The weather is horrible and the television is amazing. Welcome to March. If you’re not into the boob tube (and you really should be because it’s never been better so quit that “I don’t own a TV” thing because watching stuff on your laptop counts at TV), there’s an art exhibit that makes a NYC trip mandatory, highly anticipated dining on H Street, dance music on U Street, Legos, beer and kites. It’s a pretty diverse month.
Stay tuned for our preview.
The legend of Mingering Mike is one of DC’s art and music world’s finest. In 2013, the Smithsonian American Art Museum acquired a collection of over 150 artworks made between 1969 and 1976 by this self–taught Washington, D.C. artist known only by this alter-ego name and now, finally, he gets a show worthy of his would-be career as a soul superstar. Bonus: all sorts of AMAZING additional events (as expected) have been planned in conjunction, including a rewind-dance-party on March 14th – Svetlana
The carriage that transported Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd, Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancee Clara Harris will be on loan from the Studebaker National Museum in Indiana. As a Lincoln fan this is pretty high up there. I am genuinely looking forward to this, may try to sneak a sit. -Jenn Tisdale
Ishiguro, the man behind contemporary classics Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, releases his first book in ten years with The Buried Giant. Not only do we get to experience yet another alternate world in which Britain has been reduced to turmoil, but this time there are fantasy elements like dragons and ogres for Ishiguro’s characters to contend with. Readers are sure to be in for a treat with Ishiguro’s language and writing, and while it can’t be guaranteed to provoke the same crying that Never Let Me Go caused, The Buried Giant promises to be a treat for both newcomers and established Ishiguro fans. -Ruby Rose Lee
True story: once I was in LA and walked randomly into this waffle emporium on Fairfax. The food was delicious but as me and my friends were leaving the restaurant, we glimpsed Kim Gordon sitting casually in the back, enjoying her breakfast. I still consider this one of the highlights of my life because…. well, if the reasons are not obvious then you REALLY need to read this book, and if the reasons are obvious, you’re probably already cradling it on your bedside table. Bonus: if after this you only want to do things Kim Gordon tells you to, let her recommend your next read to you, as well. – Svetlana
If this 500 page book doesn’t satisfy your every wish, need and desire to be the second most knowledgeable person on SNL, you’ll never be satisfied. -Brandon Wetherbee
Where else this month could you see a first edition of Tom Sawyer, appraised at $30,000 and a rare $75,000 painting by poet Elizabeth Bishop, or take a book-binding workshop or get your old books appraised, Antiques Roadshow style? HERE. NOWHERE ELSE.
Spirited Repubic Exhibit @ National Archives, Opens March 6th
If there is one thing DC loves it is their cocktails and now finally National Archives opens an exibit of documents and artifacts to reveal the evolution of and the wide variety of views about alcohol held by Americans. Highlights of the exhibit include: a large graphic model showing how much Americans drank during US history, the 18th Amendment, the Volstead Act, and the 21st Amendment, four stations that will highlight National Archives’ audiovisual holdings including newsreels from the prohibition and post-prohibition years, and a film montage of presidential toasts, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s cocktail shaker, glasses from presidential toasts, a first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (“The Big Book”), and a Betty Ford Center serenity prayer coin, pn 1843 petition against the “spirit ration” that measures nearly 11 feet by 8 inches, prohibition-era prescriptions for medicinal alcohol, design patents for temperance drinks, a 19th century “gold cure” for alcoholism, original labels for Repeal Beer, Smirnoff Vodka, and Picnic Beer.
