For the pleasingly named “ReFresh,” a show that falls smack dab in the center of the August doldrums, Long View’s big, cool space is arranged to feel like a glass of ice-cold water. The show, touted as “new work by some of the gallery’s best,” features appealing pieces that don’t fall under any particular theme, but many of the works have an assemblagelike quality that invoke layering or stacking. Michele Peterson-Albandoz creates mixed-media pieces with reclaimed wood; Ryan McCoy calls to mind Anselm Kiefer with his “paintings” of pine needles, ash, and baby powder (pictured); Cheryl Wassenaar builds collages with cut signage. But there are also some works that are a little more streamlined: Bring your own beach chair to lounge in front of Eve Stockton’s “Seascape,” a wonderfully enormous woodcut of choppy water. (John Anderson) 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. to August 28 at Long View Gallery. Free.
Kurt Vile and the Violators‘ latest record, Smoke Ring for My Halo, is their most low-key and pensive release, but live—-at least judging by the last time the group played in D.C., last November at the Black Cat Backstage—-they get heavy and mystical. Don’t request “Freeway”; we wouldn’t want Vile to start resenting his breakout anthem and drop it from his setlists. With Woods, White Fence, and True Widow at 7 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel. $16 advance, $18 at the door.
Danish metal! Rarely a bad thing, if, you know, it’s your thing. Volbeat at 6:30 p.m. at 9:30 Club. $25.
Whatever they’re doing—-gothy shoegaze, gloomy electro-pop—-Arlington’s Screen Vinyl Image makes music that is equal parts oppressive and pretty. This goes for their music videos too. We eagerly anticipate this band’s forthcoming full-length. With The Prids and Brief Candles at 8 p.m. at Black Cat Backstage. $10.
Update! Subterranean A has Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, the jammy, mellow project from the Real Estate member, at 8 p.m.
Speaking of oppressive and pretty: In his new book Beijing Welcomes You, Tom Scocca (Deadspin’s managing editor and a former WCP staffer) chronicles how the Chinese capital has been transformed into what the superpower hopes to present as a beacon of openness—-even as the city remains alien and mysterious. From the press blurb: “Scocca talked to the scientists tasked with changing the weather; interviewed designers and architects churning out projects; checked out the campaign to stop public spitting; documented the planting of trees, the rerouting of traffic, the demolition of the old city, and the construction of the new metropolis.” Trippy! He speaks tonight at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose. Free.
Nerds with protest signs! Revolution OS documents the open source movement. 8 p.m. at Artisphere. $6.
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The B-52s play the zoo! At 7 p.m. $65 if you’re not a member of Friends of the National Zoo.