Your Best August

At the start of each month the BYT staff compiles a list of  things we’re particularly looking forward to seeing, reading, eating, touching, etc.  Our goal is for you to have the best possible month. This may help.

August is a typically slow month in D.C. Take advantage of the quiet.

Summer Evenings @ Hirshhorn August 3 – 31

Skip happy hour and make your way over to the Hirshhorn every Thursday for their Summer Evenings sessions. Expect lite bites, cocktails, music, movies and tours while you enjoy the museum’s many thought provoking exhibits. Sometimes it’s good to feel like a tourist in your own city. -Kaylee Dugan
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Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend @ Smithsonian Natural History Museum Opens Aug 3

Listen, it’s possible I thought narwhals were less a real thing and more an Arctic version of a unicorn that had a cool cameo in Elf. And that’s the great thing about this new exhibit at the Natural History Museum – either you’re ignorant like me and this is a fun surprise, or you’re savvy enough to realize what a cool opportunity it is to take a deep dive into narwhal behavior, Inuit culture and even the impact of climate change. There’s something for everyone. -Trisha Brown

SAAM Arcade August 5 and 6

Every summer SAAM transforms the Kogod courtyard into the most beautiful arcade you ever did see. Stocked with hundreds of classic and indie arcade games, if you’re still on the fence about video games being an art form, you’re an idiot and SAAM is going to set you straight. There’s even game building workshops for those of you who want to dive all the way in and learn how to create your own video games, as well as musical performances by the Triforce Quartet and the Bit Brigade. As a fun reminder, everything is 100% free. You’ll be able to find me near the Mario Kart station destroying everyone like some sort of horrifying prodigy. -Kaylee Dugan
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Passion & Prose Romance Author Panel @ Politics & Prose August 4

I don’t know who wrote the website description for this Politics & Prose event, but I do know romance novels (in fact, I’ve reviewed two of these writers), and I’ve attended romance author events, so I can tell you what you will actually get at this event: this is a panel of four talented, creative people who write nuanced stories about empowered women who go after what they want – even when it’s sex or love or both. The writers are smart and funny, and this panel might covertly be the coolest thing P&P hosts all year. -Trisha Brown

America 51: A Probe into the Realities That Are Hiding Inside “The Greatest Country in the World” by Corey Taylor from Slipknot available August 8

If you were wondering what the main dude from Slipknot has been up to when not taking care of Slipknot business or spending time with his side project Stone Sour, he’s writing George Carlin type rantbooks about how modern life is stupid and kids today are snowflakes and cell phones and social media and God and the bible. The latest dispatch from the twizted mind of a man named Corey is America 51: A Probe into the Realities That Are Hiding Inside “The Greatest Country in the World.” That’s right folks, that last part of the title is in quotes, which means irony and maybe it’s time to think for yourself for once. Strap in for some Hard Truths. -Matt Byrne

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Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell available August 15

Bruce Campbell’s latest memoir, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor, is the follow up to his beloved If Chins Could Kill, which added fuel to his already fiery cult fan base when first released over 15 years ago. This one picks up where the last book left off, offering up wild anecdotes from his life as a wildly popular character actor and nerd culture icon. -Matt Byrne

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National IPA Day @ Churchkey August 3

Did IPA, the undisputed champ of American craft brewing, need its own day? Probably not, but as someone who loves running up the score in any and all scenarios, I respect the move. And sometimes craft beer bars need a good excuse to tap the rare stuff.

That’s exactly what ChurchKey is doing on this year’s #IPAday, August 3. The line-up of breweries is a veritable murderers’ row of out-of-town heavies (LIC Beer Project, Singlecut, Kent Falls), local favorites (Ocelot, RAR, Burley Oak), and the Richmond industrial hop complex (The Veil, Triple Crossing, The Answer). To which I say: #whalezbro

ChurchKey will also have two new hoppy offering from Stillwater Artisanal: The Cloud (an IPA brewed with oats, lactose, and an absurd amount of new age German hops) and This Beer Will Self Destruct in 336 Hours (a “hazed-out juice-bomb #IPA,” per the beer company’s Instagram). I mentioned this because: 1) I am sure these beers will be delightful; and 2) I have been working on a Stillwater article for a month, and it’s running this week, and I’m going to need you to come back and read it, OK?