AND YES, THERE IS A BIG AFTER HOURS FOR THIS PLANNED BY US AND THE ARCHIVES NEXT MONTH. Be on the look-out – Svetlana
I’ve written more positive things about Jack Rose than any other bar in D.C. There’s a good reason for this. Their whiskey selection is the best in D.C. On March 25 they will celebrate 2,015 bottles in their whiskey collection. Because it’s 2015. That’s a good enough reason to visit the 18th Street bar. Any reason is a good reason to visit Jack Rose. -Brandon Wetherbee
Hayao Miyazaki is the most prolific animator in Japan and his films will be playing at E Street Cinema through March into mid-April. This includes Oscar-winning Spirited Away along with other hits like Howl’s Moving Castle and his Studio Ghibli signature piece My Neighbor Totoro. Whether you love Miyazaki films for the well-crafted glimpses of human life they present, or just want to imagine what it’s like to ride in a cat bus, there’s a Miyazaki film for everyone. -Matty Greene
The Divergent Series: Insurgent in theaters March 20
You gotta love those strong female characters showing up in young adult novels turned films and this is one of the better series! The followup to Divergent finds our heroes willingly ostracized from their homes and ready to fight back which means a lot of ass-kicking scenes. Can’t wait. -Jenn Tisdale
2015 marks the year of Yona, the full-service Japanese noodle bar by Jonah Kim. While we continue to wait for the restaurant to open later this year, Kim pleases all-month long with his pop-up noodle bar at G by Mike Isabella. Each week, Wednesday through Saturday night, Kim will be offering delicious ramen such as Miso Porky and Tonkotsu-Shoyu tare. Small plates include steamed buns, dry-fried wings and more. And for all the vegetarians out there, veggie ramen and small plates are guaranteed to please. Count us in. -Ruby Rose Lee
Erik Bruner-Yang is a badass chef. Winning DC’s Cochon 555 and being named a semifinalist for the 2015 James Beard Award for Rising Star of the Year tend to pretty strongly validate your chops in the kitchen. In addition to head chef-ing and owning Toki Underground, Bruner-Yang also has a boutique Asian grocery, Honeycomb, and a pop-up restaurant inside Union Market. While Honeycomb’s kimchi, nuoc cham, fresh noodles and the like (all made on premises, natch) are hella dope, the real draw is the Maketto pop-up. Bruner-Yang and Chef de Cuisine James Wozniuk are slanging some dynamite Cambodian soups, curries, and bao, all in anticipation of opening their long-awaited brick and mortar establishment at 1351 H St. NE. Designed to resemble the restaurant / cafe / coffeeshop / street markets of Asia, Maketto will combine retail from fashion designer Will Sharp of Durkl, food from Wozniuk and Bruner-Yang, and coffee from Chris Vigilante’s Vigilante Coffee Company. Maketto was supposed to open in February 2012, then October 2013, then maybe December 2013, then for sure fall 2014, then…you get the idea. Now, finally, Maketto is ready to rock – friends and family dinners are happening now, and the restaurant is scheduled to open by the end of March. Bruner-Yang has said of Maketto “It’s the unicorn of restaurants.” Goddamn right. And, I’m certain, worth the wait. -Logan Hollers
To get pumped for Agents of SHIELD returning, get in line early at the LEGO store on March 1st to pick up the monstrous 2996 piece $349.99 Helicarrier (out of stock online with an expected ship date of March 12). Even though it’s over two and a half feet long, it’s stll not to-scale so the set offers a first, cute little micro-figure versions of Iron Man, SHIELD agents, and more. But don’t fret, you still get a sweet brick-built display piece housing the full-size mini-figure versions. It’s a legit UCS model with a plaque and everything, but also has plenty of playability with micro-vehicles and moving parts. -Cale
U Street Music Hall Turns 5
Dance lovers take note: On Sunday March 15, 2015, U Street Music Hall will kick off a week-long celebration commemorating its five year anniversary. The week will feature hometown heroes such as Dubfire and Nadastrom, as well as artists making their club debut such as Jimmy Edgar, Chris Lake, and Claptone. PLUS, A GOOD KARMA BONUS: During the venue’s anniversary week, the U Street Music Foundation will award a $5,000 grant to a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit organization in support of a music program or music education. The application period extends from February 4 to March 4. Applicants should email [email protected]streetmusichall.
