This Week in the DMV – 6/22/15

The Taj Mahal Trio

June 23rd.  Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world – west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more.

Gallery Talk: Special Selections – Super Natural and Organic Matters

June 24th.  These bite-size lunchtime talks are offered every Wednesday. Museum staff members facilitate interactive conversations, encouraging close looking and the investigation of the overarching themes of special exhibitions throughout the museum. This week, Assistant Educator Ashley W. Harris discusses selections from the special exhibitions, Organic Matters-Women to Watch 2015 and Super Natural.

Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement

June 24th.  During the civil rights movement the Stars for Freedom-a handful of celebrities both black and white-risked their careers by crusading for racial equality, and forged the role of celebrity in American political culture. Focusing on the “Leading Six” trailblazers-Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dick Gregory, and Sidney Poitier – author Emilie Raymond reveals how they advanced the civil rights movement. A book signing will follow the program.

The Veronicas

June 24th.  The Veronicas are a pop duo from Brisbane, Australia. They were formed in 1999 by identical twin sisters Lisa and Jessica Origliasso.In 2005, The Veronicas released their debut studio album, titled The Secret Life of… which peaked at No. 2 on the Australian charts and gained an Australian ARIA certification of 4x platinum for 280,000+ sales. The album spawned five singles, led by “4ever”, three of which were top ten singles in Australia.In 2007, the duo released their second studio album, Hook Me Up, which also peaked at No. 2 on the Australian charts and earned an Australian ARIA certification of 2x platinum for 140,000+ sales. The album garnered four Australian top ten singles. The album’s title track, “Hook Me Up”, was The Veronicas’ first No. 1 single in Australia, while “Untouched” was an international top ten hit.Following a lengthy hiatus (broken only by the July 2012 release of the Top 40 single, ‘Lolita’), The Veronicas released “You Ruin Me”, the first single from their self-titled third album in September 2014. The song debuted at number one on the ARIA Charts, becoming the girls’ second chart topping single and their first to debut in the top spot.

SPAMERICAN Tour

June 24th.  The Spam food truck is going on a U.S. tour, appropriately named “SPAMERICAN Tour”, and it’s coming to the Woodrow Wilson Plaza. The truck will be handing out samples! Stop by to taste the many flavors of SPAM and to learn new recipes. This leg of the tour has been made possible by the Trade Center Management Associates.

HONEYHONEY

June 25th.  The third full-length effort from L.A.-based duo HONEYHONEY, 3 is an album born from fascination with the sweet and the sleazy, light and dark, danger and magic. Working with Dave Cobb (the producer behind Jason Isbell’s Southeastern and Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music), lead singer/banjo player/violinist Suzanne Santo and vocalist/guitarist Ben Jaffe twist their gritty, harmony-driven brand of Southern-flavored rock & roll through tales of lost souls, broken boys, girls with gold in their spit. Equal parts inward-looking and endlessly curious, the two songwriters also take a mirror to their own experience in lust and heartache and never shy away from revealing the messy truth. And whether they rattle or soothe or joyfully inspire, HONEYHONEY instill each song with a straight-from-the-gut honesty and elegance of storytelling that make 3 both cathartic and electrifying.The follow-up to 2011’s Billy Jack (named one of the top albums of the year by American Songwriter and hailed for finding “the common pop thread between alt. country, spaghetti western soundtracks and swampy blues” by Paste), 3 was recorded in HONEYHONEY’s one-time home of Nashville with a lineup of locals that includes musicians like Robbie Turner (a pedal steel guitarist who’s played with Johnny Cash and The Highwaymen). And while the album finds HONEYHONEY offering their most finely crafted melodies and richly textured sound to date, the band also embodies a loose and scrappy energy drawn out with some help from Cobb.

Amy Lin: Dreamworld

June 27th.  Looking at “Dreamworlds”, this new body of work by Amy Lin for her third show in this gallery, I am reminded of the artist’s description of her own work as being “social” and as representing human beings, that the thousands of individual marks make up a community much the way, say, mushrooms develop from tiny spores. Lin’s statement: “The pieces evolved into being more about the interactions between the cut-out portals and the societies. The latest pieces explore the idea of what is seen and what is hidden below the surface. Looking through the cut-out portals, much of the drawing can’t be seen – or there are pieces that are seen through multiple cut-outs but the viewer can’t piece everything together.”

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