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ArtJamz’s White Party, the Silver Spring Zombie Walk, and the return of the Encyclopedia Show DC. By Jason Koebler
Indulge your inner artiste at the ArtJamz White Party. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, October 23

ART: I have no idea what “P. Diddy swag meets ArtJamz creativity means,” but the long and short of the White Party is that ArtJamz has painted its walls white and is inviting you to paint all over them. Wear white, drink White Russian cocktails, and all that nonsense. You will leave very messy. Tickets ($20) are available online. 5:30 and 8:30 PM.

HALLOWEEN: Halloween is a chance to see and be seen, to impress everyone—which can be really stressful. The Multiple Sclerosis Society wants to change that with its Half-Assed Halloween, which is my favorite kind of Halloween. Make your costume out of stuff you have at home in 30 minutes or less, which saves you time and money (which you can then donate). The party at Union Pub will have food and drink specials and, yes, a costume contest (but don’t try too hard). Tickets ($20) are available online. 8 PM.

VARIETY: Encyclopedia Show DC is back at Busboys and Poets to teach you everything you could possibly want to know about the circus. There will be interpretive dancers, singers, standup, and a former Ringling Bros. clown, to lend it some serious cred in circus circles (which are known in the biz as “rings of fire”). $10. 9 PM.

Friday, October 24

DANCE: Wonderland is having its fifth edition of Disco Made Me Do It, an every-once-in-a-while event that is, well, a disco dance party at Wonderland. Plan your hangover accordingly. Free. 9 PM.

COMEDY: Brick Penguin sketch comedy performs two nights of “haunted comedy” at RFD in Chinatown—you probably won’t be too scared, but you’ll almost certainly laugh. $5. 8 and 10 PM.

VARIETY: The Weirdo Show was already pretty weird, but it gets extra-creepy at Bier Baron this month with storytelling based on actually scary stories, burlesque, a scary clown (don’t say I didn’t warn you), and hula-hoop performances. Tickets ($10) are available online. 10 PM.

FILM: Union Market has two drive-in movies left—this week it’s Remember the Titans, which is a wonderful Denzel Washington football movie about racism and togetherness and all that at local high school TC Williams. Left Side! $10 per car, free otherwise. 8 PM.

Saturday, October 25

DANCE: If you haven’t seen Skrillex live, I would recommend that everyone under the age of say, 33-ish do it, at least once. Yes, even you, Guy Who’s Trying to Trade Skrillex Tickets for Foo Fighters Passes. Tickets ($50) are available online. 9 PM.

BEER: New Belgium’s Tour de Fall Carnival is at Jack Rose this week—it features the brewery’s fall offerings, plus corn dogs, cotton candy, beer floats, various carnival games, psychic readings, and a photo booth. Free. Noon to 5 PM.

ZOMBIES: Silver Spring is hosting its annual Zombie Walk this weekend, and AFI Silver screens Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead to celebrate. Don your best zombie garb and makeup beforehand (or hope someone there can do you up a bit), and get ready to scare some passersby. Free. 8 PM.

HALLOWEEN: The annual Nightmare on M Street Halloween bar crawl happens tonight and is reliably a raucous time. If you’re looking for some more low-key options, check out our guide to Halloween parties. Tickets ($30) are available online. 5 PM.

Sunday, October 26

DANCE: RAC (a.k.a. André Allen Anjos) is a remixer that’s actually worth listening (and dancing) to—even moreso at this show, which features live vocalists. Check him out at 9:30 Club with Penguin Prison, another great group. Tickets ($28) are available online. 7 PM.

FASHION: Yards Park hosts Fashion Yards, a party featuring fashion trucks, which are like food trucks except filled with clothes and jewelry. Around two dozen designers will take part, offering styles for both men and women, so it’s a good chance to get your fall wardrobe all set up now. Free. 1 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at jasontpkoebler@gmail.com, or find him on Twitter at @jason_koebler.

