Arts Desk

Possibly the Only Reason to Attend Tonight’s $150 WPA Reception: Cornelius and Cudlin’s Beat Freaks

Perhaps you're on the fence about attending tonight's fundraiser for the Washington Project for the Arts! It does, after all, cost $150.

I'll assume that number either made up your mind or it didn't, and just get to the point: For its fete tonight celebrating the opening of "Catalyst: 35 Years of the Washington Project for the Arts" at the American University Museum, the alternative arts organization has tapped a pair of alternative-y artists to provide some entertainment.

Hence: Beat Freaks (or possibly: BEAT FREAKS), the new band featuring polymath artist Kathryn Cornelius on vocals and "guitar-as-percussion instrument" and artist/curator/WCP critic Jeffry Cudlin on bass and drum machine. Tonight's show is the band's first.

What to expect? Well: art songs about art people, basically. One song, Cudlin writes in an e-mail, is called "A List of Artists I've Fucked." Guess what it's about?

Here's Cudlin on the band's name and M.O.:

We were called MIRROR/MIRROR; on Tuesday night we will announce that the band formerly known as MIRROR/MIRROR has become BEAT FREAKS.

BEAT FREAKS is actually just a random T-shirt that we found in a discount store downtown. I think it refers to a dance crew from some MTV dance competition.

Anyway, with each/any new show we play, we will rename the band using found/existing logos/tees. This ensures that each gig can be promoted as both our premiere and our final appearance, and that there will be a never-ending supply of pre-manufactured found merchandise that quickly exits rotation and becomes vintage/dated/collectible.

So, um, is it worth your $150? "I don't know that we're any good," Cudlin writes. "But I can guarantee that we will be entertaining live."

Tonight's VIP reception takes place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the American University Museum in the Katzen Art Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. $150 ($75 for WPA members). I'll have some more serious things to say about "Catalyst" later this week.

Photo by Max Cook.

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