It’s hard to argue with food writer Michael Pollan’s most famous directive: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Those first seven words of a 2007 New York Times Magazine essay helped make Pollan America’s leading culinary intellectual. The instructions were to be a simple answer to the complicated question of what to eat. But in the years since, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food has become omnipresent, helping contribute to an increasingly baroque national food conversation—one that has made the morals, politics, and aesthetics of dining even more fraught than the old question of what’s good for you. Just as today’s historians learn about the ’50s by examining ads for TV dinners, future scholars may understand our own era by looking not just at what we eat but at how we’ve come to talk so damn much about it. In the meantime, I’m ready to propose my own theory about how to consume food theories: Read words. Not too many. Mostly recipes. Pollan speaks at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. $35-60. (301) 581-5100. (Michael Schaffer)
More Strathmore! One of the center’s current artists-in-residence, local electronic pop singer Yoko K., has a free show at 7:30 p.m. in Strathmore’s mansion. She makes the kind of dissociative, loungey electronica this area is (I guess) known for, but she adds some gurgling, Mum-esque oomph.
My parents are seeing the Budapest Festival Orchestra tonight, but I don’t hold that against either party. The Washington Performing Arts Society-sponsored KenCen concert sees conductor Ivan Fischer (no relation!) leading the orchestra through a shockingly Liszt-less program. (It’s Liszt’s 200th birthday this year.) Lesson learned: Hungarians do not pander. (Disclosure: I am 9/16th Hungarian, and am a known panderer.)
Moby is in town! So go to that, if that’s your thing, but if you have a lax dayjob, you may want to take a late lunch tomorrow instead. He’s playing an acoustic set at Montserrat House tomorrow in advance of his art show there. 2-3 p.m. RSVP.
Good local hardcore option: Beasts of No Nation, L&T&W at Red Palace. 8:30 p.m.
WHOA: Tonight’s Moombahton Massive VIII at U Street Music Hall is the first moombahton event there that does not include—-or perhaps require?—-the microgenre’s inventor, Dave Nada. I GUESS THIS THING HAS LEGS.
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove is discussing and signing copies of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry, which she edited. Free. 6:30 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, 14th and V streets NW.