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Pictured: Friel Saturday:
Felix Mendelssohn was one of those kids you hated in middle school. His dad was a banker, his grandfather was a famous Socratic philosopher who inspired the Jewish Enlightenment, his sister married some hotshot mathematician—you know the type. Felix himself was a child prodigy who drew comparisons to Mozart and began writing major orchestral pieces while still in diapers. Whether it was piano lessons in Paris or aesthetics classes in Berlin, nothing was too good for daddy’s little man, who still found time to learn four languages and hobnob with the likes of Hegel and Goethe. He also composed 12 sinfonias (Italian-inspired baroque symphonies) by the time he was 14, about the same age you were devoting your considerably more limited creative talents to bad mix tapes and acne cover-up. The Marine Chamber Orchestra performs his Sinfonia No. 12 in G minor, along with the second of only two violin concerti written by Bach, and Dvorak’s Serenade in E for Strings. THE MARINE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PERFORMS AT 7:30 P.M. AT NORTHERN VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S SCHLESINGER CONCERT HALL AND ARTS CENTER, 3001 N. BEAUREGARD ST., Alexandria. FREE. (202) 433-4011. —-Mike Paarlberg
“Noise music” isn’t often uttered in the same breath as “accessible,” but Brooklyn’s Dan Friel has routinely found ways to connect the two. As the frontman for the quartet Parts & Labor, Friel has penned fist-pumping anthems for several years, using annihilated keyboard lines to complicate the group’s songwriting. The increased emphasis on pop-punk vocal hooks since its 2003 debut, Groundswell, may not be particularly appealing for noise purists, but it’s certainly exposed the band to a larger indie-rock constituency. Friel’s first solo full-length is a place where everyone can get along, championing addictive electronic melodies among breakbeat blasts and digital overload. The fittingly-titled Ghost Town plays like an 8-bit epic Western, crafted from layered choruses of an old toy keyboard but still packing the punch of a Parts & Labor track. “Noise pop” may seem like an oxymoron, but in Friel’s case, it works. DAN FRIEL PERFORMS WITH INSECT FACTORY, MIND OVER MATTER MUSIC OVER MIND, AND PROJECTION: ZERO AT 9:30 P.M. AT THE VELVET LOUNGE, 915 U ST. NW. $8. (202) 462-3213. —-Cole Goins