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Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 5:26 p.m.

Your Week: Get caught up on D.C. life

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nadia Meher-Zaman.

This week, catch up on the latest hits from indie and rock favorites like Alt-J at venues around the District.

More interested in art? No problem. From a panel about how art can help overcome cultural barriers to the chance to spend the evening in a Dupont studio, we’ve got your week covered.

Tuesday

Pot is Passed in D.C. What now?: Is marijuana officially legal in the District now? How will upcoming decisions change D.C. life? If you’re interested in legalization of marijuana in D.C. (because who isn’t), bring your questions to Busboys and Poets. The coffeehouse will host a panel discussion with experts from the Institute of Policy Studies, who will shed light on possible legislation and congressional review.
Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th St. 5 to 7 p.m. Free, suggested $5 donation

Jacques Greene at Black Cat: Stop by the Black Cat and groove to up-and-coming artist Jacques Greene’s electronica-infused beats, like the popular “Another Girl,” “Body Party” and “Sorry.” Don’t miss the opening act Gorgeous Children, an experimental musical duo who mix hip hop-influenced lyrics with modern-sounding beats.
Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors at 8 p.m. $15

Wednesday

Indie rock group Alt-J. Photo by Flickr user Eddy Berthier under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Indie rock group Alt-J. Photo by Flickr user Eddy Berthier under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Alt-J at Echostage: Fan-favorite English indie rock band Alt-J will perform songs off their newly-released sophomore album, “This is All Yours,” along with classics like “Breezeblocks” from their debut album. Make sure to arrive early to the sold-out show to catch Mikky Ekko, known for his collaboration with Rihanna on their hit single “Stay.”
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. Doors at 7 p.m. $48.60

We Were Promised Jetpacks at the 9:30 Club: If you can’t swing a ticket to Alt-J, see the four Scottish college students behind We Were Promised Jetpacks jam out onstage at the 9:30 Club, where they’ll perform songs off their newly released album, “Unravelling,” known for heavy bass lines and electronic beats. Fingers crossed they’ll play their catchy hit single “Quiet Little Voices.” Indie band The Twilight Sad will open.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $20

Thursday

Culture Blast Thursday at Hillyer Art Space: Head over to the hip, contemporary Hillyer Art Space for a panel discussion about how art contributes to understanding among cultures. The panel will feature photographer and curator Jillian Watkins along with Erlingur Erlingsson, the Embassy of Iceland’s deputy chief of mission, and Anna Smith, the director of cultural exchange at International Arts & Artists. Together, they’ll talk about how featuring works from international artists helps bridge the gap between different ways of thinking across the globe.
Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court NW. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free.

Channel your creativity at ArtJamz. Photo by Flickr user Karin Dalziel under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Channel your creativity at ArtJamz. Photo by Flickr user Karin Dalziel under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

ArtJamz presents: Artistic Flavors: Looking to start creating your own art instead? Stop by Dupont art studio ArtJamz to enjoy three hours of studio time, live music, a sneak peek of the different classes offered at the studio, one free drink and the opportunity to meet up with other D.C. artists, all included in your $20 ticket. You’ll also have the chance to participate in the event’s “art swap,” where local artists exchange original works.
ArtJamz Dupont Studio, 1728 Connecticut Ave. NW. 8 to 11 p.m. $20

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

Be all ears this weekend by checking out performances by rappers, local folk artists, DJs and U.K, boy bands. If concerts aren’t on your ideal agenda (but let’s be honest, they probably are), try a different type of rom-com Friday or take in some free art at D.C.’s finest exhibitions.

Friday

Schoolboy Q and Rae Sremmurd at Echostage: If you’ve heard the infectious beats of “Collard Greens” by West Coast rapper Schoolboy Q, you’ll understand why he was nominated for both MTV’s Artist to Watch and BET’s Best New Artist awards for 2014. The new-age artist’s latest album, “Oxymoron,” includes collaborations with rappers like Tyler, The Creator and 2 Chainz. But for his Echostage performance, Schoolboy Q will join up with Mississippi-born duo Rae Sremmurd, brothers behind the track “No Flex Zone.

Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets: $46.40.

