This Week in the DMV – 8/9/15

Spies on Screen; OSS 117: Lost in Rio

August 11th.  It’s 1967 and a former Nazi is hiding out in South America holding a damaging list of World War II French collaborators. There is only one man France can trust to track down the nefarious Professor Von Zimmel: secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, codename OSS 117. Slightly side-tracked by Red Chinese henchmen who pursue him from Europe to Brazil, suave Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin stars as the comic spy who succeeds in spite of himself. And once he’s in Rio, he discovers he’s not the only one looking for Von Zimmel; Mossad agents want to take the Nazi back to Israel to stand trial. De la Bath finds himself sparring with and romancing a beautiful Israeli Army Officer as they team up to hunt down Von Zimmel. This spy spoof takes full advantage of retro-chic and all the charm of a Gaelic Bond. Along with the evening’s screening of this sequel to Cairo, Nest of Spies, enjoy popcorn and sparkling French soda almost as bubbly as Agent 117 himself!

Gallery Talk: Special Selections: Super Natural and Organic Matters — Women to Watch 2015

August 12th.  Depictions of nature can illuminate themes of sexuality, gender politics, the abject, and the sublime. In Organic Matters, contemporary artists use imagery and materials taken from the natural world.  Rather than merely document beauty, artists in Super Natural engage with nature as a space for exploration and invention. The exhibition juxtaposes historical works with photographs, books, and videos by contemporary artists who share their artistic foremothers’ uninhibited view of flora and fauna.

Good Old War

August 13th.  Keith Goodwin is a singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist who owns a cat named King and a dog named Jet. He’s a middle child with two children of his own. Keith writes at the very least an idea for a song each day and is known for unique stage dancing. Dan Schwartz is a music-obsessed Sagittarius with a bike riding habit the size of Philadelphia. He is also a coffee enthusiast and an avid reader who doesn’t need a movie to be “good” to like it. He enjoys a game of dominos and a shot of whiskey with friends. Most of all, Dan is a guitar player, songwriter, and harmony singer.Broken Into Better Shape (2015)Broken Into Better Shape finds Good Old War pushing their musical boundaries to the limit. Road-weary from two years at sea, the trio set out to write an album full of songs that were not limited to sounding perfect in a live experience. They bunkered down in Goodwin’s toddler-toy-filled house and struggled for half a year to find what they were looking for. Around this time, drummer Tim Arnold left the band for Atlanta, where his fiancé was pregnant with their first child. Arnold’s DNA remains in the band and his fingerprints are still present as a writer on some of the tracks on the record. With half of the album’s songs now written, Goodwin and Schwartz began experimenting with other writers and producers. In New York City, they dreamed up the ultra-inspirational “Fly Away” with writer Emile Haynie (fun., Bruno Mars). A trip to Los Angeles found them improbably paired in a writing session with Zimbabwe-born urban producer T-Collar, where a hook was crafted that the band were eager to take to the studio. It would become their first single, “Tell Me What You Want From Me.” Broken Into Better Shape became the record that it is in Nashville, where the band wrote and rounded out songs with producer Jason Lehning (Alison Krause & Union Station, MatKearney, Dolly Parton) and with the aid of a terrific group of musicians and writers. Whereas much of the band’s earlier work had been written individually, this album would end up being a grand collaboration. The result is the band’s proudest moment, an album of lush, well-crafted songs with no filler, ten songs whittled down from a pool of over forty.April 2015 will find the band touring for the first time in three years, reunited with drummer Tim Arnold, who’s traded changing diapers for continuing to be a touring member of the band.

Lunchtime Lecture – Two narratives of the French army’s march to Yorktown in 1781

August 14th.  Rachel Jirka, research services librarian, shares two manuscript narratives of the French army’s march to Yorktown in 1781. Written by Henri-Dominique de Palys, chevalier de Montrepos, and Robert Guillaume, baron de Dillon, these narratives describe the French experience marching south from Newport, Rhode Island. The men include their personal impressions of the terrain, the American people, and of George Washington himself. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the narratives.

