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What to Do This Weekend: August 30 to September 3

Hit a dance party for Michael Jackson’s birthday, see some college football, and celebrate Labor Day by doing as little labor as possible.

Watch Morehouse College take on Howard at RFK Stadium Saturday. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user sidewalk flying.

Thursday, August 30

PICTURES: The Corcoran’s best photojournalism students are displaying their work at the gallery during tonight’s one time only showcase. Though the program is new for the Corcoran’s College of Art, you’ll see photos by journalists from around the world. Drinks and appetizers will be served. Free. 6 PM.

PARTISAN PARTIES: If you’re a Democrat bummed that all your GOP friends are livin’ large and getting lots of press coverage in Tampa while you’re stuck in your office or doing whatever you do in DC, tonight’s your chance to get even. Gen44 presents Let’s Stay Together, an Obama fundraiser that doubles as a night of live-band karaoke at Public Bar in Dupont Circle. If you need a little “help” before you get up onstage, $2 PBRs should get you in the mood. $25. 7 PM.

Friday, August 31

MICHAEL JACKSON: As long as copies of “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and “Thriller” exist on this planet, humans reserve the right to throw massive blowout parties on Michael Jackson’s birthday, death day, and at random intervals throughout the year. The King of Pop would have been 54 earlier this week—both U Street Music Hall and the Howard Theatre are doing it up big. DJ Dredd spins all the hits and some deeper cuts at the Howard, while James Nasty and Jerome Baker III do the same at U Hall.

U Street Music Hall: Free; 5 PM.

Howard Theatre: $15; 10:30 PM.

JAZZ: I guess the rule goes something like “Don’t wear white after Labor Day, and don’t play jazz in the garden after it, either,” because this is the last one of the year. The Dixie Power Trio play cajun and Louisiana funk, so get ready for something a little more lively than usual. Free. 5 PM.

BIKING AND BEACH BARS AND IT’S A FULL MOON AND NEIL ARMSTRONG JUST DIED, EVERYONE: Usually Bike to the Beach is a very grueling thing that involves lots of training before you ride more than a hundred miles to the coast. Not Friday. BicycleSPACE is hosting another one of its Full Moon Parties (go to honor Neil Armstrong, everyone!)—you’ll take a leisurely ride around the city and head to the New York Avenue Beach Bar, which has been closed every time I’ve tried to go to it, but then again I keep trying to go in the rain. It’s got most things you could want from a beach (besides, you know, the ocean): sand, tiki torches, booze, and kids building sand castles and throwing temper tantrums (maybe not that last one). Tickets ($7) are available through Eventbrite. 8 PM.

STORIES: Is this storytelling trend a new thing? It seems like a new thing. Black Cat hosts the Ultimate Story Showcase with comedians and storytellers from popular radio shows (This American Life) and storytelling troupes (the Moth; And I Am Not Lying). Tickets ($12) are available through Black Cat’s website. 9 PM. 

Saturday, September 1

GAMES: School just started, and don’t lie, you miss recess games like tag, capture the flag, and “eat the sand or I’ll punch you, nerd.” DC Games, which exists, is hosting its annual all-day game festival at Potomac Park. Instead of playing normal games, they have to DC-ify everything and make it complicated with games like “moralityball,” which combines flag football and capture the flag; “giants, wizards, and elves,” which is like a big group game of rock, paper, scissors; and “humans vs. mosquitoes,” which is tag. Still, sounds fun! Also there will be lots of scavenger hunts and other cool things. Free. 11 to 4.

GET CRUNK: We know you listen to lots of Southern rap in your cubicle all day. Time to prove you know how to dance to 2 Chainz, T.I., and various other LouisiAnimals, ATLiens, and St. Lunatics at 9:30 Club’s Grits & Biscuits. $15 at the door. 10 PM.

’90s: I know you liked that Third Eye Blind concert the other week; I probably saw you there. Black Cat’s backstage is hosting a dance night featuring all the ’90s guilty pleasures you can possibly think of, with some old-ish-school hip-hop thrown in. $7. 9:30 PM.

FOOTBALL: If you’re sick of watching preseason football and want to get into games that actually mean something, check out the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic. RFK Stadium will finally get football again when Morehouse College takes on Howard. Tickets ($27.25 to $52.25) are available online. 3:30 PM.

Sunday, September 2

LOBSTERS: It’s a bit of a jaunt, but lobsters are good, right? Loudoun Valley Vineyards is hosting a lobster feast—for $19, you’ll get a whole lobster, corn, potatoes, and other fixins, plus wine and live music. Tickets are $19; to RSVP, e-mail or call 703-283-7210. Noon to 5.

BAD IDEAS: You didn’t forget, right? It’s a holiday weekend, woohoo. For some reason, Labor Day is the perfect reason for Rock & Roll Hotel to cart in pounds and pounds of free fried chicken and bacon and … condoms? You can question the wisdom of giving out free fried food during what’s supposed to be a sloppy drunk dance night, but who can argue with something called Moombacon Massive? The best deejays from DC, Baltimore, and Philly come in to make sure you’re ready to puke and/or hook up with someone by the time the night’s over. Free. 10 PM.

TRADITION: It’s a Labor Day tradition—get to the Capitol to watch the National Symphony Orchestra’s annual concert. Bring a blanket or some glow sticks or something. Free. 8 PM.

Monday, September 3

FESTIVAL, PG COUNTY STYLE: Greenbelt’s Labor Day festival was a shockingly important event during my high school career, and even now it’s got at least a mild allure. Go eat extremely unhealthy but delicious food, watch has-been/cover bands approximate the real thing, and hop on a ride or two if you’re feeling crazy. Don’t miss the bingo table. If you get to Greenbelt early, you can check out the parade. Free. 10 to 6.

FESTIVAL, FANCY VIRGINIAN STYLE: Or you could be a huge sellout and go to Herndon, where instead of dunk tanks and pirate swing rides and corndogs and used-book sales they have delicious wine and craft microbrews from local breweries and fancy food and Coldplay cover bands. But don’t come crying to me when you have to pay to get in. Admission is $20 with alcohol, $10 without. Noon to 6.

ENDLESS SUMMER: GO TO THE POOL OR BEACH, FOR GOODNESS SAKES. OR HAVE A BARBECUE. WHILE YOU STILL CAN: Local pools and beaches everywhere, endless summer for life; varying prices. 

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

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