Inside D.C. entertainment

Archive for April 2012

Tonight: Death Cab for Cutie and the Magik*Magik Orchestra

April 30, 2012 - 11:44 AM
Death Cab for Cutie (Facebook/Death Cab for Cutie)

Death Cab for Cutie collaborates with Magik*Magik for this latest tour. The San Francisco-based orchestra was featured on the alternative rock band's album, Codes and Keys, in 2011. "The orchestra added muscle to the opening medley of 'Passenger Seat' and 'Different Names For The Same Thing,' and performed new arrangements of songs like 'Soul Meets Body' and Hindsight,' a track from the band’s 2002 demo collection You Can Play These Songs With Chords," writes A.V. Club. Youth Lagoon opens the SOLD OUT performance at the Strathmore Music Center. 8 p.m.

Indie-rock band Mittenfields performs with Paperhaus and Me & This Army at Black Cat Backstage. 8 p.m. $8.

Washington DC International Music Festival 2012 takes place at the Kennedy Center. 7:30 p.m. $30.

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Weekend planner: Sweetlife, Ommegang Hop Chef Competition, 'Weird Things We've Done for Money'

April 27, 2012 - 09:26 AM


Matt Kazam from Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Stand-Up Stand-Up, and a new one-hour Showtime special airing this fall, performs at DC Improv. Friday. $22.

Ommegang Hop Chef Competition at Atlas Performing Arts Center. Brewery Ommegang presents its first-ever Ommegang Hop Chef competition featuring seven D.C.-area chefs preparing and pairing dishes with Ommegang brews. Saturday. 1 p.m. $75.

Better Block Project presents Thrifty Car Rental Pop-Up Gallery with works by artists Michael Horlick, Liz Saint Rain, and others. 3210 Rhode Island Ave. Saturday. 3 p.m.

Story League Tournament presents Odd Jobs - Weird Things We've Done for Money. Hosted by farmer and comedian Doug Powell, storytellers will compete for a $250 cash prize. Busboys and Poets/14th&V. Sunday. 8 p.m. $12.


SOLD OUT SHOWS THIS WEEKEND! Punch Brothers, Miike Snow, and A$AP Rocky at 9:30 Club and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Black Cat.

Pianist Joyce Yang gives an intimate performance featuring Beethoven and Chopin at Wolf Trap. Friday. 8 p.m. $35.

Vancouver EDM DJ Felix Cartel takes his "Different Faces" tour to the District. Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Records dropped his sophomore LP, Different Faces, in March. Josephine. Friday.


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Tonight: BYT Howard Theatre Kick-Off Party

April 26, 2012 - 09:23 AM
Howard Theatre (Brightest Young Things)

Brightest Young Things and the Underground Rebel Bingo Club start the weekend early with the BYT Howard Theatre Kick-Off Party. A night of celebrating the re-opening of the Howard Theatre featuring performances by Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem, The Juan Maclean, Bit Funk, Gavin Holland, and Ted Dancin. Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. $20/$25. 18+.

The Weeknd at 9:30 Club is SOLD OUT, but Forward Fest 2012 moves on with its Techno Showcase featuring Jeff Mills with RRose and House of Lions at U Street Music Hall. 10 p.m. $30.

'95 Live, D.C.'s party dedicated to old school '80s, '90s and early the early '00s returns with Harry Hotter and Jerome Baker III at the Water Street Project, a temporary art space by No Kings Collective. 9 p.m. Free. 21+.

PM at the TM: Bento Box Office features an outdoor screening in the Textile Museum's gardens of Honeymoon in Hell: Mr. and Mrs. Oki's Fabulous Trip. Mix and match your own bento box with Kushi! 6 p.m. $15.

Eat at one of more than 150 participating area restaurants supporting Dining Out For Life today. The restaurants will donate between 25 and 100 percent of sales to Food & Friends, a nonprofit organization that provides daily, home-delivered meals and groceries to people who battle HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other illnesses.