Select DC Presents: Summer Showcase: Kick off the weekend with beats by four techno, sonic-sound-packed performers for just $10. This showcase, featuring DJs Profligate, Nick Klein, Saran Man and Shane English, will require an acute set of ears to decipher the layers of electronic sounds. For those up to the challenge, beats like Klein’s radioactive “Secret Promise” and English’s hypnotic “Buy Things” are sure to please techno lovers of every taste.

Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets: $10.

Watch “The One I Love” first: Be the first of your friends to see “The One I Love,” a new independent film premiering at West End Cinema on Friday. The film, directed by Charlie McDowell, follows a couple on the brink of divorce who travel to California to revive their love in a hallucinatory state of mind. The film stars Mark Duplass and “Mad Men”‘s Elizabeth Moss, who won the Newport Beach Film Festival’s “Outstanding Achievement in Acting” award for her role in “The One I Love.” Snag student tickets for $9, and don’t forget that the cinema now takes GWorld.

West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Showtimes 3 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 7:20 p.m., 9:20 p.m. Tickets: $9 for students.

Saturday

The Corcoran Art Gallery. Hatchet File Photo

The Corcoran Art Gallery. Hatchet File Photo

Visit the Corcoran before it’s too late: Before the gallery closes for renovations in October and the National Gallery of Art absorbs many of its collections, take in some of the Corcoran’s gems like Albert Paley’s renowned metalworks. And if large-scale metal sculptures are a little over your head, there’s also the “Modern and Contemporary Art Since 1945” exhibit, featuring artists from Andy Warhol to Jessica Stockholder. Admission to the gallery is free for the rest of the month.

Corcoran College of Art and Design, 500 17th St. NW. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Ed Sheeran at the Merriweather Post Pavilion: When Ed Sheeran hit it big in 2011 with his hit “The A-Team,” he was mostly known as Taylor Swift’s redheaded best friend. Now, Sheeran has developed a cult following, and his newly-released album “X” is full of the mellow tunes his most loyal listeners have come to expect. Rudimental, who mix dubstep and R&B to create soulful dance tracks, will open for Sheeran.

Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets: $45.

+End-of-weekend Bonus: If Ed Sheeran’s sentimental acoustics aren’t quite your style, end the weekend with a Rudimental DJ Set for $15 at U Street Music Hall at 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Sunday

Takoma Park Folk Fest: Get out of the District for a few hours with this free, seven-stage music festival in Takoma Park, Md. Local artists will jam all day, but be sure to arrive by lunchtime for Hoffman’s barbeque, Sherri’s crabcakes and bites from That Chicken That Smells Good. You can catch the free shuttle from the Takoma Metro station for an easy ride.

Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, Md. 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free.

Get a new “Perspective” with artist Chiharu Shiota: Japanese performance and installation artist Chiharu Shiota will blow your mind with his emotive, immersive body of work that visualizes loss. Shiota’s current installation, on view now at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, is an intricate display of 300 lost shoes and personal notes, all collected over time by the artist.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, 1050 Independence Ave SW. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free.

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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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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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Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Keep your week alive with some concerts, comedy and films.

Monday

Ceremony at Rock & Roll Hotel: All the way from California, the punk-rock band Ceremony is coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel. The group has toured with rock bands like AFI, and its pre-hardcore, punk-inspired songs are sure to get you in a rocking mood.

La Bomba! Stand Up Comedy at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar: Punk rock not your thing? Head out to this weekly stand-up comedy show instead. Free and 21+.

Tuesday

Us the Duo at 9:30 Club: A love story for the ages: Michael and Carissa Alvarado fell in love and started writing music together before becoming Us the Duo. Their soft pop-folk songs and covers skyrocketed them to internet fame. Their beatbox-infused duets made them stars on Vine, and now you can catch them at the 9:30 Club for $20.

The Clientele at Black Cat: Experience a little more of the pop-rock genre with The Clientele at Black Cat. Catch the British band for just $15.

moonrise-kingdom-international-posterWednesday

“Moonrise Kingdom” at the Bethesda Outdoor Movie Series: Head out to Bethesda to catch this Wes Anderson favorite outside. The movie will start when the sun goes down at about 9 p.m. A limited number of seats are available, but you can bring your own chair or blanket. Maybe it’s time to crack out that GW towel you got at Colonial Inauguration.

