Washington band Canyon evolved out of the Kansas City punk quartet Boys Life, and we're lucky they relocated and redirected themselves. Canyon's powerful mid-tempo rock -- led by frontman Brandon Butler's evocative singing and songwriting -- is some of the best music to come out of Washington in decades. They hold a CD-release party Saturday at the Black Cat (202-667-7960).

-- Eric Brace

Film "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" takes you back to Middle Earth and makes the journey even more spellbinding than last year's "Fellowship of the Ring."

-- Desson HoweGrand without being grandiose, Martin Scorsese's epic "Gangs of New York" writes one heck of a chapter in the story of America's making, a story seen through the eyes of the 19th-century residents of the festering, crime-ridden Five Points neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.

-- Michael O'Sullivan

Exhibition Suggestive of roots, surf-washed drift seeds and other organic shapes -- not the least of which are our own body parts and tears -- the lovely, disquieting glass sculpture of Graham Caldwell is on view at Addison/Ripley Fine Art. Call 202-338-5180.

-- Michael O'Sullivan Theater

Deep dark secrets, freakish anomalies and a lurid tabloid aesthetic make "Bat Boy, the Musical" at Studio Theatre's experimental Secondstage a delicious, smartly performed hoot -- as long as you don't mind sitting on backless bleachers for two-plus hours. Extended through Dec. 29. Call 202-332-3300.

-- Jane Horwitz

The saga continues: Arwen (Liv Tyler) assures Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) of his destiny in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." capt two