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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.

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YB_ADVENTURES

Fitness in Yards Park

July is a perfect month to get your fitness on in the great outdoors. The Yards Park is one of D.C.’s most aesthetically stunning waterfront locations in the city, and every Saturday morning you can join other hot and healthy D.C. residents for a fitness boot camp with DCBFIT. If boot camp isn’t your thing, you can try yoga, zumba and high energy cardio weeknights at 7 p.m. These weekly events are a personal summer favorite of mine, as the class tends to finish up as the sun begins to set over the city. Also, did I mention they are FREE? -Maddie Clybourn

If you’re looking for an adventure and want the satisfaction of helping others, check out our Summer Volunteering Guide

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ART

BEACH @ National Building Museum opens July 4

Remember the giant maze at the National Building Museum? So cool, right? Well, if it is possible, the museum and Snarkitecture (who were responsible for the design of the maze as well) just went and did something even cooler: BEACH spans the great hall (10,000 square feet) and includes an “ocean” of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. BONUS: there is a series of BEACH late nights on Wednesdays during the summer. Pack light. -Svetlana Legetic

rendering courtesy of Snarkitecture and National Building Museum

rendering courtesy of Snarkitecture and National Building Museum

American Moments @ The Phillips Collection open through September 13

July is the most American of all months in America, so it only makes sense to spend the time you spend in Museums celebrating that fact. And this show, celebrating recent photography gifts to the Phillips is a great way to start. From Bruce Davidson to William Christenberry to Arnold Newman and Paul Strand, the 130 photographs on display showcase a time of immense change and transformation in the United States, and allow you to be the fly on the wall of some of the best examples of Modernism, street photography, documentary expression, and photojournalism. -Svetlana Legetic

 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Louis Faurer between 1949 and 1950, image courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Broadway, New York, N.Y. Louis Faurer between 1949 and 1950, image courtesy of The Phillips Collection

BOOKS

We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy by Caseen Gaines now available

As a mega fan of the Back to the Future films I’ve been anxiously awaiting the year 2015 the way most End of Days nuts look forward to the apocalypse. In Back to the Future II Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels to the future, from 1985, and arrives on October 21, 2015. That date will become my new Christmas. Marty McFly, my Jesus. So many Back to the Future-related things have popped up this year including but not limited to the film’s composer producing 15 extra minutes of music for the film that if you’re lucky you can catch live as well as this incredible book about the making of the films. I’ve already ordered it. It arrives July 6th. No one speak to me that day. We may not need roads, but we sure as hell want them. – Jenn Tisdale

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Dietland by Sarai Walker now available

Possibly the one beach read we’ve all been waiting for. On the surface, Sarai Walker wrote a chick lit book. Even worse: a chick lit book about a fat girl (not beating around the bush here, Plum Kettle, at almost 300 pounds IS fat) on the road to self-acceptance. It sounds like it may be trite and syrupy and just sort of an excuse for all of us to feel ok in our bikinis. But it is so much more. Dietland a chick lit book that is ACTUALLY a revenge fantasy, a call to the arms, a novel as complicated and dangerous and compelling as its heroine. Get ready to get angry this summer. In the best, most cathartic possible way. While probably wearing a bikini. -Svetlana Legetic

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Go Set A Watchman By Harper Lee available July 14

Harper Lee’s long awaited second novel Go Set a Watchman is set to come out soon and I’m simultaneously excited and… apprehensive. Go Set a Watchman was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird, and is supposed to focus around adult Scout’s life. When Lee took it to her editor, they suggested she instead focus on the events that happened in Scout’s childhood, and boom, everyone’s favorite book was born. So, you know, what if it’s terrible?! Or even just average?! How disappointing would that be? So disappointing. Not to mention, there have been some weird comments about Lee not being in the right state of mind to consent to the publication of the book. So, that seems a little sketchy. I mean, I’m still mad excited. I’m definitely going to buy it. Let’s be real, we’re all going to buy it. I’m just also a little bit stressed out about it too. -Kaylee Dugan

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Janeane Garofalo @ Black Cat July 11

Janeane Garofalo cannot simply be described as a comic, or an actor because her activism and astute liberal views have permeated both those things. She’s amazing. She’s brilliant. She was in Reality Bites for God’s sake. Seeing her do stand up is not only funny but it’s rewarding and thought-provoking. Also, The Truth About Cats and Dogs is legitimately one of my favorite films. It’s going to be one hell of a fangirl moment for me. – Jenn Tisdale

