- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wine tasting

Fall Wine Festival

The habits and beliefs of the Founding Fathers are subject to constant historical revision, but this much we know to be true and factual: George Washington loved his wine. According to Marvin Kitman, author of “George Washington’s Expense Account,” Washington changed wine suppliers three times during the first year of the war with Great Britain and expensed roughly $6,000 for alcohol in 12 months, much of it Madeira wine. We know this not from hints contained in personal letters but Washington’s own expense reports to Congress. After the strains of war and the presidency subsided, Washington turned his attention to developing a vineyard of his own at Mount Vernon, as well as a large wine cellar. Though the vineyard is no more, the cellar, as well as the wares of 16 local winemakers, will be available to visitors at this weekend’s Fall Wine Festival. Oct. 2 at Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon. Phone: 703/780-2000. Web: www.mountvernon.org.


Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!

If you’re a parent, you might want to play this event close to your chest. The cast of the Emmy-nominated TV show “Yo Gabba Gabba!” is giving a live performance at the Patriot Center. Your children, should they find out, will want to go. It’s possible they will howl with delight at the thought of seeing Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Plex and Toodee live onstage. It’s likely they will plead for you to take them and seven of their closest friends. And it’s almost guaranteed they will be temporarily devastated if you say no. So hide this section someplace where the kids can’t find it, and ruminate (quickly, now!) on the feasibility of spending several hours in the cheap seats - take note, cash-strapped parents, these are the only seats still available - while your kids have the time of their lives. Sept. 30 at George Mason University’s Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax. Phone: 703/993-3000. Web: www.patriotcenter.com.


‘Mahler on the Couch’

Legend has it that when Sigmund Freud met composer Gustav Mahler at a spa in Leyden, the first words out of Freud’s mouth were, “Go back, go home, [expletive] your mother, and accept him as your father!” To modern ears, Freud’s proclamation sounds downright psychotic, not to mention incestuous. But at the turn of the 20th century, the sex-oriented theories behind psychoanalysis were epiphanic. At least, they were for Mahler, who turned to Freud upon learning that his wife, Alma, was having an affair with a dashing young architect. The German film “Mahler auf der Couch,” or “Mahler on the Couch,” explores the famed composer’s induction into psychoanalysis and the depth of his relationship with Freud. As for Freud’s initial proclamation? Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol once said it led Mahler to realize he had been treating his sheltered wife like … his mother. Oct. 4 at Goethe-Institut Washington, 812 Seventh St. NW. Phone: 202/289-1200. Web: www.goethe.de/enindex.htm.


The Album Leaf

Like deciduous trees, some bands live or die by the seasons. Fall is arguably the toughest season in which to shine. We don’t want to give up our summer jams for the somber stuff. We know seasonal affective disorder is right around the corner. We’re dreading another snowpocalypse, snowmageddon or whatever moniker this year’s monster snowfall will earn for itself. Yet fall, especially in Washington, features some of the balmiest weather the planet has to offer. For this reason, San Diego solo act the Album Leaf is perfect for the season. Jimmy LaValle’s voice sounds like a furnace feels on the first cold morning. His orchestral and melancholy synth compositions play against a fiery orange tree line like cinnamon-apple compote on a porkchop. Oct. 1 at the Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Phone: 202/388-ROCK. Web: www.rockandrollhoteldc.com.


Crafty Bastards

Despite the name, the folks at the Washington City Paper’s Crafty Bastards festival actually are rather sweet. The festival showcases local artists as well as D.C. residents who aren’t defined by their work on the Hill or at a stuffy nonprofit. All of them are united in their mission of baking, knitting and designing to delight. As a testament to its popularity, what started several years ago as a weekend swap meet for the Etsy crowd is now a proper festival, with more than 170 activity stalls ranging from Hello Craft’s Make Something Awesome area, to the ladies of DC Roller Derby and the B-Boy Battle. Oct. 1 at Marie Reed Learning Center, 18th Street and Wyoming Avenue Northwest. Web: www.washingtoncitypaper.com.

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