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Weekend Shows: Looking back

April 25, 2012 - 02:28 PM
Human Nature (Photo: Jeaneem via Flickr)

There always seems to be a competition to find the most cutting-edge, obscure band around. Relax with a break from the rat race this weekend with these old school artists.

Human Nature presented by Smokey Robinson
Friday, Apr. 27 at the Warner Theatre, $37-$62

Australian vocal quartet Human Nature formed in 1989 and scored a ton of pop/Motown hits in their native country. Their buttery voices, rich harmonies, and nostalgic repertoire (they've recorded covers of "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" and "Dancing in the Street") are reminiscent of a different era, but what makes this show particularly old-school is its endorsement by R&B singer and producer Smokey Robinson. While Robinson has performed with the group before, it's a little unclear whether Robinson will actually be at this show — it's billed as "Human Nature presented by Smokey Robinson," which could mean that he'll be there to host the show, or it could just mean that he really digs the group.

Chuck Berry
Saturday, Apr. 28 at the Howard Theatre, $95

Chuck Berry is often called "The Father of Rock & Roll" and is best known for songs like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Rock and Roll Music". The guitarist is 85 and continues to tour, but who knows how many more chances the D.C. area will have to see him live. (Yes, this show is pricey, but seeing Chuck Berry is actually worth it.)

Lena Seikaly's "Tribute to Ella" with the Alan Baylock Orchestra

Sunday, Apr. 29 at Blues Alley, $25 (two shows)

At this school, old school meets new school. D.C. jazz vocalist Lena Seikaly will be joined by the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra, and the ensemble will pay tribute to "Queen of Jazz" Ella Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald collaborated with tons of jazz notables, like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, and some of her most famous songs include "I'm Beginning To See the Light" (a collaboration with the Ink Spots), "Mack the Knife," and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Louis Jordan.

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.

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Tonight: Electronic creative festival FORWARD kicks-off

April 25, 2012 - 10:03 AM
Forward Fest 2012

88DC presents FORWARD Fest 2012, a celebration of electronic creative culture, featuring a range of electronic music artists including Jeff Mills, Distal, and Jus-Ed, audio-visual sets, unique installations, and educational panels. This year's theme is "organic" — artists will be displaying works inspired by the five elements. The Forward Festival Opening Party and A/V Showcase kicking off the 5-day affair tonight will feature Aligning Minds Live, Capsaicin Live, Machines on Vacation Live and Nicolas Laget Live at 1351 H Street NE. The festival runs until April 29th with artists and events at various venues.

FORWARD 2012 Trailer from XCulture on Vimeo.


UPstage presents LINER NOTES: "Elevated Art for the Hip Hop Generation." Liner Notes brings to life the old booklets we used to find in CD cases in this theatrical journey from jazz to hip-hop. Each performance features a tailored cocktail menu. The Dunes. 8 p.m. $20. Liner Notes runs until April 28.

From a restaurant table, playwright Dan LeFranc, winner of the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, brings to life the story of a family over the course of five generations in The Big Meal. Studio Theatre. 8:30 p.m. The play runs until May 20.


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Tonight: Kina Grannis 'In Your Arms World Tour'

April 24, 2012 - 11:31 AM

Kina Grannis, a YouTube sensation most well-known for her “In Your Arms” video, will be playing the 9:30 club tonight. Grannis is an unsigned pop/folk singer-songwriter whose “In Your Arms” has over 6 million views on YouTube.

It had tripled from 2 million ever since her appearance on The Ellen Show in November 2011.

“Being on Ellen was amazing,” Grannis said. “I loved her and loved the show. It was really the first time that someone in the mainstream acknowledged what I did. To have a giant victory outside of the online world; it was really huge to me. A lot of people got introduced to the video.”

The reason the video is so popular is because it involved jellybean art as an animated background that took 22 months and 288,000 jellybeans to make. Jelly Belly had donated all of the beans for the project.

