On our cover this week, we run excerpts from District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, D.C., an illustrated collection of lesser-known stories from D.C.’s past. Know the one about janitor James Hampton, who built a Smithsonian-worthy religious shrine from scavenged materials in his Shaw garage? Now you do.
In the arts section, Tricia Olszewski critiques two films about French people with major issues: Little White Lies about a group of good-looking but baggage-laden people who go on vacation after their friend gets into a horrible accident, and Beloved (not the one based on Toni Morrison‘s book) is the unfortunate musical story of a messed-up mom who goes on to raise an equally messed-up daughter. I offer a review of a few local entities’ attempts to capitalize on the mainstream resurgence of electronic dance music, and conclude that the results are spotty. In One Track Mind, Reese Higgins talks to local band Alarms & Controls about the unusual inspiration for a song on their forthcoming 7-inch. Chris Klimek has nice things to say about Body Awareness, the Annie Baker-penned play now running at Theater J about a two-mom family disrupted by the charms of a silver-fox photographer. And finally, who says child-rearing interferes with the creative process? In a review of Substantial‘s Home Is Where the Art Is, Marcus J. Moore says the Maryland MC has only improved since he had a kid and grew up (in that order).
Illustration by Andrew Cohen and courtesy Matt Dembicki