Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life


Regina Park

Bao Bao will leave the Smithsonian National Zoo for China at the beginning of 2017. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons user Andrew NZP using CC BY SA-4.0.

Bao Bao will leave the Smithsonian National Zoo for China at the beginning of 2017. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons user Andrew NZP using CC BY SA-4.0.

The Smithsonian National Zoo’s star giant panda Bao Bao will leave D.C. at the start of next calendar year, the zoo announced Thursday.

As one of the four pandas whose frolicking is broadcast 24/7 to a national audience, Bao Bao has become a National Zoo staple.

The move is part of the zoo’s cooperative breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. Once a panda cub turns four-years-old, the zoo is obligated to return the pandas to China where they take part in a breeding program.

“We are sad to see her go, but excited for the contributions she is going to continue to make to the global giant panda population,” Brandie Smith, the associate director of animal care sciences, said in the release.

Bao Bao will join her brother Tian Shen. Cub Bei Bei will be at the zoo until 2019.

The zoo is currently planning special goodbye events for Bao Bao’s fans, according to the release.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Passion Pit preforms at the All Things Go Music festival Saturday. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Passion Pit preforms at the All Things Go Music festival Saturday. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Isabel Pellegrino.

In most cases, pouring rain is the worst nightmare for any festival-goer. But Saturday’s downpour did not stop All Thing’s Go Fall Classic from being a hit.

Anything went at this festival – from multicolored ponchos to rain boots to a mud-covered white van. People danced and sang with wet hair in Yards Park from noon to night at the third annual event planned by alumnus Zack Friendly.

The acts of the day included Maryland’s Ace Cosgrove, Sofi Tukker, Bishop Briggs, Pop Etc., Sylvan Esso, Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun.

Local D.C. restaurants Takorean, Beefsteak, Compass, Milk Cult, Shake Shack, Timber Pizza and DGS offered food throughout the day.

In the spirit of celebrating DMV natives, Ace Cosgrove was the first act to go on at noon when few people had arrived at the venue. The smaller audience increased interaction between the artist and the audience, who were really interested in his music.

The Sofi Tukker duo took the stage next. Sofi, dressed in white, and Tukker, dressed in black, had immediate stage presence and offered strong visuals.

“I thought there was going to be no one here because of the rain. This is tight. I love you all,” Tukker said to the audience before they started their artful performance.

With their synchronized dancing and instrument book tree, the duo’s creativity was obvious. Their natural, raw talent came through with their dancing in the rain to songs like “Drinkee” and “Matadora.”

Pop Etc., an indie pop group, followed Sofi Tukker. The instruments and graphics on the banner behind them elevated their act and engaged the audience.

At one point, Chris Chu, the lead singer, played “I Wanted to Change the World But the World Changed Me” and pointed out that it is an especially relevant song in D.C.

Bishop Briggs was next to the stage, creeping onto the platform with a giant, yet timid, smile on her face. Before she began singing songs like “River,” “Be Your Love” and “Wild Horses” she looked down, squinted her eyes and then exploded with sound and passion. The astrological sign for female waved on the banner behind her, a testament to woman empowerment.

As Bishop Briggs exited the stage, the crowd was informed that Christine and the Queens had cancelled, due to the inclement weather. To fill the hour, Sofi Tukker returned to DJ, dance and invite members of the crowd on stage. Both Sophie and Tukker went for a crowd surf, and the audience went wild.

As the rain finally faded, Sylvan Esso took the stage with their pop indie electronic sound. The audience danced away to hits like “Hey Mami,” “Coffee,” “Radio” and “Dress” alongside lead singer Amelia Meath.

The crowd grew as the time approached for headline performers Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun to take the stage.

Empire of the Sun preforms at All Things Go. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Empire of the Sun preforms at All Things Go. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

When Passion Pit came on, lead singer Michael Angelakos sang out, “Rain or shine mother f——,” and jumped into playing “Take a Walk.”

With the bright lights, electropop sound and high energy, the mud beneath the crowd’s feet was nearly forgotten as they danced to Passion Pit’s hits.

Finally, Empire of the Sun brought the last round of light to the fall classic in their futuristic costumes. The flashing lights and enthralling performance to songs like “Walking on a Dream” and “We are the People” were the perfect end to a dream-like day centered on D.C.’s music scene.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Acapellapalooza, a performance at Lisner Auditorium showcasing GW’s student a capella groups, is headlining this year’s Colonials Weekend, according to a University release last week.

