4 concerts to see in DC: from March 25 to 31
The music that Bryce Connolly records as a solo artist is very similar to the pseudonym he uses: Mindchatter. Its lyrics often sound like previously unheard snippets of an interior monologue and, with production choices that are softer than the usual electronic music, it makes for an intimate listening experience. On the song “Scared to Go Home,” from his album “Imaginary Audience,” Mindchatter sings about staying too long at a party. But the song isn’t about the party – instead, listeners are taken into the thoughts of a reveler who isn’t sure what he’s doing there. Mindchatter sings, “You put the music on my tongue / I can only taste it sometimes,” reflecting moments of clarity that can lift you out of a party mood. The song’s technical bells and whistles make it a melodic instrument. “Google Thinks for Me” is a groovy surprise during the album’s second half that features driving bass and compelling flute. As you dance, however, Mindchatter ruminates on a society where everyone shouts the same unoriginal takes. Rather than participating in an endless echo chamber, he concludes, “why raise your hand or open your mouth / I’ll let Google do the thinking for me.” Another glimpse of his mind’s chatter. March 30 at 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. unionstage.com. $20.
With the past two years of global insecurity and general chaos, it only seems fitting that the uplifting pop punk genre that dominated the early years is making a comeback. KennyHoopla (real name Kenny La’ron), originally from Wisconsin, is at the center of this comeback, even teaming up with a star of the day. His 2021 project with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker titled “Survivor’s Guilt: The Mixtape //is filled with nostalgic, yet still thrilling bangers. Definitely punky angst is on full display on “Estella //,” as KennyHoopla sings about a crush’s confession: “I’m just dying / to be alive / at the same time than you”, extending its vowels with gnarled drums lead the way. The fastest “Hollywood Sucks//” is a cheeky song with funny lyrics such as “Hollywood sucks / can you please move your Prius?” and “Your friends really are morons / can we still going out with anyone?” A lighthearted pit stop, KennyHoopla shows versatility and an ability to not take himself too seriously. The characteristic anxious energy of pop punk is back on “Smoke Break//”. He sings , “if you’re pure, then be pure / And if I’m yours then please be sure.” KennyHoopla’s pure punk credentials can’t be denied, that’s for sure. March 31 at 7:30 p.m. (house open) at The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. blackcatdc.com. $20.
“I don’t wanna kiss you / Yeah, I just wanna feel you,” Snoh Aalegra sings on his 2019 song, “I Want You Around.” Listeners may not technically know what she means, but they get it. That’s what Aalegra’s songs do: state the obvious in a not-so-obvious way. Her voice is inherently romantic, which makes her love songs resonate. Her 2019 album “Ugh, These Feels Again” features Aalegra’s relatable musings on the modern dating scene. She titles songs with internet buzzwords such as “Situationship,” which is all about navigating this younger generation’s anti-label attitude toward relationships. His latest album, “Temporary Highs in the Violet Skies,” continues where “Ugh” left off. Aalegra’s meaningful observations of casual dating turned into full thoughts about love – the good and the bad. On “Tangerine Dream”, she sings, “I went to get my bags, that’s where you left.” It’s a sad scene she sets up, someone leaving when you’re most vulnerable with them. But as listeners, the more we get out of Aalegra’s music, the more vulnerable it becomes. March 31 at 8 p.m. at Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. theanthemdc.com. Exhausted.
Note: Proof of coronavirus vaccination is required for admission to these shows. See site websites for details.