There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
With a combination of biting wit and unguarded lyrics, Diet Cig’s new album Do You Wonder About Me? is sincere, scrappy, and just so darn fun. On July 31, fans can attend a virtual performance by the band hosted by NoonChorus, an online music venue that has been supporting artists during the pandemic by providing an online performance platform. Half of the proceeds from the show will be split between the Okra Project, an organization that provides healthy meals to Black trans people, and the National Independent Venue Association. Among the local venues supported by NIVA are D.C.’s own 9:30 Club, which is helping put on this show, and Black Cat, where Diet Cig was scheduled, pre-pandemic, to perform in May. Black Cat was just one of the many independent venues forced to cancel countless performers this spring, financially impacting both the artists and the venues. Virtual events like those put on by NoonChorus have helped support the independent music ecosystem in a time when live performances aren’t safe. When advertising the would-have-been show in May, Black Cat’s website described Diet Cig’s concerts as “a whirlwind of belting and high kicks” with “pure energy as yet unmatched”. Beyond that, their music speaks volumes by talking candidly and cathartically about all those pesky feelings, from loneliness to restlessness to self-liberation. If you’re toting around a little grumpiness and a pinch of vulnerability right now, Alex Luciano’s honest voice over Noah Bowman’s percussion will be the perfect Friday night musical indulgence. Treat yourself to a wonderfully fun sing-along, and humor those buried spooky feelings that only a gutsy punk band can unearth. The virtual concert begins at 8 p.m. on July 31. Tickets are available at noonchorus.com. Pay what you want; $5 minimum donation. —Ryley Graham
Chamber Dance Project’s New Works 2020 (and Beyond)
The virtual 2020 Chamber Dance Project season debuting on Friday is not Plan B or C, but … well, choreographer and artistic director Diane Coburn Bruning has completely lost track of which plan this is. The seventh annual season for the District-based company would have been its most ambitious yet, with two weeks of dances accompanied by local chamber musicians debuting in June. Then they downsized to one week in July, or maybe a performance outdoors, and then it was time to grab cameras and improvise. Some of those commissions are now slated for 2021; however, Chamber Dance will unveil three dance films on Friday, for free, for all interested in logging on. Because Chamber Dance is a pick-up summer company, the dancers are based across the United States. Filming took place at a home in Ohio, at Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles, and at an art museum in Wisconsin. And they are not done dancing yet: On Sept. 24, Chamber Dance will screen a second, more elaborate dance film created by Coburn Bruning and former Studio Theatre associate artistic director Matt Torney. Last year, the pair collaborated on a haunting dance theater adaptation of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” So let us go then, you and I, to Zoom to see the dancers come and go. New Works 2020 (and Beyond) debuts at 7 p.m. on July 31. The films are available at chamberdance.org/beyond. Free. —Rebecca J. Ritzel