Posted at 10:37 AM/ET, 10/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The former “Daily Show” correspondent comes to DC next month. By Tanya Pai
Photograph by Eric Michael Pearson.

Not that many comedians today can say they have a puppet version of themselves. Wyatt Cenac is a member of that rare and envied class. The Dallas-raised funnyman is best known for his stint as a writer and correspondent on The Daily Show, where the aforementioned Puppet Cenac came into being, but his low-key standup is equally hilarious: His 2011 special, Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person, explored the peculiar minutiae of modern life such as why you should never accept a friend’s invitation to Medieval Times and the fact that cat videos are more popular on YouTube than messages from the President. He also had a stint on Netflix’s excellent animated series Bojack Horseman as the voice of Wayne, a BuzzFeed writer with a secret agenda.

Cenac visited Washington earlier this month to perform in BYT’s Bentzen Ball, and returns November 23 for a show at Black Cat in support of his second standup special (also featuring puppets). Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn, Cenac’s directorial debut, is now available on Netflix and as a limited-run vinyl album; we chatted with the 38-year-old about the “more personal” sophomore effort, why he likes Washington audiences, and the nefarious appeal of Shake Shack.

You were in DC recently for the Bentzen Ball—how did it go?

It was fun. I felt bad because I got into DC like an hour before my show and I left right after, so I didn’t really spend any time in the city. I took a 3 PM train down and went straight to the 9:30 Club, did the show, and got on the train to head back. I ate Shake Shack in Union Station because the lines in New York are too long.

I guess going to Shake Shack is at least sort of a DC experience.

Shake Shack is great; I don’t get it that often, but I think if I was a person that did that New York to DC commute, I would be tempted every time. I would get logy and fat from all the fries.

As someone who covered politics a lot on The Daily Show, do you feel like you have any kind of special connection to Washington?

I always enjoy DC crowds because there is an awareness of what’s going on in the world, in part because many of the audience members are working for people who are influencing what’s going on in the world. There’s something kind of nice about that. I imagine there’s also a bit of catharsis for those people to get to be in a room and laugh at the stuff they see closer than the rest of us do.

There’s currently a big appetite for satire, but on the other hand places like Facebook have started identifying articles as satire because so many people weren’t picking up on it.

I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but I read something about that. It kind of reminds me of how in magazines, they have the special advertising sections where it’s always a giant three-page ad, but they doll it up to look like actual journalism. On some level that’s a satire of its own, because it’s trying to fool you into thinking boner pills are that important. It’s a matter of healthy living and good exercise—that’s what Sting always said.

Does knowing that people might not understand that something is satire affect how you approach comedy? Or is it the audience’s responsibility to figure it out?

I think it depends on the place where you’re doing it, and on that particular audience. If you say something in a show and it feels like audience doesn’t get it, you kinda know right away and you have to decide in that moment whether to double-back and explain it or just keep going. That’s kind of the joy of doing this stuff: You do something and you hope to find something that audience will relate to and find funny and be amused by, and if they don’t, you take it back into the garage and tinker with it and hopefully fix it up, and then you take it back out and try again.

It seems like noawadays some people have made a habit out of being outraged over social media. Do you think there are more subjects that are off-limits now in terms of what you can joke about?

I think people have always been outraged; now it’s just that they are able to find one another online, and if you can get enough outraged townspeople with pitchforks and torches, you can potentially get the subject of your outrage to respond to you.

In the past, there were people saying and doing offensive things, and you never knew. The only side of it you ever saw was if they said something that was outrageous, and an audience laughed, meaning it worked. I may think something is off-limits and another comedian may not, so if that other comedian gets a laugh, then they are right—it works. I’m right, too, in that if it’s something I’m uncomfortable with, I may choose not to put it in front of my audience. It’s that knowledge that we live in a world where everything can be both funny and un-funny at the same time—it just depends on who you are as both the person delivering and the person receiving it. I am not the standard-bearer—what makes me uncomfortable is not necessarily what makes the world uncomfortable—so as an audience member and a deliverer, I have to understand and reconcile that.

