The District Sound

Citizen Cope

Jan. 31 | Rams Head Live | $30-$125

A veritable jack of all musical trades, Clarence Greenwood, better known by his stage name Citizen Cope, seamlessly fuses elements of R&B, folk and light rock to produce distinctly hypnotic sounds. The D.C. native’s album “Let The Drummer Kick” propelled him out of relative obscurity, showcasing his soulful and melodic style. Greenwood elevates the vocal styles of artists like Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz with grit, diversifying his musical influences to emulate the soulful blues of Carlos Santana and the progressive

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Dead Kennedys

percussion of the Dave Matthews Band. In tweaking the prosperous musical styles of a medley of artists, Greenwood has developed a sound distinctively his own.

Score: Citizen Cope displays a keen sense of musicality, picking only the best bits and pieces from popular artists to form a decidedly individualized sound.
Bore: The artist’s latest releases show little musical expansion: His biggest hit to date, 2002’s “Let The Drummer Kick” may have been his apex.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

Feb 11. | 9:30 Club | $45

Ad-libbed jazz, aggressively political lyrics and a litany of ostentatious neon wigs characterize funk’s most iconic and influential ensemble, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Contemporaries of James Brown and Sly Stone, the group modernized funk, elevating it to a level of quality musicianship, even propelling funk into mainstream radio via its production of the Red Hot Chili Peppers

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George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

album, “Freaky Styley.” The live show promises to enliven the soulful funk Clinton himself pioneered in the 1970s, as long-winded improvisational sets and perennial energy from seasoned musicians is a guarantee at all of the funk icon’s shows. The members of Parliament Funkadelic may have rotated heavily throughout the years – the group’s 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction featured 16 members – but the crew’s unparalleled musicianship and jovial disposition remain as intact as ever.
Score: More than 40 years after their inception, this motley crew of funk innovators is as boisterous and sharp as ever.
Bore: If anything about this exuberant ensemble bores you, you must not be listening.

Dead Kennedys

Feb 13. | Rock N Roll Hotel | $25

They’re ear-shattering, they’re imprecise and they’re indignant. Archetypal spearheads of hardcore punk, the Dead Kennedys emerged in San Francisco in the late 1970s, expanding upon the burgeoning subculture of punk throughout the U.S. The Dead Kennedys boasted similar traits to their hardcore contemporaries: Their musical aptitude was limited, their frustrations with society were numerous and their performances were excessively raucous. Yet the group set itself apart with satirical lyricism, utilizing morbid humor as social commentary on the political and social state of 1980s America. Transforming the stigma of punk stupidity by championing provocative, biting lyrics, the Dead Kennedys helped mold the subculture into a lifestyle that those disillusioned with society could embrace.
Score: The Dead Kennedys bring viability to the platitude, “Punk’s not dead.” Few names are so well known and well

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Citizen Cope

revered among punks and mainstreamers alike.
Bore: Amazingly, three-quarters of the band’s initial members have remained. Still, four 50-somethings may fail to capture the rambunctious, cacophonous sound of hardcore punk and bring it to life.


Feb. 18 | The Fillmore Silver Spring | $25

“Glee” may have commercialized a cappella, but Pentatonix revolutionized it. To suggest that this four-guy-one-girl ensemble of vocal virtuosos is merely talented barely scratches the surface. Few groups can deliver chilling crescendos or crisp beatboxing with such artistry as these Texas natives. Their commanding and complementary vocals take on popular hits like fun.’s “We Are Young” and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” sans instrumentals, relying solely on their singing prowess to deliver musical accompaniment to lyrical melodies. Drop your preconceived notions of mediocre high school choirs. Pentatonix provides a refreshing and profoundly impressive spin on songs you didn’t think were possible to love any more than you already do.
Score: For Pentatonix, a cappella isn’t limited to traditional choral repertoire. The group renders songs like “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “Moves Like Jagger” strictly with their voices, manipulating vocal ranges to imitate instrumentals.
Bore: Those against hearing other talented singers enliven popular music should not, under any circumstances, attend this show.

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