Inside D.C. entertainment

Archive for October 2011

Halloween picks: 'Sex and Education,' Chromeo, Dark Matters

October 28, 2011 - 12:33 PM
0 Comments
Chromeo (Facebook/Chromeo)

FRIDAY

Becky's Sorority House Massacre II at Rock and Roll Hotel. Kick off Halloween weekend with DJs Stereo Faith and Trevor Martin. Free. 9:30 p.m. 21+.

Sex and Education opens at Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring. The comedy by Lissa Levin premiered in 2009 at the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival, with a run at Capital Fringe in 2010. The one-act play, featuring a high school basketball star and his English teacher, tells the story of how sex and syntax create lessons in life.

Shawn & Marlon Wayans at DC Improv. The brothers and stars of Scary Movie, White Chicks and The Wayans Bros perform stand-up. Fri.-Sun.

• SCARY FUNNY: Brick Penguin and Die! Die! Die! at Source Theatre. A frightful weekend of chills and laughs, presented by Washington Improv Theater. Fri. & Sat. 11 p.m. Sun. & Mon. 8 p.m.

Friday Night Eclectic: Rock, Paper, Zombies at Strathmore Mansion. What better way to start off a snowy Halloween weekend than a party with elephants, drumming rats and bear people? This night will make you forget the difference between the real and the surreal. 8 p.m. $12 door, $10 presale.

Continue Reading

Tags:

The art of headwear at the Strathmore

October 28, 2011 - 12:09 PM
0 Comments

Maybe it’s because it’s Halloween weekend, or because the event has the word “art” in the title, but guests at the Strathmore’s tART party on Thursday put a lot of awesomely weird stuff on their heads.

Guests are treated to an array of headgear as they sip elderberry liquor cocktails and take in the electronic musical stylings of Yoko K. Col. Bill Billingsley works the tastefully attired crowd in a black western hat. (And that is “western,” not “cowboy,” as Billingsley admonishes me.)

“For me, this is trademarked attire,” he explains. “I tend to wear caps during the day,” but for “these more formal affairs,” he goes with a Stetson.

“I have four,” he says. “Two black, one silver belly, and one that’s kind of a pecan color.” Billingsley has dropped as much as $2,800 on a pure beaver hat.

“It costs money to dress like this,” he says.

Not if you buy your headwear at low-rent mall stores that cater to teen girls. Says Amy Mascott of the black corsage-like fixture that covers half of her blonde wavy hair, “It is a clip.” Pause. “That I got at Claire’s.”

Continue Reading

Tags:

Strathmore Mansion: Rock, Paper, ZOMBIES

October 27, 2011 - 01:25 PM
0 Comments
Gig Posters by Rich (Flickr/Rich Bernett)

What better way to start off a snowy Halloween weekend than a party with elephants, drumming rats and bear people? On Friday, Rock, Paper, ZOMBIES at the Strathmore Mansion will make you forget the difference between the real and the surreal.

The night is a tribute to all the bands that Rich Bernett has designed posters for over the past year. Bernett, whose company is called Gig Posters by Rich, gives a sample inspiration: “Wouldn’t it be funny if a bear guy was on an elephant with an umbrella, and it’s raining on him?” A video editor by day, he started designing gig posters for local artists last year, when he needed another artistic outlet.

Hosted by Bernett and Friday Night Eclectic, the show's performers include Medications' Devin Ocampo as well as Mittenfields and Bellflur.

“[It] started as me, kind of putting on a thanks,” he says. “I’ve met a bunch of really cool people — really good local bands.”

The evening will feature poster art — all 62 of Bernett’s works, from giant rats drumming at Jammin’ Java to lobsters with human hands squished under a can of medication, a piece done for Medications.

Works by Fire Studio, John Foster and Itty Bitty Press will also be on display. Bernett met Itty Bitty Press at one of his first exhibits at Garment District, a pop up shop for local designers and artists, that Brandon Wetherbee of You, Me, Them, Everybody was hosting. Wetherbee will be taping a live podcast at the party with gallery music by Kathryn Dagley.

8 p.m. $12 door, $10 presale.