Everyone’s favorite Seattle band left standing releases its first LP in six years, No One’s First and You’re Next, the follow up to We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, itself the followup to their biggest commercial success, Good News for People Who Love Bad News. They don’t hold back with the titles, do they?
Lead singer Issac Brock sounds back up to his old tricks on the first single “Lampshades on Fire,” and at nearly an hour, the album should give starving fans a nice, big feast. But will it return to the philosophical cohesion of their early (best) work? The Moon & Antarctica came out 15 long years ago… -Tristan Lejeune
Three years after Shrines made waves, Purity Ring are finally ready to release their sophomore studio album on March 3. In Another Eternity the duo will deliver again with beats composed of uniquely sampled vocals and spacey computer sounds you didn’t even know existed. If the singles “Begin Again” and “Push Pull” provide any indication of what to expect, Another Eternity will offer more robust and grandiose production, allowing the artists to continue to redraw their boundaries. After the album drops, kick back and wait for all the remixes to come rolling in until you can catch Purity Ring in person at the 9:30 Club on May 29. -Michael Young
Sure, Mitski is technically the (second) opener at the show, but I’m one hundred percent more excited for her than one Hundred Waters. Do yourself the favor of listening to Bury Me at Makeout Creek (which is the best album name of 2014), and see why everyone from the New York Times to hipster blogs using courier as their font love her. Then, actually arrive early to a show. Then, buy merch. Then, see her play 9:30 Club within 2 years. -Brandon Weight
Flight Facilities, the Australian duo that slowly released singles over a four year period before dropping their debut album Down to Earth last fall, returns to D.C. this month for one of the last shows of their tour. Guaranteed picks for the night include “Crave You” and “Clair De Lune,” both of which have become instantly recognizable. Also check out their newest singles “Two Bodies feat. Emma Louise” and “Sunshine feat. Reggie Watts.” And if you’re feeling adventurous, the duo recently released a four-part mix tape series entitled “The Decade Mixes,” composed of four one-hour mixes that include musical and historical moments. -Ruby Rose Lee
I was first introduced to Ibeyi through their haunting, minimalist music video for the track “River”. Ibeyi’s members, French Cuban twin sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz, are only 20 years old but their sound is wise beyond their years. They’re daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Angà Diaz and much of their self-titled debut album is dedicated to their father in its content and instrumental style. Sure to be a powerful performance, you won’t want to miss them this month. -Matty Greene
The end of our slowwwwww sessions, we want to send everyone home with one hell of a food baby. Grab your ticket, and you’ll get TWO Slow Ride beers, a biscuit sandwich and slow meat tasting, two chef demos, and a jar of pickles to take home. It’s your dinner and grocery shopping all in one!
Long lines, screaming children, and unpredictable weather. These are the elements that make or break a great experience on the National Mall. If you can surmount these obstacles, it’s actually a lot of fun to go kite flying during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Plus, you’ll get a ton of cool pics for Instagram. -Matty Greene
The NBA is hard to follow, we get it. There are 30 teams, they play 82 games, a lot of them are on weeknights or at the same time as your favorite show – fine. March Madness, though, is a whole different ball game (had to make the pun, sorry). For one thing, it’s college basketball, which is less refined but WAY more fun to watch. There are simply a lot fewer rules – especially when it comes to defense – and the players are younger, more immature and more likely to pull crazy stunts that either win or lose them the game. On the same note, so are the fans. Whether you’re rooting for your alma mater or just a random team, it’s a lot more consuming. Plus, for those of us who aren’t devoted basketball fans, it’s a shorter game – two 20-minute halves instead of four 12-minute quarters (sure it’s only eight minutes, but when it’s mixed in with TV breaks and timeouts, it matters). And besides, a basketball game is an excellent excuse to go out and get plastered, and many D.C. bars will have March Madness Specials. -Anagha Srikanth
Everything releasing on Instant Netflix and Amazon Prime this month – In date-by-date order. With our recommendations on top. Because you deserve it (and by IT we mean binge watching Teen Witch ad nauseum, losing yourself in the Roger Ebert and Pulp Documentaries and getting seriously obsessed with the next generation of Netflix originals). USE THIS ALL MONTH LONG.
