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When I think about American propaganda from the early 20th century, the jingoistic pro-war posters from World War I come to mind, like the iconic “I Want You For U.S. Army” posters featuring a stern-looking Uncle Sam urging the viewer to enlist. These posters were part of a successful effort to mobilize Americans for war—so successful, in fact, that business leaders from the 1920s sought to reproduce them for a similar use in the workplace. On display at the National Museum of American History is Let’s Get It Right, a collection of 16 such posters, with catchy slogans and colorful illustrations meant to influence the attitudes and efficiency of workers. Their messages range from practical (“Find out what’s wrong and then right it. Worry won’t help.”) to ominous (“Bad habits prevent good records,” warns one, depicting a worker wrestling with the devil himself) to almost Dr. Seuss-esque (“When the shirker shirks, you do double work!”). Several posters feature Bill Jones, a larger-than-life fictional salesman offering enthusiastic words of advice to humble workers. Not surprisingly, the heyday of workplace incentive posters came to an end in 1929 with the onset of the Great Depression. But one of these posters, with its words of encouragement atop a picturesque forest landscape, would not seem out of place on a modern office wall—ironically, of course. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to January 6, 2019 at the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. americanhistory.si.edu. (Rose Shafer)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: British electronic group Hot Chip perform a DJ set at U Street Music Hall. 10 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $12.
Friday: Author Amitava Kumar discusses Immigrant, Montana, his new novel about an immigrant coming of age in his new country, at Politics and Prose at Union Market. 7 p.m. at 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
Saturday: As touring partners, Jeremih and Teyana Taylor make perfect sense: smooth-voiced R&B singer-songwriters that have impressed for years but somehow haven’t been able to crack the music industry code that would make them household names. Jeremih scored his first hit at 21 years old with “Birthday Sex,” released the cult favorite Late Nights with Jeremih in 2012, and has been good for a fun single (“Don’t Tell ‘Em” and “Down On Me”) or feature every year. Still, he’s had issues with his label and has yet to release an album that delivers on his potential. For her part, Taylor has toiled on the backbench of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint, finally releasing her second album with June’s K.T.S.E., a well received effort that was treated like an afterthought by West and company. All hope isn’t lost: Jeremih is 31 and Taylor is 27, so with continued great work and good luck, they can right their ships. A two-headed tour is a step in the right direction. Read more>>> Jeremih performs with Teyana Taylor and DaniLeigh at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $40. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. (Chris Kelly)
Saturday: Comedian Intern John performs standup at the Warner Theatre as part of his Look What You’ve Done tour. 8 p.m. at 513 13th St. NW. $23.
Saturday: Union Stage hosts Port City Brewing Company’s free bluegrass and beer event, featuring live music from King Street Bluegrass. 7:30 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. Free.
Sunday: If the success of Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again has proved anything, it’s that love for ABBA is alive and well. The 1970s Swedish band is one of the best-selling music acts in the world, and for good reason—just listen to timeless earworms like “Waterloo,” “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!,” and you’ll find their cheesy pop-rock sound is hard not to love. Sadly for ABBA superfans, the group hasn’t toured together in almost 40 years. But Wolf Trap is presenting the next best thing: The Visitors, a radiant ABBA tribute group named after the band’s final album who describe themselves as “the closest to ABBA you’ll ever get.” Besides being noted for their look-alike appearances—the resemblances are uncanny—and flashy costumes, the band hails from ABBA’s hometown of Stockholm, often performing songs in their original Swedish. The group has brought their act to sold-out stadiums from Norway to Azerbaijan in a music career spanning more than 20 years. (That’s twice as long as the original ABBA.) For those still grieving the loss of the real deal, there is hope: ABBA announced earlier this year that they’ve reunited at last, and two new songs are scheduled for release some time this December. Until then, catch The Visitors at Wolf Trap. My, my, how can you resist them? Read more>>> ABBA The Concert begins at 8 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $40–$60. (703) 255-1900. wolftrap.org. (Rose Shafer)
Sunday: Funk and soul group and former Prince collaborators Morris Day and The Time perform at the Birchmere. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $79.50.
Sunday: Seattle indie rock band Pedro The Lion performs at Black Cat. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $22–$25.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. for comedian and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, performing at DAR Constitution Hall on Oct. 27. 7:30 p.m. at 1776 D St. NW. $37.50–$123.
Tickets go on sale Monday, Aug. 13 at 12 p.m. for funk legend George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, performing at the Howard Theatre on Oct. 31. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $55–$95.
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