The weekend has traditionally included sold-out performances by guest celebrities. Bands like The Fray and Train and comedians including Jon Stewart, Seth Meyers and Bill Maher have headlined recent Colonials Weekend shows.

Acapellapalooza is a Colonials Weekend mainstay but previously had taken a backseat to the other acts.

Tracy Arwari, the director of the office of student support and family engagement, said in the release that this year’s family weekend – which will take place Oct. 14 to 16 – will highlight students’ talents.

“We are so excited that this year’s Colonials Weekend will showcase the student experience,” Arwari said.

The GW Band will also perform a concert in Lisner Auditorium Oct. 15, according to the release.

Students and families can attend traditional Colonials Weekend events, like the neighborhood block party, a jazz brunch and Colonials Invasion, according to a calendar for the weekend.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 6:45 p.m.

Q&A: Matoma talks good vibes, personal journey

Matoma, a Norwegian DJ, stormed onto the scene just three years ago but has already risen to stardom. Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor

Matoma, a Norwegian DJ, stormed onto the scene just three years ago but has already risen to stardom. Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor

Updated: Sept. 21, 2016 at 8:22 p.m.

Tom Lagergren, better known as Matoma, is a breakout Norwegian DJ and producer that has gone from zero to DJ fame.

Although his career officially took off in 2013 with his remix of “Old Thing Back” by the Notorious B.I.G., Matoma has had numerous hits over the past three years, like “Running Out,” “Stick Around” and “Paradise.”

Matoma has worked with the likes of Sean Paul, Jason Derulo, Madeon, Astrid S. and Becky Hill during his short career — success he attributes to his record label, Atlantic Records.

We sat down with him before his show at the A.I. this past Saturday.

You started your career by remixing other songs, such as your cover of “Old Thing Back” by the Notorious B.I.G. What inspired you to start creating your own songs, and why have you moved on from remixes?
Matoma: I saw remixing as an opportunity for me to show my talent as a producer because I didn’t know any songwriters or any people in the industry. To find a cappellas on the Internet was a good way for me to display my skills. So after building a roster of remixed songs and DJing, the opportunity came for me to sign on with a big label.

Personally, I think I signed on with the best record in the world, Atlantic Records. They are really talented and they take care of their artists. They have given me so many opportunities, such as “Running Out,” “False Alarm,” “Stick Around,” “Try Me” with Jason Derulo.

Speaking of, how do you get so many high profile artists to collaborate with you?
M: People in the music industry today, they listen to songs and the talent behind the songs. I don’t think the name is as important as it was ten years ago. I was with my manager, who is a beast, and we got my name on the records – that really boosted my career.

Which collaboration is your personal favorite?
M: I have to say “Stick Around,” “Paradise” and “False Alarm.” All my songs have a journey and a history behind them, so all my songs are as important. There are a few songs that stick out though, like “Waves” with Madeon and “Everything is Nice” with Popcaan.

What do you think it is about your music that grabs people?
M: I think it’s all about the good vibes and emotions in the song that you can really hear that there’s more behind it than the regular pop record. You can really feel it. For me, when I produce a song I just want people, when they listen to it for the first time, to have a good experience and want to listen to it again — listen to it closer, hear more of the hidden elements in the song.

I want to talk a little bit more about your album, “Hakuna Matoma.” Where did the name come from?
M: The name came from where I got my artist name in the first place. It was my brother who came up with Matoma. It was off the Calvin Harris concert in Flisa, the place where we live, and my brother said to me, “Tom, you need to change your name because it’s terrible!”

So we started the discussion, and the discussion got more and more heated. So it went between me and Dan, and he said, “Can’t you take life easy? ‘Hakuna matata!’” from “The Lion King.”

And my brother he wanted to back phrase that, and he came up with Hakuna Matoma.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016 10:41 a.m.

Weekend Outlook

A weekend of residential sculptures and fountains, of beer and drag kings – not queens – is in your future. Check out what the District has to offer this weekend.


Turf and Terrain Twilight Tour

Every other year, Arts in Foggy Bottom places unique, contemporary sculptures in the front gardens of private Foggy Bottom homes as part of an outdoor exhibition. Take a free tour of the sculptures led by the curator and, for the 21+ crowd, enjoy a wine happy hour following the tour.

River Inn, 924 25th N.W. 7 p.m. Free admission.


