Arts Desk

Government Issue’s John Stabb Battling Stomach Cancer (UPDATE)


John Schroeder, the singer of legendary D.C. hardcore band Government Issue better known as John Stabb, has been diagnosed with malignant stomach cancer after a series of hospital visits over the past month.

Read more Government Issue’s John Stabb Battling Stomach Cancer (UPDATE)

Arts Roundup: Porchfest Returns Edition

Arena Stage's latest, The City of Conversation, explores the myth of the Georgetown dinner party. Here's what really went down at these mythic parties. [Post]

Porchfest returns in April. [DC Music Download] Read more Arts Roundup: Porchfest Returns Edition

To Do Today: The City of Conversation, Pell, and ‘Suspended Animation’

Trend pieces may insist that Georgetown is sooooo over in terms of its late-night bar scene, but damnit if we don’t still enjoy watching the movements and political machinations of the neighborhood’s hostesses. Anthony Giardina’s latest play, The City of Conversation, doubles down on that supposition, taking audiences through the years with Hester Ferris, a liberal, well-connected string-puller who invites ideological opposites into her living room to discuss the issues of the day. From the Carter years through two Bush adminstrations and into Obama’s historic election, Hester sees her gatherings evolve, but her world is truly rocked when her new, conservative daughter-in-law threatens to dismantle everything Hester has built over the decades. Read more >>> The play runs Jan. 29 to March 6 at Arena Stage, 1100 6th St. SW. $55–$90. (202) 554-9066. (Caroline Jones)


Teddy & The Bully Bar will celebrate President's Day early this year with a “Presidential Happy Hour” today from 3 to 8 p.m. The special includes complimentary food from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with themed drinks like the Rio Roosevelt and the Safari Sangria going for $8. In case the free food doesn’t sway you, 10 percent of the happy hour proceeds will go to the Washington Humane Society. Teddy & The Bully Bar, 1200 19th St. NW. (202) 872-8700. (Quinn Myers)


The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden opens "Suspended Animation," a new exhibition featuring work by artist whose digitally generated work questions our notions of reality. 10 a.m. at 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW. Free. Read more To Do Today: The City of Conversation, Pell, and ‘Suspended Animation’

Arts Roundup: Nothing Keeps a Punk Down Edition

Government Issue's John Stabb is battling stomach cancer. [Arts Desk]

French soprano Sandrine Piau's D.C. debut at the Phillip's Collection wows. [Post]

9:30 Club is getting its own Austin City Limits-esque musical variety show on PBS. [Arts Desk] Read more Arts Roundup: Nothing Keeps a Punk Down Edition

9:30 Club to Debut Music Variety Show on PBS This Spring


Discovering that the show you wanted to see at 9:30 Club has sold out before you could buy tickets is a disappointing feeling. We've all been there. Starting this spring, however, you won't be forced to search YouTube for grainy clips of Father John Misty or The War on Drugs. The 35-year-old club is bringing its shows to public television audiences nationwide in the form of a new musical variety show called Live at 9:30.

Unlike Austin City Limits, which shows whole sets by artists, Live at 9:30 will feature a greater mix of programming. Along with songs, viewers will see backstage interviews with artists, short films, and comedic interludes. Each episode will be hosted by a different celebrity; the early lineup includes comedians Ralphie May and Hannibal Buress, TV writer and journalist Jill Kargman, NPR's Bob Boilen, and former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins. Wayne White, a set designer who created many of the puppets on Pee-wee's Playhouse, will oversee the program's aesthetic design. Mounted cameras, including GoPros and an airborne cable camera, will capture the action from a variety of angles. Read more 9:30 Club to Debut Music Variety Show on PBS This Spring

To Do Today: This Is Why You’re Single, Ezra Furman, and a Mardi Gras Carnival

cl-tuesday-06It seems like everyone’s obsessed with singlehood in 2016. As the ever-divisive Valentine’s Day weekend approaches, Laura Lane and Angela Spera arrive to ease D.C.’s pain. The pals created This Is Why You’re Single as a live sketch show back in 2013, and the brand’s grown into a chart-topping podcast, book, and one of the more relatable relationship advice channels on the web. For the downtown audience, Lane and Spera will take a hilarious and sometimes all-too-honest trip through each reason so many of us are single. Read more >>> Laura Lane and Angela Spera perform at 7 p.m. at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. $14–$32. (202) 408-3100. (Jordan-Marie Smith)