What can people expect from your new stand-up special?

This one to me feels a bit more personal, a bit more how I enjoy doing a show. The first special I shot was in a big theater, there were 400, 500 people there, and it was a great experience. But the most fun I have doing shows is in little cramped spaces—places like Union Hall in Brooklyn, where I shot this special. I try to create something that would give the viewer more of an experience of how I enjoy doing a show, the places that are comfortable to me, and hopefully it comes across that I seem more comfortable. It’s three years later, so it’s a similar perspective but slightly different. It’s a little more intimate.

And you also directed it?

I did. That’s part of the personal aspect of it—this was really born out of a desire to put out a special, and rather than sit around and wait for something to come together, I just went on my own and did it. In doing that, it became this sort of do-it-yourself thing: “Oh, okay, I’m making this special happen, and oh, looks like I’m putting it all out together.” It was a fun experience.

Did you always have Netflix in mind, or did you make the show first and then shop it around?

I made it first and presented it to Netflix, a guy over there named Devin Griffin. I also put out a record, and I gave him the audio of that and little of the footage from special, just so he could see that it didn’t look like it was shot on a bunch of iPhones. And he got what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure they’d go for it, so I thought, “Maybe I can take it some other place,” but Devon got it, and we made it happen.

Do you think you’ll get to spend any time in DC after your show in November?

This time, I hope to hang out a little bit. I have some friends in DC, so I’d like to catch up with them, go grab a meal someplace. I can’t remember if I have to go somewhere else after—I think I might have a couple days off, and if so, hopefully I can hang out. I enjoy going to DC; everyone’s always very nice to me there. I heard the folks who went to Bentzen Ball got to take Segway tours, and some of them even went bowling at the White House, so I’m a little bummed out I missed all that.

I didn’t know people really bowled at the White House.

I guess you gotta know the right people! There’s a two-lane bowling in the White House, so maybe I will celebrate the tour by throwing a few gutter balls in the White House bowling alley. Assuming I can get into the bowling alley—I’m guessing security is a little tighter than it was before, so it might not be that easy.

Wyatt Cenac performs at Black Cat Sunday, November 23, at 7 PM. Tickets ($20) are available online.

Posted at 04:50 PM/ET, 10/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
There are some truly audacious attempts to get into Friday's sold-out show, and they're all destined to fail. By Benjamin Freed
Photograph by Flickr user NCinDC.

It's been about 24 hours since Foo Fighters compelled a mad dash to the Black Cat by people hoping to get tickets to their "surprise" show at the 14th Street, Northwest, club on Friday night. With the club's capacity of just 700, it took minutes for the set, pegged to the band's HBO series Sonic Highways, to sell out.

But there's always the secondary ticket market, and lucky for us voyeuristic types, the after-market for super-exclusive concert dates unleashes a special class of offers. Below, a few of the more audacious lengths to which Washingtonians are willing to go to get into Friday's show.

Will pay a 1,522 percent markup: Tickets, most of which were sold in pairs, went for $23 (including surcharges) at the Black Cat's box office on Tuesday. But one gentleman is willing to pay $350 for just one of them, if you're willing to ditch your date. "I'm a 29 year old guy, originally from Europe. Not looking for a date, just to go and enjoy an awesome rock show," he writes.

Will pay in cash and Skrillex tickets: "I'll trade you [S]krillex Friday night tix + cash to make this happen, or just straight up cash," writes this Craigslist seeker, which seems as much a comment on the deejay abilities of Sonny Moore as a plea for Foo Fighters tickets.

Will pay in cash and staving off the apocalpyse: Black Cat management was very stern in telling people who lined up after 4 PM that their chances of scoring tickets were close to nil. This sucker was clearly one of the late-comers who stood in the rain for nothing. But the stakes behind his $500 offer are drastic: "If my wife and I miss this show, it will be the end of the world."

