Friday, Oct. 26
Yardfest at Howard University: By now, everyone should know about Yardfest, the free music festival that is as much the centerpiece of Howard University’s Homecoming as the football game or parade. A dizzying array of hip-hop talent has taken the stage over the years: Biggie, Puffy, Jay-Z, Kanye, Common, Pusha T, Lil Uzi Vert and D.C.'s own Wale. But the biggest appearances are frequently a surprise — ask anyone who was there in 2012 what happened when Drake appeared out of nowhere — so it pays to arrive at the main quad early and stay until the very end. Noon. Free.
Farewell party at Clarendon Grill: For 22 years, the Clarendon Grill has been a fixture of the area’s nightlife scene. The unassuming spot — a bar, a stage, a back patio — was hosting hot cover bands direct from Dewey Beach and pouring dirt-cheap happy-hour microbrews for young professionals before the neighborhood was packed with bars, restaurants and upscale condos. But the Grill, as it’s known, is closing after two final events this weekend. Friday’s Clarendon Grill Celebration includes performances by two longtime fixtures: Bryen O’Boyle of Mr. Greengenes performs an acoustic set at 8 p.m., with LauraLea and Tripp Fabulous taking the stage at 10. The bar is expecting a large crowd for the goodbye party, so early arrival is suggested. Through Saturday. Doors open at 4 p.m. $5 cover. Drink and food prices vary.
Hilloween at Eastern Market: There are events for children all over the Washington area as Halloween approaches, and it’s tough to pick a favorite. Hilloween has been a staple of the Eastern Market community for more than two decades, and this year’s celebration includes ponies for petting, a bouncy castle inside the market’s North Hall, face painters, arts and crafts stations, and, of course, trick-or-treating. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free.
Halloween Movie Festival at the American History Museum: The Smithsonian gets in the Halloween spirit with three nights of themed films at the American History Museum’s Warner Bros. Theater. Zombies are front and center on Friday with screenings of “28 Days Later” and “Shaun of the Dead.” Saturday’s classic triple-header features Bela Lugosi’s 1931 “Dracula” and Boris Karloff’s star turns in “Frankenstein” (1931) and “The Mummy” (1932). Things get funnier on Sunday, with a lineup of “Young Frankenstein,” “Beetlejuice” and “The Addams Family.” Through Sunday. $10 per film; $50 all-access festival pass.
A Tribe Called Red at U Street Music Hall: “We are the tribe that they cannot see,” a disembodied voice declares at the opening to A Tribe Called Red’s 2016 album, “We Are the Halluci Nation.” The Canadian hip-hop-electronic act hasn’t released a project since then, but its sociopolitical themes have traveled well. The duo — 2oolman and Bear Witness, both of whom are indigenous people — have said they feel a responsibility to shine a light on the issues facing their community. They inject their most thunderous music with scathing critiques and elevate their lighter tracks with messages of uplift and inclusion, but their percussive mix persists at a roar. A party with A Tribe Called Red is a party with a purpose. 9 p.m. $15-$20.
Michael Christmas at Songbyrd: Fans with a VIP ticket to see Michael Christmas will also be treated to a round of Mario Kart with the witty Boston rapper. It’s a fitting perk — the rapper’s music strikes a pleasant balance between lighthearted smack talk and introspective musings. His latest album, “Role Model,” feeds his nostalgic impulses — dreams of making it and awkward love letters abound — as he tries to figure himself out with the impressionable eyes of his little sisters watching his every move. In Christmas’s hands, the prospect of being a role model sounds less like trying to be perfect and more like the fun of realizing it’s impossible. 8 p.m. $15-$50.
Saturday, Oct. 27
Silver Spring Zombie Walk at Georgia and Sligo avenues: On the Saturday before Halloween, downtown Silver Spring transforms into an eerie scene that’s one part “Shaun of the Dead,” one part “Thriller” and a pinch of “Night of the Living Dead,” with participants shuffling and lurching down Georgia Avenue toward the AFI Silver Theatre. The annual Zombie Walk, which began as a neighborhood meetup at the Quarry House Tavern in 2008, has grown to include thousands of zombies dressed up in costumes ranging from comical and topical to truly frightening, and everyone is invited to participate, no matter how elaborate (or not) their costume. 9 p.m. Free.
Ruston Kelly at Jammin’ Java: Stories of addiction tend to end tragically, but not Ruston Kelly’s. When the Nashville singer-songwriter was ensnared in the chaos of drug use, he turned to music as a way out. His rugged, vulnerable voice lends itself to the unguarded storytelling of his latest album, “Dying Star.” He turns his tragedies into tongue-in-cheek phrases — the contemplative opener is “Cover My Tracks"; another, about hitting rock bottom, is titled “Faceplant.” Suffering may be an artist’s greatest inspiration, but Kelly’s redemption is the real song worth singing. 8 p.m. $13.75-$26.75.
Crafty Bastards at Lot A at Yards Park: Just try leaving empty-handed after visiting this annual arts and craft fair: There’s something for everyone, including pottery, furniture, clothing, jewelry, food and toys — and the wares are often made by hand. The two-day event, now in its 15th year, takes place at Yards Park, in Lot A next to Nationals Park; look for the Crafty Bastards tents alongside an array of food trucks. The fair will take place rain or shine. Through Sunday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $6-$10.
LB199X at DC9: His rap alias sounds as mysterious as your neighbor’s WiFi network name, but his music feels generous and forthright — especially on “Black Matter,” a new album of diaristic meditations on life in the Black Lives Matter era. The rapper’s most lucid refrain — “Black matter, you matter, I matter, we matter” — provides the album with its fulcrum and its climax, radiating affirmation in every direction. Born and raised in Southeast Washington, LB moved to Orlando after high school, where he says he began taking his rhyme-craft more seriously — and in every sense of the word. Now he’s back in the District, rapping explicitly about patience, gratitude and self-awareness with clear eyes and a deliberate step. 9 p.m. $10.
Sunday, Oct. 28
Tori Kelly at Warner Theatre: When Tori Kelly burst into the spotlight, she was a bright-eyed pop artist making sunny love songs. The singer-songwriter’s 2015 debut album, “Unbreakable Smile,” yielded a fruitful period in which she performed at the Billboard Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the 2016 Grammys, where she was a nominee for best new artist. With her latest release, “Hiding Place,” Kelly has traded the songwriting of Swedish pop powerhouse Max Martin for that of gospel icon Kirk Franklin. “Hiding Place” is an easygoing Christian album, and Kelly’s voice is well suited for the acrobatic performance that informs much of the genre. Her church roots shine brilliantly. 8 p.m. Sold out.
Handmade Halloween at Jackie Lee’s: Get an early start on your holiday shopping at this bazaar of goods, along with some cheap beer and whiskey at this neighborhood watering hole. There will be a live DJ spinning appropriately spooky tunes while you browse the selection of printed artwork, patches and other sundries. 2 to 8 p.m. Free admission; prices of goods, food and drink vary.
Del Ray Halloween Parade: Take the whole family to the 22nd annual Halloween parade along Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. Kids, adults, businesses and even pets get in the spirit of the season by going all out with costumes at this event that attracts thousands annually. In addition to the standard live band and activities, goody bags are provided for children along with some free light snacks and refreshments for all. 2 p.m. Free.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Richards and Briana Younger