Kacey Musgraves at Capital One Arena: With 2018’s “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves sang and danced her way through her honeymoon on an album that added sun-dappled psychedelia and disco to her repertoire. But on last year’s “Star-Crossed,” the party was clearly over, as she sang, “I’ve been to hell and back / Golden hour faded black.” Coming in the wake of her divorce, the album completes her personal narrative about falling in and out of love. With mellow ballads that swing the pendulum back toward her country roots, Musgraves shares bittersweet realizations and the lessons she learned along the way: Escapism doesn’t work, romance doesn’t play out like the movies or like the memories stored in a phone’s camera roll, and “healing doesn’t happen in a straight line.” 8 p.m. $60.50-$165.
Black Rave Culture at Flash: As Black Rave Culture, D.C.-based DJ-producers Amal, NativeSun and James Bangura are fully dedicated to their moniker: specifically, the dance music culture that began when predominantly Black communities of DJs and dancers conjured up house music in Chicago and techno in Detroit, before the styles traveled and mutated across the globe, often becoming disassociated from their roots. Together, Black Rave Culture produces tracks and DJ sets that reconceptualize and reclaim this legacy, exploring different rhythms, tempos and traditions from across dance music and its diaspora. For a taste of what to expect from what they do in a club, listen to the self-titled album they released last year on Haus of Altr, a label run by like-minded torchbearers MoMa Ready and AceMo that traverses digital dance floors from Columbia Road in D.C. to London and beyond. 10 p.m. No cover with RSVP.
Emo Night: Black Eyes and Bloody Valentines at Soundcheck: K Street’s subterranean Soundcheck dance club is most often thought of as a place to hear house and techno, courtesy of Paul van Dyk, Gabriel and Dresden or members of Deep Dish, on a much smaller scale than sister venue Soundcheck. But this week, DJs Matias, Hogan and Bast are taking over the powerful sound system to blast artists like My Chemical Romance, “channeling your 2000s nostalgia, one emo anthem at a time.” Hot Topic shirts and smoky eyes are optional at this 18-and-over party. 10 p.m. $15.50.
The Clarice’s BlackLight Summit: In its second year, the Clarice’s BlackLight Summit reimagines dance as a vessel for resiliency and creativity by asking three questions: What/who are we becoming? How do we return to one another? Does progress equal healing? The three-day summit takes place in a hybrid in-person and online format, with workshops led by local instructors and performers on the University of Maryland’s campus, as well as panel discussions and keynote speeches. On Saturday evening, an in-person drag show performance takes place at Dance Place. Through Saturday. Dance Place performance starts at 8:30 p.m. Free.
Friday, Feb. 4
The return of the Loft Late Night at the Hamilton: The Hamilton’s concert hall returned to in-person shows back in March 2021, but the Loft, an intimate performance space on the second floor of the building, has been kept on ice. Pre-pandemic, the Loft hosted free, low-key live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and came with a special bonus: Shows coincided with the Hamilton’s sushi happy hour, which knocks $5 off all rolls. The Loft is making its grand return this weekend, discounted spicy crab and crunchy tuna rolls included. The Twin Brothers Band — a Richmond foursome inspired by the Dead and the Allmans and led by Twin Brothers — performs Friday, and the bluesy Karl Stoll and the Danger Zone headline Saturday. 10:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Free, no tickets required.
Candy Flip music video power hour party at Songbyrd: The thrilling combination of alcohol and music videos is center stage at Songbyrd’s power hour music party. Hundreds of 1990s music videos, from Mariah Carey to Venga Boys, serve as the backdrop to this two-hour power hour. Each song is shortened to 60 seconds long to maximize the amount of music played. The traditional “power hour” game calls for a shot of beer at the start of every song, but this party only requires one thing: fun. 8 p.m. Free.
Saturday, Feb. 5
‘Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits’ at the National Museum of African Art: Iké Udé’s portraits of the stars of Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry burst with color and style, but the Lagos-born artist’s imaginative work also displays a keen sense of personality — that of the subject as well as the photographer. A new exhibition at the National Museum of African Art pairs 33 of Udé’s portraits with short film clips, interviews with Nollywood celebrities and some of the garments depicted in the photographs. Visitors aren’t just encouraged to dream about what they might look like in one of Udé’s photos: Every Friday through Sunday, stylists will be available on a special set, similar to one of Udé’s backdrops, helping visitors “create their own identities” for self-portraits. On Feb. 11, Udé and four Nollywood actors participate in a Zoom discussion about Nollywood and the portrait series, which will include a screening of a short film by Udé. It’s free to watch, but registration is required. Through February 2023. Free.
