Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

A weekend of burlesque, beer and comedy is only a day away. Whether you’re gearing up for The Super Bowl or not, catch two edgy artists with a soulful sound Friday and Saturday, or check out a comedian “Brooklyn hipsters and Jersey slobs can agree on” for $5. On Sunday, “deflate the kegs” at Capitol Lounge or keep it classy with hand-selected wine pairings at Petworth Citizen.


Black Alley at The Fillmore: Catch this seven-member group in their hometown. With a number of instruments in play, Black Alley melds soulful genres like R&B with edgier lyrics – like “Crankin,’” which begins with a sweet, single male voice but quickly becomes a rap song with female vocals and an electric guitar to boot.

The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road. 9 p.m. $33


Mike Recine at Underground Comedy: The Big Hunt hosts stand-up every Friday, but this week, comedian Mike Recine, a self-proclaimed “New York-based piece of garbage,” will perform. With bits like “Why You Don’t Have a Girlfriend” and “Men are like Tigers,” Recine’s routine is bound to be uncomfortably funny. And even if it isn’t, The Big Hunt has some of the best beer picks in the District. Cheers!

The Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave. NW. 8 p.m. $5


The Richmond Burlseque Revue at The Black Cat: The longest-running burlesque show in Virginia will “invade” The Black Cat for an evening of colorful characters and over-the-top performances. Head to The Red Room to grab a drink or three before the opening act.

The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. 9 p.m. $12

Gigamesh at U Street Music Hall: Best known for the slow-build in electro-tunes like “Your Body,” Gigamesh has a flair for bringing new-wave disco artists like Michael Jackson into 21st-century dance clubs. His affiliation with The Hype Machine, as well as his more modern mixes of Two Door Cinema Club and Foster the People, are helping him promote his latest endeavor – an EP due Feb. 12.

U Street Musical Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $10



“Deflate the Kegs” at Capitol Lounge: From 5:30 until kick-off (6:30 p.m.), Capitol Lounge is hosting an open bar happy hour. Those wearing a Patriots jersey can get a free draft – Boston Lager, Sam Adams Cold Snap or Bud Light – and of course, New England calm chowder. Speciality wings, as well as typical bar fare, will also be on the menu.

Capitol Lounge, 229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Bar opens at 10 a.m. Prices vary.

Half-price wine at Petworth Citizen & Reading Room: If fried shrimp Bahn Mi and Chile Relleno sound better than wings and dip, avoid the sports bar scene and head to this copper-coated restaurant for dinner – and half-priced bottles of wine. Bottles are selected by their in-house bar manager Kristi Green, who writes an invite-only blog for fellow winos based in the District.

Petworth Citizen & Reading Room, 829 Upshur St. NW. 5 to 11 p.m. Dinner $10-$14, wine $20.

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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 10:06 a.m.

Hidden Gems: Dog Tag Bakery

Dog Tag Bakery, a part of Dog Tag Inc., offers veterans with disabilities an education at Georgetown University while they get work experience.

The bakery, which opened in December, employs not only veterans but also those who care about veterans’ issues.

“My mother has five brothers. They all served in the military, so I felt like this was my way, since I didn’t go in, this is a good way to contribute,” said Christopher Tibbs, the assistant general manager.

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Updated: Jan. 29, 2015 at 9:48 p.m.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival held its Sing Into Spring contest Tuesday at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Northeast D.C.

Local a cappella groups and soloists competed for a chance to sing at the April 11 parade. The GW Troubadours and The GW Vibes performed, but both lost the group competition to the Cathedral Close school group, Jackets Off, and Sopranessence, an ensemble of sopranos based in D.C.

Video by Christopher Saccardo.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
In the video, The Hatchet incorrectly spelled GW Vibes member Evan DeFrancesco’s name as Evan DiFrancesco. We regret this error.

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Captain Cookie and the Milkman will open its doors Thursday after a five-and-a-half-month-long construction process.

Kirk Francis, the owner of Captain Cookie, said he first noticed the available lease in March and took it in July, with a plan to finish construction in 40 days. After running into unexpected complications with the construction company, the store will have its grand opening Thursday at 11 a.m.

“We’re going to be baking them throughout the day,” Francis said. “So the odds of getting a warm cookie are very high.”

The store has been a long time coming for Francis, whose original goal was to open a bakery. Instead, in 2011 he bought a food truck, which he said was a “rusty, rattling bucket of bolts” at the time, for $2,200 on Craigslist. The Captain Cookie food truck hit the streets in 2012 after Francis spent a year repairing it.

“I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies since I was 4 and obsessively perfecting and working on the recipes for everything,” said Francis, who eats between four and six cookies a day.

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You may not be looking forward to the first full week of classes, but there are plenty of ways to let off some steam after lecture.

This week, check out London Grammar in concert, go to a #BlackLivesMatter workshop or jam at Club Heaven and Hell.


