Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rachael Paul.

Over 10,000 gathered in front of the White House on Thursday evening, but they weren’t motivated by politics. Instead, they pushed to the front of the crowd for a view of a towering Christmas tree that twinkled with more than 60,000 LED lights on the lawn.

President Barack Obama told the crowd that the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting began with President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.

“School kids here in Washington wrote a letter to the White House asking if they could put a Christmas tree on the South Lawn,” Obama said. “More than 90 years and a few different evergreens later, the National Christmas Tree still stands as a symbol of hope and holiday spirit.”

Spectators, who had won their spots through an online lottery, danced, cheered and huddled in the cold to watch the lighting from several jumbotrons.

R&B singer Patti Labelle opened the evening with a soulful rendition of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” accompanied by the U.S. Marine Band.

Other musical performances included Fifth Harmony’s sultry “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and a classical “Oh Holy Night” by The Tenors. Artists from Ne-Yo to Rita Wilson also gave performances.

Nico and Vinz, two singers from Norway, gave a spirited rendition of “This Christmas” with fancy footwork to accompany it, and members of the crowd – including Sasha and Malia Obama themselves – clapped and sang along to the lyrics.

Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

President Barack Obama stands on stage with Santa Claus during the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Husband and wife Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson joined the Obamas onstage to host the event, offering short, comical anecdotes and even taking selfies with the crowd in between introductions.

When the audience heard Hanks discussing basketball as he sat next to the president, interrupting Wilson’s performance, Hanks said, “I know [Obama] will be free in a couple of years, so I figured I would discuss possibly shooting a movie together.”

Finally, it was time for the historic moment that 13,000 people came to view.

When Obama stepped on stage to begin the countdown, the excitement was palpable in the audience. As soon as time ran out, the tree burst to life and spectators grabbed their smartphones to snap pictures of the massive structure of green, yellow and white twinkling lights wrapped in red ribbon and topped with snowflake ornaments.

This year, the White House departed from the usual GE Lighting for a more environmentally friendly route. The lights that envelope this year’s tree require 80 percent less energy. The design was by female students from across the country as part of Google’s Made with Code campaign, which encourages women to break into technology fields.

“Thanks to those wonderful students. It is incredibly impressive and actually one of the few things Tom Hanks cannot do,” Obama said, laughing.

But no holiday soiree is complete without a visit from the North Pole. To close, all the entertainers (including the Obamas) joined together to sing “Jingle Bells” with Santa Claus, with the president singing mini solos and offering Santa high-fives.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporters Jeanine Marie and Rachel Miklaszewski.

This week is all about de-stressing, from a Hispanic film festival featuring award-winning works to holiday-themed bashes and a concert with a drag queen DJ. Plus, Beyoncé’s choreographer is in town to help you dance away the finals funk.

Thursday

Pleasurekraft at U Street Music Hall: Pleasurekraft is a collaborative group that plays clubs around the country, and they’ve worked with DJs from Deadmau5 to Sasha & Digweed. They are best known for 2012’s “Tarantula” and a series of remixes of the same name. Their latest release, “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” is a four-song album that features a light touch of EDM, masterfully blended techno beats and surprising instruments, like maracas.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. Doors at 10 p.m. Free before 11 p.m. for 21+, $15 otherwise.

Promotional poster for "Mapa."

Promotional poster for “Mapa.”

La Nueva Ola: Films from Mexico, Cuba & Spain: This four-day filmfest, presented by GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Spanish and Mexican embassies, begins with a screening of two acclaimed Hispanic films. Director Susan Casares will present her 14-minute short film, “Tryouts,” winner of the Official Selection of the 2014 SPAINred Filmmakers Competition, followed by a screening of “Mapa,” a full-length feature and “Best Documentary” winner at the 2012 Sevilla Film Festival.
GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW, 7:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

Friday

“Come in From the Cold” exhibition: Attend the opening reception of the new juried exhibit at the Foundry, a gallery that features paintings and drawings from artists in the D.C. area. This month’s selections relate to the winter months, celebrating both the cold outside and the refuge of the warm inside.
The Foundry Gallery, 1314 18th St. NW. Reception 6 to 8 p.m. Free.

HOMO for the Holidays: JD Samson, a drag queen DJ best known as a member of underground electro-feminist group Le Tigre, and indie-drag queen Pu$$y Noir will kick off the holiday season with groovy music and scandalous dance moves. The event is hosted by Brightest Young Things and will be filled with “Mean Girls” references, candy cane pasties and lots of glitter. Holiday attire is strongly encouraged.
Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Doors at 8 p.m. $20 in advance, $25 night of.

