Mykki Blanco is always evolving. The transfeminine artistic persona of 32-year-old Michael Quattlebaum Jr. began as a YouTube character before taking on a life of her own, first by turning Quattlebaum’s poetry into noisy, industrial screeds and then by embracing club-ready hip-hop. Throughout the early 2010s, Blanco released a handful of mixtapes and EPs and became a key figure—begrudgingly—in the “queer rap” scene alongside performers like Le1f and Cakes Da Killa. Known for being brutally honest and raw in his music and performances, Quattlebaum extended that honesty to his “real life,” revealing his HIV positive status publicly in 2015. But rather than ending his musical career as he feared it might, his revelation broke down barriers between the artist and audience. As he told MTV News in 2016, “I didn’t realize that me being honest about something really personal would resonate with so many people.” That resonance came to life on his debut album, Mykki. His most fully formed expression yet, the album bounds from confrontational rap (“The Plug Won’t”) to transgressive club (“For The Cunts”) to moving romanticism (album highlight “High School Never Ends”). Who knows where Mykki Blanco will go next? Read more>>> Mykki Blanco performs at 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $25–$30. (202) 388-7625. rockandrollhoteldc.com. (Chris Kelly)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Mahogany Books presents a discussion with Mia K. Wright, an influential pastor from Houston whose new book Unthinkable speaks to breaking out of the comfort zone to live a life of significance. This event kicks off Indie/Penned, the bookstore’s independent, self-published author series. 6:30 p.m. at 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Free.
Friday: D.C.-formed rock band Ted Leo and the Pharmacists perform at Black Cat to mark the 15th anniversary of their acclaimed album Hearts of Oak. 8 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $25.
Friday: At Atlas Performing Arts Center, youth development program City at Peace performs its original musical It’s Time We Interrupt This Program, which centers on a new television network dedicated to teens that leaves the imaginary and deals with the realities of race and culture, dating violence, and uncertain futures. 7:30 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $12.
Saturday: Don’t miss a chance to visit the world where weeds (but please refer to them as “spontaneous urban plants”) reign. The artists behind The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA): Department of Weedy Affairs at Transformer gallery will take you on a 2.5-hour walking tour of the National Mall to observe how the plants that have been labeled a nuisance “are actively resisting the monoculture lawn maintained by the U.S. National Park Service.” During the walk, tour guides will compare the beautiful weeds, often labeled as invasive and troublesome, to the people that this country has also labeled troublesome throughout its history: immigrants, LGBTQ Americans, African-Americans, women, and others who have risen up. It’s also worth your time to stop by Transformer to see the full exhibition, including the captivating video of artist Andrea Haenggi dancing among weeds in a lot in Brooklyn. Read more>>>The event begins at 2 p.m. at Constitution Avenue and 12th Street NW. Free. (202) 483-1102. transformerdc.org. (Alexa Mills)
Saturday: Dru Hill, the ’90s R&B group fronted by SisQó, perform at The Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $39.50–$80.
Saturday: Scottish folk rock band Belle and Sebastian take the stage at The Anthem. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $46–$76.
Sunday: In our age of #resistance, it’s not surprising to find that the juried exhibition United/Divided 2 at Photoworks features a whole lot of photographs of protests: throngs taking part in the second Women’s March, participants in anti-gun lie-ins, and Handmaid’s Tale-costumed protesters assembling in the dark in front of the White House. The images, juried by Robert Miller of The Washington Post, also include some more ordinary scenes, like stoic Metro commuters, people relaxing at lunchtime in a park, and a tender moment between a father and a boy, but most echo the era’s hard political edge. Sumaiya Elora Haque photographs indistinct figures at night, lit only by the red and blue of a police car. Willa Friedman photographs a figure using a wheelchair dwarfed by the Jefferson Memorial’s marble columns. And William Edwards documents a tableau in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody featuring two white police officers and two young black girls in a car. The finest images in the exhibition are by Paul Nelson: In a pair of photographs that are grainy almost to the point of solarization, Nelson captures a riveting street dispute in one and the chance meeting of an armed police officer and a robed priest in the Middle East in the other. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to July 1 at Photoworks at Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Free. (301) 634-2274. glenechophotoworks.org. (Louis Jacobson)
Sunday: Post-hardcore band Hot Snakes performs at Union Stage. 8:30 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $26–$35.
Sunday: Hamilton doesn’t open at the Kennedy Center until next week but you can get yourself in a colonial state of mind at Politics and Prose, where Laura Kumin, author of The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, discusses what those historical figures may have snacked on. 1 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for genre-defying, indie pop-rock darlings Florence + The Machine, performing at The Anthem on October 5. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $104.50–$179.50.
Tickets go on sale at 12 p.m. for dream pop star Troye Sivan, performing at The Anthem on October 4. 7:30 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $48.50–$168.50.
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