Rock, Paper, ZOMBIES! (The Promo) from Rich on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: The Library of Congress hates film

October 27, 2011 - 10:00 AM
0 Comments
Civilian Conservation Corps boys at work

• The Library of Congress is no longer offering darkroom-made prints, reports John Anderson. Fritz Jantzen, who contracted with the library to make beautiful and detailed silver-gelatin prints (anyone could order a print from the library's collection for about $100), says it's not a surprise, business-decision-wise: He estimates he made about 100 prints last year. But the switch to digital-only prints means a loss of detail and a human's touch in bringing out important parts of photos. The National Gallery of Art's Paul Roth has an interesting take on the decision -- maybe it will help clarify the collector's market. "Unlike many digital prints, silver gelatin duplications can last hundreds of years—so it’s not unconceivable, Roth says, that down the line Library of Congress duplications may be passed off as originals."

Continue Reading

Tags:

Occupy Google Reader: A report from the protest's front lines

October 27, 2011 - 05:00 AM
1 Comments

The skies are threatening as Ryan Ellis briskly walks up I Street NW to join a small group of people who had spent the last half-hour making signs in front of Google's D.C. headquarters. "This is the most loserish protest ever!" he laughs, taking up a sign that read "GOOGLE: DON'T MARK ALL AS READ."

Ellis was there on Wednesday at midday because on Oct. 20, Google announced that it was disabling its RSS reader's social functions, which allowed users to share content, "friend" others, and follow other Google Reader users. The company's hoping people will use its Google+ social network to do those things instead.

The old way of doing things, however, has fans.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Meet Yoko K., Strathmore's first electronic-music artist-in-residence

October 26, 2011 - 03:52 PM
2 Comments
Yoko K.
Yoko K. (Photograph by Stephanie Potter Corwin)

As Yoko Kamitani introduced herself to Strathmore’s audience on an evening earlier this month, two men in the back of the room began playing the triangle and a rainmaker as they slowly made their way to the front to join her and a pianist.

The Japanese native who performs as Yoko K. and plays Strathmore again tonight, is one of the music center’s artists-in-residence this season.

It seemed like an odd fit at first; many people in the audience raised their hands when asked if this was their first electronic show.

Kamitani’s music is composed as it happens live. She loops, layers, and mixes her breathy voice with pre-recorded sounds as she plays. “Every song is a premiere,” she said after the show. “Because of the pre-recorded nature of the music, I feel compelled to do something different every time.”

Continue Reading

Tags:

Halloween weekend: The tribute-band shows

October 26, 2011 - 03:30 PM
0 Comments
Sepultura
Sepultura: Not really appearing this weekend.

It's getting to be that time of year when there's a cool breeze in the air, zombies roam the streets, and bands dress up like other bands -- even if just for one night. Proving that Halloween isn't just for kids, here are some great opportunities to catch bands paying tribute to their heroes:

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: Occupy Google Reader edition

October 26, 2011 - 10:00 AM
0 Comments

OCCUPY GOOGLE READER: "Google has decided – without any user consultation – to kill our beloved Google Reader, and force us all to use G+ in its stead....We are the demographic that Google needs the most, and we need to let them know what they are losing, and what changes they need to make to this plan to win us back. Join us for this peaceful protest outside Google's DC Headquarters, and let our voice be heard." The demonstration, organized by Tim Freedom Incarnate Andrews, will take place at 12:30 at Google's D.C. HQ, and ArtsBook is unsure if he'll be able to maintain journalistic sangfroid on this one -- this newsletter is toast without Google Reader. ARTSBOOK DECLARES AN RSS SPRING!

Continue Reading

Tags:

I got three minutes with Joel Osteen

October 25, 2011 - 01:01 PM
2 Comments

3 p.m., Oct. 24, 2001: I arrive early to Nationals Park, where I am to interview Joel Osteen. The pastor of America’s largest church is in town to sign books and promote "A Night of Hope," an event co-hosted with wife Victoria at the stadium, scheduled for April. I sit on the curb outside a parking garage.

3:50: I am directed to the Presidents Club by stadium security, where Team Osteen is set to arrive.

4: Nats staff and a video crew mills about the Presidents Club. Osteen, we learn, has been waylaid by traffic. The Jumbotron advertises "A Night of Hope."

