As far as fusion tribute acts go, Metalachi is certainly unique. As their name implies, the band takes heavy metal classics and performs them in a mariachi-style. It's a bizarre concept that has interesting results: Randy Rhoads probably never intended his guitar solos to be performed on a violin, but that's one of the best moments on the group's cover of Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train."
Despite an unusual shtick, the group doesn't take itself seriously, and almost everything written about and by Metalachi is a joke. As a result, finding out more about the band isn't an easy feat. It doesn't help that its members don costumes and don't disclose their real names.
The Washington National Opera's Halloween costume sale this past weekend was busy, beautiful, and lucrative. More than 2,000 items sold, earning the company nearly $65,000 toward its artistic and education programs. About a thousand shoppers braved the rain to attend the event, with some very determined patrons lining up as early as 7:30 AM.
According to the company's press office, shoppers endured three hour waits throughout most of Saturday morning. While they waited, some even joined in on spontaneous "opera sing-offs." Here's a look at what else you missed.
The Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland have announced a new partnership to promote innovation and scholarship in the arts. The two institutions have worked together on exhibits and events before, but today marks the beginning of a major six-year collaboration.
It isn't the university's first attempt to collaborate with a private museum. Last February, after months of negotiations, the Corcoran Gallery of Art ditched plans to merge with UMD, opting to form a deal with George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art instead.
Through its partnership with the Phillips, the University of Maryland aims to establish more of a presence in DC and bolster its reputation as a destination school for the arts. The Phillips plans to introduce new education programs and transform its Center for the Study of Modern Art into the University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at the Phillips Collection. Projects under the enhanced center include an expanded arts curriculum, at least two postdoctoral fellowships, a co-published biennial book prize, and a new music series.
Washington will get another high-end movie theater-slash-cool bar on October 15 when Landmark Theatres opens its six-screen cinema at the Atlantic Plumbing building in Shaw. The building, located at 8th and V Streets, Northwest, is one of several projects in the neighborhood from development firm JBG, and contains 62 condominiums that are scheduled to take occupancy by the end of the year.
While Atlantic Plumbing condos bring more high-priced residential real estate to red-hot Shaw, the cinema anchoring the building ratchets up DC's fancy-movie-theater arms race. The six auditoriums feature oversized leather seats arranged in a stadium-like layout, digital projection, advanced Dolby sound, and, unusual for most moviegoing experiences, an option to reserve specific seats.
But even if people can choose their seats, they won't be able to choose their movie on opening night. The Atlantic Plumbing cinema will launch with Steve Jobs—the biopic starring Michael Fassbender as the Apple founder—playing on all six screens.
Jordan Eagles is used to working with blood. For 15 years, the New York artist has transformed vital fluids from slaughterhouses into red-splattered abstractions. But for his sculpture on view through October 18 at the American University Museum, he choose a different kind of blood: Blood Mirror is a seven-foot-tall monolith made with the blood of nine gay and bisexual men.
The FDA bans any men who've had sex with other men since 1977 from donating blood, a policy in place since 1985. But this May the agency announced a proposal that would allow men who have been celibate for a year to make donations. To Eagles, this news was "a slap in the face." "Even today, we are not equal in our blood," he says.
The issue is often treated politically, so he devised a sculpture that could escape the policy realm. "To view it as art really opens up the conversation in a much broader way," he says.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 5
ART: October 5 through 31, the Ronald Reagan Building’s Atrium Gallery features the 11th Street Bridge Park Mural Exhibit. Teenage artists from Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School and ArtReach at THEARC worked together to create a mural “that envisions a healthy city, community, and neighborhood.” Free.
MUSIC: As the only non-rotating member of the band Destroyer, the ever-versatile Dan Bejar brings his lively, creative sound to the 9:30 Club. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific genre to classify the group, which is exactly what Bejar wants. He once told DIY Magazine his goal with each album is “to start from scratch every time.” $20, 7 PM.
We’re bracing for a wet, windy weekend due to a nor’easter possibly combined with Hurricane Joaquin. This means a lot of area events planned for the next few days are cancelled or rescheduled. Here’s what you need to know.
Al Madrigal is really excited about his "Donald Trump cilantro" joke. It’s brand new, it’s a true story, and it will definitely be included in his Kennedy Center performance on October 3. But he's not telling what it is just yet.
Here's what he is saying: The acclaimed comedian admits he’s “super excited, honored and thrilled” to headline this show in DC, where he has reason to believe his political jokes will go over well.
"Comedians love DC,” he says. “You’re getting people that actually understand all your material. Smart, fun people. It’s the opposite of Fort Lauderdale.”
