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 this November your best month.
For starters – we look forward to seeing you at two of our big upcoming events: Found in Space After Hours Party at the Air and Space Museum (November 4!) and the 10th annual FotoWeekDC festival, which kicks off November 10.
It’s 400 linear feet of art. It’s going to be weird and great and way too big to be enjoyed in the two minutes you usually spend looking at a painting. Damn I love the Hirshhorn. -Kaylee Dugan
The 10th annual edition of D.C.’s own photography festival promises to be bigger and shinier and more fun (and meaningful) than ever. Over 100 events at 40 different locations come together for a truly citywide celebration featuring exhibitions and highlighting world-class photography, and providing exposure for photographers working locally and worldwide. Our full preview is running later this week but make sure to not miss stopping by FotoWeekCentral and FotoGeorgetown this year to soak in exhibitions, panels, workshops, talks by some of the best D.C. & nationwide photographers, and more. Opening party is always a blast and happens November 10. Almost all other events are free or close to free. -Svetlana Legetic
Great cause, great art, great people watching. A fantastic opportunity for both beginning and seasoned collectors to purchase some of DC’s best contemporary visual art, Transformer’s Auction brings together a smart and sophisticated guest list of artists, collectors, gallerists, entrepreneurs, and arts enthusiasts, all in line with the organizations cool, modern, cutting-edge aesthetic. Do it and start planning your outfit NOW. -Svetlana Legetic
I’m really excited for this, and you should be as well (also, check out FotoFilm programming in conjunction with this exhibition – ed). “The Message: New Media Works,” a new exhibition of five contemporary film and video installations that resonate with the voices of music, film and pop culture, will be on view at the Hirshhorn from November 18, 2017 through April 22, 2018.
This is the first exhibition organized by Mark Beasley, the Hirshhorn’s inaugural Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar, Curator of Media and Performance Art, and it promises to be as moving and emotionally charged as last year’s Ragnar Kjartansson exhibit. Featuring the work of several leading international video artists, the highlight is a video titled “Love is the Message, the Message is Death” by acclaimed cinematographer Arthur Jafa, who has worked with acclaimed artists including Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Kanye West. And no, it won’t be as Instagrammable as Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” but maybe that’s a good thing. Take the art in, folks. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
It takes some amount of self-assurance to think your life story is worthy of a full-length book’s worth of words. It takes an iconic level of ego to believe it is worth FIVE books’ worth. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Garth Brooks. On November 14, the first book of Brooks’ multi-part autobiography, The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years, hits the shelves. It retails at $39.95, which means you’re paying about $8 per year. But it does come with music, which is decidedly in Brooks’ wheelhouse, so as long as you still own a CD player, maybe it’s worth it? -Trisha Brown
Donna Brazile has been involved in presidential elections for decades. She’s been the interim chair of the DNC twice, ran a failed presidential campaign (Al Gore – bet that still stings), and was one of CNN’s more engaging commentators during the 2016 race until she was let go following revelations that she’d leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton before a Democratic primary debate. (Oops.) All that to say, there aren’t a lot of people whose insight on the 2016 race and outcomes I think is going to be more interesting than hers. Luckily, she has a new book out, and she’s doing the promotion circuit, so I’ll get my chance to hear it. -Trisha Brown
Gold Dust Woman, the new Stevie Nicks biography from rock writer Stephen Davis who has previously written acclaimed works about the lives of folks like Jim Morrison, Levon Helm, Bob Marley, and others, has already racked up some rave reviews. This sucker’s coming out just in time to pick it up for the Fleetwood Mac head in your life (we’ve all got one!!!!!!). -Matt Byrne
Hey, feel like 16 oz’s of piping hot take? Well, here you go: While Snallygaster snags all the press and attracts all ye #whalezhunterz, Novemberfest might secretly be the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s best beer fest – or “outdoor block party,” as it prefers to be known. For one, it’s held in perfect, crisp fall weather. Two, it attracts less dudes that’ll knock over a baby stroller sprinting for a sip of Barrel-Aged Abraxas. And, three, the festiblock throwdown makes the case that you don’t need Brooklyn and Vermont beer when you’ve got Virginia right in your backyard.