Despite only being known on YouTube, her album, Stairwells, debuted on the Billboard Top 200 back in 2010. “It was a complete surprise,” Grannis said. “I knew I had a bunch of subscribers but you never know how many of them are real fans. When we heard it actually charted on Billboard, it was such an amazing feeling, coming from a place where there was absolutely no label at all.”

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and there are still tickets available. Grannis said her cellist will also be there to accompany her for a few songs. Grannis will be doing a meet and greet after the show. (Brianne Nemiroff)

British alternative-rock band the Boxer Rebellion, featured in Going the Distance's 2010 soundtrack, performs with Canon Blue at Black Cat. 8 p.m. $16.

German filmmaker Robert Thalhein in Focus film series opens with a screening of And Along Come Tourists at Goethe-Institut. 6:30 p.m. $7/$4.

Live saxophone performance and Book Event with author Fred Ho. He discusses his new books, Diary of a Radical Cancer Warrior: Fighting Cancer and Capitalism at the Cellular Level and Raw Extreme Manifesto: Change Your Body, Change Your Mind, Change the World While Spending Almost Nothing at Busboys and Poets/14th&V. 6:30 p.m.

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Tonight: Free books for World Book Night

April 23, 2012 - 11:56 AM
The Wombats (Facebook/The Wombats)

A cold and rainy Monday to celebrate World Book Night. Curl up with The Hunger Games, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Friday Night Lights, or any of the other thirty titles that Politics and Prose is giving away for free today!

What Can You Learn from a Video Game at Fab Lab DC presents Immune Defense, a video game that teaches about cellular immunology, where the players fight off E. coli, Chicken Pox, and other diseases. Fab Lab DC. 6:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

BYT is giving away free tickets to pop singer-songwriter Kina Grannis' show at 9:30 Club tomorrow!

Liverpool indie-rock band The Wombats perform with The Static Jacks and Flagship at 9:30 Club. 7 p.m. $20.

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The '90s revisited: Fountains of Wayne plays 9:30 Club

April 20, 2012 - 06:24 PM
(Photo: Brianne Nemiroff)

Fountains of Wayne, a band best-known for their hit “Stacy’s Mom,” played the 9:30 Club Thursday night to promote their latest album, Sky Full of Holes. But they are much more than just that one hit. Their history includes five albums, two Grammy nominations, one Oscar nomination (for Adam Schlesinger’s work in That Thing You Do), and even a Canadian animated series theme song and cameo.

Even though they’ve been around for 16 years, FOW’s method of songwriting has been the same since day one.

“Chris and I each write songs and bring in a batch. We arrange them together,” bassist Adam Schlesinger said.

For their first big tour, they opened for the Smashing Pumpkins, which made Smashing Pumpkins' guitarist James Iha fit into the lineup as opener so seamlessly. “We’ve been friends since then. He’s gearing up to promote a solo record,” Schlesinger said. He even mentioned they [Schlesinger and Iha] owned a small record label together.

Their latest record, Sky Full of Holes, was released on a smaller indie label, Yep Roc, back in August 2011.

“They have a roster we fit in with pretty well. A lot of songwriters, pop-stuff,” Schlesinger said. “They’re music fans,” Collingwood said.

The band said they prefer this label because of that. Their former label, Atlantic, cared more about the business than the music and didn’t feel as comfortable there.

The band is definitely one of a kind. Their inspirations range from The Beatles to the Beach Boys to the Zombies. It showed when their audience ranged from businessmen to teenage boys. When their name is taken from the name of fountain store that used to be in Wayne, New Jersey, how can these guys not be unique?

Throughout the night, they played songs from all five of their albums, pleasing new and old fans alike. And of course, they made sure to slip it a more acoustic and piano-rock version of “Stacy’s Mom” before ending the evening.

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Weekend shows: Venture off the beaten path

April 20, 2012 - 10:39 AM
(Photo courtesy rufusowliebat via Flickr)

Everyone can follow the concert listings for the 9:30 Club and the Black Cat, but for every well-known venue with a nightly concert schedule, there's another that hosts shows so infrequently you might miss them. Luckily, you don't have to rely on your connections this weekend — here's the scoop on what's happening at less-frequented venues.

