January can be a real bummer. It's cold, you're tired, your house is still a mess from all the holiday hoopla, and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Luckily, though, there are a number of concerts in the area this month to pull you out of that cold-weather slump and get you excited about 2015.
JAN. 9: THE KNOCKS
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW, Washington, D.C. 10 p.m. $15. 202-588-1880. ustreetmusichall.com. Get your dance on as this rising electro-pop duo performs a DJ set of fun, upbeat tracks, like "Dancing with the DJ," "Modern Hearts," and "Classic."
JAN. 11: EMMYLOU HARRIS & FRIENDS
DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, D.C. 8 p.m. $73-223. 202-628-4780. ticketmaster.com. Over the course of some fifty-plus years, this iconic singer-songwriter has made a huge mark on American music. The Birmingham beauty cut her chops in New York City alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez then went on to cement herself among the ranks of her exceptional collaborators like Dolly Parton, George Jones, Willie Nelson, and Neil Young. Don't miss this all-star lineup, including Emmylou herself, Allison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, and my current favorites, Trampled by Turtles.
JAN. 11: CIVIL TWILIGHT
Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. 7 p.m. $15-17. 410-244-0899. ticketfly.com. Hailing from South Africa and Nashville, this alt-rock quartet brings its powerful ballads like "Letters from the Sky" to Station North, alongside Arkansas-based openers, Knox Hamilton.
JAN. 12: SAM SMITH
Patriot Center, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA. 8 p.m. Sold Out. 703-993-3000. patriotcenter.com. After first getting noticed for his contributing vocals on Disclosure's 2012 hit "Latch," the British pop star has recently skyrocketed to stardom with a chart-topping album of soulful, swoon-worthy songs like "Stay With Me."
JAN. 15: SISTER SPARROW AND THE DIRTY BIRDS
The 8x10, 10 E. Cross St. 8 p.m. $10. 410-625-2000. the8x10.com. This strong female vocalist is backed by a powerhouse, seven-piece brass band that puts out a funky, modern-soul sound.
JAN. 16: T.I.
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE, Washington, D.C. 9 p.m. $31-42.60. 202-503-2330. echostage.com. The Grammy-nominated rapper is out of jail and back on the road, performing in D.C. on the heels of his new, ninth album, Paperwork.
JAN. 16: GIRLFRIEND IN A COMA
Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. 8 p.m. $10. 410-662-0069. theottobar.com. This local tribute band performs covers of Morrissey and The Smiths for what will surely be an angsty, melancholy night of '80s music.
JAN. 16: DJ ?UESTLOVE
Howard Theatre, 620 T Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 10 p.m. $20. 202-803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com. This drummer-cum-leader of The Roots and Jimmy Fallon guy-Friday seems to be everywhere these days, and this month, he'll be using his encyclopedic knowledge of music to spin an epic DJ set in D.C.
JAN 17: TEN: A TRIBUTE TO PEARL JAM
Rams Head Live, 20 Market Pl. 7 p.m. $12-15. 410-244-1131. ramsheadlive.com. All hail Eddie Vedder at this full night of Pearl Jam tribute bands. I'll be the girl in the crowd screaming out a request for "Yellow Bedletter."
JAN. 18: A$AP FERG & YG
Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. 8 p.m. $29.50. 301-960-9999. fillmoresilverspring.com. East Coast meets West Coast as these two up-and-coming rappers—Ferg from Harlem and YG from Compton—perform their versatile brand of hip-hop in Silver Spring.
JAN. 22: ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT
Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. 8 p.m. $10. 410-244-0899. ticketfly.com. Raw, brooding, Baltimore-based, post-punk rock—everything you'd ever expect for a night out in Station North.
JAN. 22: RED MOLLY
Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. 7 p.m. $20. 410-268-4545. ramsheadonstage.com. This Americana trio blends beautiful harmonies, powerful songwriting, and rich string-playing into a warm fusion of country, bluegrass, and folk.
JAN. 23: THE HOLMES BROTHERS AND BROOKS LONG
Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. 8 p.m. $18-22. 410-276-1651. creativealliance.org. These two blues brothers have recorded with greats like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Bruce Springsteen, and now they bring their tried-and-true talents to Highlandtown alongside local soul man, Brooks Long.
JAN. 24: CHERUB
Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Pl. 8 p.m. $15-20. 410-244-0057. baltimoresoundstage.com. This rising electro-pop group isn't Nashville's typical, twangy turnout. Instead, it's a funky, feel-good dance party, with catchy, falsetto- and synth-filled bangers like "Doses & Mimosas."
JAN. 24: PARQUET COURTS
Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. 8 p.m. $12. 410-662-0069. theottobar.com. SPIN magazine's 2014 Band of the Year. Keep an eye on these guys. Channeling New York City's early East village punk scene—a.k.a. the Ramones, Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth—this NYC-based "Americana punk" band performs their raw, post-punk rock in Remington.
JAN. 24: ARMIN VAN BUUREN
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE, Washington, D.C. 9 p.m. $50. 202-503-2330. echostage.com. The Holland-born trance DJ turns this D.C. nightclub into an EDM dance party with electronic anthems, powerhouse performances, and, undoubtedly, a mass of neon-wearing millennials.
JAN. 25: MARSHALL TUCKER BAND
Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. 6:30 p.m. $49.50. 410-268-4545. ramsheadonstage.com. "Gonna take a freight train—down at the station, lawd. I don't caaare where it goes..." The 1970s South Carolina group behind classics like "Can't You See" and "Heard It in a Love Song" performs its bluesy blend of country and Southern rock-and-roll in Annapolis.
JAN. 25-26: BEN HOWARD
9:30 Club, 815 V St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 7 p.m. Sold out. 202-265-0930. 930.com. The English singer-songwriter sold out two nights at the infamous D.C. nightclub but you can still try to hawk a ticket online. It'll be worth it, especially to see such pretty songs as "Only Love" play lived.
JAN 28: ZOLA JESUS
Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. 8 p.m. $13. 410-662-0069. theottobar.com. This Arizona songstress is one of those electro-indie femme fatales of the moment: blending brooding vocals and cryptic lyrics with electronic keyboards and small doses of pop to create the kind of moody, orchestral sound heard here, in her new single "Dangerous Days."
JAN. 29: LONDON GRAMMAR
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C. 6 p.m. Sold out. 202-265-0930. 930.com. Think Florence + the Machine meets the xx, with powerful, pretty anthems like "Wasting My Younger Years." One of my favorite bands of 2014.
JAN. 30-31: GREENSKY BLUEGRASS
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C. 7 p.m. $20. 202-265-0930. 930.com. This isn't your regular, pretty, finger-picking string band. Instead, the Kalamazoo quintet is an ambitious Americana group with a big, ballsy, rock-influenced sound. Plus, they throw in some rad covers, like Pink Floyd's "Time" or Bruce Springsteen's (or, preferably, The Band's) "Atlantic City."
JAN. 31: CHRIS BROWN WITH TREY SONGZ AND TYGA
Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. 7:30 p.m. $62.10-375. 410-347-2020. ticketmaster.com. These three hip-hop and R&B heavyweights perform a lot of what I like to call modern-day baby making music.