Friday, Dec. 28
Sulfuric Cautery at Atlas Brew Works: As we drift through the declension of the holiday season, perhaps you’re still searching for a song to evict “Winter Wonderland” from the forefront of your consciousness. Allow me to recommend “Excruciatingly Gradual Draining of Fluids” by Sulfuric Cautery, a grindcore outfit from Ohio with two dyspeptic vocalists and a drummer who pummels so expeditiously, the band often sounds like it’s playing three songs at once. You might have to see this music to believe it — and thanks to Atlas Brew Works, you can. 7 p.m. $10.
Step Afrika! at Atlas Performing Arts Center: Through the years, the dance company has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center and Strathmore, as well as on national and international tours. Step Afrika! celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, and the company is ending this year with its annual “Step Afrika!’ s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show,” an interactive family-friendly show. The show starts before the show even starts — there’s a workshop in the lobby 30 to 45 minutes before curtain, and kids can build a holiday-themed drum or shaker that they can use during the performance, including in a final dance party in the middle of a snowfall. 7:30 p.m. $25-$45.
One Very Odd Show at Songbyrd: If you’ve ever wanted a small, one-night sampling of the thriving hip-hop scene in the District, head to Adams Morgan on Friday night. The show is headlined by 24-year-old Capitol Heights rapper Odd Mojo, whose silky whisper delivery has put her name on the map. But be sure to catch opener El Cousteau, who earned a spot on Post pop music critic Chris Richards’s year-end list of best DMV rap albums of 2018 with “Straight Drop Season.” 8 p.m. $12.
Kwanzaa celebration at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus: The Southeast museum holds a family-oriented Kwanzaa party that includes performances by beloved local performer Baba Ras D and dance troupe LeSole Dance Project. There will be plenty of audience participation, with group dances, singing and holiday-inspired arts and crafts. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Preregistration has been closed.
Saturday, Dec. 29
Brandon Wardell at the Wonderland Ballroom: Comedian Brandon Wardell, 26, grew up in Fairfax and started his stand-up career in the District, quickly rising through the city’s ranks. In 2013, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue comedy full time. Soon, he was getting gigs opening for Bob Odenkirk, Todd Glass and Bo Burnham and appearing on Comedy Central stand-up shows. For this intimate homecoming, Wardell will do two shows with fellow D.C.-to-L.A. transplant, comedian Jamel Johnson. 6 and 8 p.m. $10.
Tamar Braxton at the Howard Theatre: Tamar Braxton is at a crossroads. The R&B singer-actress-reality-TV-star has said that her 2017 album, “Bluebird of Happiness,” would be her last. If true, it would mean the end of a second act in the music business for the Severn, Md.-born talent. These days, Braxton is more focused on the stage (co-starring in Snoop Dogg’s semi-autobiographical musical “Redemption of a Dogg”) and screen (with a role in the forthcoming “GangLand”) than her solo career, so treat this show as a last chance to see Braxton in concert. 8 p.m. $55-$89.50.
‘Coming to America’ and ‘Trading Places’ at the National Museum of American History: The Smithsonian is celebrating the 30th and 35th anniversaries of two Eddie Murphy classics. The double feature on Saturday starts with 1983’s “Trading Places,” which paired Murphy with fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Dan Aykroyd in a take on “The Prince and the Pauper.” After, hail the crown prince of Zamunda as Murphy stars in “Coming to America,” which finds him in New York City in search of a wife. 2:50 and 5:10 p.m. $10 each or $17 for both.
Mid-Winter Music of Early America at the National Postal Museum: Music historians David and Ginger Hildebrand perform the holiday tunes early American settlers were familiar with, including carols and wassailing songs originally meant to wish good luck and bountiful harvests in the new year. The duo will also talk about the popular instruments of the time, including the harpsichord and a hammered dulcimer, which is a board with stretched strings that are struck with a mallet. 1:30 and 3 p.m. Free.
Sunday, Dec. 30
White Ford Bronco at the 9:30 Club: The undisputed king of D.C. cover bands draws on an all-’90s repertoire. Its sold-out concerts are equal parts raucous wedding reception, last night of a holiday weekend in Dewey Beach and dance party to a WASH-FM playlist. The all-inclusive party vibe has helped sustain the band for 10 years and more than 600 gigs, including regular dates at the 9:30 Club, where they begin a two-night stand. (The New Year’s Eve date is sold out.) 7 p.m. $25.
Suchertorte Chamber Ensemble at the National Gallery of Art: Close out 2018 with an afternoon concert at the National Gallery of Art’s West Court as the Suchertorte Chamber Ensemble presents “A Toast to Vienna in 3/4 Time.” A Viennese New Year’s concert is an annual tradition in Austria, and this free performance includes a history lesson: Conductor Jeffrey Schindler and the ensemble will honor famed composer, musician and educator Leonard Bernstein by putting their own spin on his Young People’s Concert, which explained the legacy of Viennese waltzes. 3:30 p.m. Free.
Dave East at the Fillmore Silver Spring: On his song “What Made Me,” Dave East name-drops the rappers that inspired him, shouting out Jay-Z, Nas, Noreaga, DMX and the members of the Lox, among others. That should tell you how the rapper sees himself: as the rightful heir to New York’s hardcore hip-hop and Mafioso rap legends. The 30-year-old spitter split time between Harlem and Queensbridge growing up, and his street-born storytelling has the raw, razor-sharp lyrical approach of his predecessors. And although he eschews contemporary trends for music rooted in the sounds of his youth, East’s New York state of mind garnered him a Nas co-sign and a Def Jam record deal. 8 p.m. $29.50.
Humane Rescue Alliance Night Before New Year’s Eve at Franklin Hall: Want to get a head start on New Year’s Eve celebrations while also doing good? The Humane Rescue Alliance’s 23rd annual Night Before New Year’s Eve party, held at the spacious and comfortable beer joint Franklin Hall, supports Washington’s two animal shelters and raises money to take care of sick and injured animals. There’s a $10 voluntary donation at the door, and the bar will donate 10 percent of the evening’s proceeds to the charity. 8 p.m. Free, donations accepted.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly, Kristen Page-Kirby and Chris Richards