4:30: Osteen arrives in a navy suit, blue tie, and trademark smile. He and his team commence discussing the stadium while I stand at a distance.

4:56: A member of Osteen’s staff apologizes profusely but tells me that because of the delay, we’re going to have to push my time with Osteen back to a few minutes at tonight’s book signing. He is gravely upset about this. “Time is more valuable than money,” he says. “And it seems we’ve wasted yours.”

6:30: I arrive at Barnes & Noble on 12th Street. Around 100 people line the sidewalk outside the store, with scores more teeming inside on the second floor. The Osteens have forgone the traditional setup of book signings and decided to move through the crowd, signing books on foot. Store staff has arranged a complicated system of rotating lines that involves velvet ropes, tape on the floor, and much shuffling.

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: What's wrong with the Lincoln Theatre? Lots!

October 25, 2011 - 09:30 AM
0 Comments
Lincoln Theatre

Ally Schweitzer writes the best piece I've seen on the U Street NW theater's problems. "The Lincoln Theatre should not be propped up indefinitely," she writes, "nor should it be abandoned." There are two main issues, Dr. Schweitzer says. The first is rental rates: Lincoln GM Darlene Brown tells Schweitzer an event usually costs $7,500 or more, which is way too much for most pop promoters. For highbrow stuff, Schweitzer writes, the price is less of an issue, but a bigger issue is marketing.

>>"The Lincoln Theatre employed a marketing staffer as recently as 2010; when she left, she was not replaced. To make matters worse, wealthy arts patrons still view U Street NW as a scary, crime-ridden place. 'It has an old reputation of being in a tough neighborhood where people don't want to go,' says [Washington Performing Arts Society CFO Debra] Harrison. She calls Lincoln Theatre one of D.C.'s 'best-kept secrets.' For an attractive venue located right in the center of a bustling entertainment district, that is pathetic."

Continue Reading

Tags:

Christian Siriano talks D.C fashion and his octopus tattoo

October 24, 2011 - 12:08 PM
0 Comments
Photo: Joshua Yospyn

Christian Siriano might have gotten famous for running around on Project Runway and calling everything in sight “fierce,” but in person, the Annapolis native is soft-spoken and polite. In town to show his spring 2012 collection at the Pink Rocks! The Runway charity fashion show, Siriano disappointed anyone looking for a catty reality-show caricature at a press event Friday.

The designer declines to answer questions about celebs he wouldn’t work with. Asked who he has enjoyed dressing the most, he essentially says “everyone.” When questioned about how he decided to make the word “fierce” his buzzword, Siriano gives a little sign before launching into a well-worn but polite explanation that he wasn’t trying to coin a term or cultivate a persona.

Even the perennial punching bag of D.C. fashion takes no hits from the designer. “It’s not so bad,” he tells me. “I think it just gets a bad stigma because of the political culture.” He calls the city’s reliance on suits and sensible shoes “understandable” (he complimented my black flats earlier) and praises the Washington woman’s taste in brands. “When you have to be so professional,” he says, “you’re not going to be in a one-shoulder fuchsia gown.”

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: Stop making up words!

October 24, 2011 - 10:30 AM
1 Comments

• On Friday, ArtsBook took the Washington Post Style section to task for its developing trendlet of parenthetical puns. My name for this phenomenon -- nameomenon? -- was less than stellar; on Twitter Ryan Kearney and Mark Athitakis hashed out a better name: "Postmanteaus," Athitakis suggested, winning the day. AND WHAT WAS ON THE FRONT OF THE SUNDAY ARTS SECTION THE NEXT MORNING? "Will Ferrell. There is no word to describe his perfection," the dek reads, conjuring Ferrell's old James Lipton bit. "So, we are forced to make one up. And we're going to do so right now...Scrumtrulescent." (Note: Internet readers are deprived of this headline treatment. Subscribe, losers.) 

Continue Reading

Weekend events: DC Record Fair, India.Arie, Masscult, Letters to the President

October 21, 2011 - 12:59 PM
4 Comments
India.Arie (Facebook/India.Arie)

FRIDAY

Jaron and the Long Road to Love at Hill Country DC. The former half of the pop-rock duo Evan and Jaron, who landed on the scene with their 2000 hit, "Crazy for this Girl," performs from his album, Getting Dressed in the Dark. 10 p.m. $10.