Coen Brothers Double Feature at Washington Jewish Community Center: For just $12, you can see “A Serious Man” and “The Big Lebowski” back to back. The first showing is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the second at 8:30 p.m. Don’t want to spend the whole evening watching movies? Your ticket is good for two movies that week, so you can always catch the next one on Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.

Thursday

Official Flume Afterparty at U Street Music Hall: Couldn’t get tickets to the sold-out Flume show? Tickets to this 18+ event are $10. If you are going to the Flume show, you get in for free with your ticket stub or 9:30 Club stamp.

Hospitality and Ex Hex at Rock & Roll Hotel: Catch these female-fronted rock bands at the Rock & Roll Hotel. Hospitality is touring to promote its latest album, “Trouble,” which earned a 7.5 rating on Pitchfork. Tickets are only $13.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Everly Jazi. 

Standing in the dark lower room off the the Black Cat’s bar, 40 devoted fans waited for folk-punk band Saintseneca to finally take the small stage.

As the group started to set up its collection of obscure instruments, the crowd doubled and the audience forgot about personal space.

Zach Little of Saintseneca. Photo courtesy of the band's official Facebook page

Zac Little of Saintseneca. Photo courtesy of the band’s official Facebook page

The band started out as a few childhood friends from the Appalachian foothills in Ohio. Zac Little, the founder and today the only original member of the band, studied sculpture at Ohio State University while going to DIY shows and meeting an entire community of Columbus musicians.

Saintseneca soon became part of this circuit.

“There are a lot of really good bands [in Columbus], so there’s a lot to be inspired by,” Little said. “I guess it was also being part of the music scene here that gave us the opportunity to book tours and things like that on our own terms because we were always doing DIY shows, like punk tours and things like that.”

Anti Records released the group’s second album, “Dark Arc,” in April, which quickly became an alternative folk and post-punk favorite. As the band started strumming, a wave of calm flowed over the crowd. All five band members sang in unison, a collective voice heard on many folk tracks.

They played a couple of songs then switched instruments, a three-string dulcimer and a traditional bass changing hands.

Gripped by the multi-instrument cast, the audience started swaying with the band’s most popular track, “Happy Alone,” which the band played third in its set instead of during the usual encore exit.

Their latest album was inspired by post-punk bands like the experimental Xiu Xiu and classics like The Cure. Themes of life cycles and fate started to form the record, Little said. With abstract lyrics that are open to interpretation, this album is darker but deeper than their first album, “Last.”

“It [came at] a time when the lineup of the band was changing so dramatically and a lot of other things in my life were, too,” Little said. “And I think that all of these changes and transitions were things that helped inspire a lot of the overarching themes in the record – just in terms of how there is a similar narrative arch that plays out in a lot of things.”

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Carter King of Futurebirds at Black Cat. Everly Jazi | Hatchet Photographer

Carter King of Futurebirds at Black Cat. Everly Jazi | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Everly Jazi.

Psychedelic country band Futurebirds immersed the D.C. crowd in sun-kissed melodies and introspective lyrics, creating a carefree and fun Saturday night at Black Cat.

Though young business professionals at the show started to turn the small, tight-knit venue into a happy hour, warm guitar riffs and semi-distorted vocals soon drowned out personal conversations.

Between their shouted lyrics, the six members of Futurebirds strummed furiously and spun around the stage.

The band offered a charming and energetic mix of raspy, layered vocals and emphatic rhythms. Frontman Carter King was supported by two other guitarists and vocalists: Daniel Womack, who acted out lyrics on stage, and the more timid Thomas Johnson.

Womack, with his long, unwashed hair and J. Crew t-shirt, paused and raised his beer at one point during the long set.

“To the nation’s capital,” he yelled at the sweaty crowd.

Womack swung his acoustic guitar to the front, a U.S. flag-emblazoned scarf dangling from the back of it, and the band started playing once again.

Futurebirds’ southern Georgia roots came out in twangy songs like “Serial Bowls,” though King’s hazy vocals and the band’s modern rhythms kept the rock feel. The players showed versatility with the ominous chords and stirring halts of the post-punk performance of “Dig,” and their dancing made the song notably more energetic than the recorded track.

