The final year of the twenty teens has begun. It’s up to you whether you want the year to be good or bad. It starts now.
The following contains nearly one pick per day to have your best January. We may be in the midst of a government shutdown but that doesn’t mean your social life is on pause. Whether you’re looking to drink for a good cause, see some puppet theater or attend D.C.’s newest LGBTQ dance party, there’s an option suited for you.
Next up for Artechouse (hot on the heels of Art Basel hits and national expansion news) is the first North American solo exhibition for internationally acclaimed Italian artist studio fuse*. As always, from the Artechouse curatorial team – expect the unexpected. Everything in Existence, offers a different perception of reality, exploring the concept of eternity and the idea of infinity in which the visitor and the artwork interact with each other, “tracing a line that crosses and unites the different phases of this path with four multimedia installations, leading audience to experience different perceptions of reality, while providing new points of observation to feel part of something bigger.” All of the works in the exhibition are generated by software processing data in real time whether they are derived from the interaction with the viewer (Snowfall), from social networks (Amygdala), sound (Clepsydra) or the software itself (Multiverse). -Svetlana Legetic
Gaby Dunn continues to amaze, you guys! I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Bad With Money, and let me just say, YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIFE, especially heading into a new year with (hopefully) new financial goals, or at least the intention of wising up about the subject of money management. I turn 31 in exactly a week, and only in the last year have I become super interested in learning more about money, which I’m KICKING MYSELF about now. That’s not to say you’re ever too old to start caring about finance, but the earlier you can start educating yourself the better, and Bad With Money is a great no-shame-inducing jumping off point – it’s both informative AND entertaining to read, and if I could go back in time and read it as early as in high school (lots of great tips re: college, internships, etc.) I’d do it in a heartbeat. (Of course, there’s a broad scope of subject matter covered that will appeal to folks of all ages, so don’t discount it if you’re no longer a spring chicken!) In sum, could not recommend it more highly! -Megan Burns
When New Yorker published Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person” just over a year a go, no one could have anticipated what the reaction to this cringeworthy-yet-so-relatable dating episode would be. The public opinion floodgates opened to release a combination of sadness, self-recognition, reflection, and anger. Most importantly, the response was CONVERSATION-STARTING (if you have not read it, read it), a real, viral literature hit, something that doesn’t happen to short stories often. Roupenian, needless to say, got a hot book deal (with Simon & Schuster) out of it, and the final result, is out this month (a genius move targeting both early-in-the-year book club selections and resolution makers. What can you expect? (aside from owning “Cat Person” in bound form now). Roupenian stays true to form, tackling sex, relationships and power, while not being afraid to step out of her hyper-realistic first impression and into the realm of “the murderous and supernatural” even, capturing “punishment, guilt and anger, the pleasure and terror of inflicting and experiencing pain”. We are a little afraid, but we are IN. -Svetlana Legetic
Kerri Rawson, the daughter of the BTK Killer, who was arrested in 2005 for the murder of ten people during the late 20th century, wrote what is sure to be a wildly interesting, haunting tale told from a rarely heard from perspective: the family of a serial killer. Rawson’s story is surely not an easy read, but is a must-read for any true crime heads out there. A great way to while away the frigid January weather. -Matt Byrne
I realize it’s beginning to feel a bit like we’re on a hamster wheel of horrors in terms of this current presidency, but the midterm results were heartening, and I think it’s extra-crucial we all get our faces out into the streets come January 19th for the third annual Women’s March! Demonstrations will take place all over the country (and globe), but YOU may be most interested in the ones happening in D.C. and NYC from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday. Regardless, you can find more info right here. See you there! -Megan Burns
Last year, I told the (abbreviated) story of Perennial and the runaway success of Abraxas in a feature on Prodigal (which is essentially the base beer for Abraxas). I’d recommend giving it a read, not because of anything I wrote but because some very knowledgeable people talked to me about the legacy of the beer and said very smart things. One of them was Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beer Director Greg Engert (aka Slim Necktie, aka Canibung, aka 2 Live Cru, aka Masta Sorachi Ace, aka Method Mash). And as it just so happens, one of Engert’s bars hosts the area’s marquee Abraxas event. Unsurprisingly, that bar is ChurchKey.
These days, Abraxas is a little easier to find at your favorite local bottleshop, but the same can’t be said for Vanilla Bean Abraxas and Coffee Abraxas – variants of the stout with the titular adjuncts amplified. On Friday, the Logan Circle will showcase those variants, along with 2018, 2017, and 2014(!) vintages of regular ol’ Abraxas. If that’s not enough imperial stout for you, ChurchKey will have 2016 and 2017 Sump Coffee Stout. Also, you are addicted to imperial stout.