Jaron And The Long Road To Love - without her leaving by musicfan

Steven Pearson's Amalgamations opens at Studio H. The painter's exhibit examines how truth and authenticity are deciphered through the modern era's flood of information and obsession with social networking. 6 p.m.

2011 REEL Independent Film Festival opens at THEARC. The weekend festival features cinematic works from emerging filmmakers including the reality drama-series Mayor for Life. A look into the life of former Mayor Marion Barry.

 

SATURDAY

• Agnes Bolt's Dealing opens at Project 4 Gallery. Bolt often uses photography, video, installation and intervention in her pieces. The new solo exhibit features an examination of complex relationships when both artist and art collector, Phillipa Hughes, are forced to intervene in each other's live for a week. 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Style: Parenthetical puns — parapuns? — must end!

October 21, 2011 - 10:03 AM
1 Comments
Womp shirt
The womp shirt by Zazzle. (http://www.zazzle.com/womp_tshirt-235197784592232123)

The parenthetical pun has invaded the Post's Style section. It must be stamped out!

Here's Monica Hesse on state dinners last week (emphasis mine):

The arrival ceremony, the good china, the wonk mixed with the pomp (the womp!), the Sensible Shoe People mixed with the Famous Celebrity People mixed with the people who are at these things because they are always at these things, who know better than to try to wear a hanbok, elegant as the garment might look.

Here's Chris Richards on the Pearl Jam doc today (a great review, by the way):

As his irritating new film, “Pearl Jam Twenty,” attempts to document — rockument? — the great Seattle band’s two-decade history, Crowe can’t decide whether he wants to play narrator, interviewer, insider, subject or superfan.

Guys! One more and I'll have to report this thing out! Please restrain yourselves and save us all a bunch of work.

Continue Reading

Tags:

The art of upscale karaoke

October 21, 2011 - 09:27 AM
0 Comments

When the W Hotel decided to add a monthly karaoke night to its rooftop events, it surveyed the region’s existing karaoke venues and found them wanting.

“I think we saw a void,” Kaitlyn Ferrara, marketing manager for the W, says over the thumping sounds of Beyonce on Thursday night. What was missing? “High-end karaoke.”

Upscale karaoke,” chimes in Jayne Sandman, consummate D.C. party planner. “It’s one of those uncool things that circles back to being cool.”

“Celebrities!” Ferrara now has to shout over the music. “Like Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth sang karaoke for—who’d she sing it for?”

Prince Phillip,” Sandman says.

To bring more high-end, upscale polish to this activity of the stars, the W promises plenty of Top 40 song options and the presence of Tommy McFly, host of Fresh 94.7’s morning show.

Technical issues appear to be holding up the show—Tommy McFly is talking a lot to an equipment technician with a sweaty forehead—but no one here seems to mind. The rooftop teems with chattering women in straight-from-work pencil skirts and sharp dresses, juggling iPhones and martini glasses. Guys in ties line the bar, which glows in the dark room.

A blonde in a black brocade jacket sips a clear cocktail and says she can’t karaoke without a few drinks. I ask her what her standard number is.

“I need 1-2 drinks to dance and 5-10 drinks to karaoke,” she replies. I tell her I meant her standard song.

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: ALERT THE MAYOR, LUKE RUSSERT HAS BEEN INCONVENIENCED!

October 20, 2011 - 10:08 AM
0 Comments
luke russert, traffic engineer

BEFORE WE START: Thank you, Luke Russert, for having the courage to stand up for Washington.

 

Mayor Gray, please convert 50 of your overpopulated meter maids into traffic cops. #DC is dying bc of gridlock.
Oct 19 via Twitter for BlackBerry®FavoriteRetweetReply

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: Let's all write about Herman Cain's pizza

October 19, 2011 - 09:39 AM
0 Comments
godfathers pizza virginia
Photo by Joshua Yospyn

• HERMAN CAIN FOOD NEWS: Native Nebraskan Tim Carman, following in Josh Yospyn's footsteps, goes to New Market, Va., to try Godfather's Pizza. HIVEMIND: Patrick Gavin brings some Godfather's back to Rosslyn for a panel of foodies to enjoy! RELATED: Maura Judkis! Maura Judkis! Maura Judkis collects videos of Cain and other candidates airing out their musical chops. Maura Judkis.

