Every Friday evening, typically during the winter and spring months, the posh mansion at Strathmore transforms into a cultural hub, buzzing with the sights and sounds of the latest indie act.
In its fourth year, the Friday Night Eclectic series (usually about 10 weeks long) has become a hot spot for 20- and 30-somethings in Montgomery County.
This Friday, the mansion’s Shapiro Music Room, Gudelsky Gallery and tea room will be bustling with musicians, comedians and artists, all in the name of spring.
“We kind of sat down and thought about what the theme should be,” said Lisa Markuson, a San Francisco native and self-proclaimed “hippie-philanthropist.” Markuson also is one of the emcees on Friday night. “[And I said], ‘Hold the presses, let’s do something egg-themed.’”
So, this Friday, just in time for Easter, Strathmore presents “Friday Night Eclectic: You, Me, Them, Everybody’s Most Eggcellent Country Jamboree.”
The evening’s host is Brandon Wetherbee, creator, producer and host of “You, Me, Them, Everybody,” a podcast recorded regularly in Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York. Wetherbee also is the assistant editor at Huffington Post D.C. and a contributor for “Brightest Young Things,” a web magazine and marketing agency in D.C. and New York.
Wetherbee, originally from Chicago, created the live talk show in 2008. “You, Me, Them, Everybody” is recorded every Friday in D.C. and produces a show every Monday and Tuesday night at the Hungry Brain, a bar located in the Roscoe Village neighborhood in Chicago.
Wetherbee, who moved to D.C. in October 2010, said he started his podcast because there were “a lack of other podcasts [he] enjoyed.”
“It’s pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be,” Wetherbee said. “It’s kind of loose; at the end of the day, you want to laugh.”
As a part of the live show, Wetherbee brings on special guests, musicians and artists.
“This is a great way for me to get introduced to really fascinating people and hopefully work with them in the future,” he said.
Friday evening’s event represents an opportunity for Wetherbee to feature guests he wouldn’t typically bring on the normal talk show format.
“The Strathmore event is all of the people that I really like and respect [but] it doesn’t make sense for them to come on the podcast,” Wetherbee said.
Like Morgan Hungerford West, a.k.a. Pandahead, a local artist who has created a web presence for herself by posting about her style-based projects and collaborations.
On Friday, Pandahead will decorate eggs and create flower crowns, among other crafts.
The evening’s musical stylings include vocalist and guitar player Linsay Deming, cellist Daniel Frankhuizen, and the DC Squares, a square dance revival group, at Markuson’s request.
Like Wetherbee, Markuson also produces a podcast. Called “Bitchin,” the podcast’s cohost, Josef Palermo, will serve as a second emcee Friday night.
Markuson said the podcast is an opportunity for her and Palermo to “ ... [talk] about things that interest [them], showcase some music that [they] like and interview a guest.”
On Friday, the duo will welcome guests into the mansion, facilitate games and maybe even do some crafting themselves.
“We have a few local artists that are going to be coming in and doing portraits on eggs,” said Markuson, who does some artwork of her own. “If I paint anything, it’ll be one thing for fun, but I’m going to be leaving that to the pros.”
Both Markuson and Wetherbee said Friday’s Jamboree is a chance to interact with audiences and artists in a way that isn’t possible during their respective podcasts.
“There will be a much wider age [range],” Wetherbee said. “If you don’t like an act, you can go to a different room.”
“The difference is, hopefully, there is going to be a huge number of people we’re dealing with,” Markuson said. “I want to make sure people take the event into their own hands. ... Come in, have fun, paint, be creative. It’s not like we’re just putting culture on a platter for you to consume.”