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Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Every Thursday we put together the weekend's best picks. Go summer star gazing, see an all-day hip-hop festival, party with roller-derby girls, and catch a tap-dancing band at the Black Cat. All this and more in this weekend's editions of your Where & Whe

Thursday, July 24: If you still haven’t made it over to Tenleytown to check out the free summer concert series, Fort Reno, tonight would be the perfect time to do so for two reasons: 1) The band Statehood. Including a couple former Dismemberment Plan members, the group plays enthusiastic and angular dance-punkish tunes. 2) Free cupcakes! Every year, Fort Reno holds a Night of 1000 Cakes, which is more or less what it sounds like—tons of free cupcakes. So come on out. 7:15 PM.

The word of the night is Barney’s! The store’s Georgetown Co-op outpost is the site of the kick-off for Fashion Fights Poverty’s “Dress Responsibly With Style” event, which runs from 6-8 PM. Get a peek at Barney’s new fall eco-designs while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

The folks at the Phillips Collection may have noticed how popular the Hirshhorn After Hours (hey, nice name!) series was, because they’re bringing back Phillips After 5, starting today. The event is a Thursday night extended happy hour where you can mingle, check out the great art collection, listen to live music, hear lectures, and sip on drinks. The After 5 series will continue every Thursday for the next five weeks, so if you can’t make it tonight, don’t despair—there will still be plenty of after-hours art to enjoy. Check out the full schedule here.

Friday, July 25: Who knew that lit mags could be so fun? The folks at local literary journal Barrelhouse prove the exception to the high school rule. They’re throwing a shebang tonight to celebrate their sixth issue, and it sounds like a doozy. It’s called License to Brawl, and will be roller-derby themed (as is the issue of the mag). There will be readings from the issue, drinking, DJs, and arm wrestling with local roller-derby ladies. $10 for the party; $15 will get you the new Barrelhouse. 6 PM, at Hillyer Art Space.

Fans of space rock, rejoice. English band Spirtualized is in town tonight, and bringing its dreamy, drony guitar rock to the 9:30 Club. 9 PM, $25.

Goblin king, Goblin king…If you’re a fan of the classic 1986 film Labyrinth, you’re going to want to head to AFI Silver tonight, where it’s playing as part of a Jim Henson retrospective. The film stars a very young Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie. Connelly’s character goes on a quest to rescue her little brother from the Goblin King (Bowie)—and the results are nothing short of trippy. 11:30 PM (and more times throughout the weekend); $10.

Saturday, July 26: When Jenny Lewis sings about Omaha’s booming music scene in “The Execution of All Things,” we like to think one of the bands she’s referring to is Tilly and the Wall. Currently on its third record, the band’s folk/pop sound just keeps getting better—plus, there are nice surprises like “Pot Kettle Black,” which features stomping and a killer guitar melody as hook. And, they use a tap-dancing woman as their percussion section. Seriously. It’s a blast to watch. Tilly and the Wall plays at the Black Cat with the Ruby Suns. 9 PM, $13.

Traveling vintage shop Listopad is teaming up with Red Onion Records and Books in Adams Morgan for a big sidewalk sale. Check out music, books, and plenty of retro finds at the corner of 18th and T streets, Northwest from 12-4.

Looking for something a bit different than the bars and dance clubs of the city? How about some summer star gazing? Tonight is the monthly gathering of amateur astronomers and general night-sky lovers at Sky Meadows State Park. Sean O’Brien, staff astronomer of the Albert Einstein Planetarium, will lead the group in telescope observations. $4 per car. 8 PM; for information and directions, call 540-592-3556.

Sunday, July 27: What’s Rock the Bells, you may ask? Oh, only this little hip-hop festival featuring some under-the-radar artists…just kidding. Do the names A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Mos Def, and De La Soul mean anything to you? Because they’ll be performing at this all day music festival out at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The fun and music get started at noon. Tickets (you can purchase them here) will run you $40 to $83.

Today is your final, absolutely last, no-more-chances opportunity to see a performance from the wild, wonderful, and wacky Capital Fringe Fest. Check out schedules for the remaining performances here

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