That’s right, Novemeberfest is all Virginia everything. 80 beers (or so). 30 breweries (and cideries). All made in Virginia. If you’ve made it this far in this blurb, you’re probably familiar with the buzziest names on the list of participants: Ocelot, The Veil, The Answer, Triple Crossing, Aslin, and Pen Druid. That’s the area’s five varsity hop jocks and their weird but cool arty friend. Of course, curator and local beer deity Greg Engert isn’t stopping there. There’s Black Narrows (a forthcoming Chincoteague Island brewery who completely blew me away at Denizens’ Make It Funky Fest), Reason Beer (a new Charlottesville joint founded by Maine Beer vets), Port City (don’t you ever take Port City for granted), and on and on and on.
In addition to beer (wait, what?), Rustico chef Aaron Wright will be cooking up American fare. There will also be wine from Barboursville Vineyards for your lame friends. Tickets cost $25, which includes $20 food and drink tickets, so it’s basically a $5 cover. Don’t be cheap. -Phil R.
Hopfunk Fest @ 3 Stars Brewing November 11
It’s time to get hoppy. It’s time to get funky. It’s time to get Hopfunky. 3 Stars’ celebration of IPAs, sours, and wild ales is back for a second round.
Like last year, the D.C. brewery has invited its oh-so-hippest friends, both old (J. Wakefield, Oliver Ales, RAR, Graft Cider, Charm City Meadworks) and new (Interboro, LIC Beer Project, 18th Street Brewing, Ocelot Brewing). Plus, you know, 3 Stars beer. That’s not too shabby, folks. Revisit our profile The Technicolor Life of 3 Stars Brewing to read what they’ve been up to recently.
A general admission ticket runs $20, which nets you a sick custom glass and your first 2 drink tickets. Or maybe your only 2 drink tickets. Maybe you drink a J. Wakefield Miami Madness and die of happiness. I’m just keeping an open mind. Anyway, there’s are also a VIP option, which includes entrance to event an hour early, a special giftbag, 4 additional drink tickets, and… an “exclusive surprise component.” Ooh mysterious. (My money is on Dave Coleman lap dances.) -Phil R.
Oh boy, I am pumped for this one. Charm City Meadworks is opening a taproom in downtown Baltimore. Like, a stone’s throw from Penn Station and around the corner from Brewer’s Art. What can you expect? I’ll quote their Facebook page: “21 taps, bar stools that are the correct height for the bar, USB outlets, menu with nice handwriting.” Sold.
The grand opening meadravaganza is Saturday, November 18 from 1:00 to 7:00. Per the event page, they’ll have several “limited, one-off, and collaboration kegs” on tap, and we all know that #rare mead is the best mead. But seriously, how can you not want to get down with some Gin Barrel-Aged Basil Lemongrass mead and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pumpkin mead? And because I plug it every time I talk about Charm City Meadworks, revisit our Freshly Tapped: Two-Headed Unicorn to learn all about the honey wine purveyors. -Phil R.
