- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First accounts

Much of history is known through first-person accounts of events and conversations. The National Archives is going back to these first-person or “eyewitness” accounts for its newest exhibit, “Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives.” The accounts come in the form of photographs, audio and video, diaries and

letters. Some of the highlights include pages from President Truman’s diary that describe his first meeting with Josef Stalin, and Lady Bird Johnson’s audio diary about Nov. 22, 1963, the day of President Kennedy’s assassination. The exhibit opens tomorrow and continues through Jan. 1. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Pennsylvania Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets Northwest. 202/501-5000.

Irish dance

Riverdance makes its annual return to the D.C. area tonight for four nights of dancing at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center. The multimedia dance showcase blends Celtic mythology and Irish history with high-energy dance and picturesque theatrics. Showtime is 8 tonight and tomorrow night; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $16 to $70. 1645 Trap Road, Vienna. 703/218-6500.

Indie workhorse

According to Calexico’s John Convertino, “A band has got to keep changing and moving, or it will get boring and break up.” Luckily, mixing it up is exactly what the six members of Calexico have done throughout its decade-long career. It has gone through multiple lineup changes, co-authored a hit album with “Iron & Wine,” kept a nearly nonstop touring schedule and somehow found time to release its fifth studio album, “Garden Ruin.” Come see the indie-rock outfit on Monday at the 9:30 Club. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Only a name

For nearly his entire music career David Bazan has performed under the name Pedro the Lion. But for his newest release, “Fewer Moving Parts,” the moniker has been retired, and Mr. Bazan is back to making music under his own name. Fans won’t notice much of a change musically; his eclectic songwriting, intricate guitar work and simple recording techniques are still intact. Check for yourself when he stops by the Black Cat for a show tomorrow . Tickets are $10 to $12. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. 1811 14th St. NW. 202/397-SEAT

Bring a washcloth

On Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of local and national barbecue aficionados will square off for the 14th annual National Capital Barbecue Battle. Contestants will compete for $25,000 in cash and prizes along with the title of best barbecue. There will be live music, free food samples, interactive cooking displays and a variety of other events for the whole family. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 6 to 12; and free for younger children. Battle times are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. All the cooking and events happen on Pennsylvania Avenue, between Ninth and 14th streets, Northwest.

New label, new album

British quintet Gomez’s 2004 release “Split the Difference” seemed like it was its ticket up the musical hierarchy. It received its best reviews to date, sold plenty of albums and completed a near sold-out European tour, but all that wasn’t enough to keep the band from being dropped by its music label. Dave Matthews’ ATO Records swooped in and signed the band, and the lads just released their second ATO album, “How We Operate,” to a flurry of positive reviews. Currently stateside on tour, the band gets to play a gig with its boss when it opens for the Dave Matthews Band on Saturday at Nissan Pavilion. Tickets range from $39.50 to $59.50. Showtime is 7 p.m.

A good cause

The National Geographic Society is recognizing World Refugee Day on Saturday with a host of live concerts and family friendly activities. Musical acts from Haiti, Cuba and Latin America will perform. Local troupes also will perform traditional West African and South American dances. Everything takes place at the National Geographic Society, 17th and M streets Northwest, from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. 202/857-7589.

Thomas Walter

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