We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
There’s a statue near the intersection of 16th Street and Arkansas Avenue NW that’s easy to miss if you’re driving by, riding a bus, or even biking—it can blend into the foliage that surrounds it. That’s why it’s best experienced on foot, where you can approach it slowly and take in its details as you get nearer. It stands upright on a torso connected by horizontal metal bars like a ladder; its facial features clearly take cues from African sub-Saharan masks. That last part makes sense if you’re familiar with the outdoor art in this area: It’s the iconic style of Allen Uzikee Nelson, a retired University of the District of Columbia engineering professor and sculptor. According to his website, Nelson turned his attention entirely to public, outdoor installations that work to “bridge the gap between African and Western culture” in his retirement. This work, “Saint Dennard,” celebrates Dr. Cleveland Leon Dennard, a longtime friend and ally of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the founding president of the Washington Technical Institute, a forerunner to the University of the District of Columbia. Nelson’s other outdoor work in D.C. includes tributes to Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, and Malcolm X. Dennard is the least well-known of these, but his statue—an “ancestral guardian sculpture,” according to the plaque—watches over the neighborhood tirelessly. Walk up and give it your time soon. —Emma Sarappo
Boukman EksperyansThe third annual Flash of the Spirit international music festival kicks off this year with Boukman Eksperyans, a Haitian band that got its name from a vodou priest, Dutty Boukman, who helped lead that country’s 1791 revolution, and from the last word in The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Port-au-Prince based combo, which has been together in various configurations since 1978, combines polyrhythmic carnival beats and rock guitar with spiritual and activist call-and-response vocals. Led by Theodore “Lòlò” Beaubrun and his wife Mimerose “Manzè” Beaubrun, the group has long drawn from Haiti’s African-rooted Vodou religion and music as well as from Bob Marley’s socio-political messages. Read more >>> Boukman Eksperyans perform at 7:30 p.m. at Tropicalia, 2001 14th St. NW. $20. (202) 629-4535. tropicaliadc.com. (Steve Kiviat)
Dance act Crooked Colours will send your world topsy-turvy. 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10–$15.
Catch Coco, the story of a boy whoenters the Land of the Dead to find his ancestor, a famous musician, at the Union Market drive-in. 8 p.m. at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Free–$15.
Join The Phillips Collection and its partners for the grand opening of Art Park @ RIA, a new year-long community arts project—there’ll be a mobile library, music, food, drinks, community painting, and a pop-up selling plants and pots. 5:30 p.m. at 1325 Rhode Island Ave. NE. Free.
Raging BullMartin Scorsese’s best protagonists are snowflakes. Tommy DeVito, Rupert Pupkin, and Jordan Belfort are all aspects of male insecurity personified, but perhaps no other Scorsese character is as singularly driven by paranoia and fear as Jake LaMotta. LaMotta, portrayed in Raging Bull by a tweaked-out Robert De Niro, was a real-life middleweight boxer, but the movie makes him into a creature of Scorsese’s New York. It’s a city crawling with priests and gangsters, honeycombed with ratty apartments and smoky clubs. In Raging Bull, Scorsese develops this familiar world in stark black and chrome and exposes it as a cesspool of toxic masculinity. Read more >>> The film screens at 5:25 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$13. (301) 495-6700. afi.com/silver. (Will Lennon)
The Kennedy Center’s REACH opening festival begins with a packed lineup of arts events. We recommend The Chuck Brown Band featuring Bootsy Collins for day one. 6 p.m. at The Kennedy Center REACH, 2700 F St. NW. Free.
Country-pop crossover hit Kacey Musgraves rides the success of her Grammy-winning record Golden Hour to Wolf Trap. 8 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $35–$138.
After more than 20 years, O.A.R. is still going strong, and they’ve rebranded as “The Mighty O.A.R.” for this new phase of their career. 6:30 p.m. at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $45.50–$75.50.
DeerhunterDeerhunter had been working in the indie music scene for years before their breakout album Cryptograms threw them into the spotlight in 2007 and their expansive, genre-bending Halcyon Digest cemented their place in the decade’s indie rock canon. The band was founded by a group of Atlanta outcasts in 2001, who came together under an arbitrarily chosen name—one frontman Bradford Cox hates, apparently—and survived two bandmates’ deaths, put together four studio albums, and opened for bands like Nine Inch Nails, Spoon, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Cox, the band’s lead singer and most recognizable member, is a force of nature onstage. Read more >>> Deerhunter perform at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $35. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. (Emma Sarappo)
Pay your respects to the late, great Patsy Cline at a tribute concert full of her songs. 7:30 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $15–$25.
Chicago industrial rock band Stabbing Westward comes east. 7:30 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $30.
The 10th annual D.C. State Fair is back, and if you’re sad we’re not actually a state, all the fried food should help cheer you up. 11 a.m. at Gateway DC, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. Free.
