At the start of each month compile 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. Here are the events, items, ideas, etc. that will make this December your best month.
Lights, camera, ART! Georgetown GLOW is back for its 5th year to dazzle you with the best and brightest light installations this side of the night’s sky. We never miss it and neither should you. -Jenn Tisdale
Yeah, Stormy Daniels had sex with Donald Trump, but I kinda hope she doesn’t talk about that when she comes to Politics & Prose on Dec 3. as part of her Full Disclosure book tour. Not just because I want nothing to do with that information – and I definitely don’t – but also because Daniels is smart, funny, and a straight-shooter, and she probably has more interesting topics to discuss. She’s one of the most successful adult film directors in the industry, and overnight she found herself in the position of being both a late night comedy punch line and the person many hoped would deliver us from the Trump presidency. Hers is the first book related to the current administration that I might actually read. -Trisha Brown
Jonesing for more Old Hollywood tales after tearing through multiple listens to You Must Remember This? Grab a copy of All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson, a massive, comprehensive deep-dive of a biography, digging into one of the biggest celebrities of the Golden Age. Hudson’s complicated upbringing and struggles as a closeted gay man during the mid 20th century make him an incredibly compelling figure. -Matt Byrne
Any comics lover/feeling person would be stoked to receive Peanuts Every Sunday: The 1970s Gift Box Set as a big old generous gift this holiday season, a two volume collection of every Sunday comic in full color. This was part of the long running golden era of Peanuts gag strips, totally essential stuff. -Matt Byrne
Whitman-Walker’s annual Walk to End HIV was postponed in October, but it’s found a new (and maybe even better) date, considering December 1 also happens to be the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. We don’t have to tell you that Whitman-Walker is an amazing nonprofit and that participating in their Walk to End HIV would be a huge help to them and for their cause, but we just did it anyway. They’re looking to raise 850,000 this year, so even if you’re not able to walk, there are other ways to help them reach their goals! Online registration has closed, so be sure to wake up early on Saturday so you can register in person. Now get out there and make a difference. We believe in you. -Kaylee Dugan
D.C.’s most popular and consistent pop-up bar’s holiday themed bar is now open. Look at our photos of the bar while you stand in line to get into the bar.
This season 44 establishments are participating in the program, including coffee shops! You’ll be able to get 2-for-1 drinks at some of D.C.’s best bars and shops. Plus you’ll get access to boozy pop-ups, giveaways and private parties. At $20 it will literally pay for itself in one visit. -Jenn Tisdale
Greg Engert is bringing Bissell Brothers to ChurchKey for an #ultraspecial evening. On tap: seven hoppy brews and a token oatmeal stout. Highlights include Swish (a double IPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Apollo), Preserve & Protect (a Denali-hopped IPA), and Splat (jk, I made that one up). Go see what the fuss is about. As always with ChurchKey events, it’s all you can drink for all you can pay. -Phil Runco
I have many fond memories from the 3 Stars Holiday Party of December past. It’s a tradition unlike any other, like The Masters, but with hashtags and hip-hop references.
It’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends whilst drinking a few of the boutique brewery’s offerings (or perhaps some #rarer offerings from the Funkerdome). There is one notable change this year, though: The holiday market component appears to have been 86’ed. Instead. attendees will be dazzled with DJs, live music, face painting, a photo booth, games, some ultra-fresh (but not necessarily #ultrafresh) can releases, and a few guests taps. It’s veritable bonanza. Dave Coleman knows how to throw a party. -Phil Runco
Who’s got two thumb and will be buying at least 3 four-packs of the new Ocelot IPA? This guy. You can’t see me but I’m doing the thumb point thing right now.
Peace Train is a 7% IPA hopped with Citra and the Australian varietal Vic Secret (which some call “Galaxy Lite”). It was brewed with Pearl malt (a premium English barley), plus malted and flaked oats, then fermented with the brewery’s mysterious House Ale 3. (I wrote about that yeast and the interplay of Citra and Vic Secret this spring. HOW CONVENIENT.) -Phil Runco
When was the last time you saw a movie at the National Gallery of Art? Wait a minute, you knew that NGA had free movie screenings on the daily, right? If you didn’t, we highly recommend you peruse their film calendar, which includes highlights like Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (December 30), a slew of movies from the mid-century Italian director Luchino Visconti (December 1-16) and a deep dive into Czech puppetry (December 1-29). It’ll make you sound more interesting at parties. -Kaylee Dugan
If the extent of your knowledge of the Appalachian region of America is Deliverance then you should probably see this movie. For years America’s mountain and rural areas have been the subject of much ridicule. This movie will reveal the complex people who have spent generations in this part of the world. The screening is followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Ashley York. -Jenn Tisdale
Anna and the Apocalypse in theaters December 7
Listen to our interview with the Anna in Anna and the Apocalypse, Ella Hunt.
