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The High Life on a Low Budget


CONCERT Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band Since last winter, Oberst has been performing with a backing band that includes solo artists such as Taylor Hollingsworth (whose Alabama rockabilly sounds a bit like the Jesus and Mary Chain's alt-country efforts) and California musician Nik Freitas for a project that sounds not unlike, well, Bright Eyes. The band members, who are the sort of under-credited contributors to Oberst's recent self-titled solo record, perform with him at the 9:30 club next month. $25. Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. 815 V St. NW. 202-393-0930 or 800-955-5566.

THE SCENE The Marine Corps Marathon The people who are running the 26-mile race a week from Sunday are probably now hitting the most intense days of their preparations. Those not taking part will be able to watch these dedicated runners as they cross various points along the course; this year, the finish line festival will be held on Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, where you'll find a beer garden, food tastings, vendors and performers. If you don't feel like hanging out there, Crystal City's Crystal Run festivities are just down the road, with music act the BoDeans, samples from local restaurants (with tastes priced at $1), a kid zone and the chance to cheer on runners as they pass through (it's at Miles 21 and 22 of the race). The festivities are free. Oct. 26 beginning at 9 a.m. The BoDeans perform at 3 p.m. in Crystal City, Crystal Drive and 23rd Street. In Rosslyn, Wilson Boulevard at Lynn Street. For details and a map of the course, visit



THE SCENE Howard Homecoming Highlights: Yardfest Yardfest, a spirit-boosting gathering the day before the Bison football game, is among HU homecoming's best-attended events. Held outdoors on the campus, the free bash has, in years (long) past, hosted Diddy and Jay-Z, among others. Here are the details we have so far: Expect to see songwriter-turned-performer Keri Hilson (who's penned songs for Diddy, Chris Brown and Britney Spears); and fellow newcomer Ryan Leslie, best known for his single "Diamond Girl." (If you're wondering about Yardfest's past, previous "newcomers" to take the stage have included Ludacris and a pre-Gnarls Barkley Cee-Lo.) . Free. Noon-5 p.m. Upper Quadrangle, Howard University. 202-806-5932 or

ON STAGE "Take Me Away" The latest new Irish play to be taken on by local theater company Solas Nua is Gerald Murphy's comedy about a father and his three daft sons, whose dysfunctions are revealed when they are supposed to visit their hospitalized mother. $20. Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. Through Oct. 26 at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Call 800-494-8497 or visit


THE SCENE Dupont Circle House Tour Peek into 11 grand residences, including the International Student House and the international headquarters of the Order of the Eastern Star (formerly the Perry Belmont Mansion), during Sunday's 41st annual Dupont Circle House Tour. This year, the tour focuses on the Strivers' Section neighborhood of Dupont that was once home to Washington's African American elite, including poet Langston Hughes and civil rights attorney Charles Houston. The self-guided walking tour includes a tea (held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Belmont Mansion). $25 in advance (available online through tomorrow night); $30 at the door (available Sunday at tour locations including the Belmont Mansion, 1618 New Hampshire Ave. NW.) Noon-5 p.m. For details and tickets, visit For information, call 202-489-5114.


CONCERT Hip Hop Live!: Talib Kweli and David Banner Kweli, the positive-vibes rapper and one-half of the 1990s duo Black Star, is headlining the second Hip Hop Live! tour, which means that although he comes through Washington frequently, this time will be different. Hip Hop Live! pairs artists with bands for live concerts, so he and Banner will perform the songs you know, with the 10-piece Rhythm Roots Allstars rather than prefab beats. They land at the 9:30 club Monday. $25. 7 p.m. 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. 202-393-0930 or 800-955-5566.



ON STAGE Arj Barker Count this one as the first major comedy event at the new Montgomery Cinema & Drafthouse in Wheaton. Barker, a "Flight of the Conchords" regular who opened for the show's ironic folkies at their two gigs in Washington this past spring, returns as a headliner himself. The humor is what we like to think of as "Slow California Dude Discovers Stuff." Rounding out the bill are Rob Cantrell and Tony Camin. $20. 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. 11006 Veirs Mill Rd., Wheaton. 301-949-9200 or (Virginians: Tomorrow they're at the Arlington sister location. Visit for details.)


FESTIVALS Silver Spring's Fall Festival Centered in the downtown Silver Spring district, this event tomorrow will feature hayrides and Halloween-themed storytelling, a pumpkin patch and pumpkin decorating. Activities for grown-ups include Austin Grill's beer sampling and beermaking classes, a biggest-beer-belly contest, a gourmet and artists' market and food tastings. Free. 2-6 p.m. Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street. For more, visit


FOR KIDS "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" At Strathmore on Sunday is a touring "musical travelogue" that charts the sojourns of a 10-year-old boy who's transformed into a flat version of himself and uses the opportunity to travel the world. And he does it to an unexpected funky rock score. The show is best for ages 5 to 11 or so. $15-$35. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100 or



FOR FAMILIES The "Wizard of Oz" and Wine Barrel Oak Winery kicks off a fall series of Friday night movie screenings and wine tastings tonight with "The Wizard of Oz." The highlight is the concessions: For $5, the winery serves unlimited popcorn and s'mores. And it opens its patio for hanging out under the stars and picnicking. Film, free; optional wine tastings, $4.50. 6:30-9:30 p.m. 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane. 540-364-6402.

ON STAGE "Fat Pig" It has been a couple of years since Studio Theatre produced the Neil LaBute play "Fat Pig," but when it did, the show was something of a sensation (due in good part to an ad campaign that featured the play's hefty heroine in her bathing suit). Community theater Dominion Stage takes a crack at it beginning today. "Fat Pig" follows a relationship between a funny and interesting overweight woman and a handsome thin man who can't rise above the judgment of his peers and other women. Like much of LaBute's work, it will have you questioning the true nature of human beings. $17; students and seniors, $15. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through Nov. 2. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington.


FILM Sing Along to "Mamma Mia!" The movie, with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, did well this past summer with its upbeat, sunshiny point of view. Now you can actually sing along to that Abba-tastic soundtrack. The movie features subtitles with the lyrics, just in case you're not up on 1970s disco. "Dancing Queen," anyone? The Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse screens the movie tomorrow. $5.50. 4:45 p.m. 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. 703-486-2345 or visit

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