Preview Weekend Concerts

Brindley Brothers
9:30 Club
Saturday, Sept. 4, 8 p.m.

The Brindley Brothers aspire to world domination. However, at least for now they say they’ll just settle for the East Coast. Both members of the duo have both been playing music all their lives, but it was not until about four or five years ago that they decided to start playing together, says keyboardist/backup vocalist Daniel Brindley. And yes, they are in fact brothers. (Evidently people ask that a lot).

The band plays pretty, ramshackle pop that has found a nurturing record label with the mantra “Beyond Pop Culture.” Acoustic guitarist/lead vocalist Luke Brindley explains, “They have a standard.”

To judge whether the Brindley Brothers meet that standard, listen to their immediately hum-able melodies and optimistically worn-out vocals influenced by the band Wilco, says Brindley, who also points to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.

“Great songwriting is what really attracts me,” he said. “Whether it’s folk stuff or rock stuff, the song is the main thing.”

When they’re not touring, the Brindleys run Jammin’ Java, a music club/coffee shop in Vienna, Va., which piqued the interest of President Bush, of all people, as he was doing publicity for small business tax cuts last year. The Brindleys were written into a speech that David Letterman later aired footage of in his segment “George W. Bush Joke That’s Not Really a Joke.”

While heads of state and late-night hosts might help, they can only take a band so far. There is also relentless touring, mostly along the Eastern seaboard.

“D.C.’s been real good to us since we’ve been down here,” Brindley said. “This 9:30 Club show is kind of a milestone for us.”

On stage, there’s a fraternal dynamic between the two that transcends that of most bands. “There’s definitely a connection that’s more than just two guys in a band,” Luke said. “There’s more of a natural subconscious musical connection, when we’re performing especially. We kind of read each other’s minds.”

-Jeffrey Parker

Chicks With Attitude
9:30 Club
Friday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m.

Likened to a miniature Lillith Fair, The Chicks with Attitude Tour, a national tour featuring four fiery young front-women, will wrap up this Friday at the 9:30 Club. Headliner Liz Phair was largely regarded as the queen of indie rock up until the release her self-titled, most recent album. The hook-driven record was slammed by critics and fans alike who said Phair strayed too far from her unique roots. Phair’s radio-friendly and sexed-up image was a mainstream success nonetheless.

To accompany her on the tour, Phair handpicked acts with very different sounds: Swedish rockers the Cardigans, piano virtuoso Charlotte Martin and 16-year-old garage vixen Katy Rose. Each is known for empowering young women to find their own voice.

Meet the Artist: Charlotte Martin

Not your typical beauty queen: This former Miss Teen Illinois seems to have a bone to pick with pageants. Over the sound of dark, brooding chords she sings, “Close my ears close my eyes/ In the world of a stupid girl and her stupid dress size/ So who are we?/ Who’s the judge and are you/ Something like a hero?” Her debut album is laden with these and other unfavorable references to mirrors, genetics, lip gloss, meaningless parades and a sense of worthlessness after being dethroned. But don’t jump to any conclusions just yet.

“I don’t like to give too much information about my songs,” she said, “because I like people to draw their own conclusions.”

The 27-year-old singer/songwriter first made waves in 2003 with her acclaimed, four-track EP In Parentheses. The follow-up, On Your Shore, vividly showcases the emotions she experienced during a period of extended isolation. Armed with her ambition, classical background and prolific tendencies, Martin’s tone and dynamic sensitivity has drawn comparisons to Tori Amos, Alicia Keys and Norah Jones, the versatility of her voice matched only to that of her chameleon-like piano.

McDonald’s Serves Cake
Merriweather Post Pavillion
Saturday, Sept. 4, 6 p.m.
$10 advance purchase, $15 at the door (includes parking)

The final installment of the McDonald’s Sessions at Merriweather concert series bundles the sardonic, monotone grooves of 90s hybrid band Cake with the heavily touring Graham Colton Band and Baltimore-based band Plunge. According to a press release, the fast-food giant sponsored the concert series to “more-directly communicate with young adults and help develop local music interest and accessibility – a central passion area of this demographic.”

Featuring a string of hip-hop, rock and funk artists, the eight-part concert series will conclude with the anomalous band that brought you such commercial juggernauts as “The Distance,” “Never There” and “Short Skit/Long Jacket.” Despite its anti-corporate lyrics and admitted preference for smaller venues in the past, Cake joined the bill before releasing its fourth full-length album which hits stores Nov. 5. n

-Sacha Evans

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