2018 has been a great year for R&B from Jeremih’s No More to Childish Gambino’s Summer Pack, Blood Orange’s Negro Swan to The Internet’s Hive Mind. Three years after their Grammy-nominated album, Ego Death, The Internet is back with their best work yet. During their hiatus, the band split up to pursue solo careers. Now, as their new album title–and their first track, “Come Together”) suggest, the group is back together with a powerful 4th studio album that represents unity and cohesion. Don’t take the title too much to heart, however, there’s nothing repetitive or unoriginal about Hive Mind. It’s a smooth blend of R&B, jazz, and funk. Syd’s–of Odd Future–cool vocals are a stand out, pulling audiences into the album with a lulling, seductive quality. Tracks like “La Di Da” balance the album’s easy-going, soulful grooves with some more energetic beats. If that’s not enough, even Halle Berry’s a fan. -Afriti Bankwalla
Join Host Blair Underwood, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, Jimmy Heath, Jazzmeia Horn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Meliss Aldana, Kris Bowers, Deborah Joy Winans, Jamison Ross, musical director John Beasley and more for one of the biggest nights in jazz! Gifted young pianists perform and compete for major scholarships and a recording contract. Support the arts and the youth! -Jenn Tisdale
Dave East is the antithesis of mainstream hip hop; he is proof of hip hop’s versatility as a narrative vehicle, making music steeped in raw lyricism and dark emotion running counter to syrupy influences streaming out of Atlanta. At 30-years old, and with ten albums/mixtapes to his name, Dave East has become the harbinger of New York rap steeped in gutters, back alleys, and project hallways; settings where Styles P, Jadakiss, Nas, and all of Wu-Tang made their names. Each album, 2018’s Beloved the most recent, has improved East’s ability to match thought with expression, creating an artist who truly stands out. -Ruben Gzirian
If you want to know why Juice WRLD, a 19-year old singer/rapper from Chicago, is important look no further than the people he’s collaborating with. His most recent album, 2018’s Future & Juice WRLD Present…WRLD ON DRUGS, was less a collaboration album with Future, and more of an attempt by Future to reintroduce himself to younger listeners. Since then, Juice WRLD has also featured on one of the best tracks off Lil Yatchy’s Nuthin’ 2 Prove and on Trippie Redd’s A Love to Letter to You 3. Each of these collaborations, as well as his solo work, tap into a niche of hip hop thriving off of adolescent angst and mindless drug consumption, living somewhere between sodden and sprightly. -Ruben Gzirian
It’s weird to think Jorja Smith is still touring her June 2018 debut album Lost & Found. But album was so painstakingly timeless the moment it dropped that you felt like Jorja Smith existed outside the planes of time. Her voice links each note with frictionless ease, dissecting deeply personal narratives of self-realization as to not blunt the impact of her words. Jorja Smith is of a new generation; a generation who look to Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill as luminaries of modern music. Based on Lost & Found, and her growing voice as a public figure, Jorja Smith will soon be the standard for the next generation. -Ruben Gzirian
When my colleague José López-Sánchez reviewed Oddisee, he suggested that “if you feel jaded by the seeming homogenous sounds of radio rap, then Oddisee is your remedy.” And that’s still true…really more than ever. Oddisee continues to cut a path with a light squarely fopcused on the intersection of hip hop soul and jazz-inspired musical arrangements. At a time when so much of hip hop is concerned with internal discussions, Oddisee continues to go headstrong into discussions of systematic forces of division and plight; never shying away from treating poverty and violence as issues to be addressed not glorified.
