Friday, July 12
Blerdcon at Crystal City’s Hyatt Regency Hotel: This weekend, the annual Blerdcon gathering will take over Crystal City’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, with special guests including actress Rachel True (“The Craft”); singer and voice actress Estelle (“Steven Universe”); and voice actor Beau Billingslea (“Cowboy Bebop”). Inaugurated in 2017, Blerdcon was created specifically for pop-culture fans of color but touts its diversity and inclusivity: LGBTQ fans, fans with disabilities, fans from the international community — really, any and all fans — are welcome. Through Sunday. $25-$55; VIP passes $200; ages 12 and younger free.
‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ at the Warner Bros. Theater: “Hello, San Dimas High!” The Smithsonian Theaters’ weekend-long tribute to Keanu Reeves kicks off with his breakthrough — and some would say greatest — role: Ted “Theodore” Logan in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Before you hop in the time machine with Socrates, Napoleon and the princesses, though, the Smithsonian hosts a most excellent beer tasting with five local craft breweries, including Red Bear and Old Ox. Tickets include eight different samples. 7 p.m. $10 film; $30 beer tasting and film combo.
Daniel Bachman and Model Home at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: The American Art Museum regularly hosts interesting local musicians in its grand Luce Foundation Center, but Friday’s concert pairing is one of the can’t-miss shows of the summer. The night kicks off with the experimental, pastoral stylings of Virginia guitarist Daniel Bachman and is followed by a trip to the cosmos courtesy of Washington rap duo Model Home. If the music isn’t enough, there will be beer tastings courtesy of D.C.’s Right Proper Brewing. 6 to 8 p.m. Free.
‘Open Site’ at Korean Cultural Center: Korean artist Tae Eun Ahn will present her first U.S. solo show at the Korean Cultural Center as part of a co-curation with the Hirshhorn. “Open Site” will include a mix of videos, photographs, paintings and a clay sculpture. While the exhibit runs for almost a month, Friday night will feature a live performance from the artist herself. Ahn will try to walk back and forth on a balance beam covered in clay in a piece entitled “You Walk Wrong.” Opening reception: 6 p.m. Exhibit hours vary through Aug. 7. Free; RSVP required for opening reception.
Yeasayer at the 9:30 Club: Since the band’s debut in 2007, Yeasayer has done its part to keep rock weird and wonderful, exploring the freakier corners of folk, embracing psychedelia and traversing the musical globe for sounds and rhythms. But on their fifth album, “Erotic Reruns,” the Brooklyn trio have a new focus, due in large part to the sobering effects of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While the band members still groove, they are quicker to the point, both musically and lyrically. The group name-drops James B. Comey, Stephen Miller and Sarah Sanders, and lines such as “All your tantrums of misrule/ Reveal the nature of the fool” don’t leave much room for interpretation. 8 p.m. $30.
Saturday, July 13
Lotus and Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens: Cherry blossoms aren’t the only natural wonder in town. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is home to another visually stunning sight — lotus and water lilies — and when they’re in full bloom, they could give the city’s hallmark pink trees a run for their money. Kenilworth’s annual festival devoted to these vibrant flowers stretches over two days this year and is chock full of music and dance performances, games and arts and crafts that are all free and enjoyable for the entire family. And, of course, this is the prime time to catch the lotus and lilies at their peak. Through Sunday. 10 a.m. Free.
Mad Fox Brewing Ninth Anniversary Party: After nine years of excellent beers in Falls Church, Mad Fox Brewing Co. announced this week that it’s closing later this month, due in part to increased costs and competition. Owner Bill Madden is one of the area’s most respected and decorated brewers, and if you’ve enjoyed his beers over the years — or, somehow, if you haven’t — you’ll want to be at this special wake, which features live music, cake and giveaways. Look for a wide variety of Mad Fox beers, including fan favorites Orange Whip IPA and Slobberknocker and Batch 300 barleywines, and toast Madden and his team for all they’ve done for local beer. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free, beers priced individually.
Let the Good Times Roll: Denizens Brewing Co.’s Fifth Anniversary: Over the past five years, Denizens Brewing has helped turn downtown Silver Spring into a beer destination. The spacious beer garden attracts families, pets and cornhole players on summer afternoons. Festivals starring sour beers and Maryland cask ales have spread the gospel of those esoteric styles. Meanwhile, Denizens’ flagship beers can be found on taps around the area. That demand is the reason that Denizens opened a larger brewing facility in Riverdale Park earlier this year, but the focus shifts back to the original spot as Denizens gets set to mark its fifth anniversary. The New Orleans-themed party includes live music from the Naptown Brass Band, a drag show, a special menu of po’ boys and hurricanes, and late-night dancing to a DJ. Don’t miss the debut of PGC Premium Lager in cans, too. 5 p.m. Free.
Punk Black Fest at the Pinch: The world of rock music is overwhelmingly white and not always inclusive. But for the past four years, Punk Black has made serious headway in shifting the status quo. The concert series, which started in Atlanta, spotlights some of the country’s best rock acts, all featuring people of color. Now, Punk Black is raising the stakes by bringing its traveling festival to more U.S. cities this year — including D.C.’s seminal punk venue, the Pinch. Nine bands from around the country helm the city’s inaugural festival, including such locals as hardcore punks Supreme Commander, hip-hop and metal fusion group Throwdown Syndicate and rockers the Courtland Experiment. 5 p.m. $15.