Lady Bird in theaters November 3
The combo of Greta Gerwig directing, Saoirse Ronan starring and A24 distributing is hard to beat. Ronan makes a departure from the calm and cool elegance she was lauded for in Brooklyn and plays a rowdy teen who seems hellbent on doing whatever she can to make her mother’s life harder. Lady Bird may seem like your traditional coming of age film, but if there’s anyone I trust to give more heart, soul and edge to that genre than Boyhood could ever dream of, it’s those three. -Kaylee Dugan
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in theaters November 10
The latest movie from Martin McDonaugh, Irish playwright-turned-filmmaker responsible for the very good In Bruges and the less good but still interesting Seven Psychopaths. It looks to be a vaguely Coen Bros.-influenced work that showcases always amazing Frances McDormand at her most righteously vulgar. I got high hopes for this one, folks. -Matt Byrne
Justice League in theaters November 17
I didn’t even realize I cared about this movie until a few weeks ago when I started very forcefully (and medium drunkenly) defending it in a bar to a couple of friends who’d already written it off based on, you know, most of the other D.C. Comics-based movies of late. But Wonder Woman was great! And Wonder Woman is in Justice League! And so are Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, and – based on the trailer – there’s even a quick cameo appearance by Batman’s sense of humor. This movie is probably not going to be fantastic, and it’s almost certainly going to get hammered by Thor: Ragnarok at the box office (pun intended, obviously). But I think it could be pretty OK, and I will continue to drunkenly defend it until my hopes are dashed. Possibly longer. -Trisha Brown
Coco in theaters November 22
Pixar’s got a new movie out, the first original since 2015’s The Good Dinosaur (which was sort of overshadowed by the wild success of Inside Out, release earlier that year). It’s called Coco and it looks to unfold within a typically lushly imagined universe, full of meditations on familial trauma and goofy songs, as it follows its 12 year old main character through an underworld inspired by the imagery and traditions of Día de los Muertos. -Matt Byrne
The best annual food event for shelf stable delicacies. I’ve attended this thing as holiday gift buying research. It’s fantastic because while you can get stuffed or tipsy from local vendors, you’ll also learn about spices and condiments from other local vendors you would have otherwise ignored. I realize I’m raving about things that cost a few dollars and can be found in select Whole Foods. But when you’ve attended hundreds of food events featuring small bites and craft cocktails, leaning about well made and well produced local products is more exciting than you’d think. -Brandon Wetherbee
Beefsteak new fall menu
Beefsteak, D.C.’s favorite vegetarian fast casual joint, is debuting four new seasonal dishes this fall including a “hokey beet poke” where beets will take the place of traditional poke. The beets are first marinated in ginger and glazed with soy and sesame oil, and then tossed with root vegetables, seaweed salad, and rice. Personally, I am pretty excited about the curry lentil bowl with kale, kohlrabi and brussels sprouts and the greens and grain bowl which comes doused in a spicy tahini dressing. On colder days you can get the fall squash soup which comes full of cranberries, green beans, and pumpkin seeds. If you don’t like certain ingredients you can customize your bowl. All the bowls and soups are under $9.00. -Priya Konings
Two new Indian restaurants opening imminently
Two new Indian restaurants are opening their doors this fall. First, the second Bindaas will open at The Shops at 2000 PENN, 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 20006. The venue will serve Indian street snacks like its sister restaurant in Cleveland Park. Be sure to get the masala popcorn, mushroom kathi roll, and the bhel puri.
The second Indian restaurant is Karma Modern Indian, from Sachin Mahajan and Ricky Singh, newcomers to the D.C. dining scene but have restaurants in New Delhi, India. The restaurant will open in Mount Vernon Square. Karma will be serving North Indian fare, with influences from different regions of the country. -Priya Konings
Thanksgiving this year is going to be tense. Dare I say more tense than last year when your least favorite uncle felt vindicated and invincible even before getting drunk. The night before Thanksgiving, which thankfully no one has taken to calling Thanksgiving Eve, turned into a homecoming shitshow. What used to be a low-key mess of a night at your hometown’s local bar has blossomed turd-like into an event. Now you all but have to do shots with everyone in your graduating class and make out with divorcees. Strong pass. Instead, focus on Friendsgiving, the Cyber Monday to Thanksgiving’s Black Friday. Gather with people you like and probably aren’t related to, eat good food and get drunk on good beer and maybe watch a bunch of Friends Thanksgiving episodes (not actually where the term Friendsgiving comes from, but hey, serendipity’s gonna serendip.)
