Thursday, July 18
MUSIC: Fort Reno is around for a couple more weeks, so make sure you make the annual trek up there for your dose of free local music. This week, post-punkers Bearshark headline—check them out if you’re a fan of Minus the Bear; they have a similar dancey kind of rhythm. And how’s this for a change: The Washington Bach Consort will perform Bach, Handel, Corelli, and Buxtehude. As far as I know, it’s the first time classical music makes an appearance at Fort Reno. Free. 7:15 PM.
BEER: You can grab a DC Brau essentially anywhere in the city at this point, but the beer has so far been unavailable in Maryland. That changes tonight: The brewers are throwing a release party at Silver Spring’s Quarry House, and they couldn’t have picked a better spot. The dive has been one of the area’s best bars for years and is a good spot to meet up with friends if you’re looking for a dingy basement. Public Pale Ale, Corruption IPA, Citizen Belgian Pale Ale, and El Jefe Speaks will be available for just $4 all night. Live music starts at 8. Free. 6:30 PM.
FILM: Anacostia’s Lumen8 film festival is all this weekend, and there’s probably no better screening to see than Anacostia the Web Series. Designed as a kind of The OC for Anacostia, it tackles issues such as alcoholism and domestic abuse. The newest season features Martha Byrne, who has won daytime Emmys for her work on As the World Turns. Free. 7 PM.
DANCE: Head over to Chief Ike’s in Columbia Heights for Mr. Radio, an “album happy hour” where brand new and classic albums are played straight through. Afterward, things devolve into a sweaty dance party. Get $3 Natty Boh all night.
Friday, July 19
BIKE PARTY: Grab your hula gear and/or best stereotypical tourist outfit: BicycleSpace DC is throwing a full-moon luau on Kingman Island, an under appreciated spot on the Anacostia River near RFK Stadium. Things start out at BicycleSpace on Seventh Street, Northwest, and head around the city (aided by glow sticks and leis) before eventually landing at the island. Bring your own food and drink; they’ll provide hula dancers and fire knife throwers(!). Free. 8 PM.
COMEDY: Need some laughs? Head to Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for the Final Draft, hosted by the guys who do the “Three Guys On” podcast and featuring four local comics. If you just need to escape from this world, the theater will be screening Serenity, the cult favorite sci-fi, in another room. Free for the comedy show; $10.75 for the movie. Both 10 PM.
AIR GUITAR: Earlier this year we had the air sex championships—now for something a little less risqué. A handful of wannabe rock legends hit the stage at the annual US Air Guitar semifinals at 9:30 Club. These folks are vying for a spot in Los Angeles next month, so they’re gonna go nuts. You should too. Tickets ($20) are available online. 8 PM.
BURLESQUE: Burlesque has gotten big in DC, but the Big Apple still wants to put us in our place: One of NYC’s most famous cabaret troupes, the Love Show, will perform at Black Cat. Expect a night featuring magicians, dancers, and crazy music. Tickets ($10) are available online. 8:45 and 11 PM.
Saturday, July 20
PUNK: Zines have been an important part of punk scenes around the country for decades, and DC has been no different. Head to the old epicenter of punk, St. Stephen’s Church (which still hosts a good deal of punk shows) for Zinefest, featuring distributors and zine authors from around the country. If buying zines isn’t enough for you, there’ll also be DIY workshops about how to start your own and get it distributed. Free. 11 to 5.
SHOP: In a similar vein, Paper Sun on Monroe Street hosts the Rock ’N’ Roll Flea Market, featuring vintage records, clothes, art, palm readings, and chicken and waffles to keep you energized as you comb through all the stuff. Free. Noon.
VARIETY: The Capital City Showcase returns to the DC Arts Center, and it’s got a little bit of something for everyone: The show features standup from local comedians Dana Fleitman, Adam Friedland, Ryan Schutt, Haywood Turnipseed, and music by Jonny Grave and YellowTieGuy, who have a bit of a late-’90s alternative sound, if you’re into that kind of thing. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door. 10 PM.
DANCE: If you still haven’t hit up one of 9:30 Club’s back-bar dance parties, this weekend is your chance. The space features stuff from underground deejays who are likely to show up headlining one of U Street Music Hall’s dance nights within a couple of months. This week features LadyShah, who spins drum and bass, and DJ Black, who focuses on dub step, trance, and house. $5. 11 PM.
Sunday, July 21
ICE CREAM: You could use some ice cream, right? Yeah, you could definitely use some ice cream. Get over to Union Market for DC Scoop (and National Ice Cream Day) for samples from some of the city’s best frozen-treat purveyors. This year’s festival features Dolcezza Gelato, Sweet Freeze, Carmen’s Frozen Custard, Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats, and a couple more. Judges (how do I sign up?) will choose the best variety, there’ll be live music, and full scoops will be available if you fall in love with a particular sample. Free. 1 PM.
FOAM: Throw on your stunna shades and get to Public Bar’s rooftop for Sunglass Sundays, a crazy foam dance party that is truly irresponsible for a school night. Between 1 and 5, you can get bottomless mimosas for $20, PBRs are $3 all night, and there’s no cover before 4. $10 after 4. 1 PM.
MOVIE: Commissary is going to screen Rocky Horror Picture Show to coincide with Studio Theatre’s presentation of the cult classic. The cast will be in attendance and (maybe?) performing it—feel free to join the action. Popcorn is on the house, and special Rocky Horror-themed cocktails will be available. Free. 8 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.