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. Here are 30 events, items, ideas that will make November your best month. -ed.
Technically FotoWeek runs November 8-16 but the opening night party is November 7 so we’re counting it. There’s a lot to count. A lot. It’s like Flickr came to life in D.C. In addition to the opening night party, there are three separate competitions, over 50 events (50!) and a massive FotoBazaar for photographers of all levels to sell their goods. Once again, like Flickr came to life.
The National Gallery of Art celebrates the 400th anniversary of El Greco (from Greece, claimed by Spain…you know how that works) with a stunning new exhibit of his work. Come for the paintings of religious pleadings but stay for the El Greco documentary narrated by Adrien Brody and his inexplicable British accent.
When I was 8 years-old my mother handed me my first Stephen King book, Silver Bullet. I immediately fell in love (A priest turned werewolf turned killer? You bet!). For the last 26 years I have enjoyed nearly every single piece of writing Stephen King has given to the world (Let’s talk about that ending to It). On November 12th he’ll be at Lisner Auditorium discussing his latest book Revival (release date: November 11th). My mom and I are going together. If there’s a Q&A section I will either ask:
- Mr. King, as someone who almost exclusively writes horror novels, what kind of nightmares do you have
- Mr. King, why are prepubescent children always boning in your books in order to save the day?
If books are art then cook books are art doubly. come check out award-winning celebrate chef Marcus Samuelsson when he comes to DC to talk about his new cookbook, Marcus: Off Duty. Born in Ethiopia, and raised in Sweden, Marcus was trained in European kitchens and has since gone on to be a five-time James Beard Award recipient. His cooking, as reflected in these recipes, is an eclectic blend of favors he has experienced in his life and travels. -originally published in our Fall Art Guide
Halston was the creator of Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat. He is known for his minimalistic pieces and hefty influence on American fashion. This book was written by his niece and reveals the underbelly of his inspirations and private life. -originally published in our Fall Style Guide
After cancelling their show last March, the (arguably) funniest girls on TV will finally be gracing the 9:30 Club with their long-awaited presence. The Amy Poehler-produced Comedy Central show has been picked up for a second season, much to the delight of fans of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s irreverent stoner-girl humor. Sadly this show is sold out (and has been for some time), but tickets are available on StubHub. -Tam Sackman
America’s Funnyman returns to D.C. to sip on a glass of gin and make gagging noises. He should also have some new one-liners in his arsenal that’ll delight cringe comedy fans and Adult Swim devotees. Need proof that Mr. Hamburger has still got it? Check out his Twitter account, where he lambasts corporate America and compiles the Internet’s stories of Taco Bell-induced food poisoning. -Dan Singer
You know Wyatt Cenac because he was the junior black correspondent on The Daily Show for a while, but you should also know Wyatt Cenac for his intellectual-stoner stand-up — especially his special Comedy Person and Brooklyn — that can be yours live at Black Cat, a surprisingly not bad place to see comedy. -Bryce Rudow
A chance to drink New Belgium on special at three different bars in three different neighborhoods and a chance to wear flannel and/or Boy Scout uniforms. Find us there.
Every November I look forward to drinking Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. This seasonal was the one of the original “fresh hop” beers, meaning it’s brewed with fresh whole leaf hops as opposed to dried ones. This is a fairly common practice now, but, like many craft beer trends, Sierra Nevada was one of the pioneers. The use of fresh hops gives this beer a juicy citrus aroma and a crisp bitterness that is so damn delicious. And while the hops may be the star of this wintery IPA, the intense malt backbone is not to be ignored. Celebration Ale pours a deep copper hue and has a toasty caramel sweetness that pairs so well with the citrus from the hops. It’s creamy full body and darker malts make this beer perfect for the cooler weather. -Mitchell West
There is something about particularly pungent cheese that has some people flocking towards it, so satisfy your cravings with NatGeo’s wine/cheese/beer pairing event. Sample flavorful cheeses with cheesemonger Steven Jenkins and learn which drinks pair best with the cheeses with the help of sommelier Joshua Wesson and brewmaster Garrett Oliver. -Lotanna Obodozie
Robin Williams, let’s face it, had a little bit of a questionable movie track record toward the end of his life but IT IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON. AND ONE OF HIS LAST MOVIE WAS A CHRISTMAS ONE. AND JOEL MCHALE IS IN IT. AND GENA ROWLANDS. AND LAUREN GRAHAM. If that doesn’t spell fun for all the family, we don’t know what does. –Svetlana Legetic, originally published in our Fall Film Guide
Director Bennett Miller has been on a hot streak, with his last two films Capote and Moneyball earning best picture Oscar nominations and fantastic performances. Foxcatcher looks to be a dark, unnerving film that will certainly put its cast in an entirely new light. Telling the story of Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), a Olympic wrestler and his coach John du Pont (Steve Carell), Foxcatcher shows the bond between pupil and teacher and how this particular story went to tragic levels.
