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Photo: Fabien Cousteau
Photo: Fabien Cousteau

A Day in the Life: Emerging Explorer Grace Young

It all began on the Great Lakes of Ohio and Michigan. As she sailed across the open waters with her family, a pint-sized Grace Young began to develop a deep love for the water and everything in it. After she moved to DC in high school, Young took a school trip to the Chesapeake Bay that could only be described as life-changing. In this moment, she realized she couldn’t live without the calmness of the waves and the beauty of a sunrise out at sea.

So she followed her dreams. In 2017, National Geographic named Young as one of 14 Emerging Explorers, or “uniquely gifted and inspiring scientists, conservationists, storytellers and innovators” who are “already making a difference and changing the world.” As part of the program, she received a $10,000 grant to fund research for new technology to explore the ocean and save coral reefs.

On April 10, Young will host “Extreme Ocean: Exploring the Deep,” a discussion about why taking care of the ocean is so crucial to preserving life as we know it. She’ll also go into detail about her exciting 15-day adventure of living nearly 20 meters (66 feet) below sea level off the coast of the Florida Keys during Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31. We caught up with Young before her upcoming talk about the Emerging Explorers program, protecting our coral reefs and being a former ballerina, among other things.

On Tap: How did you feel when you found out you were nominated for Emerging Explorers?
Grace Young: I was absolutely thrilled. It’s made me think a lot more about how I’m sharing the work that I do. There was this quote: “If you don’t share your science, you might as well not have done it.” So now I’m trying to be conscious of that. I’ve been so fortunate to be a woman interested in technology from a young age [and] to have my degree from MIT, but many women don’t even realize that’s a career they can have, so I want to share that in order to bring the best talent into the field that we can.

OT: What will you be focusing on during the “Extreme Ocean” discussion?
GY: I’m looking forward to sharing my stories about my time on the ocean and my perspective as a technology developer, and what I think of as the biggest changes affecting our ocean. People don’t tune in unless they learn to love it and see why I’m passionate about it, and why so many people at Nat Geo and other places are too.

OT: How does the work that you’re doing to save these coral reefs affect lives in DC?
GY: Two things: one, even if you’re living far from the ocean, we’re still all connected to the ocean. The ocean covers 71 percent of our planet; it provides half of the oxygen we breathe, and it’s a protein source for at least a billion people. Two, I always think, “What kind of ocean do we want to pass on to the next generation?” I’ve seen remote beaches that are covered in trash, [with] more coming in with each wave. On the other hand, I’ve been able to jump off a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and go swimming at sunset. I would like for that to be an experience that everyone can have. But it’s not just about us. Those stories connect us to the ocean, but it’s about keeping our planet habitable for our species and all the other species.


Can’t Live Without
My family
The ocean
Coral-safe sunscreen
StarTalk podcast by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
STEM education


OT: Is developing technology to help restore these coral reefs a new movement?
GY: My work uses cutting-edge technology, but artificial reefs have been used since ancient times. People learned pretty early that if you have any artificial structure, it attracts fish, and putting any collection of rocks together worked okay. What we’re trying to do now is use advancements in technology and a lot of data to design optimal artificial reefs so that they can attract fish, keep healthy coral reefs and help protect against shoreline erosion.

OT: Does seeing all of this pollution in the ocean ever make you feel discouraged?
GY: I try not to get discouraged. There are so many people who really care, and new businesses and technologies are being developed to try and help solve this problem. We only realized it was a huge problem maybe like 50 to 60 years ago, and it’s hard to make big-scale changes, but I think the movement is there.

OT: I read that we know more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. How do you feel about that?
GY: It baffles me. I actually wrote my undergraduate thesis on this topic. I went to look at the history, and space and ocean exploration were on pretty much the same path until the 1960s when we put man on the moon and men at the deepest point of the ocean. But after that, the trajectories really diverged. Even now, NASA’s budget for just pure exploration is 150 times greater than any equivalent exploration budget for NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]. But I think that’s starting to change. I think everyone’s realizing how important, how serious and how alien our ocean is.

