Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Emily Holland.

Kick off the first weekend of February with a free concert, a free art festival and free chocolate. And your weekend doesn’t have to end on Saturday night. Sunday features a resurrected cocktail bar and a killer DJ set.


Free Concert Series by Washington City Paper at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art: Two bands will take over the Smithsonian Museum of American Art on Friday. Part of Washington City Paper’s concert series, indie-pop group Art Sorority for Girls and rock band lowercase letters will play back-to-back shows. There will be snacks at the museum and free beer tastings.
Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Eighth and F streets NW. 6 p.m., Free, All ages.

Datsik: Ninja Nation Tour at Echostage: Producer Datsik brings his tour to Echostage along with special guests, including Waka Flocka Flame. The night is sure to be filled with new DJ mixes, but maybe Waka Flocka will pull out those old favorites like “Hard in Da Paint” and “No Hands.”
Echostage, 2135 Queens Road NE. 9 p.m., $30, 18 and older.


Chocolate Lover’s Festival in Old Town Fairfax: This annual festival kicks off its first day on Saturday and is a hot spot for chocolate lovers from the District. Sample all kinds of chocolate and other sweets like cake and brownies. And if you’re stumped about what to get that special someone for Valentine’s Day, you can even pick up some chocolate to go.
Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

PRAVA Fest at Pike & Rose: PRAVA Fest, a winter arts festival, features local artists as well as artists from New York, Boston and abroad for a night of performances and artistic expression. The festival is an immersive, multi-sensory experience and free to the public with an online RSVP.
Pike & Rose, 11580 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, Md. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Free.


Animal Collective DJ Set at U Street Music Hall: Head to U Street for a DJ set straight from the fellas of Animal Collective. Members Deakin, Geologist and Avery Tare will spin through the night in U Hall’s dark basement.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m., $10.

The Passenger In Exile Pop-Up at Bar 7: Hit cocktail bar The Passenger closed its doors Jan. 1, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone for good. Though the bar is on hiatus after shutting down its location in Mount Vernon Square, in the interim, various “The Passenger in Exile” parties will pop up across the city. The first will take place this Sunday at Bar 7, and you won’t want to miss the return of The Passenger’s signature cocktails.
Bar 7, 1015 1/2 Seventh St. NW. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Ease into February by attending a free jazz concert and Sangha meditation session, or take the new month by storm with a Monday evening happy hour and two DJ sets during the week.

And be sure to catch “Pride,” a British film about gay activism in the 1980s, and “Gold,” an Irish film about one man’s enlightening return home.


Imani-Grace Cooper at The Kennedy Center: This Howard University music major will sing the tunes of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald. Cooper has performed at Blue’s Alley and other local joints, but this will be her first show on the Millennium Stage.
The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. 6 p.m. Free.

Late-night brews at Meridian Pint: If you’re not quite ready to let go of the weekend, head to Meridian Pint after dark for half-priced ($3) draft beers. The oddly timed happy hour is a result of Meridian’s meticulous cleaning of the lines that move beer from kegs to cups.
Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St. NW. 11 p.m. to close. 


Sangha Meditation at Sixth & I: Find inner-peace – or at least 30 minutes to yourself – at this meditation session and conversation. Sangha is an ancient Buddhist form of meditation that celebrates “not doing.” Be sure to RSVP online.
Sixth & I Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 5:45 p.m. Free.

Damien Jurado at Rock & Roll Hotel: With the Jan. 21 release of his 11th studio album, Jurado has been on the scene long enough to have grown stale. Instead, his sound has evolved from lo-fi funk to experimental rock, and he continues to switch up his technique.
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Doors at 7 p.m. $15


“Pride” at NPR Headquarters: Catch this film about gay activists in Margaret Thatcher’s United Kingdom as they fight for union rights in the summer of 1984. The film won the Best British Independent Film award last year, and was nominated for a Golden Globe.
NPR Headquarters, 1111 North Capitol St. NE. 7 p.m. Free.

DJ Sliink at U Street Music Hall: Sliink has shared the stage with A-Trak, Diplo, Skrillex and the like as his up-tempo style and relentless beats keep crowds coming back for more. The New Jersey native has released EPs with major labels like Fool’s Gold and Mad Decent. The show is bound to be wild.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $10


Viceroy at the 9:30 Club: While lyrics like “I call you Tuesday night/We have a groovy time” read as the antithesis of another mid-week party anthem, the effect is the same: Viceroy gets the crowd moving. He’s opened for well-known DJs like Diplo, remixed Passion Pit and been featured in music mags from Vice to Nylon to discuss his full-bodied, eclectic sound with hints of disco and funk.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 9 p.m. $15

“Gold” at Capital Irish Film Festival: Solas Nu, the only organization in the United States dedicated to modern Irish arts, will present indie comedy “Gold.” The flick revolves around James Nesbitt, who heads back to his hometown where he finds his ex-wife and daughter still living with the harsh reality of his estrangement.
E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. 7:30 p.m. $6

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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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