For this year’s Fat Tuesday, the French Quarter is coming to Penn Quarter. Central Michel Richard is celebrating the Mardi Gras spirit with a New Orleans-themed menu, drink specials, and a masquerade contest that could win you a free four-course dinner. The menu will feature bayou classics like clam gratin “New Orleans,” Creole oxtail soup, and jambalaya. Specialty themed drinks, like the Vieux Carre and Alligatorade, run for $13. Mardi Gras beads, masks, and other festive party favors will also be passed out. Central Michel Richard, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. (202) 626-0015. (Quinn Myers)


Chicago-based rock singer Ezra Furman performs at Rock & Roll Hotel with local pop-punk favorites BRNDA. 8 p.m. at 1353 H St. NE. $12. Read more To Do Today: This Is Why You’re Single, Ezra Furman, and a Mardi Gras Carnival

Arts Roundup: Did Bey Say Bama? Edition

Check out the bold new video for The Jarvik 6. [Bandwidth]

Here are the best D.C. entries in All Songs Considered's Tiny Desk Contest. [DC Music Download]

Wait, did Beyoncé drop the word "bama" in her new music video? [Vulture] Read more Arts Roundup: Did Bey Say Bama? Edition

To Do Today: ‘Market Symphony,’ Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, and Lady Godiva

"Market Symphony" is a new audio installation at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. The exhibition layers sound from a market in Lagos, Nigeria. The speakers are installed on enamelware trays which are often used in markets.

The sounds of our cities immediately plant us in a location, even if we’re not there physically. For Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh, the sounds that signify home are those of the Balogun, a large open-air market in Lagos. To create “Market Symphony,” his new installation at the National Museum of African Art, Ogboh recorded hours of sound; visitors to the museum’s first sound exhibition will hear music, buses and cars, and people exchanging goods. Listen even closer and stories start to emerge. Experiencing the sounds of home from the sterile confines of a gallery thousands of miles away becomes an emotional experience for Nigerian expats, who tell Ogboh that his work moves them unexpectedly. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-4600. (Caroline Jones)


Chef Quinten Frye started offering Mexican tortas as part of a drop-off lunch catering service. Now, his Cocina Tortas menu is available every Monday from 5 to 10 p.m. at Songbyrd Record Cafe. The menu starts with "small bites" like chips and salsa, fried avocado, and Mexican street-style corn. Tortas include grilled citrus-marinated chicken with avocado, tomatillo, and cilantro slaw as well as the "Tortaguesa," a dry-aged beef burger with Tex-Mex queso, avocado, pickled jalapenos, and caramelized onions (with an optional sunny side up egg). For dessert, try a horchata flan or Mexican chocolate chip cookie. Cocina Tortas at Songbyrd, 2475 18th St. NW. (Jessica Sidman)


Founded in the early years of China’s economic reform, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra is based in China’s first Special Economic Zone, the fishing-village-turned-megacity just north of Hong Kong. In the years since, Shenzhen’s weight as a cultural center has also grown, and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra has carved a new space for itself by pairing traditional Chinese folk and orchestral music with Western classical works. The orchestra makes its Kennedy Center debut on the first day of the Lunar New Year, marking the finale of a weekend of cultural events celebrating the Year of the Monkey. 8 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $15–$89(Emily Walz) Read more To Do Today: ‘Market Symphony,’ Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, and Lady Godiva

Arts Roundup: Rhizome Edition

With the Washington Ballet's Septime Webre gone, here's what the organization needs in its new director. [Post]

Meet Takoma's newest arts space, Rhizome. [Arts Desk]

D.C. voting rights, the hip-hop song. [DCist] Read more Arts Roundup: Rhizome Edition

Experimentation Over Curation: Meet Takoma’s Newest Arts Space, Rhizome


“So this room is going to be transformed into a synthesizer.”

Steve Korn is standing in the middle of what used to be a bedroom in a house in Takoma. He's holding some pieces of metal and wood and looking at a blank wall, describing what will soon be one of the first projects of Rhizome D.C.a new experimental arts space whose organizers are still putting the finishing touches on its new home a few blocks from the Takoma Metro station.

“Instead of being a synth that you play on the interface, the interface will be exploded to the room, but because it has a full programming language you can compose a piece, or multiple pieces, to be played by the room,” Korn says. There might even be a mic in the middle to capture feedback. Read more Experimentation Over Curation: Meet Takoma’s Newest Arts Space, Rhizome