OT: Do you think it’s about time we start looking more inward to ourselves on Earth?
GY: Yes. There’s a T.S. Elliot quote that says, “At the end of our exploring, we come back to where we came from.” From a technology standpoint, I’m thinking of the new, unexpected discoveries we’re going to make by developing technologies that help us explore the ocean. Because GPS and electromagnetic waves that we rely on for most communication don’t work underwater, we have to innovate – we have to do something different and more creative. I think that is going to have so many unintended discoveries.


Work Must-Haves
Scuba gear
Air
Notebook
Pen
Watch


OT: As a former ballerina and with your experience working on a coral reef sculpture, what do the arts mean to you?
GY: I trained at CityDance at Strathmore, and I was also at the Washington Ballet School. That really shaped who I am and my work ethic. I think it taught me discipline, and how to be inspired by my peers, but also how to focus on my own strengths and weaknesses. Although I don’t dance anymore, I watch the ballet as much as I can. I think art and science are connected. There’s creativity involved in both of them, so that certainly informs my thought process.

OT: How important is it to marry science and arts together?
GY: Arts and science are fundamentally very similar thought processes. We can learn how to become a better scientist by learning the arts, and vice versa. Art can be a great way to engage in a unique way with science. I was at the UN’s [Ocean Conference] in New York City last summer, and in front of the UN, they had a gigantic whale and fish sculpture. From afar they just looked like great sculptures, but up close, they were made of little bits of plastic that people pulled up from this one beach. It was so moving, and I feel like if you never heard of this plastic problem before, you definitely got the picture right there with that piece of work.

Don’t miss Grace Young at National Geographic on April 10 from 7:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $25. Learn more about the event at www.nationalgeographic.org/explorers.

The National Geographic Museum: 1145 17th St. NW, DC; 202-857-7700; www.nationalgeographic.org/dc/events

Photo: Courtesy of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club
Photo: Courtesy of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club

Breakout Batter: Meet Michael A. Taylor

The “A” has always stood for Anthony. Now, it stands for his performance.

Michael A. Taylor, center fielder for the Washington Nationals, established himself last season as one of the young players to watch in Major League Baseball. He finished among the top three Gold Glove candidates at his position in the National League despite playing in a mere 118 contests. In his injury-abbreviated season – Taylor spent most of July and part of August on the disabled list with a strained right oblique – he swatted 19 home runs and stole 17 bases. Only five other National League players can say the same about their 2017 campaigns.

“I think [one] of the major changes I made [was] my view going into the game, and what I consider successful for me a lot of the time,” Taylor says. “I would get caught up in the result, and baseball is a game of failures day in and out – whether that’s just swinging at good pitches or moving a runner [and] making hard contact.”

Hard contact was something that drew Taylor into the spotlight late in 2017. In September and October of the regular season, he had one of the best stretches of his career in terms of power, notching seven home runs that included an inside-the-park grand slam against the Phillies. Taylor’s power took the national stage in the playoffs, when he hit yet another grand slam, this time to seal a win over the Cubs and force game five of the National League Division Series.

Then, in game five, he hit a three-run bomb into the Cubs bullpen in left, giving the Nationals the lead in what ended as a heartbreaking 9-8 loss. That’s nine home runs in 33 games among September, October and the postseason, for whoever is counting. Taylor isn’t one of them.

“I try not to make too much of statistics,” he says. “I go out there and try to do my best.”

Regarding his unexpected, late-season mash fest, Taylor says he thinks it’s a byproduct of a good approach in his game.

“Home runs will come. When I try to force home runs, I end up putting myself in a bad spot, swinging too hard or swinging at pitches out of the zone.”

Taylor’s approach will be much-scrutinized at the start of 2018. For the first time since 2015, he’s the favorite to start in center field at the beginning of the season. In 2016 and 2017, respectively, trade acquisitions Ben Revere and Adam Eaton filled that role. Thanks to Taylor’s breakout 2017 and his superb defense, Eaton is now moving to left field while Taylor hunkers down as the “field general” in center.

