This month in live music

The agony and pain of finals is quickly approaching. For some of us, our time at GW is coming to a close and we’re applying for jobs. Others are planning their summer vacations and trying to land a great internship. While you may be a bit overwhelmed, some amazing live shows are coming to ease the pain and stress of finals.

To start off the month, Georgie James is playing the back stage at the Black Cat May 3. Since their tour with Camera Obscura last summer, “Who is Georgie James?” shirts have popped up all across the city. Former Q and Not U guitarist John Davis teamed up with fellow Washingtonian Lauran Burehnn in 2005 to create some of some of the catchiest indie-pop to come out of the music scene in the past year. While the name isn’t much to chant at a show, you’ll quickly be singing along and dancing at the Georgie James show.

Soon-to-be graduates Jukebox the Ghost will play their first show at the Black Cat with Exit Clov and Le Loup May 5. GW’s resident piano-rockers are releasing their first EP on This Side Up Records at the show. After the summer, the band will serve a one-month residency during September at Piano’s Bar in New York.

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service will perform a two-show set at 9:30 Club May 10. The indie icon is performing solo this time with David Bazan and Johnathan Rice as supporting acts. Be sure to buy your tickets now; the first show sold out fast.

Southern garage rockers Be Your Own Pet will bring their raw style to the Black Cat May 16. The band’s dirty ‘rawk’ sound, combined with the performance styles of the enigmatic front-woman Jemina Pearl Abegg make their show a must-see. Their first and self-titled album, released last spring, received wide critical success but small record sales. This spring, they’re on tour with alt-rockers Arctic Monkeys.

On May 20, Pretty Girls Make Graves will perform their last D.C. show ever (that’s what they all say) at the Black Cat. The band, formed in 2001, announced lead singer Nick DeWitt’s departure from the band and is going on an indefinite hiatus after their most recent tour.

If you’re staying in the District for the summer, make sure to check a few of the outdoor venues and music festivals. DC 101 kicks off the area summer music festival circuit May 12 with the Chili Cookoff in Chinatown. If you’re not in the mood for dozens of bowls of chili, Jet, Breaking Benjamin and Silversun Pickups will perform as well.

On July 25, the Vans Warped Tour will hit Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. The festival will feature up-and-coming emo and punk-rock bands. On Aug. 4 and 5, the Virgin Music Festival will make it’s second-annual trip to Baltimore at the Pimlico Race Track. Amy Winehouse, Beastie Boys, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Police have already signed on for the festival.

Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., – just a 20-minute Zipcar drive or hour Metro and shuttle ride – is one of the premier outdoor venues in the country. They offer inexpensive lawn tickets and let you bring in your own picnic (including alcohol). This summer’s lineup includes Morrissey and The B-52’s. Nissan Pavilion is just a bit farther down the road in Bristow, Va., but features some outstanding outdoor events this summer. Gwen Stefani, Jimmy Buffet and Dave Matthews are just a few of the musicians slated to make a visit. Finally, Merriweather will welcome Fall Out Boy, The Fray, and Kenny Chesney among others throughout the summer.

Concert Calendar

May 3 – Georgie James, Black Cat $6

May 4 – Five for Fighting, 9:30 Club $25

May 4 – The Arcade Fire, D.A.R. Constitution Hall $old Out

May 5 – Exit Clov w/ Jukebox the Ghost, Black Cat $10

May 6 – Blonde Redhead, 9:30 Club $20

May 7 – Relient K w/ Mae, 9:30 Club $17.50

May 9 – Air, 9:30 Club $40

May 10 – Ben Gibbard, 9:30 Club $25 (late show only)

May 12 – DC101 Chili Cook-Off, Chinatown $30

May 13 – LCD Soundsystem, 9:30 Club $old Out

May 16 – Arctic Monkeys w/ Be Your Own Pet, 9:30 Club $old Out

May 17 – Gwen Stefani w/ Lady Sovereign, Nissan Pavilion $25-69.50

May 20 – Pretty Girls Make Graves, Black Cat $13

May 28 – The Faint, 9:30 Club $18

June 3-4 – Deftones, 9:30 Club $30

June 3 – Bloc Party, D.A.R. Constitution Hall $35

June 4 – Fall Out Boy w/ +44 and The Academy Is…, Merriweather Post Pavilion $35

July 25 – Vans Warped Tour, Merriweather Post Pavilion $29.75

Aug. 4-5 – Virgin Music Festival, Pimlico Race Track $TBA

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