At the start of each month we 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. If you’re looking to start 2020 off the right way, you’ve come to the right place.
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Future Sketches by Zach Lieberman – opens at Artechouse – January 17th
ARTECHOUSE D.C. kicks off its 2020 season with a collaboration with one of the most dynamic pioneers in the field of coding and interactive media. From the press release: Zach Lieberman explores new forms of expression and play, with a simple goal: to surprise the viewer by breaking down the boundaries between the visible and invisible. -Svetlana Legetic
Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener – January 14
A revealing, damning look into the rapid, out-of-control growth of the Silicon Valley in the 21st Century, Anna Wiener’s memoir Uncanny Valley is a fist person account of the inner workings of the toxic startup culture that has come to dominate San Francisco in the 21st century. A dispatch from within an industry hyperfocused on growth and accumulation of capital above all else, Wiener’s personal journey through the tech looks to be an eye opening, maddening read. -Matt Byrne
The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice―Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady – January 14
Colin O’Brady made history on December 26, 2018, becoming the first person to cross Antarctica completely solo, with no outside support. He spent nearly two months traveling over 900 miles through some of the most hostile weather on Earth, and you can read all about his amazing journey in his new memoir The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice―Crossing Antarctica Alone. -Matt Byrne
Agency by William Gibson – January 21
“Cuffing Saison” Release @ Right Proper Brew Pub – January 4
Rejoice, it’s cuffing season, the time of year when we cut loose our summer flings and settle down with one person because it’s too cold to go out consistently and much easier to just watch Netflix. How long does cuffing season last? Professor Fabolous says until June, but that seems a tad conservative. Let’s say mid-April.
Anyway, Right Proper Brewing has teamed up with the folks of the Black Brew Movement and DCBeer.com to brew a beer to mark this wonderful season. It’s called, of course, Cuffing Saison. The farmhouse ale was brewed with honey, hopped with a trio of fruity varietals (Azzaca, Idaho 7, and Belma), and then fermented with peaches, peach purée. That sounds delightful.
Right Proper and Black Brew Movement will celebrate the release on Saturday afternoon… and while that event appears to be sold out, the beer will continue to flow in Shaw, so get off the couch with your significant other and go drink a few pints. After all, April will be here before you know it. – Phil Runco
“Terpendipity” Release @ 3 Stars Brewing – January 10
Earlier this week, our beloved 3 Stars Brewing published an Eventbrite page for an event called… well, the image said “Terp it Up & Wash It Down” but the text said “Terepene Drop Event.” So, I’m not sure what the official name is. We’ll call the “Terendipity” Release, OK?
Now, the first sentence of the event descriptor read: “We are releasing a new terpene IPA, Terpendipity, on January 10th and will be throwing a hell of a bash to commemorate the occasion!!!”
When I read this, I had so many questions – namely, what the fuck is terpene? And what is a terpene IPA? And are there so many terpene IPAs that 3 Stars must clarify that this is a new terpene IPA?
I felt as if there was a whole world of IPA that I, semi-professional beer blurb writer, had been denied access to. Thankfully, I am proficient in Google.
It turns out that terpenes are “compounds in cannabis that give it distinctive aromas and flavors.” Did you know that, fellow kids? According to this rando video, terpenes “could potentially produce… psychological effects like relaxation or focus.” Suddenly, the Eventbrite’s promise of “celebrating all the dank out in the world” made a lot more sense.
Still, I had more questions. Like, do people really say terp it up? This led me to the video for the song “terp it up slab it down” by recording artist and weed enthusiast Chris Crayzie, and let me just tell you, my life will never be the same. But, yes, “terp it up and slab it down” is a phrase, and you can buy it on a t-shirt.
Separately, are people really making beer with terpene? Of course, Kate Bernot, the “Simpsons already did it” of beer writers, has an article about brewers (most notably Sweetwater) utilizing terepene. And Wisconsin’s Untitled Art appear to be big on terpene IPAs. They also make CBD water, so it all adds up.
So, where does this leave us? 3 Stars made an IPA that is most definitely going to smell like weed. It’s a collaboration with Phone Homie, a DC-based weed proponent who smokes things on Instagram.
Goddammit, I still have so many questions. Whatever: The release party costs $15 and includes a commemorative glass and your first beer and hopefully all of the answers. – Phil Runco
“Talking Backwards” Release @ Ocelot Brewing – January 31
Back in my grandpappy’s day (i.e., like, five years ago), triple IPAs were released in the late January and early February, a time when we naturally reach for bigger, boozier beers. Now, hop-forward hype monsters like RAR and Aslin and The Veil seem to drop a new Triple IPA every few weeks. Of course, this is because the combination of higher alcohol and hops moves like hot cakes in cans, and can sales are a huge part of such breweries’ business models. It makes sense. I’m not gonna knock the hustle.
But if there is one triple IPA that seeks to honor the tradition of olden triple IPAs like Pliny the Younger and Hopslam, it’s Ocelot’s Talking Backwards. A showcase for the holy trinity of Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, the Meridian Pint collab is annually released this time of year. (I went deep on the beer and the Ocelot-Meridian Pint connection three years ago in Freshly Tapped: Talking Backwards.)
