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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. -ed.

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YB_ADVENTURES

The Capital Wheel at the National Harbor

The newly opened ferris wheel at the National Harbor presents a quandry: Did we really invent the wheel 6,000 years ago so we could build an oversized carnival ride that goes nowhere? Oh, hell yes, we did. And not only did we build an oversized carnival ride monstrosity overlooking the excesses of consumption on display at the National Harbor, but we put a god damn bar in one of the cars. A solid plan for July is to get drunk on a ferris wheel and hotbox the ever-loving shit out of the place. Press coverage of the ride has been nothing short of ebullient, with even WAMU’s normally even-toned and serious Armando Trull practically giggling as he rode on opening day. Make sure to check out the wheel’s website for surprisingly interesting videos depicting how you actually build one these idiot contraptions. -Legba Carrefour

Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley opens July 8

Lightning heads, rejoice: Universal Orlando added a whole new realm to their Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Besides the oft-lauded Hogsmeade, visitors can now experience Diagon Alley, including a 3D-glasses enhanced vault ride through Gringotts bank and the fully functioning Leaky Cauldron restaurant. Be ready to pay an extra $40 to ride the Hogwarts Express to travel between the two areas, since Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley operate in two different parks. Still, for the ultimate Harry Potter experience, most Muggles would pay a wand and a leg. -Brandon Weight

Maybe you need another reason to leave D.C. You should read our REASONS TO LEAVE D.C.

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Maybe you need a reason to explore D.C. on bike. You should read our BIKE GUIDE.

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Maybe you need a reason to explore D.C. on four wheels. You should read our SKATEBOARD GUIDE.

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ART

Ray Johnson Designs @ MoMA July 2-September 29

Artist Ray Johnson pioneered the “mail-art” movement. His work combines correspondence, design, and more traditional fine art in a way you really have to see to believe. And you can see it and believe it—at MoMA, in July. -Carly Loman

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Ray Johnson. Promotional flyer. c. 1956–60, from moma.org

Shirley — Visions in Reality @ National Gallery of Art July 26 & 27

Join the National Gallery of Art and view the film Shirley — Visions in Reality. Gustav Deutsch takes thirteen of Edward Hopper’s paintings and shifts them on screen. Choreographer Stephanie Cummings is “Shirley” and has a stunning performance in the panoramas. Through verbal footnotes learn the history, enjoy the dance, and have a choice to view Hopper’s work in a fresh media. -Morgan Day

BOOKS

The Mad and the Bad by Jean Patrick-Manchette released July 15

The Mad and the Bad has been translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith allowing English speakers to engage in the fury of Manchette’s crime novel. It includes orphaned children, insane asylums, a gunman (dealing with gastrointestinal issues), and a suspenseful effervescence caused by a loaded gun. The Boston Review says “Manchette pushes the situationist strategy of derive and detournement to the point of comic absurdity, throwing a wrench into the workings of his main characters’ lives and gleefully recording the anarchy that results.” This July take advantage of the opportunity Donald Nicholson-Smith has given us through this translation. -Morgan Day

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Guantanamo by Frank Smith released July 15

Frank Smith’s Guantanamo (translated by Vanessa Place) depicts narratives of situations at Guantanamo and recounts direct interrogations. The book acts as an off-set of the literature usually on Guantanamo due to the straightforward conversations and sporadic poetry. Clearly, a strange mix. Online literary review magazine HTML GIANT wrote in their review that this book is a must for law students due to the ambiguous nature of the information and the multiple interpretations that result of the translation. -Morgan Day

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If these three books aren’t doing it for you, the smart folks at Politics & Prose, Kramerbooks and more recommend fiction AND non-fiction in our SUMMER READING GUIDE.