Over the past few years Tatum has gone from kind of a joke to a fascinating actor, stealing scenes in everything from the 21 Jump Street franchise to multiple Steven Soderbergh films. His role here could very well be his first Oscar nomination. Speaking of which, Steve Carell is a shoo-in for a nomination. After less comedic roles in films like Hope Springs and The Way, Way Back, Carell is almost unrecognizable as du Pont. His horrifying actions seem even more terrifying considering they’re coming from an actor many of us fell in love with for his hilarious, big-hearted characters. Foxcatcher should continue Miller’s success rate and become his most shocking film. -Ross Bonaime, originally published in our Fall Film Guide
25 years after sauntered onto the world music scene, all art-school cool and beyond catchy, PULP return to Sheffield for a reunion concert, and a documentary that is rumored to be as funny, smart, sardonic and well, life changing, as some of their finest songs. Beyond music, topics covered include fame, love, mortality – & car maintenance, interspersing the band’s gives and takes with fantastical, specially-staged tableaux moments featuring ordinary (common?) people recruited on the streets of the town that gave Jarvis & co. their start. We plan to watch this and then PROMPTLY watch it again. And again. – Svetlana Legetic, originally published in our Fall Film Guide
Six Chefs and two mixologists, including Chef Kaz Okochi from Kaz Sushi Bistro, Chef Domenico Apollaro from Lupo Verde, and Mixologist Mary Kelly from Del Campo will face-off in a cooking competition and a cocktail battle utilizing some of Chile’s best ingredients at this exciting event. -Priya Konings
This highly anticipated annual event features samples from hundreds of restaurants, endless cocktails, a celebrity chef battle, and a pastry competition. Judges include Ted Allen, Anthony Bourdain, and Carla Hall. Ticket sales benefit DC Central Kitchen, a local non-profit that seeks to end hunger. Celebrity stalking, awesome food, and endless drinks all for a good cause…it doesn’t get much better than this! -Priya Konings
Mike Isabella is hosting a pop-up of his newest venture, Pepita at his restaurant G, on the above dates as a preview of the Mexican restaurant which will open in January 2015 in Ballston. The pop-up is $40 for four course with a variety of Mexican cocktails available for an additional charge. -Priya Konings
Not too much exciting happening this month in the world of LEGO, as could be expected from the lackluster store calendar, but there are still a few things to waste money on.
First up is the release of the all new Minecraft sets, now in full size mode. I was a big fan of the original Minecraft MicroWorld series, it hit all the right OCD notes and was super cute and weird, and apparently others were too as they were a huge seller, so it’s not a shocker that we now have more playable versions.
On Nov 15th you can pick up The First Night, The Cave, The Farm, The Ender Dragon, and The Mine. Honestly though, looking at these images, I think these pale in comparison to the MicroWorld sets. They are just way less interesting and in general look a little off, but maybe it’s just me? See all the sets here: http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Minecraft-ByTheme
There is one set though that is pretty special, the Crafting Box, which gives you 518 pieces to craft your own mines with, but also gives you 8 different instruction sets, some inspirational pictures, and a periodic table of Minecraft elements for those of us who are less creative. It’s a great idea from LEGO and very in the spirit of the game.
Normally I always recommend buying your LEGO from an official store or web site so you can rack up VIP points and get freebies, but in November you have potentially two reasons to shop at Toys R Us. First, Benny’s Spaceship is on sale for $80, it’s a fantastic set from The LEGO Movie which has a nostalgic 1980’s Space theme vibe, plus it includes exclusive astronaut versions of UniKitty, Wyldstyle, and a Robo-Emmet.
