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After Hours Items: The Best Links of the Week

Every Friday, After Hours rounds up the best local links for entertainment and nightlife coverage from this week.

Ever wonder what it takes to get a renowned band to come to your house in the suburbs and play a private party for your 40th-birthday bash? Money, we’re guessing, and connections. Nevertheless, over at The Upstate Life, TUL says, “If there was ever a moment we encountered full-blown surrealism, it was Saturday night.” He notes that the band he witnessed playing some couple’s living room is the same band “playing a benefit show at the Black Cat next weekend that sold out in less than a minute.” Plenty of pictures, too. 

I’m a bit late on this link, but over at Quiet Declarations, Chad gives an extensive rundown of his opinions on the best coffee shops in the area. On the top of his list? “Open City (24th & Calvert, NW) offers, in my opinion, the best combination of atmosphere and product.”  

Rachel over at Project Beltway documents the fashion sense of the late-night crowd at Smith Point in Georgetown. 

Artomatic, the open-to-anyone art festival, is largely derided by critics—but I had a surprisingly fun night there when I attended two years ago with a group of friends. Of course, that year, the festival was held at the old Children’s Museum building—a large, confusing, almost creepy multistoried space that reminded me of an abandoned insane asylum. This year, as the City Paper notes, Artomatic will be held in a decidedly less-atmospheric spot: the former US Patent and Trademark building at 2121 Crystal Drive in Crystal City. 

Speaking of art, Lenny over at Mid Atlantic Art News rounds up the best art-show openings this weekend. On Sunday, he notes, “Super-talented photographer Jim Steele has an opening reception for his exhibition at the beautiful Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria. The reception is from 2–4 pm.” 

The DC Examiner reports on the construction of a new complex for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Penn Quarter. The larger building will allow the company to perform eight shows a season rather than five.

Finally, don’t forget that today is International Women’s Day. The National Portrait Gallery has a lovely online gallery of portraits of “twentieth-century America’s famous and influential women.”  Why not go check out some of their portraits in person this weekend? The museum is located at 750 Ninth Street, NW.