Pick of the Pack
(e)merge art fair
Washington's Smithsonian museums may be closed due to the federal government shutdown, but if you're off work this weekend (whether by choice or law), you can still enjoy art in our city. On Friday, the third (e)merge art fair opens at the Capitol Skyline Hotel near Nationals Park, showcasing 150 emerging artists from 30 countries. Seek out the next big thing in hotel room-sized galleries featuring painting, sculpture, video art and performance art, as well as installations, performances and panel discussions on the grounds and pool deck. Don't miss Kirsty Little's trapeze-inspired performance symbolizing our overscheduled lives, or Benjamin Andrew's interactive installation "Chronecology Corps," in which time- traveling scientists from the 23rd century will interview attendees about the world today. Through Sunday at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 I St. SW. 202/488-7500. Web: emergeartfair.com.
In April 2011, electronic music fans all over the world mourned the breakup of LCD Soundsystem, the influential American electronic dance band from New York City, which played an epic, four-hour farewell concert at Madison Square Garden. While fans wondered why the popular, three-time Grammy Award-nominated band would dissolve at the height of its fame, the band members didn't disappear. On the contrary, lead singer James Murphy continues to make waves in the electronic music industry as an electronic DJ and producer for his label, DFA Records. Mr. Murphy, who counts the B52s, Talking Heads, David Bowie and Daft Punk among his eclectic influences, now brings his critically acclaimed electronic mixes to music clubs all over the world. On Friday, he'll DJ at Washington's 9:30 Club, along with Will Eastman, a popular local DJ and owner of the U Street Music Hall. Friday at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 202/265-0930. Web: 930.com.
Taste of Bethesda
With new restaurants opening in Washington nearly every day, it's easy to forget about dining in Bethesda, the tony Maryland suburb just six miles from the District. The cobblestoned sidewalks in this Montgomery County city, however, boast acclaimed restaurants ranging from Robert Wiedmaier's Mussel Bar to the recently renovated Jaleo to numerous Middle Eastern and sushi joints. How can you try them all? On Saturday, head to Woodmont Triangle for a taste of more than 60 of the best during the 24th annual Taste of Bethesda food and music festival. While enjoying performances on five stages, sample chili from Hard Times Cafe, pizza from Mamma Lucia, and of course, paella from Jaleo, which will be made with 100 pounds of rice, 120 pounds of chicken, and 12 liters of olive oil for the event. Admission to the festival is free, and tasting ticket bundles are available for purchase on-site. Saturday at Woodmont Triangle in Bethesda, Md. 301/215-6660. Web: bethesda.org.
Few musicians reach #1 on the music charts in the United States - let alone in 21 other countries. But Sara Bareilles did just that with her 2007 pop hit, "Love Song." Miss Bareilles began performing in her high school musicals and college a capella group, and after graduation she built a following in the Los Angeles club scene. In June 2007, iTunes featured "Love Song" as the free download of the week, propelling her quickly to fame, with sales of more than 1 million copies of her album "Little Voice." The singer, songwriter and pianist just released her third studio album, "The Blessed Unrest," in July, and her tour will stop in Washington on Monday. Monday at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. 202/328-6000. Web: thelincolndc.com.
The Bentzen Ball
The government shutdown is no laughing matter, though there are plenty of jokes to be made about members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. If you're in need of some comic relief, make plans to attend the Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival, featuring stand-up performances and special events to get you giggling sponsored by Brightest Young Things, a favorite online magazine of the city's young tastemakers. Named for Ollie Bentzen, a man who supposedly laughed to death while watching the film "A Fish Called Wanda," the festival opens Thursday at the 9:30 Club with performances by Tig Notaro ("The Sarah Silverman Program" and "Conan"), Wyatt Cenac ("The Daily Show"), Heather Lawless ("Flight of the Conchords") and others. Next Friday, Doug Benson will tape an episode of his popular podcast "Doug Loves Movies" at the Sphinx Club, and next Saturday, enjoy a free happy hour show at the Howard Theatre. The festival will close next Sunday with a performance by Ira Glass of NPR's "This American Life" at the Lincoln Theatre. Through Sunday, Oct. 13 citywide. Web: bentzenball.com.
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