It’s getting nice outside! It’s making D.C. a fun place! The month that resembles a lion will feature multiple books we want to read, Tina Fey in a combat zone, a Brit pop dance party, multiple beer dinners and more. In like a lion, out like a lamb. Oh yeah, there’s a lamb event too!
Glowing bunnies. Have you checked out the glowing bunnies yet?
The next one in Hirshhorn’s recent stream of wonderfully surrealist shows, invites the visitor to step inside immersive environments and confront – “actualities of the digital age, such as the dissolution of privacy, the digitization of identity, and the impact of a hyperreal virtual world on tangible physical experience”. Food for thought: Reality is no longer the benchmark for the imperfect image, but rather the animated image provides the measure for an imperfect reality. Bonus: the show is also GORGEOUS.
It is election year so it is good to be reminded, in between comb-over jokes and fear of comb-over jokes, what actually makes this country THIS country. And No Mountains In The Way takes us straight into America’s heartland. In the 1970s, the National Endowment for the Arts conceived a series of photo survey projects inspired by the epic documentary photography program undertaken by the federal government in the 1930s and 1940s. The first in the NEA’s series, No Mountains in the Way, sent three photographers to capture contemporary life in rural Kansas. James Enyeart, Terry Evans, and Larry Schwarm—artists who have attained considerable achievement in the intervening decades—each examined particular aspects of the Kansas rural environment. Their collective visions reflect place, culture, and custom in Kansas. Call it: America The Real – Svetlana Legetic
Sure, Paul Westerberg is probably the worst but sometimes the worst people make great music. If you want to learn more about what I can only assume is their dark and troubled past (based on the title), then this is the perfect book for you! There are also 72 ~rare~ photos included in the book, and if they’re anything like the sad mopey boy band cover on the front then that alone is worth the price of admission. I know it sounds like I hate this band, but that’s how I talk about most things I love. Also, I’m still angry they didn’t play “Androgynous” when I saw them last summer and it looks like I’m not getting over that anytime soon. -Kaylee Dugan
Ever wish that you could, you know, hang out with people whose work you love reading? Well, this month you’re in luck. PEN Faulkner is hosting a rare, and super cool evening with novelists and essayists Mitchell S. Jackson and Leslie Jamison. -Svetlana Legetic
It’s been over five years since Daniel Clowes released a new graphic novel, and all signs point to Patience being worth the wait. It’s one of his longer works ever, letting this already weird dude indulge his more experimental impulses, which is very exciting. While details are overall pretty slight about this thing, the publisher (the mighty Fantagraphics) calls it an “indescribable psychedelic science-fiction love story” and boy is that enough to get me plenty stoked for this thing’s release! -Matt Byrne
I read and loved both Running with Scissors and Dry so I can’t imagine I won’t love the latest memoir from Augusten Burroughs just as much. It’s difficult to be witty about your own failings without coming across as too sad, which is why I really enjoy reading Burroughs’ memoirs. This time he tackles the difference between lust and love and the fine line of heartbreak that usually divides them. -Jenn Tisdale
The adult coloring book madness will not stop! This month’s obligatory color book features all your favorite places and characters from Harry Potter. You could probably also give this to a teenager or child if you wanted! In fact, I can’t even say for sure it is being marketed as an adult coloring book, I’m only guessing that based on the design of the cover, which is way more reserved than most children’s coloring books. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, just enjoy yourself. -Kaylee Dugan
The legendary host of The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU brings us the deeply human and personal account of how one says goodbye to a spouse of 54 years and of the life that remains, and the new life that is possible after that partner is gone. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, she writes of her anger that John wasn’t “allowed to go in a more peaceful manner,” on his own timeline, with his loved ones at his side. Pass the tissues. -Svetlana Legetic
If you’re like me you love serial killers and the Illuminati which means Last Podcast on the Left is the only podcast for you. Since I’ve started (obsessively) listening to it I spend at least one hour out of every day talking about serial killers and it’s usually my favorite, sweet baby Jeffrey Dahmer. Well, the boys (Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel and Marcus Parks) are heading to the Ottobar in Baltimore to teach us a thing or two about a thing or creepy/weird/fucked up. It’s sold out but who knows, you might be able to make a deal with the Devil. Hail, Satan! -Jenn Tisdale
Some things you don’t really need to sell: Roofers Union’s executive chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley (currently crushing it on Top Chef), its manager Dave Delaplaine (a next-level curator of beer), and Right Proper’s executive chef Sara Biglan (you already know) have teamed up for a beer dinner with local breweries DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, 3 Stars, and Right Proper. It’s $85 and it includes a lamb medley. A medley of lamb. (Reminder: Marjorie Meek-Bradley knows how to cook lamb.) Do you really want more information?
