Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Your Memorial Day weekend agenda could be chockfull of patriotism, from Monday’s American Veterans Centers annual parade on Constitution Avenue to Sunday’s Rolling Thunder Motorcycle rally, which honors prisoners of war and missing soldiers.

But for a weekend that’s a little less about the stars and stripes, and a little more about your Monday off from work, read on.

Geographer at 9:30 Club, Saturday at 7 p.m. for $20

New Jersey native Mike Deni is the headman of Geographer, an electro-indie band that’s heavy on synthesizers and sweet lyrics. Their lullaby-esque sound meshes perfectly with computerized beats in songs like “Paris” and “I’m Ready.”  The trio – Deni, cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher – played at Firefly Music Festival and toured with Tokyo Police Club last year. Their song ”Can’t You Wait” was featured in Pixar’s anti-bullying campaign, It Gets Better, in 2010.

Jake Johannsen at DC Improv, Saturday at 10 p.m. for $20

Catch the last night of Jake Johannsen’s stand-up at DC Improv. The seasoned comedian offers a fresh, funny prospective on politics and culture in 2015 with his well-timed punchlines and shrug-of-the-shoulders wit. Johannsen has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” 46 times and “Seinfeld” creator Jerry Seinfeld originally offered the role of George Constanza to Johannsen who, obviously, turned it down.

DC Kings Variety Show at Bier Baron Tavern, Sunday at 5 p.m. for $10

Since 2000, the comedy troupe, founded by drag king Ken Vegas, has brought together LGBT performers for drag performances, sketch comedy, stand-up and burlesque shows. The event is also part of a fundraiser for the annual Capital Pride parade in June.

Quiet Company at The Hamilton, Sunday at 7 p.m. for $14-18

You’ve probably had one of Quiet Company’s songs stuck in your head after hearing it on an episode of “The Real World” or “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” The indie rock band, which hails from Texas, fuses pop beats with catchy guitar riffs in tracks like “You, Me & the Boatman.” See them fresh off the release of their newest album, “Transgressor.”

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Monday, May 18, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Early summer concerts calling your name

Drake and The Strokes may be coming to the National Mall this fall, but there are plenty of shows to catch before September. Give yourself a few nights to look forward to early this summer by buying concert tickets before they sell out and you’re stuck shelling out your hard-earned cash on StubHub.

Purity Ring: May 29 (early and late shows) at 9:30 Club
If the eerie intro of “stillness in woe,” the breathy lovesickness of “heartsigh” or the lyrically honest “push pull” don’t convince you to spend May 29 with Purity Ring, nothing will. Every song on their second album, “another eternity” was made to be played live.

The February release received mixed reviews from “a collection of aggressively polyglot dance pop you wouldn’t be surprised to find on Taylor Swift’s iPod” to “stark tracks that find a middle ground between lustrous synth pop and…plush, cavernous hip-hop.”

The Canadian duo is a sparkling gem in a sea of bland electro-indie-pop with its melodious consistency and swelling bridges – and be sure to listen for “Fineshrine” off their 2012 album.

Rusted Root: June 3 at 9:30 Club
Five words: “Send Me On My Way.”

There are few things seemingly lamer than a ‘90s band from Pittsburgh. Rusted Root is part jam-band, part tribal-funk and the band often sings about religion, but its musical oddities are part of its charm. The band took a seven-year hiatus in the mid-2000s before releasing “The Movement” with acoustic songs like “Fossil Man” and “Monkey Pants.”

The band never received national attention like it did after “Send Me On My Way” dropped in 1994, and even then, the song wasn’t a huge hit. It was only after it played in films like “Matilda” in 1996 as well as the first “Ice Age” that Rusted Root earned some acclaim.

A-Trak: June 11 at U Street Music Hall
Alain Macklovitch, also known as A-Trak, is the owner of Fool’s Gold Records, a Brooklyn-based record label that represents artists from Kid Cudi to Duck Sauce to Sweet Valley.

The story goes that when Macklovitch was 22 in 2004, Kanye West was so impressed by his skills in a London record store that he invited him on his North American tour. Since then, A-Trak has mixed for MSTRKRFT, Lupe Fiasco and Boys Noize. His shows are massive parties and his beats sound like Major Lazer but a little smoother and like Skrillex with a little more hip-hop.

And with lyrics like, “Got your bitch flipping like a gymnast/She told me take your glasses off but she looks horrendous,” how could you not be charmed?

Best Coast: June 16 at 9:30 Club
There are plenty of good reasons to stay in D.C. over the summer, but sand between your toes is not one of them. Insert Best Coast, the lo-fi duo that radiates sunshine and seems to wear a faint, California kush perfume everywhere they go.

Lead singer Bethany Cosentino, whose Instagram reveals her to be a normal twenty-something who loves her cat, Drake and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” puts on a show that feels so intimate, it feels like you’re sitting around her pool in L.A., sipping Bloody Marys and listening to “Know Yourself” over her speakers.

The band released its third full-length album, “California Nights,” two weeks ago. One reviewer compared it to “a needy, narcissistic LA teen in an ironic Avril Lavigne T-shirt who loiters around the house” and a Pitchfork review noted the love-it-or-loathe-it nature of Cosentino’s simple lyrics and guitar riffs. You just have to get it.

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Monday, May 11, 2015 1:08 p.m.

Video: Seniors reminisce

by hrogers

Seniors shared their favorite GW memories and the opportunities they wish they had taken advantage of during their college years.

As they prepare for Commencement on May 17, seniors also shared advice for undergraduates.

“GW is unique in that we’re centered in the nation’s capital,” said Maddison Bruer. “Don’t forget it.”

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 7:27 p.m.

