There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The morning after trick-or-treating and bowling in costume with her tour buddies in Richard Thompson’s band, Judith Owen walked into a store to find Christmas decorations going up. “I let out a small cheer,” she says, “because now it’s [time for] my window.” The Welsh-expatriate cabaret musician is definitely wont to troll the ancient Yuletide carol, as evidenced by her recent EP, Christmas in July, which opens with a jazzy, strangely sincere cover of Spin¬ al Tap’s “Christmas With the Devil.” “I don’t believe that you can get through Christmas without having a gigantic sense of humor,” Owen declares. “It’s a holiday that should be about having great friends around you and having great fun.” Owen wasn’t always so festive in December; after her mother died just before Christmas one year, winter was a time of grief. But these days, Owen’s Hollywood house parties always lift her spirits: “There’s something totally twisted and mad about having Christmas by the beach….We have a big singalong for friends—it sounds so corny and dreadful, and it turns into the most wonderful experience.” “Christmas With the Devil” is her husband’s party piece—he’s its composer, Harry Shearer (pictured, with Owen). “He introduces it as being about empathizing with the Great Evil One who’s so alone on Christmas.” Awww. Owen’s last appearance under Iota’s Christmas lights, as an opening act with Shearer, was loads of fun, and the couple is likely to provoke good cheer as a headliner. Expect an eclectic mix of songs, says Owen: “You can’t do 75 minutes of holiday music; it’s just disgusting.” Owen and Shearer play with Martin Zellar at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Iota Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $13. (703) 522-8340. (Pamela Murray Winters)