Beyond the Books

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9:30 Club

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.


Singer-songwriter Dave Barnes. Photo by Flickr user Corey Butler under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Singer-songwriter Dave Barnes. Photo by Flickr user Corey Butler under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

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.

Bao Bao, a one-year-old baby panda at the National Zoo. Photo by Flickr user Sharon Sipple under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Bao Bao, a 1-year-old baby panda at the National Zoo. Photo by Flickr user Sharon Sipple under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

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.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Abigail Eddy.

Not long after taking the stage at the 9:30 Club Friday night, singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas struggled to untangle the microphone from its stand. In true Casablancas fashion, he turned away from the crowd, deciding to leave the mic stand slightly off-base.

The audience roared.

At the concert, the lead singer of The Strokes showed off his most recent project, Julian Casablancas+The Voidz, a band formed by Casablancas, guitarists Jeramy Gritter and Amir Yaghmai, bassist Jake Bercovici, drummer Alex Carapetis and Jeff Kite on the keyboard.

After several false-alarm cheers from fans awaiting the band’s entrance, Julian Casablancas+The Voidz finally appeared. As soon as Casablancas stepped on stage, clad in a sporty, black track jacket, the entire audience pushed nearly four feet toward the stage, filling every available space.

Lead singer Julian Casablancas takes the stage. Photo by Flickr user Liliane Callegari under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Lead singer Julian Casablancas takes the stage. Photo by Flickr user Liliane Callegari under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Just a few songs in, bras were already landing on stage as others shouted his name and reached out to touch him.

asablancas’ deep voice led the sound, and guitar and bass riffs that seemed to echo The Strokes emerged through the distortion. The lyrical, melody-driven music of The Strokes, though, was all but forgotten, leaving room as the band experimented with other styles.

“Human Sadness,” a melancholy nearly eleven-minute track that builds atop an opening bass line, transitioned the audience to the band’s experimental sound early on in the set. The vocals blended together over the repetitive melody, creating a darker, more distorted theme.

Casablancas interrupted to comment only briefly between songs that were so stylistically consistent they often seemed to flow together.

“I’ll shut up now, sorry, I’m ruining the vibe,” Casablancas said after one such interjection.

Halfway through the show the stage was relit in a soft purple as the band shifted pace with the highly rhythmic “Father Electricity,” punctuating previous songs that were matched by flashing neon green and blue lights with a calmer hue.

The audience hung on the band’s every beat, and the band took the chance to play off the audience’s enthusiasm.

During “Crunch Punch,” the band teased the crowd by seemingly extending the abrupt pauses in the song, encouraging the crowd to cheer until the music resumed.

While Casablancas’ celebrity seemed to be the highlight of the show, guitarists Gritter and Yaghmai periodically took the lead, as Casablancas turned his back to the audience and draped the microphone over his shoulder.

Although the tunes weren’t quite sing-along friendly, fans did their best, singing to the words they did know and were enthusiastic throughout. Casablancas made one tribute to The Strokes near the end of the show, playing “Ize of the World.”

The band’s deep, distorted sound contrasted their more playful atmosphere onstage, showing a band unafraid to experiment with its sound. The group appeared less interested in creating a marketable band and more focused on simply making music.

While the tunes didn’t have the stuck-in-your-head factor characteristic of The Strokes, the band turned Casablancas fans into fans of Julian Casablancas+The Voidz.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ruby Lee.

Kickstart the holiday season with Halloween-inspired races, a lottery for tickets to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and a spooky Edgar Allen Poe reading, plus live entertainment in dance, theater and music.


