Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

As usual, there’s plenty do in D.C. this week: Four must-see shows, the D.C. Independent Film Festival and stand up with Comedy Central star Kyle Kinane.

As you make your way through midterms, be sure to take a break and get off campus.

Monday

Ariel Pink Concert: In 2003, at an Animal Collective show, lo-fi artist Ariel Rosenberg gave a homemade album to the band. Since then, he’s collaborated under Animal Collective’s umbrella on various projects with a beachy, ’70s sound, from a 16-minute song called “Witchhunt Suite for WWIII” to his latest solo album, “Pom Poms.”
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $20.

Screening of “Deli Man:” Check out this “freshly made documentary” about the 160-year history of Jewish delicatessens in the United States. Director Erik Greenberg has produced two other films about Jewish culture, but this film about delis from New York to Texas truly gets at the heart of Jewish-American life: Passing corned beef, blintzes and garlic Dill pickles around the table.
JCC of Greater Washington, 125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Md. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Tuesday

Kyle Kinane Stand Up: You already know him as the voice behind Comedy Central’s commercials, but Kinane is also a stand-up comedian and a guest on popular podcasts and “Drunk History,” for which he narrated an episode about the 1886 Haymarket Riot in Chicago. In his televised special, “Whiskey Icarus,” Kinane talks a bit about the ramifications of being delivered an unsliced pizza pie. Fingers crossed he does it again.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $15.

Wednesday

OCD: Moosh & Twist Concert: The hip-hop duo from Philadelphia keeps it real with the single, “How We Do,” playfully explaining that while they call themselves brothers, they actually “met in math class.” Their sound is a goofy take on OFWGKTA style with sweeter lyrics. Stick around for a second show – MK with Beckwith and DJ Nav – which begins at 10 p.m.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $15.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Happy Hour: Hit this cash-only bar for a reminder of the songs your mom used to sing on road trips: The Machine and Devolutionary will DJ alternative ’80s dance music until closing time. There’s no cover charge, and Miss Whiskey’s has a plethora of board games for those not looking to dance.
Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, 1104 H St. NE. 9 p.m.

Thursday

July Talk Concert: The foursome from Toronto, which has toured with Tegan and Sara and Weezer, slay pop beats like “Paper Girl” and “Guns + Ammunition” with a rough rock n’ roll edge. They’ll will be on tour all summer, but be sure to catch them before they blow up.
DC9 Nightclub, 1940 9th St. NW. Doors at 8:30 p.m. $10.

John Nemeth at Hill Country: See the BMA Male Soul Blues Artist of the Year as you munch on barbecue ribs. Nemeth played more than 1,000 shows between 2007 and 2011, but the hardworking Idaho native shows no signs of slowing down after the release of his 2014 album, “Memphis Grease.”
Hill Country, 410 7th St. NW. 9 p.m. Free.

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Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 3:12 p.m.

Bencoolen takes first place at Capital Clash

Alternative band Bencoolen took first place Friday at Capital Clash, a music contest that invited students from GW, Georgetown University and American University to compete.

Bencoolen and Junyr of Purplex The Crew, a rap group, represented GW at the event hosted by Georgetown.

“I think there was so much good music today,” said Teddy Scott, Bencoolen’s guitarist. “Every band left me impressed.”

Video by Liz Zorn.

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Author Daniel Handler, known by his pseudonym Lemony Snicket, signs copies of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” before speaking to students at the Elliott School on Thursday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

Author Daniel Handler, also known by his pseudonym Lemony Snicket, signs copies of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” before speaking to students at the Elliott School of International Affairs on Thursday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Tatiana Cirisano.

Daniel Handler, who penned “A Series of Unfortunate Events” under the name Lemony Snicket, speaks the same way his novels read – in a bitingly hilarious, refreshingly honest way punctuated by uncommon wisdom.

The author spoke at the Elliott School of International Affairs on Thursday as part of the University’s Jewish Literature Live program, which brings award-winning Jewish authors to campus.