Adrian Krygowski
Friday, Apr. 20 at the Dunes, $7

The Dunes is a small, apartment-like venue in Columbia Heights that morphs easily from concert hall to cocktail lounge. This weekend, it's hosting the CD release show for local folk/Americana singer/songwriter Adrian Krygowski, whose new EP, Hope For Us, was recorded in Nashville and features guest vocals from Garrison Starr. The Dunes always has an art exhibit on the walls, so you'll have something to look at between opening bands' sets (Justin Trawick and Wes Tucker & the Skillets).

Lights Resolve
Saturday, Apr. 21 at Casa Fiesta, $5

Alterna-rock band Lights Resolve is not exactly the type of music you'd expect to hear at a Latin restaurant, but Tenleytown's Casa Fiesta has recently become a semi-regular indie/punk concert space. This weekend's show, sponsored by do-gooders Indie Bands With a Mission, is a benefit for DC Central Kitchen.

Screen Vinyl Image
Saturday, Apr. 21 at St. Stephen's, $5

Local activist collective Positive Force regularly puts on shows at St. Stephen's in Columbia Heights, but the venue's shows are still very much promoted via word-of-mouth. This weekend, check out local noisegaze band Screen Vinyl Image and hardcore group LTW in this benefit for the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL), cleverly titled "Darkness for Doggies, Coldness for Kitties".

the House Jacks
Sunday, Apr. 22 at the Arlington Temple United Methodist Church, $15 (adult) / $10 (students/under 12)

The Arlington Temple United Methodist Church in Rosslyn has become quite the a cappella-friendly venue — Los Angeles pedal mavens Sonos stopped by last fall, and locals Euphonism hosted their album release party there in February. This weekend, San Francisco quintet the House Jacks (who describe themselves as a "rock band without instruments") will perform a set of mostly original tunes, with a few improvised audience requests. If you're a sports fan, you'll recognize the Jacks from their cameo in the short-lived (thanks to Hank Williams Jr.'s big mouth) Monday Night Football theme last season.

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.

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Weekend planner: Earth Day, Water St. Project, Blossom Bake and Brew

April 20, 2012 - 10:20 AM


The Water Street Project, a pop-up space under Whitehurst Freeway near Georgetown, features murals and installations by Brandon Hill, James Kerns, Kelly Towles, and others. Opening night will feature performances by Typefighter, Lightfoot, Cold Fronts and Ugly Purple Sweater with DJs Buster and Lanex kicking off the "Forever Young" party, midnight on. 3401 Water Street NW. The space will be open through April 29. Free.

Art in a domestic place returns with What If I Take My Problem to the United Nations at Porch Projects. Curated by D.C.-based artist Tim Campbell, the exhibit features five artists working in D.C., New York, Connecticut, Detroit, and Paris. The works focus on the human body, exploring the themes of "constraint, balance, extension, materiality, environment, and the artificial." 13th Street NE. An opening reception will be held on Saturday. 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. The exhibition is open by appointment at other times.

Cherry Blast IV, a night of arts featuring artist Monica Canilao's 5x5 Project installation, culture and music by Congo Sanchez, and more at Lightbox. Saturday. 8 p.m. $10.

Scoutmob, Dangerously Delicious Pies, and Chocolate City Beer join forces for the Blossom Bake and Brew at Gallery O on H. Enjoy a "Blossom Beer" tasting, pocket pies, and live music. A portion of the proceeds will benefit H Street Main Street. Saturday. 4 p.m. 21+. $25.

Earth Day Oysterstock at Poste Brasserie. A day of oysters on the half shell, grilled oysters, house made grilled bangers, mac and cheese, local wines and beers, craft cocktails, and live music by the WeatherVanes, the Joe Chiocca Band, and Wes Tucker and the Skillets. A benefit for the Oyster Recovery Program. Sunday. 2 p.m. $75.