The reading will include Edgar Allen Poe classics like "The Raven." Photo by Flickr user Kevin Burkett under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The reading will include Edgar Allen Poe classics like “The Raven.” Photo by Flickr user Kevin Burkett under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

CultureBlast: Once Upon A Midnight Dreary…: Celebrate the spookiest time of year with a marathon reading of Edgar Allen Poe classics like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven.” Sponsored by Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe and Grill and Hillyer Art Space, the evening promises to be a celebration of all things spine-tingling. Poe-themed costumes are encouraged, though not required, but the best costume gets a mystery prize. Bonus: Wine and beer will be available for the over-21 set. Books are also for sale, so if you can’t drink, you can at least snag a copy of Poe’s work.
Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Ct. NW. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Kaytranada with Teklun and DJ Kidd Marvel at U Street Music Hall: On the rise with no signs of slowing down, the Canadian DJ Kaytranada brings his electric, hip-hop infused beats to U Street for a night full of both original tracks and bootleg remixes. Originally from Montreal, Kaytranada has made a name for himself through releases like “Leave Me Alone” (feat. Shay Lia)” and “Talk is Cheap (Kaytranada Flip)” on YouTube and Soundcloud. The 21-year-old cites a variety of genres like disco, house and R&B as influences, so expect an eclectic sound that’ll get you grooving. Teklun and DJ Kidd Marvel open.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $20. Must be 18 or older.


Alice Russell & Yuna featuring Hollie Cook at Lisner Auditorium: Spend the night listening to a trio of talent as Alice Russell, Yuna and Hollie Cook take center stage at Lisner. All three women spotlight their internationally acclaimed voices with songs sure to please. Alice Russell dazzles with her soulful voice and rhythmic beats, both found in her latest release “Breakdown,” while Malaysian pop star Yuna will likely revive hits like “Lullabies” and “Rescue.” Hollie Cook, a London native, makes her D.C. debut with performances from her latest EP “Twice.”
Lisner Auditorium. 8 p.m. $25 to $30.

Dance Theatre of Harlem at Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Dance Theatre of Harlem makes its return this season to Shakespeare Theatre Company. The company focuses on its reputation as a multi-cultural dance institution, presenting racially diverse dancers who perform at the highest level. Friday marks opening night in the District, followed by three additional shows planned during the weekend.
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 8 p.m. $35 to $50.

The National Christmas Tree 2013. Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The National Christmas Tree in 2013. Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Ticket Lottery for National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: The National Park Service and National Park Foundation begin distributing tickets for the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony through an online lottery system Friday at 10 a.m., proving it’s never too early to think about Christmas. Watch President Barack Obama celebrate the holidays Dec. 4, which will mark the ceremony’s 91st year. The lottery closes Oct. 20, so make sure not to miss this chance for a truly unique D.C. tradition. The lucky winners will be notified starting Nov. 3.
Lottery opens at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17 through Monday, Oct. 23. Apply online or call 1-877-444-6777 for tickets.


Toast at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop: Get engaged with “Toast,” a participatory performance act that calls on the audience to help brainstorm scientific inventions. Performers explore discovery in the two-hour show, asking audience members for suggestions. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll end up on stage, with the audience contributing up to 80 percent of the show’s content. The performance focuses on the networks that weave people together. Check out the last show Saturday.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. 7:30 p.m. $16.82 with student identification.

SoMo featuring Francesco Yates and Dunson at The Fillmore: Known for recent songs like “Ride” and “Kings & Queens (Throw It Up),” SoMo will host the next stop of his tour Saturday at The Fillmore. The concert will mostly feature songs from his latest album, “SoMo.” Go for a night full of calm beats and smooth vocals as SoMo belts out hooks sure to stay with you long after the concert ends. Francesco Yates and Dunson will open.
The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. 8 p.m. $30.50.

Spook Hill Cider & Wine Run: Head over to the historic town of Burkittsville, Md., the site of horror classic “The Blair Witch Project,” for the second annual Spook Hill Cider and Wine 4-Mile Run. Get ready for a looped, mixed course of road and cross country, which offers magnificent and magnificently creepy views of orchards, vineyards and cemeteries. The race begins on legendary, haunted Spook Hill. Want to hear more about the scariness? Read up about the lore surrounding Spook Hill.
Burkittsville Ruritan, 500 East Main St., Burkittsville, Md. 8:30 a.m. $30.


