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Our final party of the summer, a chance to watch things explode safely from a distance, baseball’s best and heavy metal make July 2018 Your Best Month. The following contains 31+ picks to make your July the best.

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Your Best Months of 2018 are all presented in partnership with our friends and partners at Hilton

Heavy Metal @ National Musuem of Women in the Arts now open

It doesn’t get more Renaissance Festival than metalwork. In fact I’d say these artists are the new iron maidens. -Jenn Tisdale

Fun House @ National Building Museum opens July 4

D.C. has a lot of fantastic summer traditions. Fireworks on the Mall, the Folklife Festival, free outdoor movie screenings throughout the city and a massive influx of clueless tourists are just a handful of the fun things we look forward to when the weather starts to warm up. In the past few years, the National Building Museum has created their own summer tradition by transforming their beautiful space into a grand interactive exhibition that becomes the belle of everyone’s Instagram ball. The wonderfully named Snarkitecture created the 2016 installation THE BEACH and they’re back again for FUN HOUSE which looks just as delightfully weird. Not all of the tourists know about the Building Museum yet (probably because you can’t see it from the Mall) so get there soon and enjoy one of the most underrated museums in the city while you still can! -Kaylee Dugan


Sense of Humor @ National Gallery of Art opens July 15

For something so essential to the human experience, humor’s representation in art has always been relegated to the less-glamorous world of prints. I won’t pretend to know why that is, but if I had to guess I’d say that art, specifically in painting and sculpture, has an aura of seriousness to it; an aura that is strictly mature and too adult to loosen up to the childish inhibitions of humor. And while humor is universal, its impact on an external audience is grounded in much more subjectivity than feelings of grief and contemplation. The Sense of Humor collection at the National Gallery of Art shines a much-needed light on the importance of humor in art, showcasing works by artists such Francisco Goya, Saul Steinberg, and William Hogarth to drive a discussion about humor’s parity and importance as an artistic emotion. -Ruben Gzirian

Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World by Annie Lowrey available July 10

The mainstreaming of radical leftist political thought over the last two years continues with the new book from political and economic journalist Annie Lowrey, Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World. A much needed argument for decency, empathy, and wealth redistribution, Lowrey presents a shockingly simple solution to many complex issues that haunt modern life. -Matt Byrne

Just a Shot Away: Peace, Love, and Tragedy with the Rolling Stones at Altamont by Saul Austerlitz available July 10

Entertainment writer Saul Austerlitz’s new book Just a Shot Away: Peace, Love, and Tragedy with the Rolling Stones at Altamont zeroes in on the traumatic flashpoint that quickly became a symbolic end to the idealism of the 1960s. The book takes a deep dive on the micro and macro effects this event had, through interviews with the family of Meredith Hunter, who was killed by a member of Hells Angels security team, to reflections from cultural theorists like John Burks and Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner. -Matt Byrne

Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry by Florence Welch available July 10

If anyone on this earth is a real live witch, it’s probably Florence Welch, the visionary behind Florence + The Machine (what a shocker). Her aesthetic has always leaned towards very fashionable fortune teller so it’s no surprise that her book of lyrics and poetry looks like something that would look nice next to your Rider Waite deck. It doesn’t hurt that the title is a riff off of one of the best worst 90’s romantic comedies either. -Kaylee Dugan


District of Comedy Festival @ The Kennedy Center  July 19 – 21

The Kennedy Center’s comedy festival is back and with it comes some old funny (Patton Oswalt), new funny (Jo Firestone and Friends), borrowed funny (maybe not, stealing jokes is a COMEDY SIN) and Bernie funny (James Adomian as Bernie Sanders should not be missed). -Jenn Tisdale

The Bentzen Ball Podcast Studio returns to the District of Comedy Festival on July 20 with That’s So Retrograde and July 21 with Employee of the Month with Catie Lazarus


