October was funny. November is scary. Our true crime festival, Death Becomes Us, returns to the Lisner the second weekend in November. If you can’t make it to the fest, you can enjoy our true crime beer (which is a real thing). Then spend the fourth Thursday of the month with your family (you may need to drink a lot of our true crime beer). Add in beautiful, dying leaves and November is one of the scariest months of the year. Let’s make it scary good.
Halloween was kind of a bust. If you’re a baseball fan you suffered through a World Series hangover. If you tried to go outside in the evening you faced gale force wins. If you went out late at night you came home wet and cold. Make up the holiday at NMWA’s Halloween themed after hours. We’ve been interested in checking out the Live Dangerously exhibit and what better way to do it than in costume at a party with an open bar? -Brandon Wetherbee
Even if you have a passing interest in Cubism, Dada, and/or conceptual art, there is a very good chance that you know Marcel Duchamp’s readymade Fountain. Consisting of a standard urinal signed and dated “R. Mutt 1917,” Fountain broke down the walls of what can or can not be defined as art. The Barbara and Aaron Levine collection includes more than 35 seminal works by Duchamp, including a number of the artist’s unique drawings and prints. This unparalleled selection of work embodies Duchamp’s narrative of ideas over craft or aesthetics. Each piece of art forces you to question your own preconceptions of art and gently retrains the process of artistic consumption. That very idea is as relevant in 2019 as it was in 1917. -Ruben Gzirian
D.C. musician Janel Leppin (who you may have caught at a BYT party or two) is showing off her fine art weavings at your favorite pizza place / music venue! Her intricate and luscious weaved pieces create wild new dimensions and neon-hued alien landscapes, it’s the sort of art you can sink right into. On top of the sick art, there will also be musical performances by The El Rey’s, Antonia and (of course) Janel Leppin! It’s a treat for all your senses (if you count the pizza). -Kaylee Dugan
Acid for the Children: A Memoir by Flea available November 5
Is there any possible world where Acid for the Children: A Memoir by Flea lives up to the debauched standard set by the depraved candor of Scar Tissue, the 2004 autobiography by his bandmate Anthony Kiedis? Probably not. Buuuut as far as rock memoirs go, this is probably one of the best bets of the 2019 holiday season. An easy sure thing gift for any music lover in your life! -Matt Byrne
Little Weirds by Jenny Slate available November 5
Little Weirds is exactly what you’d hope to see when imagining a book by Jenny Slate. A collection of short stories/essays/ideas/other “weirds” from one of the most creative comedy minds working today that has already gotten rave reviews from folks like George Saunders, Amy Sedaris, and Susan Orleans. -Matt Byrne
Making Comics by Lynda Barry available November 5
One of the most acclaimed graphic novelists of the 21st century, Lynda Barry, is releasing Making Comics, an instructional guide on how to share narratives through the medium of comics, inspired by her work as professor of Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Barry, recently awarded the MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellowship, is one of the true greats of the comics format, and this thing will be a rewarding read for aspiring creatives and comic fans alike. -Matt Byrne
Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller available November 12
Author of the well-loved nonfiction work Girls Like Us, which profiled three brilliant musicians: Carole King, Carly Simon, and Joni Mitchell, returns with Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge. The biography gives an intimate look into the life and career of the iconic actress, while offering a humane look into her struggles with addiction and mental illness. -Matt Byrne
It’s Garry Shandling’s Book by Judd Apatow available November 12
Few people are better suited to write a book on the life of Garry Shandling than Judd Apatow, who was mentored by Shandling for years. It’s Garry Shandling’s Book is a look at his many ups and down, as told by peers, co-workers, and the many comics he influenced. Apatow also handpicked ephemera from Shandling’s journals and personal photographs to round out this in-depth look at his life. -Matt Byrne
