Thurs., Feb. 14, Peggy Benks

The Press Club, 9 p.m., call for cover

The term “performance art” has always been a bit confounding. Isn't all performance, by its very nature, art? (And, yes, sometimes that art, by its very nature, is bad or, worse, boring. But still.) In any case, local singer Peggy Benks—a.k.a. Liz Donner—takes that performance to a higher level. Caked in theatrical makeup, Benks takes on a bevy of classic pop, punk and vocal standards and twists them into something slightly surreal yet wholly accessible. It's all very Blue Velvet-meets-Donna Reed at the cabaret on acid. Unlike some other so-called performance artists, however, Benks never makes you feel as if the joke's on you. Quite the accomplishment. 2030 P Street, (916) 444-7914,