Indie-rock group Bombay Bicycle Club. Photo by Flickr user Paul Hudson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Indie-rock group Bombay Bicycle Club. Photo by Flickr user Paul Hudson under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Bombay Bicycle Club at 9:30 Club: Indie-rock fans are in for a treat as Bombay Bicycle Club takes the stage at 9:30 Club. The British group’s trademark aesthetic remains true in its most ambitious project yet. The band’s newest album, “So Long, See You Tomorrow,” took a year to record before its release last February. Look forward to new offerings like “Luna” and “Carry Me” along with all-time favorites like “Shuffle” and “Always Like This.” Milo Greene and Luxley will open.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Evita at the Kennedy Center: Experience some of theater’s most awe-inspiring music at the last night of “Evita” at the Kennedy Center. This Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of Eva, a young woman from the slums of Argentina, and her political rise to become First Lady. Songs include “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “High Flying, Adored.”
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $39.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ruby Lee.

This week is all about music, with artists from EDM wonderkid Porter Robinson to global singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová and surf-pop queen La Femme gracing the stage at venues around D.C.

Plus, scroll on for other must-dos, like an improv comedy battle and a storytelling contest.


Porter Robinson performs alongside DJ Skrillex. Photo by Flickr user digboston under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Porter Robinson performs alongside DJ Skrillex. Photo by Flickr user digboston under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Porter Robinson at 9:30 Club: EDM artist Porter Robinson continues his tour in D.C. tonight after a year of performances at electronic music fests like Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy. The 22-year-old is known for releases like “Say My Name,” “Easy” and a handful of remixes of top tracks by the likes of Avicii and Lady Gaga. This tour marks his first full-length album, “Worlds.”
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW. Doors open at 7 p.m. $40.

Markéta Irglová at The Hamilton: Known for her sweet, idyllic vocals and skillful piano playing, Czech singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová has been one to watch since she won an Academy Award for her work on the “Once” movie soundtrack. Her newest album, “Muna” — Icelandic for ‘remember’ — draws inspiration from the landscape of Iceland and Irglová’s Iranian collaborator Aida Shahghasemi. Expect a mix of global sounds and influences as Irglová dives further into the concept of ethereal music.
The Hamilton,600 14th Street NW. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for 7:30 p.m. show. $18-25.

Improv Wars at Source TheaterIf you’re looking for some comic relief to relieve the stress of midterms, Improv Wars has you covered. The series features one-on-one battles between different comedy troupes in the District, jam-packed with heated comedy and lots of laughs. The rules are simple: Anything goes and the audience determines the winner. Monday night will feature current Improv Wars champions “Door #3″ versus “Press Play.”
Source Theater, 1835 14th Street NW. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10 online, $15 cash only at the door.


New Politics at 9:30 Club: Known for hits like “Harlem” and “Tonight You’re Perfect,” New Politics has been on the rise since their debut album in 2010. The real jump in notoriety came with the release of their latest work, “Bad Girl in Harlem,” which reflects the band’s relocation from Denmark to Williamsburg. Watch out for songs that jump between pop and punk rock and catchy hooks that will be stuck in your head for days to come.
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW. Doors open at 7 p.m. $20.

Speakeasy DC Presents Do-Gooders Gone BadGood intentions gone wrong? Storytelling community SpeakeasyDC has centered an entire show on just this topic. Stop by and watch first-time and regular storytellers take the mic, each telling a true story on the the theme. Tip: Arrive up to an hour early to make sure you snag a seat.
Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th Street NW. 8 p.m. $15. This is a 21+ event.


La Femme at U Street Music HallSelf-described as a mix between French and Californian surf-pop, La Femme busts out heart-racing hits that combine the best of electro, punk and rock. The band establishes their own unique sound by blending together various musical elements with multiple voices. Get ready for the perfect mix of catchy French lyrics and the head-nodding melodies that have sparked a worldwide following.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U Street NW. 7 p.m. $15.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Photo by Flickr user NCinDC under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Gallery Talk: The First Woman Graphic Novelist: The National Museum of Women in the Arts offers weekly talks by museum staff to further explore exhibitions. Gain a better understanding of women in the arts this week as Heather Slania, director of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center, discusses selections from an exhibition on the first woman graphic novelist, Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW. 12 p.m. Free.