There are a few other, lighter gems on the menu, as well. Chief amongst them is Carondelet Wilderness Refuge, a white wine barrel-aged Belgian Ale conditioned with Brett. (Fun fact: This beer was lifted from my dreams, “Inception”-style.) Just as stellar, a version of their foedre-aged Funky Wit fruited with Charentais Melon. I won’t front, I could go to this event and drink only these beers and be perfectly happy. No shots at Abraxas – Perennial is just my Brett saison bae. (Also, Pils and Prism 4 life.) -Phil Runco
In November, horrific wildfires ravaged large swaths of Northern California. In the days following the Camp Fire, Sierra Nevada (whose Chico brewery is located squarely in the impacted area) announced an unprecedented fundraising effort to help rebuild affected communities: Not only would it brew a Resilience Butte County Proud IPA – and donate 100% of the proceeds – but it invited other breweries to do the same. To help encourage larger participation, Sierra Nevada shared the recipe… and convinced its suppliers to donate the ingredients for the beer.. for everyone. That’s fucking crazy!
Thus far, over 1400 breweries have donated the time, manpower, and tank space to brew their versions of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA. Sierra Nevada hopes to raise $10 million. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Locally, a number of breweries have already blown through their Resilience IPAs, like Hellbender and Right Proper. 3 Stars and Atlas Brew Works are still pouring theirs. And Port City taps its on Friday.
On Tuesday, January 8, ChurchKey will showcase Bluejacket’s rendition of the recipe, along with Sierra Nevada’s OG version. Per Bluejacket, its Resilience IPA “showcases the classic Sierra Nevada combination of bready, caramelized malts [and] piney, citric hops.” To sweeten the pot, Churchkey will also tap two rarities from each brewery Sierra Nevada’s Dry-Hopped Barleywine-Style Ale (a 2017 collb with Avery) and Bluejacket’s Double Mexican Radio: Bourbon 2018.
100% of Resilience proceeds go to the Camp Fire Relief Fund. So, go drink with purpose. -Phil Runco
Have you spent some time scrolling around the Port City website recently?
Oh, you had more important things to be doing with your life?
Cool, cool, yeah, me too. I don’t randomly check out brewery websites. Wow, no, that would be super lame. Eek!
Anyway, my friend, um, Bill recently told me to check out the Port City website (because I wasn’t doing it already) (because I am cool and have many important plans with attractive people). So, I did, and whoa, spoilers abound! Listed among the brewery’s 2019 offerings: Rivershed Ale (a new dry-hopped pale ale coming this summer), bottles of the Lager Series hit Helles, and Colossal Eight (a German-style doppelbock with a sliiiiiiick label design). Truly, we are #blessed.
But before we get unwrap any of those presents, Port City is bestowing another new beer on us: Golden Export Lager, the latest entry in its Lager Series. Unlike the three previous beers, though, this baby is draft only, and it’ll be tapped at the brewery on Friday, January 18. (Keep your eyes peeled for a Meridian Pint release party later in the month, too.)
What is a German Export Lager? First brewed in late-1800s Germany, the style is often referred to as a Dortmunder. “Balance and smoothness are the hallmarks of this style,” the BJCP guidelines note. “It has the malt profile of a Helles, the hop character of a Pils, and is slightly stronger than both.”
Succinctly put, fellow nerds. Here’s what Port City has to say: “[O]ur Golden Export Lager balances a subtly sweet, toasty malt character with spicy, floral hops. Slightly stronger than the related Helles and Pilsner styles, Golden Export still aims to refresh.”