As per usual, this is a standard all-you-can-drink for all-you-can-pay ChurchKey event. -Phil Runco

UNION Craft 5th Anniversary Party August 5

I’ve run out of ways to praise UNION Craft. Head brewer Kevin Blodger’s traditional styles are flawless and his new school brews are innovative. The Baltimore operation mixes bulletproof flagships with a steady stream of fun one-offs better than anyone else does locally. Creative director Jon Zerivitz’s packaging is unflappably rad. And they’re good people. What else are you looking for in a brewery?

On August 5, you can raise a pint (or four) to all of this at the brewery’s fifth anniversary party. As usual, the annual bash will feature some new brew debuts, plus #rare and vintage goodies stored for the occasion… and a “full custom cask bar” if you’re trying to go full nerd. Not that you need those sparkly, #rare things, because UNION has kind of been killing it all summer between Skipjack Pilsner, the citrusy Vienna Lager called Tiny Elvis, their effervescent When I Say Charm, You Saison, the lupulin powder-loaded double IPA Cosmic Giggle, a mango farmhouse ale dubbed Genius Anyway, and the Old-Pro-on- botanicals Tee Time.

But, wait, there’s more than beer! Baltimore’s Big in Japan will be reuniting for the evening. Holy shit! Also, food will be on sale from Gypsy Queen, The Local Oyster, and Ekiben. Tickets cost $30 includes a commemorative glass and a can of new pale ale called 5. (If you can’t make the party, Roofers Union will be hosting its own shindig for the brewery on Wednesday, August 9.) -Phil Runco

3 Stars 5-Year Anniversary Monster Bash August 12

Oh snap, another baller fifth anniversary party? This is like seventh grade, when I straight crushed the McLean Middle School bar mitzvah circuit.

Anyway, our beloved 3 Stars is now a half-decade old! And if the last five years have proven anything, it’s that the DC brewery knows how to throw a party.

Let’s start with the beer, of course. Co-founders Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey have a slew of special releases lined up for the occasion, including (but not limited to) collaborations with two hotshot NYC breweries (LIC Beer Project and Interboro), a new birthday double IPA, a sour ale, a grand cru, and another as-yet-unexplained-to-me anniversary beer. That’s a lot of beer! There’s also a chance its hotly anticipated collaboration with Graft Cider may be ready in time, but it’s too early to tell. I’ll be writing a Freshly Tapped profile on all these beers, so come back to BYT next Thursday for the full scoop.

OK, onto the other stuff. On the food front, the main attraction is the full pig that Chiko will be roasting, but Rappahannock River Oysters, Ice Cream Jubilee, and Jerkface Jerky will be in the house, as well. Live jams will be kicked out by School of Rock and DJs Keenan Orr and Smudge. And let it be noted that these vendors will be set up in 3 Stars’ newish auxiliary space, which is air-conditioned AF.

Oh, and did I mention that Other Half, J. Wakefield, 18th Street, LIC Beer Project, and Interboro will be slinging their beer, too? #casual.  Tickets cost $20 and include a commemorative glass and your first beer. Solid deal! -Phil Runco

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Does a Federal Paid Family Leave Policy Help or Hurt Families? @ Sixth & I August 7

If I thought snacking was allowed in the Sixth & I Synagogue, I might suggest you bring your popcorn to this discussion on family leave policy. Award-winning journalist John Donavan is moderating a conversation between Alieza Durana, senior policy analyst in the Better Life Lab at New America, and Karin Agness Lips, Founder and President of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW), a national organization for conservative university women. In a city with a lot of well-educated, career-oriented, liberal women – many of whom are also childless – this is a conversation that could be fascinating. -Trisha Brown

Wind River in theaters August 4

Wind River is Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut, but his third gig as writer, having previously written the acclaimed western-flavored thrillers Sicario and Hell or High Water. This time, Sheridan’s cast his eye northwards, setting up a taut crime tale in the dead of winter on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The film’s gotten a ton of good buzz at festivals and I’m excited to check it out. -Matt Byrne

Annabelle: Creation in theaters August 11

I was under the impression that we already knew about Annabelle’s back story but I guess I really wasn’t attention when I got drunk and watched Annabelle alone! Regardless, we’ll take any excuse to dive back into The Conjuring universe. This creepy little tale follows a doll maker and his wife, who create Annabelle after the death of their daughter. Being kindhearted people, they allow a nun and some orphans to come live with them and soon enough their grief doll starts wrecking havoc on the girls. It looks bonkers but also crazy as hell and I know for a fact this is going to a fun one to see in the theater. God bless you, James Wan. -Kaylee Dugan
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The Glass Castle in theaters August 11