Saturday

Dance Like Beyoncé: James Alsop, dance choreographer for stars like Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Lopez and Queen Bey herself, will hold three-hour-long dance workouts Saturday afternoon. The workout does not guarantee it will “Upgrade U” to flat abs or a perfectly sculpted booty, but it’s definitely a good way to de-stress and spend time with the notoriously sassy choreographer. Alsop’s recent work is featured in “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé and “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez feat. Iggy Azalea. Be sure to RSVP online because space at the pop-up studio is limited.
Cedric Terrell Studio, 415 Walker Ct. SE. Sessions available noon to 1 p.m., 2 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. Free.

Rockin’ the Holidays with GMCW: Wear your best (worst) holiday sweater to The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s annual holiday concert. GMCW will perform classic tunes like “Little Drummer Boy” and “Hallelujah” with their signature choral twist. The Washington Post called the group “one of the world’s best male choruses,” and with an invitation like “don we now our gay apparel,” how could you not?
The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $25 to $59.

Sunday

“Thank You” Classes at Ride DC: Skip pricey Soul Cycle and crowded HelWell for a day of cheap(er) indoor cycling at Ride DC. The studio is celebrating its first year of business with 45-minute classes for just $12. Burn calories, save money and give yourself another great excuse to avoid Gelman Library.
2217 14th St. NW. Classes begin at 10 a.m. $12 per class.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue at 9:30 Club: You may not recognize his name, but 28-year-old jazz artist Troy Andrews, a.k.a Trombone Shorty, has been touring the globe since he was 12 years old. The Louisiana native hit the road with Lenny Kravitz as a teenager, played at the White House in 2012 and took the stage at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Shorty blends his smooth jazz roots with strains of funk and hip-hop to make creative, world-renowned beats with his ensemble, Orleans Avenue, which played at Lollapalooza this year.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 8 p.m. $35

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Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 4:18 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Swing’s Coffee

Video by Hatchet senior staff videographer Yara Bishara.

With a warehouse in Alexandria, Va. and a coffee shop at 17th and G streets, M.E. Swing’s Coffee Roasters has been a staple of D.C. for almost 100 years.

Every Friday, the Alexandria location opens its cupping lab to the public.

“Fundamentally, it’s a people business,” said Neil Balkcom, the director of coffee operations. “It comes down to the people that we serve and the people that we work with.”

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Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 6:41 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

Feeling the pre-exam jitters? As you mentally prepare for finals week, turn on this relaxing playlist to calm your nerves. It might not get you an A on your economics exam, but at least it’ll give you a couple minutes to breathe.

Editors’ Picks

Film | Emily Holland, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer

The nerd in me is showing, but it’s impossible to ignore this first trailer for the new “Stars Wars” movie.

Music | Morgan Baskin, Assistant Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Talk About It (Sikow Remix)” by Erik Hassle feat. Elliphant

Don’t let the harp fool you – this soaring remix of “Talk About It” is anything but old school. It takes a couple of minutes to find its groove, but when it does, it’ll blow you away.

Lit | Tatiana Cirisano, Contributing Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami

I first got into Haruki Murakami’s writing when I read one of his short stories published in the New Yorker, and I’ve been hooked ever since on his imaginative characters and storylines. His latest novel, “The Strange Library,” follows a young boy trapped inside a library as he tries to escape.

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Finals week is upon us.

But before your biggest priority becomes finding a study room in Gelman, take some time this week to enjoy yourself with events like a free film screening, a Hoodie Allen concert and even a “Movember” after party.

Monday

Shave the Date Movember After Party: “No Shave November” may be over, but the beard marathon’s spirit surely isn’t. Restaurant and bar Jack Rose Dining Saloon will host a “Movember” shave party in its Balcony Room, featuring free shaves by stylists of men’s hair salon Roosters of Georgetown in the event’s grooming salon, along with food and drink specials at the bar. What better way to celebrate the start of a new month than with a clean shave and a cold beer? Jack Rose urges you to “shave the date.”
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St. NW. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. This is a 21+ event.

