes (Damon McMahon). My favorite cut is “Lilac In Hand,” a simple, hypnotic tune from the experiment-prone songwriter who almost quit making music entirely. Give it a listen and you may be thankful he didn’t put down his guitar. (AS)

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.