Gary Krist, novelist and journalist, recounts a narrative history of 1919 Chicago, when city planners were planning to make the city into the "Metropolis of the World," in his new book City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago. Politics and Prose. Sunday. 5 p.m. Free.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz discusses her new book, Pilgrimage, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. A panel discussion will follow. Sunday. 1 p.m.

Celebrate Earth Day at the Eco Art + Design Depot at the Water Street ProjectBenevolent Media and SCRAP DC celebrate Earth Day with a pop-up marketplace featuring artists and local vendors showcasing "creative reuse" works. Artist James Kerns, owner of Corehaus DC, will present a special demo. Sunday. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free.

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Tonight: A hip-hop chess festival

April 19, 2012 - 11:35 AM

Words Beats & Life kicks off the seventh annual Bum Rush the Boards hip-hop chess festival with Beats & Blogs + Philanthrobeat: Wu-Tang Clan Edition. DJs Wonder Mike, Alizay, and The Diamond Cutterz will be spinning Wu-Tang Clan. The happy hour raises money for scholarships for underprivileged youths to insure that all those who want to participate in the chess tournament can. LIV. 6 p.m. $10 general admission; $7 if wearing "Beats by Dre."

All Things Gold presents indie-pop artist Alex Winston with Long Walks on the Beach at U Street Music Hall. Winston, who is classically trained in opera, said growing up she was into Motown, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard. 7 p.m. $7.

Jazz-pianist Keiko Matsui performs at Blues Alley. Thursday thru Sunday. 8 and 10 p.m. $45.

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Tonight: Story League's unforgivable and unforgettable stories

April 17, 2012 - 10:27 PM
Jack Rose Dining Saloon

On this rainy April day, Story League returns with"Unforgivable/Unforgettable," an evening of stories. Contestants take the stage to share a true 7-minute story about the worst or best thing someone has ever done to them or done for them for a chance to win $100. The judges this  month are Sonya Renee Taylor, National Poetry Slam Champion, and Sacha Scoblic, author of Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety. Busboys and Poets/14th&V. 9 p.m. $10.

Fancy an evening of Sinatra? Come Fly Away opens at the Kennedy Center. Twyla Tharp's Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical features 14 of the world's best dancers in a dramatic performance of strangers becoming lovers and then becoming strangers once again. 7:30 p.m. $69 - $125. Selling out fast!

Jack Rose hosts a South African Wine Dinner tonight with Chef Michael Hartzer. The night features a story of the South African wine industry and a four-course meal complementing wines by De Morgenzon, Ken Forrester, Glennelly De Toren, Buitenverwachting, and Klein Constantia. Jack Rose Saloon. 6:30 p.m. Limited availability. $100. RSVP at 402.617.5675 or email



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The All American Rejects: Totally acceptable

April 17, 2012 - 03:20 PM

Ever since breaking into the mainstream in 2003 with their single, “Swing Swing”, the All American Rejects, four small-town boys from Stillwater, Oklahoma, have had consistent success. They've sold over six million of their singles, “Dirty Little Secret," “Move Along,” and “Gives You Hell." They're currently touring performing songs off their latest album, Kids in the Street, which brought them to the 9:30 Club Sunday.

AAR has been off the radar for a few years, but only because they choose to give themselves time to write and grow in between records.

“A lot of bands don’t do that, and a lot of bands aren’t around anymore,” lead singer Tyson Ritter said. “Being four Oklahomans really has a lot to do with the fact that we were humble enough not to chase after our last song on the radio. We collect ourselves and make sure we grow naturally and don’t say in some sort of trapped adolescence.”

The band was especially captivating on stage; Ritter's constant bouncing evoked Mick Jagger.

”I feel like it should be a visual show; you shouldn’t just come to the concert and see guys staring at their shoes," he said.

After the show, the band signed autographs for those who bought their album at the venue and treated all of their fans with the charm of southern gentlemen. The band attributes their humbleness to a lack of cool.

“I think the fact that we’re not cool makes us not assholes,” Ritter said. “We haven’t been doing this for ten years because we’ve been in the back banging chicks and railing coke. We’re the guys that come off stage and we criticize each other openly because all we care about is nerding out on music and the show.”