Promotional poster for "James Castle: Portrait of an Artist"

Promotional poster for “James Castle: Portrait of an Artist”

“James Castle: Portrait of an Artist” film screening: For a Monday pick-me-up, head to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a free screening of “James Castle: Portrait of an Artist.” The documentary sheds light on the private life and creative process of American artist James Castle, whose work parallels 20th-century art history – even though he had no knowledge of art outside his home in Idaho. Stick around for a post-screening discussion with director Jeffrey Wolf and museum curators Nicholas Bell and Leslie Umberger, and don’t forget to browse the 54 pieces by Castle on display at the museum.
McEvoy Auditorium at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Tuesday

Playworks Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament: The classic game you learned at recess gets a much-needed revival Tuesday night at Penn Social, which will host the third annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. Over 12 teams will join individual players to fight for the title of tournament champ, enjoying prizes and food and drink specials all night. Plus, all proceeds benefit DC Playworks, which uses “rock, paper, scissors” to teach conflict resolution to kids in 18 public schools in the District.
Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. Doors at 5:30 p.m., tournament at 6:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

New Build and Museum of Love at U Street Music Hall: In their latest album, “Pour It On,” the duo behind London-based electro-pop group New Build blends funk bass with soulful vocals and synth sounds. The Hot Chip spin off will be joined onstage by Museum of Love, where former LCD Soundsystem member Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany mix melodic ’80s pop with indie rock.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 9 p.m. $10

Wednesday

Hoodie Allen. Photo by Flickr user Tiffany Ronquillo under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Hoodie Allen. Photo by Flickr user Tiffany Ronquillo under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Hoodie Allen with Chiddy Bang at The Fillmore: New York City native and alternative hip-hop guru Hoodie Allen will join forces with Chiddy Bang’s buzzy, jumbled rap for a night of witty lyrics, upbeat tunes and pop-rap beats. Chiddy Bang, who broke the world record for longest freestyle in 2011 with a nine-hour performance, is the perfect compliment to Hoodie Allen, who has earned a reputation for fast-paced raps and clever rhymes.
The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. 8 p.m. $36.50

Handi-Hour at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: Craft-lovers, cancel your Wednesday plans. At this monthly D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) night, you’ll munch on snacks, sip up to two free drinks, enjoy live music by local artists and craft the night away for just $20. This month’s theme is birds, so be sure to freshen up your creativity with a visit to the museum’s exhibit, “The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art,” before you arrive.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. 5:30 to 8 p.m. $20. This is a 21+ event.

Thursday

“Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities”: For this month’s installment of “Phillips After 5,” The Phillips Collection explores dreams. At this after-hours event, you’ll hear worldly sounds by the Wytold Ensemble, join a discussion of Neo-Impressionist works, enjoy a live performance by composers inspired by Impressionism and even learn the story of how the creator of Grey Goose vodka came up with the idea for the company through a dream. Just make sure to reserve a spot ahead of time for this popular event.
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. 5 to 8:30 p.m. $12 admission, $10 with student ID.

“Friend Me” at The Art League: Be the first to see the work of jeweler Whitney Staiger in her first solo exhibit, “Friend Me,” which opens Dec. 4. With her handmade brass necklaces, Staiger displays the public posts of friends alongside details of their private lives, exploring the extent to which we curate our image through social media. The result? A thoughtful and unexpected collection that is sure to make viewers rethink their public profiles.
The Art League, 105 North Union St., Alexandria, Va. Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays until 9 p.m., Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Free.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

If you haven’t strapped on a pair of ice skates during the holidays since you were unwrapping “Harry Potter” movies on VHS, it’s high time you channel your inner Chazz Michael Michaels.

These outdoor rinks are a great excuse to squeeze your date’s hand a little tighter or see your clumsy friend do a split.

Washington Harbor Ice Rink. Photo by Flickr user Daniel Lobo under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Washington Harbor Ice Rink. Photo by Flickr user Daniel Lobo under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

For the rink size: Washington Harbor Ice Rink
With a panoramic view of the Potomac River, the largest ice skating rink in D.C. (at 11,800 square feet, to be exact) is sure to make you forget you’re even in a city. The rink, which is disguised as a water fountain in warmer months, is popular among tourists, so be ready to skate at odd hours for optimal space to glide. Bonus: Students with college IDs save $2 on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m.
3050 K St. NW. $10 to skate, $5 skate rentals. Hours vary.

For the setting: Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
The National Gallery of Art is home to D.C.’s most festive ice rink, known for its twinkling decor after the sunset and the eye-catching, modern sculptures that surround it. The nearby Pavillion Cafe serves hot chocolate, wine or beer and light sandwiches. Sculpture Garden is open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. If you want to make a day out of it, head to the museum by 5 p.m. to see some art before you skate the night away.
7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. $8 to skate for two hours, $7 with student ID, $3 skate rentals. Hours vary.