Every year the foppish dandies and quaintrelles of the District don their finest set of tweeds and ride around the city on their perfectly reupholstered, totally renovated vintage bicycles. There are twisty, delicately combed mustaches as far as the eye can see and intricately designed hats sit jauntily on every head. There are layers upon layers of pressed vests and blazers and coats and every embellished leather shoe is shined to blind. It’s a delight for the eyes. You’ve never seen people watching quite like this. -Kaylee Dugan
Death Becomes Us True Crime Festival is back in D.C. for its 3rd edition and it’s even more true and more crime-y (not a word) than ever before. The festival kicks off with a special Side Stories edition of Last Podcast on the Left with Henry Zebrowski and Ben Kissel sharing the most macabre stories in the news today. It then rolls into Saturday with the FBI agents who worked on the DC Sniper case in Capturing the DC Sniper followed by a special retirement party for the Homicide Hunter show. After that dive into one of DC’s coldest cases with Paul Holes and Billy Jensen aka The Murder Squad. Saturday ends with a shade, Throwing Shade that is, with special guest Latrice Royale! We slide into Sunday with the boys of BuzzFeed Unsolved and the festival ends with a special live The Truth About True Crime with Amanda Knox featuring Lorena (Bobbitt) Giallo. We also have two fantastic warmup events: A true crime authors talk at Politics & Prose Union Market on November 4 as well as a true crime climb at Pulse Fitness on November 5. Tix for all festival shows can be found at deathbecomesus.com. It will be a bloody good time! -Jenn Tisdale
On the fall DC beer calendar (aka my regular calendar), Snallygaster is the big ticket attraction. And rightfully so. Snally rules. But don’t sleep on the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s other beer fest Novemberfest.
Held annually on the first weekend in November, Novemberfest showcases breweries exclusively from Virginia, a state originally established in 1607 as a colony to produce hype IPAs. Curated by local beer deity Greg Engert and his right-hand man Tim Liu, the list of breweries includes the crème de la NOVA (Ocelot, Solace, Aslin, Port City, etc.), as well as some rarer offerings from further around the state (The Veil, Pen Druid, Triple Crossing, Vasen, Reason, etc.). Look, there are over 30 breweries and I can’t name them all.
As usual, the “outdoor block party” (as opposed to indoor block party) will be held behind the Alexandria Rustico. There will be food from Rustico and Red Apron, Barboursville wine for the lames, and live music. Admission costs $25 in advance (and that includes $20 of food and drink tickets). (The dream of the Snally buck is alive in Alexandria.) -Phil Runco
Hellbender is turning five! Huzzah!
And the Riggs Park brewery is going big for the occasion. Like, really big. Like, five new barrel-aged beers big. Like, did I blackout and order $45 in Thai food? big.
They’ll also be tapping an anniversary beer, because you gotta have an anniversary beer. This particular anniversary beer is an imperial honey farmhouse ale brewed with local wildflower honey (from founder Ben Evans’ father’s bee hives) and made in collaboration with The Midlands.
For those looking to not blackout and order $45 in Thai food, Timber Pizza and Smoke and Ember BBQ will be on site, selling food to balance out all those boozy beers. DJ Tokyo Lovehandles will be on the 1s and 2s. And there will be custom t-shirts. -Phil Runco
DC Cocktail Week coming mid November
We’re looking forward to the annual DC Cocktail Week. Every year the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington encourages fine local bars and restaurants to make cocktails from fine local spirits. It’s a good excuse to revisit a good bar and try a new drink. We’re in. -Brandon Wetherbee
Doctor Sleep opens November 8
So I’m not really sure who thought it would be a good idea to make a sequel to The Shining, I mean Stephen King did, he wrote both books, but either way, Doctor Sleep seems like an interesting, if ill-advised piece of work, fast-forwarding to meet Danny Torrance as an alcoholic adult plagued by the events of the first movie. Critics seemed to like the book, so color me cautiously optimistic over here. -Matt Byrne
The Report opens in DC November 15
