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The forthcoming issue from local food zine Runcible Spoon is swimsuit-themed. Hardy-har, Runcible Spoon. I see what you did there, with your recipes designed to pack on the pounds (a guide to D.C.’s best buffets, a recipe for lard pie). The ironic take on summer publications fits: The zine’s name references Edward Lear, the English poet behind the dafty “The Owl and the Pussycat”; Lear used “runcible spoon” most famously in that poem, and it’s now in our lexicon as a meaningless nonsense word. Runcible Spoon’s seventh issue promises to deliver more of the twee-craftiness it’s cultivated since its inception in 2010: hand-drawn titles, comic-paneled recipes, photo essays on kitschy vintage kitchenware. So set aside any seasonal body-image quandaries reinforced by Cosmo et al., and indulge in the silliness of the zine’s summer-issue launch party tonight at Blind Dog Café, the daytime/early evening coffee shop alter-ego of Darnell’s. There’s a bubblegum-blowing contest, which might be the closest thing to a workout at this soirée. The launch party begins at 6:30 p.m. at Blind Dog Café, 944 Florida Ave. NW. Free. (Alex Baca)
When indie was going lo-fi, Cardinal went high-orchestral. The duo of Eric Matthews and Richard Davies released one underloved album in 1994, then let the collab lie fallow until this year, when they released a damn fine follow-up. At tonight’s show only Davies will be present, along with a large ensemble and Matthews’ prerecorded parts. Not quite the authentic thing, but the closest D.C. audiences will likely get. At 9 p.m. with Kuschty Rye Ergot and Cigarette at Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. (202) 462-3213. $8.
R. Ring is a band featuring Kelley Deal from The Breeders. Groovy. With The Mean Season and Marc Ganancias at 8:30 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. (202) 483-5000. $10.
The experimental filmmaker Ernie Gehr shows several short films from the last decade, a period in which he switched from 16 mm film to digital. The first work in the program, Shadow, is a silent piece that meditates on light by alluding to the techniques of early filmmaking. Gehr will be present. At 4:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free.
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