Shake & Shout: A Benefit for Norton Records at the Black Cat, Saturday
When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast at the end of October, Miriam Linna of Brooklyn-based independent label Norton Records felt the company's stash of records, CDs and other items were safe in its Red Hook warehouse. For example, Hurricane Irene the previous year left only an inch of water.
Turns out, Norton Records wasn't immune to Sandy's wrath. Water flooded the warehouse, destroying countless pieces of merchandise.
"The water just came in and completely filled the warehouse, completely saturated everything, and pulled out with some kind of veracity," Linna said. "I couldn't comprehend how it happened."
Lost items include CDs, records, magazines, book, supplies, files and more. Nothing was digitized.
"It was basically everything that we have," Linna said. "A lot of it is irreplaceable. It's nothing that you can go on Google and buy on the Internet."
However, not everything was lost. Norton staff and volunteers have meticulously gone through items. Things that might be salvageable are being hung up to dry. As for the vinyls, volunteers remove the sleeves and put them one at a time into a manually-operated record washing machine, then set them out to dry on broomsticks next to radiators.
"We had the choice of going in there, closing the doors and calling it quits, or go in there and try to salvage what we could," Linna said.
Linna and Billy Miller founded Norton Records 26 years ago. The independent label features rockabilly, garage rock and more.
"Letting those records go into oblivion and not having them available, you're kind of defeating the purpose of not only us as a label, but of all the artists who have been on our label, and all the people who have ever worked on designing the covers or recording those sides or making the music or whatever," Linna said. "That is the unspoken initiative. People don't want such a collective effort to just vanish."
Linna said she still has 100 containers, each holding a couple hundred 45s to go through. When something has to be thrown out, she said it's like saying goodbye to an old friend.
"It's almost like losing a pal," Linna said.
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Info: Featuring DJs Baby Alcatraz, Mad Squirrel, Tariq and more; $5 backstage; blackcatdc.com
"Les Miserables" at National Theatre, through Sunday
You might have heard something about a new movie by the same title. Check out this live presentation of the classic "Les Miserables," which concludes its run on Sunday.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Info: $55 to $198; nationaltheatre.org
"A Trip to the Moon" at Synetic Theater, through Jan. 6
An interpretation of the 1902 Georges Melies classic silent film in Crystal City.
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Info: $35 to $55; synetictheater.org
Cedric the Entertainer at DAR Constitution Hall, Saturday
After a series of holiday-themed shows, DAR closes out 2012 with comedian Cedric the Entertainer.
When: 8 p.m., Saturday
Info: $49 to $79; dar.org
The Night Before New Year's Eve Party at the U Street Music Hall, Sunday
Another DJ-oriented benefit, this one helping the Washington Humane Society.
When: 9 p.m. Sunday
Info: $10; ustreetmusichall.com