Thursday, January 23
SPIES: Michael Sulick, former chief of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, will be at the Spy Museum talking about how the KGB and other countries placed high-ranking spies inside the United States government. He’ll also discuss how things like WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden’s information have affected how the CIA and other intelligence agencies work. It’s bound to be a somewhat eye-opening discussion and will probably make you wonder if your neighbor or significant other is secretly a TRAITOROUS SPY. Tickets ($10) are available online. 6:30 PM.
COMEDY: A game of Cards Against Humanity can get pretty funny even when played by the most boring of people, but in the hands of a bunch of comics the game reaches another level. Bier Baron’s Comics Against Humanity lets you take the stage to play against some of the comics, get your dirty jokes ready. If you win you get a free drink, and afterward, there’ll be music and more carousing. Free. 8:30 PM.
Friday, January 24
WEIRD PAIRINGS: A couple of times a year, DC Shorts presents Pasties and Popcorn, a weird yet fun combination of Tilted Torch’s burlesque and short films. It features sideshow acts like fire juggling, burlesque, and whatever sexy-themed films DC shorts can scrounge out of their vast archives. Tickets ($20) are available online. 7 and 9:30 PM (also Saturday).
COMEDY: The Pinch hosts Barenaked Comedy, a similarly weird combination of burlesque and standup comedy. What’s next, you guys? Burlesque & Baseball? Pole-Dancing & Potholder Weaving? Ladies & Latkes? All these ideas are trademarked by me, by the way. Free. 8:30 PM.
IMPROV: The DC Arts Center hosts the Washington Improv Theater’s Roadshow, a “road trip” of sorts for the best improv troupes the theater has to offer. Sure, they’re only heading across town, but it’s a road trip nonetheless. Join We Should Talk, Season Six, and Jackie for their shows—make sure you come with lots of hilarious words as suggestions. Tickets ($12) are available online. 10 PM.
Saturday, January 25
MUSIC: The DC music scene still has plenty of good bands, but very few who have made any sort of national impact in the last few years. One exception is U.S. Royalty, who have played festivals all around the country and toured with Third Eye Blind that one time. The indie rockers will be releasing their new album, Blue Sunshine, with a show at Rock & Roll Hotel this weekend. Tickets ($15) are available online. 7 PM.
ART: Blind Whino hosts the Amazing Art Jam, a 12-hour extravaganza featuring a video-game tournament, an art show and sale, music and dancing, live painting, and a few surprises, all in one of Southwest’s coolest buildings (you can’t miss it; it’s painted about 30 colors). $10. 1 PM to 1 AM.
COMEDY: Ralphie May hit it big on the very first season of Last Comic Standing, making him kind of like the Kelly Clarkson of that show. Like Clarkson, he’s gone on to have a good career—he just finished up his fourth Comedy Central special. He’ll be at Lisner Auditorium with a show based on his new special, Too Big to Ignore. Tickets ($32.50 to $42.50) are available online. 8 PM.
MUSIC: DC Music Download, a site that keeps tabs on all the goings-on of the DC scene, is turning two this week and celebrating with a massive concert and party at the 9:30 Club. Drop Electric headlines, and the openers—Young Rapids, the Sea Life, and the Raised By Wolves—ain’t too shabby either. There’ll also be live artwork, screen-printing, and food from sponsors such as Mellow Mushroom, Union Kitchen, and Blind Dog Cafe. A buck from each ticket will go to Girls Rock! DC, a nonprofit that helps girls get into rock music. Tickets ($16) are available online. 8 PM.
Sunday, January 26
RECORDS: In case you haven’t heard, vinyl is back, and in a big way. Take your favorite vinyl fiend to the fifth annual DC Record Fair at Penn Social, featuring old and new pressings alike and stock from DC record stores such as the Vinyl District, DC Soul Recordings, and Som Records. There’ll be food, booze, and deejays all afternoon. $5 until noon, $2 after. 11 to 5.
WEDDINGS: If you got engaged over the holidays, and judging by my Facebook news feed, you probably did, you’ve got a wedding to plan. Join Washingtonian Bride & Groom at the Park Hyatt Washington for Unveiled 2014, a showcase of wedding dresses, event planners, photographers, florists, musicians and entertainers, caterers, and everything else you need to plan the wedding of your dreams. There’ll be Champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts from Blue Duck Tavern and a special Vera Wang bridal gown fashion show. You can save 10 percent off your ticket with the discount code BRIDEBLOGGER10. Tickets ($65) are available online. 11:30 to 3:30.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at email@example.com, or find him on Twitter.