District Oktoberfest

Kick off your Oktoberfest in September with D.C.’s official District Beerathon in Chinatown. Purchasing a booze pass for the afternoon will net you a 12 oz. serving of special Oktoberfest beer at each of the six participating bars, including old favorites like Penn Social, Fado and Rocket Bar. Abita, Leinenkugel, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Spatel and Blue Moon are the featured beers of the night.

Various bars in Chinatown. Noon and 3 p.m. $50.



Tired of the drag queens at Nellie’s and Cobalt? Mix it up at Pretty Boi Drag kings: They’re presenting their own Back to School party at a themed Pretty Boi High night.

“Principal” Chris Jay will be chaperoning the party and the faculty, which will consist of DJ Tezrah and some of D.C.’s other well-known drag kings. Win prizes, such as tickets to Pretty Boi’s next events, and dance your heart out at Bier Baron for one night only.

Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. 2 p.m. $20.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 10:07 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This weekend is one for outdoor festivals — from live music showcases to film. You can also check out early Oktoberfest parties, Mitski and Meek Mill.


Oktoberfest parking lot party
It’s still a while until October begins, but you can get started early on the fall beer-drinking spirit this Friday. Port City Brewing company will host its Oktoberfest beers on tap a full six weeks before the real celebrations begin.

Port City Brewing. 3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, Va. 2 to 10 p.m. Free admission.


This up-and-coming indie rock singer released one of the best albums of the year this summer with “Puberty 2.” See her perform for free by attending a live studio audience recording that will broadcast later on WMUC.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, 8270 Alumni Dr., College Park, Md. 8 p.m. Free admission.

Break the Internet Festival
Get ready for Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, OT Genesis and Kent Jones, hosted by Cultural Atige ‘s Karen Civil. The Break the Internet Festival will showcase millennial music and talent, including a philanthropic component in which they challenge Generation Y to “break the internet” with their innovations on social media.

The winner of the contest will win $50,000 in scholarships.

Gateway D.C. at St. Elizabeth’s East Pavilion, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. 3 p.m. $50.


D.C. Adventure Film Festival
Join D.C. filmmakers at the final day of the Adventure Film Festival, sponsored by sports brand REI. The festival is meant to educate through film, encourage outdoor activities and inspire others to document their adventures.

Hiking, swimming, rappelling, rock climbing – all are encouraged, and all are welcome. Lectures and speakers from experienced filmmakers are also included on the schedule.

U.S. Navy Memorial Burke’s Theatre, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 5 p.m. $20.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Alternative rock band The Mowglis and Afro-European superstars Nico & Vinz will perform as the first dual headliners in Fall Fest history, the Program Board announced Monday.

The two artists cover genres untouched by previous Fall Fest headliners: rock and electronic pop with African-inspired undertones.

Nico & Vinz’s 2013 breakthrough hit “Am I Wrong” brought fame to the Scandinavian pop duo, winning the NRJ Award for “Song of the Year” and peaking as fourth on Billboard’s Top 100. Known for their ability to mish-mash genres as diverse as reggae and pop, the duo has been featured in tracks with David Guetta, Alesso and Bebe Rexha.

In comparison to Nico & Vinz’s international approach, L.A.-based group The Mowgli’s played activist concerts around L.A. until they released “San Francisco,” which later became the 2012 theme for the San Francisco Giants’ World Series-winning run.

Student band Bencoolen returns as veteran openers for this year’s Fall Fest – the indie-rock group opened for the Cold War Kids during 2014’s Fall Fest.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 3, with Bencoolen and the festival kicking off at 5 p.m.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 5:09 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Catherine Moran.

Dog lovers, Harry Potter fans and music enthusiasts are in for treats this weekend full of magic, puppies and alternative concert dining.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Enjoy a magical night watching the first Harry Potter movie while the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the entire soundtrack along with the movie. You’ll feel like you’re a student at Hogwarts in the Mansion at Strathmore’s enchanting wood-panelled music center. The venue is a 10-minute walk from the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station.

10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD. 8 p.m. $35.



Dog lovers should “paws” any Saturday plans for Woofstock, a day filled with furry four-legged friends. Humans can enjoy the barbecue and dessert food trucks and music by Party Like It’s … and DJ Deviir. No pet is required, but pet photography by award-winning pooch photographer Melissa McDaniels and canine treats by Spoil Me Rotten Biscuits are available for dog owners. The D.C. Pavilion is a 15-minute walk from the Gallaudet Metro station.