John C. Reilly & Friends at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue: John C. Reilly will play musical host in a night of folk, bluegrass and country music. During the “special night of community through music and tradition,” he and some special guests will team up to perform on stage.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 7 p.m. $25 in advance, $30 day of show.

Silence Is Violence Workshop at Capitol Hill: Following the events in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City, theater artists from the D.C. area will gather for a night to respond to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The event will feature poems, monologues and other artistic works by Young Playwrights’ Theater students and members of D.C.’s art community. The event will be open-mic style.
Capitol Hills Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh St. NW. 7 p.m. Free.


Giraffage at U Street Music Hall: San Francisco producer Charlie Yin has turned bedroom beats into dance floor staples as Giraffage with his R&B remixes and vibe-laden solo tracks.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $15.

Multi-Instrument Open Mic in Adams Morgan: Club Heaven and Hell will provide a drum kit, bass amp, keyboard and PA system for this event, where you can meet some like-minded performers or just jam for a few hours Wednesday night.
Club Heaven and Hell, 2327 18th St. NW. 7 p.m. $5.


London Grammar at the 9:30 Club: British electronic pop trio Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic “Dot” Major will hit the 9:30 Club stage with more fans on this side of the pond than ever before. The band made its U.S. television debut on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” a year ago and its classic yet funky songs have been featured in Dior and Sony commercials.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 6 p.m.

Conversation with Artists at The Phillips Collection: Sculptor, photographer and multimedia artist Paul Pfeiffer will sit down with a GW associate professor of art history, Alexander Dumbadze, to discuss his art.
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. 6:30 p.m. $20.

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Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 5:08 p.m.

Captain Cookie store to open Thursday

Media Credit: Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Kirk Francis, owner of the popular Captain Cookie food truck, shows one of his new menus. File Photo by Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Sweet news from the Shops at 2000 Penn: Captain Cookie and the Milkman will open its long-awaited brick-and-mortar store Thursday.

Captain Cookie had a sign posted on its truck this week that read, “Ask me about my storefront,” and a post from its Twitter account confirmed the opening day.

Owner Kirk Francis has said that he hopes to turn the store into a “campus hub” for students, and he’ll serve cookies, coffee, milkshakes and home-brewed sodas. The store will also make late-night deliveries. It will replace Cone E. Island, which shut down last spring after 27 years in the Shops at 2000 Penn.

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Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 8:19 p.m.

Read-a-thon cautions against surveillance state

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sucharita Mukherjee.

Reading aloud is usually reserved for middle-school classrooms, but this week, D.C. Public Library invited residents, as well as some high-profile community figures, to rediscover George Orwell’s “1984” in an 11-hour read-a-thon.

French edition of Orwell's "1984," 1969.

French edition of Orwell’s “1984,” 1969.

The event kicked off Orwellian America, a two-week program to teach attendees about surveillance, safety, technology and literature. About 70 people volunteered to take turns reading “1984″ aloud at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Wednesday.

The group was made up of library staff and figures like Craig Aaron from FreePress, Amie Stepanovich from Access, Danielle Brian of Politico and Shahid Buttar from the Bill of Rights Committee. Members of the public were also welcome to read.

“Something we care about [at FreePress] is unchecked spying and surveillance and people’s right to privacy, and keeping the free and open Internet,” Aaron said. “We have to have more public conversation about unchecked surveillance.”

He said he believed “1984″ is often read in schools to help shape students’ attitudes about privacy and government overreach.

There were approximately 30 people at the reading in the mid-afternoon, and Aaron expected the event to pick up after school and work ended. Librarians Catherine Gees and Eric Riley said the series aimed to appeal especially to students.

“We tried to identify something that would really resonate with the public, something that was relevant and current and [that would] get a lot of attention from younger people, the emerging adult demographic,” Gees said.

Riley cited recent scandals involving the National Security Agency, whistle-blower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks as catalysts for selecting “1984” as the focus of the series.

The events, which last through the weekend, are free to the public.

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Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 7:33 p.m.

What We’re Watching: ‘Selma’

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Eric Robinson.



From the simplicity of “The Theory of Everything” to the jingoistic hagiography of “American Sniper,” 2014 was a year that exposed the flaws and limitations of the biopic genre.

Filmmakers revealed a pervasive unwillingness to explore the human complexity of their subjects in favor of stereotyping and even misrepresenting them for the purposes of creating easily digestible Oscar bait.

Promotional Poster for 'Selma.'

Promotional Poster for “Selma.”‘

So it was a shock to see a film as high profile as “Selma” depict one of the most revered figures in American history, Martin Luther King Jr., as he truly was: a flawed and complicated human being.

“Selma” follows King (David Oyelowo) and his followers as they attempt to stage political marches in Selma and convince President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) to support legislation that guarantees black Americans the vote.