Outdoor parties in Alexandria: If you’re looking to spend all day and night at outdoor parties, this is the weekend to head to Alexandria. Port City Brewing’s annual Port City Pub Crawl takes over the streets of Old Town, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Pick up a passport at any of the eight participating stops, including Pizzeria Paradiso, Union Street Public House and Vola’s Dockside Grill, and visit the rest to get stamps. (No purchase is necessary, but each location will have specials and Port City beers on tap.) Get all the stamps and earn a prize during the after-party at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub. The annual Del Ray Music Festival starts at 3 p.m. and brings out crowds along Mount Vernon Avenue. The location gives you a chance to dip in and out of performances — local act RDGLDGRN closes the night at 7 p.m. — while visiting local shops and restaurants. Once you’ve had your fill of Del Ray, head over to the Old Town waterfront for the city’s 270th birthday party. There will be birthday cupcakes, a poetry reading and a performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, capped by a fireworks display that’s accompanied by cannon fire. Port City Pub Crawl: 1:30 to 6 p.m. Del Ray: 3 to 8 p.m.; Old Town: 6 to 10 p.m. Free.
Yappy Hour at the Salt Line: The spacious patio at the Navy Yard restaurant makes it a perfect summer spot to bring your pup. District Dogs will be hosting canines and humans alike during brunch on Saturday. Your four-legged friend will get a bandanna, treats and doggy beer, while those standing on two legs will enjoy some drink specials on the water. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free; get a stamp when you enter the patio with your dog.
COWPIE at Eastern Market: A country band, an open bar, cowboy hats and oversize belt buckles. Oh, and a mechanical bull. That’s all you need to have a good time at the Wyoming State Society’s COWPIE, an annual celebration that attempts to bring a bit of the state’s legendary Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo to Capitol Hill. Tickets include unlimited boot-scootin’, drinks and turns on the bull, and proceeds benefit Project Healing Waters, which uses fly-fishing as recovery and rehabilitation for wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 8 p.m. $50-$60.
Sunday, July 14
50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing at various locations: Neil Armstrong took “one small step for a man” on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, but the moon landing, and the “giant leap for mankind” that it represents, is being celebrated across Washington this month. The most visible event is the Smithsonian’s “Apollo 50 Festival,” which includes the debut of Armstrong’s renovated spacesuit (Tuesday), giant projections of a Saturn V rocket and footage of the moon landing onto the Washington Monument (Tuesday through July 20) and a “Discover the Moon” family day (July 19). The National Gallery of Art memorializes the Apollo missions with “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (opening Sunday), an exhibition that includes 19th-century images of the moon and NASA photographs. Through July 20. Free.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah at City Winery: Any time the subject of jazz comes up in the 21st century, music fans seem to gravitate toward the question of: Who will be the genre’s savior? Jazz might not need saving if Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah keeps pushing it into another dimension. Listen to his latest album, “Ancestral Recall,” for his seamless blending of the modern sounds of hip-hop and techno with a swath of diverse rhythms from African diaspora communities. The 36-year-old New Orleans-born artist would probably reject the label of jazz himself in favor of his preferred “stretch music” when referring to his dynamic alchemy of sounds. This includes near-impossible-sounding polyrhythmic drums feverishly bouncing around with flutes and Adjuah’s dizzying trumpet. 6 and 9:30 p.m. $28-$38.
Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap: In baseball and hip-hop, heroes get remembered, but legends never die. In 1994, Nas — the King Poetic of the Queensbridge projects — debuted with “Illmatic” and carved his name among the latter group. “Illmatic” is one of the greatest albums of all time (in hip-hop or not), a perfect time capsule and the crystallization of a specific East Coast rap sound that still has plenty of devotees today. On the quarter-century anniversary of its release, Nas is embracing his elder-statesman status, teaming with the National Symphony Orchestra to commemorate the occasion in the grand style befitting a hip-hop legend. 8 p.m. Sold out.
Bastille Day at various locations: France’s Fête nationale is an excuse for a party, whether you’re an ardent francophile or just enjoy a glass of sparkling rosé. Bistrot du Coin is a traditional hot spot, known for its free late-night parties fueled by DJs, Bastille whiskey cocktails and a laser light show. (Thankfully, they wait until after dinner before the corks start flying.) Also looking like a rowdy good time is Alexandria’s the Tasting Room, where “Moulin Rouge” screens in the courtyard at 3, 5 and 7 p.m., and customers can snack on crepes or order champagne. Le Grenier brings a French touch to H Street NE, with half-price rosé all day and a special happy hour with free Kronenbourg beer and $2 pastis from 5 to 7 p.m. Looking for something more chill? Le Diplomate follows its Saturday evening drag burlesque party with a more family-friendly Sunday gathering, with a glacé cart, face painting and balloon animals to go along with a cafe menu from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
DC Brewers Day at Atlas Brew Works: Ten local breweries and brewpubs are bringing favorite summer beers and rarities to Atlas Brew Works to raise money for the D.C. Brewers’ Guild, the nonprofit organization that represents the industry and puts together events like D.C. Beer Week. The party features guest bartenders, including D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large), and the chance to ask questions of local brewers. 2 to 6 p.m. $5 donation.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Adele Chapin, Chris Kelly, Michael O’Sullivan and Stephanie Williams