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YB_XMAS

Christmas in July – July 26

If the summer heat gets to be too much, you head to Old Town Alexandria and fantasize it’s the middle of December at The Christmas Attic’s Christmas in July. Businesses along Union Street will be hosting holiday-themed events, ice cream socials, sales, live music performances and more. Plus Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there in person. -Ashlyn Frassinelli

YB_COMICS

By Cale

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 Book 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, the epic conclusion to the Scott Pilgrim series, came out July 2010. It’s been four years and we’re finally getting something new from Bryan Lee O’Malley! On July 15th you can pick up Seconds: A Graphic Novel from Amazon for $18.63, or better yet, support your local shop. The story is about a restaurant crew or something, I dunno, I didn’t want to read any spoilers. But here is what some cool people said about it so far:

“In Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley plays the angst of youth against the fabric of a larger epic. In doing so, he enriches both. A great ride!” -Guillermo del Toro

“Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds is adorable, haunting, funny, and beautiful. A perfect recipe for a great graphic novel.” -Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics

I’m sold!

Who am I kidding, I’d buy this even if the reviews were shit, PILGRIM4EVER

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As for men in tights, Marvel is of course gearing up for Guardians of the Galaxy (Avengers in Space) coming out August 1st with three new GotG titles. They are potentially hype building garbage, but I’m so excited for the new movie I don’t care.

We’ve got Rocket Racoon #1, which I can find no info on but the cover looks great.

Then there is Legendary Star-Lord #1, where Andy Dwyer flirts with Kitty Pryde or something.

And finally Guardians of the Galaxy: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1, featuring more Rocket and Groot.

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Then travel back to the golden age of terrible terrible comics with Deadpool vs X-Force #1, documenting how they first met in the 90s!

Also, while looking at the July release schedule I noticed Figment #2. As in Figment the dragon from Epcot. WTF? Marvel says “STARRING ONE OF DISNEY’S MOST POPULAR CHARACTERS!” – well that is certainly not true. And is that Falcor’s cousin on the cover?

YB_CULTURE

Smithsonian Folklife Festival – July 2 – 6

The annual free cultural festival hosted by the Smithsonian, this year’s theme centers around the cultures of China and Kenya. Watch performances rituals and traditional dances, sample international foods and learn more about a culture that isn’t your own. And it’s in a great location, right on the National Mall. -Ashlyn Frassinelli

DRINK

Brew at the Zoo

Want to drink while looking at cute animals? Put together by Friends of the National Zoo, this event features samples from over 60 U.S. microbreweries. In addition to live music there will be animal demonstrations and food stands throughout the zoo grounds. No kids allowed! -Ashlyn Frassinelli

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You know how it’s summer and you want to be outside? That’s why our BIERGARTEN GUIDE exists.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 10.05.12 PMThat reminds us, that awesome beer festival you look forward to every year? Tickets for it are going. Fast. You may want to purchase yours ASAP.

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FILM

Totally Awesome 8: Great Films of the 80s @ AFI Silver Spring July 3-September 17

AFI Silver Spring celebrates the most nostalgic of decades with their eighth look back at the 80s. Do The Right Thing, Batman, Red Dawn, Blood Simple, The King of Comedy and many more ‘classics’ will be screened. DTRT is absolutely a classic. The original Red Dawn is up for debate. -Brandon Wetherbee

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Outdoor FILM Guide bears repeating (screen on the green schedule is live so we should add it in/mention it SINCE it starts in July)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in theaters July 11

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was such a pleasant surprise a few years ago, bringing a smart, exciting action film into the summer and revitalizing a franchise that had already gone through one attempted reboot. First reactions to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have been exceptional, which is something we desperately need this summer of blockbusters. From the trailers, which look much darker and have created a deep world of ape vs. human conflict, this could be the best film in the almost fifty years of Apes films. -Ross Bonaime

Boyhood in theaters July 18

Over the past few months, the Texas filmmaker’s ambitious project was talked about with hushed breath: over the span of 12 years, Linklater would gather the same cast to create an in-depth coming of age story. Now the film is finally done, and the praise was rapturous on the film festival circuit. While Linklater does not exactly specialize in special effects, his experiments push the limit of film more than any other American director. -Alan Zilberman