Last year, the beer received a slight remix, with Ocelot switching from Chico Ale yeast to London Ale yeast, resulting in a slightly sweeter, slightly hazier beer.
“The beer has moved towards current trends without abandoning its roots,” Meridian Pint beer director Jace Gonnerman told me in 2019. “It’s still quite dry for a triple IPA, but it’s bursting with flavors and aromas of melon and citrus, all with and a creamy, lush mouthfeel.”
It’s one of the area’s most anticipated annual releases of the year for a reason. – Phil Runco
Do we need this movie? No. Do I want to see the iconic imagery of The Grudge and the chaotic energy of Sam Raimi remixed and updated for our 2020 movies watching sensibilities? Why the hell not. The American version of The Grudge came out when I was in middle school and was the driving force behind many of my nightmares. I was afraid of the trailer alone and it took me years until I felt like I had the emotional constitution to handle the movie. This version looks a little grittier and gorier than the 2004 classic, but only time will tell if it will maintain the gross and oppressive atmosphere of the original film. Even if the trailer didn’t look interesting, I would see this movie to support John Cho’s excellent pivot into horror. -Kaylee Dugan
Look, we all know January is a dumping ground for some of the worst movies of the year, but I’m still holding out hope that Underwater will be a good time! Kristen Stewart stars in what looks like Aliens but in the deep sea rather than outer space? Sounds good to me, you know? I hope it doesn’t suck! -Matt Byrne
After a successful run at underground film festivals like Austin’s Fantastic Fest, the lo-fi found footage/sketch comedy movie VHYes is making its way to a theatre near you this month. Featuring appearances by very funny alt comedy vets like Kerri Kenney, Mark Proksch, Charlyne Yi, and Thomas Lennon, the film follows a young cinephile who becomes obsessed with the family’s new home video recorder. Shot entirely on VHS and Beta to give it an authentically retro feel, this thing looks like a ton of fun.
Color Out of Space – January 22
The heady combination of actor Nicholas Cage, director Richard Stanley and SpectreVision (Elijah Wood’s production company) is enough to make me want to buy a ticket. Lovecraft is notoriously hard to get right, but Color Out of Space doesn’t seem like it’s aiming to capture every inch of gothic tone or every long winded description of an unfathomable monster. Instead, it looks like a schlocky delicious B movie. It looks like they’ve let Nicholas Cage really be Nicholas Cage. It looks like a wild ride. -Kaylee Dugan
BENT: Ringing In the Raging 20s @ 9:30 Club – January 4
New Year’s Eve might be over, but the 9:30 Club is throwing the roaring 20s themed party of our dreams. BENT, their seasonal LGBTQ dance party, popped up in 2018 to help fill in the hole left by Town’s closure and it’s become one of our favorite go to dance parties ever since. Swing by for tunes by DJ L Stackz, Baronhawk Poitier, Lemz Vs Tezrah and Sean Morris and stay for performances by Baby and Majic Dyke, plus the return of Summer Camp! Also, Pussy Noir reigns supreme as our forever favorite host. -Kaylee Dugan
Selena Gomez Rare on Interscope – January 10th
I am never not rooting for Selena Gomez, you guys, and so I am V. EXCITED for this upcoming album release. Her third full-length, she’s described it as representative of “strong pop” (HELL YEAH, STRONG POP 2020!), and if “Lose You To Love Me” (which I have listened to roughly eight million times since its release) is any indication of how great the rest of the tracks will be, I AM EXTREMELY HERE FOR IT. – Megan Burns
Halsey Manic on Capitol – January 17th
You’ll hear loads of different influences across the collection of tracks on Halsey’s third studio record (including country // I LOVE THAT COUNTRY IS HAVING A BIG MOMENT RIGHT NOW!), and everything I’ve heard so far has been solid! Again, STRONG POP 2020! – Megan Burns
Jazzmeia Horn @ The Club at Studio K – January 18
What better way to break in the Kennedy Center’s new Club at Studio K shows than with a jazz performance by an artist who graduated from a Kennedy Center program? Jazzmeia Horn kicked off her time with the Kennedy Center during their 2013 Jazz Ahead program and has been receiving accolades ever since. Between winning vocal awards and pulling off a show stopping performance at the 2018 Grammys, this is a concert you can’t afford to miss. -Kaylee Dugan
Elijah Jamal Balbed Quintet: The Karma Suite @ The Club at Studio K –January 23
Need more jazz in your life? Head on back to the Club at Studio K for a night of excellent tunes by D.C.’s very own Elijah Jamal Balbed. The local artist has a go-go background and has even performed with Chuck Brown. This show is the perfect excuse to jam out to the quintet’s latest album, The Karma Suite, and support a great local performer. -Kaylee Dugan
Armin van Buuren @ Echostage – January 25
Actually the entire echostage 2020 calendar is unreal (v. excited for my absolute favorite Trippie Redd in February), and while there isn’t really a wrong choice if you only go to one echostage show in January (my second pick would be Matoma on the 30th) it should be Armin van Buuren. I had never really been into trance and knew of Armin but didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about, but then as a wee party baby my friends dragged me to see him at FUR (what a throwback) and Armin automatically became my favorite DJ. If you are at all into EDM you need to see Armin live. His sets are so much fun and high energy not at all the semi boring trance fest I expected. Also seeing him in a more intimate (for Armin at least) venue is a real treat, normally you’re one in like 20,000 at a festival somewhere. Get ready to leave the show and start listening to nothing but A State of Trance. – Marissa Rubenstein
