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When he started out as a solo artist in the early 1980s, Billy Bragg turned his love for The Clash and Woody Guthrie into moody solo songs played on an electric guitar. His albums are full of bittersweet pop tracks, but his leftist politics, influenced in no small part by the conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, resonate fully on songs like “There Is Power in a Union,” which shares a title with an early 20th century labor song. These two styles came together in the mid ’90s, when Guthrie’s daughter Nora asked Bragg (who later recruited Wilco) to turn some of her father’s never-recorded lyrics into contemporary songs. Read more >>>Billy Bragg performs with SONiA at 7:30 p.m. at The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $59.50. (703) 549-7500. birchmere.com. (Steve Kiviat)EAT THISThe Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken specialty doughnuts for July embrace fruity flavors. Try the Peach Melba with ginger peach compote, tart raspberry glaze, and a cinnamon crunch topping ($3.25) or the Passion Fruit Boston Cream Pie with passion fruit pastry cream, bittersweet chocolate glaze, and a passion fruit drizzle ($3.25). Finally, there’s the Blackberry Line Tart made with fresh blackberry lime glaze and sprinkled with a Graham cracker crumble ($2.95). Try them at the downtown location, the Falls Church location, and the roving food truck. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G St. NW, (202) 809-5565, astrodoughnuts.com. (Laura Hayes)
OH AND ALSO
Chinese post-punks RE-TROS make a rare appearance in D.C. tonight at Dew Drop Inn, along with two great locals, electropop duo Loi Loi and Body Puzzle. 8 p.m. at 2801 8th St. NE. $10.
It’s a Monday in July, so you know what that means: Fort Reno! Pray to the rain gods that we got all the rain we’re going to get for the week, because tonight’s lineup is a good one, with FuzzQueen, Mimi Loco, and Ear. 7 p.m. at 3800 Donaldson Place NW. Free.
Some of D.C.’s finest hardcore bands, Sem Hastro and Witchtrial, hit The Pinch tonight with Spain’s Una Bestia for what promises to be a heavy night of DCHC. See you in the pit. 7 p.m. at 3548 14th St. NW. 8 p.m.
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