10 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of June 14-16

June 13, 2013

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.

Musician Questlove from the band The Roots, poses for a portrait, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 in New York. Questlove's band, The Roots, the house band for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," must now run their song choices by NBC after the band performed an off-color song during an appearance by GOP Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri)
On Saturday night, see Questlove when he joins the Roots for a concert under the stars on the Southwest Waterfront, then again at the Howard Theatre, where he'll be spinning records till last call.  (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri)

Friday: Twenty-five years after their sophomore album, "Hangin' Tough," turned five boys from Boston into crush-worthy international pop stars, the New Kids on the Block are still capitalizing on a strange mix of lust and acid-washed nostalgia, never mind that their core audience is women now old enough to worry about mortgages and crow's feet. The New Kids play Verizon Center on Friday with Boyz II Men. (Speaking of nostalgia, here's a flashback to the street scene around their first reunion tour, in 2008.)

Friday-Saturday: Writers, as the world is rapidly learning, are among the strongest comics, and thanks to a resume burnished with one of the best comedy writing gigs ever – how does “co-creator  of 'Chappelle’s Show' " work for you? – we can’t help but think Neal Brennan will have audiences losing it this weekend during his three Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse sets.

Saturday:  Even folks with tin ears can’t deny that The Roots  have brought an unerring jazziness to hip-hop. The group’s insistence on live instrumentation – horns, keys and all – allows them to jam and flow in concert. The Roots perform at Kastles Stadium, and then drummer ?uestlove, an obsessive musicologist who can rock a room better than any “celebrity DJ” on the planet, takes his record bag over to the Howard Theatre, where he’ll drop rare, deep and funky hip-hop and R&B for a late-night crowd.

Saturday:  If you spend any time reading about sports on the Internet, chances are you're familiar with the R-rated, oft-capitalized words of Drew Magary. The outrageous personalities of professional sports are Magary's hobbyhorse, but the Deadspin, Gawker and GQ columnist is increasingly focused on the challenges of fatherhood. He'll discuss his latest book, "Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood," at 6 p.m. at Politics and Prose

Saturday:  From simple kites to futuristic airplane prototypes, all kinds of aircraft are covered in Become a Pilot Day, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s day-long event celebrating flight. More than 50 aircraft are expected, and the main attraction (weather permitting) will be an appearance by the Solar Impulse, a prototype airplane with long wings that generate energy from the sun.

Saturday:  If your kids get their thrills from cars and trucks, rather than planes, head instead to the District's sixth annual Truck Touch event at RFK Stadium. The festivities, which continue through 2 p.m., showcase the city's emergency and public works vehicles, all so the kids can get a closer look at the booming trucks and squealing squad cars that power through city streets. Also on tap are live music, skating, basketball hoop contests, Segway rides, and electric and hybrid vehicle test drives.

Saturday:  Crisp, slightly dry and hoppier than a lager, Kolsch beer from the German city of Cologne isn't always easy to find -- unless you're at the new Navy Yard branch of Gordon Biersch on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. for the Kolsch Cup Challenge.  More than 20 breweries from the Mid-Atlantic region, including Devils Backbone, Victory, the Brewers Art and DC Brau, are bringing their Kolsch-style beers to the Navy Yard. (Watch out for Mad Fox Brewing Company: Brewer Bill Madden has won numerous national medals for his Kolsch.) A $20 ticket gets you 10 6-ounce samples and a souvenir mug.

Sunday: “Ulysses” by James Joyce takes place on one day: June 16, 1904. And thus lit nerds instituted Bloomsday, a Joyce-themed holiday named for the novel’s hero, Leopold Bloom. Politics and Prose will host a reading of excerpts from the novel at noon, then the party will move to James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar in Dupont Circle for more readings. And whiskey. (Washington Post Express)

Sunday:  Fatherhood has always been a rich subject for songwriters, and "Like Your Dad Did," a Father's Day showcase at the Hamilton, trades on that fact, tapping local musicians and their children to perform tunes including Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter," Neil Young's "Old Man" and the John Hiatt song for which the event is titled. Among the locals performing at the 7:30 p.m. show: Bill and Owen Danoff; Jon and Ben Carroll; and Randy and Colin Thompson.

Sunday:  Summer concerts take a decidedly mellow turn this week. Case in point: The surprising baroque XX/Grizzly Bear lineup at Merriweather on Sunday (not to mention the ambient pop of Twin Shadow at the Black Cat on Saturday or The Postal Service on Tuesday at Merriweather). Will you be able to keep your eyes open through these shows? The jury's out.

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Ryan Little · June 13, 2013