Inside D.C. entertainment

Tonight: JD McPherson's 'Signs and Signifiers,' a dose of rockabilly

July 9, 2012 - 10:37 AM
(Facebook/JD McPherson)

JD McPherson went from punk rocker to vintage in his band's debut album Signs and Signifiers. While in a record store in Oklahoma, the singer found his niche in the style of 1950's rhythm and blues and rockabilly. "There was a girl working there. And she was clearing out the clearance items, and she gave me a few CDs. But the one that really stuck with me was a double set of the Buddy Holly Decca recordings," he said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered. Iota. Blues-rocker Jason Ager opens. 8:30 p.m. $12.

Philadelphia's Taalib Johnson, also known as Musiq or Musiq Soulchild performs at Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. $35 advance, $40 door.


Weekend planner: 'Take This Waltz,' Robyn, Matisyahu

July 6, 2012 - 11:25 AM

It's like the Las Vegas desert around these parts this weekend. Stay cool, rock out to some shows around town or catch screenings of Spiderman or Take This Waltz.


The Union of Concerned Scientists study the art of keeping cool in Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living. Politics and Prose. Saturday. 6 p.m. Free.

DCypher: DCoded Joy of Motion Dance Center presents new works by Laura Edwards, Ama Henry, Maurice Johnson, Aurelia Michael and Viktor Wallace. Atlas Performing Arts Center. Saturday. 8 p.m.

Dana Ellyn and Matt Sesow's Stocking the Fridge, featuring new works from the artist's past 31 Days in July projects and one from the first week of 2012 edition. Works are inspired by the morning news, most are a reflection of current events. The Fridge. Saturday opening reception. 7 p.m.

WKS Fashion Trunk Show at Jordin's Paradise. Sunday. 11 a.m.

Florence Williams, author and contributing editor at Outside, discusses her new book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, an informative and humorous study in the breasts' life cycle. Politics and Prose. Sunday. 5 p.m.

S+S (Singer-Songwriter) Open Mic at Busboys and Poets/5th&K. Sunday. 7:30 p.m. $5.


Broadway ROCKS! A night of music from Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Dream Girls, Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, Rock of Ages, The Lion King and more, sung by Broadway performers Rob Evan, Morgan James, LaKisha Jones and Doug LaBrecque. Wolf Trap Filene Center. Friday. 8:15 p.m. $20 - $52.

DJ and producer Lee Burridge, the brains behind All Day I Dream, spins with Mike Fisher at U Street Music Hall. Friday. 10 p.m. $10.

Civilian Art Projects and Sasha Lord present Summer Scream 2 with music from electro-pop band Video Love, Heavy Breathing and Janka Nabay and interactive art and dancers. Comet Ping Pong. Friday. 10 p.m. $10.

Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Benefit featuring local bands Young Rapids, Gary B and the Notions, Graph Rabbit and The Sea Life at Black Cat Mainstage. Friday. 9 p.m. $10

If you're missing out on Coldplay and Robyn at the Verizon Center this weekend, no worries. The Swedish DJ and producer takes the stage at U Street Music Hall. Saturday & Sunday. $30. Tickets sold at door for Saturday. Sunday's set is SOLD OUT.

Nostalgic for your youth? No Scrubs: 90's Dance Party with DJs Will Eastman and Brian Billion. 9:30 Club. Saturday. 9 p.m. $15.

Hasidic Jewish hip-hop singer Matisyahu & reggae-pop band Dirty Heads perform at Wolf Trap. Moon Taxi opens. Sunday. 3 p.m. $38 in-house, $29 lawn.

Pop-rock singer Trevor Hall performs at Rock and Roll Hotel. Justin Young and Justin Trawick open. Sunday. 7 p.m. $15.



An unusually true and bittersweet portrait of human relationships, Take This Waltz stars Michelle Williams as 28-year-old Margot, happily married to Lou, played by Seth Rogan. On a flight home she meets Daniel, an artist who turns out to be her neighbor, and their mutual attraction is undeniable. Avalon Theatre/E Street Theatre. Opens Friday.