Longtime BYT readers may recall I write a column called “Scene in DC,” where I talk about a film that’s set in the area and discuss its accuracy. Most movies get the city wrong, in same way or another, but the dramatic thriller Breach got closest because it focused on mid-level bureaucrats, and the humdrum work that defines this city. The upcoming film The Report looks like it’ll do exactly that: it is about a dogged Senate staffer who uncovers alarming details about the torturing of 9/11 detainees. It is about him versus the administrative state, and a reminder that there is so much going on here besides whatever bullshit the President happened to tweet. As someone who loves wonky procedurals, I cannot wait to stick this one in my veins. -Alan Zilberman
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens November 22
Nice actor man Tom Hanks plays nice kids show man Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a loose adaptation of a Rogers profile written for Esquire by journalist Tom Junod. This movie may or may not have been produced as a reaction to the rapturous response to the Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, but it’s hard to be cynical when there is so much niceness involved in the whole thing, you know? -Matt Byrne
Dark Waters opens November 22
The latest Todd Haynes picture looks to be a strangely straightforward piece of work from the beloved queer cinema auteur. A pretty killer cast including Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Anne Hathaway, and Victor Garber feature in this big screen take on the true story of the massive coverup of chemical dumping done by Dupont in West Virginia throughout much of the 1900s. Gonna be dark, depressing, and will probably push all your eat-the-rich buttons by the end. -Matt Byrne
Knives Out opens November 27
This feels like Clue for the next generation and while I will absolutely miss Tim Curry and Madeline Kahn…Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon and more will do just fine. -Jenn Tisdale
In its 16th year, DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight at The Anthem is one of DC’s proudest moments when it comes to culinary fundraising. The event this year will feature tastings from 80 restaurants and a live on-stage cook-off battle between Dirty Habit’s Kyoo Eom, Coconut Club’s Adam Greenberg, Bluejacket’s Marcelle Afram, and Doi Moi’s Johanna Hellrigl. If for some reason that isn’t enough, you walk away completely full of the best food in the city knowing that all proceeds go to DC’s Central Kitchen. Oh, and if you’re anything like my girlfriend, there is a chance you’ll get to meet Tom Colicchio. -Ruben Gzirian
More like the EmporiYUM. Every year this delicious food wonderland brings the best, tastiest treats from around the country right to our own backyard! Start stretching out stomach now. You’ll need it. -Jenn Tisdale
Dress your family in studs and worn out leather! The DC Punk Rock Flea is the perfect excuse to trade out your old leather jacket for a new (to you!) leather jacket. Fill up on black band t-shirts and restock your collection of studded belts. Need some more pins for your denim jacket? Look no further. Before you start combing through racks and losing your mind at the bargains, make sure you have some canned food, peanut butter or cereal to donate. More than anything, the DC Punk Rock Flea is a food drive. Help out your fellow Washingtonians and get some cool new clothes at the same damn time. -Kaylee Dugan
D.C.’s cutest holiday tradition is one of the best all ages events in the city. Take your kids, take your parents, take your friends, take your flask. Bask in the lights and try to spot some of the Zoo’s more nocturnal borders. Feel the brisk winter air. Put on some mittens. Hold hands with someone you love. It’s the holiday season. -Kaylee Dugan
The vast majority of breweries are small businesses, so why not spend part of your Small Business Saturday at one?
On November 30, DC Brau will host its sixth holiday marketplace with the help of Think Local First DC. Joining them will be over 40 local craftspeople, artisans, purveyors, and whatever else you’d like to call them.
There will obviously be plenty DC Brau beer (and a handful of food trucks) to fuel your shopping. Once again, the webpage promises “the launch of a special new brew” which is mysterious AF.
The event starts at 1:00 and is free. Krampus will also be in the house.
