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Trinidad James’ credentials are easy to pick apart: He didn’t know how to rap until 2011, he made his name on YouTube, and his most successful mixtape bears the ridiculous acronym Don’t Be S.A.F.E. (Sensitive as Fuck Everyday). He’s a post-2Chainz, second-wave-of-gold-jewelry revivalist; I’ll be surprised if he’s on anyone’s radar this time next year. Yet James’ “All Gold Everything” is the kind of track that’s so wonderful and ridiculous, it shuts down dance floors from Love Nightclub to English basements in Bloomingdale. Enjoy it while it lasts. Read more >>> Trinidad James performs at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $17-$100. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com. (Ramon Ramirez)
Philadelphia-based Top Chef alumni are in the kitchen at Graffiato this evening for another one of the restaurant’s Industry Takeover Nights. Season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga will be there, along with his head mixologist Anwar Morgan. Season 6 and Top Chef All-Stars alum Jennifer Carroll will preview bites from her forthcoming New York restaurant, Concrete Blonde. There’s also one local guest: The Passenger/Columbia Room co-owner Derek Brown. The chefs will cook up complimentary snacks from the downstairs pizza bar and offer drink specials from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Graffiato, 707 6th St. NW. (202) 289-3600. graffiatodc.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Area theaters are usually dark on Monday nights, but Shakespeare Theatre Company is keeping their stage full with a reading of The London Merchant, a 200-year-old play reminiscent of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. 7:30 p.m. at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Free, reservations required.
Interest in Nordic fiction has been mounting in recent years, thanks in no small part to the global phenomenon that is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Literary critic Katherine Powers and translators Tiina Nunnally and Steven T. Murray discuss this theme tonight at the Kennedy Center’s Cool Club. 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery, 2700 F St. NW. Free.
Dan Sartain brings a little bit of rockabilly feeling to the Black Cat, with support from Hand Grenade Job. (Listen to a Hand Grenade Job track in City Paper‘s One Track Mind column.) 8 p.m. at the Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12.
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