Arts Desk

Don’t Be Bored: Citizen of the Universe

Carl Craig, native of Detroit, is a citizen of the universe. Through his uncountable aliases and projects, the producer and DJ has taught millions what Detroit techno is about, and how much farther it can go. Still, amid all that bridge-building, he also burned a couple. Planet E, his 20-year-old label, is hinged on Craig’s own bullheaded mantra: “Fuck the focus groups.” He founded Planet E when his old imprint, RetroActive, dissolved after a feud with co-founder Damon Booker. He also beefed with a Warner Brothers subsidiary; the former producers of Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, where he was artistic director; and techno heavy Derrick May (they later reconciled). But drama notwithstanding, Craig’s batting average is irreproachable. There’s a Carl Craig record for every kind: Innerzone Orchestra’s “Bug in the Bass Bin” is the first day of school for any budding drum and bass freak; More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art is what you play for your European friends who don’t get American techno; and 69’s discography—excellent, most!—is strictly for the freaks (and geeks). It’s remarkably catholic music from an artist whose ideology has, at times, approached isolationism. Carl Craig DJs Friday with Jubilee and Mike Fisher at 10 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10. (Ally Schweitzer)

FRIDAY

Music: Local indie-dance mainstays Ra Ra Rasputin headline at Red Palace before going on writing hiatus. With Dance for the Dying and Chappo at 8 p.m. 1212 H St. NE. $8.

SATURDAY

Music: Two very loud, generally minimal local bands share a bill: Noon:30 and Priests at Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. 10 p.m. $10.

And Arts Desk contributor Steve Kiviat suggests a trio of blues events: The D.C. Blues Society presents Memphis' Daddy Mack Blues Band at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Post 41, 905 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring. $17. Veteran Southern soul acts Roy C. and Jim Bennett perform at 9 p.m. at Lamonts, 4400 Livingston Road, Pomonkey, Md. $25. And longtime acoustic bluesman John Hammond performs at 8 p.m. at the Church of the Epiphany,1317 G St. NW. $25.

Galleries: "Megatron's Dead" opens at Porch Projects. Yes, it's an art installation about Transformers. 4-7 p.m. Free.

Dance: Paul Emerson's new Company E makes its D.C. debut with a program of new Israeli works at 8 p.m. at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Sold out.

SUNDAY

Domestic Violets, the debut novel from Baltimore writer Matthew Norman, throws so many crises at its protagonist, it’s astounding the poor guy doesn’t off himself by Chapter 2. Likeable smart alec Tom Violet is juggling marital collapse, daddy issues, a maddeningly tempting young co-worker, career inertia, and—is there a God?—erectile dysfunction. It’s not easy living in the shadow of his brilliant father, Curtis Violet, who’s spent his life racking up trophies, both literary and spousal, while his copywriter son fumbles with his own novel and, lately, his stubbornly limp penis. But when Curtis drops by his son’s Georgetown home unannounced—drunk, bearing news of new love and a Pulitzer—Tom Violet’s beige life slowly begins to flush with color. Domestic Violets momentarily veers into Office Space territory—white guy emasculated by stupid job, goes out in blaze of glory—but it grows branches, drawing from a mile-wide pool of dysfunctional relationships. Curtis’ carefully constructed web is unceremoniously destroyed, and Tom’s faltering marriage takes a brutal wallop. But Domestic Violets is the story of a family’s triumph, even if triumph comes at one hell of a price. Matthew Norman reads with Laura Ellen Scott at 2 p.m. at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. Free. (Ally Schweitzer)

ALL WEEKEND

The insanely eclectic Intersections festival at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE, goes through March 11.

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