ToDo ToDay: Afrojack, Jazz Fest, and Sausage-Making
Those of us who turn an ear toward mainstream dance music only when we amble past the open doors of a Georgetown chain store might not grasp the extent to which a particular strain of Dutch house has permeated club music. Several years ago, the bleepy, hip-hop-flecked interpretation of house—commonly called “Dirty Dutch”—didn’t make a blip outside the Netherlands’ borders, self-quarantined by virtue of its weirdness. Then a couple of key Dutch-house tracks began to clatter in American clubs, namely DJ Chuckie’s 2008 cut “Let the Bass Kick” and his 2009 collaboration with Silvio Ecomo, “Moombah.” Afrojack wasn’t far behind: The young, chubby-faced producer charted internationally with “Take Over Control” in 2010, and since then, he’s been sailing around in boats, collaborating with will.i.am, putting his name on an energy drink with the king of awful dance music, Steve Aoki, and, to the horror of his fans, producing and dating Paris Hilton (one customer on Discogs.com announced, perhaps belatedly, that the union of Hilton and Afrojack officially makes him a sell-out). Now, it’s tough to walk by an Armani Exchange without hearing a remix by the bleepy Dutchman. But D.C. dance-music fans have an even more intimate relationship with Afrojack: He’s the guy whose remix of “Moombah” is a key ingredient in Dave Nada’s locally grown microgenre, moombahton. (Those air-raid sounds? Yeah, that’s Afrojack.) Moombahton might be the most listenable take on the “Dirty Dutch” sound, but don’t expect Afrojack to play much Dave Nada during his set tonight. Afrojack performs at 8 p.m. at Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $39.50. fillmoresilverspring.com. (301) 960-9999. (Ally Schweitzer)
Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival, D.C.'s scrappiest, strangest, and only indie-rock festival, is hosting a series of benefits at Black Cat. Tonight's, the first, features a handful of loud but otherwise weirdly matched bands—which, well, it should get you in the spirit for the always curious festival when it takes over a bunch of hole-in-the-wall restaurants in October. Surgery Dot Com, Kid Is Qual, Corsair, and Koshari perform at 9 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10.
Busy guy, that Ian Svenonius. He reunited his '90s "gospel yeh-yeh" band The Make-Up for a string of shows this year, and his currently going concern, Chain & The Gang, just released its third full-length. Lindsay Zoladz, writing in this week's WCP, approves: "Thanks to [the record's] exuberantly mono, just-dicking-around-in-the-garage acoustics, you can almost feel Svenonius’s lisp spittle in your ear." Chain & The Gang performs with Coup Savage, The Coathangers, and The Snips at 10 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10.
Queering Sound, the annual gathering of LGBTQ experimental musicians, moves to the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Live performers Arthur Loves Plastic, BLK w/ BEAR, Bryin Dall, PINKCOURTESYPHONE (aka composer Richard Chartier), and more perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. $12-$15.
Slow Food D.C. wants you to stuff their sausage. (Readers of The Omnivore’s Dilemma take note: It’s local and grass-fed.) As part of its “Slow University” series of classes, the nonprofit eco-gastronomic group is hosting a potluck and sausage-making demo that promises to teach meat lovers “how to grind, season, and stuff from the folks who know it best.” Those folks would be White House Meats, the engineers-cum-meat-aficionados who will be in the house to provide valuable, sustainable know-how using pork from Mt. Airy Farm and High View Farms. After the demo, attendees are invited to handle the sausage themselves, then eat their piggy creations (be sure to bring a side dish). Hands-on sausage-making with the 2011 Snail of Approval winner? You can’t beat it. “Slow U: Sausage Making with White House Meats” takes place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. $12 for nonmembers of Slow Food D.C. slowsausage.eventbrite.com. (Rachel Calvert)
The D.C. Jazz Festival hits full throttle this weekend. Check for our jazz critic's recommendations over at Arts Desk.
The late John Cage is enjoying a moment in D.C. this summer, as organizations around Washington gear up for a celebration of his 100th birthday on Sept. 5. Experimental music festival Sonic Circuits, for example, hosted a performance of several Cage compositions at the Kennedy Center to close out May. But that’s the Cage you expect—music, not-music, or anti-music, Cage traditionally takes place on a stage. The Phillips Collection is introducing viewers to a different format for the 20th-century visionary: watercolors. As part of the John Cage Centennial Festival, the museum is showing a series of paintings made by the artist at Virginia’s Mountain Lake Workshop in the late ’80s. Cage allowed the ancient Chinese text The Book of Changes to dictate the way the paintings took shape: where marks should appear and with what sort of wash. Whatever the merits of the paintings themselves, the medium is almost perfect for Cage: The best watercolors are defined by their accidents. John Cage’s paintings are on view 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays–Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 9 at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. $12. phillipscollection.org. (202) 387-2151. (Kriston Capps)
Capps also recommends "Leo Villareal: New Works," in which the New York light artist shows off his painterly impulses. On view at Conner Contemporary, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Free.
Tricia Olszewski says you should see Moonrise Kingdom, the sweet and diverting and eccentric latest from twee auteur Wes Anderson. Biggest lesson: "Deadpan, apparently, is the new precocious."
Bob Mondello enjoyed Forum Theatre's production of The Illusion, a Tony Kushner riff on a 17th century Corneille joint about matters amorous, magical, and theatrical. At Round House Silver Spring, 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $25.