1399 Fifth St. NE. 3 p.m. $5.

Good Old War

Head over to the luxurious W Hotel by the White House for a rooftop performance by indie folk band Good Old War. You can book a table in the sleek and shiny POV Lounge for the performance. Get ready by listening to their upbeat single released in April “Never Gonna See Me Cry” from their 2015 album “Broken Into Better Shape.”

515 15th St. 7 p.m. Free.


Marcus Johnson

Enjoy a jazz brunch to smooth music by contemporary jazz pianist Marcus Johnson at The Howard Theatre. The Georgetown alumnus is a triple threat as a Billboard-charting musician, entrepreneur and teacher. He has released more than a dozen albums over the past 20 years. Johnson combines jazz with rhythmic elements from rap and hip hop.

620 T St. 1:30 p.m. $20.

Better Than Ezra

Party like it’s the 1990’s with the the alternative rock trio Better Than Ezra. Known for their 1995 hit single “Good,” the New Orleans-based band has a soothing classic rock sound. Check out their most recent album “All Together Now,” and the catchy rock-meets-pop lead single “Crazy Love.”

9:30 Club. 815 V St. 7 p.m. $30.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Thursday, July 28, 2016 4:58 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This weekend is all about the music. Celebrate the arts with National Dance Day at the Kennedy Center and a Billy Joel concert. Venture outside the District for more performances.

Rosslyn Cinema Outdoor Movie Festival

If you’ve ever wanted to lie on a blanket underneath the stars while watching a classic film, now is your chance. The Rosslyn Cinema Outdoor Movie Festival is showing “Top Gun” for free, but bring some cash if you want to get snacks from the nearby barbecue and tapas food trucks. You can either take the Metro one stop west of the Foggy Bottom station or walk across Key Bridge to the park.

Gateway Park. 1300 Lee Hwy., Rosslyn, Va. Dusk. Free.

Cirque du Soleil

Marvel at Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities.” Become mystified and entangled in the story of an inventor who distorts perspectives and turns the world upside down. A 25-minute bus ride from campus will get you close to the venue.

The Grand Chapiteau. 8025 Galleria Dr., Tysons, Va. 4 p.m. $39.


National Dance Day

So you think you can dance? Try out your moves to live music and interactive dance lessons at The Kennedy Center. Get your feet ready for a free afternoon and evening celebration of National Dance Day with outdoor performances, including a special demonstration by one-legged tap dancer Evan Ruggiero.

The Kennedy Center. 2700 F St. 1 p.m. Free.

Billy Joel

Sing along to Billy Joel’s hits from the 70’s and 80’s at this weekend’s performance. The “Piano Man” returns to Nationals Park as the first artist to play at the venue three times. Refresh your memory with the lyrics to his famous soft rock songs like “Uptown Girl” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Nationals Park. 500 S. Capitol St. SE. 8 p.m. $54.50.


DJ Diaspora

Participate in the last day of the celebration of avant garde art at the Capital Fringe Festival. This Sunday, listen to the eclectic sound of DJ Diaspora who mixes together Afrobeat, house, techno, jazz and dancehall styles.

Fringe Arts Bar. 1358 Florida Ave. NE. 1 p.m. Free.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

How do you make sense of this roller coaster of an election year? One alumnus tried with “Hillary – A Music Video.”

Chris Cafero, who graduated from GW with a bachelor’s degree in 2010, and his New York-based sketch comedy group, Uncle Function, released the video last week.

Since the video was released, it has accumulated 21,000 views on Youtube and was featured by the Huffington Post.

The alumnus had been singing “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse in the shower when he realized how well “Hillary” fit into the song. Cafero then called on his fellow comedians to write and produce the video.

Cafero said he wanted to use his neutral position as a comedian to tease both political parties, underlining the gaffes of presumptive presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“I knew immediately that I wanted to rewrite the song, and that I wanted it to be a backhanded endorsement of Mrs. Clinton,” Cafero said in an interview. “The challenge was making the darker side of politics funny and engaging.”

In the video, Cafero takes on the guise of the only Republican at a party, spouting cross-party lines, like “I’m all out of options” and “Now I have to vote for Hillary.”

He said he wanted to remedy what he described as a tendency for people to take “black and white” positions.

“There should always be shades of gray. Ambivalence is not always a sign of weakness or stupidity,” Cafero said.


  • Permalink
  • Comments