A special screening of Frederick Wiseman's documentary, La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, a riveting and immersive look into the world of the Paris Opera Ballet, from rehearsals to production design to costuming. Paris Opera Ballet's artistic director Brigitte Lefevre will appear in-person. AFI Silver Theatre. Friday. 7:15 p.m.

Whores' Glory, Michael Glawogger's third film in his globalization trilogy, following Megacities and Workingman's Death, is an explicit documentary of global prostitution. It's an intimate look into the lives of ordinary women who live in worlds where poverty and survival dictate their choices. Winner of the Orizzonti Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. E Street Cinema. Opens Friday.

H.P. Lovecraft Double Feature with screenings of the horror master's The Whisperer in Darkness and The Call of Cthulhu. Artisphere. Saturday. 8 p.m. $8.


Tonight: British Invasion, Nada Surf

July 5, 2012 - 10:01 AM

A British Invasion descends town in honor of Antony Gormley's exhibit at the Phillips Collection. Noted for his installations and public artworks, the London-born artist's exhibit, Drawing Space, features works often created at night, that explore the relationship between the body and space. The night features DJ Danny Harris, a Chocolate City Beer beer tasting (not included in the ticket price) of 1814 ESB, episodes from Monty Python's Flying Circus, and a gallery talk of Gormley's works. Phillips Collection. 5 p.m. $12.

Nada Surf's seventh studio album, The Stars are Indifferent to Anatomy is no departure from the indie bands' usual sound spanning the course of the past 20 years but in a comforting way. "About halfway through...singer Matthew Caws issues a mission statement to sum up this and all Nada Surf records: 'It's never too late for teenage dreams.'," reviews NPR. Ram's Head Live. Waters opens. 7 p.m. $20.


Tonight: Independence Day mini-weekend

July 3, 2012 - 11:02 AM
(Creative Commons/muohace_dc)

Independence Day is almost here, which means the beginning of the mini-weekend has arrived. This year, we're mostly thankful for our freedom to consume copious amounts of electricity, air conditioning, ice and for outlets to charge our gadgets.

BicycleSPACE launches its' Full Moon FireFly Ride edition tonight, one of a series of bike rides and picnics this summer. Done light colors in honor of fireflies. Glowsticks will be passed out. The ride will culminate with a grand late night picnic and musical guests. BicycleSPACE. 8 p.m. to midnight. Donations accepted.


The Jacksons Unity Tour 2012 at DAR Constitution Hall is canceled and Aerosmith at Jiffy Lube Live tonight is postponed.

Scissor Sisters' Magic Hour tour with Rye Rye at 9:30 Club. 7:30 p.m.

EFJO, a 19 piece Big Band brings the sounds of World War II to Blues Alley. 8 & 10 p.m. $25.

Bay area Soft White Sixties' soulful rock and roll arrives at Red Palace. Stereo Sleep opens. 8:30 p.m. $8.


Around town Toki Underground and Fireworks Pizzeria will be closed for the holiday. Brixton's rooftop still awaits and Taylor Gourmet opens another location in Dupont Circle!

It wouldn't be Independence Day without a bit of Will Smith. Remember that July 4th in '96 when we stood in line at the movie theaters to watch the premiere? (or maybe I just dated myself.) Relive the experience at NoMa Summer Screen's 'Is 2012: The End of the World?' outdoor film series screening of Independence day. The fun starts at 7 p.m., with films starting at sundown. @AmoriniPanini @Kababji and @GridsWaffles food trucks will be serving! 2nd & L Sts. NE.

July 4th Grillin' with DC Brau. Grillin' on the rooftop with a perfect view of the fireworks all over the city. DC Brau Beer's are 4 bucks, chefs Amber and Austina will be grillin' up meats and DJ Bill Spieler will be on deck with summer time music. What could be better? DC9. 12 p.m. 21+. Free.

BYT Summer Camp Presents: FAT CAMP pool party at Capitol Skyline Hotel. The first 100 get a free burger. 11 a.m. $15.


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Tonight: Pina and Beyond, Mickey Harte

July 2, 2012 - 11:18 AM

Power outages all over town, means escaping sweaty humid living rooms for air conditioned bars and movies out.

