Inside D.C. entertainment

TBD ArtsBook: Elliott Smith's missing song rediscovered at WMUC

November 22, 2011 - 09:30 AM
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Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith (AP photo)

David Malitz has the wonderful story of how a song Elliott Smith recorded at U.Md.'s radio station WMUC in 1997 vanished for years, only to be rediscovered recently. The song, “Misery Let Me Down,” was whispered about by die-hard Smith fans but no copies could be found. Turns out former WMUC DJ Ben Weisholtz had accidentally taken the MiniDisc with him when he finished school. He sent it back to the college when he found it in the MiniDisc player he was preparing to sell this May; "Looks like I accidentally stole it around 10 years ago," he wrote. "Here it is back.” "Misery Let Me Down" is now rocketing around the sadder corners of the Internet. My favorite part: The MiniDisc with the Smith song also had a Braid session on it.

Jen Chaney's Celebritology blog is one of my favorite reads. I rarely mention it here because she doesn't write about local matters much. That national focus (as well as, in my opinion, Chaney's relentless push to add value to what could be commodity news) has wedged Celebritology into the Top 10 of the Post's blogs, Katharine Zaleski, the paper's executive director of digital news, told me for this piece I just published about Chaney. Celebritology was once a sore point between the newspaper and Web newsrooms, the former thinking national celeb news wasn't a good use of its resources and the latter thinking the former was a bunch of stick-in-the-muds (paraphrasing here). The funny thing is even after those battles have turned into crummy memories, Celebritology still sits apart from the rest of the paper's A&E coverage.

• The ladies of Glittarazzi lead tiring lives, Jenny Rogers reports. She spent 48 hours one day trying to keep up with the chroniclers of all that is swanky in Washington. A funny moment:

>>Glittarazzi founder and editor Kelly Ann Collins "feels a sense of urgency around staffing. 'People are copying us,' she says. 'Gawker’s copying us. They started a thing called "Gawkerazzi." We’re in a race against time. So if you’re not doing your job…'

(Gawker editor Remy Stern says Gawkerazzi is derived from the name of Gawker and the fact that it features paparazzi photos, not from Glittarazzi. 'I’ve never even heard of that site, to be perfectly honest.')"

• ArlNow has photos from this past weekend's Anime USA convention. Yesterday, Lauren Rae Orsini wrote about her experiences as press liaison to that con, and relayed the tale of a horse's ass of a credentialed journalist who ended up costing the convention $40,000.

• Probably over-aggregating here, but this laudable recap of the Peter Marks/Howard Sherman discussion of social media and theater at Arena this weekend ends on a note that is really important when considering theater coverage in this town. Benjamin R. Freed and Rebecca J. Ritzel end the piece, which tots up winners and losers, this way:

>>"The Real Loser: The D.C. theater community. For all the praise heaped on Washington-area companies, directors, and writers, 'Theater Beyond Twitter' involved three guys who live in New York."

• Gallery A owner Victor Gaetan and artist David Suter were detained in Serbia over the weekend, Mark Jenkins reports in a bonkers tale of a border crossing gone pear-shaped. They were bringing 68 paintings and four sculptures by Suter and others to Romania. Officials said they didn't complete a form correctly, held them in a hotel in Zajecar over the weekend, and freed them after they paid fines of $5,000 apiece. The artwork is still in custody.

Jon Fischer appears to be chronicling the intersection of Occupy D.C. and indie rock.

• Why did Veanne Cox leave STC's "Much Ado About Nothing"? "Artistic differences," says the theater. "______" says Cox. Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts are looking into it.

• Gary Oldman was in town last night, and Jason Segal will be here tonight, Aaron Morrissey reports.

• Those streetcar tunnels under Dupont Circle may actually get redeveloped, reports the Great Sommer Mathis (whose birthday is FRIDAY). Yeah, I know, I know, My Bloody Valentine might make a follow-up to "Loveless" and TMZ might come to Washington, D.C. But an extremely quiet coalition of artists, restaurant folk, architects, and others have been working on a plan that just...might...work....

REVIEWS: Xandra Weaver (great byline) on "Alice in Wonderland" at the Greenbelt Arts Center. Urrikka Woods and Ursula Woods (what IS it with the great bylines this morning?) on "Quidam" at VC. Tim Treanor on "Carol's Christmas" at Theatre on the Run: "Penning has welded her story onto the framework of the Dickens story, and it doesn’t work." Amanda Gunther on "White Christmas" at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia: In the review, she says she wishes castmember Ray Hatch "would speak softer and his blow his whistle less"; in the comments Hatch says, "I actually blow my whistle all of about 4 times during the show. I guess you can't please everybody all of the time." Mike Spain on "The Sound of Music" at Olney. Tiffany Draut on the "Romantic Ideal" at Clarice Smith. Simon Chin on "Lucia di Lammermoor"'s second cast. Jane Coyne on Turtle Island Quartet at Strathmore. Charles T. Downey on John Eliot Gardiner at KenCen.

THINGS TO DO, COMPILED BY KIM CHI HA Pop: Babyface at Birchmere. Technicians w/ Club Scout at Black Cat. Rites of Ash at Jammin’ Java. The Tender Thrill at Velvet Lounge. The Red Stick Ramblers at Millennium Stage.

Classical, jazz: Ibis plays string quartets by Barber & Tchaikovsky at Iota. Sophie Milman at Blues Alley.

Theater: “Dr. Dolittle” opens at Imagination Stage.

What-have-you: Scott Wallace, author of “The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes,” at Busboys and Poets/14th&V. Charles Shields, author of “And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life,” at Politics & Prose.

Cheap tix! TICKETPLACE has “After the Fall” at Theater J, “The Golden Dragon” at Studio. GOLDSTAR’S got “Equivocation” at Arena Stage.

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