It definitely showed. Looking around the venue, I saw fans of all ages wearing old and new concert T-shirts. Some parents were there with their teenage children, and there were even some women there hoping to pounce on Tyson at the end of the show. (It didn’t surprise me when they all asked for hugs at the meet and greet.)

All in all, the All American Rejects were very charismatic and appear to not take their success for granted.

“We are a band that chose to show our music from the beginning, and sharing it has only helped us. As long as that continues, we’re always going to be playing D.C.” Well said, Tyson.

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Tonight: Say Anything, Paint Fumes, Bradley Cooper

April 17, 2012 - 11:36 AM
Bradley Cooper (Flickr/Michelle Wright)

Spring Brews at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is sold out BUT there's free stuff all over town in honor of Tax Day!

If the weekend's paint party wasn't enough, Paint Fumes comes to Comet Ping Pong tonight. The Charlotte garage-punk band who recently released their Egyptian Rats EP perform with Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and Los Vigilantes. 10 p.m. $10.

Indie band Say Anything rock the stage on Black Cat's mainstage with Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band, Fake Problems and Tallhart. 7 p.m. $18/$21.

Too early in the week for much excitement? BloomScreen presents Older Than America starring Bradley Cooper. Written and directed by Georgina Lightning, the 2008 dramatic thriller unravels a Catholic priests plot to hide the truth about what happened at a Native American boarding school. A Q&A via Skype with Georgina Lightning follows the screening. BloomBars. 7 p.m. $10 suggested donation.



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Tonight: Carpe Librum pop-up book sale and Redline Graffiti

April 16, 2012 - 11:18 AM
Redline Graffiti (Facebook/Redline Graffiti)

Book lovers, this is your day. Carpe Librum: The City's Largest Pop-up Book Sale kicks off today and features more than 40,000 books, music, and movies for sale. The annual used book sale benefiting Turning the Page runs through May 3. 1030 17th Street NW.

Alec Baldwin roams town today fighting for the arts. The Emmy Award-winning TV and film actor will deliver the 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture, discussing social and policy issues affecting the arts, on the eve of Arts Advocacy Day. Baldwin also plans to visit Capitol Hill. The Kennedy Center. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Electronic indie rock band Redline Graffiti performs with Jeff Beam and Is And Of The at Velvet Lounge. 9 p.m. 18+ $10/21+ $8.

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Weekend planner: Friday the 13th edition

April 13, 2012 - 11:17 AM
The Roots (Howard Theatre)


Lumen8Anacostia lights up historic Anacostia with an art, music and lighting festival in 12 pop-up spaces featuring food trucks and a pop-up restaurant compliments of Busboys and Poets. Presented by the Pink Line Project and the Alliance Francaise. The Lightbox. Saturday. Noon until midnight.

A 20-mile bicycle race through rush hour! Mark of Beast Alley Cat Race begins at 6:06 p.m. in Dupont Circle. Friday. $10.

The Mark of the Beast from Vita Foto Creation on Vimeo.

Occupy GALA is two nights of Latino rock, reggae, hip-hop, spoken word, poetry, and visual art in response to current social and political issues, nosted by DJ El Canuto del Roc. GALA Hispanic Theater. Friday & Saturday. 8 p.m. $15.

Morton Fine Art presents DC NOW, a pop-up project featuring the works of Billy Colbert, Rosemary Feit Covey, Victoria Shaheen, Laurel Hausler, and Maya Freelon Asante. An opening reception will be held at Gallery B in Bethesda. Friday. 6 p.m. The exhibit runs until April 29.

ROE: The Agency Fashion Show celebrates the 10th anniversary of local fashion pioneer Harley Morgan and features new designs from eight designers. THEARC. Saturday. $20.


