Thursday, January 17
POLITICS: In case you hadn’t heard, the Prez is starting his second term sometime soon, and DC is the epicenter of it all. In case you actually care about, you know, governance and the like, NYU is hosting a discussion of how second terms have typically gone and what to expect from Obama in the next four years. Thomas McLarty, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, and Kenneth Duberstein, Reagan’s former chief of staff, will be on hand to discuss the inner workings of the whole thing. Free. 5 PM.
AFTER-PARTY: It’s time for Thievery Corporation’s annual string of sold-out shows at 9:30 Club. If you didn’t score tickets, you can still head over to the Brixton right down the street after the show. The Archives, which features Ras Puma from Thievery Corp’s live band, will play, and you might just see Eric Hilton or Rob Garza if you’re lucky. Free. 10 PM.
Friday, January 18
SEXYTIME: Anything that can get Carson Daly to read and/or listen to written words spoken aloud is probably worth checking out. The former TRL (don’t care what else he’s done) dude says Naked Girls Reading Erotica is “the best thing to happen to books since they were put on tape.” As for the event, it features naked girls reading erotica at Little Miss Whiskey’s. Do with that what you want. Tickets ($20) are available online. 7 PM.
DANCE (FOR THE LAST TIME): In the saddest news I’ve read this week, DC9 will be holding its last Liberation Dance Party, an indie dance night that allowed me to get hammered in DC without having to sell my textbooks during college. By now you should know the drill (I mean, it’s been nine years—get with it): open bar from 9 to 10:30, awesome underground indie dance/hip-hop music. Perfect. $7. 9 PM.
EXERCISE?: If you like doing Zumba in a lit room, you will LOVE doing it with glowsticks and glow-in-the-dark body paint. I think. Look, I don’t know your life. But at least you have the option to try it if you want to. Tickets ($20) are available online. 8:30 PM at Jordin’s Paradise.
STORIES: Why listen to boring old “talking” when you can listen to its cooler and much scarier to do cousin, “singing”? At Black Cat, Story League ditches monotone speech for monotone singing from nine of DC and New York’s best storytellers and comedians as they regale you with tales of romance gone wrong. HariKaraoke, the band that makes you sound kind of decent when you sing at Hill Country’s live-band karaoke, provides all the music. Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door. 9 PM.
Saturday, January 19
DANCE: Little Miss Whiskey’s is getting some high-quality deejays for inauguration. Saturday it’s kinda-sorta-underground-ish rapper Talib Kweli. He’ll probably play some good music. Plus the bar is open til 4 AM, so go easy on the slushies early in the night. Free. 8 PM.
SIDESHOW: The wackos of Tilted Torch are throwing a night of vaudeville and sideshow at the brand new 9th and Beats, located in Old Dominion Brewhouse. You’ll get firespinning, burlesque-ish stuff, contortionists and belly dancers. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door. 8 PM.
EAT: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (seriously) isn’t quite ready to open up yet, but they are ready to sling doughnuts over at Chinatown Coffee Company for a limited-time preview. Check out the Obama Then, a chocolate-glazed doughnut with caramel drizzle and sea salt, or the Obama Now, an oatmeal-raisin doughnut with honey glaze and granola, which is supposedly healthier. I don’t buy that, but either way they both sound delicious. 10 AM.
LEARN: In case you got an acute case of amnesia or are just a masochist, relive all the controversies and battles of the past four years in the most easily digestible way possible: political cartoons. Art Soiree is hosting a first-term retrospective with nine of the best cartoonists in the biz. The whole thing will be party-ish, with drinks and a band made up of journalists. Tickets ($15) are available online. 8 PM.
Sunday, January 20
DANCE: I’m not totally sure how Prince and Outkast related, but DJ Dredd thinks they must be pretty compatible, cuz he’s hosting an all Prince/Outkast night at Black Cat so you can dance foreva eva. Tickets ($10) are available online. 9 PM.
DANCE: 9:30 Club is trying to make sure you’re hungover for the inauguration with its Plan to Rock All Night dance party, featuring DJ Lil’e, who always makes things pretty crazy. Tickets ($15) are available online. 9 PM.
Monday, January 21
REALLY LONG PARTY: Go stand in the freezing cold and watch your President get sworn in again with more than 100,000 of your closest friends. Or take refuge in Bohemian Caverns with Brightest Young Things, who are throwing the longest party DC has ever seen. Doors open at 10:30 AM, the whole thing ends at 3:30 AM. Go for the whole time, I DARE YOU. There’ll be brunch, one million deejays, comedy and sketch shows downstairs, a photo booth (duh), and movie screenings. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of. 10:30 AM.
FOOD: It’s Alexandria’s Restaurant Week, so a couple dozen restaurants will be offering prix-fixe meals: $35 for dinner for two is a steal basically anywhere; if you’re hungrier, three-course meals are $35 a person.
OKAY, FINE, ONE INAUGURAL BALL: Rock & Roll Hotel’s ball is free and features a whole bunch of deejays—and you’re supposed to wear a tuxedo T-shirt. So it’s not really a ball. Wear dancing shoes. Free. 9 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.