Friday, Aug. 16
‘A Garden Party: From Africa to Asia’ at the National Museum of African Art and the Freer/Sackler: Two Smithsonian museums are teaming up for this August’s #SmithsonianAt8 after-hours event dubbed “A Garden Party: From Africa to Asia.” The lovely formal Enid A. Haupt Garden will be illuminated for the occasion, DJ Alkimist will provide the soundtrack, and Teaism and other local businesses will have food and refreshments available for purchase. Step inside the Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art to explore, with activities including a scavenger hunt and curator talks, and check out such exhibitions as “I Am … Contemporary Women Artists of Africa” at the Museum of African Art and “My Iran: Six Women Photographers” at the Sackler. 8 to 11 p.m. General admission, $30-$35. VIP admission, $55-$60.
‘Full Contact’ at the Freer Gallery of Art: The programming at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium is reliably some of the most interesting in the D.C. area. The museum has been hosting the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival for the past month, but its final one-two punch can’t be missed. “Full Contact,” one of legendary action star Chow Yun-Fat’s iconic roles, will be screened in 35mm Friday night before the festival closes Sunday with “Police Story,” one of the films that made Jackie Chan a worldwide star. 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Free.
‘Sonic Youth: 30 Years of Daydream Nation’ at the 9:30 Club: Sonic Youth’s finest work is many things — noisy, discordant, experimental, aggressive — but in those skronking guitars and hazy vocals is the life force that underscored the rise of underground and “alternative” rock in the years to follow. The 1988 double album is celebrated with a night of memories during a rare seated event at the 9:30 Club. Expect segments of the restored 1989 documentary “Put Blood in the Music,” which features Sonic Youth alongside other members of the New York music scene; rare home movie footage; and clips from “Daydream Nation,” a concert film featuring a 2007 performance of the album. The films are followed by a sure-to-be-interesting discussion between Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley; Sonic Youth archivist Aaron Mullen; and documentary filmmaker Brendan Canty, also known for drumming in Fugazi and the Messthetics. 8 p.m. $25.
Broke Royals at DC9: All of our great thinkers have toyed with the dichotomy of life’s questions and answers. Philip Basnight, the frontman of Broke Royals, agrees. “If someone is giving you answers on TV — pundits, horrible presidents — it seems like they are the most full” of it, he explains. “It’s the people who are trying to get to better questions, trying to figure out where we’re going as a society that have the most interesting things to say.” The D.C. band follows such a character on its new album, “Saint Luxury.” The eponymous creation is a runaway angel who leaves heaven in search of better questions, across an album of pristine pop-rock influenced by the precise songwriting of Spoon and the way “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” crafted a narrative via a “circus tent” full of characters. 7:30 p.m. $10.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Wolf Trap: You can skip the Amtrak ride to New York City and still see a jazz legend in action when trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis returns to Wolf Trap. The nine-time Grammy-winner leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a 15-musician ensemble. The group just released an album this summer showcasing Marsalis’s solo composition “Swing Symphony,” which blends classical music with jazz traditions. That won’t be their only new recording to draw on: “Jazz and Art,” which will come out in August, features original songs inspired by masterpieces of modern art. 8 p.m. $30-$70.
Joe Strummer Birthday Fest at the Pinch: Fans of Joe Strummer and the Clash are so devoted that they’ll celebrate the legacy of the late singer three times each year: On Feb. 7, or International Clash Day (a day that’s actually recognized by the D.C. government); on Dec. 22, or Joe Strummer Day, the anniversary of his death in 2002; and on Aug. 21, Strummer’s birthday. This year, Strummer’s birthday falls on a Wednesday, and bands and bar owners seem a little skittish about whether Strummer fans will come out and rage on a weeknight. Instead, there are two weekends of Clash-themed parties. First up is the Joe Strummer Birthday Fest at the Pinch, which in true Strummer fashion is an all-ages fundraiser for Girls Rock! DC. The Delarcos, Sister Ex, Capital Offender and Brickwall Monty perform. 7 p.m. $10.
Saturday, Aug. 17
Chuck Brown Day at Chuck Brown Memorial Park: Most of the summer feels as if it has been mired with controversy over go-go, so it’s fitting to wind down the season with a celebration of the godfather of the genre. The beloved musician and his tunes will be feted during the fifth annual Chuck Brown Day at the late singer’s namesake park in Northeast Washington. There will be performances from the Chuck Brown Band and other local luminaries, including Junkyard Band and Bela Dona. The day also includes food trucks, activities for all ages and free backpacks for schoolchildren starting at 1 p.m. 2 to 7 p.m. Free.
