Arts Desk

Don’t Be Bored: Raw Power

It’s unbelievable that an MP3 file or a slab of wax could contain the fury of Dope Body’s latest album, Nupping. The band mixes boisterous alt-funk, damaged noise rock, and aggressive post-punk, spikes the result with a bit of soul and hip-hop, and plays with enough intensity to make the album seem like a plausible alternative energy source. So it should not surprise anyone that the Baltimore band puts on one hell of a show. The foursome is loud, visceral, and unstoppable, ripping through its catalog with impassioned precision. Frontman Andrew Laumann straddles the line between magnetic and maniacal: He’ll sometimes lurch around onstage shirtless and sweaty, contorting his sinewy frame into whatever shape suits his brutal vocals. Witnessing the veins on Laumann’s neck swell as he forcefully shrieks along to pulverizing tunes may illustrate what “dope body” really means. (Leor Galil) With Hume and Buildings Friday at 10:30 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong. $10.

MUSIC

Olivia Mancini has been on a media blitzkrieg this week. She's chatted with Washington City Paper, Express, and BYT; played golf with TBD; and provided the Vinyl District with content all week. Also, she writes a nice pop chorus. 9 p.m. at the Black Cat. $10.

Pentagram, the troubled, legendary local doom-metal band, released a new album this year, and it's in fact it's their best in years. It's also uncharacteristically light on satanic imagery, seeing as its guitarist is a born-again Christian. With King Giant, One Slack Mind, and Massakren Friday at 7 p.m. at Jaxx. $17 advance, $20 at the door.

Neko Case was totally charming and incisive when I saw her speak about her photography at National Geographic this spring, and that's not even the stuff the alt-country singer is known for. In interviews, she's an easy and funny presence—her sense of humor is also evident on the cover of her latest and best album, 2009's Middle Cyclone, in which she poses with a sword on the hood of a '67 Mercury Cougar. But her records often go for mystery and rhapsody and awe; Middle Cyclone is a sharp-hooked meditation on the capriciousness of nature. I bet she plays some new material opening for My Morning Jacket Friday at 5:30 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavillion. $35-$45.

Solid Saturday shows: Local alt-country-ers Junior League Band at 9:30 Club; Mandrill at Fort Dupont; Nouveau Riche DJs (whose members have released some good shit in recent weeks) at U Street Music Hall.

BOOKS

Germany’s famous porta-rave Love Parade ended last year following a deadly trampling incident that killed 21 and injured hundreds. But even before its official demise, Love Parade suffered a gradual artistic decline that betrayed the event’s original mission, which had been shaped in part by Danielle de Picciotto. The American-born artist, long a fixture of Berlin’s avant-garde art scene (not that there’s only one), conceived the dance party with ex-partner Matthias Roeingh before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Intended as a kind of peace protest, Love Parade eventually fell into a Woodstockian crisis of misappropriation. Nonetheless, de Picciotto remains an authority on club culture in the world capital of dance music. Her book The Beauty of Transgression documents the creative underground of Berlin, from other figures’ perspectives as well as her own as a musician, visual artist, fashion designer, film director, and all-around fount of creativity. During this book event, her equally intriguing husband, Alexander Hacke, a longtime member of German industrial group Einstürzende Neubauten, will perform a sound track to her reading. To scholars of dark electronic music, attending their dual appearance will be like hearing two symphonic warhorses in one evening—except for the total absence of tradition. (Ally Schweitzer) Saturday at 6 p.m. at Civilian Art Projects. $5.

FILM

Following up a masterpiece isn’t necessarily an enviable task. Woody Allen’s Interiors, Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the Heart, and Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York are just a few cinematic casualties of their predecessors’ success. After 1989’s breakthrough Do the Right Thing, Brooklyn auteur Spike Lee used his newfound cachet to make Mo’ Better Blues, which depicted the misadventures of jazz musician Bleek Gilliam (played by a young Denzel Washington). The film earned lukewarm reviews and garnered more attention from the Anti-Defamation League—which took umbrage with Lee’s portrayal of Jewish club owners—than the ticket-buying public. Showing as part of the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Spike Lee Presents summer film series, Mo’ Better Blues might not be the outspoken director’s lost classic, but its anachronistic appeal—the early ’90s were a strange time—make it worth re-evaluating with fresh eyes.(Matt Siblo) Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $2.

GALLERIES

"Washington Color and Light," which highlights the Corcoran's collection of Washington Color School works, closes this weekend. Go!

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  • tony

    Kingley Flood is my draw to the 9:30 Club on Saturday night - they had a great show at the Rock 'n Roll Hotel a couple months ago. Check em out.

  • Chris

    Just a correction - David Wax Museum, et al are actually at 9:30 *September* 14, not August 14. http://www.930.com/concerts/#/930/53273/

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  • tony

    FYI - David Wax & Pearl and the Beard Show is SEPTEMBER 14, not August 14.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Jonathan L. Fischer

    Fixed! Thanks, Tony.

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