Thursday, June 20
DANCE: Deejay Alizay, who regularly spins on hip-hop radio stations, is taking over Penn Social for a ’90s party tonight—that means you’ll get lots of Ja Rule and Ashanti and some Aaliyah. What more do you want? Free. 10 PM.
REAL WORLD ISSUES: For World Refugee Day, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage is hosting Cheick Hamala Diabate, a Grammy-nominated musician and storyteller. He’ll perform music and tell about the strife facing his native Mali right now. Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, will also speak and sign copies of his new book, And the Mountains Echoed. Free. 6 PM.
MUSIC: Usually the denizens of K Street keep things fairly straitlaced, but not tonight: The Black Cat hosts Battle of the Law Firm Bands, in which your favorite lobbyists, tax fraud defenders, and divorce lawyers duke it on a stage instead of in a court room. Things get goofy quick, but proceeds benefit DC homeless shelters. Tickets ($10) are available online. 7 PM.
Friday, June 21
FILM: The Heurich House Museum on New Hampshire Avenue hosts its free garden movie series, which this week features Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I’d give you a quick synopsis, but here’s a terrible confession: I’ve never seen any of the movies. I hear Crystal Skull one is the best. Bring a blanket to sit on. Free. 8 PM.
THEATER: You’ve seen the Craigslist posts—the ones that end up here, or on DCist. The crazy, the funny, the bro-y. Flying V theatre company has adapted 37 different Craigslist ads for the stage and turned it into a show you’ve gotta check out at the Writers Center in Bethesda. Tickets ($10) are available online. 8 PM.
MUSIC: Jazz in the Garden is back with German musician Hendrik Meurkens, perhaps the only person who can make harmonica and xylophone music that you actually want to listen to. Free. 5 PM.
BENEFIT: You’ve no doubt heard about the fire that burned down Frager’s Hardware, one of DC’s oldest and best independently owned stores. Tortilla Coast, another Capitol Hill institution, is holding a benefit night, with guest bartenders from the DC Fire Department; a buck from every entrée sold will go to help rebuild the store. 7:30 PM.
BIKE: A lot of you will be at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover this weekend, but if you’re stuck in DC, there’s another Firefly you can check out: the Firefly bike ride and ice cream social, a ten-mile moonlit ride around the city, followed by lots and lots of ice cream. Meet at Seventh Street’s BicycleSpace. Free. 8 PM.
THEATER: The DC Black Theatre Festival starts this weekend and features dozens of plays all around the city. Check out the website for a full rundown of what’s playing when.
Saturday, June 22
COMEDY: Creator of a popular Comedy Central clip show and maker of not-funny rape jokes Daniel Tosh is going to be at the Warner Theatre. He’s going to offend someone—maybe it’ll be you! Tickets ($59.50 to $75) are available online. 7 and 9:30 PM.
SQUARE DANCE: Grab a partner, do-si-do and all that jazz at St. Stephen’s Church’s Great American Square Dance Revival party. You’ll get a seasoned square-dance caller, so you’ll know what you’re doing even if you’ve got two left feet. Bring a snack to share, if you’re up to it—the event is also a potluck. $5. 8:30 PM.
REGULAR DANCE: It’s about time DC9 had a good dance party—after killing off Liberation on Friday nights, things have been pretty lacking over there. Enter Peach Pit, a night of ’90s and Brit pop (and ’90s Brit pop) that’ll keep you moving until the wee hours. $5. 10:30 PM.
WHISKEY: It’s a great time to be a bourbon lover, with craft distilleries conjuring up the best-tasting stuff we’ve had in a while. Try lots of them at DC Bourbon Bash, a bar crawl where you’ll try pours from Eagle, Four Roses, Knob Creek, and some of the standards such as Makers Mark and Jim Beam. The crawl starts at either James Hobans or Buffalo Billiards (it’s up to you) and hits all the Dupont standards. Tickets ($55) are available online. Noon to 10.
MUSIC: Georgetown’s brand new Malmaison, under the bridge on K Street, is being taken over by the Alliance Française’s Fete de la Musique, which is a family-friendly music festival from 2 till mid-afternoon, and then turns into a crazy dance party at night. In total, 12 different artists will perform. Free before 11 PM; $5 after. 2 PM to 3 AM.
Sunday, June 23
RAP: DC’s rap chosen one, Wale, makes his return to the city at the Howard Theatre in advance of his new album, The Gifted, which drops Tuesday. With inflated ticket prices and a completely different style than he had a couple years ago, Wale can no longer sell out his hometown shows well in advance, but that doesn’t seem to matter nationwide, where his star is definitely rising. Tickets ($35) are available online. 7:30 PM.
MUSIC: It must be annoying for the Grammy-winning hip hop group Arrested Development to share their name with the near-constant deluge of “Her?” jokes going around the internet, but the TV show must have exposed at least some new fans to their music. The group will be playing a tribute concert for Bob Marley at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, which, as always, is free. 6 PM.
FOOD: It sure ain’t cheap, but the RAMMYS is probably DC’s most prestigious awards show (along with Helen Hayes). If you want to see Washington’s best chefs have their big night, check it out. You know the dinner will be exceptional. Tickets ($300) are available online. 6 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.