The Cherry Blossoms are coming. The warm weather is coming. The Cherry Blossom PUB line is coming.
The following contains 31+ picks to have your best March.
Your Best Months of 2018 are all presented in partnership with our friends and partners at Hilton
One of the best art galleries in the world will be exhibiting one of the best photographers in the world and if you miss it you will regret it for the rest of your life. Well, maybe you wont, but I certainly will, which is why I’ll be there bright and early on Saturday morning to soak up all of Sally Mann’s ethereal goodness. A photographer for more than forty years, Mann’s work is deeply intimate with a sarcastic edge and an appeal to universal topics such as family, youth, sickness and memory. Mann’s work is deeply rooted in her southern upbringing and NGA’s A Thousand Crossings looks to examine how Mann’s photos are shaped by the history and shape of the land. Her haunting images evoke a timelessness that create a space for discussion about the south’s past and future. A Thousand Crossings will is also one of the largest Mann exhibitions and will include never before seen photos and other geeky shit I can’t wait to see. The real question is, do you think NGA will let me temporarily move into the exhibit? Just for a little while… -Kaylee Dugan
Things are about to get weird at the National Museum of Women In the Arts and we mean that in the best way. NMWA’s Women House is a sequel to the subversive Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro helmed Womanhouse exhibition from 1972. While the original exhibition took place in a dilapidated California mansion, it’s 2018 baby, which means the exhibit will be taking over a large swath of NMWA’s gorgeous building. Women House’s focus is to highlight the different ways female artists relate to the home, and while there are plenty of pieces that push back against the “housewife” status quo, Women House shows off a broader range of thoughts and feelings about domesticity than it’s 1972 counterpoint. With more than 30 artists (many of whom are international) you can expect a wide swath of art and ideas. NMWA’s exhibits always manage to surprise us, and we don’t think Women House is going to be any different. -Kaylee Dugan
If someone asked you how to bring any element of Burning Man to Washington, D.C., a city that seems to have even more dry cleaners per city block than it does Starbucks locations, you’d probably assume you misheard the question. And yet, it can be done. Not surprisingly, the closest most DC residents will ever come to Burning Man is an art exhibit at the Renwick. Though to be fair, that exhibit is probably going to be a helluva lot more badass than those rocks in the Natural History Museum. -Trisha Brown
Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman available March 6
Having seen almost all seventeen seasons of ABC’s hit reality dating show The Bachelor, thirteen seasons of The Bachelorette, and all of the episodes of the spinoff ensemble shows, I can say I’m a card-carrying member of Bachelor Nation and I’m definitely not the only one. Bachelor Nation encompasses the rapid fandom surrounding the show and also refers to the sorority/fraternity-esque club that exists of current and past show contestants. The obsession doesn’t end when the season ends. Contestants social media accounts rank in the six figures, many of them securing product endorsement deals and opportunities as TV show hosts. Some of these reality stars create careers akin to retired professional athletes. This phenomenon inspired Amy Kaufman to dig deeper into the cult status of the show’s fan and stars. L.A. Times reporter Kaufman used to cover the show for the paper and even after that ceased to be her professional beat, she still couldn’t stop watching. Kaufman, who gets amazing access to real star-studded events like The Golden Globes, is a master at catching celebrities in candid moments. I, for one, can’t wait to read about the behind the scenes dirt she uncovers. And unlike the show, there’s no right (or wrong) reason to read this book. If you’re a fan, you’re reading it STAT. -Diana Metzger
Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang by U-God available March 6
Music memoir fans will likely find lots to love in U-God’s new autobiography Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang. While not the most iconic member of the visionary hip hop collective, U-God has been with the Clan since the beginning, and has a unique insight into the group’s ascent to the upper echelons of music history. As with any memoir along these lines, expect equal parts insane, over-the-top anecdotes and charmingly unreliable first-person narration. There’s going to be enough here to please anyone from Wu-Tang Clan fanatics to total rap dummies. -Matt Byrne
There was a point in my life when I actually liked Hot Pockets (so did you, don’t lie to yourself), but Jim Gaffigan changed all that in 2005 with his famous line “You can have a Hot Pocket for breakfast, a Hot Pocket for lunch, and be dead by dinner.” Gaffigan calls out the lunacy of everyday life unlike anyone else in stand up comedy. His dry witty delivery—one that immediately establishes him as an “everyman” to his audience—only serves to make lines like “skiing is really the only time you will see rich people wait in line” resonate in a way that makes you feel dumb for not thinking of it first. -Ruben Gzirian
Sure, the trees at Drink Company‘s Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar (or PUB if you’re feeling real casual) aren’t real, but they’re as luscious and breathtaking as anything you’d find outside. See more photos in our First Look. -Kaylee Dugan
This annual event is how I determine what mezcal to purchase in liquor stores for the next 12 months. I’m a novice mezcal drinker and do not want to be a novce mezcal drinker. But since learning about the spirit is much more difficult than Bourbon or another U.S. based liqour, I use this as my refresher course. Last year I took photos of the Mezcal Joven produced for Illegal Mezcal and Siete Misterios Mezcal Joven. Whenever I’m in a store, I pull out my phone to look for these. I didn’t have much luck finding these in retail establishments. I’m looking to expand my preferences so I’ll be back at the fests kick-off party March 5. We suggest you do the same. Knowing what you’re enjoying enhances your enjoyment. -Brandon Wetherbee
There’s a new kid on the block. Eavesdrop is located in an old racing pigeon loft out near Bull Run Regional Park. That’s where they have 20 taps, a rooftop bar, and “plenty of comfortable seating.” (Big if true.) Outside of the brewery, they ‘re cultivating a “hop garden, apple trees, [and] berry bushes” – the fruits of which will likely be going into their beers in some capacity. Read more in our Draft Picks: March’s Best Beer Events feature.