Will pay in gadgets and pot: We'll let the full text of this ad do the talking:

I'm looking for 2 Foo Fighters Tickets. Will pay some serious cash and trade other valuables. I've got my old iPhone 5S and some ganj.

Cash and trade. Kind of a 2 for 1 for 2 tix.

Boom.

Will pay in, um:

This superfan is offering $600 for a pair, but somebody should remind him it's the height of tackiness to wear a band's tattoo to the show.

And now, the horrible truth: As tempting as these offers of cash, drugs, and fending off Armageddon might be, if you have tickets to Friday's show, you should ignore these offers. The Black Cat's show announcement made very clear that it was recording the names of people who bought tickets as well as the names of their intented plus-ones. "Tickets are 100 percent non-transferable and non-refundable," the club stated yesterday. In other words, if you've got $600 but no tickets, bring your Foo Fighters-tatted forearms to the backstage bar for Ten Forward Happy Hour and buy everyone a round while they watch an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Posted at 03:03 PM/ET, 10/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The library is collecting pictures for its American Folklife Center. By Tanya Pai
The Library of Congress wants to see how you celebrate Halloween. Image via Shutterstock.

While for people of a certain age, Halloween has become an excuse to wear 40 percent less clothing than usual, October 31 involves plenty of other rich cultural traditions. And the Library of Congress wants to document them: Starting Wednesday, the library’s American Folklife Center is seeking photographs of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos celebrations around America to include in a new collection that illustrates “contemporary folklife.”

What to do: Between now and November 5, photograph yourself and your friends/family trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, decorating your house with those impossible-not-to-get-tangled-in fake spiderwebs—pretty much any activity that shows how you celebrate the holiday—and upload it to Flickr under a Creative Commons license using the tag #FolklifeHalloween2014. AFC will comb through the submissions and archive its favorites; a selection will also be shared on the Folklife Today blog starting in November.

To up your photos’ chance of being chosen, keep in mind that the photos should show both how you celebrate Halloween and what makes the celebration special—the haunted house you set up in your front yard, the pan de muertos that’s become an annual family project. (As AFC’s Stephen Winick wrote in a blog post explaining the rules, “Photos of a festive meal are good, but photos of a festive meal with a distinctive holiday centerpiece are better.”) And because the goal is to highlight contemporary celebrations, keep the photos current.

Here are the full rules for submission via AFC:

  • Title: Give your photo a title.
  • Short Description including photographer and location: Include a brief description. What is significant about the image? Where was it taken? Who is the photographer?
  • License: For potential inclusion in the collection, please license the photo under a creative commons license.

This is a good chance to show off your photography skills and maybe be a part of the annals of history. At the very least, it’ll get more eyeballs on that homemade Hazmat costume you worked so hard on.

Posted at 12:35 PM/ET, 10/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This year's event, kicking off Wednesday, gives back to the community. By Vicky Gan
The Washington West Film Festival includes “Transcend,” a documentary about Kenyan runner turned politician Wesley Korir. This production shot shows codirector Tad Munnings (with camera). Photograph courtesy of the Kennedy Marshall Company.

The motto of the Washington West Film Festival is “Story can change the world.”

From October 22 to 26, the fest, now in its fourth year, brings some 40 independent narrative and documentary films to Reston’s Bow Tie Cinemas, the Angelika Film Center and Cafe in Fairfax, and other Northern Virginia venues. Though fast-growing, Washington West is still a local, intimate affair, so you can interact with filmmakers at Q&As and special events.

All box-office proceeds go to a philanthropic organization or project, and the festival’s work with that group becomes the subject of a short film that opens every screening the next year; this year’s short is about Washington West’s involvement with Shelter House, a facility for homeless families in Fairfax County.

