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Billy Corgan may have been the undisputed brains behind The Smashing Pumpkins, but James Iha, the band’s laconic second guitarist, was its squishy, lovelorn heart: Every few EPs, Iha got to present one of his own songs, almost all of them straightforward romantic foils to Corgan’s expressionistic angst anthems. Since the Pumpkins’ initial breakup in 2000, Iha has been a soundtrack composer and an occasional member of alt-rock survivors like A Perfect Circle but on his second solo album, Iha’s back to being Sweet James. He indulges his twin loves—power pop and mid-’80s Cure—with carbonated, lightly electronic production and a foray or two into chanson-like orchestral pop. Things get slightly cheesy. Read more >>> (Jonathan L. Fischer)
James Iha performs at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U Street NW. $15. (202) 588-1880. ustreetmusichall.com.
Columbia Height’s 11th Street hip strip just got a little hipper. Long-awaited diner/coffeehouse/bar The Coupe opened its doors last week. The menu includes all day breakfast, sandwiches, casseroles, and some more out-there creations like buffalo-style frog legs. Also worth checking out are the bottled cocktails. So far, there are three: the “Georgia Comforter” ($11) with Filibuster bourbon, rosemary smoked maple syrup, and peach bitters, “Grandma’s Pink Lemonade” ($8) with vodka, strawberry-lemon shrub, and Madeira over crushed ice, and “Bitter Ex” ($9) with gin, Cynar, Aperol, and grapefruit juice served with a straw. The Coupe is the first D.C. spot to serve its own bottled cocktails, but the trend is catching on across the country. The Coupe, 3415 11th St. NW; (202) 290-3342; thecoupedc.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Salman Rushdie discusses his new memoir, the years he spent in hiding following his condemnation by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and possibly Padma Lakshmi, with NPR’s Robert Siegel. Tickets and more information are available on the Lisner’s website.
Wu-Tang Clan leader, actor, and director Rza brings his Iron Fists Tour to the State Theatre in Falls Church. Tickets are still on sale on the State Theatre’s website.
The editors of 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History will sign copies of their book and discuss what they think a changemaker is at Busboys and Poets. More details here.
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