In a room crammed with students and professors – many of whom brought along personal copies of the children’s novels – Handler offered insight into everything from the origin of his now-famous pen name to the high school prank that partly inspired his latest adult novel, “We Are Pirates.”

The book, published Feb. 3, follows a group of 14-year-old girls who team up with members of a retirement home to steal a boat and become pirates, terrorizing San Francisco Bay – Handler’s hometown. Handler said the book was in part inspired by a time he convinced his entire high school homeroom to write “pirate” as the answer to a career survey.

“That idea stuck with me,” he said. “The idea of wanting to set out differently in the world, to escape from the confines and the surveillance of the culture that we’re in, particularly adolescence.”

Handler also drew inspiration for the novel’s characters from his younger sister – to whom the book is dedicated – who he said was “furious all the time” at age 14.

But “We Are Pirates” is about more than teenage mood swings. Handler actually twists the traditional notion of teenage angst.

“I had an admiration for [my sister’s anger]” he said. “I don’t think it was an irrational anger. I think she felt substantially disenfranchised because young women have the weight of many of an expectation and their confinement of a narrow reality, while being simultaneously told they can do everything.”

Themes of adolescence and the disillusionment that comes with it is familiar to Handler, whose adult novels “Why We Broke Up” and “The Basic Eight” also involve teenage protagonists.

With “We Are Pirates,” Handler said he aimed to capture that feeling of disillusionment, whether it occurs during teenage years or late adulthood.

“It’s also about the sort of people who feel displaced and detached from a culture, or who feel a kind of shaky feeling that you feel when you’re a stranger in a strange land,” he said.

As he spoke, Handler shared anecdotes from defining – and often funny – moments in his life as a writer.

To pass the time at his post-graduate job answering the phone in the computer science department at City College of San Francisco, Handler said he wrote fake letters to the editor for local newspapers under the name “Lemony Snicket” – one of the first times he would use the pen name.

“I would compose, on the typewriter, an outraged letter to the editor regarding the tiniest most harmless thing I could find,” he said. “So if they said, ‘Street cleaning schedules have been changed from Wednesday to Friday,’ I would say this was obviously due to anti-semitism. [Every letter] began ‘How dare you.’”

As for advice for young writers, Handler said his inspiration has always stemmed from the desire to “make something happen.” To Handler, the greatest stories have nothing to do with an overarching meaning, lesson or moral, and instead are built on interesting moments.

“When I was 10, I wanted to read about terrible things happening, over and over again,” Handler said. “I didn’t want to be told what stories meant. I wanted to find out for myself. In other words, I wanted a series of unfortunate events.”

Handler said his favorite novels cannot be “fitted” with a happy ending, which may explain to readers why he found fame writing tragedies for children.

Handler’s stories depict an imperfect world – one he said to which anyone can relate.

“I felt, and I think we can all feel, that we wander through this world like orphans with bad chaperones, desperate and lost of chaos in tumble… a world in which horrible things can happen, again and again and again,” he said. “[The world] is a series of unfortunate events.”

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Regina Park.

The second half of February is still frigid, so keep toasty with dinner specials across the District and DJs known for their global sound. Before you chow down, enjoy Mardi Gras even if you’re under 21, or avoid the bar scene and learn to make a real drink at Mixology 101.

Tuesday

Mardi Gras with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band: For those who are not yet 21 but would still like to enjoy the annual Carnival celebrations, The Hamilton is hosting this free concert. Straight from the streets of New Orleans, the Dirty Dozen have been playing together since 1977.
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free.

Mixology 101: If you’d rather make drinks on Mardi Gras, this one-night-only workshop is for you. Learn to make high-end cocktails from Chad Spangler, who was named the 2012 Best Bartender by the Washington Post Express and the 2013 Most Imaginative Bartender by GQ Magazine.
Chaplin’s, 1501 9th St. NW. 6:30 p.m. $45 in advance, $55 at the door, 21 and older.

