4 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days





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Australian singer Alex Cameron has made a career of adopting elaborate personas. These characters’ perspectives guide his albums — never more so than on his 2016 debut album, “Jumping the Shark,” in which he embodies a trashy TV host on his way to being washed up. His latest album, “Oxy Music,” is a project about the devastating opioid crisis with ’80s-inspired synths and on-the-nose lyrics. The frail-sounding drums on “Prescription Refill” seem to be mimicking the subject matter. Cameron sings, “I’ll fix that addiction, honey / And if that won’t do / Gonna dance for you.” “Dead Eyes” leans into Cameron’s soft rock tendencies with such haunting lyrics as “Skinny White boy with broken wrists / Gonna get that pain right.” There are genuine surprising moments on the album: “Cancel Culture” draws from hip-hop influences, including opening up with a couple of lines from rapper Lloyd Vines. Cameron pokes fun at those who appropriate musical traditions from a culture they don’t belong to: His play on words in the chorus — taking the controversial phrase “cancel culture” and singing that the only solution to cultural appropriation is to cancel culture itself — is a good summation of the playful tone he’s carried throughout his career. May 20 at 8 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. blackcat.com. $25-$28.

This hip-hop duo met as teenagers at their Atlanta high school and make undeniably fun rap music that is an homage to their city. No, it’s not that duo. It’s EarthGang, who have clearly benefited from their eclectic ATL forefathers, Outkast. Olu and WowGr8 have been making hits that pull together influences from their hometown since their 2013 debut album, “Shallow Graves for Toys.” They effortlessly go from trap to soul to funk influences from track to track, all the while collecting features from the likes of Young Thug and T-Pain. Most recently, Future appeared on the catchy “Billi” from their 2022 album “Ghetto Gods.” EarthGang’s infectious flow and delivery are on display on “Lie to Me,” while “Strong Friends” features unusually breezy percussion and WowGr8 sincerely rapping, “Might even get clowned for openin’ up now/ But I’d much rather leave you with no room for doubt.” EarthGang still has the ability to surprise. May 20 at 9 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. fillmoresilverspring.com. $35.

Review: EarthGang is much more than the Outkast comparisons suggest

Anaïs Mitchell’s 2010 Greek-mythology-inspired album became the hit Broadway musical “Hadestown.” Eight Tony Awards (including best musical) later, Mitchell is back to her folky-Americana roots — and it feels right that her first solo album in almost a decade is self-titled. Her 2022 album is intimate and beautifully written with irresistible melodies. Mitchell’s songs are mini stories, some grander than others. “Revenant” is eerie and catchy: The way Mitchell repeats the title with such yearning resonates with any listener who has lost a loved one. On “Little Big Girl,” she uses little anecdotes to tell a larger story of growing up and womanhood. When she sings, “Hold on, little big girl,” it sounds like she is talking to her past, present and future self. “Now You Know” begins with the knockout line, “When I think about dying, I think about children.” She sings about how when you love someone, thinking about the big and small things of life inevitably makes you think of them. Mitchell’s latest offering proves that her massive Broadway success doesn’t mean she can’t go back to smaller-scale, just as affecting, storytelling. May 24 at 7 p.m. (doors open) at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 930.com. $25.

Legacy, a gallery and retail space in the District’s U Street corridor, is hosting a monthly concert series featuring go-go music. On the last Wednesday of the month, the “Return of the M.A.C.” series will feature a local go-go band at the Eaton hotel. After kicking off in April with six-piece T.O.B., the series in May will feature Critical Condition Band. CCB has had membership changes through the years, but its work continues to embody the best of go-go while pushing the genre forward. The group dropped the song “Keep Forgettin’” with J’TA in April. A dance break during the second half of the song has that signature percussion beat with a whistle slithering along with the drums. CCB’s 2007 song “Phatty” had a viral moment on TikTok in 2020, spawning a funny dance challenge as creators moved their hips to “It’s my phatty, look at my phatty” as a funky horn played. No matter how much you enjoy listening to CCB on your own, like all go-go, it makes you want to hear the band live and with a crowd. May 25 at 10 p.m. at the Eaton DC, 1201 K St. NW. eventbrite.com. $25 in advance, $40 at the door.






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