Wish I Was Here in theaters July 18

Look, I get the malaise over Zach Braff “The Director,” but man, I still love Garden State to a ridiculous amount. Wish I Was There, the second film directed by Braff, looks like it could be the schmaltzy melodrama that people hated about Garden State, but I lapped up. Whatever your thoughts on Braff, Wish I Was Here has the potential to make or break the director who already reinforced the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and almost made you sick of The Shins. -Ross Bonaime

Want to see a movie on the big screen but want to do it outdoors? That’s why we made an Outdoor Movie Guide!

food

Crane & Turtle

From our First Look: Clearly at Crane & Turtle less is more, and that is exactly the kind of place that creates a neighborhood anchor. Citizens of Petworth, the citizen of places that are NOT Petworth are now officially at least a little bit more jealous of your location, now that you have THIS PLACE to walk right down the street to.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 8.57.15 PMJose Garces’ Rural Society 

Celebrity chef Jose Garces is opening his first D.C. restaurant, called Rural Society, on July 3. The new eatery is named for an agricultural society that hosts a big, exciting farm festival in Argentina every year. Most dishes will be roasted on the restaurant’s centerpiece: a huge wood-fire grill. Expect wood-grilled everything: vegetables, meats, cheeses, flatbreads — maybe even a dessert or two. -Ashlyn Frassinelli

Tico

From our First Look: Michael Schlow, James Beard award winner, TV regular and Boston resident is returning to his Washington roots (his Father is originally from the area AND Schlow himself spent his formative cooking years working with local hero Jean-Louis Palladin) and he means business. His first DC restaurant is an addition to his TICO concept, the Boston eatery that won Esquire’s Best New Restaurant In America and garnered Schlow a slew of accolades.

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I am not a doughnut person. Usually I find doughnuts too greasy and sugary. But then I tried District Doughnuts. They were the first doughnuts I actually liked. And I liked them enough that I actually want to go all the way to Barracks Row (from Rockville) just to eat more doughnuts. And with doughnuts like Dulce de leche, chai tea crème brûlée, and mocha crunch, I will probably be there a lot. -Sarah Guan

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Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

They call it a sporting event, I call it America. You’re going to spend your 4th of July day drinking and eating shit food, anyway. Why not watch people who are, probably, way better at it than you are? (The shit food-eating part, at least.) This may sound more appealing after downing a few of Nathan’s XXL draft pours. Maybe. -Carly Loman

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If the idea of stuffing your face with hot dogs is more disgusting than delicious, we understand. Maybe you want to enjoy a classy, adult food, like oysters? Consult our OYSTER GUIDE.

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If recently opened restaurants, brand new donut shops, hot dog eating contests and oysters aren’t doing it for you, stick with a winner. It’s why we covered the 2014 RAMMY AWARDS. Click on this lovely plate of cupcakes and read about all the places you’ll want to eat…

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MUSIC

Back in the Day: DJ Who, Slant, Simon & Sinestro, Ray Casil @ U Street Music Hall July 4

UHall’s BACK IN THE DAY party series stars the brilliant local talent that helped raise the DC club scene to unimaginable heights in the days before the EDM boom of recent years. The whole lineup is solid, but the real gems to watch are Simon & Sinestro. Scene stalwarts who currently put together the monthly hard techno showcase COMPOSITE at 9:30’s Backbar, the two are best known for being the ambassadors of electroclash. Electroclash still stands as one of the two biggest influences (the other being the early 2000’s iteration of dubstep) on the development of electronic music over the last 15 years, giving rise to what eventually became fidget and the electro sound that permeates spots like Echostage. The sound percolated out of turn-of-the-century-economic-downturn,-9/11-end-of-the-90’s-boom angst, reviving 80’s electro and synthpop and mashing it with 90’s dark techno and an ironic (ironic in the actual dark, tragic sense that plays with language and cultural motifs to garish and horrifying effect) pop sensibility that cast doubt on everything. They ran the city for years with the SLEAZE series of parties, bringing a sound to DC that you couldn’t hear anywhere outside of Larry Tee’s parties in New York. Can’t remember any of this/Not one million years old? Check out the soundtrack to the 2003 movie Party Monster, the story of club promoter Michael Alig’s rise and fall (he was recently released from prison), for a quick brush-up. Don’t go expecting them to play the stuff–that was a decade ago–but do expect them to bring a refreshing take on techno, a sound we don’t get enough of in DC. – Legba Carrefour

