The free Smithsonian Folklife Festival makes its return to the National Mall this weekend, featuring traditional performances, food, and videos from Mexican and Asian-Pacific-American cultures. Look for mariachi bands, storytelling, and cooking classes. Thursday, June 24, through Monday, June 28, and Thursday, July 1, through Monday, July 5. For a full schedule of events, click here.
Thursday at the Black Cat, Washington’s lawyers trade in their suits and briefcases for tank tops and guitar straps at Banding Together 2010: Battle of the Law Firm Bands. Previous band names have varied from the expected (the Precedents) to the not-so-lawyerly (WMD and the Bad Ass Brass Band). Your $10 cover goes to Gifts for the Homeless.
Momo Sports Bar is hosting one of the best happy hours you’ll find Thursday from 6 to 8. If you sign up for the bar’s listserv (click here), you’ll get two free beers or rail drinks.
From what we’ve heard, Will Smith’s son makes a decent karate kid, but nothing can beat the original. Catch the first Karate Kid, which plays at the weekly Underdog Film Festival at Canal Park on the Capitol Riverfront. The movie starts Thursday at 8:45, but get there early for trivia and Wii on the big movie screen.
Variety shows featuring Carrie Underwood or Jessica Simpson: bad idea. Variety shows featuring talented local artists: good idea. Comedians and musicians mix and match their trades at the Family Hemerlein Variety Show Thursday night at the Gibson Guitar Showroom (709 G St., NW; 202-393-1006). The event, which starts at 8 and costs $10, features punk rockers, classically trained cellists, standup comics, and a dash of improv. Sounds good to us.
It’s been just over a year since the Gloved One kicked the bucket, but deejays at U Street Music Hall are convinced that, like Tupac, he’s still with us. Moonwalk to remixes, mashups, and straight classic MJ tunes at the Michael Jackson is Still With Us event Friday from 5 to 10. Admission is free.
The 18th annual DC Caribbean Carnival takes place Saturday and Sunday. The theme is Remembering Haiti, and besides the usual parade (starting at Georgia and Missouri aves., NW), there are performances at Banneker Park by Alison Hinds and JW & Blaze. The festivities begin at noon, and admission is $10.
Hop on your fixed speed and head over to the Black Cat Saturday night for the third annual Bike Prom. This year’s theme is Beyond Velodrome, and if you want any chance of redeeming yourself for falling short of high-school prom queen, you’ll dress up. Ten bucks gets you in the door, and WABA members get a free drink.
Maybe you’ll see some familiar faces in the portraits at “DCITY.The Here and Now,” an art show at the DC Photo Coop (1327 Naylor Ct., NW; entrance behind 918 O St.) Saturday night. For the past year, members have taken portraits of local artists, musicians, and friends. The Cornel West Theory will perform. Best of all, it’s free. Doors open at 7.
Sunday night is the perfect time for rooftop parties, so join Worn magazine at the Kalorama Lofts (1700 Kalorama Rd., NW) or its Scotch Hop fundraiser. For $10, you’ll get to listen to live music, drink unlimited PBR, and show off your summer style.