The Kid Who Would Be King in theaters January 25
Look, January is not exactly a great month for new movies. Some people think of it as a dumping ground for disasters studios are hoping to unload with minimal competition. Who can say whether or not this is the case for the new children’s fantasy film starring motion capture all-star Andy Serkis’ son Louis, The Kid Who Would Be King. Little dude pulls King Arthur’s sword from the big stone and he’s gotta pull together a round table to fight off the bad guys and all that. I have not seen this film so I am in no place to judge it, but I will say I am very excited to watch this load of garbage late at night when it’s on Netflix in like six months!!!!!!!!! -Matt Byrne
Noname, a stand out of Chicago’s fierce arsenal of women rappers, is coming back to the East Coast to start your new year off the right way. Her rap is easy going and graceful, at times toeing and blurring the line between rap and spoken word poetry. Her 2018 album, Room 25, solidifies her unique rap sound and flourishing success. It’s is smooth, moving, and radical, with killer bars like, “My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism.” -Afriti Bankwalla
A$AP Rocky’s 2018 Testing was one of my favorite albums of the year, despite receiving critical reviews that can all be boiled down to “eh.” A lot of the people who follow Rocky felt disappointed by the…testing of sounds, rhythms, and vocal arrangements (especially the background adlibs) that flowed through each of the 15 tracks. But if you’ve been listening to A$AP Rocky, and to a lesser extent A$AP Mob, since Live. Love. A$AP. dropped in 2011, then Testing was more like the beginning of a new chapter in Rocky’s career. Each album (Testing being the third studio album) has followed Rocky’s evolution into someone unafraid to take chances and morph his own sense of self. Testing was great for all the reasons most people didn’t vibe with it, which may become synonymous with Rocky’s career in 2019. -Ruben Gzirian
Still Woozy, Sven Gamsky’s solo project, is all about the moment. Each track he’s released (six in total) resides in its own bubble, inflated by a funky distortion of guitar, bass, piano, drums, and a warm synthesizer. Gamsky’s music speaks through a tonal flow of new-age funk made in a garage in Oakland. While Gamsky would like you to believe each song exists in “real time,” as a body of work, Still Woozy is forming an identity that exists outside time-sensitive trends. -Ruben Gzirian
A masterfully skilled guitarist, Gunn channels the fingerpicking masters of the 20th century while crafting knotty, oblique short stories across the rambling arrangements that make up each of his extremely good records. Dude’s on the forefront of the whole 21st century Cosmic American music thing that I really like but won’t bother explaining to you here. -Matt Byrne
The moment you hear the opening guitar strum of “Slow Burn” off of Kacey Musgraves’ 2018 Golden Hour you feel like something special is about to happen. And while that “something special” is different for everyone, for me it finally introduced country music that felt oddly relevant. Each song, whether it’s the expansive “Love is a Wild Thing” or the more poppy “High Horse,” was a landbridge between the stale by-the-books rules of country composition and something more in-tune with popular modern music. Musgraves is a unique talent, and one sorely needed in American music. -Ruben Gzirian
When I first heard Shoreline Mafia’s “Musty” off of 2018’s ShorelineDoThatShit my first thought went back to another Cali-based rap group, SOB X RBE. And while the similarities might only be surface deep, Shoreline Mafia and SOB X RBE constitute a “new wave” in hip hop where young talent is collectivized into groups then picked apart into solo careers. Shoreline Mafia is also a continuation of the popular talking point that the “West is back.” Some (me included) would argue the West never left, but Shoreline’s four members are demonstrating that much of what makes West Coast / LA rap amazing is timeless. Shoreline Mafia is frantic, energetic, diverse, and unapologetically boisterous; qualities that could make for an interesting 2019 for this young group. -Ruben Gzirian
Young Dolph is what a hip hop artist would look like if Rodney Dangerfield’s famous catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” was a person. In 2017 alone, Dolph was the target of two separate shootings, one of which he escaped unharmed thanks to his bulletproof vehicle. As a rapper, Dolph’s credentials are rarely challenged, rarely questioned; his syrupy delivery punctuated by vocal inflections make each song hard to ignore. Paired with distinctive Memphis hip hop production (think Roland TR-808 drum machines and low-fi synths), Dolph has arguably been the best rapper in Memphis for the past few years. Nonetheless, as with any rapper in a market not Atlanta, NYC, or LA, Dolph is perpetually called “up and coming.” Well, he’s neither. He’s here, he’s been here, and it’s time you start enjoying it. -Ruben Gzirian
Town’s might be tragically gone, but that doesn’t mean queer nightlife in D.C. has to end. This month, the 9:30 Club debuts a new dance party that’ll also showcase some of D.C.’s best queer talent from drag queens to DJs. Whether you’re turning looks or just there for a good time, Bent is a promising and exciting addition to the scene. -Afriti Bankwalla
2019 Australian Open January 14 through 27
