Derby Day, Tig Notaro, Koen Vanmechelen’s chickens and more weekend picks

May 2, 2013

The weekend’s best in movies, music and nightlife:

“Hare Triggers.” By artist Dana Ellyn. 24"x36 painting. Part of “The Gun Show,” an exhibition opening May 3 at the Dunes, a gallery in Columbia Heights.
“Hare Triggers,” by artist Dana Ellyn, is one of the pieces in “The Gun Show,” an exhibition opening Friday at the Dunes.

Thursday: Kicking off the weekend in the mellowest of ways is the Rockville Rooftop at VisArts, which officially opens for the season Thursday night with a night of deep old-school house with DJ CBreeze and a happy hour in the great outdoors. And if you can't make it Thursday, there's always Friday.

Friday: "The Gun Show," opening Friday at the Dunes in Columbia Heights, doesn't concern itself with swaying an audience one way or another on matters of gun ownership. The show features works by artists from all perspectives of the gun debate, including Anna U. Davis, Dana Ellyn, Dafna Steinberg and Andrew Wodzianski. An opening reception is Friday at 7 p.m.

Friday-Saturday: If you're walking around and happen to run into dudes in bandannas, ripped jeans and guyliner, don't say we didn't warn you. The M3 metalfest at Merriweather Post Pavilion is resurrecting some of the hairiest hair-metal acts of the '80s, including Bret Michaels, Twisted Sister and Jackyl. Jackyl, people. For the full metal jacket report, check out our roundup of May's bes metal shows.

Saturday: And.... they're off! The Kentucky Derby, that genteel afternoon of pony-watching, julep-sipping and ostentatious hat-wearing, kicks off the Triple Crown races on Saturday. If you're not bound for Churchill Downs, there are plenty of local Derby Day bashes, including the Perry Center's soiree at Penn Social (with a 22-foot screen, this one is great for watching); and Brightest Young Things's Prancin' bash (good for mint juleps, adult pony rides). Scan all of your Derby Day options here.

A few years ago, artist Koen Vanmechelen transported three live chickens to an Atlas District gallery for the surprisingly moving Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. Now, the artist returns to the Connersmith gallery with two Red Junglefowl chickens for "Leaving Paradise," a new fowl exhibition through June 29. Vanmechelen discusses his work Saturday at 5 p.m.

Classic video games are memorable not just for their bad guys and battles, but also for their soundtracks. The student Gamer Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maryland performs an array of beloved old-school scores — from “Final Fantasy” to “Chrono Trigger" -- Saturday at 2 p.m.

Sunday: Hilarious, nationally recognized comic Tig Notaro brings her deadpan charm to Sixth & I Synagogue for the first tour of "Professor Blastoff," a geeked-out podcast that examines science through the eyes of Notaro and comics Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger. At this show, they'll tape an upcoming podcast. It's not surprising that seated capacity is sold out, but consider yourself lucky if you're a Tig fan: standing tickets remain.

The Wonderland Ballroom‘s annual Sundress Fest runs like clockwork after eight years. Show up after 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon wearing a sundress. There’s a pig roast on the patio and happy hour prices all night for anyone – male or female – wearing a sundress.

D.C.’s annual Yoga Week culminates Sunday with one totally ostentatious sun salutation in the Constitution Gardens near the Vietnam Memorial on the Mall. Hardly a yogi? No worries: Yoga on the Mall is suitable for entry-level and advanced yoga fans alike.

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