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Unless you have been dancing deep in the pit, feeling every snare strike, conga syncopation, rototom fill, or cowbell blast, it’s hard to imagine the energy coursing through a go-go concert. But Thomas Sayers Ellis’ best photographs ensnare their radiating power. And more important, his images capture a scene that is D.C. to the core. The fashion, the personalities, the events that define D.C. go-go are shown in the first photography exhibit ever devoted to the art form and its culture: “(Un)Lock It: The Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket.” The show, which will rotate weekly, covers the recent period of this 30-year-old genre, letting viewers peek inside band practices and block parties, political rallies and private reunions. Of course, “(Un)Lock It” can’t replicate the fun of a go-go concert, but it may make you want to bust loose at the next one. (Christopher Porter) The exhibition is on view noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays to October 7 at The Gallery at Vivid Solutions. Free.
Dayve Hawk’s Memory Tapes plays Red Palace tonight with Pree. You may remember Memory Tapes from such websites as Pitchfork, which lauded Hawk’s debut LP Seek Magic as one of the best recordings of 2009; this year’s Player Piano on Carpark was not as beloved. 8:30 p.m. $12 at door.
Also on H Street, The Cool Kids stop by Rock & Roll Hotel to promote their second studio album When Fish Ride Bicycles. Violet Says 5 opens. 9 p.m. $18 at door.
Local favs The Caribbean plays the Black Cat’s backstage with Little Pink and Flea Market. 8 p.m. $8.
Former defensive lineman Joe Ehrmann discusses his book InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives at Barnes & Noble Downtown. 6:30 p.m. Free.
Bruce Duffy talks semifactual history and Disaster Was My God, his fictionalized take on the life of 19th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud. 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose. Free.
WONKINESS FOR NON-WONKS
Nuclear policy expert Tad Daley‘s book Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World is supposed to be a policy-rich book for people who aren’t necessarily schooled in policy. Check him out at Busboys & Poets on 14th Street tonight. 6:30 p.m. Free.