THREE-PART HARMONY You and this weekend will make beautiful music together:
Hear Andrew Bird (above left) and Mavis Staples (center) at the Hideout Block Party,
then catch Sam Prekop (see “What I’m Doing This Weekend,” below) at The Abbey.
Don’t-miss picks for Wed 09.21.11 through Tue 09.27.11:
museums Haymarket Affair
WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND
“Saturday morning I’m going to hit the Green City Market in Lincoln Park to get the last apples and pears. I’m not a militant when it comes to organic foods, but the stuff there can be amazingly good. I’m bringing my three-year-old twins, Helen and Francis. We go to the Lincoln Park Zoo after the market, which is right across the way. We try and get to the gorilla house, but the kids are just as fascinated by the goats and ducks at the zoo’s farm. When we went in the spring, a massive pig had just given birth to probably 20 piglets that were just scampering around. They were slipping and sliding all over with their little hooves. It was awesome to see.
“And I want to go see Cy Twombly’s exhibit at the Art Institute on Saturday afternoon. His work is expressionistic but not macho, dainty but still big. Twombly is mostly known for his paintings; his sculptures aren’t normal to see. He uses a lot of plaster and adds paint and color. Apparently they’re supposed to be like Giacometti’s: thin figurative sculptures.
“Saturday night I’m going to see a friend of mine, Daniel Higgs, perform at the Empty Bottle. With his performances, you never quite know what to expect. At his core, he’s a very experimental artist. He accompanies himself with different kinds of instruments that can range anywhere from a harmonium to a guitar. That’s what makes him so great; it’s usually almost completely unexpected. I can always bet on being blown away in some respect, but to some, it can be difficult to listen to because it’s really repetitive and minimalist. He doesn’t really sing songs; it’s more chanting. He’s from Baltimore, so I normally only see him when he comes into town.
“On Sunday—earlier, before the show—I hope to have some brunch with the family at Nightwood. It’s my favorite place. I’ve been a regular since it opened a couple years ago. The last time I was there, I got the smoked trout with eggs, which isn’t something I would normally order, but I’ve been craving it ever since. Hopefully it tastes the same, but nothing is like the first time. It could very well alter my performance, good or bad.
“When I go on tour with people like The Sea and Cake, I don’t worry too much, but [for Sunday’s show at The Abbey] I’m doing a solo synthesizer part; it’s a modular synthesizer. To prep for this kind of show, I get a patch together, which is a basic sketch of the palette of sounds I’ll be using. It’s all predetermined, but anything can change course on stage. I only played this instrument live one other time, at the Empty Bottle’s Neon Marshmallow Festival. I hope everything goes my way.” –As told to Heather Youkhana
FREEBIES OF THE WEEK
museums Museum Day
One movement out of DC we can all get behind: the Smithsonian’s Museum Day, when institutions nationwide offer free general admission. More than 20 area participants include the not-usually-free Adler Planetarium, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Yes, you still have to feed the parking meters.
GO: 9/24 during individual museums’ regular hours. Get more information and sign up to receive a printable pass for two at smithsonianmag.com/museumday
Photography: (BIRD) Cameron Wittig; (STAPLES) Chris Strong; (PREKOP) Erik Keldsen