The absolute genius of “Selma” is the decision to make King a supporting character in his own film. Whereas a lesser film would narrowly focus on King’s experience, “Selma” instead focuses on the Civil Rights Movement’s political efforts as a whole, functioning like Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”

By casting a slight shadow on King, “Selma” avoids idolizing him and instead allows the decisions King makes as a leader and the small intimate moments with his wife speak for themselves. Keeping with this very human approach, “Selma” smartly integrates King’s infidelities and personal doubts into the narrative, creating a portrayal that is both rich and honest.

Director Ava DuVernay presents a film with a power that is effective despite the measured approach she takes to the subject matter. The scenes in which peaceful protesters are being brutalized feel terrifyingly real and violent without being excessive. DuVernay is fearless in her effort to link the seemingly distant past to our present, and the result is downright uncomfortable and moving.

In one scene, King confronts the grandfather of a murdered protester. Whereas most filmmakers would attempt to wring emotion from the moment by having King make an inspirational speech, Oyelowo’s King struggles to say much of anything, eventually settling on, “There are no words.”

“Selma” is the greatest biopic of 2014. It’s a film that understands that sometimes, honesty is the best way to honor an icon.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Samuel Pfister. 

This weekend, you can catch a metal concert, see a car show or ask Comedy Central writers what it’s like to work alongside Jon Stewart.


Wings Denied at the Black Cat: Progressive rock band Wings Denied returns to the District after a tour with stops in Athens, Ga., and Chattanooga, Tenn. The group recently released an album, “Mirrors for a Prince,” which will be available at the show.
The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors at 9 p.m. $12

Auto Show at the Walter E. Washington: This Friday marks the beginning of the 2015 Washington Auto Show. Scores of exhibitors will display their latest models as well as classics, plus recent innovations like the Toyota I-Road. Attendees will have the chance to win prizes and meet guests, including D.C. sports figures like NFL legend Charley Taylor and the Capitals’ Brooks Laich.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. $12


“The Daily Show” Writers’ Tour: Writers and producers behind “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” will perform so-called “political-ish” comedy. Afterward, audience members can ask questions about the production of the satirical show.
600 I St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $20

Architectural Adaptation at The National Building Museum: Be the first to experience the museum’s latest interactive exhibit on the heels of last fall’s wildly popular maze. This exhibit, which opens Saturday, will have more than 60 three-dimensional models suspended from second-floor balconies that Danish architect Bjarke Ingels designed to exhibit his idea of “hedonistic sustainability,” a philosophy that environmentally friendly structures need not be defined by pain and sacrifice.
National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 student admission to exhibitions.


Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists at U Street: Bry Bry leads The Apologists, also known as the crooners and screamers behind the laid-back punk band. The band’s first release, “I Learned To Drown Myself Out,” is a take on matters of the heart. They have a strong following in the District.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $15

Choreographers’ Showcase in Maryland: Spend the day at the University of Maryland for the 32nd Annual Choreographers’ Showcase. The afternoon is packed with performances from local choreographers, and finalists will be selected by judges Zvi Gotheiner and Keith Thompson.
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, intersection of Stadium Drive and Route 193. 3 p.m. $15 to $25.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Christina Carpenter.

While GW students are anxiously awaiting the opening of Captain Cookie, others in the District are filling their stomachs with healthier options.

A recent Zagat survey of 10,000 diners in American cities found that D.C. restaurant-goers truly value healthy ingredients: 48 percent of diners said they loved Brussels sprouts, significantly higher than the national average, and beets and kale were also popular in the District.

Last year, D.C. earned the title of Forbes’ “healthiest city in America” when it reported that 81 percent of residents did some kind of physical activity and fewer than 22 percent were obese, using the American Fitness Index.

Healthy eating and dining out don’t have to be mutually exclusive – and with just a few days left of Restaurant Week, many healthy restaurants are still taking reservations. These veggie-filled dining options won’t break the bank:

Agora, 1527 17th St. NW
Agora, located in Dupont Circle, offers high-quality Mediterranean-fusion cuisine. Try their Htipiti (a spread of roasted red peppers, feta, thyme and olive oil), Bruksel Lahana (fried Brussels sprouts with white truffle crème fraiche) and Garides Tava (sautéed shrimp with shaved garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil and diced tomatoes). Finish off with Pistachio Baklava – if you dare.

1789 Restaurant, 1226 36th St. NW
If you’re in the mood for American food, try dinner at this charming and historic Georgetown restaurant. They offer a seasonally appropriate Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with pomegranate brown butter and rye croutons and short ribs with pearl and cipollini onions, oyster mushrooms, pomme puree and bordelaise. The cheese course is highly recommended by the restaurant.

Bistro Cacao, 320 Massachusetts Ave. NW
For French cuisine, try dining in Bistro Cacao’s elegant red room, located in Capitol Hill. Healthy and tasty options include seafood dishes like grilled trout with fingerling potatoes, green beans and lemon butter sauce.

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