Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (September 19-21): Okkervil River, Judge John Hodgman, and a Beer Talk

Okkervil River plays the 9:30 Club on September 19.


DISCUSSION The growing popularity of New American cuisine has certainly helped rise of Mid-Atlantic ingredients, including homegrown Maryland oysters and crabs, Virginia ham and Manhattan clam chowder. At the S. Dillon Ripley Center, the Dabney’s chef Jeremiah Langhorne, and chef Spike Gjerde, from Baltimore’s farm-to-table restaurant Woodberry Kitchen, talk about “the culinary history of the Mid-Atlantic, how it influences their work as chefs, and why it’s seeing a boost in popularity” in conversation with Joe Yonan, food and dining editor of the Washington Post. $30, 6:45 PM

MUSIC Okkervil River has been making music since 1998, but frontman/singer/songwriter Will Sheff’s eclectic tendencies have made it hard to pin down the indie-folk outfit’s sound. A seven-minute, stunning, orchestral song about love and loss can be followed by a bouncy, three-minute track about surviving the rock n’ roll lifestyle. The band continues to keep us on our toes with Away, essentially a solo effort by Sheff featuring classical, jazz and folk musicians to fill out the sound. In support of the album, released September 9, the band plays 9:30 Club this week. $25, 7 PM


BOOKS At some point, the next President will get that 3 am call. Tevi Troy’s book Shall We Wake the President? about White House reactions to natural disasters, economic meltdowns, and acts of war—which he discusses at this event at Hoover Institution—contains helpful, if predictable, anecdotes such as FDR’s Great Depression plan and Obama-era checks on cyberterrorism threats. But the next chief might want to skip the chapter on weather events: Troy, who ran President George W. Bush’s Domestic Policy Council from 2005 to 2007, largely blames the handling of Hurricane Katrina on local officials, not the executive missteps that history remembers. Free, 12 PM

MUSIC Hang onto summer a little longer with Morgan Delt’s sun-soaked psych-pop, which recalls San Francisco in the 1960s more than fall in the District. Make sure to catch the California native’s performance at DC9. $12, 9 PM


PODCAST In this performance of his hit podcast at the Howard Theatre, faux legal eagle John Hodgman uses his comedic jurisprudence to settle disputes between friends during onstage “hearings.” We hope he rules on some only-in-Washington debates at this one: Is it okay to smack someone who’s standing on the wrong side of the Metro escalator? Is it wrong to demand that tourists put their kids on a leash? $25, 8 PM

BOOKS With the presidential election’s intense focus on the subject of immigration, Julissa Arce’s memoir My Underground American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive is an even more important read. Arce will detail her journey in conversation with WAMU senior reporter Armando Trull at Busboys and Poets 14th & V. Free, 6:30 PM

BEER Beer drinkers: it’s time to give your eyes some credit. At this discussion and tasting with beer expert Neil Witte in the Natural History Musuem’s Atrium Cafe, you’ll learn that a beer’s appearance—how foamy it is, the color, the type of glass it’s poured into—affects how we think it’ll taste. You may never look at beer the same way again, which is kind of the point. $85, 6:45 PM