If you close your eyes and listen to Parikrama, you could swear it was Axl Rose or Bon Scott howling into the microphone, though we've never heard any Guns N' Roses or AC/DC records that have so much Indian flavor. Fronted by Nitin Malik, the Delhi rock band will put its own South Asian spin on such rock classics as "Highway to Hell" and "Another Brick in the Wall" as part of the ongoing Maximum India festival, Friday at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW (Metro: Foggy Bottom). 202-467-4600. 800-444-1324. www.kennedy-center.org.
BLAKE GRIFFIN; NCAA TOURNAMENT
Saturday, Thursday, March 19
Basketball takes over Verizon Center in a big way this week. First up, a visit by one of the NBA's most exciting talents on Saturday at 7 p.m.: slam-dunk artist Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, who may have caught your eye when he defeated JaVale McGee of the Wizards in last month's slam-dunk contest by dunking over a car. Then, on Thursday and March 19, March Madness hits Washington as eight Division I college teams (to be announced Sunday) take the floor for second- and third-round NCAA tournament action. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW (Metro: Gallery Place). 202-628-3200. www.verizoncenter.com. Wizards, $10-$225; NCAA tournament, $252.
REFUGE SYSTEM BIRTHDAY BASH
As the calendar rolls into spring and we return to the great outdoors, it's important to take time to appreciate nature in all of its splendor. What better place than the National Wildlife Refuge System, which celebrates its 108th birthday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with appearances (and performances) by live reptiles, arts-and-crafts activities and the season's first guided tram tours of the preserve's natural treasures. National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel. 301-497-5580. patuxent.fws.gov. Tram tours, $3; $2 age 55 and older; $1 age 12 and younger.
GOING OUT GUIDE HAPPY HOUR
Join the Going Out Gurus for a St. Patrick's themed happy hour at the Dubliner from 6 to 8 p.m. What's in it for you? No cover charge, $4 pints of Dubliner Amber Ale and Irish Lager, $10 for an Imperial pint of Guinness and a shot of Bushmills and a chance to win VIP buttons to the Dubliner's St. Patrick's Day party on March 17. Dubliner, 520 N. Capitol St. NW (Metro: Union Station). 202-737-3773. www.dublinerdc.com.
"COUNTDOWN TO YURI'S NIGHT"
Yuri's Night, a yearly celebration of mankind's ascent into outer space (named for Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin), takes place around the world every April. And like any space-worthy event, it's preceded by a countdown: This art exhibition features works by 19 artists, whose visions of space travel, science fiction and the swirling cosmos will get you ready for liftoff, which occurs when Artisphere hosts its own Yuri's Night event April 9. Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Metro: Rosslyn). 703-875-1100. www.artisphere.com.
ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL
Whether it's deep-sea drilling, the burning of coal or the construction of wind farms, mankind's energy demands pose immediate and long-term impacts on the Earth. The relationship between energy and the ecosystem is the focus of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital. The 140 (mostly free) offerings at theaters across the area include documentaries, animated features and even a Russian psychological thriller, "How I Ended This Summer," set in eastern Siberia. Visit www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org for a complete schedule. 202-342-2564.
"NEW IRELAND: THE ENDA WALSH FESTIVAL"
Studio Theatre celebrates one of Ireland's most prominent contemporary playwrights with a three-play series of works by Enda Walsh. First up is Druid Theatre Company's production of "Penelope," a gritty Irish adaptation of "The Odyssey" through April 3. That's followed by Studio's own productions of "The Walworth Farce" (April 6-May 1) and "The New Electric Ballroom" (April 13-May 1), the former a farcical family drama; the latter, a rock-and-roll love story filled with regret. Walsh appears for an in-person conversation after Thursday's 8 p.m. performance. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW (Metro: Dupont Circle). 202-332-3300. www.studiotheatre.org. $44-$65.
In the right hands, a song's vocals work like an additional instrument, able to soar like strings or chop things up like a syncopated beat. And in the hands of sisters Helene and Celia Faussart, better known as French duo Les Nubians, that instrument sounds particularly suave: the Francophone singers, whose latest album, "Nu Revolution," includes appearances by vocalist Eric Roberson and Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango, perform a pair of 7 p.m. shows. Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. 202-944-6090. www.ambafrance-us.org. $25. - Alex Baldinger