Patton Oswalt @ The Kennedy Center July 21

Patton Oswalt has always reminded me of that nerdy overweight high school kid sitting in the back of class penning in his journal about just how ridiculous and dim-witted everyone around him is. Add an appropriate helping of blunt self-deprecation, and what you have is a comedian capable of breaking down any topic with levels of depth and “did he really say that?” moments. If you need proof, just listen to his bit about Florida from 2014’s Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time. And while Oswalt’s talent stretches across eight comedy albums, six stand-up specials, and more than 50 movies, his greatest talent will be to demonstrate how he uses his God-given comedic abilities to maneuver the sensitive topic of the sudden 2016 passing of his late-wife Michelle McNamara. Grief has a way of changing one’s perspective, of altering the world outside and inside of you; Oswalt’s talent will surely grapple with that, resulting in evolved and more personal stand-up. -Ruben Gzirian

5th Annual Port City Pub Crawl July 7

BeerYoga, themed trivia nights, Joggers & Loggers, Pedals ‘n’ Pints, release parties: There is always something going on at Port City Brewing. No brewery inside the Beltway embraces programming – and the idea of the brewery as a community hub – like the Virginia operation. But its biggest annual event occurs outside the brewery, across the bars and restaurants of its neighborhood waterfront. Yes, it early July, so it is time for the Old Town Pub Crawl.

Here’s the deal: Participants have from 1:30 to 6:00 to visit eight respected Alexandria establishments (click the link above for the full list), collect a stamp from each, and then head to the Port City tent (at the corner of King and Union) to receive a commemorative glass. (While supplies last!) (But seriously, they ran out two years ago.)

Now in its fifth year, this day-drinking odyssey is an intuitional DC-area event. And for the first year, there’s an after-party (at Murphy’s), so the fun doesn’t have to stop. If you want my humbly offered advice, order glasses of the German Pilsner (a Lager Series standouts), the recently unveiled Ideaal Tripel (dangerously #crushable at 8.5%), and Derecho Common (one of the area’s best summer seasonals). And make an effort to find Ed Grant – a cat aficionado, longtime Dolfan, and BYT’s favorite beer slinger. -Phil Runco

Piña Colada Festival @ Colada Shop July 10 through 22

With its big outdoor patio and beautiful new rooftop, Colada Shop is setting themselves up to be one of D.C.’s go to summer drinking destinations. Their drinks are always on point, their Cubans already have a cult following, so it’s no surprise that they’re celebrating their second anniversary with a Piña Colada festival. Swing by on the 10th to suck down four different boozy variations on the drink while you snack on free Cuban snacks and develop mouth ulcers from the amount of pineapple you’re eating! Even if you’re busy on the 10th, Colada Shop will be offering all four drinks until the 22nd, so you have more than enough time to develop a crippling Piña Colada addiction. -Kaylee Dugan

Dine n' Dash 2018

Crooked Run 5 Year Anniversary Party July 14

As we pointed out earlier this year, one of the big takeaways from BYT’s 2017 Beer in Review was that beer directors and brewers alike love Crooked Run Brewing. This isn’t a big surprise: The Virginia brewery does a number of styles very well, including hazy (and adventurously adjunct’d) IPAs, kettle and barrel-aged sours, and wild ales. It also makes a mighty fine pilsner in the form of the Southern Hemisphere-hopped Cruise Control.

On July 14, Crooked Run will celebrate its five-year anniversary. (That’s five years since the Leesburg nanobrewery opened; founders Jake Endres and Lee Rogan opened a larger production facility in Sterling just a year ago.) It will celebrate this occasion at both of its locations. At the Sterling spot (which shares a space with a doooooope taqueria), they’ll have live music and a cask tent. In Leesburg, they’ll be offering a “special sour tap list.” They’ll also be dropping some cans of Starfire (a sour DIPA with passion fruit) and Noriega (a triple IPA with pineapple), plus bottles of Glory (a “big stout” aged in Woodford rye barrels). Speaking of sour IPAs, we chatted with Endres about his stellar Raspberry Empress for our round-up of the area’s best spring beers. -Phil Runco

UNION 6th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Opening July 28

UNION Craft Beer came here to do two things: crush beer and celebrate momentous occasions. And they’re all out of-

Wait, no, they still have plenty of beer. But they also have plenty to celebrate. The Baltimore operation –a top 3 area brewery for my money – is turning six! And, holy shit, they just opened their new brewery location at the Union Collective (a project they spearheaded!). It’s been a big year! I’m gonna keep making it rain exclamation points!!!