Rachel MonroeMany of the headlines for reviews of Rachel Monroe’s new book Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession ask things like “why do we find true crime fascinating?” But Monroe’s book isn’t concerned with a generic “we.” It specifically asks why women are drawn to narratives where other women are raped, brutalized, kidnapped, and murdered. That group includes Monroe herself, who uses the book to dissect her own fascination with these gory, frightening tales. Read more >>> Rachel Monroe speaks at 7 p.m. at Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Free. (202) 897-4201. solidstatebooksdc.com. (Emma Sarappo)
America’s sweetheart and Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski proves to the haters he can cook by demonstrating live recipes from his new cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen. 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $45–$95.
Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell returns to the subject in the modern era with her new book, Is There Still Sex in the City? 7 p.m at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
Join The Broadway Collective to learn some of theater’s best and brightest choreography—no dance experience required. 6 p.m. at The Kennedy Center REACH, 2700 F St. NW.
CeremonySome bands develop a niche, nurture that sound, and then slightly refine it throughout their career. And then there is a band like Ceremony, straight out of Rohnert Park, California, whose musical restlessness has led them through numerous phases that have ranged from power violence (it sounds exactly like what you’d think) to gloomy post-punk. 2012’s Zoo first extricated the band from the confines of traditional hardcore, while 2015’s The L-Shaped Man, a record that wore its Joy Division influences like a formfitting black duster, moved toward the bleaker side of things. The recently released In the Spirit World Now delves deeper into the ’80s for inspiration, but substitutes its former dourness with jauntier new wave leanings. Read more >>> Ceremony perform at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $15. (202) 588-1889. ustreetmusichall.com. (Matt Siblo)
Ever felt like a square peg in a round hole? The storytellers at Story District‘s monthly series have. 7:30 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $20.
Che Apalache, a “Latingrass” band from Argentina, come to D.C. as part of Flash of the Spirit festival. 7 p.m. at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. $18–$20.
The Vibrators are still buzzing 33 years later. 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $15.
Malcolm GladwellMaking sense of strangers is more difficult than one might think—or so Malcolm Gladwell argues in his new book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know. Drawing on new interpretations of case studies including the trial of Amanda Knox, the death of Sandra Bland, and the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal that rocked Penn State, the podcast host and bestselling author examines how humans assess individuals they’ve never met. In sitcoms like Friends, Gladwell writes, characters’ inner workings are evidenced by their facial expressions, but in real life, outward displays of emotion don’t always align with people’s private thoughts. Read more >>> Malcolm Gladwell speaks at 7 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. $40. (202) 994-6800. lisner.gwu.edu. (Meilan Solly)
The Messthetics are made up of two Fugazi alums and the masterminding guitarist who brought them back together. 7:30 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15–$18.
Legendary musician Peter Frampton is preparing to bow out—but you still have a chance to catch his finale tour. 7:30 p.m. at The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. $76–$1,076.
The award-winning true crime podcast Criminal has an original live show cooked up for you. 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $35.
JlinJerrilynn Patton—known by her stage name Jlin—seemingly emerged fully formed, like Athena from Zeus’head. Out of nowhere, a track by the erstwhile Gary, Indiana, steelworker appeared on the second volume of Planet Mu’s influential footwork compilation Bangs and Works back in 2011, and Patton has been ascendant since. Her 2015 debut Dark Energy lived up to its title, exploring the recesses and mysteries of footwork, the Chicago-born electronic dance music style known for repetitive loops and frenetic tempos. But it was her follow-up, 2017’s Black Origami, that truly demonstrated the eldritch forces that Patton had mastered. Read more >>> Jlin performs at 10:30 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10–$20. (202) 588-1889. ustreetmusichall.com. (Chris Kelly)
Elizabeth Keenan‘s Rebel Girls places its characters inside ’90s riot grrl feminism—and skillfully connects that moment to our own. 7 p.m. at Connie Morella Library, 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda. Free.
How did organic carbon get on Mars—and what does that mean? Dr. Jennifer Eigenbrode has the answers. 11:30 a.m. at the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free.
NEWS & REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News: The Kennedy Center’s REACH is finally open—and its vice president and artistic director for social impact says it’s “dope as fuck.”
Film: Are you a cat person? If so, don’t miss the Cat Film Festival (seriously).
Film: Dramatizing a whistleblower feels quaint in an era free of consequences.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets are on sale now for Sasha Velour‘s Smoke & Mirrors at the Lincoln Theatre on Nov. 11. 6:30 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $35–$125.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Saweetie at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Oct. 11. 9 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Prices to be announced at time of sale.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Roxane Gay at the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 26. 2 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $40.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Los Espookys live at the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 26. 9:30 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $25.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Kim Petras at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Nov. 20. 8:30 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Prices to be announced at time of sale.