OK, let’s talk about the beers. Right Proper is bringing Baron Corvo, a bière de garde aged in French foudres. DC Brau is represented with the nitro version of its “kitchen-sink” double IPA Alpha Domina Mellis. Atas Brew Works is complimenting the lamb medley with Town & Country, a (delicious) red wine barrel-aged Belgian strong ale that’s “all about the malt, the wine barrel, and the yeast.” And 3 Stars is pulling up the rear with Ebony & Ivory, an imperial brown with cocoa nibs and vanilla bean. (Appropriately enough, the brewery initially thought that people might view it as a desert beer.)
In closing, lamb medley. -Phil Runco
Brewer Will Durgin has sadly (for us) moved on from Atlas Brew Works, but his recipes live on in Ivy City. District Common, Town & Country, Pumpernickel Stout – Durgin and his team brought a lot of very good beer to this area. But arguably the best of his creations was also the most elusive: NSFW. The imperial black IPA – or Cascadian dark ale, if you’re so inclined – is a doozy. Durgin’s “homage to the Northwest” is the perfect mix of booze (clocking in at 9.2%), roast, bitterness, and sweetness. It’s also a very tough beer to make, so Atlas has been judicious in diverting time and capacity to making it, as Durgin and Justin Cox explained last year.
Logically, it was big news when just last week Alas announced that it would be selling 60 cases of NSFW exclusively in its tasting room and D.C. Whole Foods. Unsolicited advice: If you haven’t had the beer before, get thee to a grocery. Or, alternatively, head to Bier Baron on March 3rd for a night of stand-up comedy and NSFW on tap. Because you’ll need a good laugh when you realize it might be a while before you can drink this beer again. -Phil Runco
Pennsylvania craft beer stalwart Victory Brewing Company turns 20 this year, and ChurchKey is hosting the brewery’s D.C. birthday party. Victory founder Bill Covaleski and his team will be in the house, as will 20 of their beers, including staples like Prima Pils, Hop Devil (and its rambunctious brothers, Hop Wallop and Hop Ranch), and Storm King. (Rest assured, there will be plenty of rarities, too.)
The extra special kicker? Victory’s two-part collaboration with brewery (and fellow Neighborhood Restaurant Group property) Bluejacket: Brett Mason and Brett Dixon. Per a press release, both beers are “based off the same recipe, [utilizing] both Victory’s house lager yeast and Bluejacket’s house Brettanomyces yeast. Brett Mason, brewed at Bluejacket, employs a mixed fermentation technique, combining both yeast strains in primary fermentation. While Brett Dixon, brewed at Victory, undergoes primary fermentation with their house lager yeast, followed by a secondary fermentation with Bluejacket’s unique Brett.”
There’s only one question: Which beer is better? No, just kidding, you shouldn’t compare them like that. (Yes, you should.) -Phil Runco
I used to get embarrassed when I told people I liked magic. I don’t mean Magic: The Gathering (though I may or may not still have a binder of cards at my parents’ house); I mean actual magic. Like, illusion stuff that I can’t explain. It’s hella cheesy for sure, but I’ll be goddamned if I don’t go nuts every time I see a card move through a deck or some dude tell me to pull my card out of my own pocket. Street magicians are the best. You know what else is the best? Cocktails. You know what would be even bester? Mixing magic and cocktails. Enter Cocktail Magic (that’s really what it’s called), a multi-city “Celebration of the Cocktail with Illusions, Beats and Bites.” Saturday, March 12th from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am at Union Market’s Dock 5, some of D.C.’s best cocktail bars (think Barmini, Copycat Co., PX, The Gibson, Quarter & Glory, etc.) will be slanging drinks while famous magicians do magical shit that’ll blow your drunk mind. Food by Brooklyn media darlings Roberta’s Pizza and tunes by Philly electro-tropical group Vacationer help drive the party. Don’t act like you’re too cool for this. Tickets are $99 and can be purchased here. -Logan Hollers
Knight of Cups in theaters March 4
Terrence Malick’s reputation as a reclusive auteur with years (sometimes decades) between films has been upended lately, with the Tree of Life, To The Wonder, and now, Knight of Cups coming out in the last five years. While none stack up to his incredible, influential earlier works, they’re still all worthwhile and singularly Malick-y. Let’s all go meditate on the quiet strangeness of it all when Knight of Cups opens in theaters this month! -Matt Byrne
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in theaters March 4
I’m not going to tell you this is going to be good, because I can’t promise that. There’s a significant chance that this film is going to be really bad. I trust Tina Fey in this film because we have to trust Tina Fey, or risk an apocalyptic infolding of society. She plays a journalist who decides to shake up her lonely, average life (because she’s a woman over 40) by taking an assignment that sends her to a war zone in the Middle East. Comedy ensues? We’ll see. -Tam Sackman