The potential scrutiny doesn’t seem to faze Taylor, who maintains a calm, composed demeanor in on-camera interviews. Part of his confidence stems from a positive relationship with Nationals fans. Even during his first two-plus seasons in the majors, during which Taylor hit a combined .228 and struck out more than once a game, he says fans had his back. In 2017, Taylor returned the favor, lifting his average to .271 with an OPS of .806.

“One thing I can say about fans in DC [is] they’ve been very supportive through my whole career. I’m very grateful for that. Even the years I felt like I didn’t perform as well as I’d like, they still were behind me and very supportive.”

Taylor is also lucky in some respects. In June, then-Nationals Manager Dusty Baker called him “one of the most fortunate dudes” he had ever managed, according to Patrick Reddington of SB Nation’s Federal Baseball blog. For example, although he didn’t start opening day in 2016 and 2017, he did see significant playing time both seasons because of injuries to Revere and Eaton. This year, he also has the benefit of two experienced, talented outfielders – Eaton and Bryce Harper – flanking him in left and right.

“They make it really easy on me,” Taylor says of Eaton and Harper. “Those guys have a lot of experience and are great outfielders. I think we work very well together. We’re all on the same page. They make it easy and encourage me to go out there and take the lead.”

Adding to the rocky beginnings of Taylor’s career is the fact that he’s had three different managers since the beginning of 2015. This season, Dave Martinez takes over, and based on Taylor’s attitude, it’s just another fortuitous turn.

“Davey has been great. [He] communicates with the guys every day. It’s been very laid-back and energetic. I’ve really enjoyed spring training with him, and I’m looking forward to a full season.”

A full season is actually one concern lingering around Taylor, even now that he has established himself as a serious player. In spring training, what the Nationals called “tightness” in his right side – the same side as his oblique strain last season – forced him out of the lineup on March 5. Luckily, he returned to the Nationals’ Grapefruit League lineup on March 17, going one for three with a pair of strikeouts.

So what’s Taylor’s goal for 2018? Play in 162 games? Reach the 20-home-run, 20-stolen-base plateau? Make up for that near miss at a Gold Glove?

“To win a World Series,” he says.

If Taylor, with all of his good fortune, helps the Nationals bring home the World Series trophy, he can go ahead and add “plus” to that “A” in the middle of his name.

The Washington Nationals’ home opener is on Thursday, April 5 at 1:05 p.m., when they will host the New York Mets at Nats Park. For more information on Taylor and the Nats’ 2018 season, visit www.mlb.com/nationals.

Nationals Park: 1500 South Capitol St. SE, DC; 202-675-6287; www.mlb.com/nationals

Cecily

Music Picks: April 2018

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4

Ana Moura
With stunning vocals, Ana Moura has been a fixture in the Portuguese music scene since 2003, including collaborations with Prince and The Rolling Stones. It’s no wonder legends have picked up on her undeniable talent because whether the lyrics are delivered in English or Portuguese, the aptitude of Moura’s singing ability is truly stunning. In the backdrop are wondrous strings and a steady rhythm section all built to amplify this talented singer-songwriter’s music prowess. Show at 8 p.m. $50-$60. The Barns at Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA;
www.wolftrap.org

Ought
Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Ought is set to give DC some solid jamming music. Featuring songs that care little for your shrinking attention span, the band often features subtle rock tracks lasting anywhere from four to seven minutes on average. They’ll toss some quick hitters in every now and then, but the often slow developing songs are intoxicating as they draw you in and string you out, providing an emotional slowburn. Doors at 7:30 p.m. $15-$17. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC; www.blackcatdc.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – SUNDAY, APRIL 8

Damaged City Fest
Celebrate hardcore punk from all over the world in DC’s sixth annual Damaged City Fest. This year’s featured bands are Limp Wrist, Turnstile, Radioactivity, The Flex & Arms Race from the UK, RIXE from France, Blazing Eye from California and a rare appearance by New York’s Brown Sugar. Check out the rest of the lineup on Damaged City Fest’s website to plan out your weekend full of thrashing and rocking out. Friday doors open at 6 p.m. Friday aftershow at 11:30 p.m. Saturday doors open at 3 p.m. Saturday aftershow at 11:30 p.m. Sunday doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC; www.blackcatdc.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 6