Canal Park Ice Rink. Photo by Flickr user Elvert Barnes under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Canal Park Ice Rink. Photo by Flickr user Elvert Barnes under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

For the rink aesthetic: Canal Park Ice Rink
What used to be a bus parking lot is now home to the sustainable Canal Park. In the winter, the park, located in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, features a figure-eight-shaped rink with a sleek aesthetic. This rink also hosts College Thursdays, when students with IDs save $2 skating from 6 to 9 p.m. Pro tip: Check out the Park Tavern, a full-service restaurant, for brunch before hitting the ice.
2nd and M streets SE. $9 to skate, $4 skate rentals. Hours vary.

For the price: Silver Spring Ice Skating at Veterans Plaza
Looking to escape the District for skating? Hop off the Metro at Silver Spring and head to Veterans Plaza. The outdoor rink boasts that it will stay open in all weather – rain or snow – until March 25. It’s surrounded by shops and restaurants, like American eatery Copper Canyon Grill and comfort food stop Jackie’s Restaurant, so you can settle down for some warm grub after a long day of skating.
8523 Fenton St., Silver Spring, Md. $8 to skate for two hours, $3 skate rentals. Open Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Being stuck in D.C. for Thanksgiving break doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With holiday events like a Thanksgiving dance party and tree lightings, the District might actually be one of the best places to spend the holiday.

Plus, with a life-size gingerbread house, Zoolights at the National Zoo and a Relient K concert, this weekend offers plenty of opportunities to let out your inner kid.

Thursday

Dig in on Thanksgiving classics at The Black Squirrel. Photo by Flickr user David Goehring under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Dig into Thanksgiving classics at The Black Squirrel. Photo by Flickr user David Goehring under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

1940’s-themed Thanksgiving Dance Party: The Kennedy Center presents “A Night at the Stork Club,” a 40s-themed swing dance party where guests can jam to music by crooner Johnny Boyd (and burn off that Thanksgiving food coma in the process). Head over early for free swing dance lessons at 6 p.m., and stick around for the dance party at 7 p.m.
Millenium Stage at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Dance lessons at 6 p.m., party from 7 to 9 p.m. Free

“Thank You Thanksgiving” at The Black Squirrel: For a Thanksgiving meal minus the cost and hours of preparation, head to The Black Squirrel for the pub’s sixth annual “Thank You Thanksgiving.” You’ll find a full buffet of Turkey Day classics like stuffing, mashed potatoes and even pumpkin beer, all for just $7 per guest. You can start noshing at noon, but the pub won’t close until 2 a.m., so there’s plenty of time for late-night eats. Friendsgiving, anyone?
The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW. Noon to 2 a.m. $7

Friday

Life-size gingerbread house unveiling: Instead of spending hours frosting a store-bought gingerbread house only to have it collapse into a sugary mess, visit the Ritz Carlton’s annual life-size gingerbread house, which will be unveiled at Tysons Corner on Friday. While you marvel at your childhood dream, sip some hot spiced cider or hot cocoa provided by the hotel. The house, constructed by the Ritz Carlton pastry team, will be on display through Jan. 2.
The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, third-floor lobby, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, Va. Opens 4 p.m., Nov. 28, on view through Jan. 2. Free

Zoolights at the National Zoo. Photo by Flickr user cliff1066 under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Zoolights at the National Zoo. Photo by Flickr user cliff1066 under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Zoolights at the National Zoo: Starting Friday night, the National Zoo will become a winter wonderland replete with over 500,000 LED lights for the annual “Zoolights” celebration. The zoo will offer guests two 150-foot snow-tubing tracks ($3 per ride), a “Gin-GRR-bread Habitat Competition” with the theme “Bao Bao’s Blizzard Bash” and live musical performances. As you unleash your inner child, the zoo will serve older guests special winter treats, like spiked hot chocolate and mulled cider, to remind you of your real age. Can’t make it to the opening? Come back any night through Jan. 1 (excluding Dec. 24, 25 and 31) to get in on the festivities.
The National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 28 through Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24, 25 and 31). Free

Saturday

“Feverland” exhibit at Project 4: Saturday is the last day to see “Feverland,” a solo exhibit at Project 4 Gallery by D.C. local and Maryland Institute College of Art instructor Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann. With her paintings – patterned, emotive collages of color – Mann aims to celebrate the “connections and clashes” of differing elements in the world. Her thought-provoking work has diverse sources of inspiration, from Beijing opera costuming to lattice-work and sequins, making her exhibit a treat to both the eye and the mind.
Project 4 Gallery, 1353 U St. NW, No. 302. Open noon to 6 p.m. Free

