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Bob Dylan’s genius was, in part, due to his ability to write new songs that felt both canonical and contemporary. The same is true of Gillian Welch, whose new album, The Harrow and the Harvest, features 10 new tunes that sound plucked from country-folk history but are timeless in their beauty, simplicity, and emotional depth. It took eight years to follow up 2003’s relatively fussy Soul Journey, as Welch and her co-writer, David Rawlings, struggled to compose songs that met their standards. But all that toiling was worth the harvest. Like 2001’s Time (The Revelator), this new LP features Welch and Rawlings’ seamless harmonies along with their acoustic guitars, banjos, harmonicas, and hand-claps. But old-timey back porch music rarely sounds as ruggedly of the moment as Welch’s deep, dark poems. (Christopher Porter) At 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. $33.
Songwriter Chris Mills is back in town for the second time this summer (we shot pictures at DC9 in June); he writes smart, hooky guitar pop, and released a really worthwhile career retrospective this year. Buy that when you go. With Beanstalk Library at 8 p.m. at Black Cat Backstage.
Indie-folk deity Bon Iver‘s second night in town is, of course, very sold out. There are more seekers than sellers on Craigslist. This person appears to be offering $1 million for two tickets. You are screwed. At 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club.
Claude VonStroke, the San Francisco-based and Detroit-born producer of some pretty cool abstract house music, headlines U Street Music Hall tonight at 10 p.m. With Brian Billion and Jubillee. $10 advance, $12 at the door.
Beauty Pill‘s public recording sessions at Artisphere end today.
The Party, from 1968, is a gag-happy Peter Sellers/Blake Edwards collab that actually improves upon the zaniness of most of their Pink Panther films. For serious. At 9:30 p.m. at the AFI Silver. $11.
BloomBars has a nice program of shorts by indigenous filmmakers tonight. 7 p.m. $10 donation.
REELIN’ IN THE YEARS