Sasheer Zamata @ Black Cat  July 31

Current SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata does this one incredibly expressive face that effectively says, without saying anything at all, that everyone in the world is a total idiot. And she’s probably right. If you thought she was hilarious on SNL, she’s even more in her element in “Pursuit of Sexiness,”, her webseries with Nicole Byer. -Tam Sackman

YB_CULTURE

French Festival @ Hillwood, July 11th

Bastille Day is a BIG DEAL in D.C. (also, save the date for the annual French Maid race next to L’Enfant, and keep an eye out for a bevvy of other events and promotions) but nothing is quite going to be AS TRANSPORTING as hanging around Hillwood for their French Festival. There will be: live dance and music performances by New York Baroque Dance Company and Kevin Shannon, whimsical antics of fictitious French Nobles performed by Happenstance Theater, French-inspired games and art projects. AND MORE. -Svetlana Legetic

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DRINK

Capital Wine and Cider Fest @ Union Market and Dock 5 July 11

With over 100 wines, 40 ciders and 15 beers, I will not be missing this wine festival at Dock 5 and Union Market. My memory is a little hazy from last year, but I do recall a ton of people, a ton of great beverages, food, music, dancing, and more. I HIGHLY recommend taking metro and if you live in the burbs, have a designated driver ready at your local station because you will be drunk. Very drunk. -Maddie Clybourn

Brew at the Zoo @ National Zoo July 23

The only thing that would make Drink the District better is if it could somehow incorporate animals into the mix…but that’s why there’s Brew at the Zoo! A weirdo buddy of mine that works at the Reptile House turned me on to this event, and it’s awesome. The night of July 23rd, Brew at the Zoo features samples from more than 70 craft breweries, music from local band The Bachelor Boys, more lawn games, a trolley to ride around on when you can’t walk anymore, annnnd ANIMAL DEMONSTRATIONS. Get hammered, wander the zoo, and check out cool-ass tigers and penguins and pandas and stuff – perfect night. Best part? All proceeds benefit Friends of the National Zoo! Buy your tickets here. -Logan Hollers

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Drink the District @ The Dock July 25

Sometimes I think I drink too much. I’ll pretend I’m going to take a month off, “just to recharge.” Then I’ll remember that D.C. has a badass beer / wine / booze / whatever festival, like, every month. That’s usually when those best-laid plans go right out the goddamn window. This month’s soiree? The 4th Annual Beerfest by Drink the District. July 25th, you’ll find me at The Dock, celebrating beer and summer by swilling down some of DC’s best brews. There’s a shitload of food trucks, all kinds of lawn games (it’s bags, not cornhole), live music, and unlimited tastings of more than 75 different beers. Can’t promise I’ll hit all 75…but I’ll give it a damn good run. Getting your tickets beforehand is way cheaper than buying them at the gate, so snag some early. -Logan Hollers

If you’re just too hot and too thirsty to make plans, remember to check our our Happy Hour Hotline all about alcoholic slushees

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FILM

Amy in theaters July 3

Using archival footage, unseen interviews, and unheard tracks, Amy sets out on an ungrateful task: to tell the story of Amy Winehouse’s rise (and fall) in her own words, years after the beloved but tortured singer left us. Early reviews use words like: “brilliant” and “stunning” and “unmissable” all of which may seem a little too good to be true, but the fact that the film was done by the same folks who brought us SENNA, makes us want to believe. As does the trailer. -Svetlana Legetic

The Gallows in theaters July 10

Look, I get excited about any and every horror movie. When Fearnet was still a thing (RIP, friend) I used to spend all of my time watching it. Now I just use Netflix, but, lets be real, you can never have enough horror films. The Gallows is about a spoooooky play a bunch of high school kids put on. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what the horror movie is about. It’s summertime, which means if you’re not watching a horror movie you’ve 100% failed yourself. So get on it. -Kaylee Dugan

Tangerine in theaters July 10

You may have heard of this movie because it was SHOT ON AN iPHONE. It’s a REAL MOVIE SHOT ON AN iPHONE. This is it, we have entered the future. We could have never done this shit on a palm pilot or whatever people were using like 10 years ago. And if this wasn’t an “only in 2015” enough premise for you, the movie is about two transgender sex workers seeking revenge on one of the girls’ pimp/boyfriend after finding out about his infidelity. I love this year. -Tam Sackman