Irish acoustic singer-songwriter Mickey Harte hops the pond to perform at Iota tonight. The Benefit front man John Condron opens. 8:30 p.m. $15.

Crystal Screen's outdoor film on the lawn tonight is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Pack a picnic and lay under the stars before the storms roll in again tomorrow. 1851 S. Bell St. Free. Sundown.

Pina and Beyond: Contemporary Dance in Film film series screens Pina Bausch and Café Müller at Goethe-Institut. Pina Bausch, filmed three years before the death of the famous German choreographer, tells the story of how she rose to fame. Café Müller was Bausch's most intimate performance. Goethe-Institut. 6:30 p.m. $7.


Weekend planner: Brixton rooftop, 'To Rome with Love'

June 29, 2012 - 10:22 AM

A scorching hot weekend for pool parties, beaches in the city, and brand new rooftop decks! Brixton, a British pub, the brainchild of Eric Hilton and the same minds behind Marvin, Patty Boom Boom and Blackbyrd opens its doors Sunday at 11 a.m.! To tide you over before then, Masa 14 and Marvin's rooftop's are the perfect chill hangout spots — if melting in the long lines don't bother you.


The Tender Thrill's debut LP, All Night, riffs from Bruce Springsteen to The Ramones, pulling indie rock back with a sense of nostalgia. If you missed their performance last February, don't miss this one. Comet Ping Pong. Quilt and Young Magic open. Friday. 10 p.m. $10.

Grammy-winning R&B singer/songwriter Regina Belle performs at Blues Alley. Friday - Sunday. 8 & 10 p.m. $43.

Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie presents Hammer No More the Fingers, More Humans, Mittenfields and downstairs with DJ Smudge. Velvet Lounge. Friday. 9:30 p.m. $8.

An Athens invasion with alternative band Modern Skirts and Americana-rock band District Attorneys at Rock and Roll Hotel. England in 1819 opens. Friday. 9 p.m. $10.

Local indie-pop outfit Silver Liners perform at DC9. Basement Batman and Council Bluffs open. Saturday. 9:30 p.m. $10.

Post-rock-metal band Black Clouds, featuring former members of Solar Powered Sun Destroyer takes the stage at Black Cat. Torild and Gunny Sack open. 8 p.m. $8. Sunday.

Sacred Roots Indie Arts and Musical Festival celebrates independent artists featuring Grammy-nominated indie artists, an open air marketplace and workshops. Ellington Theatre. Sunday.


Totally Awesome 6 returns for another summer with Great Films of the 1980's at AFI Silver Theatre. Take a trip down memory lane this weekend with Explorers, Withnail and I, and E.T. Friday - Saturday.

Spy Cinema presents a selection of spy films spanning more than 80 years featuring a special James Bond ode, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Screening this weekend are Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Mata Hari, and Dishonored. AFI Silver Theatre. Friday - Sunday.

Woody Allen's To Rome with Love, a romantic comedy set in Rome, Italy, stars an ensemble cast with stories told in four vignettes. Allen also stars in the film as a grouchy American opera director who tries to put a singing mortician on stage. Finally, a smart romantic comedy to look forward to. E Street Cinema/Bethesda Row Cinema. Opens Friday.

An intimate affair with the Ooh La La Belly Dance & Sideshow Revue featuring Ami, Ebony, Candy Del Rio, Lisa Zahiya, Reverend Valentine, Shakra, and hosted by MC Aaron Share. Montserrat House. 7 p.m. $10/$15.

The 2012 DC Black Theatre Festival presents:

Max Garner's Sphere: The Thelonius Monk Story, the story a pioneer of bebop and an "exploration of 20th century racial politics, mental illness, and the nature of genius." Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Saturday & Sunday. $17.97.

Babygirl, the coming of age sitcom/drama/confessions of a media-codependa-lova-holic, stars playwright Kaypri in a journey through life growing up watching 70's and 80's television. Sitar Arts Center. Saturday - Sunday.


Comedian and actress Aisha Tyler who's starred as Tyler, Ross's love interest on Friends, and appeared in 24, Talk Soup, Girl on Guy Podcast and the Adam Carolla Show takes the stage at DC Improv. Friday - Saturday. $22.