1812 Overture at Summerall Field: The reason most people know Tchaikovsky’s rousing 1812 Overture? The explosive climax, which was written to be performed with live cannon fire. If you’ve never heard the piece performed with gut-shaking artillery, the U.S. Army Band offers an excellent chance this weekend. The program by “Pershing’s Own” offers performances of classical, rock and show tunes by several units, before the Old Guard’s Presidential Salute Battery loads its cannons. The family-friendly concert takes place outdoors, so picnics are encouraged — but no coolers, glass or alcohol are permitted. 8 p.m. Free.
Sidney Gish at Songbyrd: With most of the tools one needs to make music just a few clicks and downloads away, it’s no surprise that new artists are being made without ever needing to pick up more than a laptop. But it would be hard to match the idiosyncrasies of Sidney Gish. The 22-year-old artist self-released “No Dogs Allowed” in 2017 from her Northeastern University dorm room. Though you may think bedroom pop is a lo-fi, no frills affair, Gish’s songs are teeming with intricate samplings and instrumental parts, all conjured up by the young musician. But what is most charming about Gish is the infusion of acerbic self-awareness in lyrics about navigating her life. And the best might be yet to come, as she’s done all this before graduating. 8 p.m. $13-$15.
D.C. Afrobeats Block Party at Karma: Music and food share equal billing at the outdoor Afrobeats Block Party. Nigerian singer Wondaboy and Nigerian American singer Fiki are featured alongside five DJs, including WKYS’s DJ Trini and Afropolitan founder DJ Kweks. Meanwhile, representatives from West African restaurants go head-to-head to see who makes the best jollof rice, and vendors sell food and drinks. Tickets start at $15 for admission, but the jollof tasting adds an extra $10. 4 to 11 p.m. $15-$100.
Brookland Pint Fifth Anniversary Party: Brookland Pint turns five years old this weekend, and, as you might be able to guess, there are $5 food and drink specials during the big anniversary party. But because this is the Pint, the $5 draft beers include choices from Triple Crossing, Burley Oak, Ocelot and Allagash, and a vintage keg from Firestone Walker. Meanwhile, the patio at Monroe Street Market becomes a destination for families, with a moon bounce and free cotton candy and snow cones. 3 p.m. Free; Adult food and drinks priced individually.
Garage sale at Black Cat: When one of D.C.'s best music venues downsized from two floors to one, much of its storage space became jam-packed with furnishings and ephemera from its storied history. To clear out some space, the rock club is opening up its doors for a good old-fashioned garage sale. You’ll find some hidden gems, including show posters, CDs and other memorabilia, but you can also head home with whole benches and booths from the old Red Room and Food for Thought, which inhabited the first floor. 5 p.m. Free.
Beer, wine and dog festival at Waterfront Park: Old Town Alexandria is fully embracing the dog days of summer. This pup-friendly event centers on Waterfront Park’s dog park, where food vendors and breweries set up shop alongside live music performances and police K-9 demonstrations. But this isn’t exclusively an event for those already with canines: Proceeds from tickets benefit such organizations as Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, which is hosting an adoption event for anyone interested in making a new best friend. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. $10.
Local Beer Festival at Glen’s Garden Market: Glen’s Garden Market is prioritizes local sourcing, and that’s reflected in their bar menu as much as the foodstuffs on the shelves. This low-key festival on the Dupont market’s patio features beers from five local brewers — 3 Stars, Atlas, Hellbender, Port City and Right Proper — served as $3 tasters or $6 full pours, paired with fresh grilled cheese sandwiches. (A choice of bacon or cauliflower is available.) 3 to 6 p.m. Free admission; Food and drink priced individually.
Sunday, Aug. 18
Summer Cannibals at Comet Ping Pong: The story goes that the latest album from Summer Cannibals was put to tape immediately after an entire album was scrapped because of singer Jessica Boudreaux removing herself from a toxic relationship with a former collaborator. That haste adds a ferocity that courses through the Portland, Ore., quartet’s “Can’t Tell Me No.” There’s a beauty found in the almost jagged nature of some of the songs, which threaten to veer into audible middle fingers at any and all who would threaten them. But the band skillfully blazes a path forged by wailing guitars and gang vocals that show Boudreaux is not alone in this fight. 9 p.m. $12.
Jesus Piece at Rock & Roll Hotel: At the same time the Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty was taking the country by storm, a hardcore quintet from the City of Brotherly Love was showing why that orange fuzzball earned its name. Jesus Piece delivers tunes that are filled with grit and a punishing brand of rage. The vocals pierce through thick and heavy guitars, but what burrows into your gut are the barraging drums that rumble through every song. The band’s 2018 album “Only Self” is a pristine template for what hardcore can accomplish with enough time and space to envelop your ears with atmosphere. 8 p.m. $18.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Adele Chapin and Chris Kelly