Since the host traditionally handles the bird, and everyone else brings a side, I myself -having access to an abundance of damn fine cured meats- bring a cheese dessert plate. You’ll want at the very least three cheeses: something creamy, something blue, something hard. If you want to throw a semisoft in there, or a smoked cheese, you do you. Arrowine out in Arlington knows their stuff so thoroughly you can walk in, grab a bottle of wine or beer and they’ll put a platter together for you. Their DC location is just as capable. Sometimes I’ll hit up Righteous Cheese in Union Market to supplement my platter. I’m also partial to cheesemongers at my local farmers markets, Spring Gap Mountain Creamery at the Petworth Community Market is great, as is Stonyman Gourmet at the Bethesda and Mosaic farmers markets. Drop a sliced up MeatCrafters salami or duck prosciutto (yeah, I make ’em, what of it?) on there, maybe some lamb sticks. A touch of jam or honey that works with one or two of the cheeses, perhaps a tapenade or pickles. Scatter some candied nuts or toasted seeds around for good measure. Contrasting textures is the way to go. There’s always going to be an apple and/or pumpkin pie for dessert, but try something classy and classic like eating pounds of cheese after a big meal. Thoughts of delicie de cremiere with dark chocolate raspberry jam will keep you sated through a meal of rubber turkey. Be thankful. -Jeb Gavin
Hoops are a really exciting young band from Indiana just trying to make a living – they make some really cool, jangly, atmospheric rock, and they’re nice people to boot. Go support them and make a night out of it on H Street, if your Halloween hangover isn’t too terrible. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
Remember the early aughts, those halcyon days when seemingly every indie band was Canadian? Broken Social Scene, Wolf Parade, and Arcade Fire were suddenly blasting into everyone’s earholes. Among those bands, The Dears never really reached the same levels of success, but they were just as good – if not better. Catch what you’re missing at DC9, where they play the hits like “Disclaimer” and tracks off their new album. -Alan Zilberman
Brazilian jazz superstar Souza joins forces with the seventeen virtuoso strings of A Far Cry to give voice to poet Carolyn Forché’s “On Earth,” a luminous meditation on life and loss, through musical settings by some of the most distinctive creative voices in indie-classical music. – Jenn Tisdale
The Words Beats & Life Festival returns to the Kennedy Center following a strong showing in 2016. This time around the D.C. hip-hop nonprofit will be celebrating the art forms of breakdancing and graffiti with free events that include the Top Notch 2017 3v3 b-boy/b-girl competing and the Fine Lines Paint Jam.
The Top Notch competition will also feature some of the premier breakers in the country, such as Box Won from Philadelphia, Kid Clyde from NYC, Ghost from Virginia, with our very own Trus Real as MC. If nothing else, this is a much better way to spend your Sunday than spending $25 for scrambled eggs.
If dancing isn’t your thing, the Fine Lines Paint Jam, which will include 30 D.C.-based artists creating live works inspired by the classic hip hop film Wild Style, will definitely be a unique experience. Oh, and did we mention all of this is free? -Ruben Gzirian
This is probably going to be the multi-sensory experience of the year. Flying Lotus’ music is dense, rhythmically complex, and polytonal, and the accompanying visuals and production value of this show promises to be equally as wild and psychically challenging. Questions abound regarding the technology and execution for this performance – will they make everyone wear those goofy 3D glasses? – but what is not in doubt is that Echostage is still a solid venue for large electronic dance parties. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
After 26 years and eight studio albums, HIM is calling it quits. Much of that staying power can be attributed to the band’s continual exploration of love and death through sonic experimentation—thunderous guitars mixed with pounding electrics are an ode to industrial influences and Black Sabbath.
Joining HIM will be L.A. industrial-rock band 3TEETH. I recently saw 3TEETH at U Street Music Hall and loved every moment. Every part of me that loves Nine Inch Nails, early Marilyn Manson, Ministry, and KMFDM left that show absolutely giddy. While this show is part of HIM’s farewell tour, you’d be hard pressed to find a better industrial band than 3TEETH. And in a venue like Fillmore, this collision of past, present, and future is sure to leave a mark. -Ruben Gzirian
Angel Olsen Phases out November 10
It probably sounds rude to compare Angel Olsen to barbecue sauce, but stick with me in this analogy – barbecue sauce makes everything better, and by the same token, so does Angel Olsen’s voice. She could honestly sing the Empire jingle and it would be an instant hit. So I have full faith in this collection of rarities from the past decade of excellence that she’s about to finally release into the atmosphere, and I am very confident all of them will make life better. -Megan Burns
Trying to explain who Kodak Black is and what Kodak Black is, is immensely difficult. The who part: a 20 year rapper from Florida with six albums to his name, all of which showcase his unbridled skills of introspection and flow—is easy. The what part: a 20 year old rapper from Florida who is always on the cusp of greatness until another legal issue derails his then momentum—is tough to wrap your mind around. And while Kodak’s skill is undeniable—tracks like “Patty Cake,” “Vibin In This Bih,” and “Transportin’” are testaments to that—his true appeal is found in songs like “Misunderstood” from Project Baby 2; songs that find Kodak acknowledging his tribulations in a manner that makes you feel guilty for feeling sorry for him.
