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What to Do This Weekend: August 1 to 4

Barbecue at the Building Museum, Wonderland Ballroom’s ninth birthday party, and more dance parties than you know what to do with.

Head to the National Building Museum on Friday for Hill Country’s barbecue pop-up. Photograph by Flickr user Phil Roeder.

Thursday, August 1

CARTOONS: Rob Paulsen has spent the last couple decades voicing some of your (my) favorite cartoon characters (Pinky from Pinky & the Brain, Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). He’ll be at the National Press Club discussing what it’s like to play a bunch of imaginary animals and deranged lunatics on the small screen, and he’s apparently happy to do samples of the voices he’s played. Tickets ($10) are available online. 6:30 PM.

MUSIC: Trio Caliente have three members and perform in three languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese), but their versatility extends far beyond that: They perform Latin jazz, gypsy rumba, flamenco pop, bossa nova, salsa, and every variation within those genres. Catch them at the Beacon Hotel’s Sky Bar for Art Soiree’s Sunset Rooftop series. Things get started with a happy hour at 5; the trio perform at 8. Free. 5 PM.

TV (KINDA): The creators of CapSouth, a Web series, know that working on the Hill can be a hilarious experience (at least for those of us in DC). Help them bring the funny by being an extra in their season finale, which will be filmed at Top of the Hill. They know you’re a bit funnier with a couple of drinks in you, so the filming will be preceded by a happy hour, which could be a great idea or a complete disaster—it’s really all up to you guys. Free. 5:30 PM.

Friday, August 2

BBQ: Nothing says summer like a barbecue—and while serving it up yourself is usually half the fun, sometimes you need to just kick back and relax. Head to the National Building Museum for Hill Country’s pop-up barbecue, featuring the restaurant’s best dishes, a selection of Shiner you won’t find anywhere else outside of Texas, and specialty cocktails. No cover. Noon to 11.

CARTOONS: Speaking of classic cartoons, the National Symphony Orchestra is going to take on Bugs Bunny and his Looney friends at Wolf Trap. The NSO will provide the score for some of the Wascally Wabbit’s most famous adventures. Just watch out for anything labeled Acme. Tickets ($22 to $55) are available online. 8:30 PM.

DANCE: We know you have work, but sometimes you gotta get sick to party effectively. Merriweather presents Mad Decent Block Party, featuring approximately one million deejays, including Major Lazer, Zeds Dead, SBTRKT, and Flosstradamus. If you can skip out of work, BYT is hosting a “magic school bus ride” up there, which features all their normal shenanigans (and booze). If you can’t, things will keep going until late into the night. Tickets ($30 to $75) are available online. 2 PM.

DANCEDANCE: If Merriweather is too far away, you can get your dance on at Science Club, where Brothers From Another Planet will be spinning electronica all night. This time, things go down on the bar’s (tiny) patio, so get there early. Free. 10 PM.

DANCEDANCEDANCE: Black Cat is trucking in Rekha, one of the country’s best bhangra deejays (a classic Indian dance genre that has been co-opted—in a good way—by modern Western pop), from New York. She mixes bhangra with hip-hop, dancehall, and whatever else she feels like to make sure you leave sweaty. Tickets ($13) are available online. 9:30 PM.

Saturday, August 3

ART: The Corcoran is opening its doors for free on Saturdays this summer, meaning you’ll be able to check out its latest exhibits (including the “Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington DC” and “War/Photography”), take a free sketching class, and play with sidewalk chalk out front. Free. Noon.

MUSIC: Every year, the Summer Spirit Festival brings the best in soul, R&B, and hip-hop (okay, a couple of the best and a couple of has-beens) to Merriweather. This year’s festival is no different—it features Erykah Badu and a suddenly rejuvenated Busta Rhymes, and is hosted by comedian Mike Epps. Tickets ($46 to $125) are available online. 5 PM.

SOCCER: DC United is having a VERY rough season, but when’s the last time you could say you’ve been to a fútbol game? Take a break from the Nats and check out RFK for bicycle night at the stadium. You’ll meet at BicycleSpace, then bike over with its rolling tailgate party, which features hamburgers and hot dogs, beer (hopefully once you arrive and not in transit), and a huge bicycle-mounted stereo system. Tickets ($32) are available online. 5:30 PM.

DANCE: Black Cat’s Moon/Bounce Dancing Affair has quickly become one of DC’s best alternative dance nights. It features all your old ’90s favorites, new hip hop and house, and all the songs you love but are too afraid to request. They’ve got you covered, and you can save face with your friends. $7. 10 PM.

Sunday, August 4

BIKE-IN THEATER: So DC now has a drive-in theater, lots of walk-up theaters, and plenty of your standard walk-inside-a-building-buy-a-ticket-and-watch-a-movie theaters, but it now has a bike-up theater, thanks to BicycleSpace. Meet there and bike over to Kingman Island to participate in a river clean-up (and it needs it), then head to the Anacostia Arts Center for a screening of the climate-change documentary Chasing Ice, a bike auction, and lots of cold, cold drinks. Clean-up 11:30 AM, free; movie 2:30 PM, $10.

ANNIVERSARIES: One of DC’s best neighborhood bars, Wonderland Ballroom, opened nine years ago this weekend (it feels like it’s been there forever, though). You know those folks will celebrate right: Things get started at 4, and specials include happy hour all night, discounted food, and lots and lots of dancing. Free. 4 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter

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