Cub Sport
Sonically, Cub Sport isn’t too much different than fellow Australians Tame Impala. Though the vocal notes aren’t as high, and the music is a little more on the subtle side, Cub Sport also operates firmly with the intention to make easy-listening pop music. With soothing lyrics and a strong use of diverse synths, Cub Sport provides a sensual sound to listeners worldwide. Though pop music can sometimes make you feel empty inside, this group definitely strives for meaningful sentiment, so give them a listen. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. $13-$15. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 7

The Weather Station
As leader of The Weather Station, Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman brings artistic generosity and joy to her latest self-titled and self-produced album, The Weather Station. Even though she says she wanted to make a rock ‘n’ roll record, the result was closer to a sonic experimentation that touches on feminist politics through detailed prose-poem narratives. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 8

Mountain Heart
Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship and just as notably, their incendiary live performances. Show at 7:30 p.m. $18-$20. Write-up provided by venue. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC; www.gypsysallys.com

Run River North
From whimsical silliness to acoustic melodrama, Run River North is what you’d call a pretty dynamic band. That doesn’t mean they have a character-defining sound, it just means that their range is noticeable. A lot of indie acts have a tendency to hammer away at your eardrums with similar sounds, whereas Run River North has more of a flow to their work, kind of like a river, which I realize is corny, but hey, I’m going to roll with it. Union Stage continues getting diverse bands, huh? Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. $15-$25. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

MONDAY, APRIL 9

Current Swell
With their 2017 release, When to Talk and When to Listen, Current Swell is making waves in the indie rock scene. This Canadian band has gained steady popularity since its inception in 2005, and now they’re touring their best album yet to bring a nice variety of moods and tempos to their fans everywhere. Current Swell is making a stop at Jammin Java, so make sure to buy your tickets now before they sell out. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

MONDAY, APRIL 9 – SUNDAY, APRIL 15

SHIFT 2018
SHIFT, a festival of American Orchestras, returns to The Kennedy Center this spring. With performances by Fort Worth Symphony, Albany Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and more, this weeklong event celebrates the extraordinary artistry of orchestral musicians. SHIFT also confronts common misconceptions about orchestras and proves why orchestras are so important to artistic expression and development. Various dates and times. Tickets are $25 for each show. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.kennedy-center.org

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11

Amoramora
With more than 100 shows in 70 different cities in 2017, up-and-coming Amoramora is more than ready to play an awesome show at Gypsy Sally’s. Their jazz fusion, psychedelic bluegrass sound is so groovy, you’ll want to jump out of your seat and dance along. 21+ only. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $10 advance, $12 day of. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC; www.gypsysallys.com

Pale Waves
Formed in Manchester in 2014, Pale Waves is quintessential to the indie-pop scene in the UK. Just take it from a person who tried to see them at SXSW, but was instead relegated to stand in a blocked off street in order to peak into the club they were performing at. No, I wouldn’t say that is the best way to see them, because standing on the street in the cold is somehow worse than actually sweating in a crowded venue. Anyways, when you hear the words “indie pop” I’m sure some kind of music you’ve heard from the genre plays in your head, so imagine that, only better. Also, I have a ton of respect for any band that opts for a literally blank black canvas as single art. Minimalism is the way to go in today’s society, no? Show at 7 p.m. $15. U St. Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; www.ustreetmusichall.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 13

Perpetual Groove
Hailing from Athens, Georgia, Perpetual Groove has cultivated a long list of touring experience and a dedicated fan base since forming in 1997. Perpetual Groove pairs fan-described anthemic arena rock with an intense, retina-burning light show to bring down the house with an all-encompassing performance. After a two-year hiatus, Perpetual Groove is back and ready to rock. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com

