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A lot happened during the 2012 NBA Finals: the crowning of a king who had finally reached the pinnacle of NBA success, the beginning of a new era in the NBA in which a burgeoning Oklahoma City Thunder team, with superstars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, would dominate. But after losing to LeBron James’ Miami Heat, the team fell apart. Harden was traded before the first game of the 2012-2013 season. Durant eventually left for the Golden State Warriors. Westbrook, talented as he is, remained Westbrook. As writer Sam Anderson writes in his new book Boom Town, the near success of that chaotic, fascinating team was representative of Oklahoma City itself. The city was born in chaos, as thousands of people rushed in to claim it in an 1889 land run. Fittingly, Boom Town’s subtitle is The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis—and Anderson profiles the likes of The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Thunder general manager Sam Presti. Ultimately, it’s a profile of Oklahoma City, an attempt to get to the root of what exactly makes this weird, intriguing, and surprisingly dramatic midwestern town tick. Turns out, it’s a blend of history, basketball, big dreams, and fate. Would you have it any other way? Read more>>> Sam Anderson speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. (Kayla Randall)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Vermont bluegrass vocalist and guitarist Dan Tyminski performs at Pearl Street Warehouse. 8:15 p.m. at 33 Pearl St. SW. $25–$35.
Friday: The first-ever Blisspop Disco Festival, a two-day celebration of disco’s evolution featuring the likes of dance music DJ and producer Claptone, takes place at 9:30 Club. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $25–$30.
Saturday: You may read and own physical books, but have you ever taken a moment to consider their beauty? With words inked onto a page, bound together in leather, cloth, and every other texture imaginable, each book is a little marvel. The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Form & Function: The Genius of the Book summer exhibition serves to show visitors just how precious books are. The exhibition, curated by the Folger’s head of conservation Renate Mesmer, showcases the library’s diverse and rare collection. It’s a deep dive into craftsmanship, from a vibrant yellow floral-patterned Italian book published in 1620, to a 1566 book wrapped in parchment manuscript. There are books bound in pigskin over wooden boards, and books with herringbone stitches sewn into the binding. We don’t often think of books as technology, particularly in our current smartphone purgatory. But books are some of our oldest—and greatest—tech. They’ve lasted as a medium, evolving now into electronic form. Constantly facing threats of becoming obsolete, let’s hope the book continues to last. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Sept. 23 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Free. (202) 544-4600. folger.edu. (Kayla Randall)
Saturday: Prolific reggae artist and humanitarian (and performer of the iconic Arthur theme song) Ziggy Marley performs at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, with one of his father Bob Marley‘s favorite bands, roots reggae group Steel Pulse. 6:30 p.m. at 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $45–$60.
Saturday: Australian DJ and producer Alison Wonderland performs at Echostage. 9 p.m. at 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $28.50–$33.50.
Sunday: Have you felt it? It’s been picking up with increased frequency the past few days; a wind that blows by with a whisper: “Summer is coming to a close.” But summer ain’t over yet, and it won’t be until there’s one final blow-out, a party to properly say adios to one season and welcome the next one. This weekend, 9:30 Club is the place to be with its End of Summer Jam—a go-go celebration like no other. The inimitable Backyard Band headlines probably one of the dopest bills of the summer, with TCB, Reaction, TOB, and CCB joining in on the party. Founded in the early ’90s, Backyard Band quickly made its way to go-go royalty, alongside the forefathers of the genre, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited, Trouble Funk, and the Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown. True go-go heads know the dopeness that Backyard’s been crankin’ out all these years, but the rest of the world got a taste when a pair of covers—Adele’s “Hello” and Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky”—went viral. It’s helped open them, and the world of go-go, up to a whole new audience, one that can truly understand why go-go is D.C.’s native beat. Read more>>> The show begins at 9 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $40. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. (Matt Cohen)
Sunday: Blues-rock artist Robert Cray performs at the State Theatre. 8 p.m. at 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. $40–$45.
Sunday: The new naked mole-rat exhibit featuring a colony of 17 of the rodents continues its opening weekend at the National Zoo. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for English alt-metal band Bring Me the Horizon, performing at EagleBank Arena on Jan. 28, 2019. 7 p.m. at 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax. $43.50.
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