We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
If you hear someone mention Union Station, the early 20th century marble Beaux-Arts train station by renowned architect Daniel Burnham, you’ll still need to clarify which one they mean: D.C.’s or Chicago’s? Burnham—the urban planner responsible for much of the modern development of cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and our own city—is more closely associated with Chicago, the city where he grew up and did much of his planning and design work. But he was largely responsible for the McMillan Plan for D.C., the one that anchored new development around a new vision for the National Mall. The plan proposed a new station for the city, and he’s credited with its design—plus, he saw it completed; he died almost a decade before Chicago’s was finished.
But the sheer scale and abundant shining marble of Washington’s Union Station, today Amtrak’s second-busiest passenger hub, makes it clear that a “great man” theory of its history isn’t quite right. The shining marble in the main station wasn’t placed by a single person. It owes its existence to the quarry workers, laborers, engineers, and planners who worked to bring it together in the early 20th century; it’s also indebted to the preservationists, architects, and experts who renovated its dripping plaster ceilings in the 1980s and stabilized its marble facade after the 2011 earthquake. Walk into the main station and throw your head back: you’ll take in a dizzying view of the gorgeous, arching, coffered ceiling in the main hall. We owe that unobstructed view to the preservation organizations who helped save and shore up its plaster and gold leaf. That ceiling alone is a work of art, even if Burnham’s work in Chicago gets more glory. —Emma Sarappo
Isle of DogsIsle of Dogs sets its action in a near-future Japan, where a pup-hating politician has banished all dogs to an island landfill and a young boy leaves his hometown of Megasaki on a doggie-rescue mission. The tale cleverly splices elements of political fable and fairytale, but the movie’s most memorable element is its visuals. The stop motion used to bring the dogs and their masters to life is reminiscent of Laika Studios’ films, like Coraline or Kubo and the Two Strings. The juxtaposition of the colorful and technologically advanced Megasaki with the detritus of Trash Island comes courtesy of the production designer director Wes Anderson carried over from The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom. Read more >>> The film screens at 8 p.m. at The Blairs Shopping Center, 1290 East-West Highway, Silver Spring. Free. (301) 495-6700. afi.com/silver. (Will Lennon)
Want to enjoy Morrissey without having to deal with Morrissey? (Understandable.) Caligula Blushed‘s covers of The Smiths will have you happy in the haze of a drunken hour. 9 p.m. at The State Theatre, 220 North Washington St., Falls Church. $10–$13.
It’s First Friday at Studio Gallery, which means snacks, drinks, and chats with artists about the latest exhibition, Me and My Shadow. 6 p.m. at Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Free.
It’s also the first day of OutWrite, the LGBTQ literary festival hosted by The DC Center which features authors Kristen Arnett, Jericho Brown, and Wo Chan. 6:30 p.m. at Ten Tigers Parlour, 3813 Georgia Ave NW. Free.
KhalidIn just a few years, Khalid has gone from an American Teen (his debut album) to a Free Spirit (his star-studded follow-up). The titles are instructive. His first album found the Army-brat-turned-singer-songwriter exploring teenaged universalities with Zeitgeist hoppers like “Location” and “Young Dumb & Broke,” armed with little more than an acoustic guitar, subtle electronic beats, and sing-along melodies. For this year’s follow-up, Khalid opened his ballooning Rolodex and approached the album like its cover: standing on top of a panel van in the desert, his arms wide open, ready to take it all in. Read more >>> Khalid performs at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. $39.95–$99.95. (202) 628-3200. capitalonearena.viewlift.com. (Chris Kelly)
The first exhibition at the pop-up De Novo Gallery shows the space-opera- and fitness-culture-infused work of Alex Ebstein and Esther Ruiz. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at De Novo Gallery, 1287 4th St. NE. Free.
Hold your pets tight—Canadian songwriter and ASPCA spokeswoman Sarah MacLachlan performs at Wolf Trap. 8 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $40.
This Florida Georgia Line isn’t the one in Shaw: It’s the contemporary country act, currently on their Can’t Say I Ain’t Country tour. 7 p.m. at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $60–$193.50.
TuxedoTuxedo is the product of a collaboration between hip-hop producer Jake One and funk-soul revivalist Mayer Hawthorne. Together, Hawthorne and Mayer simulate a time capsule crammed with the dance and disco of 1969 and extend the reign of early 2000s dance rock—think LCD Soundsystem and Neon Indian. It’s easy to see why the two make a strong team. Hawthorne has gained notoriety as a solo artist, and One has worked with Future, The Weeknd, Chance the Rapper, and Kendrick Lamar. (One also produced John Cena’s “The Time Is Now,” which you definitely heard if you attended a sporting event between summer 2005 and 2008.) The two found their chemistry by exchanging homemade boogie-funk mixtapes and came together to release their first full length album in 2015. Read more >>> Tuxedo perform at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. (Will Lennon)
If you have Mamma Mia fever and wish ABBA would just release the reunion special already, ABBA The Concert can tide you over for a while. 8 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $30.