With supporters including Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus—who grew up in Washington—the festival has also helped fund a new school and theater in Haiti as well as relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims. Attendees are encouraged to carry forward the festival’s message by volunteering at a featured nonprofit afterward.“The idea is that we’re attaching our audience to the creation of a story that gives hope, that cares or shows compassion for a community in need,” says founder Brad Russell.

Louis-Dreyfus coproduced a documentary in this year’s festival, Generosity of Eye. Directed by her husband and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Brad Hall—who is expected to attend with her—the film explores the decision by the actress’s father, William Louis-Dreyfus, to sell off his extensive art collection to benefit the Harlem Children’s Zone. Other highlights are Alive Inside, a Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winner about music therapy for Alzheimer’s patients; Revenge of the Green Dragons, a gangster film starring Ray Liotta and executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, among others; and a film-and-TV-scoring event featuring W.G. Snuffy Walden, who composed the music for Friday Night Lights and The West Wing.

Russell’s objective is for audiences to walk away motivated to be a “contributor, not just a consumer.” A community with as much affluence as Washington “can make sizable differences in the world, and in the area, if we come together for good.”

Find more information at filmfest.com.

This article appears in our October 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 11:01 AM/ET, 10/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Tickets go on sale at 6, so you should probably be reading this from the line. By Benjamin Freed
Dave Grohl and Ian MacKaye at Arlington's Inner Ear Studios. Screenshot via HBO.

UPDATE, 3:35 PM: In a tweet, the Black Cat's management says if you're not in line right now, you'll spend Friday night hoping Grohl comes down to the Red Room after the Foo Fighters’ set.

The Foo Fighters, the Dave Grohl-led rock band that frequently sells out large arenas and headlines at major music festivals, will play the 700-capacity Black Cat on Friday, the band announced Tuesday afternoon.

The surprise show is pegged to the second episode of the Foo Fighters’ HBO miniseriesSonic Highways, Grohl’s eight-installment documentary about the making of the band’s new album of the same name. Each track on the LP, due out November 10, was recorded in a different city, with the second song, “The Feast and the Famine,” recorded at Arlington’s Inner Ear Studios. The Black Cat set will also include a screening of the Washington episode, which features appearances by Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, Trouble Funk’s Big Tony, and other DC scene luminaries. President Barack Obama and Grohl’s fellow Northern Virginia expat Pharrell Williams make appearances, too.

The Foo Fighters appear to be playing small-club shows in every city where they filmed theSonic Highways series, but playing the Black Cat this Friday is obviously a bit more special for Grohl. Besides growing up in Springfield and getting his start in the hardcore band Scream, Grohl is also a minority owner in the 14th Street, Northwest, landmark.

Friday’s show goes on sale at the Black Cat Tuesday at 6 PM. Tickets are $20, plus a $3 service fee, and are only available in person and, more importantly, in cash. Yes, it’s going to sell out; for everyone who doesn’t get in, the DC episode of Sonic Highways airs at 11 PM on HBO (you could also try hanging around Georgetown’s Ri Ra, which the band has visited before).

The full cut of “The Feast and the Famine” won’t be heard until the end of the episode (or Friday’s set, if you’re lucky enough), but you can hear snippets of it in the preview below.

Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.

Posted at 02:45 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The songs are the weakest point of this otherwise solid musical production. By Missy Frederick
Charlie Pollock as the titular character in Elmer Gantry. Photograph by Christopher Mueller.

Apparently there’s something about Aimee Semple McPherson that drives people to write musical theater.

The charismatic real-life evangelist has been the inspiration for not one, but two musicals staged at Signature Theatre. First, there was Saving Aimee, Kathy Lee Gifford’s problematic musical about the controversial historical figure, which had its world premiere there in 2007 and briefly found new life on Broadway as Scandalous in 2012. Now there’s Elmer Gantry, which again tells the story of a flawed but magnetic female preacher—and the titular huckster who finds himself entwined with her.