There’s a strong chance you’re all groaning right now, going, “MEGAN IS GOING TO RECOMMEND SPORTS TO US AGAIN?! UGH!” Well, yes, yes I am, because NEW YEAR SAME ME. The Australian Open is (in my opinion) a sorely overlooked event in the realm of tennis Grand Slams, probably because it’s the first of the four, and it happens in our winter, aka Australia’s summer, and it’s easy to forget that outdoor sports exist. But don’t do it! Don’t forget! Tune in between the 14th and 27th of January to catch all the action, even if Potro will be missing it due to a knee injury! (DANGIT!) – Megan Burns
Doctor Who New Year’s Day Special “Resolutions” premiered January 1 on BBC America
Clearly we’re all reading these words AFTER the premiere date, which was yesterday, but if you missed it, you should be able to catch up on-demand, or at the very least w/ reruns on BBC America. I’ve been OBSESSED with Jodie Whittaker as the latest Doctor, so I was super pumped to take it easy with the hours-long marathon that lead up to showtime at 8 p.m. The 1.5 hour special (which involves a psychotic alien squid) did not disappoint, either, so definitely make sure to tune in if you haven’t already! -Megan Burns
Worst Cooks in America returns to Food Network January 6
The first handful of episodes of each new season of Worst Cooks in America are reliably the most entertaining, cringeworthy hours of television you’ll come across. Just a whole big crew of folks from all different walks of life just sucking ass at cooking. It rules and you should watch. Sure, halfway through the season the remaining contestants start to learn how to do things and start feeling good about their abilities and it becomes more heartwarming but also a little less special. But at that point, you’re probably hooked and in to watch the trajectory of these weirdos newfound culinary ambitions. -Matt Byrne
Jon Glaser Loves Gear returns to TruTV January 9
Thank goodness people keep giving Jon Glaser television shows. His goofy persona and knack for subtle absurdism has (whether they knew it or not) influenced a generation of alt comics, and his work on the Adult Swim series Delocated is responsible for some of the best TV moments of the 21st century. Enter Jon Glaser Loves Gear, a series for truTV that is, on its surface, about Glaser’s obsession with getting quality gear for whatever hobby (surfing, hiking, etc.) strikes his fancy, but goes off in all sorts of bizarre directions. -Matt Byrne
Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres on NBC January 10
Same precinct, new home. Brooklyn Nine-Nine spent a grand total of one day officially canceled by Fox last year before NBC picked it up. That’s some effective uproar turnaround. More to the point, it puts this Michael Schur-produced comedy in the same stable as his other beloved series: The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place. Season Six of B99, which premieres Jan. 10, kicks off, naturally, in the wake of Jake and Amy’s wedding. But it’s a parting, not a union that has me nervous: the impending exit of the highly valuable Chelsea Peretti. New year, new beginnings, plus a sad departure — for this crew, sounds like comedy cold. -Tristan Lejeune
Drunk History returns to Comedy Central January 15
Another year, another season of Drunk History. It’s a reliably entertaining, if not particularly surprising, way to spend a half hour on the couch. Watch comedians you know and love (and some you might not know yet!!) get all loaded and tell stories of great people/places/things throughout history, as reenacted by various famous faces and a cast of repertory characters who you will (or already have!!) come to know and enjoy. -Matt Byrne
Dynasties premieres on BBC America January 19
New BBC nature doc feat. David Attenborough narration alert! This one’s called Dynasties and each of the five episodes follows five beloved endangered animals as they struggle for survival as our planet slowly becomes uninhabitable and everybody just sort of sits idly by. Not the most optimistic of nature documentaries but nothing about our current situation inspires much optimism, tbh! -Matt Byrne
The musical adaption of that Jack Black movie about a substitute teacher starting a rock band with his students is coming to D.C. Leave your skepticism at the door, School of Rock is actually pretty damn fun. The songs, by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, etc.), are catchy enough to have made it onto my ‘musicals’ playlist, and the cast, full of some insanely talented kids, is always charming. It’s an upbeat, humorous, successful Broadway musical that is sure to satisfy any early 2000s nostalgia. -Afriti Bankwalla
It’s coming up on my favorite theatrical event of the year, so let me be the first to tell you that puppets aren’t just for kids any more. With artists from around the world showcasing styles of puppetry you didn’t even know existed, Chicago’s International Puppet Theatre Festival brings out some of the most exciting and innovative theatre around.There’s paper-cut puppets, shadow puppets, marionette puppets and much much more with performances ranging from family friendly spectacles featuring giant cranes and orangutans to the tragic true stories of the holocaust to humorous political satire staring a zany cast that includes puppets of Trump, Elon Musk, Ayn Rand, and Karl Marx among others. The Puppet Festival is a true Chicago gem full of completely spectacular, magical, and stunning artistry that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in such a huge scope anywhere else. Because what? Everybody loves puppets. -Afriti Bankwalla