If you’ve ever visited a brewery, you know that the people who work in them love two things: beer and hair. And tattoos, I guess. Also, heavy metal. But, really, beer and hair.
So, when brewers part ways with their flowing locks, it’s no trivial matter. But that’s exactly what a handful of folks from the local beer scene will be doing at Boundary Stone on March 11. Why? To raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. Read more in our Draft Picks: March’s Best Beer Events feature.
If you like getting competitive whilst consuming malty beer, holy shit, you are in luck: The event features a cornhole tournament and a “giant yard pong” tournament. It costs $25 to enter a team of two (that fee cover two beers and two “limited edition team bandanas”), while additional team members may be added for $5 each. To kick up the competitive spirit a notch, the winners of the cornhole and yard pong tournaments will face off in basketball shoot off for a grand prize. (This whole thing will play out three separate times over the course of the day.) Team sign-up begins March 1 at noon, so don’t drag your feet. Read more in our Draft Picks: March’s Best Beer Events feature.
Thoroughbreds in theaters March 9
After getting a ton of critical buzz over a year ago at Sundance, the black comedy/thriller Thoroughbreds is finally getting a wide theatrical release. The movie features huge performances from Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy, who star as a pair of childhood friends from the upper-crust of society that have grown apart but rekindle their friendship after hiring a hitman to kill Taylor-Joy’s stepfather. Anton Yelchin’s turn as the grifter-y drifter that’s been commissioned to kill is unfortunately his last, filmed shortly before his untimely death. The film’s been praised for its relentless, brutal humor and perfectly disengaged lead performances, looking like a mix between American Psycho and Heathers. -Matt Byrne
Strangers: Prey at Night in theaters March 9
It’s been ten years since the masked strangers terrorized horror movie fans across the world, but they’re back and taking some clearly modern cues. The Strangers wasn’t the first home invasion horror movie (nor was it the most gruesome, you can look to the French for that), but it brought the genre to the masses and for a little while it seemed like everyone was talking about the gory, cruel, and most importantly, senseless horror film. While the movies of the 90s strove to overly explain and / or poke fun at the monster (see Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and any Halloween sequel) this new brand of horror movie came with no explanation by design. There’s no better example than the most famous scene of the first film, when the pursued family breaks down and asks the masked strangers, “Why us?”, they cooly respond with that now classic line, “Because you were home.” The Strangers: Prey At Night seems to continue this trend of senseless violence, but with a slightly satirical bent. The inclusion of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” infuses the trailer with a wink wink nudge nudge feel and the parallels between this and Adam Wingard’s You’re Next are clear. What’s not clear is how they’ll be able to set themselves apart from the home invasion films of the early aughts. The Purge already tried to reclaim the genre and considering how quickly they pivoted to a larger scale, social justice tinged franchise, just focusing on old genre tricks didn’t seem to go too well. Regardless, I’m excited to see the story revived. I’ll never say no to a horror film with a fun soundtrack. -Kaylee Dugan
Isle of Dogs in theaters March 23
If you love good food and better cocktails, you’ve probably spent some time in Espita. The mezcal focused bar has been a smash hit since it opened in 2016 and while there have been plenty of changes, they’re still pumping out good drinks and food. The week of their anniversary they’ll have a special roasted cauliflower taco on the menu and part of the sales from the meal will go to local charity Ayuda. On their actual anniversary, they’ll be keeping it chill with an all day mezcal happy hour and complimentary cupcakes. Get drunk, have fun and be sure to thank the awesome people who work there. -Kaylee Dugan
The first time I heard Kelela’s “All the Way Down” off her seminal 2015 album Hallucinogen I was immediately hooked to the amorphous nostalgia her sonic presence stirred in my mind. Hints of late career Aaliyah superimposed onto low-fi electronic production reminiscent of South London’s Burial, Kelela’s ability to traverse negative space and tonal fluctuations is—dare I say—unmatched. The D.C. native is at the forefront of an R&B revival that counts fellow collaborator Solange as one of its stalwarts, and possesses a talent that’s so authentic that one can’t help but feel that even her critically-acclaimed 2017 album Take Me Apart was nothing more than an appetizer of what’s to come. -Ruben Gzirian
