Performers Who Are Making Some Noise

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 21, 2008

Should you be a fan of that sort of music that doesn't so much defy description as dare your ears not to bleed, it is totally your weekend.

The name alone drew us in: The Jazz Noise Post Art Rock Smackdown is at Velvet Lounge tomorrow night, featuring the DC Improvisers Collective and jazz performer Steve Lehman. Lehman, it turns out, blends alto saxophone and live electronics to great acclaim (the New York Times called "On Meaning," his latest album with his band, "excellent"). Solo, he'll use real-time computer processing to re-create the songs on that record in a form that is simultaneously electronic and acoustic. (Yes, we don't understand either, but we know it's a kind of a big deal.) 18 and older. $10. 10 p.m. Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. 202-462-3213.

Sunday, Acid Mothers Temple will stop at the Rock & Roll Hotel to drop its Japanese psych-rock-collective noise on the masses ("a freak-out group for the 21st century" is the description of the band on its Web site). If you're familiar with the group, you might know that as a collective, it has a number of members who head out on the road in various permutations, all named Acid Mothers Temple. This touring outfit is also known as the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. offshoot and is promoting its "Recurring Dream and Apocalypse of Darkness" record. It will all be very rocking, somewhat meandering and probably a little scary. $12. Show at 8:30 p.m. 1353 H St. NE. 202-388-7625 or get advance tickets at

The District


EXHIBIT Last Chances for "The Baroque Woodcut" and "Let the World In" These two shows at the National Gallery of Art -- the first a collection of 80 Old Master prints from the likes of Titian and his contemporaries, the second a show of the collage-style prints of Robert Rauschenberg -- close March 30, but don't wait till the last minute to see them (those of you who waited in the enormous, snaking lines on closing weekend of the Hopper exhibit this winter know what we mean). Art just shouldn't be that hard. Free. Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11-6. National Gallery's West Building (ground floor), Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215.


FOR FAMILIES "Help! I'm a Fish" On closing day of the Environmental Film Festival, catch this Danish animated movie about three siblings who encounter a science lab where a potion is produced enabling humans to morph into fish when the world is finally consumed by water. One of the kids mistakenly drinks the potion, launching her brothers on a search to find her in the sea. It's at the Avalon Theatre tomorrow. $5; Avalon members, $3. 10 a.m. 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. For tickets, visit


FOR FAMILIES African American Family Celebration at the National Zoo This annual tradition, a great alternative to the White House party, brings the community to the zoo on Easter Monday for a day of activities including an egg hunt, music, storytelling and crafts. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Great Ape House to Lion/Tiger Hill, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-633-3040.

LITERATURE "The Zombie Survival Guide" Max Brooks (who happens to be the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft) is a former "Saturday Night Live" writer who advocates, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, for preparation for a zombie uprising/annihilation of humankind in his books "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War." He visits the D.C. Jewish Community Center for a multimedia talk Monday about his clearly pressing cause. $8. 8 p.m. 1529 16th St. NW. For tickets, visit or call 202-777-3215.



EXHIBIT "Body Worlds 2" If you didn't get a chance to see "Bodies" when it was in Arlington last year, you can head to Baltimore for this similar show, which displays athletes and just regular humans in repose who after death have had their bodies preserved through "plastination," which allows the public to peek at the muscles and organs (in all their variations) that make up the body. $19-$24; ages 3-18, $13-$18; older than 62 and students with ID, $16.50-$23. Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., Baltimore. 410-685-2370.


CONCERT The Breakups Sixties garage rock does in fact live, and it is, as you might suspect, quite underground -- in the basement-level Silver Spring venue the Quarry House, to be precise. The Breakups, a local act, who are equal parts Kinks and the Stones (when they were bright and punchy and the epitome of youth), play the space Sunday night. $6. 9 p.m. 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. 301-587-8350.


CONCERT Angelique Kidjo This Benin-born Afrobeat and pop performer, who has raised her profile of late on tour with Josh Groban, won her first Grammy (for "Djin Djin," best contemporary world music album) this year after several nominations. And Wednesday, you can catch her performing at Strathmore, backed by a full band. $18-$40. 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100.

Northern Virginia


ON STAGE Like a Page out of the History Books: The Arch Campbell Stand-Up Hour Just when you think smut has gone mainstream, the fedora-wearing local television celeb (he's a longtime movie reviewer, now with WJLA) brings classy back with his very own PG-style variety show (what's the fun in that, Arch?). Now, some of us are, like, still in our 20s (and feeling just fabulous, thank you). And we aren't quite sure what that is, exactly. Well, once a month, Campbell will bring in as many as six circus performers, comedians and magicians to do their thing in short form, over a speedy hour-long show. $15. Tonight at 7:45. 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. 703-486-2345 or get tickets in advance at


CONCERT Gary Jules This singer has had bits of great luck that left him as anonymous as if they'd never happened at all: First, his cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" with Michael Andrews was a crucial mood-setter for the film "Donnie Darko" (and huge in the U.K.), then the song "Falling Awake" was featured during an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" last year. See why Jules is huge in Europe when he performs at Iota Club & Cafe on Sunday. $12. 8:30 p.m. 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703-522-8340.

Save the Date

THE SCENE Hirshhorn's After Hours Return After a good long hiatus over the fall, the pay-to-play parties at the contemporary art museum resume April 4. The first, indoor bash celebrates the two newish shows, "The Cinema Effect Part 1: Dreams" and "Directions: Amy Sillman, Third Person Singular." The deal: You pay for admission, get to see the exhibits, partake of the cash bar and get entertainment, this time provided by DJ Solomon Sanchez; cellphone-musicmakers Hooliganship (from Portland, Ore.); and Lucky Dragons, a duo that uses audience members and electronics to make music from skin touching skin (sounds intriguing, we know). The After Hours parties tend to sell out the night of the event, so buy in advance by phone (the best way to avoid fees). $10 in advance (tickets bought online through are subject to fees); $12 at the door. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. 202-633-4629.

ON STAGE "High Lonesome," Balanchine to Beck You read correctly. The Washington Ballet's upcoming program blends performances of George Balanchine's classic ballet "The Four Temperaments" with Choo-San Goh's "Fives" and Trey McIntyre's "High Lonesome," an epic set to the music of Beck, specifically the tunes from his "Odelay" record. McIntyre's contribution, last performed in a run by his troupe at Wolf Trap last summer, is said to be about his family. This time audiences can see it without all the profuse sweating. The performances begin April 2 at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall downtown. $30-$80. Various times through April 6. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 202-547-1122.

ON STAGE Doug Benson The goofy king of the fratboys just might be Benson, the goateed staple of VH1's "Best Week Ever" who has his own touring show, "The Marijuana-logues." Benson performed at the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse's Comedy Lounge a year ago, and he returns for a two-night run at the end of this month. $20. March 28 and 29 at 9:45 p.m. 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. 703-486-2345.

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