Oddisee will be joined by Phonte and Oliver St. Louis. Both acts reflect the dualism of Oddisee’s talent: Phonte with his ability to meditate on expansive topics of lineage and mortality, and Oliver St. Louis with his distinctive brand of soulful rock. -Ruben Gzirian
CupcakKe’s repertoire includes songs about everything from her vagina to deepthroating to the LGBT community to picking up dick with chopsticks. She’s completley filthy and positively hysterical. But don’t get bogged down in her quick-witted humor and jarring vulgarities, at the heart of it all, CupcakKe is first and foremost a damn good rapper. With incredibly powerful and tight verses spit out over fun, danceable tracks. Her latest studio album, Eden, is no exception to the the standard of excellence I’ve come to expect CupcakKe. CupcakKe is all about having a good time, and she’ll make sure that her audience does too. -Afriti Bankwalla
Top Chef season 16 begins on Bravo December 2
Top Chef is back, baby! They’re in Kentucky this time, which means a handful of Southern-fried chefs with home advantage squaring off alongside a bunch of other huge personalities and weirdo food folks. One of the big twists this season is that there will be three teams during Restaurant Wars instead of two, which is fun I guess! Does that mean they’ll do it sooner? -Matt Byrne
Big Questions, Huge Answers with Jon Dore premieres on Comedy Central December 3
Few comics are more fun to see live than Jon Dore. His goofy, improvisational, freewheeling approach to comedy (and life, it seems) manifests itself onscreen this month with Big Questions, Huge Answers with Jon Dore, the latest in a long line of Current Events-ified comedy series that help affirm that the entire world is a burning toilet. I’ll watch anything our friend Jon does, and I’m excited to catch his absurdist take on this increasingly tired TV trend. -Matt Byrne
RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular premieres on VH1 December 7
Drag Race off-season can be a hard time for many of us. Getting in fights on Reddit and Facebook about whether or not Shangela was robbed last All Stars (she was), making another Miss Vanjie meme (please not another one), memorizing all the verses to “American…” But your lonely days are over, because in just a few days Jasmine Masters, Kim Chi, Latrice Royale, Mayhem Miller, Shangela, Sonique, Trixie Mattel, and Eureka O’Hara will once more be gracing you screens. And no, I didn’t totally screw up the latest All Stars cast–that comes a week later. No, I’m talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular in which eight of your favorite queens will compete for the crown of America’s first “Christmas Queen.” In this hour long Christmas special, queens will…well, we don’t really know what they’ll do to claim this title, but we hope it includes lots of spiked eggnog. To quote Shangela in the trailer, “Happy Halleloo-la-days!”
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 premieres on VH1 December 14
If nothing else, at least 2018 will go down in history as the year of ‘3 Drag Race seasons.’ That’s right, after a long and grueling wait we can finally get back to the workroom with some of our favorite past contestants for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4. The killer cast–Gia Gunn, Jasmine Masters, Valentina, Trinity “The Tuck” Taylor, Farrah Moan, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon, Monique Heart, Monét X Change, and Naomi Smalls–speaks for itself. There’s a lot to be excited for this season between Farrah and Valentina’s unresolved reunion drama, Manila and Naomi’s high fashion runways, Monét and Monique’s instant charm, Latrice’s iconic cackle and warm humor, Gia’s crazy catch phrases and phenomenal dance skills, Trinity’s tight tucks, and, of course, the unabashedly hilarious and poignant thoughts of Internet star Jasmine Masters. So, grab a drink and get your jush on, because Drag Race is finally back. -Afriti Bankwalla
Runaways season 2 premieres on Hulu December 21
If you slept on Marvel + Hulu’s Runaways last season, YA GOTTA GET ON THIS TRAIN! It’s about the teenage children of supervillains (THINK OF THE INCREDIBLE ANGST), and IT. IS. SO. GOOD. As usual, I’m probably slightly biased because of the queer factor, but so far it’s been mega-entertaining, and I’m PRETTY AMPED for the December premiere. Get caught up now! -Megan Burns
Strange, beautiful, and strangely beautiful, the Stephen Daldry-directed An Inspector Calls could be said to work its way under your skin. A better description, however, would be to say that it sidles up next to you in evening-ware, mentions a mutual friend, makes a few moments of polite conversation, and then, when you look away to refill your drink, you turn back to find it’s wearing a horrifying monster mask and its outfit is covered in blood. Spoilers must be avoided. Far better to sit back and take it in. It’s weird as all hell, and that’s one of the best thing about it. -Tristan Lejeune
For all of the things the Trump presidency has been known for, the avalanche of books detailing the insider relations, processes, and conversations in the White House has definitely made for some interesting news cycles. Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House stands out from the rest for the same reasons Woodward has co-authored or authored 13 #1 national best-selling non-fiction books: attention to facts supported by unquestionable evidence. D.C has a thriving sub-industry of witnesses and experts well-versed in trying to explain what’s happening in the White House; among them Bob Woodward is one of the standards. -Ruben Gzirian
Don’t miss everyone’s favorite Seattle queens. Join BenDeLaCreme, notorious for her self-sacrificingl exit on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, and Jinkx Monsoon, the weird and wonderful narcoleptic winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 5, for a night of spectacularly campy holiday shenanigans. Expect some singing, some dancing, and lots of goofy theatrics with this certifiably kooky pair. -Afriti Bankwalla
Baltimore legend, John Waters returns home for his ever-anticipated annual holiday show. You’ll be able to catch the mustachioed creator of Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Pink Flamingos and some other even filthier abominations, gripe about everything holiday related from gift giving to deflated Christmas decorations. If you’re looking for a little edge to your holiday season, John Waters’s hysterically deadpan, completely kitschy, and just a tad crude repertoire might be the perfect addition to your otherwise overly cheery month. -Afriti Bankwalla
It’s always exciting when a PG County person does good! Writes the Anne Arundel County girl. Talib Babb is such a hilarious treasure. It’s worth the (short) drive to Gaithersburg to see him. -Jenn Tisdale