2017 was the year of sad rap; the type of rap that deceptively plays to the sonic narratives of heavy bass as a vehicle for lyrics that suggest something a little more sinister. Lil Xan and $teve Cannon fall into this category, and their meteoric rise to the rap consciousness is a product of just how well they deliver in this niche. If you’re looking for lyrical complexity and showmanship then probably look elsewhere. But if you’re interested in all concepts of rap and looking for a prime example of how vocal distortion wraps itself to primal beats, then these two guys are your best bet. -Ruben Gzirian
Lucy Dacus Historian available March 2
I interviewed Lucy Dacus back in 2016 following the release of her stunner debut LP No Burden. Historian, her sophomore record, is set to be released on Matador March 2, and if the glowing reviews are any indication of what we’re in for, this is gonna be REAL GOOD. Ten tracks total, which she describes as a narrative “progression of loss”. 100% in my wheelhouse. -Megan Burns
The first WorldStarHipHop video I ever saw was in 2010, and it featured Jeezy (formerly Young Jeezy) walking through the streets of Miami with a mob of people while bragging about—and I’m serious—the Levis he had on and the gun that was in said Levis. That episode should really communicate two things: (1) Jeezy is about as real a rapper as you’ll find, and (2) he’s been doing this for a while. Oh, and he’s the genius behind the lyrics “My president is black, my Lambo’s blue.” On the other hand, Tee Grizzley’s first hit “First Day Out” came out in late-2016, but the Detroit rapper exudes all of the tantric urgency you’d imagine from a young man who is less than two years removed from serving time in jail. -Ruben Gzirian
As someone who really stopped following rock music a few years ago, it really flutters my heart when I know that bands like 1000Mods, Telekinetic Yeti, and Baltimore’s Alms continue to exist. Each band delivers music best enjoyed in tight confines reeking of stale beer, and that’s exactly what rock is sort of missing right now. The slow-paced opening echoes of a subterranean guitar lifted by the controlled chaos of drums in 1000Mods’ “Above 179,” or the layered cacophony of Telekinetic Yeti’s “Lightbearer” all bring back memories of that one time my cousin and I had to fight our way out of a mosh pit at a Stone Temple Pilots concert. Those were good times. -Ruben Gzirian
MGMT’s 2007 album Oracular Spectacular came at a time when indie pop was bursting through a watershed moment; weird synth experimentation with fingers in the 80s with an extra side of 60s psychedelic was the rage. In 2018 that allure has lost its initial luster, but continues to provide an option B in a pop landscape largely devoid of “out there” mainstream acts. MGMT’s recent album Little Dark Age dropped the same day as the Black Panther soundtrack, but even then a close friend of mine sent me this album with the cryptic text “listen to this if you want something else.” That’s a good way to describe MGMT—refreshingly something else. -Ruben Gzirian
I’ve seen Nada Surf at least half a dozen times over the past 13 years, but I’ve never been more excited for one of their concerts than I am for next Wednesday’s. On March 7, the New York-based indie rock group goes back to old material with a stop Washington’s Black Cat on the 15th anniversary tour of their best album, Let Go. Rarely has a band reinvented itself so beautifully — and they plan to play the LP in its entirety. You probably remember the lilting, Snow Patrol-esque “Inside of Love,” but also not to be forgotten are the less-is-more opener “Blizzard of ’77,” the slow-burn stalker “Killian’s Red,” and, my personal favorite, “Treading Water,” an exuberant deep track that alternates between bustling and meandering, but does both with joy. Whether you’re an old fan or new to the party, this is the Nada Surf show to see. -Tristan Lejeune
When I saw Alex Cameron at Songbyrd in late-2017, I really wondered if the dude was from this Earth. His delivery, body movement, and total belief in his persona of a hybrid of Leonard Cohen and dude who is paid to cover Leonard Cohen is entrancing. Songs like “Candy May” off of 2017’s Forced Witness are driven by production notes you’d find in an off-the-strip Vegas lounge, while his voice is a double-edged sword of buttery smooth and toxic abrasiveness. I had no idea who Cameron was when I saw him live off a whim, and I bet most of you will be the same, but I left completely sold. I think you’ll be the same. -Ruben Gzirian
