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Tuesday, May 8
Artes de Cuba at the Kennedy Center: The Kennedy Center celebrates the richness, diversity and influence of Cuban arts and culture with a two-week festival that features 50 events spanning music, theater, film and visual arts. The roster includes well-known performers — the Buena Vista Social Club’s Omara Portuondo, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill — as well as visual artists, theater companies and filmmakers. Free events on the Millennium Stage, dance lessons on the arts center’s outdoor terrace and a cocktail tasting in its pop-up Cubana Club are among the unusual offerings. Through May 20. Prices vary.
The can't-miss shows of the Kennedy Center's unprecedented Cuba festival
Power Trip, Sheer Mag, Fury and Red Death at the Black Cat: The best rock shows are equal parts communion and catharsis, and this concert promises plenty of both, with a lineup that crowd-surfs across the rock spectrum. On one end, there’s Power Trip, a Dallas thrash metal band with the nihilistic, headbanging precision of early Metallica. On the other, there’s Sheer Mag, a Philly outfit that revamps classic rock riffage with the soulful, punk sneer of vocalist Tina Halladay. Somewhere in between, there’s a double-blast of hardcore, from Orange County’s Fury and the District’s own Red Death. This is rock at its most corporeal and visceral — a reminder of what it means to be alive. 7:30 p.m. (doors). $16 advance, $18 day of show.
Wednesday, May 9
Marian Hill at the 9:30 Club: On “Down,” vocalist Samantha Gongol of Marian Hill coos a breathy come-on: “Didn’t even really wanna go/But if you get me out, you get a show/There’s so many bodies on the floor/So baby, we should go and add some more.” Those lyrics set the scene for the club experience imagined in the music Gongol makes with Jeremy Lloyd. Their everything-goes electronica is better suited for the lounge than the rave, and it revels in languidity. “Everywhere I look are peoples’ hands/Thrown up in the air to help them dance,” Gongol sings. “Come on, baby, catch me if you can/I know you don’t have any other plans.” 7 p.m. (doors). $34.
The Allagash Coolship Bash at the Sovereign: Many of Belgium's legendary lambic beers get their flavors from being cooled in coolships — large, open metal vessels that resemble rectangular cake pans and allow wild yeast to begin the process of “wild fermentation” — before the beers are aged in barrels. Coolships are becoming more popular at American craft breweries, but the first one on this side of the Atlantic was installed at Allagash back in 2007. A tasting at Allagash includes three beers from the Maine brewery's coolship, including Coolship Red, Saison Gratis and the brand-new Belfius, a blend of oak-aged coolship beer and house saison. The menu includes 17 other drafts and vintage bottle pours. 5 p.m. Free admission; beers priced individually.
Thursday, May 10
Evenings at the Edge at the National Gallery of Art: The last of this season’s free after-hours events at the National Gallery of Art combines music, movement and visual arts. Listen to hot jazz from Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play while watching performances by New York’s Elisa Monte Dance Company and D.C.’s Joy of Motion ensemble. Curators offer tours of exhibits in the East Building, and beer and wine are available for purchase. 6 to 9 p.m. Free.
Secret Walls at Union Market: Two teams of artists armed with black markers or paint. Two blank walls. One timer. That's the setup for Secret Wars, which bills itself as “the 'Fight Club' of the art scene.” This edition, which takes place at Union Market's Dock 5, is curated by the local artists of Pow! Wow! DC as part of its annual mural festival. 6 p.m. Free, RSVP required.
Friday, May 11
Union Market Drive-In: The Washington area lacks old-school drive-in theaters, but Union Market’s monthly summer movie series is the next best thing. Classic films, including “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (May 11) and “Black Panther” (Aug. 3), are projected on the building’s facade, while the D.C. Rollergirls whiz around the parking lot (on skates, of course) bringing food and drink to cars. (Certain vendors, including Bidwell and Buffalo and Bergen, will be open.) The best part: You don’t have to have wheels to attend. Walk-up customers, who can camp out in the Suburbia beer garden or on the sidewalk, get in free. Times vary. $10 per car.
Funk Parade Launch Party at U Street Music Hall: Get cised for Saturday's Funk Parade at Bashment D.C.'s night-before party, with Spinrillo, DJ K-Meta and DJ Kashrag dropping hip-hop, dance hall, soca, zouk and calypso with help from guest MC Haile Supreme. 10:30 p.m. $5 before midnight, $10 after. Free with Funk Parade wristband.
Hinds at U Street Music Hall: To state the obvious, rock-and-roll is widely considered an American export, but some of the genre’s brightest stars have come from abroad — the most visible, of course, being the Beatles. Madrid-based band Hinds put their own spin on garage rock with their signature jangling guitars and giddy melodies. The quartet features two leads whose candid lyrics and interchanging vocals portray love as the messy experience it so often is. In their hands, though, complicated romance doesn’t sound like anguish; it’s charismatic and self-assured, flippant even. 7 p.m. $20.
Jessie Ware at Lincoln Theatre: When Jessie Ware set out on the journey of recording her latest release, she felt pressure to turn in a hit dedicated to her then-unborn child. Once producer (and Reston native) Benny Blanco offered her some liberating words of wisdom, the Londoner got out of her own way to craft what would become “Glasshouse.” Her third album chronicles life as a mother and wife — the glorious triumphs, crippling fears and everything in between. 8 p.m. $35.
— Fritz Hahn, Savannah Stephens, Chris Kelly, Peggy McGlone and Briana Younger
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