So, plan to throw back a Stacked Vote IPL or two, get a nice little buzz going, and buy that Jon Wye belt you’ve always wanted. And some Kelly Towles art. And some Harper Macaw chocolate for your mother-in-law. -Phil Runco
A Winged Victory for the Sullen The Undivided Five available November 1
Modern classical/ambient superduo A Winged Victory for the Sullen (featuring composer Dustin O’Halloran and Stars of the Lid’s Adam Wiltzie) are finally releasing a proper followup LP to their lovely 2011 self-titled debut. Expect sparse layers of pianos and strings and oddly incongruous song titles (shout out to “Aqualung, Motherfucker” in particular) to provide a rich, but unintrusive soundtrack to your life. -Matt Byrne
Great Grandpa is great! The name isn’t lying. Since being introduced to them over the summer, I’ve had jams like “Teen Challenge” and “Favorite Show” playing through my mind non-stop. It’s a sort of hypnotic punk music. They make the kind of songs that bore deep into your head and keep you dancing past the point where you can feel your feet. I have every finger crossed that they play the beautifully named “28 J’s L8r” but I can’t wait to hear the new stuff too. Come spend some time with your favorite grandpa. -Kaylee Dugan
If you’re into Tom Misch, then chances are you’ll be into Jordan Rakei. Rakei isn’t all that well-known outside of a loyal following, but his vocals are instantly recognizable on tracks like “Midnight Mischief – Tom Misch Remix,” “Mind’s Eye,” and “Sorceress.” Rakei’s voice paired with a beautiful reliance on moody late-night instrumental compositions grows beyond the confines of his song. Each word grows and fluctuates with artistic curation, making for an experience severely underrated in modern music. -Ruben Gzirian
Girl Ray Girl available November 8
Following a hugely underrated debut in 2017, London trio Girl Ray returns with a new, slightly tweaked approach to the catchy, lo-fi guitar pop sound. Incorporating ample synths and a bit of a mainstream pop sheen, they’re ready to break through to a well-deserved next level of acclaim. -Matt Byrne
Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire Lost Wisdom pt. 2 available November 8
Over a decade later, Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum is back with the sequel to one of most revered records, the stripped-down, intimate Lost Wisdom. His songwriting partners, Julie Doiron and Frederick Squire return and share billing on Lost Wisdom pt. 2, just like the first time around. Following a pair of direct, plainspoken albums exploring the grieving process in real time, advance tracks from Lost Wisdom pt. 2 feel like older Mount Eerie infused with a deep sense of loss. -Matt Byrne
If you know Lil Tecca then you probably know him because of his breakout viral hit “Ransom.” In what feels like an infomercial, Lil Tecca’s 2019 debut album We Love You Tecca is the wait,-there’s-more moment in his very young career. But is there really? It’s hard to make that call on an artist born in 2002, but there is enough here to warrant bookmarking his name for a follow-up later. As for Pi’erre Bourne, his name usually fits better as the answer to the question “Who is the best producer in hip-hop right now?” But don’t let that stop you. Since blowing up as the force behind many of hip-hop’s more whimsical beats, Bourne has pushed the narrative that he can actually rap; songs like “Poof” off his 2019 The Life of Pi’erre suggest he isn’t totally misguided. -Ruben Gzirian
Dave’s 2019 Psychodrama was a revelation for many of us who ignorantly paid little attention to the rap scene in the UK. Psychodrama encapsulated the grime and angst of a moment in the UK that few of us stateside understand. Dave’s lyricism on songs like “Screwface Capital,” “Purple Heart,” and “Environment” hide the fact that the man delivering these masterpieces is only 20 years old. A lot of hip-hop fans in the US ignore or discount the UK variant. Much of that is down to different flow patterns and vocal differences. But to ignore Dave is to ignore a new wave of creative output that many American artists would be wise to study. -Ruben Gzirian
Freddie Gibbs is the best rapper right now and his 2019 album Bandana, created in collaboration with producer Madlib, is the best album of the year. I really don’t know what else to say to convince anyone interested in hip-hop to see Gibbs. In fact, even if you don’t like hip-hop, you should see Gibbs. His work spans every cavity of the art form and his lyricism is unmatched. It truly feels like 2019 is the year when all of the promise, all of the hope, all of the optimism that has trailed Gibbs throughout his career is finally coming together as if ordained by some higher power. Few musicians command your money. Gibbs is one of them. -Ruben Gzirian
Following the release of Schoolboy Q’s 2019 CrasH Talk, much as been written about the current state of the artist’s life. Behind the repeated discussions of his affinity for golf, many people seem to forget that with each album Schoolboy Q stakes his claim as being the best artist not named Kendrick Lamer on the TDE record label. And when that claim is, for the most part, true then what you have is one of the best rappers out right now. Speaking from personal experience, Schoolboy Q’s live shows are suffocating joyrides of perfect song lists, bass drops, and audience engagement. Schoolboy Q may have found peace in his personal life, but his shows are anything but. -Ruben Gzirian