Wednesday

Das German at Doner Bistro: Doner Bistro is hosting a “Das German” Party for the Germanophiles in us all. International DJs Dianamatic, Wolfblister, Slammer and IndaNile will be spinning everything from pop and electro to rap – and, of course, it will be in German (auf Deutsch). And who could forget the bier specials?
Doner Bistro, 1654 Columbia Road NW. 7 p.m. Free, 21 and older.

Cutting Agency and Fractal Cat at Gypsy Sally’s: Cutting Agency is an experimental group founded in the District that merges DJ groove with the live-music sound of a five-piece band. The group has shared the stage with big names like Magic!, Ramsey Lewis, Lettuce and others.
Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 Water St. N.W. 7 p.m. $10

Thursday

Chocolate Puma at U Street Music Hall: U Street Music Hall is bringing Gaston Steenskist and René ter Horst, two of the Netherlands’ most celebrated electronic musicians, to the District. The duo, called Chocolate Puma, will collaborate with D.C.’s very own Brad Piff.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $10

Chinese New Year Celebration at The Fainting Goat: For those interested in a little culture with their Chinese food, check out this celebration. Executive chef Nathan Beauchamp will serve a family-inspired dinner consisting of food that’s traditionally eaten for good luck, such as Szechuan goat, clams with XO sauce and steamed bass. Imported Tsingtao beers for $4 will be available, as well as “good luck” cocktails. The Fainting Goat will also have traditional lion dances and kung-fu movie screenings.
1330 U St. NW 6 p.m. $35

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The GW Muslim Students’ Association held a vigil Friday for the three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C. who were killed earlier this week.

Students gathered in Kogan Plaza to hold candles and listen to their classmates give speeches.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Razaan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, died Tuesday in a shooting near the University of North Carolina. A neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of murder.

Video by Deepa Shivaram.

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Humans Versus Zombies at GW delivered “zombiegrams” across campus Friday to raise money for the club’s Relay For Life team.

The zombie-themed surprises were hand-delivered by team members in full zombie makeup. So far, HvZ has raised over $100, which will go to the American Cancer Society to benefit cancer research.

Video by Deepa Shivaram and Randala Abraham.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Katrina Kagan.

Litchfield Penitentiary in “Orange is the New Black” may be the small screen women’s prison we know and love, but Cook County Jail still does lady jailbirds best.

As the curtains rose in the smoky theater hall and a slow jazz tune began to play in The National Theatre, an otherwise dull Tuesday evening transformed into a Prohibition-era cabaret.

As a show that’s been performed countless times around the world, one might expect a bit of a lackluster performance or an unenthusiastic audience with a less notable cast. And as somebody who’s seen the show before, I didn’t expect to be enthralled.

But the D.C. leg of the national tour of “Chicago” proved that the show is as exciting as ever, from the booming orchestra at center stage to the intimate and skilled cast.

At The National Theatre show, the scenes were not set with decorative scenery or elaborate props, but rather were accented by lights, a few ladders, some feathers, sequins and a set of bar stools. The cast filled the barren stage and their performance flooded the theater.

Bianca Marroquin and Terra MacLeod, who play Roxie Hart and Velma Kelley, respectively, were the true stars of the night as they pushed one another vocally. MacLeod’s character as a venerated performer with a rich history in showbiz was excellently executed, while Marroquin brought a quirky and comedic freshness to the young starlet.

In a fight for fame and fortune, the characters sing and dance through a media circus, fool the public and acquit Roxie of her crime, all with a little “Razzle Dazzle.”

This production, directed by David Hyslop and choreographed by David Bushman, pushed the identity of a show that has run for nearly two decades with its dancers and simple, powerful red-and-gold lighting. The all-black costumes contrasted with the textures of mesh, lace, glitter and fishnets.

The cast is comprised of about two dozen actors, including John O’Hurley, who is best known for his role as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld.” He was also the host of “Family Feud” and voiced King Neptune on “SpongeBob SquarePants.” O’Hurely was a convincingly charming Billy Flynn, the character who recognizes the fleeting nature of the fame that the protagonists desire.