Ought @ Black Cat July 8

Every few years, a record comes along that makes you think, “Oh right, I still really care about indie rock.” Not “indie rock” in the way that it’s come to mean everything aside from Shakira and Usher, to the point where Haerts can tell BYT with a straight face that Columbia Records has “a lot of indie bands” on its roster. No. Fuck that.  Guitar, bass, drums, some keyboard – played with some degree of urgency, and, yes, usually released by an independent label. There is, of course, plenty of great indie rock being made right now. But not every record can make you feel like you’re 14 and discovering this shit for the first time. Ought’s More Than Any Other Day is one of those records. And while these guys were honing their sound in Montreal for the past few years – gaining enough cred to sign with post-rock biggie Constellation Records – this summer marks its first real tour of any kind. This stop at Black Cat’s Backstage – opening for Dub Thompson (!) – is a can’t miss. -Phil Runco

Viet Cong @ DC9 July 9

Speaking of Canadian post-punk, it’s hard to believe that almost four years have passed since Women visited DC9, touring behind its unfuckwithable Public Strain. (“Eyesore”, forever and ever.) A few weeks after that performance, the Calgary band would abruptly go on hiatus – a hiatus it would never come back from with the passing of the band’s Christopher Reimer in early 2012. In the time since then, former Women guitarist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace have made music as Viet Cong, but they’ve been slow to air much out  aside from the occasional rough mix and a tour-only cassette. That’ll change with a full-length debut later this year, but before then Mexican will rerelease that tour cassette – cheekily titled Cassette EP – and a tour that kicks off in DC on July 9th, appropriately enough, at DC9. The EP’s first singles – the stunning “Static Wall” and “Oxygen Feed” – peel back Women’s serrated guitars and feedback to more plainly reveal the 60s garage pop and Beach Boys affection that Flegel has always fostered. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a whole record of such serenity, but I don’t think anyone would really want that either. -Phil Runco

Wild Beasts / Mutual Benefit @ 9:30 July 12

“Locked up inside / I’m the thing you fenced in,” Tom Fleming croons in his impossibly suave tenor on “Nature Boy”, the second track of Wild Beasts fourth record, Perfect Tense. Locked up is where the English act finds itself for most of the record – keeping the histrionics and caterwauling that defined its first two records (2008’s Limbo, Panto and 2009’s Two Dancers) under wraps. The restraint is a continuation of the band’s approach on 2011’s Smother, but there’s a big difference between Smother and Perfect Tense: The latter is a lot of fun. It’s seedy and lecherous – an almost voyeuristic experience. Musically, the thing oozes sensuality, its beefed-up synths and electronics adding layers of drama and surging momentum without vocalists Fleming and Hayden Thorpe ever raising the temperature above a simmer. It’s some tantric shit. And if I was 15, I’d be hiding Perfect Tense under my mattress and hoping mom didn’t find it – much like I did Pulp’s This is Hardcore in 1998. Wild Beasts haven’t attained Pulp’s level of notoriety in the UK, obviously, but they are used to playing headlining slots on festival stages. When you get the opportunity to see that kind of act at a venue like 9:30 Club, you take it. -Phil Runco

Hamilton Leithauser @ The Hamilton July 13

In a recent piece for The Talkhouse, Hamilton Leithauser cataloged all the ailments he endured as frontman of the beloved Walkmen: Machine Gunner’s Ear from consistent, close exposure to Fender Twin amplifiers;, lung damage from a poorly ventilated Lollapalooza after-party; a facial scarring from a pint glass to the face; polyps in his throat, presumably from screaming his face off every night for months at a time. And that’s just the physical stuff. There’s also his “black terror,” an “acknowledgement of unavoidable defeat,” the “staring into some sort of infinity.”