Their acoustic rendition of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart” was also memorable, with the musicians’ southern accents shining through the layers.

After previously opening for groups like Band of Horses and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the headliners gave the audience a mix of songs from their newest record, “Baba Yaga,” older songs and even a few unreleased tracks.

Fans in the front row sang along to the tunes, while even those not as familiar with the band danced to the rhythms throughout the night.

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Photo by Jason Thrasher, courtesy of All Eyes Media.

Photo by Jason Thrasher and courtesy of All Eyes Media.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Everly Jazi.

A band out of legendary music center Athens, Ga., Futurebirds has played with every group from Band of Horses to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

The indie rock band, which promises “laid-back country-rock with an atmospheric, psychedelic twist” will play at the Black Cat on Saturday. Tickets are $15.

Frontman Carter King took a break from the last day of mixing at the Chase Park Transduction studio to talk about the band’s new album, “Baba Yaga.” The interview has been edited for length.

Hatchet: What made you decide to name your second album “Baba Yaga?” How do the witch’s two sides relate to you?

King: You already hit the nail on the head with the two sides of the Baba Yaga character. She’s this ugly horrible witch who lives down in the woods and she eats kids who wander too far into the woods. But she’s also very important to the hero’s quest. She always provides something crucial to the process or to the journey. That last record was a pain in our ass a lot of the time. There were some dark moments where we felt like kids out in the woods being eaten by this thing. But you know what? I saw through and got to the other side and realized the goodness in it as well.

Hatchet: Why do you think you had a hard time releasing this album?

King: We were just caught up in finding the perfect way to send it out into the world. It’s not hard to release records these days. You can go to the Bandcamp site for free and put your record up. We were just struggling ourselves with making sure we gave it the perfect opportunity to succeed and get to as many ears as we could.

Hatchet: As you have become more well-known, toured and talked on radio stations, how have band members’ lives changed?

King: Things have changed and they haven’t changed at all at the same time. That was a stupid answer, but when we started the band we were like, ‘Shit, I mean, if we could play the 40 Watt Club [in Athens, Ga.], that’s all I want to do and then quit.’ And we did that, and I was like, ‘What else can we do?’ We can go on tour. We can play these places, and we’ve gotten to play these incredible venues and KEXP [90.3 FM] and just go on tour with these big bands and bands that you’re fans of and you’re like, man, this is great, you know? It’s all been great, but shit what else can we do? Got that under the belt, what’s next?

Hatchet: What was it like touring with the big names?

King:It’s cool because you get to play these huge venues and you’re like, ‘Shit, I never thought I’d be here on this stage in this amphitheater.’ But the whole time it’s like, ‘You have 30 minutes to load on, sound check if you want to.’ So you’re not like starry-eyed and ‘Oh, I just want to live in this moment forever.’ But the best part about it is, especially when you develop relationships with some of these bands, you just get to pick their brains and take a notepad with you so to speak. You can learn a lot from mistakes people have made, and by taking advice from people, you can avoid a lot of pitfalls.

Hatchet: You’re working on your new album. What should we expect?

King: What can I say? We just got done. We’re mixed. We’ve mixed 16 tracks, and we’re going to cut that down to 10 or 11 probably for the record. There’s a lot of stuff that’s kind of all over the place right now, but we have more faster tracks and we have more way slower tracks. It’s less kind of in the middle than the last one. The tempos stand a little more.

Hatchet: What will you bring to the Black Cat?

King: Ourselves. That’s it. Just our smiles and good intentions.

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Photo courtesy of Bencoolen.

Photo courtesy of Bencoolen.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Elliot Greiner. 

It’s tough enough for new bands to advance past the realm of dive bars and basement shows in D.C. after years of performing together.

But GW indie rock effort Bencoolen got a shot to perform at the popular U Street club Black Cat – a venue that’s hosted bands like Arcade Fire, Radiohead and The White Stripes – only four months after the group’s first live performance together.

“It gives us legitimacy with fans and hopefully momentum into future shows. It could be a step to get us to a point where people recognize our name beyond friends and friends of friends,” junior Teddy Scott, Bencoolen’s lead guitarist, said.

