Inside D.C. entertainment

This week's concerts: The National, J. Mascis, Jean Carne

September 6, 2011 - 03:30 PM
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Tonight, the National warms up Merriweather for this weekend's V-Fest. (publicity photo)

You may be devoting a good chunk of time over the next few days to poring over the schedule for this Saturday's Virgin Free Fest, and figuring out a plan of attack for running between two stages and a dance forest. Good! You should definitely be doing that. But, if you can rip yourself away from V-Fest prep, there are definitely some shows worth seeing this week.

TUESDAY

The National at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Still riding the high of High Violet, the indie band visits Merriweather, along with Yo La Tengo and Wye Oak. 5 p.m. doors. $30-40.

WEDNESDAY

Bret Michaels at the Birchmere

The former Poison frontman has gotten more press in recent years for his reality show and heart troubles (both literal and figurative) than he has for his music, but he can still sing the hell outta "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." 7:30 p.m. $59.50.

J. Mascis at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage

The Dinosaur Jr. founder, whose latest solo effort is this year's acoustic-ish LP Several Shades of Why, gives a free show at KenCen. 6 p.m. Free.

Nnenna Freelon at Strathmore Music Center

The renowned jazz singer, who literally spends her free time soothing babies with her lovely voice, is in town giving a show to benefit Bowie State University's general scholarship fund. 7:30 p.m. $40.

THURSDAY

Jean Carne at Blues Alley

The legendary vocalist, known for both her solo releases and her (mostly uncredited) work with Earth, Wind & Fire, begins a four-night engagement at Blues Alley on Thursday. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows each night. $25.

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