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9

FRIDAY

Welsh-bred and Leeds-hardened, the Mekons’ Jon Langford followed the call of Hank Williams (and his girlfriend) to Chicago, only to find that his new country was every bit as bloody-minded as the old-timey ballads he loved. One of his responses was The Executioner’s Last Songs, a series of concept albums benefiting the anti-capital-punishment movement in Illinois, a rare state where the death penalty is in retreat. The project continues, but its title has been borrowed by Langford for an autobiographical performance piece that includes art—he’s a painter, too—as well as musical and spoken-word contributions from fellow Mekon Sally Timms, violinist (and ex-Washingtonian) Jean Cook, and Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone. This will be an abbreviated version of the show that repeats tomorrow at Iota, but given that venue’s notorious chattiness, tonight’s performance is the better bet for people who want to catch all the outrage—and the jokes. The Future of Music Coalition presents the show at 6 p.m. (see City List for other dates) on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Mark Jenkins)