Note: Fears of “torrential rain” from Hurricane Florence caused the organizers of some of Washington's largest festivals to cancel or postpone their events earlier this week, before the storm's final track was known. (Hey, better safe than sorry.) For the latest information on the storm, visit the Capital Weather Gang.
Friday, Sept. 14
Des Demonas at Black Cat: Des Demonas is a quintet of D.C. punk heavies, three of whom approach their responsibilities like drummers. First, there’s the band’s actual drummer, Ryan Hicks, who digs into the pocket as if lint were a renewable energy source. Then there’s Des Demonas frontman Jacky Cougar Abok, who also drums for Foul Swoops, and guitarist Mark Cisneros, who moonlights as a drummer for the Make-Up. That leaves organist Paul Vivari, whose spectral melodies echo ’90s D.C. post-punk acts, and bassist Joe Halladay, who explains how Des Demonas became so casually formidable over the past few years: “It started out like poker night, and then there was a point when we were like, ‘We’re pretty good at poker, huh?’ ” For real. 8 p.m. $25.
An Acoustic Evening With Nils Lofgren & Friends at Birchmere: Nils Lofgren is a musician better known as a band member than as a bandleader. But when you play a key role on such legendary albums as Neil Young’s “Tonight’s the Night,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love” and Lou Reed’s “The Bells,” that’s your fate. Lofgren’s strongest support from the general public is right here in Washington. He grew up in Bethesda and lived with his first band, Grin, in Georgetown and Warrenton, Va. Though he has lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the past 22 years, he regularly returns home to visit family, friends and those longtime loyalists. This weekend he presents a showcase for three successive nights at the Birchmere. Through Sunday; Saturday night sold out. $55.
“The Punk Rock Type” at the Howard Theatre: The American Institute of Graphic Arts presents this conversation and concert centered on how the D.C. punk community changed the visual language and spaces of protest music. The conversation will be between Roman Mars, host of the popular “99% Invisible” podcast, and Bill Barbot, who was a member of the now-defunct influential rockers Jawbox. After their conversation, Beauty Pill, one of the most vital acts in Washington's thriving music scene, will perform. 6 p.m. $45 for non-AIGA members.
Go West Beer Fest at Eastern Market: “Drink Local” is one of the biggest trends in the craft beer world, but no matter how good the breweries are in your backyard, sometimes you want a taste of home. The annual Go West Beer Fest is like a family reunion for beer lovers from the West that is thrown by state societies from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. These state societies bring in ales and lagers from breweries that don’t usually ship their products to the District — Washington’s Fremont, Colorado’s Ska, Oregon’s Goodlife — and host a beer festival that raises money for charity. (This year’s tickets benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.) You don’t have to be a Westerner to attend: You just have to enjoy exploring beers. 6 to 10 p.m. $35. Tickets available from each state society through brownpapertickets.com.
Saturday, Sept. 15
Small Press Expo at Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center: In an area flooded with conventions, conferences and expos, it can be exhausting to figure out whether there are any worth checking out. This under-the-radar event showcases the world of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, giving you a chance to discover new comics and artists beyond the Marvel or DC Comics universes. Featured guests include a wide variety of artists such as New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer and “Steven Universe” creator Rebecca Sugar. Through Sunday. Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: noon to 6 p.m. $10-$20, free for children 12 and under.
The Best of DC Shorts at the Miracle Theatre: The DC Shorts Film Festival celebrates the art of the short film — anything from 30 seconds to 40 minutes — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to see everything: This year’s festival included 18 showcases, each approximately 90 minutes long. Think of the Best of DC Shorts as the CliffsNotes version: two 90-minute programs that showcase winners of various jury and audience awards and include “Painted City,” a documentary about the changing face of Washington’s murals, and the animated “Tweet Tweet,” which thankfully has nothing to do with social media. Showcase A screens Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 and 8 p.m., and Showcase B screens at 10 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Through Sunday. $15.
WalkingTown DC at various locations through Washington: You may live in the District, but how well do you really know the city? Even know-it-all longtime residents will learn something on one of WalkingTown DC’s free tours, which blanket the city over nine days. Topics include the rebirth of the Southwest, architecture in Hillcrest, the landscaping of Capitol Hill and the mansions of Meridian Hill. Registration is required, and some events, including a bike tour of the District’s most Instagrammable murals, are expected to fill quickly. Through Sept. 23. Free.
JPEGMAFIA at Songbyrd: JPEGMAFIA has spent most of his life — including a stint traveling the world in the Air Force — navigating the racial politics that inform his existence. But it was his time in Baltimore that proved to be a game-changer in distilling righteous indignation into charged, aggro rhymes. Freddie Gray’s death inspired JPEGMAFIA’s searing 2015 “Darkskin Manson” EP, and it funneled his take-no-prisoners, make-no-apologies attitude into a digestible seven tracks. Peggy (as the rapper’s fans affectionately call him) has strong feelings about everything from the American hipster class to the alt-right, but it’s the way his nimble lyricism dances across his mosh-pit-worthy eruptions that sets him apart. His latest album, “Veteran,” is his most polished and acclaimed yet — the kind of music that doesn’t soundtrack the resistance so much as inspire listeners to launch their own. 8 p.m. Sold out.
Aslin third anniversary: Herndon isn’t a destination for craft beer lovers — yet. This weekend, Aslin Brewing Co. is showing that it could be. Aslin, which has won acclaim for its hazy IPAs and fruity sour ales, is hosting a festival at its forthcoming brewery and taproom. More than 100 breweries are sending beers to sample; regional offerings from Ocelot, Triple Crossing, Union and Pen Druid match up against far-flung selections from New York’s Threes; Monterey, Calif.'s Alvarado Street; and Nashville’s Southern Grist. Don’t worry if you’re not sure where Merit Brewing or Red Dragon comes from: Unlimited pours are included with each ticket. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. $50 per three-hour session.
Sunday, Sept. 16
Takoma Park Folk Festival at Takoma Park Middle School: This suburban enclave will always hold a place in local music lore for being the birthplace of guitar legend John Fahey. One of the city’s long-running musical traditions is its folk festival — 2018 marks its 40th year. This year’s festival has been moved indoors from its usual outdoor setting because of the impending rain, but attendees can still expect twangy tunes from the likes of Virginia-native Karen Jonas and West African-inspired drum sounds from the District’s Bele Bele Rhythm Collective. 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Geoffrey Himes, Chris Richards and Briana Younger