Will Forte quite literally is the last man on Earth, at least that’s what the previews lead us to believe. Will Forte is comedy gold. If an entire show is built around Will Forte amusing himself day in and day out then I can’t wait to see how he does it. Will he try on everything at the mall like I would? Figure out how to operate a roller coaster alone? Eat ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING? Guess we’ll see!!! -Jenn Tisdale
Wait, didn’t this show suck? Yes, yes it did. But then towards the end of Season 1 things got a little better with the direct tie-in/fallout from Winter Soldier, high profile guest spots from Samuel L Jackson and Lady Sif, and the addition of Patton Oswalt to the cast. But even then it was still like “well at least that wasn’t completely embarrassing”. So Season 2 rolls around and they knew they had to rebuild some faith in this thing, so they looked deep inside their souls, and cranked out 10 episodes of awesome. Characters started to act like actual people, jokes were funny, Belle & Sebastian music was used, Skye wasn’t annoying, the special effects got better, Ming-Na Wen fought herself in a fight scene directed by Kevin Tancharoen, Grant actually became interesting, Fitz made you cry, Adrianne Palicki of Friday Night Lights joined the team as legit Marvel comics super heroine Mockingbird, and Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan stole every scene he was in. If that wasn’t enough, for the *SPOILER ALERT* mid-season finale they officially introduced The Inhumans. No longer did they simply react to what’s happening in the movies (hey, remember Iron Man and the invasion of New York and stuff, that was crazy! Avengers! Anyway…) but they are actually introducing a concept into the MCU *five years* before it becomes the focus of a major big budget film. No matter what happens next, that gives the show weight it never had before, and moves it into the essential viewing category for anyone that cares about this stuff. So if you lost interest, catch up, and tune in for the return. -Cale
Since Broadchurch isn’t a procedural and each episode is tense and full of details that come into focus throughout the season, it’s impossible to write about it without spoilers. So I’ll focus on the adaptation.
The first season of Broadchurch is near-perfect. That’s why it was brought to the States. The adaptation, Gracepoint, was not near perfect. No one cared. It has been cancelled. Good. Fine. Whatever. Let the people that did it right the first time do it right a second time. Just read the second line from the About page on the Broadchurch site:
Academy Award nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste and legendary actress Charlotte Rampling star alongside three-time BAFTA-winner Olivia Colman and Emmy-winner David Tennant in the Peabody Award-winning drama.
If that’s not doing anything for you, consider watching Gracepoint. -Brandon Wetherbee
Six seasons? Check. Movie? tbd The show that wouldn’t die lives once more with new episodes coming to Yahoo. We’re still not 100% sure what that means, but any medium that gives Greendale new life is A-OK by us. Yahoo’s acquisition of the beloved Sony production is part of a fresh foray into original entertainment content, but unlike Netflix or Amazon, they’ll be doling out the joy piecemeal: episodes will come out each Tuesday for 13 weeks.
New players Keith David and Paget Brewster join veterans Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeung, Jim Rash, Danny Pudi and (loving sigh) Allison Brie, all of whom are pretty much cannot-do-without at this point. 2015’s most exciting “TV” experiment is being conducted by cult comedy’s most reliable mad scientists, though a word to Donald Glover: Come back. No one loves you as much as we do. -Tristan Lejeune
Bloodline is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family. The Rayburns are hard-working pillars of their Florida Keys community. But when the black sheep son comes home for the 45th anniversary of his parents’ hotel, he threatens to expose the Rayburns’ dark secrets and shameful past, pushing his siblings to the limits of family loyalty.
Bonus: Sissy Spacek and Linda Cardellini. Sold. -Jenn Tisdale
Yes, you read this correctly, Angela Lansbury WILL BE WALKING AMONG US for two whole weeks this month. And even better – not just walking but also performing in a Noel Coward classic. Dreams DO come true.