Actor and comedian Pauly Shore takes his show to 9:30 Cub. Godrey, Rachel Feinstein (another chance, if you missed her show at Riot Act Comedy Theater!), and Vidur Kapur open. Saturday. 5:30 & 9 p.m. $20.

Novelist Joshua Henkin talks about his third novel, The World Without You, set in the Berkshires, a family gets together for an annual reunion after the death of the family's youngest son, Leo, in Iraq. Politics and Prose. Sunday. 5 p.m. Free.


Tonight: Spanish hip-hop rapper Mala Rodriguez

June 28, 2012 - 11:05 AM
(Facebook/ Mala Rodriguez)

A scorching hot day for Spanish hip-hop artist Mala Rodriguez. The award-winning singer who rose to fame in the 90's Seville hip hop scene has collaborated with Nelly Furtado and Romeo Santos. Her newest album Dirty Baillarina won her a Latin Grammy for "Best Urban Song," with the single "No Pidas Perdon." State Theatre. 8:30 p.m. $18/$22.

From Last Comic Standing Season 7 and Comedy Central, area-native Rachel Feinstein takes the stage at Riot Act Comedy Theater. 8 p.m. $12.


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Weekend Shows: Ave Atque Vale

June 27, 2012 - 10:31 AM
Josh Ritter (Photo: nffcnnr via Flickr)

This is most likely my last concert preview column here on Instead of coming up with a specific theme for this week, I've decided just to list a bunch of shows that I think are going to be awesome. There's no real thread connecting these shows other than my own personal tastes. Thanks for reading these columns for all these months, and hope to see you all out at a show soon!

Brandi Carlile and Josh Ritter
Thursday, June 28 at Wolf Trap, $40 (pavilion) or $30 (lawn)

Josh Ritter and Brandi Carlile are two of my favorite Americana singer-songwriters, and it's certainly awesome to see them both at the same show. Ritter hails from Idaho and has been releasing albums since the late 90s; I still remember a moment at a sold-out Birchmere show in 2006 when he performed his song "Lawrence, KS" acoustically and off-microphone, and the entire audience stayed completely silent. Carlile is younger than Ritter, but she's released some outstanding albums, including her latest, the country-infused "Bear Creek". I've missed her every time she's come through this area, and I'm pretty stoked to see this show.

Margot MacDonald
Friday, June 29 at Lubber Run Amphitheater, FREE!

If you've been reading these columns for a while, you know that I love supporting local bands, I love seeing music outdoors, and I especially love free shows-- and this concert combines all three! The four-decade-old Lubber Run Amphitheater was shut down for a few years while Arlington County estimated it would cost $3.5 million to renovate. Several citizens formed the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation and worked with the County to get a few improvements made at a fraction of the estimated cost, so that the Amphitheater could re-open last year. They've got another great schedule this summer, with bands on Fridays, Saturdays, and the occasional Sunday.

Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper
Saturday, June 30 at Jiffy Lube Live, $31-$92.50

This show is pricey, but c'mon, it's Iron Maiden! I'm not sure how much needs to be said about this show and these bands, but here's something to consider: since Iron Maiden hasn't had a new album out since 2010, the setlist here is likely to be a "greatest hits" set, rather than a set full of new songs that nobody really cares about. This tour started last week in North Carolina, and setlists for the shows so far seem to support my theory. Can I play with madness, indeed!

Black Clouds
Sunday, July 1 at the Black Cat Backstage, $8

Local band Black Clouds includes members of the late indie/ambient band Solar Powered Sun Destroyer, which broke up in May 2011. I saw Black Clouds back in March, opening for the French shoegaze/black-metal band Alcest, and their post-rock ambience fit nicely on that bill. They've been running a "name-your-own-price" deal on their album Everything Is Not Going To Be OK on their Bandcamp page, so you can check them out before heading out to this show.

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.


Tonight: 'Boardwalk Empire's' Aleska Palladino in ExitMusic

June 27, 2012 - 09:05 AM
(Facebook/ ExitMusic)

New York City dream-pop duo Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church spent a year recording before performing live. Palladino, an actress on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, had stage fright, she jokes. ExitMusic, whose name is an ode to Radiohead, will perform their recently released debut full-length album, Passages at Red Palace. Stagnant Pools open. 8 p.m. $10.