Playfully masculine names for female singer-songwriters are in vogue right now—King Princess comes to mind immediately—and Sir Woman, known elsewhere as Kelsey Wilson, embodies the tensions of her stage name with aplomb. 8 p.m. at Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. $15.
You can watch four men battle for the crown of Mister Nice Jewish Boy in a pageant hosted by none other than Lady SinAGaga. 2 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $25–$40.
Infinite SpaceARTECHOUSE’s summer exhibition is Instagram-friendly art at its finest. Dubbed Infinite Space, the show—Refik Anadol’s first major retrospective—unfolds across four galleries featuring eight works, including immersive data sculptures and digital paintings. Each exemplifies the artist’s signature scientific rigor, transforming data on subjects including urban wind patterns, photographs of Mars, and machine learning algorithms into monumental visual spectacles. “Bosphorus,” an undulating symphony of blue and white blocks, mimics the rhythms of Turkey’s Marmara Sea, while “Infinity Room,” seen by more than one million people to date, encloses visitors in a seemingly endless mirrored box. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view to Sept. 2 at ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. $8–$20. dc.artechouse.com. (Meilan Solly)
Teach your tot to grow taters at a Little Farmers toddler gardening class. 10 a.m. at Common Good City Farm, 300 V St. NW. Free–$20.
Don’t miss Ilya Kaminsky and Carmen Giménez Smith, two poets whose work interrogates difference and oppression, discuss their work together. 5 p.m. at Politics and Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
Or, if you’re in the mood for prose, see hit novelist Ocean Vuong discuss his new book On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. 7 p.m. at Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Free.
21 Savage21 Savage, the 26-year-old Atlanta-based rapper, has had a year—and it’s only August. Savage dropped i am > i was, his introspective sophomore album stuffed to the brim with features, in December 2018. It topped the Billboard chart for two weeks and earned him high-profile performances, like a late January spot on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he added a verse to his meditative single “a lot” that called for ending family separation at the border and bringing clean water to Flint, Michigan. Read more >>> 21 Savage performs at 8 p.m. at The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. $55-$505. (202) 888-0020. theanthemdc.com. (Ella Feldman)
Sally Quinn says she’s never heard the joke “The Aristocrats!” But The Aristocrats, a rock-fusion group with irreverent, suggestive song titles, definitely have. 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $20–$35.
Learn about “trowelblazing” (their pun, not ours) women in anthropology, part a series titled The Expert Is In. 2 p.m. at the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free.
You can still snag tickets for an evening with folk rock group Dawes. 8 p.m. at The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $40.
Natalie WexlerAs an education reporter and D.C. public school tutor, Natalie Wexler has firsthand knowledge of the public school system’s flaws. In The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—and How to Fix It, she attributes the pervasive downtick in students’ test scores to an unexpected culprit: elementary schools’ emphasis on learning comprehension skills and strategies (think “find the main idea”) over building a wide base of knowledge across history, science, and literature. Read more >>> Natalie Wexler speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. (Meilan Solly)
The German electro-rock band Fouk! perform. 9 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10.
You can play vintage board games in Woodrow Wilson‘s house-turned-museum—and tickets get you admission to the museum, snacks, and drink vouchers. 5:30 p.m. at the President Woodrow Wilson House, 2340 S St. NW. $15.
Cult classic rock and roll act Drivin N Crying will play selections from their new work and crowd favorites. 7:30 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $18–$25.
Steven GreenhouseAward-winning journalist Steven Greenhouse—who spent 31 years at the New York Times, most of them reporting on labor, the workplace, business, and economics—has created an incisive contemporary history of labor in his newest book Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor. In it, Greenhouse gracefully discusses topics such as gender-pay gaps, income inequality, and wage stagnation, demonstrating how they highlight the decrease in the power of ordinary workers. He delves into the history of labor unions and their massive benefits for workers, rebutting the modern idea that unions are no longer useful. Read more >>> Steven Greenhouse speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. (Malika T. Benton)
Watch as KanKouran West African Dance Company brings West African dance to the stage—well, lawn. 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’s North Lawn, 10 1st Street SE. Free.
NEWS & REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News: The National Philharmonic went down in flames—but now it’s back, thanks to some unexpected last-minute action.
Galleries: The summer’s best gallery shows belong to Georgia Saxelby and Tae Eun Ahn.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for MisterWives at The Lincoln Theatre on Nov. 9. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $30–$105.