Pimps of Joytime
Anyone familiar with the Pimps of Joytime live experience knows the feeling: it’s that moment when a deep bluesy groove morphs into a full-on EDM dance beat, or the sensation when the wide-eyed audience collectively elevates in sync with the band’s tangible energy. Just as Brooklyn has changed since the Pimps started, so has the band’s sound. But as Williamsburg gentrifies, the Pimps of Joytime’s diverse evolution keeps the neighborhood’s spirit alive. That spirit goes into the Pimps’ pot, over a soulful roux of rhythm and groove. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 9 p.m. $15-$20. Write-up provided by venue. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC; www.gypsysallys.com

Titus Andronicus
With their March 2 release of A Productive Cough, Titus Andronicus sets aside heavy punk anthems of the past to focus more on soul-bearing songwriting by creating a conversational space between artist and listener. Singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles says he’s looking forward to communicating more effectively with his audience now that he’s not so busy yelling at them. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 14

Dead Horses
At the young age of 15, Dead Horses frontwoman Sarah Vos and her family lost everything when they were expelled from the rural Wisconsin church where her father served as a pastor. From that experience, Vos created Dead Horses’ 2016 album, My Mother the Moon, which blends traditional and indie folk while examining the journey of self-discovery. Named as one of 10 new country artists you need to know by Rolling Stone, this is one show you don’t want to miss. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12-$14. Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House: 2477 18th St. NW, DC; www.songbyrddc.com

Maya Jane Coles
DJ Maya Jane Coles has collected millions of hits on YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud for her house dub music that she mixes, produces and creates herself, which isn’t as common as you’d think. Her talent has taken her to performances in more than 40 countries, and has brought her multiple awards and features in major publications like Rolling Stone. Make it out to U Street tonight for some great beats and an incredibly fun show. 18+ only. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door. No photo/video allowed. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; www.ustreetmusichall.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 15

U.S. Girls
This year marks the 10th anniversary of U.S. Girls and founder Meg Remy’s first four-track recordings of self-produced and spontaneous expressions of instant emotion. After a decade of honing her craft, Remy still hasn’t lost that raw emotion that permeates her first few recordings. U.S. Girls is a display of unmistakable feminine energy from the experience of an American woman. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $13-$15. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

MONDAY, APRIL 16

Nap Eyes
With a twang reminiscent of Bob Dylan, the laid back rock of Nap Eyes is enough to mellow you out, but not enough to put you asleep. Featuring simple licks and classic rock and roll sound, the lyrics take you on a star-crazed journey through the universe before bringing you back down to earth with universal topics such as depression, insomnia and bad-for-you habits. Sound too heavy? Well, it is, but on the other hand the songs are highly digestible and rather enjoyable. Don’t believe us, well, wake up from your nap and see for yourself. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $12. DC9 Nightclub: 1940 9th St. NW, DC; www.dc9.club

TUESDAY, APRIL 17

Eric B. & Rakim
Relive the late 80s and early 90s at The Fillmore with Eric B & Rakim, a legendary hip-hop duo hailing from Long Island. Of Erik B & Rakim, AllMusic wrote “during rap’s so-called golden age in the late ‘80s, Eric B. & Rakim were almost universally recognized as the premier DJ/MC team in all of hip-hop.” In 2016 they announced their reunion for a 2017 tour after a 23-year hiatus, and they’re touring again this spring with 17 dates in the states. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45. The Fillmore: 8656 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD; www.fillmoresilverspring.com

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18

RZA
If you know anything about RZA, you know about his affinity for retro Chinese martial arts films. From his samples as lead producer and founder of the Wu-Tang Clan and his directing of The Man With the Iron Fists, the rapper, producer, director, etc. always keeps popping out homages to this classic genre. Now, you’ll get to see him tinker with his adoration live, as he rescores the classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. The special screening will be filled with instrumentals, beats and effects staight from RZA’s vast collection of sounds. It’s rare we get access to an artist actively toying with his muse, so don’t miss this chance to see one of the most creative music pioneers. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $36-$45. Warner Theatre: 513 13th St. NW, DC; www.warnertheatredc.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 20