CityCenter First Annual Holiday Tree Lighting: Didn’t win tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting? Don’t worry. Head to CityCenter for its first annual holiday tree lighting and help start a new tradition. The event will feature warm holiday drinks, like hot cocoa from RareSweets and tea from Mango Tree, and a live performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C. CityCenter will collect nonperishable food items for D.C. Central Kitchen, and those who donate will be entered in a raffle to win prizes from CityCenter retailers.
The Park at CityCenterDC, 825 10th St. NW. 6 p.m. Free

Sunday

Relient K 10th Anniversary Tour: If you’re still not done reminiscing about your childhood this weekend, you’ve got one last chance. The Fillmore will host rock band Relient K’s 10th anniversary concert Sunday, celebrating the 2004 album “Mmhmm.” Don’t even try to pretend you don’t remember every word to hits like “Be My Escape” and “Must Have Done Something Right.”
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. 8 p.m. $30

MSTRKRFT at U Street Music Hall: If you’d rather jam out to some more recent tunes, head over to U Street Music Hall for a DJ set by MSTRKRFT (pronounced Master-craft). But don’t be late. The late-night concert is free, and tickets will be handed out at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. The duo behind MSTRKRFT experiment with house, hip-hop, grime and punk beats to create a grungy yet upbeat sound, like in “Heartbreaker” and “Work On You.”
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. Free

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Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 3:58 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

If you’re traveling home for the holidays this week, you’re going to need some tunes to get you through the journey. Whether you’re navigating security lines at the airport, waiting to board your train or sitting on your flight, turn up our travel playlist for a smooth, stress-free trip.

Editors’ Picks

Film | Emily Holland, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”

Because I grew up watching “Lord of the Rings,” and this looks almost as good.

Music | Morgan Baskin, Assistant Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Animal” by XOV

Lorde tapped the indie songwriter to record a track for “The Hunger Games” soundtrack after hearing his demo through Twitter.

Lit | Tatiana Cirisano, Contributing Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “The World of PostSecret” by Frank Warren

OK, so this isn’t exactly what you would call “literature.” But it is a book. And who wants heavy reading over the holidays anyway?

Warren, who has spent over a decade reading other people’s secrets for his anonymous postcard service, PostSecret, released his sixth book of mailed secrets Nov. 4.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporters Jeanine Marie and Tatiana Cirisano.

Catch these District events before you head home for Thanksgiving: Ryan Bingham and Bob Dylan both have concerts this week and you may want to stop by a not-your-grandmother’s book club.

Monday

Story League Presents Tournament 10: Competitive storytelling company Story League will host Tournament 10, where eight winners of past contests will compete for the title of Funniest Story and a $300 cash prize. This week’s theme? “Obnoxious.” Hear D.C.’s storytelling all-stars tell personal tales in this side-splitting showdown — as long as they fit into the theme, any story is fair game.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 7:30 p.m. $15

Ryan Bingham solo acoustic session at The Hamilton: Americana singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham camped out in a trailer in California to write his newest 12-song record, “Fear and Saturday Night,” which is set to be released Jan. 20. For now, the Texan artist is back on the road to play his gritty, well-worn tracks. Listen to hits like “Sunrise” and “The Weary Kind” live, and you may even get a peek at some songs on his upcoming album.
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Doors 6:30 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. $25 to $30

Tuesday

Twentythirtysomething Book Club: This is not your grandmother’s book club. Come by to meet young literary enthusiasts (or just wine enthusiasts) in the area as the group meets at Slate Wine Bar and Bistro to discuss Megan Abbott’s “The Fever.” This month’s novel follows a small town struck by a mysterious illness that seems to target only women. Don’t have time to finish the book? The meetup group encourages you to stop by anyway for some thoughtful conversation, snacks and drinks.
Slate Wine Bar + Bistro, 2404 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 7:30 p.m. Free, RSVP online.