‘La Casa de la Laguna’ at GALA Hispanic Theatre: Rebecca Aparicio understands that “La Casa de la Laguna,” the world-premiere play she’s directing for GALA Hispanic Theatre, takes place between 1946 and 1979. Yet, to her mind, pigeonholing playwright Caridad Svich’s time-jumping story as a period piece doesn’t acknowledge the play’s timeliness. Based on Rosario Ferré’s 1995 novel of the same name — which translates in English to “The House on the Lagoon” — the Puerto Rico-set play examines the island’s history of colonialism, systemic racism and class struggle through one wealthy family’s saga of patriarchal oppression and generational strife. But when characters weigh the enduring debate of Puerto Rican statehood or independence, the narrative speaks as much to today as it does to the time in which it’s set. Through Feb. 27. $20-$55.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Tysons Corner Center: The region’s largest shopping mall is the site of a party hosted by the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, with a lion dance, traditional Chinese music and dance, and a Korean dance performance. Free fortune cookies will be provided, and the mall also offers other activities, such as a “Festive, Instagrammable ‘Year of the Tiger’ Display.” 1 to 3 p.m. Free.
The Precious One release party at Atlas Brew Works: Atlas Brew Works’ beers are fixtures on taps and in stores year-round, but the brewery’s fans look forward to the seasonal return of the Precious One, a fruit-forward IPA brewed with apricots. It’s soft, juicy and easy-drinking, with some tropical flavors complementing apricot notes. Try it for yourself — or be happy to have it back — when Atlas hosts a release party at its Half Street taproom near Nationals Park. Tickets include two hours of unlimited drafts, mixed drinks or house wine, plus a souvenir glass. (Sorry, you’ll have to buy your own slices of Andy’s Pizza.) 3 to 5 p.m. $20.22.
Fireboy DML at the Filmore: In a chaotic, covid-stricken world, you can find solace in Fireboy DML’s breezy, carefree Afropop. Thumping basslines and breathy vocals underscore the Nigerian-born singer’s heady discography. Beneath the feel-good melodies, Fireboy doesn’t shun darker themes, including poverty and depression — but he does have a knack for making dancefloor-ready hits. His most recent number, “Peru,” propelled Fireboy’s profile up the global charts in January, thanks to a feature with Ed Sheeran, whose vocals weave so seamlessly into the remix that you’d be forgiven for thinking that the pop star wrote the song himself. 8 p.m. $99.50.
The White Party at Wunder Garten: Wunder Garten’s annual “Apres Ski” celebration kicks off Friday, bringing a month of spiked hot chocolate cocktails and racing on skiing simulators. The first big event at the NoMa beer garden has little to do with hedonistic nights in Val d’Isere on the Alps: It’s a celebration of the life of Betty White, with tunes spun by veteran DJ Adrian Loving, who’s rocked parties at Art Basel Miami as well as D.C.'s underground hotspots. White attire is suggested. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Free.
Jack Wright, Ron Stabinsky, Branden Abushanab and Creative Music Workshop Players at Rhizome DC: Musicians Jack Wright and Ron Stabinsky, who met in Brooklyn in 2006, can switch their sound at the drop of a hat. Stabinsky’s been in his share of bands, and has performed as a classical pianist and jazz musician. Wright is a former academic who left that world to focus on music, and now plays free-form improvised music. The pair are joined by Branden Abushanab, a bass player who experiments in free jazz and avant-garde, and D.C.’s Creative Music Workshop Players (CMW Players), who open the night with a set. 7 p.m. $5-$20.
Sunday, Feb. 6
African Cup of Nations Final: After weeks of goals and upsets, Senegal and Egypt face off in the final of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament at 2 p.m. Egypt has won the continental title seven times, more than any other country. Senegal has never been crowned champion, though the Lions of Teranga reached the final in 2019 before losing to Algeria. There’s national pride on display at viewing parties around the region: Bineta Seck, owner of Hyattsville’s Chez Dior restaurant, says, “We are inviting customers to come enjoy free drink and food while watching the game.” Fava Pot, which has a large mural of Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah on the wall of its Falls Church restaurant, is hosting a party at Union Market, where a large screen will be set up in the dining area. Anyone who buys lunch from Fava Pot’s stand at the market will receive a gift card after the match if the Pharaohs win.
African restaurants and bars across the region are showing the final live from Cameroon, including Mix Bar and Grill in Silver Spring, which has been hosting “Fanzone” viewing parties for midweek games; the Kof Sports Cafe in Bowie; and the bar at Makeda Ethiopian in Alexandria. (Appioo Bar and Grill in Shaw and Tsehay Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar in Park View hadn’t made final decisions when we reached out earlier this week.) The kickoff time makes it tricky for some restaurants: Adams Morgan’s Bukom Cafe doesn’t open until 3, for example.