Black Star
You should know who Black Star is. In fact if you don’t, maybe this show isn’t for you, because this duo’s contributions to political hip-hop are literally second to none. Made up of rap stalwarts Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), the NYC legends are two guys that have historically aged like fine wine. Though their status in the popular culture may be slightly forgotten by the genre’s neophytes, people who are willing to dig into any sort of rap history will discover a colorful discography chalk full of profound lyrics built to change society for the better. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $45-$75. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC; www.theanthemdc.com

Wild Ones
The neatest aspect of Wild Ones might be the simple fact that their entire sound is DIY. The Portland, Oregon product has been together for seven years and combines a uniquely soothing voice, provided by Danielle Sullivan, with a pace that mimics soothing R&B music, but sonically uses synths to provide a little more energy. Don’t be swayed by the group’s carefree appearance, as the subtext of their lyrics often touches on the perils of romance or the difficulty of being involved in the constantly evolving music business. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $12-$14. Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House: 2477 18th St. NW, DC; www.songbyrddc.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 21

Slushii
L.A. DJ and dubstep artist Slushii is bringing his futuristic bass and trap sound to Echostage. With an album release in 2017 and a trajectory of success that only seems to keep rising, Slushii is perfecting his craft of beat creation to bring out the bass god in us all. Collaborations in the past year with fellow dubstep artist Marshmello have really brought out Slushii’s musical prowess. 18+ only. Doors open 9 p.m. Tickets are $25-$30. Echostage: 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE, DC; www.echostage.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 22

Fatai
This one is soulful. Fatai, an Australian vocalist, has some seriously powerful windpipes as she repeatedly delves deep to produce breathtaking music built on the foundation of her enchanting singing. Because of her location, seeing this artist in North America can prove difficult, and according to her website, she has routinely sold out her stateside appearances. If you’re in the mood for sultry music with gravity and strength, consider seeing Fatai in Vienna. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. $13-$15. Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

TUESDAY, APRIL 24

Cecily
The DMV’s own Cecily is live at the Anacostia Arts Center fresh off of her latest single release “Pisces,” which sees the talented musician deftly navigate her jazz, soul and R&B influences, creating a medley of sounds. Whether she’s collaborating with a local emcee or standing center stage with the sass of a bonafide super star, Cecily is certainly a local talent you want to catch before she steadily rises through the music scene. Nothing beats an intimate setting with her unique blend of passion and performance. Doors at 7 p.m. Free to attend. Anacostia Arts Center: 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE, DC; www.anacostiaartscenter.com

Preoccupations
These guys are moody. I don’t mean that in necessarily a bad way, but they certainly wear their hearts on their sleeves, if you get my drift. From song titles like “Disarray,” “Anxiety” and “Doubt,” there isn’t much subtlety to their message. This doesn’t stop the songs donning these serious monikers from carrying vignettes of joy, but it does make you listen more carefully for words of wisdom or even relatable scenarios. In a way, the band makes efforts to transfer these feelings into tangible audio, and they do a pretty good job mimicking “Anxiety.” Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $15-$18. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25

The Heavy Pets
This funky rock ‘n’ roll band from South Florida was dubbed “a living, breathing force of nature” by Relix Magazine for their expert song crafting and their powerhouse live performances. As regulars on the national touring circuit for over a decade, The Heavy Pets is a group of well-trained and seasoned musicians who weave elements of indie, funk and reggae into a tapestry of sound that’s all their own. 21+ only. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Pearl Street Warehouse: 33 Pearl St. SW, DC; www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 26

Hawthorne Heights
Feel like reliving your emo days? Come out to the Rock & Roll Hotel to see a performance by Hawthorne Heights, the premiere emo rock band of the 2000s. Bad Frequencies, their first full-length album release since 2013, is set to drop on April 27, so if you’re lucky, they might preview some of their new songs on stage tonight. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 27