Much of Kodak’s young career has been defined by a “will he or will he not_____ “ question where the phrases “be in jail” or “escape his troubled past” fit interchangeably. But what is undeniable, and has been since he released Heart of the Projects in 2014, is his immense talent and potential. -Ruben Gzirian
Charlotte Gainsbourg Rest out November 17
I can legitimately say that, besides Thanksgiving, this is the thing I am most intensely looking forward to ALL MONTH LONG. Every track I have heard off this record so far is incredible, ranging from ones you want to move to (like “Deadly Valentine”) to ones you want to die to (like title track “Rest”) // collaborators like Sir Paul McCartney, Owen Pallet and Daft Punk all helped bring Gainsbourg’s vision to life, so it makes sense that it would be a cracking follow-up to 2010’s IRM. (CANNOT. WAIT.) -Megan Burns
Rarely in music do we get to see the true originators, the people that did it FIRST, in the flesh. Due to hip hop’s young age—the first “rap song” is usually attributed to the Fatback Band’s 1979 song “King Time III”—many of the luminaries who drove the art form are still with us.
Luminaries like MC Sha-Rock, the first female in a rap group (Funky 4+1) that also became the first rap group to receive a record deal; Queen Lisa Lee, the only woman to rap in the historic movie Wild Style; Kurtis Blow, the first rapper to sign a deal with a major record label; Spoonie Gee, credited with originating the term “hip hop”; Kool Moe Dee, the first rapper to perform at the Grammys and one of the first to earn a Grammy; and Whoodini, who, with their seminal 1984 song “Friends,” were the first to blend hip hop and pop music in a way that still underscores mainstream rap.
If you love hip hop, or at least want to understand what Katy Perry is appropriating, you owe it to yourself to go pay respect to these legends. -Ruben Gzirian
ODESZA is one of those bands that you have to experience live to really appreciate. Sure, they’ve already had three albums, and sure, five of their ten most popular songs on Spotify have more than 10 million streams, but that’s not really how you digest this band. ODESZA’s layered bombastic sound—a sound that is the sonic equivalent of a dreamscape created by the Wachowski brothers—grabs your senses and doesn’t let go until you realize you lost 4 minutes of your life in a hallucinogenic trance.
And really that’s the best way to describe Odesza—it’s band that has perfected an electronic Animal Collective-esc sound that makes you forget where you are by making you think of the place you’d rather be. Their previous performances—two sold-out nights at Colorado’s Red Rocks in May immediately come to mind—are a gleeful foreboding of the journey you’ll experience when you see them at The Anthem. -Ruben Gzirian
Björk Utopia out November 24
This is the follow-up to the very heavy Vulnicura, one I listened to all winter long in 2015, and which I had briefly considered using to soundtrack my solo drive around Iceland that fall, but which I ultimately deemed too dark for that adventure. Utopia, meanwhile, is meant to be much lighter, and about being in love, so hopefully it will feel welcomingly optimistic in an increasingly less optimistic universe. -Megan Burns
Sufjan Stevens The Greatest Gift out November 24
This is a mixtape full of outtakes, remixes and demos from Carrie & Lowell, a record to which I (and I would imagine many others) feel very emotionally attached. So far I’ve heard tracks like “Wallowa Lake Monster” and the iPhone demo of “John My Beloved”, and both have been on heavy rotation in my headphones this fall, so I’d expect nothing less from some of the other inclusions on the collection. -Megan Burns
In the long list of “this is how I know I’m getting old” moments, thinking a rapper’s name is directed at his disdain for wi-fi probably ranks near the top; but alas that’s where I found myself when I first heard of Wifisfuneral. And while his macabre name is a manifestation of the very real misery the Bronx-born Palm Beach-raised rapper has witnessed in his young life, his work may suggest that that same misery may propel his success.
