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The week ahead in DC area concerts - Peter Murphy, Matt Nathanson and more

Matt Nathanson digs "Headphones"
Matt Nathanson digs "Headphones"
Vanguard Records

Forget those back-to-school fliers and sales! Summer abides all around us and there's still plenty of time to grab some music-loving pals and enjoy yourself at a show without thought of tests or curfews.

This coming week (through Sunday, August 10), there are a number of fine performers coming our way, including a goth-rock legend, local heroes and an outdoor venue's triple bill that sounds like a party in the making.

Let's get started then, shall we?

Passenger at Echostage, Wednesday, August 6
Passenger at Echostage, Wednesday, August 6 Shervin Lainez

Passenger at Echostage, Wednesday, August 6

His name is actually Mike Rosenberg but, as Passenger, he's landed the #1 Folk Album on the Billboard charts, #5 Rock Album, and hit a multi-platinum peak with the international hit single "Let Her Go." (It didn't hurt when the sweet ballad was used in the popular Super Bowl commercial for Budweiser featuring a puppy and his Clydesdale pal.)

Rosenberg/Passenger's new album, "Whispers," is doing just fine, too, leading to this headlining date at the big box Echostage, better known for EDM and electronic pop. But hey, if Ed Sheeran can top the bill at Merriweather Post, who says a sweet guy with an acoustic guitar can't do it here as well? Joining Passenger on the bill are Stu Larsen, another singer/songwriter who's toured and recorded with Rosenberg, plus The Once, a Newfoundland-based trio who will be releasing their new album this week.

Honor By August at Jammin Java, Thursday, August 7
Honor By August at Jammin Java, Thursday, August 7 Honor By August

Honor By August at Jammin Java, Thursday, August 7

With a muscular, modern rock sound; sensitive lyrics that focus on the nobility of getting through everyday life; and an engrossing live show propelled by charismatic frontman Michael Pearsall, D.C.'s own Honor By August have earned credible comparison to The Boss of all working man's heroes, Bruce Springsteen.

The band has played venues like the Verizon Center, opening for Bon Jovi, and can easily bring close to a thousand area fans into the 9:30 Club, so having Honor By August in the smaller Jammin Java space is an experience not to be missed. Adding to the pure rock power are openers The Gallery, an L.A.-by- way-of Massachusetts quartet with a highly compatible guitar-driven style.

Peter Murphy at the State Theatre, Friday, August 8
Peter Murphy at the State Theatre, Friday, August 8 Cihan Unalan

Peter Murphy at the State Theatre, Friday, August 8

He's been called the Godfather of Goth and a post-punk icon and, while his work with the influential musical doom-makers of Bauhaus justifies both titles, Peter Murphy wants none of it. On his latest (released in June) solo album, "Lion," Murphy intones on a track called "I Am My Own Name" that he's, "no jaded shock star...[but] a seeking searcher, a shifting shape, a spirit lifter." Who just happens to sound deliciously broody, whether you're into black eyeliner or not.

After spending much of last year on the road celebrating the Bauhaus catalog on the "Mr. Moonlight" tour (a DVD of the Los Angeles show is now available), Murphy's 2014 shows, rescheduled from May/June, turn the attention back to his solo material, especially the new album, though he offered in a recent interview that "maybe a couple Bauhaus cuts" will make the show as well. 

Matt Nathanson, Gavin DeGraw, Andrew McMahon at Wolf Trap, Sunday, August 10
Matt Nathanson, Gavin DeGraw, Andrew McMahon at Wolf Trap, Sunday, August 10 Vanguard Records

Matt Nathanson, Gavin DeGraw, Andrew McMahon at Wolf Trap, Sunday, August 10

In a spring email sent to fans on his mailing list, Matt Nathanson announced his current summer tour with Gavin DeGraw and offered the following details:

- every now and then gavin and i will be swapping off who closes the shows.
- we will each play full sets.
- we will rule.
- we are definitely planning on sitting in during each others sets, so come early and stay late. and let's tear it up this summer!!!

A true musical mensch who's worked his way up from tiny clubs to venues like Wolf Trap with well-crafted songs and hilarious stage patter, Nathanson's enthusiasm is contagious. Recent hits like "Come On, Get Higher," "Kinks Shirt," "Run" (a smash recorded with the ladies of Sugarland) and the new "Headphones" have made him a radio favorite, but his impressive catalog stretches far back to a series of independent releases that contain many other gems.

As if the Nathanson/DeGraw double feature wasn't enough to promise good times, Andrew McMahon, piano-playing songsmith behind Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, will be opening the show with material from his latest project, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. So be sure to get there early and get that extra musical bang for your concert ticket bucks.