Arts Desk

Clip Job: Five Off-the-Wall Collaborative Performances

districtcalling

There's more to life than gigs.

A handful of area musicians are keeping that notion in mind this weekend, stepping outside their comfort zones for collaborative, one-night-only performances. There's Zomes, the drone-y project of Lungfish's Asa Osborne, which performs tonight at the Writer's Center in Bethesda as part of the ongoing Story/Stereo series. For the performance, Osborne will collaborate with two local artists, the fiction writer Dylan Landis and the poet Brian Gilmore, who will both read from their work. The performance starts at 8 p.m., and is free.

Then, for tomorrow, Sockets Records' Sean Peoples and Panda Head Magazine's Melissa Krodman have organized an experimental program called District Calling: Freedom. The evening, which includes two performances at the District of Columbia Arts Center in Adams Morgan, features music (members of the Cornel West Theory, Hume, and Noon:30), visual and video art (Ayo Okunseinde), and theater and dance artists (Carmen Wong and Heather Doyle). The evening's theme is freedom, and the artists have been collaborating on the project for several weeks. As for what it'll sound like, Arts Desk has no clue, but consider our curiosity piqued. The shows are at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and tickets are $10.

More cross-pollinated performances after the jump, including randomly assembled dance, strange maracas, and classic Warholian acid tests!

Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company: Merce Cunningham's contributions to dance are incalculable, and he participated in a host of fascinating collaborations—most notably with his romantic partner, the great avant-garde composer John CageSplit Sides was a work in which every element—choreography by Cunningham, music by Radiohead and Sigur Rós, design, costumes—was created in two parts, and matched up by chance immediately before the performance. The dance troupe first performed the work with both bands at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2003, and Sigur Rós released its half of the music, some of which was played on a xylophone made of dancing shoes, as the Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do EP. A bootleg of Radiohead's half, meanwhile, is out there in the ether.

Lucky Dragons and the audience: This experimental duo from L.A. makes lengthy, ambient compositions that basically sound like Christmas in Hyrule: See Little Dragons live, and don't be surprised if someone shoves a magic stick—an instrument not far off from a maraca or rain stick—into your hands, or likely something weirder. Few bands are so Zen. Also: Want Lucky Dragons to make music in your living room this winter? Write them.

Sonic Youth and Gossip Girl: Kidding!

The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol: Perhaps the classic example. The Exploding Plastic Inevitable productions paired rock's original hipsters with Warhol's art films and performances—well, "performances"—by members of his Factory retinue. Also, lots of seizure-inducing lights.

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