All in all, it’s pretty devastating stuff, but as a preface to his solo debut, Black Hours, it’s a bit of a red herring: It is not a tough record to enjoy. In fact, front to back, it is the most immediately gratifying LP he’s ever made. Even when things get heavy – “I retired from my war / No one knows what I was fighting for / I don’t even know myself anymore,” he sings on “I Retired” – there’s a buoyancy to the music, which draws from across American landscape (country & western; big band orchestration; doo-wop; polyrhythmic Latin). Credit goes in part to his choice of collaborators, most notably studio whiz Richard Swift, in addition to Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, and the Walkmen’s Paul Maroon. But, ultimately, it comes down to that voice, and as long as he’s using it, you should be listening. -Phil Runco

Reigning Sound Shattered released July 15

“Merge [Records] has really started going after rock ‘n’ bands again,” Flesh Wounds frontman Montgomery Morris told BYT recently. “They were doing sort of a really poppy thing for a while – putting out She & Him records and that kind of stuff – but within the last year, they’ve really been getting back to their roots.”

Looking at recent releases from Mikal Cronin, Ex Hex, and Morris’ Flesh Wounds, you can certainly see his point, but the idea of the venerable label getting back to its “roots” in its 25th year goes beyond the type of music its releasing. Merge has also double-downed on the acts from its home state. In the next few months, it’ll put out LPs by three recent North Carolina signees: Hiss Golden Messenger, Spider Bags, and Greg Cartwright’s throwback rock outfit Reigning Sound.

Shattered is Reigning Sound’s first record since 2009, and the amount of time its moseyed to get here is reflected in its patient and assured sound. Recorded at Daptone’s House of Soul in Brooklyn, the album boasts flourishes of strings and brass, and it is absolutely lathered in the warmth of dusty organ. The whole thing feels frozen in time, in the best possible way. Fans of Sharon Jones, early Black Keys, and Van Morrison should take notice.  -Phil Runco

Woman’s Hour Conversations released July 15

Secretly Canadian Records describes Woman’s Hour as “swoon pop,” which surely should earn the Indiana label some kind of Best New Music Descriptor honors. And, hey, if the shoe fits, wear it: Everything we’ve heard so far from the London quartet has been lush, romantic, and subtly refined pop music delivered a few decibels above a whisper. From its songs to its visuals, Woman’s Hour is a band that seems to be entering the world fully formed. -Phil Runco

Queens of the Stone Age, St. Vincent, Brode Dalle @ Merriweather Post Pavilion July 17

QOTSA for the people that like riffs, St. Vincent for the people that like guitar godding, Brode Dally for the people that like Courtney Love without the horrible addiction spiral. Something for the bros, the art school grads, the now mothers that once shopped exclusively at Hot Topic. I’m going to play so much air drums. -Brandon Wetherbee

Camera Obscura @ 9:30 Club July 18

Over the course of a dozen years, Camera Obscura has compiled a murder’s row of singles: “If Looks Could Kill”, “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heart Broken”, “French Navy”, “The Sweetest Thing”, “Let’s Get Out of the Country”,”“Eighties Fan”, “Do It Again”, “Break It To You Gently”, “Teenager”. So, the idea of Tracyanne Campbell and co. whittling their catalog – plus a fair representation from last year’s solid Desire Lines – down to 45 minute set seems a little cruel for both the band and its fans. But sometimes a higher-up decides you need to hit that She & Him demo, and you gotta do what you gotta do. Thankfully, almost exactly a year later, the Scottish band is making another visit to town, where they’ll get a proper chance to put all the facets of its sound – northern soul, country, beach rock, twee, chamber pop – on display for a night. -Phil Runco

Mac Demarco @ 9:30 Club July 19

Mac Demarco draws from a somewhat narrow sonic palette; he can come off as aloof and distant on record; and he has a history of shaky live performances.  These aren’t necessarily bad things (I like Demarco’s work), but they also don’t scream, “Crossover success.” And yet here we are: Mac Demarco is playing the 9:30 Club and this show has been sold out for over a month. 2014, people! We built this!

