Arts Desk

Don’t Be Bored: Sigur Rós’ inni, Dancing!

It’s been a pretty agonizing couple of years for Sigur Rós fans. In early 2010, the Icelandic art-rockers announced a double bummer: They were scrapping the recordings that were supposed to make up their sixth studio album, then going on an indefinite hiatus. The group’s eternally elfin lead singer Jonsi recently hinted that new material will be on its way sometime soon, but until then, fans have the new concert doc inni to tide them over. Canadian filmmaker Vincent Morisset (who also directed Arcade Fire’s film Mirror Noir) shot Sigur Rós’ last performance at London’s Alexandria Palace in a dreamy, impressionistic style that suits the band’s emotive sound. Unlike the more narrative-based 2007 Sigur Rós documentary Heimainnifocuses singularly on the band’s transcendent live show. It was just released as a DVD and live album, but it’s better witnessed on a screen as big and panoramic as the band’s sound. 7:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. at AFI Silver Theatre. $11. (Lindsay Zoladz)

MUSIC

To many, The Blackbyrds may only sound familiar through other people's music: The Falls Church funk/R&B/jazz ensemble has been sampled on numerous hip-hop records over the years (and recently on Oddisee's "Still Doing It," which borrows from the band's biggest local hit, "Rock Creek Park"). But the group reunited in the late '90s, renaming itself Kojo The Original Blackbyrds, and tonight they play two sets at Blues Alley with original member Kevin Toney. Wednesday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. $25.

Local crooner Raheem DeVaughn is at the Park at Fourteenth tonight. Doors at 5 p.m., and free before 11 with this invite.

Saturday! They Might Be Giants doesn’t put on a nauseatingly slick show. When I saw them a few years back, five minutes of uncomfortable silence followed the band’s acceptance of an anything-goes song request. When TMBG finally broke huddle, their take on the unpromising “Yellow Submarine” was well worth the wait: Offensive, punked-out, slightly awkward (and only vaguely reminiscent of the original), the seat-of-the pants performance was unique and memorable. Tonight, the nearly 30-year-old group plays in support of two 2011 albums, Join Us—with tracks that would have sounded at home on the seminal Flood—and the techno-inflected Album Raises New and Troubling Questions. Will they blend? Actually, I’m just as excited to see opener Jonathan Coulton, best known for “re: Your Brains,” which renders the zombie’s lament in bullying office jargon—a song that, like TMBG, defies the barrier between rock and novelty. They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton perform at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club. $30. (Jandos Rothstein)

DANCING

The long-running Nouveau Riche dance party has long taken up residence at the U Street Music Hall, but for tonight's special pre-Thanksgiving edition, Gavin Holland and Co. are inviting a few pals to spin alongside them, including Andrew Bucket, Jesse Bishop, and somebody who goes by the name Jean-Pierre Le Douche. 10 p.m. $5.

Scissor & Thread is a new New York-based deep house/techno label that pools the talents of DJs and dance-music entrepreneurs Francis Harris, Shawn Schwartz, Michael Scott, and Anthony Collins. Tonight, promoters Stranger Than Paradise, Deep Secrets, and 88 host a showcase for the label, including the live debut of Harris' lightbluemover and Black Light Smoke. Oh, and there's an open bar between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the Warehouse Loft. $15 in advance.

This weekend marks the return of Mark Zimin's Mousetrap dance party, whose obituary I wrote last year when Zimin threatened to move to the West Coast. But he never left, and the Britpop party is back, baby! If you want to make a whole weekend at Black Cat, it's not hard: The night before Mousetrap, the backstage hosts a new but familiarly themed mod dance party called Modern World. DJs Jake Starr, Dianamatic, Mad Squirrel (from Party Lights), and Andi Supreme are fixing to spin '60s tunes, garage, soul, and power pop all night. 9:30 p.m. Free. (Full disclosure: I'm friends with many of these folks; I've even seen Jake Starr in his leather pants.)

BOOKS

Has Walter Isaacson been asked about his whereabouts during the moment Steve Jobs died? Sure, the man behind Apple had been publicly struggling with pancreatic cancer. But few people benefited as much from the timing of his death as Isaacson, the former Timeeditor and author of books on other heroic smart guys, like Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Isaacson’s authorized Jobs biography was rushed into print, where it is selling like an iPhone 4GS. But those sales may have happened even without the positive critical notices: In an age when America routinely sends its smartest young people into vapid finance careers—where they make their millions on innovations that seem to be impoverishing our country—Jobs stands out as a guy whose wealth came from inventing things you can actually touch, and focusing on quality while he did so. Sure, the book portrays him as kind of an asshole. But unlike all those crooked young men of Wall Street, he’s an asshole we all want to claim as our own. Walter Isaacson discusses and signs his book at 4 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Georgetown. Free. (Michael Schaffer)

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