I’m very interested to see how they treat this incredible book on screen. I read it years ago, but I immediately felt connected to it due to my own childhood, which was whimsical in a lot of ways, but also marred by my father’s alcoholism. If anyone can treat a leading role well it’s Brie Larson, and I trust Woody and Naomi will knock their roles out of the park, too. Only time will tell, but I’m willing to bet this one knocks it out of the park. -Megan Burns

Ingrid Goes West in theaters August 11

Aubrey Plaza’s knack for signing on to dark, offbeat indie pictures continues with Ingrid Goes West, a story about internet-driven celebrity and obsession. This one looks to be a pretty brutal black comedy, following Plaza’s character’s increasingly troubling obsession with a social media star. -Matt Byrne
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Herbie Hancock @ Kennedy Center August 8

When I first saw this concert pop up on the Kennedy Center website, I thought it must be a mistake. I didn’t think there could be any way that Herbie Hancock, who is a one of the most iconic musicians alive today, could be doing a random Tuesday night concert at the Kennedy Center. But it’s not a mistake, and Hancock, who was a 2013 Kennedy Center Honoree, is stopping by on an international tour. You might want to grab a ticket and spend a weeknight seeing a living legend. -Trisha Brown

Homeshake @ Songbyrd August 8

More outstanding programming at Songbyrd, with a return show for my favorite Canadian bedroom pop producer. Homeshake is making intimate tunes that soothe the introvert’s soul, and I’m excited to see him play one of DC’s best small venues. Check out our interview with him last year, and expect another one soon. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Little Dragon @ 9:30 Club August 8 and 9

Little Dragon have managed to stay relevant by consistently reinventing themselves and staying ahead of the curve – forging a sound that spans a wide gamut of genres, all while maintaining incredibly highest standards of quality. And fun. They’re so much fun live! You don’t sell out one night at the 9:30 Club (and book a second consecutive one) unless you’re absurdly good at what you do. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Kesha Rainbow available August 11

Kesha has been through a whole fucking lot, and I am so pumped for her to make a triumphant return following all the drama. The LP already (to me) seems strong, and if you’re even remotely a fan of her work, please give it a listen. -Megan Burns

Oneohtrix Point Never Good Time OST available August 11

I was going through a weird time in my life when I first heard “Chrome Country” by mistake 2-3 years ago and was completely smitten, and I’ve remained a huge supporter since then, so this LP has 100% got me hook line and sinker well before it drops on August 11. -Megan Burns

Fresh & Onlys Wolf Lie Down available August 25

Fresh & Onlys hit me hard in the feels with “Waterfalls” back in 2010, and I’ve remained a faithful fan since. I’m really excited for Wolf Lie Down, out August 25, and as an added bonus they’ve got a sick limited edition run of clear vinyl happening, so get on that pre-order game! -Megan Burns

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Summer Snow Globe @ National Harbor – August 18 – September 3

It’s hot. It’s hot everywhere. D.C. is a mess during the summer. Nowhere is safe, except for maybe a giant snow globe that features real snow. Seriously, an actual snow globe with actual snow. Starting August 18 you’ll be able to pop over to the National Harbor for their new venue: Harbor Dome. Every weekend will feature craft cocktails, live entertainment and some dang snow every 45 minutes. This just might be your new favorite dome, after Thunder and Bio of course. 500 people enter, and everyone can dance if they want to. – Jenn Tisdale
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Maryland Renaissance Festival August 26 – October 22

Heaven is a dusty field off of Crownsville Road in Annapolis. It’s there were you can travel back in time, get day drunk and watch people sword fight while you eat a highly portable meat stick. That’s right, it’s time for ye olde Maryland Renaissance Festival, brought to you by the state who’s for real no joke state sport is jousting (look it up). We don’t have to tell you how fun this is because it should be obvious, so throw on your best outfit and get ready to drink a thousand Bee Stings (equal parts mead and cider). Move over Disney World, Renn Fest is definitely the happiest place on earth. -Kaylee Dugan