Red Wanting Blue

August 14th.  “Midwestern rock heroes.” – American Songwriter• “…solid, powerhouse musicianship…” – Relix • “…enduringly bright, promising and wonderful.” – BlurtIn the years since vocalist and songwriter Scott Terry formed Red Wanting Blue, the band has gone on to establish itself as a quintessential example of American perseverance and hard work, building an exceedingly loyal fanbase based on non-stop touring, all without any industry support.Known for making instant fans of the uninitiated with one of the most engaging and passionate live shows on the road today, Red Wanting Blue found even bigger audiences after the release of its 2012 From The Vanishing Point album, which landed in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and at #1 for the band’s home region.Appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” VH1’s “Big Morning Buzz Live,” and NPR’s “Mountain Stage” followed, and while the band continues to reach new and bigger career milestones, Red Wanting Blue is also staying true to its roots. This is evident on the upcoming new album Little America, the band’s most personal and promising recording to date.Little America celebrates a community spirit Red Wanting Blue shares with its audience that goes beyond fans who simply give back the passion that comes off the stage. Red Wanting Blue’s hard work is matched by fans who work hard, too. It’s not unexpected for members of this growing legion to take days off of work and cross state lines to follow the band, to learn just-written tunes from wobbly YouTube videos, and to sing every word at every concert.Just prior to recording Little America, Red Wanting Blue wrapped up over two years of touring that brought to the rest of the nation what the band’s long-time followers in the middle of the country already knew about. Packed rooms and sold-out performances throughout the U.S. and Canada proved that Red Wanting Blue wasn’t just a regional phenomenon. It also gave band leader Terry some newfound perspective on his art and his profession.”There are several reasons why this album is called Little America,” he explains.On a white-knuckle drive from Salt Lake City to Denver through a Wyoming snowstorm in the early winter of 2013, the band’s converted mobile home nearly hit a jackknifed tractor-trailer.”The truck came to a halt just before getting to us,” Terry remembers. “There was debris everywhere and we sat in awe for a moment before we maneuvered around the wreckage and slowly made our way down the mountain. We pulled off at the first truck stop we saw – it happened to be named ‘Little America.'”Little America also represents an ideology that stems from Terry’s childhood.”As a child, America was the most enormous thing I knew, and as I got older, it became an epic and unconquerable wilderness that I thought I would spend my whole life discovering. My relationship with America has gotten so much more intimate than I ever could have dreamed. It’s ‘Little America,’ like the nickname you can only give to someone after you’ve really gotten to know them.”Terry also acknowledges the influence of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic song “America” on the album, and his life in general.”I started playing music to get to see this country through the eyes of a rock n’ roll band,” he says. “‘And we walked off to look for America’ is one of my favorite lyrical images ever. ‘We walked off to look for America?’ But, aren’t we already here? I suppose so, if it’s just a name of a place. But it’s so much more than that.”Terry continues, “I’m trying to experience the America I romanticized from the lyrics of rock n’ roll songs. I wanted to know what it felt like to ‘pull into Nazareth’ like The Band’s ‘The Weight’ described. ‘On the road again, like a band of gypsies, we go down the highway,’ ‘Baby, we were born to run,’ and on and on and on.”Terry sums up his connection with these songs and his connection with Red Wanting Blue’s fans this way: “These songs are the soundtrack of my life, and it’s my calling to give that back with the hope of having our songs be the soundtrack of someone else’s.”The new Red Wanting Blue album Little America arrives this summer on July 1st, 2014.

Comedian Joey CoCo Diaz at the DC Improv

August 13th – 15th.  Some people take a subtle approach to comedy, while other people go for the gusto. Joey is from the second camp. He was born in Cuba, raised in North Jersey and started doing standup during a brief stint in prison. His comedy features raw storytelling and blunt observations. Basically, it’s straight-up fun. Joey is a regular guest on “The Joe Rogan Experience” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He hosts his own podcast, “The Church of What’s Happening Now.” And he has also appeared on the big screen — you might recognize his mug from “Spider Man 2” or “Grudge Match.”

Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band

August 15th.  Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band is undeniably “The World’s Premier Zydeco Showman.” Born on July 1, 1967 in Churchpoint, Louisiana, Chubby is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in zydeco history. Chubby began his musical career at the age of 12 by playing drums with his father’s band. He began playing the accordion at the age of 15. By age 17, Chubby had begun to play with Terrance Siemien and toured the world for 2 1/2 years, before forming his own band in 1989. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have recorded ten CDs over the past 22 years of Chubby’s professional career. His band has traveled all over the world, performing to audiences in all parts of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada. North Africa and Europe. Chubby and the band travel 150-175 days a year, taking his act to big festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Chicago Blues Fest. Summerfest (Milwaukee), Memphis in May, and several festivals in Europe. Chubby has also done guest appearances on recordings for Tab Benoit, 6Was9, and Jimmy Thackery. Ann Wilson of the group Heart encourages Chubby to “continue the great sound that you have. This sound will take you places.”

The Beer Olympics

August 15th.  You don’t have to wait until 2016 for summer games. The Beer Olympics will have all the competition — and booze — you need on Saturday, August 15.

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