Mason Bates’ KC Jukebox: Juan Atkins, Godfather of Techno @ The Club at Studio K – January 30
We’ve been writing about Mason Bates’ magical KC Jukebox series for years, and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon. It looks good, it sounds good and you always walk away from a KC Jukebox night with a little more music knowledge than you had before. This show sounds particularly wild because it’s a collaboration with Detroit artist Juan Atkins, who is widely considered to be the father of techno. Settle in for a night of thumping beats and soaring strings. -Kaylee Dugan
Metronomy @ 9:30 Club – January 31
Back in the halycon days of 2011, Metronomy was one of those English indie bands that could not quite get the American recognition they deserve. But the band has been plugging away at it all this time, and their 2019 album Metronomy Forever is way better than you might expects. Songs like “Security” and “Salted Caramel Ice Cream” are filled with hooks, sort of like older tunes like “The Look.” Yes, it’s a late show that begins at 10pm, but it’s a Friday night and you’ll be glad to relive those nights when bedtimes were the farthest thing from your worries. -Alan Zilberman
TORRES Silver Tongue on Merge – January 31st
We always stan a Mackenzie Scott record! I’ve enjoyed the tracks I’ve heard so far // super dreamy and subdued (in a good way!), and good for soundtracking a winter stroll! Homegirl is also playing Brooklyn’s Sultan Room on release day, so if you’re around you should come through! – Megan Burns
The Outsider on HBO – January 12
Stephen King’s The Outside was a classic return to prime PRIME form for the author (he continues the streak with The Institute) – terrifying, clever, and not at all what you expected it to be. So we are thrilled to see HBO decided that adapting it was the ACTUAL True Detective season 4 we all needed. What starts out as a pretty by-the-numbers (if supremely creepy) investigation into a death of a child, turns into something much darker. The talent attached to it is terrific: Ben Mendelsohn, Jason Bateman (also directing), Paddy Cosindine and more. Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and Richard Price (The Night Of) are in the writers room, and we are 150% watching this in real time. – Svetlana Legetic
Pandemic on Netflix – January 22
Nothing like a little pre- apocalyptic docuseries reminder that the next spanish flu or worse is right around the corner. I’ve been fascinated with this type of thing since reading The Hot Zone in middle school and it’s actually reassuring to know that there are people working hard to save all of humanity. -Marissa Rubenstein
Girls Gotta Eat @ Lincoln Theatre – January 11
This podcast was recommended to me by a friend and while I hate about 50% of podcasts people recommended to me, GGE is one of the few I make sure to keep up with weekly. These ladies are wonderfully funny and the podcast mostly focuses on relationships and sex, but their guests are incredible and they are just so direct and open about sex it’s really refreshing. Also I’ve heard their live shows are not only fun but can get a bit rowdy and usually open with a surprise performance from local drag queens in each city they go to. The best part is, you don’t need to be caught up on the podcast to see the show, as each episode is about another aspect of dating or sex or similar. -Marissa Rubenstein
The Merry Wives of Windsor @ Folger Theatre – January 14
The Folger wraps up their season of indulgence with Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. If you’re looking to laugh and luxuriate and soak up Shakespeare’s version of The Real Housewives (kind of), we recommend securing your tickets now. If you’re not familiar with the tale, this story unites us with the always funny and scheming Falstaff who dreams up a plan to con himself into money by pursuing some of the richest women in Windsor, unfortunately for him (and very fortunately for us), the women know exactly what’s up. -Kaylee Dugan
Pipeline @ Studio Theatre – January 15
Pipeline continues Studio Theatre’s cutting lineup of plays tackling race and class and everything in between. Last year’s White Pearl, focused on the pain and ugliness or capitalism and beauty, while Pipeline confronts the worst of America’s education system. The play follows a teacher / single mom whose plans for her teenage son are jeopardized by a teacher at his private school. Based on this play’s synopsis alone, this sounds like the kind of story that sticks with you long after you’ve left the theater. -Kaylee Dugan
Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures: Swan Lake @ Kennedy Center – January 21
Matthew Bourne can do no wrong. His British ballet company New Adventures absolutely killed their performance of Cinderella at the Kennedy Center last year and based on that show alone, we’re already buying tickets to Swan Lake. Bourne’s Swan Lake is famous for its genderbent all male ensemble and for taking on a more menacing tone than Tchaikovsky’s original tale. Expect a night full of incredible sets, heartbreaking performances and cinematic moments. If you want a taste of what’s to come, check out our Cinderella photos, they’re some of our favorite shots from last year. -Kaylee Dugan