- - Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pick of the Pack

Concert: Afrojack

The death of Chuck Brown is a reminder that the District is still struggling to create a music genre that people outside the area will listen to. Go-go, for all its merits and sampling, will never be Motown. But there is hope for moombahton, the electronic-reggaeton fusion, which was born right here in D.C. And moombahton got its biggest boost from Afrojack, aka Dutch DJ Nick van de Wall. Though you may not know his name, you definitely have heard his music. Afrojack has produced tracks for everyone from David Guetta to Pitbull to Beyonce, and his song “Take Over Control” was probably 2010’s biggest electronica hit on FM airwaves. As with most DJs, the allure of seeing Afrojack live really is the crowd and the atmosphere, as not a lot happens onstage. That’s why the Fillmore - a space that’s big, but not huge - is the perfect venue in which to see him.

Friday at Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

Phone: 301/960-9999

Web: www.fillmoresilverspring.com/index

Author talk: Justin Halpern

Justin Halpern is a model for getting rich without hardly trying. His Twitter feed, “Sh*t my dad says,” became so popular that CBS optioned it for TV and cast William Shatner as Mr. Halpern’s gruff, foul-mouthed pater familias. While the show flopped - sanitizing Mr. Halpern’s dad killed the jokes - Mr. Halpern hasn’t stopped mining his father for cashable comments. The premise of “I Suck at Girls,” Mr. Halpern’s new book, came about when he told his father that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend. Dad’s reaction was characteristically crude, but also wise: He told his son to spend some time thinking about his past relationships with women. This leads Mr. Halpern to muse at length about childhood girlfriends and his, uh, coming of age thanks to a job at Hooters.

Wednesday at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW

Phone: 202/408-3100

Web: www.sixthandi.org

Film: ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’

AFI’s Jack Nicholson retrospective is nearing its close, which means you have just a few more chances to see one of America’s best actors on the big screen. Younger filmgoers know Mr. Nicholson as a paunchy grouch - the neurotic novelist in “As Good as It Gets” and the miserable insurance salesman in “About Schmidt” - but “The Postman Always Rings Twice” is a reminder that he once was a Ryan Gosling-level Hollywood hunk, capable of steaming up the screen. The 1981 remake of the 1946 classic (itself based on a novel) is a sultry film noir in which Mr. Nicholson plays a young drifter-turned-restaurant-employee who willingly becomes the plaything of a bored older woman. Not for the faint of heart, but a must-see for any movie buff.

Monday through Thursday at AFI Silver, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

Phone: 301/495-6700

Web: www.afi.com

Exhibit: Deacon Peckham Collection

Deacon Robert Peckham’s most famous painting is “The Hobby Horse,” a startlingly lifelike depiction of two children in a nursery, one of them astride a wooden rocking horse. That painting, the National Gallery of Art says, is one of the most imitated in the museum’s collection and is featured, along with eight other of Peckham’s works, in a new exhibit of children’s portraiture. Peckham’s children, like those in the works of Lewis Carroll, seem wise beyond their years. Their eyes are large and searching, their mouths lined like those of adults, their lips pursed as if judging the viewer. While Peckham was active more than 200 years ago, you still can see traces of his influence - large, almost disembodied heads, even larger eyes - in lowbrow pop art.

Through Oct. 8 at the National Gallery of Art, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW

Phone: 202/737-4215

Web: www.nga.gov

Class: Personal Essay Weekend Workshop

The age of the personal essay and its cousin, the full-on memoir, is not yet over. You could take a crack at essaying on your own - plenty of folks have, and have succeeded commercially - or even sign up for classes at a college. But for someone just looking to dip his or her toes into the waters of self-reflection, the Writer’s Center, based in Bethesda, offers a weekend crash course in the personal essay. All one needs to do is register, plop down some cash, and show up with 12 copies of a 600- to 1,200-word essay.

Saturday at the Writer’s Center location in the Arlington Cultural Affairs Building, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, Va.

Phone: 301/654-8664

Web: www.writer.org