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By now, fans have no business being bored by Ryan and Hays Holladay, who as Bluebrain have produced one script-flipping one-off after another in the two and a half years they’ve been making music in the District. But that doesn’t mean the experimental pop duo can’t get sick of their own shtick—or, let’s be honest, the shtick of one of their heroes, the avant-garde composer Phil Kline. Bluebrain’s first outdoor performance in the District was “Cakeblood,” a composition for 50 boomboxes in which the band led a procession of fans through Dupont Circle. Their second boombox performance took place during the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2010, and included music composed by Bluebrain’s peers. After today’s boombox performance, Bluebrain says it will retire the concept. Fair enough: The band, which has earned national notice for its musical iPhone apps, clearly has technologies to conquer that are less primitive than the boombox. The big difference, this go-round, is that this boombox walk takes place inside. It’s also more flexible, at least in terms of portable music devices. When you RSVP, you can request a cassette, a CD, or an mp3. Do it right and take the first option. Bluebrain’s final boombox walk takes place Saturday at 3 p.m. at the United States Botanical Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free.
Friday: Bootsy Collins at State Theater. Local rap faves Tabi Bonney and DTMD at Black Cat. Slowdance at Comet Ping Pong. Meow vs. Meow at Velvet Lounge.
Sunday: Paint Fumes, Priests, and Teen Liver at Comet. Ryan Little sez:
Andrew W.K. may talk about partying, but someone was clearly sober when they polished up his slick pop-metal debut. Not so with Paint Fumes. The debauched southern punks want you to party ’til you puke—as evidenced by the vomit in band’s press photo—and there’s no tongue-in-cheek bro-rock to pollute the experience. Paint Fumes’ hamfisted garage assault is not frat-friendly in the slightest; it’s just loud, stupid, and fun. The band’s loose guitarwork and sloppy solos careen through three-chord punk like the best of ’em. There are a few ways to enjoy a show like this, but I recommend the following: Microwave a 7-Eleven burrito, pick up a Steel Reserve (or two), leave the refrigerator door open, and forget your medication. Don’t take your girlfriend. Just tell her you’ll be back late—really late. Deal with the consequences later. 10 p.m. $10.
Battle for Brooklyn, a sprawling documentary about the saga of a 22-acre megaproject in one of New York City’s most rapidly developing neighborhoods, doesn’t pretend to be objective. It meanders through years of interviews with residents who crusaded against their displacement brought on by the state’s use of eminent domain and lingers on protests and press conferences where politicians made bombastic promises about the jobs and affordable housing the project would bring (which, as construction begins, already don’t match up to reality). The facile David-and-Goliath narrative, though, provides insight into the nature of the resistance as much as the machinations of the powerful—every development has its opponents who lay claim to the “soul of a community.” We can only wish that the District’s biggest fights between government and residents, like those concerning Nationals Park and Skyland Town Center, receive a similar treatment. The film shows 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 6 p.m. Sunday at Artisphere’s Dome Theatre. All showings include a Q&A with directors Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley and neighborhood activist Dan Goldstein. $7.
Tricia Olszewski says you should see Corman’s World, which is showing at West End Cinema.
In November 2011, local artist Dan Tulk was making progress toward a small January solo show at the Washington Project for the Arts. That Coup d’Espace project would have been the next step in a blooming career, the sort of short but focused show that might have summoned a few curators to take a closer look, or persuaded local bloggers and critics into writing about his work. We instead have “Dan Tulk: Lines and Shadows,” a retrospective of a career cut short following the artist’s death in a car crash last November. In place of the original project, the WPA has assembled a small survey of the artist’s ephemeral sculpture as well as documentation for some of his more ambitious installations. While in practice his work bears obvious affinities to the garbage-loving artists that swept the last decade in sculpture, a closer look at his pieces—presented in survey—may tease out Tulk’s appreciation for Agnes Martin and Eva Hesse, Minimalists whose work touched on both the cerebral and the sublime. The exhibit is on view 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to Feb. 3 at Washington Project for the Arts. Free. An opening takes place Friday at 6 p.m.
District of Columbia Arts Center’s “Art Decathlon” begins at 7 p.m. Friday.
Photo by Shauna Alexander for Brightest Young Things.