 

Continue Reading

Tags:

She's never been kissed, but she's been published by Tavi Gevinson

October 18, 2011 - 09:38 AM
1 Comments
Photo: Joshua Yospyn

Rachael Prokop appears to be the only person not drinking alcohol during happy hour at Café Asia. “I’ll have a hot tea,” she says, giving the server a huge smile.

“I don’t drink beer,” she tells me, confessing that while she loves D.C., its nightly happy hours threw her for a loop when she moved from Ohio seven months ago. “That’s unthinkable in Ohio!”

Prokop, 23, of Crystal City, doesn't have a lot in common with many of young college-educated women who flock to D.C. She has no political aspirations, spends zero time at the gym, cares little about clothes, doesn’t date, and has no apparent desire to climb any ladders, social or otherwise. While seeking permanent employment, she freelances for the Hemophilia Federation of America and works on her two novels, one of which is about a werewolf who decides to attend human college and discovers she’s a lesbian. She once dressed in a hazard suit and pretended to clean a seal during a demonstration to mark the one-year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill. She has a hard time naming a bar she likes.

If Prokop feels out of place among the professional set posturing at Café Asia, she certainly doesn’t betray it. Her unfussy ponytail and makeup-free face stand in comic opposition to our cartoonishly sexy waitress, who wears turquoise eyeliner and a tiny black one-shouldered thing. Prokop gives her another huge grin when she sets her tea down.

Prokop describes herself as having “a tendency to take a very positive outlook,” but if she’s particularly cheerful today, it’s because she just published her first piece on Rookie, the online magazine debut from teen guru and fashion-world darling Tavi Gevinson. Gevinson, 15, launched Rookie last month to great fanfare and a New York Times article, and reportedly received more than 3,000 applications after putting out a call for contributors.

Prokop didn’t know who Tavi was and only heard about Rookie through a friend’s blog, but she went ahead and submitted a piece advising teens on how to tell their parents that they’ve become vegetarians. The story, which she penned for the teen page of the Warren, Ohio, Tribune Chronicle as a high school student, got her one of the coveted spots on the Rookie masthead.

Most of Rookie’s contributors exhibit stylish, quirky photos and descriptions of themselves on the magazine’s staff page, listing qualifications like living in Transylvania, enjoying Super Mario, and possessing a soul made of glitter in their bios. Prokop’s says that she likes visiting museums.

Continue Reading

Tags:

TBD ArtsBook: Raheem DeVaughn goes to jail

October 18, 2011 - 09:30 AM
0 Comments
Raheem DeVaughn
Raheem DeVaughn, shown not in jail. (Photo: Associated Press)

Raheem DeVaughn got popped! The singer was arrested alongside Cornel West at the Supreme Court, protesting the Citizens United decision, Jonathan Fischer reports. "24 hours was not enough time" in jail, DeVaughn tells Keith Alexander upon release. RELATED: Maura Judkis! Maura Judkis! Maura Judkis surveys the visual art that's come out of the Occupy occupations so far. Maura Judkis.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Did Patrick Howley have a promising career as a playwright?

October 17, 2011 - 02:34 PM
0 Comments
Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen in 2010. (Photo: Peter Kramer/AP)

Patrick Howley's story is like a handful of sand -- the harder I try to grasp it, the more difficult it gets to hold.

The American Spectator reporter, who made waves last week with a hastily bowdlerized story about a demonstration at the National Air and Space Museum in which he and another person charged a guard, shares a name and a great physical likeness with a promising playwright from Avon, Conn., named Patrick Howley.

That Howley had not one but two of his works performed at the Young Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles. The 2008 work, selected when Howley was 18, is called Three Headed Dog and has a very intriguing description!

Heteros, step aside! In the glorious gay world of “Barney's” sales clerks, there is zero tolerance for breeders! Will one employee really lose his job when his secret life is revealed?

Even more unexpected, 90210 vet Tiffani Thiessen directed the play, and here is an amazing photo of her with someone who strongly resembles a young Howley and the cast.

Continue Reading

Tags: