2015 is getting better. With spring comes better movies, better tours, better food events, better parties and baseball. Below are some of the events/products/shows/exhibits that are going to make April YOUR BEST MONTH, even if certain things are sold-out.
The Corcoran School of Art and Design may now be a different beast, but an awesome tradition is being upheld with the NEXT showcase. If you want to get an edge on artists everyone will be talking about in a few years, go see Corcoran students present their incredible thesis projects. Digital media design, fine art, graphic design, interior design, photography and photojournalism will all be on display. You may not realize it, but D.C. has a thriving art scene, and there is nothing better than being able to brag about seeing so-and-so’s art first (I mean, there are plenty of better things in life, but one-upping your friends is always fun). -Kaylee Dugan
The most personally impersonal show of the spring. To anyone born in the last 50 years, the visual language of the pixel is a familiar one. It represents a way of seeing the world that simply was not possible before the emergence of computers, gaming consoles and mobile phones. Through the distillation process of pixelation, objects are stripped to their rudimentary components and the nuance and detail of the tactile world are lost. This month Artisphere hosts an exhibit that “examines the evolutionary collision between nature and the digital world through the creation of a pixelated natural world.” -Svetlana Legetic
The Portrait Gallery’s famous “Recognize” wall focuses on Americans who have influenced politics, history and culture and what better man to highlight than one of our country’s best comics who touched upon all 3. Check your 7 dirty words at the door (JUST KIDDING WE ENCOURAGE THAT). -Jenn Tisdale
“On November 28, 1973, the world’s social elite gathered at the Palace of Versailles for an international fashion show. By the time the curtain came down on the evening’s spectacle, history had been made and the industry had been forever transformed.” On the American side: Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, and Stephen Burrows. In the French corner: Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior. In the audience: Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duchess of Windsor, Paloma Picasso, and Andy Warhol, were treated to an opulent performance featuring Liza Minnelli, Josephine Baker, and Rudolph Nureyev. The stage is set for a fashion story almost too good to be true. And who better to tell it in all its style glory than Robin Givhan, Washington Post’s legendary fashion critic. -Svetlana Legetic
Movie star. Murphy Brown. Wife. Mother. Style Icon. Candice Bergen, one of the definitive American style and general-femaledom idols is back with a second autobiographical book (after her best-selling Knock on Wood) tackling her marriage to a famous French director (Louis Malle), their life together, the birth of her daughter, Murphy Brown, widowhood, falling in love again, and watching her daughter blossom. BONUS: You get to see the woman (the legend) in person this month at Sixth and I. And they say dreams don’t come true.
April is going to be (hopefully) much nicer weather-wise than March. So instead of binge-watching the day away, get outside and educate yourself. Go to your closest park and plop down with these 423 free art books from the MoMA. Seriously. As long as you have some sort of e-reader, you can get over 400 art books for free. You could basically become an art history major with these books. You could become the “arty person” in your friend group. Haven’t you always dreamed of having arcane knowledge about something cool? Well now you can. Go learn some shit. -Kaylee Dugan
Because if there is one person that deserves a full on (hilarious, nerdy) burlesque tribute – it is Weird Al. From “Amish Paradise” to “Word Crimes”, with many other strange places in between, GiGi Holliday and Cherie Sweetbottom have gathered some of the wackiest weirdos in Washington, DC and beyond, including burlesque performers Valeria Voxx and Poppy La Rouge; drag kings Myster E, Sebastian Katz, and Rick Shaw; host Mindi Mimosa; and stage kitten Aurora Wells. Bask in the weird. -Svetlana Legetic
DC Brau turns 4 this month, and they’re throwing a big to-do in celebration. On tap will be all of the brewery’s favorites like the Public and the Corruption, its new flagship Brau Pils, and some rare finds like “big, bad quadrupel” Ghoul’s Night Out, a maple syrup whiskey barrel aged version of imperial IPA On The Wings of Armageddon, and the Oskar Blues collaboration Smells Like Freedom, which, psssst, smells like weed. Also in the house (or, well, outside): local ska legends The Pietasters. And 20% of bar sales will go to benefit The Quarry House Tavern relief fund, so feel good about that day drinking.
To get primed for BrauStomp II, check out our DC Brau Tap Takeover longform profile – a beer writing classic if there ever was one.
If you’re going to learn how to bartend you may as well learn how to bartend at a Derek Brown owned bar. This hands-on class will cover the basics of craft bartending, from shaking to muddling, stocking to serving. This class should serve as an introduction to basic bartending techniques such as stirring and shaking and will include cocktail samples, recipes, and hands on instruction. Get ready to dazzle your guests at the next house party. Tickets available for purchase through sosh.com.
This April I’m stoked to try Stone Pale Ale, Version 2.0. Their Pale Ale was the first beer released by the brewery back in 1996, and two decades ago it was groundbreaking and sought after. Although it’s a classic and a still wonderful example of the genre, it feels reserved next to the hop-heavy releases abundant these days, and the brewery recently discontinued it. Stone is releasing a new version featuring a revamped recipe designed to please the palates of today’s craft beer geeks. It’s not on the shelf in D.C. yet, but am looking forward to trying it. -Mitchell West
We’re all going to cry when Paul Walker dies in the film just like we all goddamn cried when Paul Walker died in real life. -Jenn Tisdale
Festival of New Spanish Cinema @ AFI Silver Spring April 9 through 12
Spanish Cinema has brought us everyone from Pedro Almodovar to Bigas Luna to Fernando Trueba to Louis Bunuel and is always on the forefront of keeping things funny, sexy, and very weird (aka “on the forefront of all things BYT cares about”) which makes us excited for this long weekend of finding out what’s new/next for their film industry. Check in on their schedule for movies about love, horse stealing, technology, people obsessed with Japanese cartoons and other people alike and more. Our picks include: Magical Girl, Beautiful Youth and Open Windows but you really can’t go wrong with this line-up. -Svetlana Legetic
Alex Garland wrote The Beach, which was my favorite novel when I was a teenager. Since then, he’s made a career by living in Danny Boyle’s shadow: he wrote the screenplay for 28 Days Later and Sunshine, arguably his best films. Now that Boyle’s style seems out-dated, it’s about time Garland tries the director’s chair. Ex Machina looks like science fiction at its most unnerving, and the SXSW reviews are stellar. Plus it’s a great chance to see Oscar Isaac and Domnhall Gleeson before Star Wars takes over their lives forever. -Alan Zilberman
I love all documentaries. Even the sad, weird, super uncomfortable docs, but at the end of the day, when I’m tired and stressed and just want to watch something fun, I usually turn to fashion documentaries. I have watched The September Issue more than is probably appropriate (same with Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s). So I’m pretty psyched to see this doc about the legendary Iris Apfel, who worked for Women’s Wear Daily, was named one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 by The Guardian, and had an exhibit at the MoMA called Rara Avis: The Irreverent Iris Apfel, all about her awesome style. It’s directed by the incredible Albert Maysles, who brought us Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter. Plus, Kanye West loves Iris. So it should probably be pretty cool. -Kaylee Dugan
The Bethesda Central Farm Market kicks off the spring season with it’s Easter (and Passover) market 9am-1:30pm at the Bethesda Elementary School at 7600 Arlington Road. Arguably (I mean, we can argue about farmer’s markets if you want) the best, certainly the biggest farmer’s market in the DC area there are now 63 vendors in one place. And it’s not just grocers and farms like Toigo Orchards or Twin Springs Fruit Farm; come enjoy a sausage sandwich or some salami from Meatcrafters or get breakfast from the Culinary Nomad food truck. Pro tip: mix some chocolate milk from Woodburne Creamery into a cup of Zeke’s Coffee for the best mocha you will ever have. -Jeb Gavin
Trying amazing food and drinks from damn near 100 of DC’s best chefs and mixologists is awesome. Helping end childhood hunger is even awesome-er than that. Best outlet for combining the two? DC’s annual Taste of the Nation event, held this year on April 13th at the National Building Museum. I’m not going to bullshit you – it’s expensive. Like, over $100 per ticket expensive. But be honest…you drop that on a typicalFriday night out on 14th Street. Wouldn’t you rather spend that money knowing that it’s going to Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign?
For the first time ever, over half the public school students in the U.S. are from low-income families that struggle to provide daily meals for their kids. Think about that. That’s nuts. That can’t be allowed to happen. No Kid Hungry’s focus this year is on introducing free, healthy breakfasts to every child in public school, a change that seems small, but that unquestionably reaps huge benefits for the kids involved – it boosts attendance, leads to fewer disciplinary problems, and improves overall health. By attending Taste of the Nation, you’re not only getting the opportunity to spend an evening tasting some of DC’s best food and cocktails (nice), you’ll know your contribution is going toward combating a rapidly growing problem (outstanding).
Listen, if you’re reading BYT’s YOUR BEST APRIL, you’re probably going to attend events like this. Flash that altruistic side and make Taste of the Nation one of them. Doing good never felt (or tasted) so good. -Logan Hollers
I’m psyched for this year’s edition of the Emporiyum food market, held April 18th and 19th at Harbor East in Baltimore. Publicist Sue-Jean Chun and events planner Mindy Schapiro came up with the combination food festival / marketplace, which had its debut last year with one event in Baltimore and one in DC. The scene features over 50 vendors from across the nation (with a ton of local representation) and combines the best of all worlds for food fans: there’s tons of food and drink samples, local breweries, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, and what seems like every artisan kitchen product ever made.
It’s different from the usual food event – instead of people rushing to eat everything that’s free, the Emporiyum is more like an art festival…you walk, you check out products, you taste, you try, sometimes you buy. Much more chill. Last year, I left with a bellyful of Toki’s ramen, some amazing hamachi sashimi and beef tongue from Paul Qui, a lox bagel, way too much sai oua sausage from Thip Khao, a whorled wooden cutting board in the shape of DC, a pack of coasters, some sea salt that’s hand-harvested by a gal and her dad in North Carolina, a bloody mary with Gordy’s pickle juice and Green Hat gin, a Moroccan-cilantro cheese spread, and two batched cocktail mixers from Bittermilk. Among many, many other goodies.
Pro tip? There’s more than enough samples to eat and drink without paying any extra past the ticket…but you’ll want some cash to buy, whether it’s food or cool kitchen stuff. Trust me. Last year’s DC event was mad packed (like, uncomfortably so); here’s hoping the Baltimore event will be a little more manageable. Actually, whatever – I’ll gladly wait in line for shit like this. Snag tickets here. -Logan Hollers
Everyone digs food trucks. Don’t get me wrong – eating outside is the jam and we should all be supporting small business entrepreneurs. But some of food truck culture has sucked lately – why would I pay the same price for a plate of food I have to stand around and eat when I could get the same thing inside four walls? Why do I need to stalk you on Twitter and say a secret password before getting a damn falafel? Food trucks should be a cheap alternative to brick and mortar restaurants; they shouldn’t sacrifice quality for the sake of speed; and they should be social hubs where people can meet, hang out, and kick it over cuisine they may not have otherwise tried.
That’s why I love D.C.’s Truckeroo events. Held once a month from April to September, the get-togethers bring over 20 local trucks to The Bullpen across from Nats Park. Live music, food specials, lots of booze, and yard games make me remember why I love food trucks in the first place. It’s right beside a Metro stop, there’s no charge for entry, and it gets you psyched for Nats games firing back up (finally!). Show up, wander, grab a beer, play some bags (it’s “bags” in South Dakota, not cornhole or whatever the hell you guys call it), snag some Thai / Indian / grilled cheese / lobster rolls / tapas / whatever. Repeat. Enjoy. -Logan Hollers
At a Spring Break in the not-too-distant past, a rebellious member of the Talking Heads’ branch of the Musical Family Tree went slumming and cross-pollinated with a grungy post-punk/psych-rock mutt whose band was playing at the bar that night. The result of that unusual but entertaining union led to bands like Reptar, who led to bands like Sun Club, and in a rare moment when the opener for an act is exactly who you’d want to see open for them, they’re going to be playing U Street Music Hall together tomorrow night.
Reptar — whose legendary shows at U Hall over the years are a great reminder that the venue isn’t just for dubstepping college kids — seem to be inching closer to their dominant family pedigree with each new record, as recently-released singles “Delusional” and “In Through The Eyelids” would certainly make Grandaddy Byrne proud. Baltimore’s rising stars Sun Club on the other hand, seem content to see just how far the apple falls from the tree while still being an apple, and this show is going to be a great chance to get on their bandwagon before they steal everyone’s hearts at Sweetlife this May. -Bryce Rudow
In terms of YOUR BEST APRIL, Kill Lincoln’s last D.C. show (in the foreseeable future) doesn’t necessarily make April great. Though it does make us remember the good times we had with the ska band. We covered Kill Lincoln through many shows at Rock & Roll Hotel (with Boardroom Heroes), saw them open at the 9:30 Club for The Pietasters and interviewed them before their first coast to coast tour last year. We also saw them featured in photographs at two Govinda Gallery pop-up photography exhibitions, including one at Hill & Dale. It’ll be sad when they go on an indefinite hiatus, but the final show will definitely have extra hype and more skanking than you can imagine, especially by Kill Lincoln hype man Drew Shriver. -Clarissa Villondo
Everybody’s favorite emotional folk-rock band The Mountain Goats’ new album is about professional wrestling, but according to lead singer/songwriter John Darnielle the wrestling is more a metaphor for death. So here is my plan: build up my emotions listening to the new album, Tallahassee, and All Hail West Texas before April 8th; and then release them all in a frenzy of sobbing and dancing at their concert at the 9:30 Club. Everyone needs a good 48-hour emotional purge once in a while. -Erin Crandell
Holy shit, it’s been almost six years since the last Built to Spill record? How many DeathFoxygenGrips have come and gone during that chunk of time? Thankfully, the older we get, the more Doug Martsch’s voice stays the same. He still sounds like a stoned eight-year old. And that moment where his voice floats away like a stray balloon and a tightly wound guitar solo comes in? Yeah, that’s still the best. See: “Living Zoo”. See: “Never Be The Same”. Those songs are from the forthcoming Untethered Moon, and if they’re any indication, Built to Spill may be returning to the more succinct pop rock of There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with that. -Phil Runco
After putting out two great releases in two years (2013 LP Major Arcana; 2014 EP Real Hair) and earning Road Warrior status, Speedy Ortiz doesn’t have much left to prove. But I’m not sure that anyone has told the band, because the first two singles from its upcoming Foil Deer – “Raising the Skate” and “The Graduates” – come out swinging. The songs have everything that you could hope for from the Massachusetts band, and probably more: monstrous hooks, serpentine guitar lines, blown speakers, lyrics both barbed and finely sketched. And it all just sounds bigger, even singer Sadie Dupuis, who tell us on the former song, “I’m not bossy; I’m the boss.” Duly noted. -Phil Runco
Looking forward to end my college career with a bang by seeing DJ Low Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu spinning at the 3rd annual Broccoli Festival. Other artists include rapper Joey Bada$$, newcomer Kali Uchis and producer Kaytranada (whose remixes are continuously played on my iPhone). Besides listening to music, runners can participate in the official Broccoli City 5k hosted by District Running Collective. For the folks who hate running (like myself), there’s yoga classes, an open air art gallery, and delicious food to run towards. -Mykalee McGowan
This Saturday is a super secret (not exactly secret-secret, you just have to be good at Twitter) Wale Pop Up Concert About Nothing. Here’s how to keep abreast of what’s happening.
This Saturday National Mall turns into a massive pillow fight kicking off at 3pm by the Washington Monument. And you won’t be alone doing it: the event is happening in close to 40 cities around the world because it’s International Pillow Fight Day. Check out our photos from last year right here and get creative about ways to protect your phone while taking ALL THE INSTAGRAMS.