DC Reads: Book Discussion: readers from around the District will be coming together to read Dinaw Mengestu “The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears,” as part of DC Reads, a library literacy program that promotes free reading for teens and adults by focusing on one book citywide. Head over to the Georgetown Public Library for discussion of the novel and the cultural problems put forth by the text.

Georgetown Public Library, 3260 R Street NW. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Promotional poster for "Geographically Desirable."

Promotional poster for “Geographically Desirable.”

Reel Independent Film Extravaganza at West End CinemaDon’t miss the last day of this year’s Reel Independent Film Extravaganza, a weeklong festival that celebrates emerging artists. The final night features rom com “Geographically Desirable,” the story of a D.C. workaholic and her journey of self-discovery, along with shorts “Audition” and “Into the Cave of Wonders,” which profile a woman’s audition gone wrong and the Cave of Wonders in Spain, respectively.
West End Cinema, 2301 M Street NW. 7 p.m. $8.46 with Student I.D.



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If you need a midterm week pick-me-up (or eight), look no further. This week you can catch a secret free concert, run away from zombies, and downward dog into bliss.


Lykke Li will perform a free concert at Urban Outfitters.

Lykke Li will perform a free concert at Urban Outfitters.

Lykke Li performs at Urban Outfitters: If you couldn’t snag tickets to Lykke Li’s sold-out performance at 9:30 Club Monday night, don’t despair. The Swedish singer will play a smaller, free set at Georgetown’s Urban Outfitters just hours before her main performance. Don’t forget to bring along a sharpie and your copy of “I Never Learn” for the post-show autograph session.
Urban Outfitters, 3111 M St. NW. 2 p.m. Free.

B.J. Novak “The Book With No Pictures” Book Signing: Don’t miss the chance to meet B.J. Novak of “The Office,” who will stop by the Maret School Auditorium near the Woodley Park Zoo/Adams Morgan metro station on Monday night. He’ll be signing copies of his latest best-seller, “The Book With No Pictures,” a text-only children’s storybook packed with humor for kindergarteners and college kids alike.
Maret School Auditorium, 3000 Cathedral Ave. NW. 6:30 p.m. Free.


Allen Stone at 9:30 Club: A self-described “hippie with soul,” Allen Stone and his signature oversized glasses and curly blonde locks have shown up on “Ellen,” “Conan” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” This R&B singer, whose third album “The Radius” is set to release late 2014, is known for his soulful tunes and quirky persona.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $25.

Capital City Showcase DMV Roast: For this month’s installment of their DMV Roast, comedians from the Capital City Showcase will host a roast of The Washington Capitals, just in time for the start of hockey season. Comedian David Carter will play the part of The Caps at this free show, and guests can enjoy happy hour specials from 7 to 10 p.m.
The Brixton, 901 U St. NW. 8 p.m. Free.


De-stress with free yoga at Yoga NoMa. Photo by Flickr user Eli Christman under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

De-stress with free yoga at Yoga NoMa. Photo by Flickr user Eli Christman under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Lunch-Hour Yoga Recharge: Erase away your mid-week midterm stress by taking a quick metro ride to NoMa, where you can indulge in some free yoga relaxation. Yoga NoMa, a new yoga spot, is hosting free sessions to attract yogis of all levels. Don’t forget your mat and a water bottle, and be sure to reserve a spot online.
Yoga NoMa, 1st St. NE and M Street NE. 12 p.m. Free.

Esperanza Spalding at The Birchmere: Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding is celebrating her birthday month with a two-week tour, “Thank You October,” which will make a stop in Alexandria Wednesday night. She was the first of her genre to win the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011, so don’t miss your chance to groove to the neo-soul sounds of this emerging artist.

3701 Mt Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Va. 7:30 p.m. $65.


Opening Night of DC DEAD: Rush over to this Capital Fringe event prepared for a zombie chase. This interactive performance comes just in time for Halloween, grouping people into teams to fight zombies in a haunted house. Live the thrill of a zombie apocalypse, minus the whole death thing.
Capital Fringe’s Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. NW. 7 p.m. $35.