Wifisfuneral’s work spanning three albums — When Hell Falls, Black Heart Revenge, and Boy Cried Wolf — are gritty misanthropic albums that are as much cries for help as they are resignations of his fate at the age of 20. While not as volatile as XXXTentacion’s work or refined as Kodak Black (both of whom are also from Florida), Wifisfuneral promise as a rapper trying to bend his demons into digestible music for a greater audience is best seen in tracks like “Lights,” “Wya?,” and “ItTakes2ToTango.”
Wifisfuneral’s music is intensely personal, to the point when one wonders if he should be telling us this stuff. He may not have the depth of his peers, but he has the tormented story that bodes well for a young rapper trying to right his wrongs. -Ruben Gzirian
Our last party sold-out. We’re mentioning it here because tickets are still available for our November 4 party at the most popular museum in D.C.: National Air and Space Museum + BYT Present: FOUND IN SPACE. Tickets will most likely be gone before Saturday. Hurry. Once it’s sold out, we can’t let you in.
Celebrate the makers, entrepreneurs, and businesses who make DC unique, and who create positive impact across the city. Join Think Local First DC at Blind Whino on Thursday, November 9 for the Inaugural 2017 Local First Awards (see also: DC Brau, music, and more). TLF advocates for local economy leaders, and addresses economic, environmental, racial, and social equity so everyone can enjoy shared progress in our rapidly changing city. Support their work and snag tickets (plus a FREE year of Think Local First membership) for just $25 with promo code “BrightestYoungThings.”
Alias Grace premieres November 3
Following the smashing success of The Handmaid’s Tale, there was probably a race as to who would churn out the next adaptation from Margaret Atwood’s impressive oeuvre. Your winner? Netflix, which this Friday releases its version of Alias Grace, her 1996 novel about a different kind of maid — a real-life one convicted of one of 19th century Canada’s most infamous double murders. Atwood is famous for her sci-fi and dystopian futures (“Blessed be the fruit” indeed), but her fans know she often writes even more eloquently about the past; witness her secret masterpiece, The Blind Assassin. Alias Grace is 470 pages of 1800s crime, law, psychology, and sociology — but is it good television? Grace isn’t as compelling a heroine as Offred, and her exploits are more cerebral. Netflix has its work cut out for it. -Tristan Lejeune
Iron Chef Showdown premieres November 8
Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown is their latest riff on the timeless cooking competition, hosted by the newly-bald Alton Brown. It’s unclear as of this writing what exactly is the difference between Iron Chef Showdown and the previous iteration, Iron Chef America, but you can bet it will be fun to watch! -Matt Byrne
Mythbusters returns November 15
Why would they reboot Mythbusters? Just slightly tweak the format and start a new show under a different name! I mean, I know why, but still, the show’s got two new hosts, Jon Lung and Brian Louden, and a new home network, the Discovery-adjacent Science Channel. You’ll check it out regardless, but like, it’s not gonna feel the same! -Matt Byrne
We got to chat with the creators about the musical adaptation and were HORRIBLY REMINDED that Mean Girls the film is 13 years-old and as Tina Fey reminded us, it could finally have its period. – Jenn Tisdale
These days, there’s no telling what tomorrow will bring, so why not get creative in figuring it out? For $10, you can find out what your palm, your kiss print, and your tarot cards all have to say about your future. Plus, you can throw in some booze and pizza or make a night of it and see Antony and Cleopatra as well. Honestly, the future they read you can’t be any worse than what’s already keeping you up at night, right? -Trisha Brown
Nina Simone had one of the most distinctive styles of any singer of the 20th century, and Nina Simone: Four Women tells the story of how her voice echoed far beyond the music industry. The show promises to consider Simone’s life as a writer and an activist, and the score is basically a sure thing, so it’s hard to see how this one can miss. -Trisha Brown