This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Madison Pontz.
Between midterms and the chaotic fun of celebrating Halloween, take it easy this weekend with some stress-free (and sometimes, just free) events.
Jam to live music, meet a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and maybe even get a jump on the Halloween festivities at the National Zoo – Bao Bao included.
Mary Lambert at U Street Music Hall: Best known as the female vocalist on Macklemore’s hit “Same Love,” singer-songwriter Mary Lambert will perform at U Street Music Hall on Thursday. Lambert’s emotionally charged, soulful songs lend themselves to a moving live show, comparable to those of artists like Adele and Tori Amos. Jillette Johnson will open.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 7 p.m. $18.
K.Flay at Rock & Roll Hotel: K.Flay is a fresh face in the indie hip-hop scene who just released her debut album, “Life As a Dog,” earlier this year. But don’t let the artist’s rookie appearance fool you. She’s already toured extensively with popular acts like Icona Pop and Passion Pit, and her breathy voice and mesmerizing, emotive lyrics have made hits out of tracks like “Thicker Than Dust” and “The Cops.” Minneapolis-based band Step Rockets will open the show.
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. 8 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 day of the show.
Take Cover at Acre 121: No, you’re not going to hear any original songs. But the covers-only band Take Cover is bound to amp up your Friday night with a new take on everything from today’s pop hits to 70s-era R&B. The only cover that’s missing from this event is the one you pay to get inside. Head over to Columbia Heights bar and restaurant Acre 121 for this free event for anyone 21 and older.
Acre 121, 1400 Irving St. NW. 10 p.m. Free. This is a 21+ event.
Dave Barnes at The Hamilton: Singer-songwriter Dave Barnes, an acoustic-pop and R&B artist originally from Nashville, makes a stop at The Hamilton this weekend. Barnes, whose hit “God Gave Me You” was nominated for a Grammy in 2012, has kept busy over his 12-year musical career with eight albums, including his most recent, “Golden Days,” which dropped earlier this year. Marc Scibilia will open the show.
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. 8:30 p.m. $17 to $23.
First Aid Kit at the 9:30 Club: Stop by the 9:30 Club to hear Swedish folk-pop duo First Aid Kit, a rad set of sisters famous for their 2008 cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.” Since the cover put them on the map, First Aid Kit has made a name of their own with folksy, pop and country-inspired tunes like “Emmylou” and “My Silver Lining.”
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $35.
Boo at the Zoo: Sure, this trick-or-treating event might be designed for kids, but that doesn’t mean celebrating Halloween early at the National Zoo will be any less fun for those who still enjoy candy, costumes, spirited Halloween decorations and quality time with Bao Bao, the Zoo’s famous baby panda. Throw on a costume and take this opportunity to hang out with the animals and gorge yourself on candy. Make sure to snag tickets online ahead of time.
National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 5:30 p.m. $30.
Slam poetry: At “Slam Up!,” slam poetry duo Cali Bulmash and Emily Lowinger will present their touching and hilarious work. The poets’ writing deals with all types of love – LGBTQ and straight, requited and not – and takes the form of music, spoken word and even rap. The event will also feature the work of Julia Jordan, a D.C.-based poet.
D.C. Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. 3 p.m. $5 for DCAC members, $10 for non-members.
Marilynne Robinson “Lila” Book Talk: Marilynne Robinson, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, will talk about her new novel, “Lila,” at Politics & Prose on Sunday. The final book of the “Gilead” trilogy, “Lila” tells the story of a woman’s grueling life and work in Iowa in the early 20th century.
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 5 p.m. Free.