Pages D. Matam Poetry Reading and Conversation: Join the D.C. poetry community at Split This Rock to celebrate local poet and activist Pages D. Maham, who will lead a reading and discussion of his latest book, “The Heart of a Comet.” Maham’s new book is a selection of poems and short stories chronicling the story of a comet on a quest to find his purpose in life.
Institute for Policy Studies, 1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600. 5:30 p.m. Free.


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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Cailley LaPara.

Whether you’re into Latin-American rock, ’80s-era U.K. tunes, indie pop or the sound of a violin, we’ve got your music fix in the District this week.


Ty Segall at the 9:30 Club: California-based musician and songwriter Ty Segall blends genres of rock – like psychedelic, glam, garage and punk – to create an eclectic sound. His most recent album, “Manipulator,” was released in August.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $18.

Madchester Monday at U Street Music Hall: The focus of this “listening party” will be ‘80s and ‘90s tunes from the famous Hacienda Nightclub in Mancester, England. Jam to entire vinyl albums by artists like The Stone Roses, New Order Technique and Primal Scream Screamadelica, and finish off the night with a set by DJ Steven Faith.

U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 7 p.m. Admission is free for attendees over 21, $5 for those over 18.


Free concert at Black Squirrel: Black Squirrel, a pub in Adams Morgan, will host three musicians for a night of burgers, brews and good tunes. Rock d’Madera will kick off the night with Latin-American rock at 8 p.m., followed by bluesy-rock group Butterface Effect at 9 p.m. and Music Bones at 10 p.m.

Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Free.

OK Go at the 9:30 Club: The band, still famous for their 2005 track, “Here It Goes Again” (and its treadmill-inspired music video) will perform in D.C. on Tuesday. You’ll hopefully get to hear some songs off the group’s upcoming album, “Hungry Ghosts,” to be released in October.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $25


Legal Seafoods Sixth Annual Oyster Festival: Wednesday marks the start of Legal Seafoods’ sixth annual Oyster Festival, which will last until Oct. 14. The festival will come to three Legal Seafoods locations in the D.C. area. Special items, like oyster stew and bacon wrapped oysters, will appear on the menu during the festival, and happy hour specials will run Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Legal Seafoods, 704 7th St. NW. Sept. 17 to Oct. 14 at participating locations.

Story League Story Contest at Busboys and Poets: Busboys and Poets will partner with Story League to host the third annual story contest Wednesday night. Pre-decided storytellers have seven minutes to tell a true, personal story on the theme of “Testy, Testy!” for the chance to win $150 and the title of Story League champion.

Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. Doors open at 8:30 pm. Tickets: $12 presale, $15 at door.


Clean Bandit and Lizzo at the 9:30 Club: Clean Bandit, known for the popular summer hit “Rather Be,” will perform at the 9:30 Club alongside hip-hop artist Lizzo, whose debut album, “Lizzobangers,” was released last year.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets: $18

Nistha Raj at the Kennedy Center: Violinist Nistha Raj’s musical background began in Indian classical music, but she has since added other, modern sounds like jazz and beatboxing to her performances. See it live for free at the Kennedy Center on Thursday.

Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW., 6 p.m. Free.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Madison Pontz.

The Gaslight Anthem. Photo Courtesy of Big Hassle Media.

The Gaslight Anthem. Photo Courtesy of Big Hassle Media.

After the release of The Gaslight Anthem’s fifth full-length album, “Get Hurt,” last month, the band is setting out on tour, with stops at the 9:30 Club for two sold-out shows Wednesday and Thursday.

We sat down with the band’s bassist, Alex Levine, to chat about the new album, how the group’s sound has changed and, of course, midnight snack preferences. The interview was edited for length.

Hatchet: “Get Hurt” feels a bit different from your last two albums, “American Slang” (2010) and “Handwritten” (2012). Would you agree?