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Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 11:49 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Das Ethiopian Restaurant

Das Ethiopian serves authentic Ethiopian cuisine at 28th and M streets, about a 10-minute walk from campus.

Eating Ethiopian food the traditional way is a social experience, with the dishes coming on one platter for the entire table. The food is served over injera, a bread that “becomes sort of your knife and fork,” said Das Ethiopian’s operator, Sileshi Alifom.

“At the end of the day is where everybody gets together in the Ethiopian tradition to sit on the table and really share their thoughts,” Alifom said.

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Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 10:22 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

Here are a few tracks The Hatchet staff listened to while editing the Sex Issue. Happy listening.

Editors’ Picks

Music | Jeanine Marie, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Repetition” by Purity Ring

The lovely Canadian duo hasn’t made an album since 2012, so I’ve waited anxiously for this latest work. Purity Ring has released three singles, and this BBC teaser doesn’t disappoint. (“Repetition” starts at 8:35 minutes.)

Television | Robin Jones Kerr, Opinions Editor

This week’s pick: “Saturday Night Live” 40th Anniversary Special

Where will you find Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Maya Rudolph and 50 other comedians this Sunday? On NBC for the 40th Anniversary Special of “Saturday Night Live.” The star-studded event is sure to cap off your long weekend with lots of laughs.

Lit | Nora Princiotti, Sports Editor

This week’s pick: “When the Game Was Ours” by Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, with Jackie MacMullan

Study up with this candid read about the notoriously competitive basketball stars before March Madness begins.

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If the pre-midterm jitters have you in your room procrastinating, take your nervous energy to the dance floor. From The Kongos to Butch Queen DJs to small DIY groups, as well as must-see plays, this week is all about the stage.

Tuesday

The Kongos at the 9:30 Club: Hailing from Phoenix, Ariz., these brothers with a U2 sound and notoriety in the United Kingdom have been playing together virtually their whole lives. Their 12-song record “Lunatic” is comprised of diverse rock tunes with a hint of Coldplay and a splash of pop. They’re best known for the accordion-clad rock song, “Come With Me Now.”
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $15.




Nick Thune at Sixth & I: Check out the D.C. installment of Nick Thune’s Very Tour! Much Comedy! He played small roles in “Knocked Up” and “Unaccompanied Minors,” and he’s performed on “The Tonight Show” eight times. Comedians Kate Berlant and Ben Kronberg will join Thune on stage.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 8 p.m. $15.

Wednesday

Polyon, Chandos, Two Inch Astronaut at Babe City: These DIY bands are just a few of many groups playing lo-fi tunes in District basement quasi-venues. They’ve cut the production down to straightforward sounds to be played for small crowds.
Babe City, Dupont Circle. 7 p.m. $5 suggested donation.




Riot Grrrls’ “The Tempest” at Capitol Hills Art Workshop: Riot grrrl, a feminist hardcore punk movement born in D.C. in the 90′s, is taking on one of William Shakespeare’s lesser-known works, “The Tempest.” The play only has one female lead, which the group seems to view as a challenge rather than a setback.
Taffety Punk Theatre Co. at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. 7:30 p.m. $15.

Thursday

Phox at the 9:30 Club: These six “best friends” pride themselves on their small hometown, Baraboo, Wisc., where “kids often drink poisoned groundwater and become endowed mutants.” As far as music goes, their sugary blend of psychedelic pop-rock often goes on for six or seven minutes.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $15.




Love Feast at Tropicalia: If you missed Butch Queen DJs at The Black Cat last weekend, here’s your chance to redeem yourself. The evening kicks off with Dance Afire Productions, followed by Pussy Noir and MUNDY, and will culminate at midnight with an eclectic set of vogue house, 90′s mixes and trap.
Tropicalia. 2001 14 St. NW. 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. $10.

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