Ant-Man in theaters July 17

The idea of a big budget Hollywood Ant-Man movie is pretty bananas. Even though he was a founding member of The Avengers (and inventor of Ultron), his roots are firmly planted in the ridiculous camp of the science fiction anthology Tales To Astonish. Stan Lee and successors never quite seemed to know what to do with him, as he changed his costume and identity dozens of times over the years (becoming Giant-Man as early as 1963), and was never as popular as other characters. How were they going to work him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What would it look like? What would the tone be? Well, there was obviously only one way to do it: hire Edgar Wright. Ant-Man quickly went from everyone’s least anticipated project to potentially the greatest super hero movie of all time. Then Disney decided they didn’t have enough money and that they hated art or whatever the fuck so they fired him. Even if Ant-Man ends up being a good movie, it will never be as great as it could have been. It’s like the Jodorowsky’s Dune of spandex. But of course we’re all still gonna go see it. -Cale

Mr. Holmes in theaters July 17

Some may argue that the last thing the world needs is ANOTHER Sherlock Holmes movie, but we’ll argue that what the world ALWAYS needs more of is movies starring Sir Ian McKellan. Here he plays the titular famous detective, caught in the twilight of both his fame and mental ability, who turns to his housekeeper (the always lovely Laura Linney) and her young son in order to remember the circumstances of his last case. A gentle, loving ode to a great, if fictional, man – it may be just the perfect antidote to a blockbuster summer. -Svetlana Legetic

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Trainwreck in theaters July 17

However you feel about Amy Schumer (and we get that you may feel about it all sorts of ways), with all her (fake?) bravado and (not fake?) reverse misogynistic tendencies (which we can’t QUITE bring ourselves to refer to as feminist, so reverse misogyny it is!) she is perfectly cast as the commitmentphobe who finds herself with a nice guy who likes her and she can’t quite figure out why that is the case, or what else to do. Plus, it is high time for a true blue Apatow comedy to hit the big screen again, and Bill Hader is a magical unicorn of a man we’d watch in ANYTHING, and apparently LeBron James is pretty hilarious in it too. This better be one of those “Everybody wins” scenarios. -Svetlana Legetic

The Guest on Netflix July 25

Nobody saw one of the best movies of 2014. The Guest is an insane action/horror movie with an incredible soundtrack. Anyone that saw and lost their mind about Drive or It Follows needs to check this damn thing out when it comes to Netflix instant on July 25th. The less you know about this thing the better so just WATCH IT for GOODNESS SAKES. -Matt Byrne

If you’re on a budget/enjoy the outdoors/like drinking wine in parks, you may want to consult our Outdoor Movie Guide

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food
Ben’s Chili Bowl on H St. opens July 8

The first time I ever visited D.C., I was here for a law school trip. Our last night on the trip, we got all blotto and wandered (what I didn’t know at the time was) U St. As I was stumbling back to my buddy’s house, a heavenly glow emanated from across the street, beckoning my drunk brain in: Ben’s Chili Bowl. Long story short, I ran over, apparently proceeded to stuff my face (memory was long gone at that point), my phone died, I lost my friends and didn’t know where I was in D.C., I briefly slept in a shut-down Metro stop, I found a cop to give me a ride home at 4:00 a.m., I woke up with chili all over my shirt and pants, then I puked on myself while sitting in front of our professor on the plane ride back to South Dakota. Needless to say, I’m a pretty big fan of Ben’s. That’s why I’m psyched for the new location to open on H St. July 8th! Is it the greatest half-smoke in D.C.? Absolutely not. Will it always, always bring back an awesome memory that makes me laugh my ass off as I’m housing chili-cheese fries at 3:00 in the morning? Absolutely. Welcome to NE, Ben’s. I’ve been waiting. -Logan Hollers

Bonus: no Cosby portrait! -ed.

