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She’s a critically lauded musician from Iceland who’s a bit of an enigma. A self-described introvert with extroverted ideas, she draws her inspiration from her country’s natural environment (glaciers, volcanoes, northern lights, and the like) to create quirky, atmospheric music that isn’t immediately accessible but ultimately impressive in scope and vision. That’s right, it’s Anna Thorvaldsdottir, who is part of the current contemporary classical trend: hot composers from cold environments. On Thursday, her work gets a full program by the International Contemporary Ensemble, a crack chamber group that often collaborates with her, having recently recorded her well received album In the Light of Air. Read more >>> The International Contemporary Ensemble performs at 6:30 p.m. at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. $15–$30. (202) 387-2151. phillipscollection.org. (Mike Paarlberg)
Politics & Prose opens its new downstairs coffeehouse and wine bar, The Den, today. Stop by from 5 to 8 p.m. for free samples from the menu and local beer. Little Red Fox owner Matt Carr is overseeing the joint, which will serve espresso drinks and pastries in the mornings and soup, salad, and fancy toast throughout the day. In the evenings, look out for cheese and charcuterie plates plus beer and wine. One of the highlights is sure to be “pie fries”: strips of cinnamon and sugar-dusted pie crust that come with a pie filling dipping sauce. Read more on Young & Hungry. The Den, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. politics-prose.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Singer Eleanor Friedberger performs songs from her third album, New View, at U Street Music Hall with opening acts The Duskwhales and Icewater. 6:30 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $15.
Malian musician Habib Koité and South African vocalist Vusi Mahlasela join forces for an “Acoustic Africa” show at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. 8 p.m. at 730 21st St. NW. $35–$45.
Alt-country act The Waco Brothers plays Arlington’s IOTA with The Thrillbillys. 8:30 p.m. at 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $15.
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