*SPARKLE* Queer Open Mic reading series features an array of LGBT-dedicated poets, English poets and open mic hosts Rod Tame and Dominic Berry, editor, Miriam Zolla Perez, and performance group Eva Brontosauras. Busboys and Poets/5th&K. 9 p.m. $5.


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Tonight: BAMcinématek's New Czech Films

June 26, 2012 - 10:36 AM

BAMcinématek's New Czech Films, an annual New York film series arrives in the District for the first time with three nights of films. Walking Too Fast, from award-winning director Radim Spacek, is set in the 1980's, when a secret agent destroys the lives of anyone opposing the Communist regime. Spacek appears for a post-screening Q&A tonight. The film series also features Leaving, the directing debut of playwright and former president, the late Vaclav Havel, and Four Suns, Bohdan Siama's new drama which premiered at Sundance. AFI Silver Theatre. 7:30 p.m.

Author and journalist James Mann discusses his new book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, a look into President Obama's foreign policy advisors and the struggles they face in implementing a global role for the U.S. along their own internal conflicts. "Trapped between the domestic political environment on one side and the international system on the other, they have modest freedom to choose a course of action," writes a Washington Post review. Politics and Prose. 7 p.m. Free.


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Tonight: DC Black Theatre Festival's One Act Battles

June 25, 2012 - 12:15 PM

Lay out for an easy Monday night at Crystal Screen's Rom Com: A Summer of Romance outdoor films at sundown. Tonight's screening of Hitch, a 2005 romantic comedy stars Will Smith, a professional "date doctor," who gives men lessons in the art of making women fall in love. 1851 S. Bell St. Sundown. Free.

The D.C. Black Theatre Festival, a week-long festival presents "One Act Battles: Drama." Busboys and Poets hosts the competition featuring a series of plays each night, for four nights under four categories. Each evening, audience members vote for the night's best play, culminating in the final night where the four winners compete for the title of DCBTF's Heavy Weight Champion. Busboys and Poets/Hyattsville. 7 p.m. $12.


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Weekend planner: Benevolent Media Festival, "Get Wet," TableTribes

June 21, 2012 - 11:50 AM
Greg Laswell (Facebook/Greg Laswell)


Summer is finally here, which means everything poolside. Trivia Under the Stars at Capitol Skyline Hotel. Thursday. 7 p.m. $18/$20 day of. Admission includes kosher dinner and two drink tickets.

From the SNL Cast, The Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and the voiceover of Barack Obama on CNN's D.L. Hugley Breaks the News, Dean Edwards takes the stage at Riot Act Comedy Theater. Thursday - Saturday. $12 - $22.

Northside Social coffee shop/wine bar/place to aimlessly people watch hosts "Get Wet" Surf Art and Photography Exhibit. Curated by Alison Christ and Sean Kelley, the works bring the ocean, sand and waves to town. An opening reception-meet the artist will be held on Thursday. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Benevolent Media Festival, celebrating storytelling and design for good features five days of events around town. Festivities include an Epic Opening Party at Epic Yoga, an Eco-Chic Pop-Up Shop, and Please Don't Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence, a one-hour show featuring true stories of the embarrassments endured while growing up. Thursday - Monday.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan takes the stage at DC Improv. Thursday. 8 p.m. $45.

BYT and Nat Geo Local Tourist Series After Hours brings a night at the museum to life. The second installment of the Local Tourist series takes over the National Geographic Museum with a late night of exhibits, martia arts, NYC performance artists, DJ Jahsonic, drinks photos and food trucks! Friday. 8 p.m. $20/$25.

From Chelsea Lately and Last Comic Standing, stand-up comedian LaVell Crawford performs at DC Improv. Friday - Sunday. 8 p.m. $30.

Progressive Beats 8.0: Progressive Lounge with special guest Michael Copon (One Tree Hill, Power Rangers: Time Force). The benefit for KAYA DC and Asian American LEAD features a night of guest DJs. Sutra Lounge. Friday. $15 general/$10 young professionals, students, limited income.