“Bigger Than Kony”: An Open Discussion at Busboys and Poets/14th&V presents a discussion about foreign policy and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa in response to media attention garnered by Invisible Children's KONY 2012 media campaign. Panelists include co-founder and executive director of Friends of the Congo, Maurice Carney, and Ugandan journalist, founder and publisher of the Black Star News, Nicole Lee. Friday. 6 p.m. Free.

Filmfest DC runs through the weekend with screenings of 17 Girls, Goodbye and 38 Witnesses at Avalon Theatre, Free Men and Havana Eva at E Street Cinema, and more! Friday - Sunday.

Leave rock 'n' roll behind for a night of comedy at Black Cat with Rob Delaney. Friday. 6:30 p.m/9 p.m. $15.

Working, A Musical, paints a picture of the daily life of mostly blue collar workers. Based on Stud Terkel's best-selling book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, the adaptation by Stephen Schwartz, Nina Faso, and Gordon Greenburg opens at Keegan Theatre. Saturday. $34/$40.

Ambassador Theater presents You and I, Love, a comedy about champagne, love, and second chances. Flashpoint/Mead Theatre Lab. Sunday. 3 p.m. $25.

Historian and author Timothy Snyder discusses his newest book, which was co-written by the late Tony Judt, Thinking the Twentieth Century. Politics & Prose. 12 p.m.

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Hot Chelle Rae makes teens squeal at the 9:30 Club

April 12, 2012 - 04:12 PM

Hot Chelle Rae's appearance at the 9:30 Club Wednesday evening brightened up this overcast week, and fans were waiting outside in chilly temperatures long before the night fell. I arrived at 3:30 p.m. for my interview and there were already 30 fans in line, all of whom were under 18. Which high school teacher allowed their early dismissal for a pop concert, and why they didn’t work at my school?

Hot Chelle Rae's lead singer, Ryan Follese, dressed the role of a rock star sprinkled with American Apparel. When we reached the green room, we joined the rest of the band.

The members of the band have been playing music for most of their lives. They are all from musical families and have writers and performers as parents.

“We were all surrounded by production, writing, performing, and studios, just every aspect of music growing up, and by the time we were in high school, it was like we had already gone to college for it,” guitarist and vocalist Nash Overstreet said.

Because their parents were all in the business, they only received support from them.

“It’s a real job to them, it was never ‘drop this and go to college’,” Follese said. Overstreet added, “We were very fortunate to have parents that really supported us and were excited by us going into music.”

“I’ve had fans’ mom get mad at me for encouraging their child to play the drums … multiple times,” drummer Jamie Follese said.

So even though they’ve had supportive families, their fans' families may not be as enthusiastic about a career in music.

The original band name was Miracle Drug, which eventually morphed into  Hot Chelle Rae by way of an interesting backstory.

Some bands, like Hot Chelle Rae's opening act, Action Item, find their name in a movie. Some, like Evanescence, find it in the dictionary. Hot Chelle Rae based their name off that of a girl who stalked them on their MySpace page. The girl, they later found out, was actually fake.

“You would not believe what guys will believe or put up with if a girl is pretty in pictures, whether it’s the real girl or not,” Overstreet said. “She had stolen some model’s pictures and was way too adamant [about becoming friends] with us. For some reason we believed it."

"But, what a ring to the name," he said. "It’s really unique and identifies to our music only so when you look it up on the internet, it’s exclusive and we like that.”

“When you Google Miracle Drug you can get a U2 reference or some magical cure for AIDS,” he said.

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Tonight: Filmfest DC, 'Almost Famous,' RAW Menagerie at Cafe Asia

April 12, 2012 - 11:16 AM

Filmfest DC opens tonight with a screening of writer-director Ken Scott's comedy, Starbuck. The 26th Annual Washington, D.C. International Film Festival will feature films in three categories: The Lighter Side, a series of international comedies, Caribbean Journeys, films from Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago and more, and Justice Matters, films exploring issues of social justice. Regal Cinemas Gallery Place. 7 p.m. $25. The festival runs until April 22, with screenings and special events at various theaters. 