If you’ve never been to a UNION event, these guys know how to do them right. New beers, vintage beers, live music, local food – they’ve got all the angles covered. Unsurprisingly, this party sold out, like, six weeks in advance, but maybe you can find someone looking to offload a ticket or two. And if you can’t, go check out the new space another day. From traditional German styles to hop-forward ales to zippy kettle sours, there is nothing that head brewer Kevin Blodger hasn’t perfected. -Phil Runco

Ant-Man and The Wasp in theaters July 6

It’s hard to give a damn about Ant-Man and The Wasp in the wake of the events of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War (at this point it’s been months, so not going to say “spoiler alert”. Watch the damn movie). The death of so many beloved characters was a real gut punch, no matter how many of those might be reversed in next year’s sequel, and the tone of that last movie was somewhat nihilistic. So, coming out with this buddy-comedy/action movie as the immediate next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems a little…strange? Tone-deaf? That being said, Ant-Man was a relatively small-profile property for Marvel and Disney, driven by Paul Rudd’s incredible charm, goofy sense of humor, and everyman good looks. Add in Evangeline Lily – who was truly the best part of Lost – as his co-star, and it should be a fun, light film set before the events of Infinity War that hopefully gives us some more shading into the broader MCU. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter premiers on Netflix July 6

Jody Hill’s latest feature, The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter, starring Josh Brolin and Danny McBride, comes to Netflix this month. Initial reviews have not been kind to this father-son bonding flick from the team that recently wrapped up HBO’s near-perfect Vice Principals, but it’s still probably worth a watch if you’re at all a fan of Hill and McBride’s gleefully vulgar oeuvre. -Matt Byrne

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot in theaters July 13

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot finds auteur filmmaker Gus Van Sant in his crowd-pleasing biopic mode, bringing the life of celebrated underground cartoonist John Callahan to the big screen. The film follows Callahan, a suitably intense Joaquin Phoenix, as he enters treatment for alcoholism and discovers his love for art and comedy, with the help of his sponsor, played by Jonah Hill. -Matt Byrne

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind premiers on HBO July 17

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, HBO’s intimate portrait of the life of an extremely creative and engaging performer doesn’t shy away from the darkness that haunted him throughout his life. Both a celebration of his work and an exploration of his demons, this is a must-see for comedy lovers. -Matt Byrne

Cinemetery: Jurassic Park @ Congressional Cemetery July 20

There are so many great outdoor movie series in D.C., but Cinemetery easily takes the cake. Once a month the District’s beautiful Congressional Cemetery plops a giant screen in the middle of their graveyard and breaks out the popcorn machine. This month they’re playing Jurassic Park, which is 1. Not too spooky, so this is the perfect way to convince your lamer friends to come hang out in a cemetery and 2. Should help clear your brain of the nightmare that is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom! Like with most movie screenings, we highly recommend you BYOB, just be respectful. It is still a cemetery after all. -Kaylee Dugan

Cupcake Wars DC @ Studio 52 July 8

Have you ever wanted to see how the sausage is made and spend an afternoon effectively living inside of the bad TV you watch when you’re too stoned on a Sunday? Good, because DC Cupcake Wars is here whether you like it or not. 12 lucky bakers will make two varieties of cupcakes in the hope of winning $500 and, more importantly, an insane amount of bragging rights. As an audience member, you’ll definitely get to taste some of that good sugar so come hungry and ready to watch people duke it out with their Kitchen Aide blenders. Or something. -Kaylee Dugan