Bob Dylan. Photo posted by Flickr user ky_olsen under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Bob Dylan. Photo posted by Flickr user ky_olsen under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Bob Dylan at DAR Constitution Hall: This one needs no introduction. The 73-year-old folk legend will tour at DAR Constitution Hall this Tuesday evening, where he’ll play iconic ‘60s-era hits like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Like A Rolling Stone.” Don’t miss this concert, which could be your last chance to see one of history’s most legendary musicians.
DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and C Streets NW. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $73

Wednesday

St. Lucia and The Knocks at 9:30 Club: Jean-Philip Grobler, a.k.a St. Lucia, toured with Two Door Cinema Club in 2013, where Grobler gained fame with the hit “Elevate” off the album “When the Night.” St. Lucia’s eighties-inspired, synth-driven sound has a comforting quality that’s rare to the indie pop genre. The Knocks, a DJ duo from New York City, carved out a name for themselves with 2010’s “Make It Better” and again with “Dancing with the DJ” in 2011. They mix odd genres, like funk and pop, to make head-bopping, psychedelic tunes that are easy to listen to.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors 8 p.m. $20

B.o.B. and Kevin Gates at The FillmoreB.o.B. may be the headliner, but be sure to arrive early to see smooth gansta rapper Kevin Gates. Gates is well-known for his work on high profile mixtapes with artists like Pusha T, Juicy J and Gucci Mane. He is featured on Major’s most recent single, “Money Dance” whichboosted Gates’ profile. His new album “Stranger Than Fiction” hit no. 37 on the Billboard Top 40.

Stick around and catch the dynamic B.o.B. perform hits like “Headbandz” feat. 2 Chainz and “Airplanes” feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore.
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD. Doors at 8 p.m. $38.

Thursday

Comanche festival: The Comanche Nation, a Plains tribe from Oklahoma, will host a four-day festival full of dance performances, singing, shawl-making demonstrations and traditional flute playing. Attendees can see films about the Comanche Code Talkers, soldiers who used their obscure language to help securely transmit and encrypt radio and telephone messages during WWII. Meet with Comanche Nation royalty, and purchase traditional jewelry and artwork.
Fourth St. and Independence Avenue SW, Thursday through Sunday. Hours vary. Free

The 13th annual Trot for Hunger will take place Thursday. Photo by Flickr user Phil Roeder under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The 13th annual Trot for Hunger will take place Thursday. Photo by Flickr user Phil Roeder under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

13th Annual Trot for HungerStart Thanksgiving with a charitable turkey trot and give yourself a little extra room for dessert. Proceeds from the 5K run benefit SOME, So Others Might Eat, which will provide 800 meals to D.C.’s hungry and homeless this Thanksgiving. Trotters can register online for $30.
Freedom Plaza, Corner of 13th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 9 a.m. $30 registration

 

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Street Sense

Street Sense performers came to the Marvin Center this week to showcase their theater, music and poetry performances.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.

StreetSense, the biweekly newspaper that raises money & awareness for the homeless, hosted a series of performances about homelessness in the Marvin Center this week, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Gregory Squires, chair of GW’s sociology department.

The performances, led by members of StreetSense, depicted how people can become homeless and the struggles of finding a permanent place to live.

Here are the top three takeaways:

1. Songs and spoken word

The StreetSense performers brought skits, songs and poetry to the stage in the first half of the event, fleshing out their personal struggles living on the streets.

The showcase included chorus renditions of “Lean on Me” and “This Little Light of Mine,” while some members recited original spoken word poetry.

One poem, “A Letter to My 20-Year-Old Self,” put the performers’ regrets into words, as some spoke of the decisions that led them to homelessness.

But the piece ended on a positive note: “It’s been a long hard ride being homeless. But you made it,” one performer said.

2. “Knock, Knock”

One skit, “Knock, Knock,” played out the story of a woman who sees her life slowly crumbling around her. With every “knock” on her door, another burden gets placed on her shoulders: getting fired from a job, getting her electricity cut off, before finally losing her home.

“Stop knocking and killing me,” she says after the final knock that takes her home away.

3. How to end homelessness

After the performance, Squires led a panel that featured Steet Sense Executive Director Brian Carome, Anna Blasco of the National Alliance to End Homelessness and Kurt Runge, Miriam’s Kitchen’s advocacy director.

Carome said society needs to learn that homelessness is in fact more expensive to taxpayers than providing housing to the homeless.

“Our approach just doesn’t make sense,” Carome said. “It is two times as expensive to leave someone on the streets than it is to pay for 100% of someone’s living fees.”

Blasco discussed the importance of stable housing to eliminate “chronic homelessness,” which describes those who have been homeless multiple times or for a long period of time.

“Housing first is a solution to homelessness. Whatever people need to remain stably housed we should do that. Right now, we don’t fit the program to fit the person – we try to fit the person to match the program. We shouldn’t be doing that.” Blasco said.

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