Meanwhile in Canada they’re giving away a Rocket Racoon mini-figure (with potted Groot) with a $30 or more purchase, rumor has it they’ll be coming to the US in November as well!
And finally there is a good chance the epic Batman Tumbler UCS set will be back in stock this November after crazy selling out in October. -Cale
“There’s something very traditional about it: A chorus that has a tendency to indelibly sketch itself onto the back of your shirt sleeve and stay there for multiple laundry cycles; a build that results in a measure-long break in the instrumentation highlighting two ripely pleasing ‘Hey Heys.'” That’s how BYT’s Phil Chevalier recently described Alvvay’s college radio hit “Archie, Marry Me,” and it’s a sentiment that rings true for much of the Canadian five-piece’s Chad VanGaalen-produced (!) debut. If you came of age on late 90s and early 00s indie rock, Alvvays is chicken for the soul. It is just perfect. I bought my ticket for its DC9 show months ago. And when it plays “Adult Diversion” in a few weeks, you’ll be able to see my smile from outer space. -Phil Runco
I’ve spent the last few years pouring over Angel Olsen’s 2010 EP Strange Cacti and debut album Half Way Home on the regular and have probably listened to her second album Burn Your Fire For No Witness more than any other LP released this year. I’ve exhausted her current discography to the point that I was thrilled to hear Jagjaguwar is issuing a deluxe version of Burn Your Fire… on November 18th with 5 previously unreleased tracks from the same sessions. I’ll take it! -Matt Byrne
There are two types of New Pornographers tours: all-star and off-brand. And if you’ve ever heard someone who is not Neko Case try to sing a Neko Case song, you know exactly how disappointing the latter is. Thankfully, this tour is of the all-star variety, which means Neko’s pipes and Dan Bejar’s weirdness will be on full display. Combine them with opener The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and these two nights at the 9:30 Club are basically the olympic weight lifting competition of power pop. These bands got songs. And both added to their treasure troves this year with Brill Bruisers and Days of Abandon, respectively. On the down side, this is a line-up that you absolutely can’t discuss with co-workers without sounding like a complete weirdo.
…Is A Real Boy is a masterpiece and while Say Anything’s latest albums have been spotty at best, the chance to see this thing in its entirety live is something I’ve been waiting 7 years for. -Bryce Rudow
It was a little over a year ago when our own very talented music writer Bryce Rudow interviewed The Dismemberment Plan’s Travis Morrison on the eve of their very-anticipated homecoming show at 9:30 Club. When Bryce asked Travis what his ideal homecoming show is like, Travis replied: “The main thing playing the hometown is that the crowd is going to bring some weird behavior. It’s not going to be people buying tickets and popcorn. Some kind of freak show will interrupt and we’ll be the least interesting thing in the room.” You’ve been warned. -Bryce Rudow
Masterchef Junior season 2 starts November 4th
Fox’s Iron Chef/Chopped hybrid cooking challenge show got the Kid Nation treatment last year with Masterchef Junior, which tasked two dozen kitchen prodigies aged 8-13 with a series of culinary challenges. A lot of tears were shed and laughs had as the kids’ parents watched on from above. The first season was (obviously) at its best when playing up the absurdity of the whole thing, so here’s hoping more of that this time around! -Matt Byrne
National Geographic is giving the Planet Earth treatment to the history of food and cooking with its new six-part miniseries EAT: The Story of Food. The show will chart the evolution of cuisine, going in-depth into the stories behind such food revolutionaries as Julia Child, Chef Boyardee, and Christopher Columbus, as well as the machinations behind the science of junk food, the business of seafood, and the biological impacts of grilled meat. -Matt Byrne
The often hilarious dialogue is witty and incisive without alienating the audience. Twyford and Sottile hold the audience’s rapt attention with ease through the one hour forty-five minute play. However, there was a lot of pacing and movement that occurred throughout, which was perhaps meant to be further indication of personality differences (or similarities) between Olivia and Ethan, but tended to be more distracting than endearing. Nonetheless, the play is fun, smart, and wholly entertaining. -Melissa Groth, originally published in our review
Inspired by the sculpture of the Little Dancer by Edward Degas, the Kennedy Center created a musical based on Marie van Goethem, the model for the sculpture, and her life. It is a musical, but there will definitely be a lot of ballet. Boyd Gaines, a four-time Tony Award winner, plays Degas. -Sarah Guan