Taste of the Titanic @ National Geographic Museum July 25

There isn’t too much information on this event (at least nothing I could find within 30 seconds of Googling) but it sounds absolutely wild. The folks at National Geographic are taking you on a culinary trip through time and teaming up with some of the best restaurants in the city to serve you menu items from the actual titanic. From the “hearty fare” in third class (they’re talking about grule, right?) to the bougie meals in first class, get ready to live out your Jack and Rose fantasies. Minus the steamy nude painting scene. That would be weird. -Kaylee Dugan –

Janelle Monáe @ Chicago Theatre July 5, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden July 18, The Anthem July 20

There few artists who require listening based on the quality of their music AND the importance of their message. Janelle Monáe is one of those artists. Her music has always had a futuristic production dialect that spoke to a greater purpose behind inventive and expansive albums such as 2010’s The ArchAndroid. Her most recent album, 2018’s Dirty Computer, has kept this trend alive and well but elevated the importance of Monáe’s music by creating a lyrical narrative that extols the triumph of an artist who has found her voice since recently coming out as pansexual. Tracks like “I Like That” and “Django Jane” lull you in with recognizable sound compositions, but force you to take notice when Janelle uses recognition to garner attention. This sort of understanding of how to pair music with narrative without sacrificing either has garnered her praise from luminaries such as Outkast and Prince. -Ruben Gzirian

The EEPHUS Tour-27

Mock Identity record release @ Black Cat July 5

You should probably listen to more local music. Not only are the shows cheaper, but there is a lot of great stuff flying underneath everyone’s radar. Case in point: Mock Identity, a post-hardcore supergroup, is the rare punk band with enough anger, experimentation, and melody to make me reconsider pulling the word “angular” out of retirement. They’re also joined by Puff Pieces, a punk band with a drummer that has to be seen to be believed. -Alan Zilberman

Chelsea Jade @ Mercury Lounge July 9

I haven’t seen Chelsea Jade live since probably…I don’t even know, four or five years ago? It was during CMJ (when that still existed), so definitely ancient history, but her performance was a stand-out for me back then, and seeing as I still massively dig her tunes, I’m V. EXCITED for her to be back for a show. (Bonus – the homie pronoun is opening for her!) -Megan Burns

Slum Village @ Subterranean July 12, Songbyrd July 16, Highland Ballroom July 19

The relevance surrounding present-day Slum Village is very much stuck in the past. At its height, the Detroit group functioned on the outskirts of mainstream hip hop, powered by the legendary futuristic mind-bending production of the late-J Dilla. And while J Dilla is/was the reason most people even know who Slum Village are, the true hip hop fan will also recognize that his partners in crime, rappers Baatin and T3, were just as unique, floating through J Dilla’s production with a finesse stuck in time. Unfortunately, of the original line up, only T3 is still alive, but that shouldn’t preclude you from experiencing them. Everything about Slum Village was different, and songs like “I Don’t Know” and “Fall in Love” remind you just how much potential they had until fate had other plans. -Ruben Gzirian

MOURN @ Baby’s All Right July 18, DC9 July 19

Spanish band MOURN just released their third LP Sorpresa Familia, and they’ll be hitting the road for some North American gigs (including one at Empty Bottle in Chicago in August, for any of you who are reading this from ye olde Windy City) in support of the new tunes. The tracks are fast ‘n furious (only one clocks in at over three minutes in length), so you’ve got plenty of time to throw the record on repeat between now and when they roll through for the shows. DO IT! -Megan Burns

The Internet Hive Mind available July 20

The Internet might be the best damn band out there today. Despite further changes to their lineup – keyboard player Jameel Bruner left last year to focus on his solo project – the soul/R&B group led by Syd and Matt Martians continues to produce some of the slickest, most inventive tunes. Guitarist Steve Lacy and bassist Patrick Paige II are also finding their grooves as songwriters and contributors, and they’ve tapped into a vibrant groove making music to soundtrack all of your sultry summer nights. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Read our 2015 interview with The Internet