Madrigal’s stand up consists of long-form storytelling pulled from his own history and experiences. He started performing in 1998 and has no plans to stop, saying the feeling of a successful set is “not something you can easily walk away from.”
That said, his talent has found plenty of additional outlets. He’s been The Daily Show’s senior Latino correspondent since 2011. For several years he hosted a podcast with two fellow comedians called Minivan Men. He’s had roles on shows like NBC’s About a Boy. His hour special, Half Like Me, won the Mixed Remixed Festival's Storyteller Award this year. And in 2013 he launched the podcast network All Things Comedy with Bill Burr. “They make fun of me constantly at The Daily Show because of all the stuff I have going on,” he says.
It's definitely worth going out in the rain to the Washington National Opera's costume sale at its Takoma studio, where hundreds of dresses, capes, hats, masks, and smocks will help you forget the dreary weather.
On October 3 and 4, the studio opens its doors for costume shoppers and opera aficionados looking to score a satin bodice worn in a production of Carmen, or a stunning gown worn in La Cenerentola. There's something for everyone--men, women, children, even the fellow in search of a gold executioner's assistant costume. Seriously, even that's for sale.
With prices ranging from one dollar to a couple hundred bucks, it's a fantastic place to buy a unique costume for Halloween. Here are some of Washingtonian's favorite picks and a preview of what you can expect at the sale.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1
MUSIC: As part of the DC Public Library’s mission to document the city’s culture, the DC Punk Archive has preserved source materials, including photographs, set lists, letters, and stickers, that focus on the local music scene. To celebrate the project's anniversary, the library has planned a series of events this month, starting with a Library Basement Show at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, featuring local artists Title Tracks, BRNDA, and Art Sorority for Girls. Free, 6:30 PM.
FILM: The fifth annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival kicks off tonight and runs through October 4, with events at E Street Cinema, the Goethe Institute, and Tropicalia. On Thursday, check out the Wanted 18 by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan at E Street Cinema. Using a mix of stop-motion animation, interviews, drawings, and archival footage, the film tells the strange-but-true story of the Israeli army’s search for 18 cows who were deemed a "threat to the national security." After the film, there's a Q&A session with Shomali and an opening reception for the festival. $15, 7:30 PM.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2
FILM: Now in its 26th year, the AFI Latin American Film Festival celebrates the best filmmakers from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. On Friday afternoon, head over to the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center for the documentary Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel García Márquez. The film dives into Márquez’s life-- how he went from growing up in an impoverished, crime-ridden town in Colombia to becoming a Nobel Prize winner. $13, 5:15 PM.
CRAFTS: The National Building Museum hosts Craft2Wear--a sale of wearable art benefiting the Smithsonian. The museum’s great hall will be filled with beautiful, unique, and handmade jewelry, clothing, and accessories all weekend. $10, 10 AM.
DANCE: Show off your best Macarena and Tootsie Roll: DJs Will Eastman and Brian Billion will play all of your favorite '90s songs at the 9:30 Club’s No Scrubs Dance Party. $16, 9 PM.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3
RUN: The Congressional Cemetery's Dead Man's Run is one of the more unique ways to celebrate the days leading up to Halloween. This spooky 5K goes along the cemetery and onto the Anacostia Trail. And it all starts with the sound of a funeral bell. Costumes and creative team names are encouraged. So is drinking from the beer tent after the race. Registration is $40 and includes a T-shirt and one free beer. 6 PM.
COMEDY: Comedian Phoebe Robinson started the podcast and blog Blaria, and it's evolved into a hilarious live show with Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams in New York City. On Saturday night, as part of Brightest Young Things’ Bentzen Ball, their act comes to the Lincoln Theatre, accompanied by special guests Kamau Bell, Jacqueline Novak, Nore Davis, and Janeane Garofalo. $25, 5:30 PM.
DRINK: Munich’s Oktoberfest actually started September 20, but belated celebrations can be found stateside at NoMa beer garden Wunder Garten all week. Enjoy traditional Bavarian music, games, and Oktoberfest beers from Germany and local breweries. $10, 12 PM.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4
OPERA: Modern opera company Urban Arias’ latest production is the groundbreaking one-act show As One. The opera follows the journey of a transgender woman named Hannah; a mezzo-soprano and a baritone share the role. Atlas Performing Arts Center. $25 to $29.50, 2 PM.
FILM: The Druid Underground Film Festival is the only nationally touring underground film festival in the country, but that’s not the only thing that makes it unique. The festival showcases the culty, incendiary, and strange--promising its attendees the opportunity to “see aliens rip their own faces off” and “learn how to detect if your child worships Satan.” $10, 7 PM.