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Dinner Lab @ Smithsonian July 9, July 23

In a city where access is at a premium, Smithsonian is launching a new dinner series where you don’t know where you’re eating, don’t know who you’re eating with and out-of-town Chefs excited to exercise their (often Michelin starred) muscles for a D.C. audience (first up is Geoff Lukas). The privilege does not come cheap ($160 promo price, $190 regular) but the evenings are pretty exclusive (only up to 100 tickets available per event) can you really put a price on memories and bragging rights, right? -Svetlana Legetic

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Dinner with the Distillers @ Granville Moore’s July 14

One Eight Distillery of NE is hosting a Dinner at Granville Moore’s pub with Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Kermisch preparing a four course meal paired with signature One Eight cocktails crafted by distillers Alex Luafer and Max Hames. The opportunity to mingle with food pros, ask questions and gain insight into your meal prep is a foodie’s dream. At only $60 per ticket (including tax and tip) this is a rare opportunity for any food and drink lover. Tickets go on sale July 1st.- Maddie Clybourn

MUSIC

Aye Nako The Blackest Eye available July 10

Aye Nako’s 2013 self-released debut, Unleash Yourself, was a hugely underrated collection of LGBTQ friendly, melodic pop punk with a decidedly activist bend. Their followup, an EP called The Blackest Eye, is coming out this month on the Don Giovanni label, home to such DIY breakouts as Downtown Boys, Waxahatchee, and Screaming Females. If there’s any justice in this dumb world, their new home will hopefully expose them to a wider audience who will be as SUPER on board with this band as I am. -Matt Byrne

Superchunk Come Pick Me Up reissue available July 10

Merge Records’ campaign to make the entirety of Superchunk’s catalog available on vinyl continues with the upcoming reissue of Come Pick Me Up, their excellent, Jim O’Rourke produced seventh album, originally released in 1999. The album is covered front to back with baroque orchestration and artful pop flourishes, lending a more delicate, textural feel to their guitar-driven indie pop. This is for SURE one of MY personal favorite Superchunk LPs, and boy am I excited to finally pick it up on vinyl, which comes with a download for a handful of bonus acoustic and demo tracks, which is also VERY EXCITING. -Matt Byrne

SOAK @ DC9 July 12

SOAK is SO good. Her debut album, Before We Forgot How to Dream is melancholy and sweet and incredibly mature considering she is 18-damn-years-old. Her sound is minimally processed and quiet–there are very few buildups or crescendos and a relative lack of percussion except a few shakers– but if you lean in and listen it is so worth it. No one will dance at this show, but no one will talk either. -Tam Sackman

Elvis Depressedly and Mitski @ DC9 July 14

To be honest, I’m going to this show for Mitski. She is one of the most interesting figures in contemporary indie rock, breeding this fascinating feminist defiance into both her shouty anthems and whispered, deep slow burns. Her songs are like a lyrical response to a pushy, persistent friend asking you “whats wrong?” when they really don’t care what the answer is. Elvis Depressedly is pretty good, too, if you like songs about being disappointed, which, admittedly, I do. They’re number nine on Paper Magazine’s list of Ten Sad Alt-Bro Bands That Should Play at Bon Iver’s Music Festival. -Tam Sackman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFr3vRai90

Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell Sing Into My Mouth available July 17

Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam and Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses have teamed up for a one-off covers album available July 17th called Sing Into My Mouth, featuring warm, countrified versions of tracks by bands from across the musical spectrum, from Talking Heads to the Marshall Tucker Band and from Sade to Spiritualized. It’s a charmingly tossed off collection of songs from a pair of acclaimed songwriters, and great mix tape fodder to boot. -Matt Byrne

Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions @ Wolf Trap, July 18th

To quote our BYT NYC recap of this experience at Madison Square Garden: “Hi, I am a twenty-seven-year-old human, and I am not afraid to say that the Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions show was one of the BEST concerts I have EVER been to. This is a bold statement seeing as I go to concerts ALL OF THE TIME, but it was totally the perfect storm of all things perfect: seated show (because I am a person who appreciates sitting), nostalgia factor (like re-living fourth grade all over again), rad all-ages audience (costumes and general excitement slash enthusiasm galore), AMAZING musical performance (ON FLEEK, Y’ALL)…I mean, I could go on and on and on, here.” GO.

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Skylar Spence @ DC9 July 23

Pop music is in a terrible place right now, and I think Skylar Spence (formerly Saint Pepsi) might be one of the few that could save us. Spence’s shimmering electrofunk features nostalgia-inducing basslines with futuristic synths and drum pads. This is probably what disco felt like to people that disco mattered to. It doesn’t really matter what he’s singing about because the music takes precedence- it’s funky and it’s dancey and it’s different. We need Skylar Spence right now. Or maybe it’s just me. -Tam Sackman

Laura Marling @ 9:30 Club July 31

How about rounding out July by gently weeping to the sound of folky guitars and the occasional mandolin? Laura Marling’s been pumping out quality albums every couple of years since 2008 (did I mention she’s only 25?), and with each new one she makes me feel as if there is increasingly less hope in this horrid world, which I totally dig. I also feel like she might have one of those really big booming drums that one person hits repeatedly while standing. She’ll be joined by Johnny Flynn and Marika Hackman. -Tam Sackman