VietFest 2012, the Vietnamese cultural festival features singers Anh Minh and Hoang Vu, cultural events, traditional Vietnamese foods, photo booth, fashion show, beauty pageant, Pho eating contest and more! GMU/Lot K. Saturday. 10 a.m. $5/$7.

Pink Collar Comedy Tour features rising comedians that have made names for themselves in the NYC comedy scene. Comedians Erin Judge, Carrie Gravenson, Abbi Crutchfield and Kaytlin Bailey tell their tales of leaving the corporate world for comedy life. Busboys and Poets/5th&K. Sunday. 5 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

TableTribes presents its Summer Picnic Series. The nine week exploration of the human condition with thought leaders, chefs and mixologists in a series of picnics are held every Sunday evening and will run until August 26. Dying for an invite? Invitations are issued based on answers to an application: "What does your life taste like as a pie? How does job security, finding a roommate, a new baby, just married, recently divorced, traveling, joy, discontent, etc. translate into the bubbling, flaky confines of one of the world's most beloved foods?" Place TBA. Sunday.

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Weekend shows: Locals!

June 20, 2012 - 01:41 PM
Pat McGee (Photo via Facebook)

I bet you never thought a bunch of local noisemakers would headline the gigantic Fillmore. Or that a bunch of lawyers would take over the Black Cat to raise money for charity. One of the reasons I started was to help promote local bands' concerts around town, and there are a ton of notable local shows this weekend.

Banding Together '12
Thursday, June 21 at the Black Cat, $10

Events like these probably don't happen anywhere outside of DC: a bunch of lawyers put together bands and battle it out to raise money for charity. The show will take place on both stages at the Black Cat, so this is your chance to see bands with (admittedly nerdy!) names like Beats Workin, Sutherland Comfort, Attractive Nuisance, Law & Disorder, and Jazz Ipsa Loquitur. Here's how the charity part works: concert attendees will vote, "Chicago-style", for the bands that perform, where $1 equals one vote. Proceeds go to Gifts For the Homeless, which will purchase clothing and distribute it to ~35 shelters across the area. The bar is set high: last year's event raised over $150,000(!).

The Plums, Hawkins Mullinax Pirog, Lost Civilizations, and Colla Parte
Thursday, June 21 at the Fillmore, $15

The Fillmore might be the biggest room that these local experimental bands have ever played in. It's all for a good cause, too: proceeds from this concert will go to Sonic Circuits (the experimental music promotions company that culminates in a major festival in the fall) and Pyramid Atlantic (an arts center in Silver Spring that often hosts Sonic Circuits events).

Washington Early Music Festival: Suspicious Cheese Lords
Friday, June 22 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill, $20 (adults) / $15 (students)

You're probably thinking that the "Suspicious Cheese Lords" don't even sound like a real band. This all-male choral group (their name is a bastardization of the phrase "Suscipe quæso Domine") specializes in music from the Middle Ages and unrecorded works of Renaissance composers. This show is part of the Early Music Festival, and the SCL will be performing works about Joan of Arc by Guillaume Dufay, John Dunstaple, and more. (It is the 600th anniversary of her birth).

Del Ray Music Festival
Saturday, June 23, FREE

The Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria is having a huge festival on Saturday, which includes local bands Derek Evry & his band of Misanthropes, Chatham Street, and the Kate Moran Band, plus a headlining set by Richmond's Pat McGee Band. They've gotten the neighborhood in the mood, too; this whole week has featured a ton of local performances at small Del Ray shops and venues.

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.


Tonight: The SCAR Project kickoff party

June 20, 2012 - 09:06 AM
(Facebook/The SCAR Project)

The SCAR Project Kickoff Party takes place at The Dunes tonight. The SCAR Project: Breast Cancer is Not a Pink Ribbon, is a documentary and book about the realities of breast cancer. The SCAR Project, shot by photographer David Jay, is a series of photographs of women dealing with breast cancer, and their stories of life behind the pink ribbons. "Our goal is to make a strong statement by showing our country what breast cancer is really about," says Donna Guinn Kaufman, a breast cancer survivor, The SCAR Project DC exhibition producer and founder of Kill the Beast Foundation. Jay and the SCAR models will be at the event. The Dunes. 6 p.m.$25. All proceeds will fund The SCAR Project DC, an exhibition unveiled later this year.

