Thursday, Feb. 19
Hey Mercedes and Wheat The Black Cat, 1811 14th St., NW Metro: U Street/ Cardozo $10 at the door, 8 p.m.
Hey Mercedes is the bland-pop outfit that hails from the ashes of Braid, the definitive Chicago emo group that released the landmark 1998 LP "Frame & Canvas." Two LPs into their tired discography, Hey Mercedes has yet to either match Braid's success or escape mediocrity. But have no fear, Braid fans - a reunion is in the works. Radio-friendly rockers Wheat - not to be confused with Wheatus of "Teenage Dirtbag" fame - is the opener.
Friday, Feb. 20
The North Mississippi Allstars 9:30 club, 815 V. St. Metro: U Street/ Cardozo $15 through tickets.com, 9 p.m.
Including Mississippi in a band name leads to one main assumption: the presence of a historical Delta-blues tradition. The North Mississippi Allstars are consistent with that heritage, but add an element of retro, post-grunge edge in the vein of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Saturday, Feb. 21
Ziggy Marley 9:30 club, 815 V. St. Metro: U Street/ Cardozo $30 through tickets.com, 9 p.m.
Ziggy - the son of Bob, namesake to David Bowie's alter ego - has a genealogy that cannot be ignored. Upon the death of his father, Ziggy Marley indirectly accepted the role of the definitive mainstream reggae frontman. His latest release, "Dragonfly," deviates from his more traditional work, namely the revered 1997 LP "Fallen Is Babylon."
Sunday, Feb. 22
Mates of State The Black Cat, 1811 14th St., NW Metro: U Street/ Cardozo $10 at the door, 8 p.m.
The positively sappy Mates of State, the cutesy-couple rockers who write songs about each other and bore fans with baby talk, headline the Black Cat. Their last D.C. gig was mid-carding for the sold-out Death Cab for Cutie show, leaving many Mates enthusiasts out of luck. Also opening is Numbers, the Tigerbeat6 electro-clashers that deliver a combination new-wave, no-wave and IMD until your ears bleed.
- COSTA CALOUDAS