Twin Shadow
When I first heard “Five Seconds To Your Heart,” I thought it was a song from a bygone era (*coughs the 80s) I just missed when jumping around those Spotify curated “TOP 80s SONGS” playlists. Instead, it came from Dominican Republic born, Brooklyn bred George Lewis Jr., otherwise known as Twin Shadow. With synths and other electric sounds, the music channels this yesteryear genre, however, Lewis Jr. is able to make the sound his own, and very contemporary, often collaborating with other artists who are interested in pop music from the same era, like HAIM. So even though the drum beats and melodies sound as if they burst from a time machine, know this shadow is firmly a product from an artist of today. Show at 7 p.m. $30. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; www.ustreetmusichall.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 29

Minus The Bear
To celebrate 10 years of writing and performing their unique music, Minus The Bear is traveling coast to coast on their Planet of Ice Anniversary Tour. With a sound that could only be described as uniquely patched together, Minus The Bear has carved out their place in the music industry by collecting different components from New York proto-punk, progressive rock, hip-hop and IDM, thus avoiding any type of classification whatsoever. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 advance, $30 at the door. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC; www.blackcatdc.com

Photo: SweetWater Brewing Company
Photo: SweetWater Brewing Company

Green Brewing Options

With thousands of options out there, make your choice matter by opting for a brew from one of these eco-friendly and sustainable breweries. From clean water initiatives to preserving the Appalachian Trail, these 11 breweries each have their own approach to doing what they can for the environment. Check out our list below to find a brewery with a cause that speaks to you. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find your new favorite beer while you’re at it.

Abita Brewing Company

As the first brewery in North America to install an energy-efficient Merlin Brewhouse system, Abita has a long history of protecting the environment and serving the surrounding New Orleans community. The Merlin, which reduces boiling time and carbon dioxide emissions, uses 70 percent less energy than traditional brewing methods. Plus, Abita’s glass bottles are endlessly recyclable, their trucks run on emission-decreasing accelerated processing units (APUs) and their used grains find their final resting place in the troughs of local farms. From beginning to end, Abita is brewing green. Try their seasonal Mardi Gras Bock or one of their many year-round mainstays – the Purple Haze never disappoints. www.abita.com

Atlas Brew Works

DC’s own Atlas Brew Works won the 2016 Department of Energy & Environment Sustainability Award for claiming the title of the District’s first and only solar-powered craft brewery. In addition to their massive 67.5-kilowatt solar array, Atlas also tries to recycle as much as possible during the brewing process by recapturing water for reuse and donating saturated grain as feed to local farms. If you’re into sours, check out their seasonal Blood Orange Gose – it’s to die for. www.atlasbrewworks.com

Deschutes Brewery

Lovers of this Oregonian brew are in luck; Deschutes recently opened a tasting room in downtown Roanoke with a brewery to follow suit in the next few years. In 2016, the Business Intelligence Group awarded Deschutes with a sustainability award for renewable energy usage and their partnership with Deschutes River Conservancy to restore a billion gallons of water to the Deschutes River each year. Try their year-round Fresh Squeezed IPA or their seasonal Red Chair NWPA. www.deschutesbrewery.com

Devils Backbone

Appalachian Trail hikers call them “trail angels” for a reason. Ever since Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows settled into the valley only a few miles from the Appalachian Trail’s Reed’s Gap trailhead, they’ve been a welcoming spot for hikers and adventurers alike. In 2018, Devils Backbone became an official sponsor of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in order to help preserve and maintain the trail. With every purchase of Trail Angel Weiss, their award-winning, Bavarian-style Hefeweizen brew, Devils Backbone donates to the ATC. www.dbbrewingcompany.com

Great Lakes Brewing Company

In February of last year, this Cleveland-based brewery installed a 62-panel photovoltaic array to soak up the sun for some sweet solar energy. These panels offset 13 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is like planting 200 trees. Great Lakes also created the Burning River Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving, maintaining and celebrating Cleveland’s freshwater resources. Together, they host Burning River Fest, an annual summertime celebration to spread awareness about the importance of keeping our freshwater resources clean. With crisp, bright flavors and a hint of citrus and pine, the Burning River Pale Ale is the perfect way to toast the Great Lakes. www.greatlakesbrewing.com