This time, that preacher is technically Sister Sharon Falconer, not Aimee—though Sinclair Lewis, who wrote the novel from which the show was adapted, based several elements of the character on McPherson. Gantry is an unapologetically shady traveling salesman who catches one of Falconer’s tent revival shows and is immediately drawn to her. Since Gantry spent about ten seconds of his youth as a preacher, he’s able to draw on that experience to get Falconer’s attention—and convince her his expertise can bring more attention (and funding) to her enterprise. He’s right about that, and the two become almost an unstoppable pair as they travel the country spreading the word of Jesus (and making money)—and drawing the attention of some opportunistic businessmen in the process.

Lewis’s novel was both shocking and satirical in its day. This Elmer Gantry doesn’t have the same impact: Book writer John Bishop seems more interested in redeeming Gantry than mocking him, and the musical doesn’t really emphasize the dark side of the duo’s manipulative evangelism. Still, the plot moves briskly, and the story keeps the viewer interested, even if a few too many reveals are crammed into the second act of the story. But more important, Elmer Gantry might have worked better as a play with music than as a musical.

On one hand, when the cast is singing the gospel numbers of Gantry and Falconer’s revival show, Elmer Gantry comes alive. Songs like “Walk With the Prophets,” “Carry That Ball,” and “He’s Coming Back” are showstoppers, thanks especially to stand-out singers like Nova Y. Payton and Jessica Lauren Ball. Mel Marvin’s score, which draws from everything from gospel to blues to ’80s-style pop ballads, is lively and diverse, but Bob Satuloff’s lyrics can frequently be clumsy. This is most apparent during Elmer Gantry’s overly explanatory soliloquy songs, which tend to ploddingly spell out plot details and characters’ motivations. (The show opener, “Between Trains,” is a major offender.)

As Gantry, Charlie Pollock works to sell even the most emotive of these ballads, lending sort of a slimy sexiness to the kind-of con man. He’s well-matched in Mary Kate Morrissey, a terrific singer who brings depth and intensity to Falconer in such numbers as “You Don’t Know Who I Am,” which hints at the preacher’s less-than-pure back story. The pair’s scenes together have heat, even if duets like “With You” probably won’t find their place in Broadway history.

Nearly every supporting element of Eric Schaeffer’s production is strong, from the performing ensemble to lush new orchestrations from Bruce Coughlin. Dan Conway’s simple but commanding set of angular wooden beams even gets its own curtain call of sorts during one particularly climatic moment in the show. Signature Theatre is doing everything it can to make Elmer Gantry sing; there just probably should be a little less singing.

Elmer Gantry is at Signature Theatre through November 29. Running time is two hours and 20 minutes, with one intermission. Tickets ($36.80 to $105.50) are available through the theater’s website.

Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The series of original monologues looks at the conflict through the eyes of the disenfranchised. By Tanya Pai
“Our War,” directed by Anita Maynard-Losh, examines the Civil War via monologues by 25 writers. Photograph courtesy of Arena Stage.

A century and a half after the Civil War, most Americans know the basics: Bull Run, Appomattox, the Emancipation Proclamation. But finding a personal connection is another matter.

As a step in that direction, Our War—at Arena Stage October 21 through November 9—presents original monologues about the conflict by 25 playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize winners Lynn Nottage and David Lindsay-Abaire, which the theater commissioned as part of its involvement in the National Civil War Project. (The “theatrical dance piece” Healing Wars, staged in June, also stemmed from the collaboration.)

Director Anita Maynard-Losh and her Arena colleagues looked for contributors with a variety of ages and backgrounds. Most other accounts, she says, are from the perspective of “people in charge of the country at the time—white men. With a collection of playwrights that is more than half women and a great majority people of color, we get quite different points of view.”

To add another layer, 25 notable Washingtonians—including PBS NewsHour co-anchor Judy Woodruff, radio host Diane Rehm, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—will read a monologue of their choosing during selected performances.