Creative Control in theaters March 11
I’ve had my eye on writer/director/star Benjamin Dickinson for a while now after seeing a few of his shorts. The premise for Creative Control reminds me of a combination of a less morally-heavy version of my favorite episode of BBC’s Black Mirror and last year’s Ex-Machina. Dickinson plays an advertising exec who uses an advanced version of a technology similar to Google glass to create a replica of his best friend’s girlfriend. It’s in black and white and features Reggie Watts, which automatically makes this movie unique enough to deserve a watch. -Tam Sackman
10 Cloverfield Lane in theaters March 11
Remember 2008’s Cloverfield? Because I’d completely forgotten about it until I saw the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is, according to producer JJ Abrams, the “spiritual successor” to Cloverfield (Hollywood jargon for something that’s not quite a spin-off, not quite a sequel). Production of the film was never officially announced, and nobody even knew it was happening until a few weeks ago, when the trailers were released. Watch them and read up on the bizarre the viral marketing campaign. -Norm Quarrinton
Environmental Film Festival, March 15-26
Each March, Washington, DC, is the site of the largest environmental film festival in the United States, presenting more than 100 films to an audience of over 30,000. Often combined with thematic discussions and social events, our films screen at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters. Many of the screenings are free, and all are open to the public. Check out the full festival schedule here, which includes DC made City of Trees, brought to us by Meridian Hill Pictures.
Krisha in theaters March 18
Trey Edward Shults’ feature version of his short of the same name is a family drama acted by the director’s own family and friends. It appears to be a portrait of the effect of mental illness and addiction on a family over a long period of time as well as a study of the title character. Expect an emotional punch in the stomach. -Tam Sackman
Midnight Special in theaters March 18
Midnight Special is the latest film from Jeff Nichols, a dude with a knack for making weird, atmospheric dramas centered around idiosyncratic dudes (often played by frequent collaborator Michael Shannon). This new one finds Nichols heading in a new, Speilbergian direction, describing the film as a “sci-fi chase film” with a relationship between a father (played by Michael Shannon, naturally) and his superhumanly gifted son. It looks real good! -Matt Byrne
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in theaters March 25
The first My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out a while ago (2002). It was funny in a way that a movie about family should be. Who knew people would find so much humor and entertainment in a restaurant owning, stereotype enforcing Greek family? I guess we’re amusing to other people too. It comes out on Greek Independence Day, so why not? -Eleni Skoutakis
I love cheese. Like, it’s easily one of my favorite foods. Hell, that was half the reason I stayed behind the stick at French spot Le Grenier: being able to pilfer from the kitchen damn near unlimited tastings of (French and non-French) cheeses. During the winter months, people would come in all the time asking if we served raclette. We never did, unfortunately, but I get why people were fiending for it. Because its delicious. Basically, it’s a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese that’s slowly heated up, then the gooey part is scraped off and served with bread, pickles, charcuterie, etc. Let’s be honest, anything’s going to pretty well with melted cheese. It’s hard to find, but we’ve got your back – starting at noon on Saturday, March 12th, Union Market’s Righteous Cheese is hosting its First Annual Raclette Fest, where the shop will be serving the dish made to order. Beer specials, cheesy (literally) trivia, and some swag giveaways, too. -Logan Hollers
You guys know how much we here at BYT love food trucks (witness our numerous posts on Truckeroo). Come March, the long dark winter will finally be starting to GTFOutta DC. Make the most of it by emerging from hibernation and partaking in 2016’s first Taste on Wheels, presented by Taste of DC. $10 gets you general admission and one drink at the celebration of DC’s vibrant food truck scene. Live music and games, over 50 beers and wines, and over 20 foods trucks, each serving up a signature item. The event takes place March 27th from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm at The Yards (right by Nats Park). We’re so, sooooo close to real baseball…party down by the stadium and use this as an opportunity to prep that liver for this season’s pre-game trips to the Bullpen. -Logan Hollers