Story League Contest D.C. presents its latest edition, "Friend, Defriend, Refriend: Stories about relationships that truly deserve the description 'It's complicated.'" Busboys and Poets/14th&V. 9 p.m. $10.



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June 19, 2012 - 10:04 AM

Whatever you do today, avoid Tysons Corner Mall unless you want to be trampled by hundreds of teenage girls on their way to see Justin Bieber (unless that's your thing).

Got an issue you feel should be addressed during an Obama second term? We Act Radio presents #PUSHOBAMA, a digital movement to identify the top 10 issues that should be addressed in a second term. Tweet your issue with #PUSHOBAMA and attend the event debating what #PUSHOBAMA to DO SOMETHING should cover. The final document will be hand delivered to the White House Press Secretary. Busboys and Poets/14th&V. 6 p.m.

If you missed Santi White at 9:30 Club last night, the artist better known as Santigold performs at Rams Head Live. Once compared to M.I.A., the artists' second album, Master of My Make-Believe, has earned her respect in her own right. The album is a "blending of sounds — driving beats intersect with ska, reggae and punk touchstones, all delivered in a slick, danceable package." Brooklyn-rapper Theophilus London opens, and he's not to be missed. Rams Head Live. 7 p.m. $30.


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Tonight: MSNBC host Chris Hayes' 'Twlight of the Elites'

June 18, 2012 - 09:18 AM
(Facebook/Chris Hayes)

MSNBC host Christopher Hayes discusses his new book, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy, a social critique that poses two theories about the current state of America — the public's lost of trust in the elites and the idea of "meritocracy." Hayes cites failures by the elites in events such as the financial crisis, Enron, Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Hayes says, "I think the root cause of a lot of the problems we’re facing is a flaw that’s baked into the cake from the beginning in the whole notion of meritocracy. I think that meritocracy as a social model concedes far too much in terms of inequality, and it has provided the conceptual and narrative framework for a society that has seen levels of inequality that are unseen in 100 years." Politics and Prose. 7 p.m. Free.

Australian-born comedian Gregg Turkington takes the stage as his stand-up comedy character Neil Hamburger at Black Cat. Duncan Trussell opens. 8 p.m. $12.


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Weekend planner: DC Record Fair Father's Day Edition

June 15, 2012 - 09:13 AM


Taste of Reston, voted as "Northern VA's Best Food Festival," features a weekend of food and wine. The outdoor food festival hosts nearly 30 restaurants including Il Fornaio, The Counter, Mamma Lucia and Midtown Kabob, carnival rides, live entertainment and cooking demonstrations with Williams & Sonoma, The Melting Pot, Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, Paolo's Ristorante, and Barefoot Wine Pairings. Reston Town Center. Friday - Sunday.

Speakeasy DC presents Second Story: A Night of Works in Progress, a night where advanced storytellers take the art form to a deeper level in content, style and performance. Hosted by Vijai Nathan, storytellers featured are Mike Boyd, Derek Hills, Cara Foran, Mike Kane, Elizabeth McCain, Erin Myers and Cathy Smith. The Dunes. Friday. 8 p.m. $10 cash at door.

Sparkplug: A DCAC Artists Collective presents "Loose Ends." The collective exhibit represents each artist as "open systems operating within the mutable environment of Sparkplug." With video, photographer, painting and sculpture the artists decipher themes of neo-romanticism, deconstruction of systems and shifting frames. DCAC. An opening reception will be held Friday at 7 p.m. with an artist talk on Sunday at 5 p.m.

The Soapbox BLOWOUT! features over twenty past Soapbox performance artists, as well as new international and local performers. Hillyer. Saturday. 1 p.m. $10 donation.

Gary Valentine takes the stage at DC Improv. The stand-up comedian has appeared on Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, King of Queens, and the films, Stuck on You and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Friday & Saturday. $15 - $17.

