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In It Together Fest is back for the second year, this time in a fully mobilized, DIY force to be reckoned with. The weekend is filled with lots of cool shows and fun events (all of which you can read on the IITF website), but given the onslaught of house shows to be attended, here are some of the best bets for the weekend.

BRNDA ALBUM RELEASE SHOW with Wildhoney, Den-Mate – Thursday, July 30 @ Black Cat

BRNDA are fun as all hell – maybe it’s the quirky song titles like “Everybody Hates Jim” or “Sexual Candidate,” or the driving, minimalistic fuzz of guitars. Whatever it is, the four piece local outfit has been a fixture of the DIY scene for a while as energetic, uninhibited standouts dedicated to an alternative sound and emotional catharsis.

PAINT BRANCH with Norwegian Arms, Chief Scout, Wanted Man – Thursday, July 30 @ the Paperhaus

Paint Branch occupy a unique place within the recent regional discography of the DMV, relying on clean guitar and lyric-based music, an interesting dichotomy to the mumbly fuzz-driven sounds of recent. PB’s music resembles a Sunday afternoon, some kind of forgone conclusion to the human experience, the angst-driven words left unsaid.

ARTSHOW_13: GOING OUT OF BUSINESS – Friday, July 31 @ Hole in the Sky 

OK, yes, this is not a music show and there are no local bands, but there are a metric crap-ton of local visual artists selling their work at this event. Plus a five dollar donation at the door goes right towards all the charities benefitted by the festival. Notable artists featured include Saman Bemel-Benrud, known for his awesome yet bizarrely surreal online comics and Carolyn Hartmann of Open Studio DC.

KAL MARKS with Lady Bones, Sealab, How to Be Topp – Friday, July 31 @ the Lab 

Everyone’s favorite Bandcamp group Kal Marks occupy one of the best out of town bands performing this weekend, aggressive punk vocal-stylings and all. Kal Marks play dark, melodic, thrash-worthy music that will tear down the venue known as the Lab, straight out of Boston but without any sort of New England posh.

CAYETANA with Thou, Rozwell Kid, and more – Saturday, August 1 @ St. Stephens 

The main event of the weekend (but still worthy of feature), this mammoth of a six-hour show features lots of bands from out of town (Ohio, PA and New York), the foremost of which is the headliner Cayetana. Melodic alternative-pop-punk, utilizing infectious bass lines and endearing lyrics, characterize the Philadelphia riot girls; I’d argue there’s not a single bad song on their album Nervous Like Me. 

BIG MOTH with Lilac Daze, Glueboy, Rachel Kline – Sunday, August 2 @ Above the Bayou 

Big Moth seems like a fitting cap to a weekend of raucous house shows and punk shenanigans, their shoe gaze, angst driven music a nice down tempo switch from the St. Stephens showcase the day before. Let the catharsis of Big Moth help you deal with the oncoming work week and end of InFest 2015.

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