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Whenever Bill Hicks brought up the John F. Kennedy assassination during his stand-up routine, it was hard to tell if he actually believed the conspiracy theories he joked about. In berating his audience for buying the official report of Oswald acting alone, was Hicks merely fueling a persona? Or did the gags mask a sincere plea? Expect the line between comedic material and personal belief to appear just as blurred in The Truth Is Out There, which premieres tonight. Narrated by Dean Haglund—the Canadian comic known mostly for playing a meta-hacker/32-year-old virgin on The X-Files—the documentary follows him around the globe as he talks to real-life geeks who truly believe this stuff, waxing conspiratorial on such topics as UFOs, poisonous water, the New World Order, and ghosts. Read more. (Matt Bevilacqua). At 7 p.m. at Goethe-Institut.
Sadly, we don’t live in the alternative universe in which Winter’s Bone has Juggalos in it, so there probably won’t be any hints of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope in tonight’s performance of music from the Oscar-nominated film. It’s a little bit Appalachian folk, a lot Bernard Hermann-esque suspense, and the composers are leading the performance themselves. 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel.
WCP jazz guy Mike West says: “The work of bassist/composer Anne Mette Iversen (as documented on her new albumThe Milo Songs) is seriously tricky stuff. It’s tuneful, but can lose yourself going around its abrupt rhythmic corners; it seems to hide mysteries that can’t be unlocked; and it forces the musicians playing it to engage in some serious instrumental cartwheels—sometimes just to find their own ways around it. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly compelling music, full of gorgeous musical ideas and proof that intensity has nothing to do with the amount of volume or force applied to the instrument.” 8 and 10 p.m. at Twins Jazz.
It’s easy to ignore mixtapes when thinking hard about hip-hop—-they’re released in such great volume, and they have so many variations, that they can end up over-complicating the conversation. But in his book I Mix What I Like, Jared Ball argues that mixtapes are a subversive form of alternative media. He’ll tell you all about it tonight. 6:30 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. Free.
The Source Festival, just in time to make way for Capital Fringe, is about to expire. On stage tonight is “Lovers & Friends,” a program of short plays that left Arts Desk’s Brandon Wetherbee feeling mostly rah-rah. 8 p.m. at Source, with an after-party at St. Ex.
MOVIES THAT ARE NOT TRANSFORMERS
Although look for Tricia Olszewski’s review of that Michael Bay monstrosity later today. The Woody Allen retrospective continues at Artisphere with Crimes & Misdemeanors, which is the one in which you don’t want to mess with Leslie Nielson or Jerry Orbach. 8 p.m. at Artisphere.
In his comedy column, Wetherbee suggests you see Planes, Trains & Automobiles: “Just think about the scene with the car on fire.” 9 p.m. at NoMa Summer Screen.