- Jucifer, being loud. Photo: flavorflanks/flickr.
Vocal music and metal typically fall at opposite ends of the noise spectrum, which isn't too surprising since the former relies on unamplified harmonies and the latter, on volume, volume, volume. Wherever your tastes fall on that scale, here are a few suggestions for shows on the louder—and quieter—side of things this weekend.
Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Rock & Roll Hotel, $15
Swedish metal group Ghost writes some darn catchy songs-- just ask the crowd at last year's Maryland Deathfest, who sang along(!) loudly(!!) to all of the tunes in the band's festival-closing set. Ghost certainly amps up the drama of its live shows: its frontman dresses as a satanic pope, while the rest of the group wears cloaks that mask their true identities. (There are plenty of internet theories about who they are, though. Hint: they're all members of other Swedish bands). The group's debut album Opus Eponymous channels a sound that's as reminiscent of ’70s rock bands like Blue Oyster Cult as metal groups like Mercyful Fate
Friday, Jan. 20 at Axum DC Lounge, $10
The two guys in Dakaboom might look familiar if you know a lot about a cappella: Ben McLain and Paul Peglar were both founding members of the Los Angeles electronic vocal group Sonos. (McLain is still in the group; Peglar left amicably about a year ago.) Together the two are as musically innovative as they are hilarious—check out their dramatic interpretation of the lyrics to Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night."
Friday, Jan. 20 at the Black Cat, $12
When we tell you that Jucifer is LOUD, we mean it in a bring-a-backup-pair-of-earplugs-just-in-case kind of way. This sludge metal duo stacks speakers up to the ceiling, creating a literal wall of sound behind them as they roar with an earthquake-inducing rumble. Don't be fooled by some of the subtle melodies on the group's studio albums: live, they create an unholy racket, as singer Amber Valentine bellows from her gut and drummer Ed Livengood pounds out a thunderous rhythm.
18th Street Singers
Friday/Saturday, Jan. 20/21 at First Trinity Lutheran Church, $10
The 18th Street Singers, a 50-voice ensemble whose repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary, will perform works from a range of composers at its 8th annual winter concert. Think Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Samuel Barber, and U2.
Saturday, Jan. 21 at Jaxx, $10 in advance / $12 at doors
Virginia's Southern metal group King Giant is celebrating the release of its second album, Dismal Hollow, at this CD release show, which also features a ton of other cool local bands: stoner metal group Borracho, Virginia Beach rockers the Crimson Electric, Baroness/Salome alums Auroboros, and psychedelic metal band Weed Warlock. King Giant is the main draw, though, and their new album blends catchy riffs and anguished vocals. As another bonus, the group this week unveiled the new music video for its song "Appomattox", which it funded with a Kickstarter campaign. Highly recommended if you like zombies or awesome songs.
These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.