Levine: Yeah, I think all of that is true. We definitely tried a bunch of new things, loops and whatnot. We went about writing the songs a bit differently. We were more conscious of writing more riffs. We never really wrote a lot of riffs in our songs. Well, we never really wrote melodies around our riffs. It was more like we just kind of tried a bunch of different things, taking a bunch of our other influences. At the end of the day, it’s kind of weird as an artist when you’re trying something else. I don’t know how much at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, you revert back to what you know and what’s natural to you.

Hatchet: Do you feel more free to experiment musically now than on the first few albums? We saw you performed the title track “Get Hurt” with strings backing you on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Levine:I think that, not being an expert on it, but just kind of seeing how musicians and bands kind of work, when bands want to try things differently, I think sometimes if it doesn’t work, usually the problem is it’s a 360-degree change overnight. It’s night and day. You go from a rock-and-roll record to a melodic-synth record or whatnot. I think that, at least in my opinion, it kind of organically, for us, found its way. We think of it as the last few songs we write on every record kind of set the tone for the next record. If we wrote a song like ‘Get Hurt’ with accompanied strings five years ago, people would’ve been like, ‘What the hell is this band doing?’

Hatchet: If someone was going to listen to Gaslight for the first time, which record would you suggest he or she listen to first?

Levine: I’d start from the beginning, but if you really wanted to understand what we were all about, I’d get ‘The ‘59 Sound.’ ‘Sink or Swim’ was our first record, but ‘The ‘59 Sound,’ I think people look at it as our first record. That was really our launching point, where we kind of came into ourselves as a band. Everything kind of represents, or goes back to, ‘The ‘59 Sound,’ so I’d say that.

If you had to pick just one Gaslight song that you’ve always really connected with and really loved, which would you choose?

 Levine: ‘The Backseat,’ off of ‘The ‘59 Sound.’ It’s the last song on the record. We play it 90 percent of the time as the last song in our set. There’s something about that song. It’s like everything just kind of stops and that song matters. It makes everything OK. There’s like a 30-second clip of that song toward the end that I think we, as a band, caught magic when we wrote it and recorded it and when we play it that we’ve never done with any other song. It’s like the stars align and we become completely in synch with each other.

Hatchet: Tell me a bit about Tiger Cuts, your new men’s clothing and lifestyle brand.

Levine: We’re about to launch the full fall collection in the next couple weeks, so the website is going to be back up and everything is going to be running at full speed. It’s a clothing company. It’s also a lifestyle brand. I’m a barber and I really enjoy the style of what old world barbershops represent. During that time period, fashionable, stylish men cared about the way they looked. It was the way that their appearance was a big deal. It’s kind of a nod to that time period, taking the essence of that time period and putting it out through clothing.

Hatchet: You tweeted that you were going to be giving fans haircuts while on tour.

Levine: Yeah, it’s crazy. I always get people to ask me, ‘Can I get a haircut? When are you going to open a barbershop?’ And I was like, ‘Well, I don’t really have time’ (laughs). But now I thought you know what, with these VIP packages, we’re doing a pre-show hangout where we’re going to hang out with everybody that comes to it. I figured it might be kind of cool if people want haircuts, I’ll figure it out on the road. Maybe it’ll be whoever contacts me first on Twitter, from whoever’s coming to the pre-show. We’ll do it right before the pre-show, outside the bus or something.

Hatchet: What is your favorite band, just in terms of personal appreciation?

Levine: Of all time, ever? The Clash, that’s an easy one.

Hatchet: It’s 3 a.m. and you’re hungry. What would you grab to eat?

 Levine: I guess depending on what’s in the fridge. A bowl of cinnamon Life cereal, that’s always a good standby.

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Don’t let the last weekend of summer go to waste. Here are a slew of parties happening throughout the weekend, from Bao Bao’s first birthday to a 2000′s-themed dance party. Plus, two evening art shows.


Fatboy Slim performs at 9:30 Club. Photo by Flickr user thisisbossi.

Fatboy Slim performs at 9:30 Club. Photo by Flickr user thisisbossi.