Tickets for the May 12 show cost $12, and doors open at 8 p.m.

Formed last fall in the wake of Scott’s former band Dr. No, Bencoolen has a sound reminiscent of post-2000 alternative-rock: a mix of Bon Iver, Pearl Jam and the Arctic Monkeys, with bluesy sax thrown in.

Boston-based alt-rock bands Little War Twins and Thaylobleu asked Bencoolen to open for them at the Black Cat last month after the students sent them a demo.

They’ve performed at smaller venues like Mellow Mushroom and DC9, but the Black Cat marks a turning point for the band. The music hall, with multiple stages and broad dance floors, stands in stark contrast to the shows Bencoolen is used to playing.

The group partially credits its success to GW’s Student Musicians Coalition, a student organization founded in 2010 that allots on-campus practice space in the basement of Ivory Tower.

The coalition’s support, particularly its promotional work, helps build student fanbases on campus.

In addition to Scott and saxophone player Ian Braker, who are both juniors in the engineering school, the band includes sophomore vocalist and guitarist Paul Gregg, freshman drummer Kevin Mathieu and junior bassist Eric Burke.

This summer, the band plans to record and release their first professional-grade EP, while continuing to strengthen their repertoire. Scott also hopes to have a hand in building the campus music community.

“I hope that other bands could [have the same successes], and we could play a GW music festival,” Scott said. “Or just try to build a music culture here because that’s what you need in an indie rock scene.”

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The 2012 undie run

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jennifer Fendt. 

Red roses, mouth-watering heart shaped chocolates and romance will fill the air Friday Friday, but you want nothing to do with it because you’re single. Don’t let a Hallmark holiday get you down this year by enjoying these D.C. events.

Chad America’s 15th Annual Valentine’s Day Rock and Roll Dance Party

The Black Cat at 1811 14th St. NW

Put on your dancing shoes and flashback to the ‘50s and ‘60s doo-wop, rock ‘n’ roll era at this fine D.C. institution. Bartender Chad America’s oldies playlist will leave you dancing the night away for free with the doors opening at 9 p.m.

Cupid’s Undie Run

Pour House, Hawk N’ Dove & Capitol Lounge at 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE

Join hundreds of others and strip down to your bedroom-best while doing something good. This 1.5-mile fun run on Capitol Hill benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Festivities begin at noon on Saturday, with the run/dance around the streets beginning at 2 pm.

Arlington Cinema & Draft House: Best Date Night Ever

2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Screenings at 7:00 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. Admission $10.

Who needs an actually date when you have wine, comedy and “The Princess Bride”? Friday night Arlington Cinema will host two showings of the classic movie “The Princess Bride” – and if that can’t renew your faith in love, nothing will. But with a stand-up comic act and an optional wine tasting on the side, even a romantic skeptic will feel at ease.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Morgan Baskin.

Some paid homage to Lou Reed’s passing by playing tribute performances or writing open letters to the rock god.

Macaulay Culkin singing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Macaulay Culkin singing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

But “Home Alone” wunderkind Macaulay Culkin decided to pay his respects another way: assembling his friends-turned-bandmates to record the first demo of his Velvet Underground cover band. Or rather, his pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band.

What it is:

They call themselves The Pizza Underground–recording bootleg versions of Velvet Underground songs and reimagining the track titles with names like “I’m Waiting for the Delivery Man” “Papa John Says” and “All the Pizza Parties.” The group formed in early 2012 but didn’t record a demo until November of this year. As of late, Culkin and his friends (Matt Colbourn, Phoebe Kreutz, Deenah Vollmer and Austin Kilham) have only played a handful of shows in NYC, but are about to embark on a tour of the East Coast.

And they’re coming to the Black Cat backstage on March 21.

Things to look out for:

Culkin’s kazoo solo in “Take a Bite of the Wild Slice” and these lyrics from “Cheese Days:” “I don’t do too much toppings these days / [These] days I seem to order cheese, and don’t say please, and then I walk away.”

The details:

Tickets $15, on sale Dec. 27 here

1811 14th St NW

Doors open 9:30

 

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