As a side note, if you haven’t watched his Pitchfork documentary “Peperoni Playboy”, you should, because Demarco comes off as one of most likable people on the planet. I wish more of that personality made it’s way into his music. -Phil Runco

The Clientele @ Black Cat July 22

Over four years have passed since The Clientele last visited DC, but it feels as if it’s been much longer. In fact, most fans of the London band probably thought a return would never happen. The Clientele didn’t appear to split acrimoniously, but there was a sense of finality to the break-up. In interviews, Alasdair MacLean spoke about how its fifth LP – the lovely and auburn-hued Bonfires on the Heath – closed out the circle of the act’s career. “I think if the next record, this record, makes us rich, we’ll [still] be together,” he said. Obviously, it didn’t.

And so it was a pleasant surprise when the Clientele seemed to reunite this year with the ease of flipping a light switch. First came a one-off show in Brooklyn for Chickfactor 22 in March, then two new songs for Merge Record’s 25th anniversary subscription 7″ series – both of which are incredible. Keeping the ball rolling, they’ll travel to the States for the Marge’s festival in North Carolina this month, and while they’re over here, they’ll play a handful of shows. Inside kids of the world rejoice!

Will this be your last chance to see the Clientele? When I interviewed MacLean a few weeks ago, he indicated they’d been writing new material, so maybe not. Should you take that risk? Absolutely not. -Phil Runco

Common Nobody Smiling released July 22

There’s plenty reason to be skeptical about Nobody Smiling, a concept record about violence in Chicago by a 42 year-old emcee/actor/model whose everyday existence is pretty far removed from the realities of Auburn Gresham. When Kanye called the Midwest young and restless, I don’t think he was talking about the wild, wild Midwest.

At the same time, you have to get at least a little excited at the prospect of Common – “by all means still a dope emcee”, per my Rec-Room colleague Marcus Dowling – teaming with Chicago mainstay No I.D. for an entire record. Meanwhile, the more we hear about the project, the more it seems Common seems to be doing things right, like giving some of Chicago’s rising rappers a big platform (Lil Herb, Dreezy, King L) and showing a good ear for young talent from outside the city (most notable Vince Staples). And the towering six-and-a-half minute “Kingdom” – featuring the aforementioned Odd Future affiliate – is as good a first single as we could expect. My fingers are crossed. -Phil Runco

White Fence For The Recently Found Innocent released July 22

On For The Recently Found Innocent, Tim Presley takes his prolific garage rock / psych folk project White Fence out of his bedroom and into the studio.  Granted, the studio was a converted garage run by occasional collaborator Ty Segall, but he’s taking baby steps. The payoff is immediately apparent on lead single “Like That”, a jangly earworm that Presley recently said he was hesitant to put on tape: “When I first wrote it I was like, ‘Dude, I just wrote a hit,.’ I was almost embarrassed to record it. I almost threw it away. But Ty was like, ‘What about that song?’ So we cut it.” These two are good for each other. -Phil Runco

Beck @ Merriweather Post Pavilion July 24

Beck’s live show is as varied as his entire career. The last time I saw him, he featured at least five drummers and an opening act that was essentially Riverdance to hip-hop. Whether you like “drive-by-body-pierce” Beck or cry in the dark Beck, his live show will have you covered. -Ross Bonaime

Hospitality, Ex-Hex @ Rock & Roll Hotel July 24

The latest installment of Merge’s Or Thousands of Prizes features an alternate version of Hospitality’s “Inauguration”. The original appeared earlier this year on the band’s second LP, Trouble, where it took the form of a spacy ballad that pulsed like a flickering florescent light; the “Super Timeline Version”, meanwhile, comes charging out of the gate in full glam rock regalia. Listening to the songs – and Trouble more generally – you get the sense that for every “Inauguration” that made the record, there are two or three drastically different demos sitting on a computer somewhere. It’s a record of bold choices, and one that I imagine came by way of a lot of trial and error. But those risks have paid off with one of the year’s best indie-pop records – one that’s only gotten better with months in the rotation.A word of advice: See bands when they’re touring on their best records. Don’t wait. Also: See them when Ex Hex is on the line-up too. -Phil Runco

Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty released July 29

“Shabazz Palaces keeps it next level weird,” my Rec-Room colleague Aaron Miller wrote when we gave a listen to “They Come in Gold”, the first single from the Seattle duo’s forthcoming Lese Majesty. This is an accurate statement: Shabazz Palaces has been keeping it next level weird since it emerged mysteriously from the ether in 2009 (and was subsequently revealed to be the work of Digabale Planet’s Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler).  Black Up, its 2011 full-length debut for Sub Pop (!), stands as one of the best rap records over the past five years, a statement equally challenging, mesmerizing, and under it all, heartfelt. As Butler repeats on “Are you…Can you…Were you? (Felt)”: “It’s a feeling / It’s a feeling / It’s a feeling.” With Lese Majesty – a collection of 18 songs spread over seven suites – they’ll look to ascend to a higher plane of weirdness, and you’d be wise to tag along for the ride. -Phil Runco

If you’re in the mood for some live music but don’t really care what the music sounds like but really like to idea of being outside, that’s why we made an OUTDOOR MUSIC GUIDE.

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TELEVISION

Nathan For You season 2 premiere July 1

Nathan For You was by far one of the best comedy premieres of last year and over the year, host Nathan Fielder has become an Internet celebrity, from Dumb Starbucks to posting Instagram pictures with a naked old man jerking off. Season two is absolutely gonna kick up the bits, from allowing kids to buy alcohol before they turn 21 to the aforementioned Starbucks, this season is going to be nuts. -Ross Bonaime

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN6RiAZNJIg

The Strain premieres July 13

Recent horror TV has had it’s ups (Hannibal) and downs (AHS: Coven, ugh) but The Strain has the added bonus of having Guillermo del Toro helping out. FX has been on a roll lately, with Fargo and Louie being two of the best shows this year, so The Strain, a interesting twist on the vampire mythos, is even more exciting at this period of the network. -Ross Bonaime

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqcuyXeN8O8

Ray Donovan season 2 premiere July 13

Liev Schreiber is back as the cleanup guy with a heart of gold! And let’s not forget John Voight as his dysfunctional father. If memory serves the last thing we saw was the Donovan clan covering up the murder of a priest? Solid season 1 closer. Can’t wait for season 2. -Jenn Tisdale

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slqMTLVGU08

Masters of Sex season 2 premiere July 13

Everyone’s favorite show about the female body is back. Lizzie Caplan continues to be the best and Michael Sheen is perfect as someone who is finally not a vampire or werewolf. Fingers crossed that Masters and Johnson get together, together. *wink* -Jenn Tisdale

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQHU3hB0oEw

THEATER

Side Show @ Kennedy Center through July 13

From our review: Side Show possesses a bittersweet quality, from beginning to end, for the audience as well as the Hilton sisters. While it would be easy to say the production ends on a positive note, the heavier undertones of the production’s message leave a weightier thought provoking impact for the astute viewer. The musical is dynamic, and as such, can be enjoyed with a levity and buoyancy that the bleaker history and context do not have to sully. The production and its cast should be given due credit for the headier material addressed within and their impeccable and visually arresting execution throughout.

Capital Fringe Festival runs July 10 – 27

Get artsy at Capital Fringe, an art/performance/theatre festival providing performance space for young, up-and-coming and cutting-edge artists in the area. There will be food, a full bar, and loads of interesting performances. You may not understand everything, but you’ll have a good time. A must for any D.C. resident/art lover/theater fan/person. -Ashlyn Frassinelli

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YB_VIDEOGAMES

The Last of Us: Remastered released July 29

One of the greatest video games of the last console generation, maybe of all time, was Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. While there might not be much to play on the Playstation 4, the updated The Last of Us: Remastered is certainly worth playing through a second time. And if you haven’t played it yet, there’s no better reason to buy a Playstation 4 than this masterpiece. -Ross Bonaime

 

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