Archive for December, 2013

The 43 Books I Read in 2013

I read 43 books in 2013. They are listed below in reverse chronological order.
Because I read books for many purposes—for pleasure, for school, and to write book reviews for money—I offer this list to demystify/illuminate the art of reading/reviewing as I have come to understand it since reading my first book in 1981 at age [...]

D.C.’s Year in Art Galleries: Woof

The news that Civilian Art Projects is closing its 7th Street NW gallery space caps off a year of many memorable exhibits—and too many art galleries passing into memory.
While Civilian director Jayme McLellan is taking her situation in stride, planning a 2014 full of pop-up shows and house salons, hers is not the only gallery [...]

ToDo ToDay: Musiq Soulchild, Dr. John, and NYE Dance Parties

With the release of his 2000 debut Aijuswanaseing, vocalist and sunglasses aficionado Musiq Soulchild entered the music world at the peak of the neo-soul subgenre’s popularity. Ten Grammy nods and five studio albums later, the Philly native still retains that Midas touch, which he’ll bring to the Howard Theatre to close the book on 2013. [...]

Enchant Us With Your Questions, Readers!

Washington City Paper is now accepting your questions for its third annual Answers Issue, an edition we turn over to readers' most (and least!) urgent questions about life in the District.
This year we demystified a found Adams Morgan theme song, got to the bottom of "Deaf Child" signs, named some of the city's worst ANC [...]

Arts Roundup: Brunch 4 Life Edition

Mount Vernon Square gallery Civilian Art Projects closes today. [Arts Desk]
WPFW has returned to the airwaves. [City Desk]
Capital Bop names its Top 5 local jazz records of the year. [Capital Bop]
Spoiler alert: Spoiler alerts are bullshit. [DCist]
BYT readers love brunch ABOVE ALL. [BYT]

Civilian Art Projects Closing Its Space in Mount Vernon Square

On Dec. 19, Mount Vernon Square gallery Civilian Art Projects held a holiday party for all its artists, friends, and supporters. It was the last event the art venture will host in the space; Civilian closes its doors tomorrow on New Year's Eve.
Jayme McLellan, who founded Civilian eight years ago and has operated it at [...]

ToDo ToDay: Last Stand Quartet and the Opening of Alba Osteria

“Therefore play music!” announces Benedick in the final scene of Much Ado About Nothing. In Shakespeare’s day, he was probably yelling at one onstage lute player, but in the four centuries since, composers have taken that exclamation as a directive. Tonight the Last Stand Quartet, four young members of the National Symphony Orchestra with thespian streaks, [...]

Arts Roundup: Slicknosity Edition

The recent documentary Chinatown looks at a D.C. neighborhood with an increasingly meaningless name. [WAMU]
Senior Historian David Ward talks history and controversy at the National Portrait Gallery. [Post]
Mayor Vince Gray to launch his re-election campaign at THEARC. [WTOP]
In advance of his New Year's Eve concert at the Hamilton, Dr. John drops science and some creative lingo [...]

DMV Beats: An Appreciation for Pat Is Dope

Pat Is Dope vs. Danny Brown
D.C. blogger and all-around hip-hop head Pat Is Dope hasn't gotten much attention from DMV Beats, and that's unfair. He serves up a steady stream of content on and has more than 190,000 followers (!) on Twitter. Surely they're not all stripper/porno bots. Pat's rep stems, in part, from [...]

The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, Reviewed

The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess—which is to say, the 2011 opera-into-musical re-engineering by the playwright of Top Dog/Underdog and others—may indeed be a bastardization of a towering American classic, like Stephen Sondheim said it is, but I wouldn’t know. This Tony-winning gloss on the Gershwins’ (and the less famous Heywards) groundbreaking 1935 opera about life [...]