At this point in his career, Lupe Fiasco is a finished product. His ability to convey stories peppered with social critiques and observations of the reality according to Fiasco is either something you’ve loved since “Kick, Push” or something you’ve kept a faint focus on just to make sure you aren’t missing something. Fiasco has never been the biggest rapper in the world, nor the most thought-provoking, but his talent as an MC makes him hard to ignore. To this day, his bars on the classic Child Rebel Soldier song “Us Chasers” stand out as classics of a bygone era. -Ruben Gzirian
Leonard Cohen Thanks For The Dance available November 22
As far as posthumous releases from musical legends go, Leonard Cohen’s forthcoming album, culled from sessions and song sketches from his final recording sessions, is an interesting one. For Thanks For The Dance, Cohen’s son Adam took mostly unfinished tracks and completed them (with some help from special guests like Beck, Feist, and Damien Rice), making this more than just your typical cash grab, it’s an album that finds a son celebrating the legacy of his iconic father. -Matt Byrne
The Morning Show premieres on Apple TV+ November 1
So the dumbass “streaming wars” are upon us this month, with twin high profile launches of Apple TV+ and Disney+ hitting along with a bunch of prestige and not-so-prestige blobs of media both old and new. One such thing is the very expensive and star studded The Morning Show on Apple TV+, a behind-the-scenes look at a morning news show rocked by scandals that looks to be a more embarrassingly earnest swing at being an Aaron Sorkin type thing than something actually made by Aaron Sorkin. I feel like this is gonna be one of those things that a lot of Twitter people watch/talk about but no one actually likes, you know? -Matt Byrne
Snoopy in Space premieres on Apple TV+ November 1
Another new Apple TV+ offering is the decidedly more modest Snoopy in Space, a richly animated return to the Peanuts world. It’s all there in the title of this family-friendly special, Snoopy takes a trip to space care of his friends at NASA, I hope it goes well! -Matt Byrne
His Dark Materials premieres on HBO November 3
EXTREMELY pumped for His Dark Materials, you guys. You might’ve seen Philip Pullman’s work brought to life via The Golden Compass (2007), a movie which was met with a lot of womp womp energy, but this new stab looks incredible. And it stars Dafne Keen Fernández (who played X-23 in Logan) as Lyra Belacqua, which I couldn’t be more over the moon about! (HOT PRIEST AKA ANDREW SCOTT IS ALSO SET TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE HELL YEAH!) Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype! – Megan Burns
The Devil Next Door premieres on Netflix November 4
Is this grandfather who lived in Cleveland the infamous Nazi death camp guard Ivan the Terrible? Gotta watch to find out. -Jenn Tisdale
Worst Cooks in America: Thanksgiving Redemption premieres on Food Network November 10
Oooooh I am primed to watch a special Thanksgiving edition of Worst Cooks in America, featuring four former contestants doing their best (not great) at cooking a holiday feast. Few things are more fun than this show, and what better way to get into the turkey day spirit than by watching a bunch of well-meaning people do worse than you at preparing dinner? -Matt Byrne
Rick & Morty season 4 begins on Adult Swim November 10
Whatever they want. I keep trying to think of what the writers and producers of Rick & Morty will do with the show’s fourth season, debuting November 10, after everything they’ve accomplished in the last few years: An Emmy for best animated series. A whopping 70-episode, multi-year renewal order. Rising above their own toxic online fan community. A third season that was THE must-watch show of 2017 (Pickle Rick! Evil Morty! Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender!). But the truth is that accomplishments are just foundation for Rick & Morty, and showrunners Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland no doubt have hell and back planned for the multiverse’s hardest-drinking super-scientist and his hapless, horny, constantly in danger grandson. The storytelling moves at such a pace — and in so many different directions — that, really, no show currently on the air has earned our trust more. Time to take the opposite of your medicine! -Tristan Lejeune
The Crown season 3 available on Netflix November 17
Incredibly excited for any/all Olivia Colman endeavors, this newest season of The Crown being no exception to that rule! Homegirl is set to play Queen Elizabeth II and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT. Also v. amped for Helena Bonham Carter to play Princess Margaret, plus Gillian Anderson is set to play Maggie Thatcher (!!!) // GIVE ME ALL THE ROYAL DRAMA I CRAVE PLEASE AND THANK YOU! -Megan Burns
Amadeus is the second of three productions in Folger’s Indulge Out Loud series. We were very impressed with the performances in the recently wrapped 1 Henry IV and are intrigued to see what Justin Adams and Samuel Adams do in this Tony award winning play. -Brandon Wetherbee