Jaws in Concert @ Wolf Trap July 21

While I know this is clearly the score to Jaws being performed in concert, a very small, hopeful part of me hopes the shark is performing at Wolf Trap. – Jenn Tisdale

Raphael Saadiq @ Pitchfork Music Fest July 20, Lincoln Center Out of Doors July 25, The Kennedy Center July 27

Throwing around the title of “royalty” in any genre is a dangerous game, but sometimes it’s just so obvious that it’s not even worth debating. In the realm of R&B, Raphael Saadiq has that title. Don’t feel bad if you know who Raphael Saadiq is. Before there was Miguel, before there was D’Angelo, before there was R. Kelly, there was Raphael Saadiq. Starting as a member of the 1980s/1990s group Tony! Toni! Toné, Saadiq has built a career on an uncanny recognition of musical trends and how those trends relate back to his love of soul and funk. To this day his 2011 album The Way I See It is still the best Motown album not made before 1980. In addition to his own career, Saadiq has directly influenced the careers of other legends; he wrote or produced D’Angelo’s “Lady,” “Untitled (How Does It Feel), and Erykah Badu’s “Love of My Life.” Jay-Z once said that he’s a living legend because “everyone wanna be Hov, but Hov’s still alive.” Saadiq would agree. -Ruben Gzirian

Lauren Ruth Ward @ Elsewhere July 23

Lauren Ruth Ward puts on one hell of a live show, so if you want to have a guaranteed excellent time, probably go ahead and grab tickets now before they all sell out. I’m speaking from experience – her gig at Baby’s All Right this spring was insane. -Megan Burns

Arctic Monkeys @ Forest Hills Stadium July 24, The Anthem July 28, 29

Certain bands exist that come to define a soundtrack to your life through every chapter. With their 2006 release of the seminal Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, the Arctic Monkeys began a career that has evolved alongside the inclinations of a rabid fan base that still remembers hearing “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But…” and feeling a kindred connection to the angst and doubt felt by a group of guys from Sheffield. Since their debut, the Arctic Monkeys have slowly shed the boisterous sound production that defined their early work and transitioned into a soundscape that suggests a more meditative pragmatic approach to describing the perils of desire. Their recent 2018 album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, was a sharp departure a few years in the making, finally putting the spotlight completely on front man Alex Turner. The result is an album that reflects a collective exhalation from a group that has moved on from pairing turmoil with bluster. -Ruben Gzirian

Fantastic Negrito @ Sixth & I July 25

Every guitar chord radiating from the mangled hands of Fantastic Negrito (real name Xavier Dphrepaulezz) and every lyric packed with social commentary and fulled by strife can be linked back to a life lived 3 times over. Whether you go song-for-song on 2018’s Please Don’t Be Dead or 2017’s The Last Days of Oakland, Dphrepaulezz ability to tell a story of tragedy, struggle, love, and succumbing to evil in hopes of finding good is effortless as his musical juxtaposition of blues, funk, rock, and R&B. Parts of his life story are simply hard to believe: he left home at the age of 12 from a family of 14, he learned how to play piano by sneaking into UC Berkeley by posing as a student, and after being involved in a major car accident in 1999 he only began playing music again as way to entertain his infant son. Every song opens the listener to a chapter in Dphrepaulezz’s saga, and his talent ensures you hang on every word. -Ruben Gzirian

GoldLink @ U Street Music Hall July 25, 27, 28

I feel like everytime I write about D.C.’s GoldLink I inevitably mention his seminal 2017 song “Crew.” But really it’s sort of tough not to. The impact of that song is really difficult to understand if you (a) didn’t know about Goldlink before “Crew” and/or (b) weren’t living in D.C. when that song dropped. Prior to 2017, GoldLink was slowly traversing a musical landscape that included pit stops in synthy drum-and-bass territory (2014’s The God Complex) and stylings that resembled diluted Baltimore club pop hits (2015’s And After That, We Didn’t Talk). With the release of 2017’s At What Cost, GoldLink finally hit his stride with a colorful album filled with narratives of perseverance, loyalty, and guilt supported by production that had spikes of traditional 808-drum patterns, low-fi indie pop, and tamed atmospheric club music. A year later, you still hear this album blaring from cars in the city with “Crew,” sharing the distinct role of being a timeless summer jam and a city anthem. Each of GoldLink’s three concerts will be themed differently, telling the story of an artist willing to take chances and nailing the basics. -Ruben Gzirian