Local shops, restaurants, and galleries convert to an open-air market that stretches along Wisconsin Avenue between P Street and Reservoir Road. Put on a beret, grab a baguette, and wander around the market’s sidewalk sales, art galleries and antique stores. Of course, there will be mimes and other live family friendly entertainment. Restaurants will set up curbside so you can snack on crepes while you stroll leisurely through the market, or pause for a glass of wine, your new French beau whispering sweet French nothings into your ear. Plus, you’ll find deals of up to 75% off at various Book Hill neighborhood sidewalk shops offering home goods, antiques, art, and more. -Melissa Groth
Air Jordan 7 GS “Lola Bunny” available April 18
As part of the 23rd anniversary of Air Jordan and Space Jam, Nike, Michael Jordan and all our favorite Looney Toon’s have teamed up to release the “Hare Collection.” Sneakers exclusively based off the shoes worn by the characters in the film and MJ himself. The “Marvin the Martians” and the “Bugz Bunny’s” have already been released, but this month the “Lola Bunny” Space Jam Air Jordan 7 GS sneakers are out April 18th. -Lauren Bulbin
Since the Nationals inaugural opening day back in 2005 when I saw a lively crowd of thousand boo our then VP/Marvel super villain Dick Cheney as he delivered the honorary first pitch, I’ve been a huge fan of the team. And this year is the year, you guys. Though I know people have been saying those exact words for the past three seasons, that’s only because the Nats have been steadily improving. While two-thirds of the outfield is currently injured somehow, baseball is a game primarily about pitching, which the Nats have in spades. Especially when considering the new addition of 2013 Cy Young-winner Max Scherzer. After so many years of mediocre sports teams, doesn’t the District deserve a champion? This National’s team should have what it takes to make it really happen. -Zeke Leeds
Everything releasing on Instant Netflix and Amazon Prime this month – In date-by-date order. With our recommendations on top. Because you deserve it (and by IT we mean binge watching Sons of Anarchy and Louie ad nauseum, losing yourself in the Babadook and Starry eyes horror and getting seriously obsessed with the next generation of Netflix originals). USE THIS ALL MONTH LONG.
Mad Men on AMC returns April 5
Mad Men is the best written show on television. There, I said it. Over the past seven seasons practically every aspect of the show has be subject to the transformative and inevitable dynamics of time. From the collapse of Don Draper’s suburban charade down to Pete’s receding hairline, the role of time is so acutely observed that—regardless of whatever predicaments the characters or the company finds itself in—the social commentary remains both historical grounded, and is unabashedly critical of perhaps the most radically progressive age in American history. Though the real question remaining to be answered is whether Don will find redemption in the end or was his reading of Dante’s Inferno in the opening scene of the final season possibly the foreshadowing of a much darker conclusion. -Zeke Leeds
Wolf Hall on PBS premieres April 5
The MUCH ANTICIPATED (by me and other fans of Henry VIII) adaptation of the novel Wolf Hall finally comes to PBS. It tells the story of his rags-to-riches-to asshole adviser to Henry VIII Thomas Cromwell, from Cromwell’s perspective. You gotta have a little sympathy for the devil to get behind this fella. Personally I’ve always been a Moore fan myself but this’ll do. Yes it will. – Jenn Tisdale
The Lizzie Borden Chronicles on Lifetime premieres April 5
Christina Ricci reprises her role as Lizzie Borden in this 8 part series about one can only assume is how this woman presumably took an ax and gave her father 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her mother 41. We guess. I didn’t see the original movie event and heard it wasn’t very good but someone out there must have liked it because now we have this. I’m a sucker for both Lifetime and lady killers (the literal kind) so I can’t wait. – Jenn Tisdale
Game of Thrones on HBO returns April 12
While the weather decides what season it is, we’ve got a show that’ll keep you on your couch. Just barely. Game of Thrones is back on April 12, in all of its dramatic, violent and very often nude glory. (SPOILER ALERT for those who haven’t seen season 4) After about half of the cast died last season and the show managed to crush all of our hopes and dreams for the Stark family, the Lannisters, Tyrells, Stannis and Khaleesi are left to duke it out. So there are plenty of players left in this twisted game that we just can’t get enough of. With all the insanity of last season, there’s no telling what’s going to happen. Unless you read the books of course. -Anagha Srikanth
Baseball season is upon us and with it MLB 15. Reviews are saying it has the best graphics yet, making you feel as though you’re watching sports center replays and live game action, as opposed to playing video games. It is also said to have the most interactive and controllable game play ever, so you can do more with your franchise, much like Madden 15. -Lauren Bulbin
The hype has been insane; fans have gone super saiyan over this game, from the redesign of legendary Scorpion to the addition of serial killer Jason Voorhees for character play. This game is supposed to be epic. Just remember to FINISH HIM!!! -Lauren Bulbin