If you’d rather not pay a cover, make sure to consult our Free Outdoor Music Guide

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TELEVISION

Rectify season 3 available on Netflix on July 9

Rectify is the best TV show of the last decade. It’s a deliberately paced Southern gothic slow burner that’s sort of like if the first season of True Detective wasn’t a cop drama and was directed by Terrence Malick. Season Three begins on July 9th, which gives you some time between now and then to binge on the first two seasons which are currently streaming on Netflix. Please watch this show. It’s a nearly perfect little thing. -Matt Byrne

I Was Possessed premieres on Lifetime July 11

I Was Possessed is a new series on Lifetime (THIS CHANNEL IS REALLY NAILING IT LATELY) which chronicles modern-day possessions and exorcisms. This ain’t your mama’s rotating head and vomiting pea soup. This is the real deal, if you can believe it. It premieres July 11th and if the power of Christ compels me I’ll be watching. – Jenn Tisdale

Last Comic Standing returns to NBC July 22

The ninth season of Last Comic Standing, the American Idol of stand up comedy, premieres July 22nd. The show that brought you (and then kicked off) comics like Amy Schumer, Todd Glass, and James Adomian, returns with a batch of 100 prospective comedians awaiting criticism from judges Norm Macdonald, Roseanne Barr, and Keenen Ivory Wayans. -Matt Byrne

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

If you’re sick of watching Seinfeld on Hulu, make sure you check out our very extensive Essential Sitcom Streaming Guide

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THEATER

Capital Fringe Festival runs July 9 through August 2

The annual Capital Fringe Festival gives every former theatre groupie the opportunity to tap into their nostalgia for the low-budget theatrical productions they used to attend in college. DC has an amazing theatre community beyond the big name venues (Shakespeare, Studio, Arena, etc.), and July is the month that the weirdos really get to strut their stuff. This year the shows range from the weird and experimental, to the more traditional adaptations of classics. I am particularly excited to see Blind Pug Arts Collective’s adaptation of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and “The Second Coming of Joan of Arc,” which promises a reinvention of Joan of Arc as a queer, feminist radical (something I can always get behind). Even if you were never a theatre groupie, Capitol Fringe Fest is a good way to inject a little culture into your summer, or just sound really cool when you tell your friends you saw a one-man show about God before there was light. -Erin Crandell

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Once @ Kennedy Center opens July 7

It is a great month for musicals in D.C. and Once is top of our list because this deceptively simple (but breathtaking), eight-time 2012 Tony Award–winning film-turned-musical is probably the most heartfelt, gorgeous few hours you’ll spend in a theatre this month. Just make sure to pack a lot of tissues. -Svetlana Legetic

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Dear Evan Hansen @ Arena Stage opens July 10

Summer is looking good for musicals in D.C. (bears repeating) and and Dear Evan Hansen is also top of our list, mainly because Ben Platt (aka Benji from Pitch Perfect, because YES IT IS HIM. He was also in Book of Mormon too) stars as Evan Hansen a young man is about to get everything he’s ever wanted: the girl of his dreams, the perfect family he’s always longed for and a chance to finally fit in. He just has to hope that his chance to connect isn’t blown by the secrets he has to conceal. And then a letter arrives…. And Yes, it is a musical. -Svetlana Legetic

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Silence! The Musical @ Studio Theatre opens July 15

Holy shit, you guys. Studio Theatre is doing Silence! The Musical this month. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a musical retelling of the movie / book Silence of the Lambs and it’s just as weird as you think it would be. I hate musicals a lot and I loved it (possibly a little too much) when I saw it in New York a couple of years ago. There is an entire song dedicated to whether or not Hannibal Lecter can smell Clarice Starling’s vagina. It’s amazing. I loved every minute of it and I’m sure you will too. -Kaylee Dugan

Varekai by Cirque du Soleil opens July 22

Another summer, another magical cirque show coming to the D.C. (area). This time around, in lieu of a Big Top it lands at Patriot Center which will be transformed into a magical forest filled with enchanted creatures. To get a sense for all the magic ahead, take a gander at some of our previous behindthescenes stories of previous D.C. show reiterations. You may THINK you are too cool for Cirque, but trust us – you’re not. -Svetlana Legetic

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