City Paper is not for tourists
Will Oldham is an actor—and not just because he’s appeared in Hollywood films. In his country-folk music as Bonnie “Prince” Billy or the various permutations of Palace (Palace Brothers, Songs, and Music), Oldham slips easily into the personas in his lyrics, his aching voice creating worlds of melancholy and mystery that touch on low-key theatricality without sacrificing raw emotion. In his goofy music videos, though, he takes up the role of Andy Kaufman reincarnated as a heavily bearded man who just happens to write smart songs that will smash your soul. Perhaps Oldham will impart some of his chameleonic skill to those who attend his free master class on music at Georgetown in the afternoon. But playing the part of “educating songwriter” is just a warm-up for the main act later in the evening, where his songs will receive the one-man-band treatment. Bonnie “Prince” Billy performs at 8 p.m. at the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown University, 3700 O St. NW. $10–$25. (202) 687-3838. performingarts.georgetown.edu.