Return of the English Premier League August 11-13

After yet another summer of eye-watering transfer fees, cash-spinning preseason matches in the United States and Asia, and more intrigue and melodrama than the best soap operas, the Best League in the World™ is back in early August. 2016 champions and future Hollywood blockbuster story — seriously, read up on their absurd victory here — Leicester City travel to London on August 11th to kick off the season against Arsenal – who finished outside of the top four/UEFA Champions League places for the first time in twenty years. Can Leicester City rediscover their (frankly incredibly unexpected) mojo from two years ago? Will this be the season that Arsenal break through and win another championship, with the addition of French national team stalwart Alexandre Lacazette? Probably not.
Meanwhile, Chelsea look to defend their league title despite considerable personnel shake ups and trying to replace glorious bastard Diego Costa with fourth Jonas Brother Alvaro Morata, who will be tasked with scoring the goals for the Blues. Tottenham will be closely at Chelsea’s heels – the North London club finished in second place last season, with a core of young, exciting players playing attractive and high-tempo football. They’ll be looking to Danish wizard Christian Eriksen to feed killer passes to English studs Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
Over in Manchester, both teams have spent a considerable amount in reinforcing their ranks. United spent the better part of £75 million to buy proven goalscorer Romelu Lukaku, a 23 year old Belgian who has been decimating defenses in England since he was 17, and another cool £30 mill to tighten up their defense with Swede Victor Lindelof, in from Benfica in Portugal. City have given revamping their aging defense and midfield another college try, spending the GDP of a small nation to bring in a host of players that manager Pep Guardiola will probably play out of position anyways. Add the simmering beef between the aforementioned Guardiola and Mourinho, and the first Manchester derby on December 9 promises to be a spicy affair.
Finally, for those wondering: fuck Liverpool. This is not your year. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

US Open August 28 through September 10

Hey, it’s me, ya gurl talking about tennis again! This tournament hits literally close to home because it’s taking place here in NYC, and I plan to watch as much of it as I can (as usual). As far as excitement goes, if given a wild card, Maria Sharapova could shake things up on the women’s side, but for the most part I’m stoked to see our usual suspects. Will Muguruza win two consecutive grand slam tournaments in a row? Hard to say, but again, I’ll be watching. -Megan Burns

Baroness von Sketch Show premieres on IFC August 2

Canadian sketch comedy series Baroness Von Sketch Show was very popular among comedy fans North of the border, and thankfully our friends at IFC has picked it up so us here in the states have a chance to check out this lady-driven sketch series that brings a slightly absurdist approach to observational sketch comedy. -Matt Byrne

The Chris Gethard Show returns to TruTV August 3

The Chris Gethard Show‘s journey from New York City public access to TruTV was a long, years-long process, with a few seasons spent at Fusion, and a steadily growing base of misfits, weirdos, and fans of sensitive, smart comedy snowballing into what looks to be the show’s strongest form yet. Gethard’s a hugely talented entertainer, with a knack for creating a welcoming space for anyone who feels uncomfortable in their skin. -Matt Byrne

Read our interview with Chris Gethard

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later premieres on Netflix August 4

It is really hard to believe that this is still going on. Two years after Netflix first visited Camp Firewood, and no less than 16 years after Wet Hot American Summer was a funny flop of an indie film, this parody of ’80s sleep-away sex romps is back for the reunion stop on August 4. Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, and Michael Ian Black are among the many, many celebs back for round three.
Set, you guessed it, 10 years after the toxic waste and crashing-Skylab shenanigans of Wet Hot, this eight-episode prequel returns to Lake Winnisooky in northern New York, no doubt with more ridiculous hijinks in store for the ex-counselors, now circa 1991. -Tristan Lejeune

Shakespeare Free For All: Othello @ STC Opens August 15

The very first week I ever lived in DC, I went to Shakespeare Free For All. But that was way back when they used to do it outside in Rock Creek Park. It was August, so it was hot and humid as hell, the mosquitoes were everywhere, and we sat on the ground for three hours watching Love’s Labour’s Lost. Oh, you don’t know Love’ Labour’s Lost? Yeah, that’s because no one fucking knows Love’s Labour’s Lost. Luckily, within a couple of years, people decided that air conditioning and chairs were invented for a reason, and now you have the opportunity to see one of the most well-known plays in the western world performed by one of the most well-respected Shakespeare theater companies in the country. For zero dollars. Go get it. -Trisha Brown