While some of the pieces have a historical setting, many focus on ripples that reverberate today—“explorations of what it means to be an American and the repercussions of institutional racism,” Maynard-Losh says. The Civil War “leaves us trying to make impossible connections. We have this urge to understand something that’s so much bigger than anything we’ve experienced.”

Meshing the disparate voices and styles presented a challenge for the director: “All these pieces need to be going somewhere, so where do they end up? It’s not until I see how the actors interpret the pieces and hear them all strung together that I understand what the emotional and intellectual impact is.”

Our War potentially serves as a kind of theatrical Rorschach test, with each audience member seeing something different—but Maynard-Losh’s hope is more modest: “I would be really happy if people come away thinking, ‘Oh, I thought this was an absolute truth about the Civil War, and now I see it’s actually an opinion a lot of people share—but not everyone.’ ”

Tickets ($40 to $50) at arenastage.org.


This article appears in the October 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Featuring DC bands. By Tanya Pai
Screengrab via YouTube.

If you’re a music fan, chances are you already have a few go-to playlists: your workout list, your commuting list, your night-before-a-big-meeting options. But do you have one for the midterm elections? If the answer is no, fear not—Rachel Maddow has you covered. In a video aired on Late Night With Seth Meyers this week, the MSNBC host rounded up her top five tracks to get you through the stressful period, and, as befits Congress’s current standing with the American public, they’re all “angry punk songs.” DC’s musical legacy is well-represented: The list includes two local bands (Fugazi, Bad Brains), as well as tracks by Black Flag, Sleater-Kinney, and Husker Dü.

Check out the video clip and the track list below, and tell us what would be on your list in the comments.

1) “Bad Mouth,” Fugazi

2) “I Against I,” Bad Brains

3) “I’ve Heard It Before,” Black Flag

4) “Youth Decay,” Sleater-Kinney

5) “Books About UFOs,” Husker Dü

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
As usual, Carrie blurs the line between right and wrong. By Alison Kitchens
Was Saul even eating food? Photograph by David Bloomer/Showtime.

Last night’s episode of Homeland brought Quinn back to Islamabad (bye, landlady!) and kept Saul in town a few days longer, but neither one managed to talk some sense into Carrie. Their best and worst moments:


Saul Berenson

Overall mood: Sassy.

Best Moment: He was clearly supposed to be intimidated by Aasar Khan (Raza Jaffrey), but he kept his cool.

Worst Moment: When he told Carrie that Quinn was worried about her. Don’t stoke the fire, Saul.

Number of flights home he’s postponed so far: One, though I suspect more are on the horizon.


Peter Quinn

Overall mood: Indifferent.

Best Moment: Anytime he was this blunt: “Mostly, I just didn’t want to live in a bunker and kill people by remote control.”

Worst Moment: I’m giving him a bye on a worst moment this week, since nothing he did can really compete with his behavior in this season’s first three episodes.

Number of concerned looks he gave Carrie from afar: Two.


Carrie Mathison

Overall mood: Manipulative to the max.

Best Moment: When she confronted John Redmond for having people trail her. This seems like a pointless story line, but maybe it will come into play later.

Worst Moment: During her final scene with Aayan, the only notes I could take were: “Carrie is the creepiest, ick ick ick.” I think that says enough.

Number of times she thought about baby Frannie: Zero.


Other important plot lines to note:

  • Aayan’s uncle, Haissam Haqqani, is actually alive, and he is the person Aayan was holding onto the vials for.
  • Ambassador Boyd’s husband, Dennis, has apparently been stealing top-secret files from his wife’s computer. Now, he’s being blackmailed by a woman who was working with Sandy. Can I say what we’re all thinking? Ambassador Boyd should have married Saul when she had the chance.
  • Aasar Khan refused to answer Saul's questions about Pakistani intelligence's involvement in Sandy's death, which means we will probably be seeing a lot more of him in episodes to come.

What did you think of last night’s episode? Share your favorite moments in the comments.

Posted at 04:45 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()