Hot in Herre 2000s Dance Party at the 9:30 Club: DJ Duo Will Eastman and Brian Billion are back to host their third “Hot in Herre” dance party at the 9:30 Club. The party will showcase hits from the 2000′s (think Missy Elliot, Outkast, Kelly Clarkson and more). You won’t even have to pretend you don’t know every word to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” because everyone else will be shamelessly belting the lyrics along with you. Eastman and Billion are known for selling out shows, so buy your tickets ($15) in advance.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets: $15.

Rosslyn Summer Film Festival Presents “Anchorman”: Not only is this event both Will Ferrell-related and free, but it’s also the Rosslyn Film Festival’s last summer screening. As if you need another reason to go, the festival also offers a pre-show scavenger hunt at 7:30 p.m. that could win you VIP seating. But whether or not you choose to participate in the hunt, it’s best to arrive early to the 8 p.m. show for a good seat. Don’t forget to bring a blanket, lawn chair and some snacks.

Gateway Park, 1200 Lee Highway. For pre-show events, arrive at 7 p.m. Film begins at 8 p.m. Free.

Art After Dark at the Art Museum of the Americas: Join the Art Museum of the Americas for a night of art, food trucks, live music, prizes and more at the 5th installation of their “Art After Dark” series. The museum exhibitions and outdoor garden will stay open until 1 a.m. Though the $50 cover charge seems pricey, it gives you access to live music by DJ Shea van Horn and others, performance art, a gorgeous outdoor venue and a selection of beer, wine, champagne and sangria. Still not convinced? Check out photos from Art After Dark’s third installation, and complete the museum’s online survey for 10-percent-off tickets. Just remember to leave your heels at home for easy walking through the museum’s outdoor garden.

Art Museum of the Americas, 201 18th St. NW. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets: $50. This is a 21+ event.


Bao Bao’s First Birthday at the National Zoo: Celebrate the birthday of D.C.’s most prized possession. (No, not the Declaration of Independence or the National Gallery of Art, the other prized possession.) The National Zoo’s adored panda cub Bao Bao turns 1 year old Saturday, and naturally the entire city is invited to celebrate. Hosted by Bearitos, a kids’ healthy snack company, the party will take place at the entrance to the zoo’s Clint Fields Plaza and include games, giveaways, free samples of Bearitos snacks and the opportunity to sign a birthday card for the baby panda.

Clint Fields Plaza at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.

Bao Bao in his habitat at the National Zoo. Photo by Sharon Sipple.

Bao Bao in his habitat at the National Zoo. Photo by Sharon Sipple.

Red Wanting Blue and The Alternate Routes at The Hamilton: All-American rock bands Red Wanting Blue and The Alternate Routes join forces for their “Sounds Like Summer” tour, which hits D.C. Saturday evening. With soulful, bright rock riffs from their album “Little America,” released in July, Red Wanting Blue is the perfect complement to The Alternate Routes’ warm, rough-around-the-edges rhythm. Catch the bands live at The Hamilton, and make sure to grab your tickets online before they sell out.

The Hamilton DC, 600 14th St. NW. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8:30 p.m. concert. Tickets: $17 in advance, $20 at the door.


Denim Customization Style Workshop with Topaz + Arrow: DIY-enthusiasts and fashion gurus alike can learn how to dye, bleach, fray and embellish denim at Topaz + Arrow’s August workshop Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $37.50, and include materials, instruction, complimentary drinks provided by Honest Tea and Boulevard Brewing Company and snacks provided by Meats & Foods and KIND. Walk away with a customized denim piece you can brag about and that can’t be found anywhere else.

Wild Hand Workspace, 716 Monroe St. NE, Studio No. 8. 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets: $37.50, pre-registration required.

Karma Yoga Bruch III at Epic Yoga DC: At this fundraiser event, you can perfect your om and enjoy a healthy brunch all while giving to charity. For a minimum donation of $20, guests are invited to a one-hour all-level yoga class followed by a vegan brunch, with grub provided by Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar, Chef Anu and The Waterhole Community. Proceeds will go toward the Howard University chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a nonprofit that raises funds to build water purification systems for communities in El Salvador.

Epic Yoga DC, 1323 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets: Minimum donation of $20.

