12 things to do in the D.C. area the weekend of July 5-7

July 5, 2013

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


The 2012 Dandies & Quaintrelles Seersucker Bike Ride (Malek Naz Freidouni).

All weekend: It's your last chance to check out this year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and its themed tents focusing on Hungarian heritage, endangered languages, and African-American fashion and hair. On Friday and Saturday nights, stop by the dance tent for live music -- or check out a more low-key Smithsonian Folkways performance.

Friday: For five years, DJ Nitekrawler has been an analog devotee in a digital world. He frequently employs only 7-inch vinyl records in his monthly sets at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, as Moneytown is devoted to the deepest soul selections uncovered by the finest crate-diggers. Moneytown’s guest DJs have been stellar over the past five years, from Prince Paul to DJ Cash Money, and for the anniversary party, Nitekrawler will be joined by Mikhail Z. of D.C.’s TNT dance party. Since it’s a birthday party, there will be favors: Guests will be able to take home free 45-rpm records distributed from the bar. Just don’t let your wax lust make you too greedy – try not to take more than five.

Friday:  New York lounge lizards Brazilian Girls have, in just a few records, forged a jet-setting sound that combines bass-heavy dance music, French torch songs, electro-pop and, yes, Brazilian jazz, frequently in the span of a single song. Hunt for a word to describe it, and only “downtown” seems to fit. The four-piece, led by the magnetic, multilingual Sabina Sciubba, reunited last fall after a brief split but remains on a limited tour schedule, making this a rare appearance at the 9:30 Club.

Friday: If you’ve ever listened to hip-hop, you’ve heard echoes of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel and the Furious 5, the New York crew who set the template for a generation of rappers and DJs with “The Message,” “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” and “It’s Nasty.” Expect an endless stream of old-school hits at the Howard Theatre.

Friday: Broadway tunes, Christmas songs, pop standards, swinging New Orleans jazz -- Harry Connick Jr. has lent his golden croon to a wide spectrum of music. His new “Every Man Should Know,” though, finds Connick Jr. embracing original tunes. Don’t worry -- he still sounds like the big band singer who’ll make all the bobby-soxers swoon. Swoon away at Wolf Trap's Filene Center.

Saturday: You may remember the Polyphonic Spree from the early days of the new millennium: A large band and chorus wearing white robes and performing orchestral pop songs as if the musicians were time travelers from a 1960s commune. The band’s first album of new material since 2007 is due in August, but new single “You Don’t Know Me” is a surging slice of pop rock that has little in common with the 5th Dimension. Few settings could be as fitting as the stage under the dome at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

Saturday: Bring the kids to 15th and P streets NW and relive your own youth at rock performances appropriate for all ages. Put on by DC MEETMarket, a monthly outdoor market, Rock-n-Romp is series of concerts by local musicians. The idea is to have the whole family get into the same kind of music and live music experiences parents had pre-kids. (See what we mean about reliving your youth?) The July line-up will include the Torches, Kristin Forbes (a.k.a. “Lady Hatchet) and Metal Panda, which is made up of 9- and 12-year-old musicians. The Market runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday: Well-known hip-hop selecter "Supa Qool" DJ Quartermaine steps up for Reminisce at Liv, a holiday-weekend blend of all your favorite "Yo! MTV Raps" and "Video Soul" jams. If you bought a song on a cassingle while rocking a Carhartt vest, or if you couldn't wait to hear it performed live at the end of an episode of "In Living Color," then that jam will likely be spun at Reminisce.

Saturday: The seventh annual Jamaica Day Reggae Festival features a mix of international stars, such as Ken Boothe, Lady Tifa and Singing Melody, with the cream of the area's reggae bands, including Jah Works, Strykers Posse and Positive Vibration, and dancehall DJs.

Sunday: The annual Seersucker Social sounds like a hipster cliche: Hundreds of 20- and 30-somethings dressed in their most fashionable summer outfits cycle through Washington on their way to a garden party, where they play croquet and listen to live jazz. The thing is, it can be a lot of fun to pretend you’re in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel for an afternoon. As always, the start of the 10-mile ride and the location of the party are secret, given only to those who buy tickets. But we can tell you that riders will receive a boxed lunch and drinks when they get to the final destination, where lawn games will be featured along with music by Dandy Wellington and His Band. Tickets are $45 and must be purchased in advance. Just remember not to take yourself too seriously.

Sunday: Don't expect Bozo here -- the clown duo "Pinot and Augustine" is a throwback to classic clowning from the golden age of circus. Sabrina Mandell and Mark Jaster of the usually grown-up Happenstance Theater (the latter studied with Marcel Marceau) will present a hat-making workshop for children, followed by a 3 p.m. performance at the Greenbelt Community Center's monthly Artful Afternoon series.

Sunday: Grammy-nominated progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon puts a new spin on fairy tales and nursery rhymes in this free performance at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, as part of the D.C. Hip Hop Theater Festival.

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Stephanie Merry · July 5, 2013