When he started out 60 years ago, nobody sounded like Lou Donaldson. Before long, everyone wanted to. The alto saxophonist has a distinctive, salt-and-vinegar sound and unshakeable dedication to the blues. It naturally builds into a gritty, earthy approach to jazz that was already the new direction for the music in the 1950s, and Donaldson quickly became a major player whose sound embodied the hard-bop movement and helped pave the way for the soul-jazz of the ’60s. He even managed to score a couple of bona fide jukebox hits, “Blues Walk” and “Alligator Boogaloo,” with the stomping, accessible groove he perfected. Having played a role in inventing that style, Donaldson never abandoned it, and today at 85 manages to make it sound as fresh and inviting as ever. The Lou Donaldson Quartet performs at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $27.50. bluesalley.com. (202) 337-4141. (Michael J. West)
Basquiat heads, look no further than Penn Quarter tonight: The American Art Museum is showing Julian Schnabel’s 1996 film Basquiat tonight in the McEvoy Auditorium. 6:30 p.m. at 8th and F streets NW. Free.
In this week’s paper, I take a look at the lifespan of D.C.’s most unlikely DIY venue, Subterranean A, which hosted its final show last weekend. Somewhere in the bowels of that basement venue, the semiregular electronic-music night Wild North was born. Former Subterranean A resident, NPR staffer, and Wild North founder Sami Yenigun helms the party tonight at U Hall. Ben Howell, Young Raf, and Snare open. 10 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $5.
For fearless eaters, Y&H has a new weird foods feature called “Are You Gonna Eat That?” This week, try the thousand-year-old egg with tofu and spring onions at A&J Restaurant in Annandale and Rockville. Don’t worry, these black eggs with creamy silver yolks aren’t actually 1,000 years old. They are cured for about 100 days, giving them a stinky smell and earthy, creamy, and slightly mineral taste like a fine Epoisses de Bourgogne. A & J Restaurant, two locations: 4316 Markham St., Annandale, 703-813-8181; 1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-251-7878. (Jessica Sidman)
Want ToDo ToDay sent to your inbox five days a week? Sign up here.