Let’s get this out of the way now: G-Eazy is a fine rapper. It’s tough sometimes to swallow his “woe is me” narratives of fame, especially when it’s not really backed by lyrics that explore the trappings of fame in any substantive way. But with that being said, the dude is clearly talented; he understands the limits of his voice, and in a way that elevates his craft. In my opinion, the real draw is Trippie Redd, a young rapper from…Canton, Ohio…the same town as Marilyn Manson. Redd is from a burgeoning class of young rappers who blur the line between rap and something else, and his firm grip on the genre of trippy emo (no pun intended) rap is growing by the day. -Ruben Gzirian
Yo La Tengo There’s A Riot Going On available March 16
My pick for the Great American Band, Yo La Tengo, is back with There’s A Riot Going On, their perfectly titled fifteenth studio album. Thirty plus years into their career, they’re still finding ways to innovate and expand their sound, this time by taking bits and pieces of previously unreleased recordings from the last decade or so and assembling them into expansive, drifting sketches. A self-produced collection of song-scrap experiments would sound inessential if it wasn’t coming from a band as visionary and creative as YLT. The five (!) tracks that have been released so far have been a diverse bunch of atmospheric pop nuggets, hinting at the dense, intriguing full-length waiting ahead. -Matt Byrne
Big K.R.I.T. and Ty Dolla $ign: two guys who couldn’t be further apart on one ticket. Big K.R.I.T. made a splash with his 2010 mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, delivering a surgical combination of tight lyrics and melodies that resuscitated memories of early UGK and Outkast. The momentum, at least in notoriety, has fallen off since then, but his appeal to rap purists is as strong as ever. Tracks like “Big Bank” off his 2017 4eva is A Mighty Long Time remind you why that is. As for Ty Dolla $ign, his appeal is damn near universal. Whether it’s “Dawsin’s Break,” “Ex,” or “When I See Ya,” Ty Dolla’s appeal is in the embodiment of a crooner vitmaixed with a dude with all of the memories and swagger of being raised in South Central Los Angeles. -Ruben Gzirian
The SheBelieves Cup is back at it again with a series of soccer matches starting this afternoon; the USWNT will face off against France, Germany and England over the course of a week, and YA GURL IS GOING TO SUNDAY’S DOUBLE HEADER AT RED BULL ARENA! I have never been this amped in my entire life, for real. I hope Jill Ellis’ chosen lineup will pull off a more impressive showing than at the last SheBelieves Cup, because we’re starting to get a little too close for comfort to the 2019 Women’s World Cup to be looking as shaky as we have. Either way, I’ll be rooting for the USA for the next seven days in hopes my psychic powers are of assistance. -Megan Burns
On My Block released on Netflix March 16
Netflix’s new coming of age comedy On My Block is the latest series from Lauren Iungerich, creator of MTV’s popular teen dramedy Awkward. The show follows a quartet of teenagers navigating life in South Central LA, combining high-school antics with a gritty-yet-goofy take on growing up in a rough inner city neighborhood. The cast includes Teen Wolf’s Diego Tinoco and Jason Genao from another beloved Netflix series, The Get Down. This stylish, semi-lighthearted ensemble comedy will be an instant binge for all you Awkward heads out there. -Matt Byrne
The Standups released on Netflix March 20
Netflix’s collection of half-hour standup specials returns for a second season with sets from a diverse and solid batch of comics. I’m most excited to catch the gruff goofball Kyle Kinane, charming weirdo Aparna Nancherla, and British breakout Gina Yashere this season, which also features performances from Joe List, Brent Morin, and Rachel Feinstein. This three hour block of extremely good standup comedy is another step towards Netflix solidifying their position as the go-to places for reliably great comedy specials. -Matt Byrne
The Americans’ final season begins on FX March 28
New, quality theatrical comedies are truly rare, but Familiar, a heartfelt story of an intra-family culture clash ahead of a winter wedding in Minnesota, makes you laugh so hard that by the time it turns to drama, you’re in it all waist-deep.
How good is this play? You somehow wish that EVERYone’s part was bigger. Especially Inga Ballard, so exquisite as an African-born matriarch fiercely defending the world she’s built. No, wait, but especially especially Shannon Dorsey, the heart of the piece as a sick-of-the-shadow younger sister. And particularly especially Andy Truschinski, the last to join the fun and a charming fish out of water. Read more in our review.
Detective Pikachu available March 23
Far Cry 5 available March 27