Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Sticking around town this weekend? There’s a surprising amount of fun going on. Check out a living art exhibit, a free blues festival, a massive DJ dance party at the 9:30 Club, or a free NSO concert in our extended Where & When weekend guide.

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Thursday, August 28: Don’t want to watch the Democratic National Convention coverage all alone? Need an almost-TGIF drink? Here’s a guide to spots where you can eat, drink, mingle and watch Obama’s nomination acceptance speech this Thursday night.  

The Modernist Society, a monthly meeting at Bourbon—where cheap drinks and stimulating conversation flow—hosts Whitney Matheson. She writes the popular pop-culture blog Pop Candy, and she’s sure to discuss everything from your favorite comic-book movie adaptation to the upcoming fall television season. Plus—$3 drink specials!

Friday, August 29: In the mood for some weekend dancing? Then your destination should definitely be DJ Tittsworth’s CD-release party, hosted by Blisspop at the 9:30 Club tonight. DJ Tittsworth is a worldwide force and one of the best spinners out there. He’ll be appearing with some of DC’s best DJs:  Dave Nada, Will Eastman and Gavin Holland. $15. 9 PM.

Want a trippy art experience? Head to Project 4 this evening for the second installment in the “Living Sculpture” show. The title is literal: Artist J.J. McCracken makes real live people, who are doing different activities—such as playing the cello or knitting—stand on a large sphere, then covers them in clay, and voilà: art that’s meant to show the “transformative qualities” of the moldable material. It sounds bizarre, but it’s somehow totally absorbing. 8 PM.

Get a nice start to the Labor Day weekend with the National Gallery of Art’s Jazz in the Garden series. Friday, hear rhythm-and-blues jazz band Daysahead  in the sculpture garden. 5 PM.

Saturday, August 30: How does a blues festival sound to you? How about a free blues festival? How about a free outdoor blues festival? We’re sold on today’s 20th annual DC Blues Festival at Carter Barron Amphitheatre. With the likes of Zac Harmon & the Mid-South Blues Revue, Lil’ Dave Thompson, Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings Band, ACME Blues Company, and lots more, it’s sure to be a great time. Noon to 7:30.

It’s the Godfather of Go-Go’s birthday, and he wants you to come celebrate with him. As he does every year for his personal holiday, Chuck Brown will play a rollicking concert at the 9:30 Club. 8 PM; $25. The local Afrofunk band Chopteeth opens and is sure to provide a great live show of its own.

Apparently (at least according to its MySpace page), local band Bellman Barker calls DC’s Petworth neighborhood home. That’s reason enough for us to love the band—and to try to stalk its members. Those looking for a more compelling reason to check out the band at the Black Cat tonight should listen to its tune “Two Bees.” $10; 9 PM.

Looking for a unique date idea? You can impress that special someone with the free dance and orchestra performance tonight on the terrace of the Kennedy Center. Starting at 9, the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra will play some very danceable tunes under the stars.

Sunday, August 31: It’s a pre-Labor Day tradition: Tonight there’s a free NSO concert on the US Capitol West Lawn. 8 PM.

You’re never too old to play with Legos, right? The folks behind BrickFair, taking place this weekend at the Sheraton Premiere in Vienna, seem to think that’s the case. The festival is pretty much what it sounds like—a celebration of all things Lego. You know, giant trains, life-size Darth Vaders, blocks of New York City—all made out of Legos. Pretty neat. $10; 11 AM to 4 PM.

Who’d win in a battle of Prince vs. Michael Jackson vs. Madonna? We wanted to place money on that one, but in a dance battle of those three, everybody wins. That’s what’s going on tonight at the Black Cat, as DJ Dredd spins tunes by all three for a holiday-night dance party. If you have Monday off, you should check it out. $12; 9 PM.

Monday, September 1: Always wanted to try out a yoga class but didn’t want to drop a lot of dough? Maruka, the small but welcoming yoga studio and boutique in DC’s Shaw neighborhood is holding a free yoga class today from noon to 2.

The Kennedy Center offers its annual Page to Stage event, which showcases upcoming plays and musicals with free readings and rehearsals open to the public. Get the lineup here. 2 to 11 PM.

Glen Echo Park
hosts its Annual Labor Day Art Show, with more than 200 artists showing off their wares (with most of them for sale, you art collectors out there). Free; noon to 6.

Want to get a head start on planning the rest of September? Check out our guide to what’s coming up in festivals, fun, and more this month.

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