Arts Desk

ToDo ToDay: Billy Bragg! Real Diamonds!

British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg once ate ashes from labor martyr Joe Hill’s cremated body, but now he’s connected to a more famous corpse: Margaret Thatcher. The former British prime minister’s death earlier this month means an end to her decades-long run as Bragg’s anti-muse. For a while, it looked like Bragg might have mellowed out, but it turns out there’s still a lot in the 21st century for Bragg to rage against: free trade, resurgent English nationalism, growing older, the crumbling European Union. Unlike Joe Hill’s cadaver, those are things all worth feasting on. Read more >>> Billy Bragg performs with Kim Churchill at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $49.50. 703-549-7500. (Will Sommer)


Area nonprofit Food & Friends is hosting its 17th annual Dining Out for Life campaign today. One hundred restaurants around the region will donate at least 25 percent of proceeds from lunch and/or dinner sales to the organization, which helps those suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Participating restaurants include BlackSalt, The Heights, Marvin, and Poste Moderne Brasserie. Check OpenTable for the full list of participating establishment and how much each restaurant is donating. Penn Quarter's Tosca is the most generous, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the cause. (May Wildman)


Real Diamonds, the dark, Denver-based rock duo featuring former Points member Geo White and Nick Santa Maria of Conjugal Visits, performs tonight at DC9. 8:30 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $10.

Want to talk about Houdini and other magicians with fellow enthusiasts? Then head to Bethesda for the Washington Symposium on Magic History, continuing through Saturday. 8 p.m. at the Bethesda North Marriott, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda. $255 for the weekend.

Mysterious trance-metal band Goat plays at the Black Cat Backstage tonight with Holy Wave. 8 p.m. at Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12.

Michigan indie-pop band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. takes the stage at Rock & Roll Hotel. 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $15.

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