Arts Desk

ToDo ToDay: Mutual Benefit, JD Samson & MEN, and Brenda

mutual

Mutual Benefit's lush new record, Love's Crushing Diamond, is less an album of folk songs than a collage of sounds, some melodic, some extraneous, but all equally vital in telling a story of love, heartbreak, and emotional maturity. Opening track “Strong River” begins as a soft array of strings, guitars, bells, and drums before elevating into an orchestral cacophony. By the album’s end, on “Strong Swimmer,” singer Jordan Lee finds himself at peace with the current, the song a reprise of “Strong River” but without the same external noise to drown out his message. Read more >>> Mutual Benefit performs with Teen Mom at 8 p.m. at Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com(Dean Essner)

EAT THIS

Here's one type of guilt-free dessert: Husband-and-wife team Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray of Equinox are hosting the Humane Society’s annual dessert and Champagne reception, Sugar & Champagne, tonight at the Ronald Reagan Building. A $90 ticket gets you a dessert sampling from some of the area’s most talented pastry chefs as well as free-flowing bubbly. For $150, you get all that plus VIP access to an exclusive two-hour savory reception by some of D.C.’s top chefs, including Jennifer Costa of Le Diplomate and Scott Drewno of The Source. All proceeds will directly benefit the Washington Humane Society. The general reception is from 7 to 9 p.m., and the VIP Chefs Tasting Room is open from 6 to 8 p.m. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. sugarandchampagne.org(Raphaella Baek)

OH AND ALSO

Gypsy Sally's presents an evening of local rock with performances by Brave Baby, Johnny Swim, The Raised by Wolves, and The Walking Sticks. 8 p.m. at 3401 K St. NW. $15.

Queer-punk/performance outfit JD Samson & MEN headlines Comet Ping Pong with D.C.'s fun-as-heck Coup Sauvage & the Snips. Listen to Coup Sauvage's cautionary tale cloaked in dance pop, "Sneaks," in our recent One Track Mind column. 9 p.m. at 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $15.

D.C. band Brenda (also a subject of our One Track Mind columnplays DC9 with Richmond's Black Girls and D.C.-based The Dead Women. 8:30 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $8.

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