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

After a decade of brewing experience, lifelong friends Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh came together with a mission to brew with purpose by minimizing environmental impact and giving back to the community. Their vision came to life in 2011 when they founded Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Virginia’s first brewery to use 100 percent renewable power. Take a day trip to the Richmond-based taproom to try their flagship pilsner – and check out their gorgeous tap handles crafted from fallen trees while you’re at it. www.hardywood.com

Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm

Milkhouse Brewery is the pinnacle of local sustainability, with an onsite supply of Maryland hops from its family-owned and operated farm in Mount Airy that visitors are welcome to explore. Pick a warm spring afternoon to drive out to the countryside and enjoy a picnic at Stillpoint Farm with a pint of Milkhouse’s Homestead Hefeweizen. www.milkhousebrewery.com

New Belgium

They aren’t trying to fool anyone. They know they pollute; they even admit it on their own website. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do anything about it. New Belgium tackles this reality head on by diverting 99 percent of their waste, using solar thermal and solar photovoltaic energies, reducing their carbon footprint and conserving water. With their profound self-awareness, New Belgium has perfected the most efficient way to make a damn good beer. Try their year-round, Belgian-style Fat Tire or opt for a special seasonal brew like the Tartastic Raspberry Lime Ale. www.newbelgium.com

Sierra Nevada

With their local landscapes in mind, Sierra Nevada takes great care to reduce the amount of waste and pollution their brewery emits by recovering 99 percent of their total solid waste through reusing, recycling and composting. When they opened their Mills River brewery in North Carolina, their first move was to restore the surrounding forest to its former glory by hiring a team of natural resource specialists. This proactive approach to saving the environment one step at a time is admirable – and so is Sierra Nevada’s newest beer: the hop-heavy Hazy Little Thing IPA, brewed with hops grown onsite at their brewery in Chico, California. www.sierranevada.com

SweetWater

During their annual Save Our Water campaign, SweetWater donates $100,000 to five nonprofit organizations dedicated to maintaining, improving and cleaning freshwater resources. This year, SweetWater fans can even lend a hand by picking up a Protect Natural Habitats Variety 12-pack, which features favorites like 420 Extra Pale Ale, Goin’ Coastal IPA with pineapple, TripleTail tropical IPA and their brand new summer seasonal, Tropical Lover Berliner Weisse. A portion of sales from this variety pack will go toward the campaign, so you can feel good about contributing to a great cause while cracking open a summer seasonal beer. www.sweetwaterbrew.com

Wild Wolf

For the third consecutive year, Wild Wolf Brewing Company earned the Virginia Green Travel Alliance’s Green Brewery of the Year Award for their top-to-bottom environmentally conscious practices, including water and energy conservation, recycling and composting. They also grow their own hops in an onsite, chemical-free hopyard where free-range chickens and ducks roam around to their heart’s content. And by packaging their beer in the lighter option of cans rather than bottles, they use less fuel when shipping specialty brews like Blonde Hunny, a refreshing, Belgian-style blonde ale. www.wildwolfbeer.com

Photo: Courtesy of MCT Management
Photo: Courtesy of MCT Management

Joe Purdy Brings Protest Song to The Hamilton

In these days when #protestisthenewbrunch in DC, there couldn’t be a better time for folk rock musician Joe Purdy to come to town. An Arkansas native, Purdy has been a significant and often underrated figure on the American folk revival scene for a decade and a half, and has put out a new release almost every year since his debut in 2001 (way before the genre’s coolness got, well, revived).

Tonight, Purdy brings his guitar, suspenders, shaggy beard and deep, gravelly voice to The Hamilton, where he’ll be promoting his latest record, Who Will Be Next? Fitting to the times, the album diverts slightly from the style of his previous work, which combines the best elements of blues, ballad and rock – to draw more directly from traditional American protest songs.

With Who Will Be Next?, Purdy has written an album that satisfies his “determination to honor the giants of American folk” like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, while “addressing immediate transgressions” experienced and witnessed by many Americans in recent years.

Rhett Miller, lead singer of the alt-country band the Old 97’s, will join Purdy onstage at The Hamilton. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20-$39.75.

The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW, DC; 202-787-1000; www.live.thehamiltondc.com