The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.
Through Sunday: The Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is closing for a five-year, $48 million makeover on April 28. So take a walk through what is one of the Smithsonian’s most popular exhibits one last time before the skeletons are dismantled and taken away. Sure, five years seems like a long time now, but when you consider the exhibition's source material has already been extinct for 65 million years, we should be able to manage until 2019.
Friday-Saturday: The first festival of the year at Merriweather Post Pavilion is a metal-head's dream: Now in its sixth year, M3 Rock Festival brings in nearly all of glam rock's enduring stars, including Sebastian Bach, Queensryche, Tesla, Slaughter and Lita Ford, as well as vendors of all manner of metal paraphernalia. Whether you spend all year rocking a mullet or are a music fan with a taste for the ironic also have caught onto the festival's so-bad-it's-good charms. Gates open Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $25-$60.
Friday-June 8: The Fichandler Stage becomes a nightclub with Arena Stage's "Smokey Joe's Cafe," a 40-song revue of classic rock-and-roll's most enduring standards. Directed by Randy Johnson (Broadway's "A Night with Janis Joplin"), the nine-member cast, which includes Tony Award-winner Levi Kreis, performs classic songs written by the legendary songwriting duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, including hits by Elvis, the Drifters and the Coasters. Tickets are $84-$119.
Friday-Saturday: Georgetown's flower-lined Book Hill neighborhood is the city's best place to gallery-hop and macaron-shop. Once a year, the neighborhood takes its charms to the streets for the Georgetown French Market, with sidewalk sales from favorite boutiques, crepes from Cafe Bonaparte, performances by mimes and unicyclists, and more. The festival, which lines Wisconsin Avenue NW from P Street to Reservoir Road, is slated for Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.
Saturday: Union Kitchen, the Northeast D.C. food incubator that's home to budding local brands including Cured, District Doughnut and Jrink Juicery, is bringing back the block-party vibes this summer. After debuting last August, the Lot at Union Kitchen mini-fests return Saturday with live music, drinks and food from area mobile kitchens and Union Kitchen's local producers. Saturday's installment will feature music from Baby Bry Bry and the Apologists, Walking Sticks, Farma Wesley and Haile Supreme with Sun Cycle, beginning at 7 p.m. But here's reason to get to the free event early: Happy hour is from 3 to 5 p.m. and you can nosh on food from a handful of vendors who call Union Kitchen home. Read more: The Lot at Union Kitchen food and music festival returns Saturday.
Saturday: The Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival is refreshingly different. It's near RFK Stadium -- on an island near RFK Stadium -- and all it costs is a $10 suggested donation to Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region. You can walk, bike or take Metro -- and if you must drive, the parking is free. Your outside food and (non-alcoholic) beverages are welcome, so pack your picnic blanket; food trucks and beer vendors will be there to take care of everything else. As for music, expect stages for Americana from Justin Trawick, Vandaveer and more; a Boogie Babes stage for the kiddos; and Gypsy Sally's Island Stage featuring Victoria Vox, Hollertown and others. Get tickets here.
Saturday: If you were lucky enough to score tickets to see Lorde's D.C. debut in February, you may have caught the ethereal opening set by violinist-singer Lo Fang, who counts the New Zealand starlet among his biggest musical fans. But before his career began picking up in Los Angeles with the release of his debut, "Blue Film," he was kicking around the D.C. scene by his given name, Matthew Hemerlein. After his outings with Lorde, the Columbia native returns for an intimate set Saturday at Sixth & I's downstairs venue. Tickets, $15-$18, are available here. Read: Lo Fang's musical journey took him all over the world.
Saturday-Sunday: Remember the elementary school science fair? On a much grander scale, that's the USA Science & Engineering Festival, this weekend at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. And though some of us might outgrow the rudimentary experiments of youth, who doesn't want to strap into a flight simulator or use a robotic hand to disarm a bomb? In all, there are more than 3,000 activities for all ages, plus appearances by Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mike Rowe and They Might be Giants. The expo runs Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Sunday: The hip-hop bar crawl is back on the U Street corridor. Starting at 2 p.m. at Duffy's, the crawl will move through each bar every hour or two, with a featured DJ spinning specialty sets at each spot. A few of the sets include booze-themed old-school hip-hop at Duffy's; DJ Premier vs. the Neptunes at the Islander; and the best of the Dirty South at Tap and Parlour. The crawl ends at Pure Lounge at 8 p.m., and six DJs will tag-team for the rest of the night. You can join the crawl at any bar for $10, which will get you access to drink specials at every venue.
Sunday: After dropping one of the most bananas-sounding albums of the past decade with 2007's "Kala," M.I.A. has continued making out-there hits influenced by global rhythms that are both irresistible and unsettling. Her most recent album, "Matangi," flew slightly under the radar, but it's sure to sound imposing on the massive sound system at Echostage. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. With A$AP Ferg. $53.70.