The DC Record Fair Father's Day Edition features 40 vinyl vendors along the East Coast, a line of up guest DJs spinning, local vintage clothing and handmade craft pop-ups, and a screen printing station by Pyramid Atlantic Art. Plus! A Bloody Mary bar. Fillmore Silver Spring. Sunday. 11 a.m. $5 early bird, $2 regular.

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Weekend Shows: Get Festive!

June 14, 2012 - 11:19 AM

From Bonnaroo to NXNE to Lollapalooza, summer is rife with gigantic music festivals. The D.C. area certainly has its share of festivals as well; there are several happening this weekend, from large to small. We just hope that none of them involves the Tupac hologram that showed up at Coachella.

Columbia Festival of the Arts - LakeFest
Friday through Sunday, June 15-17, FREE

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Columbia Festival of the Arts, a two-week festival in Columbia, Maryland. This weekend is the Festival's kickoff, and the "LakeFest" events include artisans, aerial acrobats, and live music. The music highlights some great local artists, including blues singer Janine Wilson (Friday), alt-country band the Highballers (Saturday), rock group Dirty Names (Saturday), WAMA winner Ted Garber (Sunday), and the MarchFourth Marching Band (all three days).

Fest Too
Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, at the Lab $8 (Friday) / $10 (Saturday)

Fest Too is DIY festival held at the Lab, a cool all-ages venue in Alexandria. This festival features over 30 punk and hardcore bands (including the Max Levine Ensemble, the Fordists, and Sundials) as well as workshops about pedal effects, zine making, and "writing practices to cope with trauma and painful experiences".

Venomous World Fest 2
Saturday, June 16 at Ras Hall, $8

Speaking of DIY shows, the DIY promoter Chris Moore (of Coke Bust, DOC, and Magrudergrind) is hosting his second Venomous World Fest this Saturday at Ras Hall, a Jamaican restaurant in Petworth that regularly hosts hardcore and metal shows. This weekend's fest includes a few local hardcore bands (Caust, Misled Youth), a few touring bands (Shaved Women, Sectarian Violence, and Poison Planet), and one of Moore's own bands, DOC.

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.


Tonight: And I Am Not Lying, 'Are You There, Chelsea?'

June 14, 2012 - 09:32 AM
Ali Wong (Facebook/Ali Wong)

After a successful evening last year, New York-based And I Am Not Lying returns to town with another edition of storytelling, comedy and burlesque. Based off Jeff Simmermon's arts and culture blog of the same name, the night features storytellers Simmermon, who's appeared in This American Life and The Moth, Cyndi Freeman, writer of Wonder Woman: A How-To Guide for Little Jewish Girls, Story League's SM Shrake and Brad Lawrence of, The Moth. Cherry Pitz and Amelia Bareparts perform burlesque. "We either laugh together, or get over some shit together," Simmermon says. Black Cat Backstage. 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. $12. 8 p.m. show has SOLD OUT.

Los Angeles comedian Ali Wong takes her talents to Riot Act Comedy Theater. Listed as Variety's "10 Comics to Watch," Wong stars as Bianca in the new NBC series, Are You There, Chelsea? based off comedian and late-night talk show host Chelsea Handler's books. 8 p.m. $12.

Bonnie Raitt performs with special guest Mavis Staples at Wolf Trap. 8 p.m. $48 in-house, $30 lawn.


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Tonight: TOKiMONSTA debuts Analogue Monsta

June 13, 2012 - 11:07 AM

L.A. hip-hop electronic musician Jennifer Lee started her musical training on classical piano. Now, the face behind TOKiMONSTA is set to tour with Diplo, Grimes, Skrillex and Pretty Lights next month. She takes the stage with Suzi Analogue tonight, debuting her first Analogue Monsta set with Analogue. U Street Music Hall. 9 p.m. $12/$15.

Art Crimes' newest edition features local photographer Dominique Fierro's first solo exhibit. Fierro's whimsical works have been featured at FotoDC Flash, Studio H, Capitol File and other local venues. The Dunes. 7 p.m.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot discusses her new book, Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free. In a series of interviews, the sociologist and Harvard Professor provides a compilation of people moving on to new lives, new careers, new countries, distilling the lessons people learn when experiences end. Politics and Prose. 7 p.m.

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