We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival kicks off today, and Jerrry Williams, aka Swamp Dogg, is the guy to see. The man behind seminal 1970 soul/country/R&B/rock album Total Destruction To Your Mind (and 1971’s Rat On!, infamous for its hilariously bad cover art, above), has kept it real for quite some time now; as Steve Kiviat writes in our paper today, 40 years ago, Williams decided he wanted to write songs about “women, politics, screwing, television, syphilis, and anything else I feel is pertinent”—-and he hasn’t looked back since. If for some reason you’re not at work, catch him today at noon and 2 p.m. on the Soulsville stage; free.


Volta Bureau debuts at the U Street Music Hall tonight alongside Treasure Fingers. The local disco/house ensemble, with members Bernard Farley, Miguel Lacsamana, and Will Eastman, is basically a dance music power trio. Tonight they’re just DJing, but check out their original productions on Soundcloud. 9 p.m.; $10.

A bunch of local indie rock guys (William Alberque, Brandon Moses, Alex Tebeleff, and Patrick Kigongo) are hosting a Factory Records Dance Party at LIV. They’ll probably spin Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, Happy Mondays, OMD, and ESG; if they’re badasses, they’ll also spin Abecedarians and Biting Tongues. Doors at 9 p.m.; $5 after; 18+. Free crappy beer between 9 and 10 p.m.

Dame Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons read Shakespeare alongside Maestro Lorin Maazel and the Castleton Orchestra at the Music Center at Strathmore. Surprisingly, as of this writing, a few cheap ($25) tickets and plenty not-so-cheap ($150) tickets remain. 8 p.m.

Pusha T (of Clipse) and Cyhi da Prynce are playing a G.O.O.D Music concert somewhere in D.C. tonight, but the show’s sponsor, Heineken, hasn’t announced the venue yet. Since a beer company is sponsoring it, the show—-wherever it is—- is 21+. Cyhi da Prynce goes on at 8:30 p.m.; Pusha T at 9:30 p.m.; and it’s hosted by Rob Kardashian’s ex-girlfriend Adrienne Bailon. Weird. UPDATE: The show is at Lux Lounge.

Oh yeah, and after you see Swamp Dogg two times, stop by the Soul Train Dance Party (preceded by a probably interesting conversation) at the Folklife Festival’s Motor City tent. Tyrone Proctor, an OG Soul Train dancer, will be there, and ?uestlove spins. 6 p.m.; free.


Earth vs. the Flying Saucers shows at Hirshhorn; in this 1956 sci-fi flick, “alien” is code for “communist,” and aliens blow up the Washington Monument. 7 p.m.; free, first come, first serve.

Get lost, pal: A trio of 1960s road shows are on the docket at the Library of Congress tonight: “Then Came Bronson,” “Route 66,” and “Run For Your Life.” 7:30 p.m.; free.


Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter reads from his well-liked debut novel Bright’s Passage tonight at Politics & Prose. 7 p.m.; free.


Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club gets yarn-bombed, and DJ Sharkey provides the soundtrack. 5 p.m.; free.