Video: Yoga on the Mall

by hrogers

Hundreds flocked to the Washington Monument to attend three hours of free yoga Saturday at Yoga on the Mall, an annual event hosted by D.C. Community of Yoga.

Yoga on the Mall celebrated its 10th anniversary as the final event of Metro D.C. Yoga Week, where studios in the area hold free yoga classes.

“I was doing a [pose] with a backbend and you just look behind you and the Washington Monument is right there,” said Liz Moses, a senior at GW. “You don’t get to do that anywhere else.”

Started in 2005, D.C. Community of Yoga is a non-profit organization with over 50 member studios, including CorePower Yoga and Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown.

Video by Halley Rogers.

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Sunday, May 3, 2015 5:31 p.m.

Video: PAWS your stress

GW hosted “PAWS Your Stress” in University Yard on Saturday where 11 cuddly puppies from Canine Companions for Independence offered students some stress relief as they prepare for final exams.

Canine Companions for Independence is a nonprofit that raises and trains assistance dogs to work with children and adults that suffer from disabilities.

“It’s great for their socialization and it’s great for the students to relieve a little bit of stress as they’re going in to the busy exam season,” said John Rogers, president of the Capitol chapter of Canine Companions for Independence.

Video by Christopher Saccardo and Blair Guild.

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The Asian Student Alliance hosted a day market in the mid-campus quad on Thursday as part of the 2015 Asian Pacific Islander heritage celebration.

Participating student organizations included the Korean Cultural Organization, the Vietnamese Student Association, the Philippine Cultural Society, Kappa Phi Lambda, Pi Delta Psi and Sigma Psi Zeta.

“An event like this is open to everybody, and it’s a really fun way to get a little cultural awareness and meet new people,” said Jay Yang, president of the Asian Student Alliance.

Video by Yara Bishara.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015 5:49 p.m.

Hidden Gems: The Fridge

by kpayne

The Fridge is an art gallery found on Barracks Row in Eastern Market that showcases local artists. Opened in 2009 by owner Alex Goldstein, The Fridge displays modern art and street graffiti.

If you’re looking for an edgy new art gallery to check out, The Fridge creates a vibrant environment by fusing art and musical performances.

“My focus the whole time [has been] helping to develop younger artists,” Goldstein said.

Video by Halley Rogers.

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Casal Català of D.C. hosted the first annual World Book Day, also a traditional Catalonian festival known as Sant Jordi, on Saturday in Dupont Circle.

“This year, we thought that we wanted to bring it to Washington for all the Washingtonians to enjoy,” said Mar Tarrés of Casal Català.

UNESCO adopted April 23 as World Book Day, and it is now celebrated in more than 50 places across the world.

Video by Haley Lloyd.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 12:38 p.m.

Video: GW Battle of the A Cappellas

Updated: May 17, 2015 at 1:12 p.m. 

Seven a cappella groups performed in GW Class Council’s Battle of the A Cappellas. The GW Vibes took first place this year, beating last year’s winner, the Sons of Pitch.

Each group performed two songs and were judged by an administrator, a student and a guest judge from the national organization Chorus America.

Video by Sara Amrozowicz.

This post has been updated to reflect the following correction: 

The Hatchet incorrectly identified the GW MotherFunkers as the winner of last year’s Battle of the A Cappellas. Sons of Pitch had won the event. We regret this error.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 12:09 p.m.

Take a two-wheeled tour of the city

The Capital Crescent Trail is one of the most popular biking routes in the country with 11 miles of rail trail that extend from Georgetown to Silver Spring, Md. Lydia Francis | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Capital Crescent Trail is one of the most popular biking routes in the country with 11 miles of rail trail that extend from Georgetown to Silver Spring, Md. Lydia Francis | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Christina Carpenter.

The hordes of tourists have dwindled post-cherry blossom bloom so now’s your chance to snag a Capital Bike – or your roommate’s – and explore the District. Capital Bikeshare offers a number of membership fees ranging from $7 a day to a year-long pass for $75.

The first 30 minutes of each trip are free and each additional half-hour adds an extra fee. If you’re looking to make a long-term investment, you can purchase a bike at local shops like The Bike Shop on 24th Street.

Once you’ve picked your ride, abandon that boring path you bike every day. D.C. has more than 100 miles of bike lanes and trails you may never have cruised before.

Capital Crescent Trail winds from Georgetown to Silver Spring on an old railroad track. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Lady Bird Johnson Park is located alongside the Potomac River, making it a picturesque destination for bikers, runners and walkers during the spring and summer months. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Capital Crescent Trail 3500 K St. NW
This 11-mile sightseeing trail follows an abandoned railroad from K Street in Georgetown to Silver Spring, Md., crossing through downtown Bethesda. The old rail was once used to transport lumber and provide coal for power plants. The trail is popular among walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. In fact, it’s the most heavily used rail trail in the U.S., according to its website. The last portion of the trail, which is still unpaved, will be rebuilt along with the Purple Line.

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens 1703 32nd St. NW
You don’t have to go to Versailles to see a garden that National Geographic ranked in a list of the top 10 in the world. Dumbarton Oaks, located at the North end of Georgetown, is often compared to The Secret Garden with its fountains, mosaic tiles and rose bushes.

In the spring, the gardens are open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is $8. The Dumbarton Oaks Museum is free and open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The nearest Capital Bikeshare station is located two blocks from the museum. If you have a bike of your own, park it in the bicycle racks at the entrances of the garden and museum.

Lady Bird Johnson Park George Washington Memorial Parkway
Located along the Potomac River, Lady Bird Johnson Park is about three and a half miles from Foggy Bottom near the Pentagon. Although it is technically in the borders of D.C., it is closer to the Virginia side of the river.

In the spring, the island is covered in blooming daffodils, tulips and cherry trees. The park is also home to two memorials: the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove and the Navy and Marine Memorial.

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