The area’s better-known soccer bars will also have the match on, including Across the Pond in Dupont and the Queen Vic on H Street NE. The Queen Vic has a special tie to the final: Both Egypt’s Salah and Senegal forward Sadio Mané play for Liverpool, whose supporters call the bar home.
‘The Planets’ at the Music Center at Strathmore: If you’ve been following the launch of NASA’s James Webb telescope, or frequently find yourself bewitched by the photos of faraway worlds that fill NASA’s Instagram account, do we have an orchestral performance for you. The National Philharmonic’s season continues with a program combining Gustav Holst’s famed suite “The Planets” and Claude Debussy’s “La Mer,” in collaboration with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. As the Philharmonic performs movements such as “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” and “Mars, the Bringer of War,” images of the Earth and the solar system will be projected onstage, and NASA scientists provide narration. Outside of the music, the event includes a preconcert talk for kids, featuring an actual astronaut, and the display of a giant globe called “Science on a Sphere.” (This program repeats on Feb. 13 at Capital One Hall in Tysons.) 3 p.m.; Doors open at 1:30 p.m. for preconcert activities. $45-$99; Ages 17 and younger free.
Yoga at the National Building Museum: This weekend, one of Washington’s most magnificent indoor spaces becomes the city’s most impressive yoga studio. Practice all-level yoga in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall, under a ceiling that stretches to 159 feet and amid massive Corinthian columns. No experience is needed for the class, led by local instructor Beth A. Wolfe, but participants must purchase tickets in advance from Eventbrite and bring their own yoga mats. 10 a.m. $20.
‘Cat People’ at Suns Cinema: Long before we debated modern intimacy through the New Yorker short story “Cat Person,” there was the chilling love story at the center of the 1942 horror film “Cat People.” In this high stakes, feline-centered production, the black panther becomes a motif for a superstitious woman terrified she will kill her lover if they consummate their marriage. She is driven mad over stray paw prints and a belief that she descends from “cat people,” until a final, shocking climax. 7:45 p.m. $10.
Tuesday, Feb. 8
‘It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment’: Shakespeare and Public Enemy: the collaboration you didn’t know you needed. The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are working together on this month’s virtual edition of the O.B. Hardison Poetry series, which takes its name from the Cleveland museum’s exhibition about Black artists using music to confront racism and advance social justice. Four poets will participate in a “poetry mixtape,” reading original works reflecting on the legacies of James Brown, Nina Simone and others, mixed together with songs that inspired the poems. Bookending the performances are a “pop-up exhibition” of items from the museum’s collection, and a moderated discussion with the poets. 7:30 p.m. Voluntary donation of $5-$30; $15 is suggested.
Wednesday, Feb. 9
Billie Eilish at Capital One Arena: It was just four years ago that Billie Eilish performed in the back of Union Market’s loading dock. A lot has changed since then: Besides the venue upgrade to Capital One Arena, Eilish returns to D.C. as a distinctly more mature, subdued singer than the neon-haired 16-year-old who paraded around the stage at All Things Go’s Fall Classic festival. “Happier Than Ever,” while a departure from her trap-infused pop of yore, feels like a natural extension of her 2019 debut, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Eilish’s snarling confidence is still ever-present in songs such as “Therefore I Am,” but she embraces more vulnerability, too. “With my future / Can’t wait to meet her / And I, I’m in love / But not with anybody else / Just wanna get to know myself,” she croons on “My Future.” 7:30 p.m. $189-$350.
Melissa Lozada-Oliva and Rax King at Lost City Books: Two writers, two books and a one-night conversation about the art of writing, poetry and culture. Poet Melissa Lozada-Olivia joins author and online personality Rax King to talk about their books “Dreaming of You” and “Tacky.” Lozada-Olivia, an admirer of all things horror, puts a resurrection of a former pop star at the center of “Dreaming of You” while probing deeper into the intersection of celebrity, death and love. King’s “Tacky” is a collection of essays about how the author grew up in the midst of loud, early 2000s sensibilities, from Hot Topic to frosted lip gloss. King’s love for pop culture is clear because she’s been shaped by it, and “Tacky” is a loving testament to the cultural artifacts that have raised her. 7:30 p.m. $5-$42.95.
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ at Alamo Drafthouse: The lasting impact of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is everywhere, but the cultural success of the movie franchise is indebted to the first installment in the original trilogy. The 1990 movie, adapted from the early comics, features turtle costumes developed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and a nostalgic cast of actors. Set in New York City, the four turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, team up with a reporter to find their kidnapped mentor, melding ‘90s martial arts action with a surprisingly heartfelt dynamic. 7:30 p.m. $11.