Live This Week: GET FREAKY with The North Country, Black Masala & Adam Friedland, hosted by Jamel Johnson @ The Dunes

by Tony Porreco


a.) Music from The North Country / Black Masala
b.) Comedy Performances by Adam Friedman & Jamel Johnson
c.) Art Installation by Matt Hollis

When: Thursday May 2nd @ 7 PM

Where: The Dunes, 1402 Meridian Place, NW

the north country black masala

I’ve got a real soft spot for shows that unite different types of musicians, artists and performers under one tent. First, they expose audience members to performers and art forms they likely wouldn’t seek out on their own (I don’t typically make plans to check out a photography exhibit or see some slam poetry, but if it’s part of a show, I consider it an added bonus.) Second, “act diversity” frequently results in a superior audience experience, as show-goers are engaged via different communication mediums, and as a result, attendees in turn experience an enhanced sense of inclusion and involvement.

Said more simply, only so much interaction takes place between a band and an audience, and supplementary acts such as stand up comedy and spoken word story telling are cool in that they diminish the communicative gap between audience and performer, and promote an inviting sense of community.

If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, think about heading to The Dunes this Thursday for an event sporting an especially eclectic line-up. Psych-twang favorites The North Country team up with Black Masala, the oversized (Member Count: 9!) Eastern European-flavored gypsy ensemble with a couple of local comedians and 52 O Street artist Matt Hollis, with a brand new art installation.

I’ve been spending some time with Hollis’ work this afternoon, and I’m pretty drawn to his sculptures, which have a feathery, piñata vibe to them, and the vibrant colors you’d associate with the suspended Mexican candy repositories.
gushmatt_hollis_pinata 2

Concerning the yucksters, Adam Friedman is a veteran of Brandon Wetherbee’s comedic talk show/podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody, and the host of live bizarre sketch show Funny Moms, both of which have become staples of the DC comedy scene. Jamel Johnson, a colleague of Friedman, will serve as evening’s emcee: Just watched some bootlegged video of him performing at RFD. He’s got a boisterous style and a great onstage presence; I smirked.

This is a unique event with a great lineup of seasoned local performers. Everyone looks for excuses to start their weekend a little early. Here’s yours.

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