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The xx @ 9:30 Club July 26, 27, 28, Panorama NYC 2018 July 29

The most I can say about The xx at this point in their career is that when I saw Romy Croft and Oliver Sim sitting VIP at the Kim Jones’ debut show as artistic director of Dior Men’s, I wasn’t surprised at all (I base all of my celebrity hierarchical standings based on fashion show seating arrangements). Over three albums and career nearing the 15 year mark, The xx have become more than a band. They’ve become a statement: a statement of fashion, a statement of UK indie pop, and statement of how to live on the outskirts of the “what have you done for me lately” music mentality without ever being questioned. The xx are also the only band that I’ve seen live that can take any venue and make it as intimate as lyrics, “there are things I wish I didn’t know/I try my best to let them go,” deserve. -Ruben Gzirian

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If you’re looking for more D.C. July concert picks, consult our DC Summer Concert Picks feature. We picked one show each day of summer worth your time and money.

Consult our Fourth of July Guide for all of your Fourth of July party needs

BYT & Smithsonian American Art Museum invite you to Unseensters After Hours July 13

Join us for the last BYT after hours of the summer (we’ll see you again in September, but …) and it is a beauty – inspired by Trevor Paglen’s Sites Unseen, we are taking over one of D.C.’s most iconic destinations with: open bars, a Yeasayer DJ set (!!!), 8 amazing local acts, plus surprises around every corner. It is one guaranteed way to have THE BEST Friday the 13th of your life. Tickets are available HERE and going fast. See you soon!

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FIFA World Cup 2018 now through July 15

If you’ve been paying even remotely close attention to the site, you’ll know that I am a maniac for the World Cup. Granted, MY team (Argentina) was knocked out over the weekend, but just like I do with any/all competitive reality TV shows, I have chosen a next-best-thing in Uruguay. (Until they potentially get knocked out, in which case I will choose somebody else to root for.) The final takes place on Sunday July 15, and you better believe I have that hardcore blocked off on my calendar so I can properly devote all my energy to screaming at the TV. -Megan Burns

Wimbledon 2018 July 2 through 15

THE SPORTS PLOT THICKENS. In addition to being glued to the World Cup, I’m going to have to double-up on my screen time thanks to the overlap of Wimbledon. The Round of 128 kicks off today (July 2) and the final is ALSO on July 15, so I will have my hands full in the realm of ye olde deportes. It’s a total bummer that Andy Murray has had to pull out due to injury, but lots of household names WILL be present to compete, so that’s a solid consolation re: the men’s side. Am also interested to see if Serena can come at it full force this time after that unfortunate early retirement in the French Open, and wonder if Azarenka will make any waves after an absence. (As always, I hope Sharapova loses real hard.) -Megan Burns

All Star Game and Home Run Derby @ Nationals Park July 17 and 18

The 89th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is taking place at Nats Park on July 17. It’s the first time D.C. has hosted the game since 1969, and it coincides with what will potentially be Bryce Harper’s last season as a member of the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper is one of the best and most popular players in baseball, and he’ll most certainly start baseball’s showcase exhibition match, seeing as he’s currently leading all outfielders in votes. The All Star Game is a fun, fan-driven exercise in dreamcasting that no longer has postseason implications, but remains entertaining because it’s one of the few times baseball loosens its unwritten “rules”.