It has taken me embarrassingly long to get a little deeper into the world of lo-fi pop rock, but better late than never. These are two of my favorites. While All Dogs goes for a bit of a bolder approach at times reminiscent of Alvvays (one of my favorite bands of all time), Florist goes for quiet, acoustic emotion. Both are equally great. -Tam Sackman
Miike Snow is a band consisting of two Swedes (producers Bloodshy & Avant), and an American (vocalist Andrew Wyatt). Before forming a band, Bloodshy & Avant made a buttload of money writing and producing songs for artists like Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Madonna—the fact is, you have definitely heard at least one of their songs in your lifetime. If you think loud, catchy Swedish-American electro-indie music sounds interesting on paper, you should go and check them out. I’ve been lucky enough to see them perform several times and they’re always worth the price of admission. -Norm Quarrinton
D.C.’s Britpop enthusiasts (all 12 of them) rejoiced when Black Cat announced that it would be dedicating an entire evening to the beloved genre’s big four: Oasis (John), Blur (Paul), Suede (George), and Pulp (Ringo. Sorry, Pulp). You’re probably struggling to remember some or all of those bands, and that’s fine, the 90s were ages ago! But I would highly recommend taking a trip down Britpop memory lane on YouTube or something. Despite numerous hiatuses, Blur and Suede are still around, and Blur actually released a new record as recently as last year—it did pretty well (in the UK, obvs). Pulp get back together every so often and play a few festivals, but Oasis are no more—they’re not dead, they’re just dead to each other. -Norm Quarrinton
I’ve seen Max Levine Ensemble a few times now, and each time I leave the venue feeling calmly reassured that pop punk is going to be just fine. They have the same angsty energy that I craved and mirrored while listening to pop punk in high school without the accompanying whiny immaturity. You can dance, you can cry (if you’re particularly susceptible to crying). They’ll be joined by Worriers and Thin Lips. -Tam Sackman
More of this awesome lo-fi pop rock that I just recently found– but this time on the other side of the genre. Wildhoney’s signature sound is more distorted, droning and loud than All Dogs or Florist, and Big Hush is a middle ground with distorted music but relatively clear vocals. Then there’s Expert Alterations, with retro Smiths-ish talking vocals over 50s beach movie guitars with a huge emphasis on bass.
The Thermals have been a band since 2002. That’s 14 years, which is insane. What’s crazier is that they’ve been good that whole time, from their awesome early lo-fi home recordings to their mid-period embrace of the studio, to their 2013 return to form Desperate Ground. We Disappear is their 7th LP and comes out on March 25th and I’m very excited to hear it. -Matt Byrne
The Last Man On Earth returns to Fox March 6
The Last Man On Earth returns from a midseason hiatus on March 6th following a huge cliffhanger back in December. I love this show and you should too. Mean, silly, and full of damn jokes. -Matt Byrnehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk7YDt55oZ8
The Characters premieres on Netflix March 11
All 8 episodes of the excellent looking sketch weirdo showcase The Characters go up on March 11th, featuring starring turns from Kate Berlant, John Early, Lauren Lapkus, Tim Robinson, Natasha Rothwell, Dr. Brown, Paul Downs, and Henry Zebrowski. Lotta quality names in that list!!!! -Matt Byrne
The Americans returns to FX March 16
If you were thinking now is the perfect time to jump in and try that Americans show everyone keeps talking about — you are mistaken. The story of Reagan-era Russian spies living and killing in and around D.C. left off in a Cold War cliffhanger that feels as dangerous as the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it would take spoilers ontop of spoilers to explain before FX’s drama returns on March 16.
Go back and watch from the beginning, if you haven’t already. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star in TV’s best drama since Breaking Bad, and also its most intense. But where BB‘s pulse-pounding action and relentless tension came from a white-hot core of masculine rage, The Americans has at its center a place of deep melancholy and loneliness. The lapel-gripping trailer for season four implies that sad will be taking a backseat to mad for while, but intel suggests this show will always hurt so good. Vee haff vays of making you vatch. -Tristan Lejeune
The Synetic Theater, known for its wordless productions based on visual storytelling down in Crystal City, has revived its popular, dialogue-free Romeo and Juliet for a new season. As Romeo and Juliets go, it’s a diverting piece of work, and only occasionally too often do things go “like clockwork,” but most importantly for an intra-company revival: it does not feel like reheated leftovers. Read our full review here.
A second dose of Shakespeare reinterpretation for the month. Extended through March 13th in case you missed it thus far. Plus, a reminder to keep Folger Free Fridays in mind.