RAW:natural born artists at Penn Social: RAW:natural born artists hand selects artists in the creative spheres of visual art, film, fashion, music, beauty, photography, modeling and performing arts for showcases across the country. The arts organization comes to Penn Social on Sunday for a night of artistic discovery and inspiration. Guests can expect a film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery and more, including 43 featured artists. Cocktail attire is recommended for the 21+ event.

Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 cash only at the door. This is a 21+ event.

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It’s the last weekend of July. We can’t believe it either.

But don’t mope around. We’ve found plenty to do this weekend.

The National Building Museum. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user AgnosticPreachersKid under the Creative Commons License

The National Building Museum. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.


Mixtape at the 9:30 ClubThis monthly dance party blasts anything you can dance to, from house and electric to alt-pop and indie rock. Tickets are $12, and doors open at 11 p.m.

Ghost Tours at the National Building MuseumNot in the mood to party? Spend your Friday night on a ghost tour of the National Building Museum. You never know what spooky stuff is hidden around the museum after-hours. Non-member tickets are $25.


Bliss at U Street Music HallU Street Music Hall co-owner Will Eastman will host this monthly dance party Saturday night. Remember to buy the $10 tickets ahead of time if you’re under 21, and make sure you grab a pair of limited-edition U Street shades. Free until 11 p.m. for 21+.

Capital Fringe Festival: Still don’t want to party? That’s OK. The Capital Fringe Festival is winding down, but you can still catch some performances Saturday night. You need to buy a $7 Fringe button and a $17 ticket to attend a show, but it’s worth it.


Chain & the Gang at Black CatThe D.C.-based band is back to rock the Black Cat on Sunday. Tickets are $12, and doors open at 8 p.m.

Capital Fringe Festival: Once again, we urge you to check out this festival. This is the last day, so if you missed all the fun comedy, dance and drama, you have one last chance. Don’t spend the last Sunday of July at home.

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Photo by Robert Redfield, courtesy of Elastic Artists.

Photo by Robert Redfield, courtesy of Elastic Artists.

D.C. has waited a long time for up-and-coming Canadian singer Mac DeMarco.

DeMarco, with his new indie-pop album “Salad Days,” played the last show of his U.S. tour Saturday night at the 9:30 Club.

The line of teenagers, dressed much like DeMarco in white shirts and baseball caps, flowed off the sidewalk hours before doors even opened for the show that sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale in April.

The crowd could not control its excitement for the Canadian idol. Even as Mac DeMarco and his touring band watched the opening acts from the balcony, fans pointed him out to their friends and took pictures of him with their phones.

DeMarco finally stepped on stage. His songs are often described as “jizz jazz,” with the swing and flow of the rhythm complementing a giddy chorus.

“This song’s called Martha Stewart’s pussy,” DeMarco joked before playing the comforting song “Blue Boy.”

From the moment the band started playing its first song, “Salad Days,” the entire crowd sang along with DeMarco until the end of the set. DeMarco fed off the crowd, staring into fans’ eyes to “find a vibe” and thanking them for paper notes they handed him.

Everything that could happen at a concert did. Someone requested “Free Bird” – and the band delivered. About 30 people crowd-surfed, including band members and DeMarco. “Rock and Roll Night Club,” one of DeMarco’s most well-known hits, made it on the setlist with bassist Pierce McGarry’s usual high-pitched ending.

In his “Simpsons” tee, DeMarco belted out the lyrics to “Cooking Up Something Good,” with maniacal screams.

Mosh pits don’t usually come with bands as easygoing as this one, but DeMarco’s psychedelic, jazz-inspired rock had kids pushing and jumping around all night.

The band’s jokes broke up the setlist and sent the show on entertaining tangents.

“I’d like to preface this next song with some medical knowledge,” said McGarry.

The bassist informed the crowd that if you’re depressed, you should try using leeches to cheer up. Then he sang Coldplay’s “Yellow” in his now-famous whinny hollering. Hundreds in the audience took out their lighters and sang along.

The night ended with an encore of two covers,“Enter Sandman” and “Smoke on the Water,” leaving all happily basking in the rock vibes.

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