The Home Run Derby takes place on Monday, July 16. It pits baseballs best power hitters against each other in a competition to see who can hit the most dingers, and who can hit the longest dingers. We’re not saying it’s an exercise in penis envy, but we’re also not not saying that. The list of participants is yet to be defined, but I’d be happy if home run monster Giancarlo Stanton and legendary old man Ichiro Suzuki participate. No matter who actually does, it will be damn entertaining. See you guys in the nosebleeds at Nats Park. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

DC Fray’s DC Field Day @ RFK Stadium Grounds July 28

My favorite memory of elementary school field day was beating my then nemesis (what, you didn’t have a rival when you were 9?) in the tug of war. By the end my hands were bleeding, but sometimes you have to bleed to win. I’d like to think I’ve held onto that spirit of (bloodthirsty) competition. -Jenn Tisdale

Citi Open @ Rock Creek Park Tennis Center July 28 – August 5

It’s the 50th anniversary of Citi Open and they are really going tennis balls to the wall! Beyond the tournament itself you can also party at the 50th celebration kick off party, tailgate (all you cane at and drink at each tailgate!), Citi Taste of Tennis AND MORE. – Jenn Tisdale

Sharp Objects premieres on HBO July 8

HBO’s latest twist-y turn-y limited series comes in the way of Sharp Objects, an adaptation of the 2006 novel by Gillian Flynn (who would go on to write Gone Girl a few years later). Starring Amy Adams as an investigative journalist who returns to her home town to dig up some dark secrets both internal and external, the series looks to be an engaging, binge-able thriller with a stacked supporting cast. -Matt Byrne

Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters premieres on Tru TV July 11

TruTV’s new scripted anthology show, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters, gives a series of pulpy genre tales a satirical bend, with the help of a cast of well-loved comedians like Bridget Everett, David Koechner, Danny Pudi, and Michael Ian Black. Getting a sort of Creepshow-meets-Black Mirror vibe here? -Matt Byrne

Castle Rock premieres on Hulu July 25

Castle Rock, Hulu’s latest in a run of Stephen King adaptations, incorporates characters from various King short stories into a single town to tell an entirely new story. Hulu’s clearly looking for their Stranger Things here and honestly I’m gonna give them their shot. -Matt Byrne

Dan Pfeiffer (co-host of Pod Save America) @ Sixth & I July 10

As one of the co-hosts of the wildly popular Pod Save America podcast, Dan Pfeiffer is a leading progressive voice in the “is this really happening?” part of the media grappling with the absurdity of Capitol Hill, the Presidency, and everything in between. Pfeiffer’s perspective on current happenings is made that much more relevant and insightful when you remember that he was President Obama’s Communications Director—arguably a role that had added importance during a presidency that relied heavily on effective communication. Pfeiffer’s new book, Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump, builds on his experience in the Obama White House and delves deeper into the implications of media for the Democratic Party in a new era of information consumption. Much of the discussion about the current political landscape is firmly planted in the now and why. Pfeiffer’s experience lends itself to exploring the how and why as 2020 slowly creeps closer.-Ruben Gzirian

Alan Cumming @ The Kennedy Center July 28

Alan Cumming’s Legal Immigrant, a collection of “musings on his ten years as a U.S. citizen, growing older and what it feels like to be an immigrant in today’s America,” is proof positive that he is a jack of all trades and master of all. As an official Officer of the British Empire (OBE), and vocal supporter of LGBT equality, Cumming’s perspective on the immigrant experience is not usually one that comes to mind in present-day America. But it’s this exact juxtaposition to what we usually expect when we hear “immigrant,” that makes Cumming’s performance remarkable. Reading over what’s going down during Legal Immigrant is actually hard to comprehend: musical performances covering songs made famous by Edith Piaf, Adele, and Pink will coexist in a show that also includes a performance by The Proclaimers. I honestly have no clue how any of this makes sense or how it will be anything more than a conscious stream of over-the-top symbolism, but when that conscious stream is coming from the brilliant mind of Alan Cumming there really isn’t much to complain about. -Ruben Gzirian