Artisphere celebrates films that capture the music industry with a screening of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous. A panel discussion featuring the Washington Post's Chris Richards, DCist's Valerie Paschall, Pitchfork contributor Aaron Leitko and journalist Sarah Godfrey will follow the screening. 7:30 p.m. $8.

RAW: natural born artists presents “Menagerie,a local artistic showcase featuring a mix of photography by Tyler Keeler, fashion by TaLisa Michelle, art by Diggs, makeup by Rocio Perez, music, and more.  Cafe Asia. 8 p.m. $10/$15.

ReadysetDC presents its fifth Annual Fashion District. This year, they've scrapped the runway for an interactive showroom experience featuring threads from local designers. The evening will also feature unique stage presentations. Designers include: Hugh & Crye, Kelly Tang, Artaya, Ginger Root Design, Read's Clothing Project, Accoutre, and others. Georgetown Powerhouse. 7:30 p.m. $30. 21+.

The Ting Tings at 9:30 Club are SOLD OUT tonight, but tickets to Saturday's show at Rams Head Live are still available.

Hiromi: The Trio Project at Blues Alley. The keyboardist-composer performs with Anthony Jackson & Simon Phillips  at Blues Alley. Thursday - Sunday. 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. $45. Shows are selling out fast!


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Upcoming shows: Raekwon, Chain & the Gang, and more

April 11, 2012 - 02:38 PM
Raekwon (Photo: thecomeupshow via Flickr)

Musicians are typically starting new bands or taking a break from their main gigs to conceive a side project or solo tour. There are a ton of those shows this weekend, so take a look and see if you recognize these musicians:

Chain & the Gang
Thursday, Apr. 12 at the Black Cat Backstage, $10

You know Ian Svenonius from his long pedigree of DC bands (Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, and Weird War) as well as his DJ nights around town. His other project, Chain & the Gang, has released two albums: 2009's Down With Liberty and last year's Music's Not For Everyone.

Thursday, Apr. 12 at the State Theatre, $20 advance / $24 day of

Raekwon's certainly well-known by his own name now, but he started out in 1992 with the Wu-Tang Clan. We're still not quite sure why Wu-Tang has such a tie to the State Theatre in Falls Church — the venue seems to host the band every year. That connection apparently holds for Wu members' solo shows, too. (Unrelated bonus: the State Theatre has recently finished building a nice extension to its balcony!)

Amy Ray
Friday, Apr. 13 at IOTA, $18

Amy Ray has had a fairly extensive solo career outside the Indigo Girls; she's released four solo albums (and a couple of live albums) since 2001. She's released them all (including her most recent, Lung of Love) on her own label, Daemon Records, which has also released albums by Girlyman and the Athens Boys Choir (note: not an actual boys choir).

Yasiin Bey
Saturday, Apr. 14 at the Howard Theatre, $45 in advance / $50 day of show

Remember when Prince changed his name to that funny symbol? Or when Johnny Cougar changed his name to John Cougar Mellencamp and then dropped the Cougar altogether? Add Mos Def to the list of solo artists who have changed names: he's now performing under the name Yasiin Bey (that's still not his real name, which is Dante Terrell Smith). He's been dropping albums — both solo and with Talib Kweli as Black Star — since the mid-'90s, and he's back in town after a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club this February. This show was originally billed as "a Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron," although that text is now gone from the Howard's web site.

These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.

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Tonight: Florence Minder presents 'Good Mourning'

April 11, 2012 - 09:39 AM

The Small is More Belgian theater and dance showcase presents Good Mourning by Florence Minder and Exils by filmmaker and playwright Fabrice Murgia at Rosslyn's Artisphere. Minder's one-woman show, propped only by a compelling script, ruminates over the realities of existence. A Q&A session with Minder follows the performance. In Exils, Murgia takes on the role of a refugee in a series of short plays, revealing the pains of life in exile. Artisphere. 8 p.m. $15

Alternative-pop band Delta Rae brings some Carolina soul to Rock & Roll Hotel. With Astra Via and Wendell Kimbrough. 8 p.m. $12.

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