DC Record Fair 2014
A shot from the 2014 rendition of the DC Record Fair; Credit: Matt Dunn

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Sunday: DC Record Fair, Spring Edition at Eaton DC

Returning to the city this weekend is the biannual DC Record Fair at Eaton DC. Food, drinks, DJs (Valentina, Les The DJ, Oso Fresh, Lulu Lewis, Ex Ex Ex, and RWeOnTheAir?!), music enthusiasts, and—of course—a seemingly endless supply of vinyl will take over the second floor of the hotel on Sunday, March 19. With more than 45 record vendors attending from all over the East Coast, including D.C. shops Joint Custody and Byrdland Records, you’ll be sure to find the latest Harry Styles, SZA, and Steve Lacy records. Looking for something a bit more classic? Records from days gone by will also be in abundance—think Simon & Garfunkel, Marvin Gaye, Fleetwood Mac, Tracy Chapman, N.W.A. Dedicated collectors determined to browse through every record-filled crate during the six-hour event might even go home with a rare find: Last year, City Paper discovered an original copy of Tupac’s magnum opus All Eyez On Me (1996) for over $200. Dropping more than a C-note on just one record might not be for everybody, but no matter the genre, musical period, or price range, the DC Record Fair is certainly for everyone to enjoy. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 19 at Eaton DC, 1201 K St. NW. eatonworkshop.com. Free.Nahawi Hoop

Monday: Bad Books Book Club at Solid State Books

Have you ever encountered a book so bad that it made you feel like you’d rather walk into traffic than read another word? How about a book so awful that you were compelled to keep reading, page after excruciating page, just so you could articulate your loathing in greater nuance and detail? So terrible that you found yourself shoving it under other people’s noses and evangelizing it on street corners so that you didn’t have to be alone in the knowledge of how much it sucked? Nissa Moody and Kiara Martinez of Solid State Books know just how you feel. “The hard thing about book clubs is they all want you to read these specific books that everyone agrees on,” Moody tells City Paper. “But then what happens if you don’t like the book? It’s often not a very welcoming place for you to air that.” So Moody and Martinez cooked up a plan for a new type of book club, one with no assigned reading. The result was Bad Books Book Club, a gathering for people who need a space to vent about the worst books they’ve ever read. Whether it’s Stephenie Meyer or Jim Theis (or, editor’s note: Ernest Hemingway) living rent free in your cranial real estate, Bad Books Book Club offers a fun, laid-back environment to exorcize your worst reading experiences. “People can attend all the other book clubs in the city,” says Moody. “And then they can come to Bad Books Book Club and say ‘Alright. I’ve got to get this off my chest.’” Bad Books Book Club, which meets quarterly on the third Monday, starts at 7 p.m. on March 20 at Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. solidstatebooksdc.com. Free. —Will Lennon 

Monday: Militarie Gun at the Runaway

Militarie Gun; courtesy of the Runaway

Live long enough and trends inevitably come back around. Our society is currently preoccupied with rebooting the ’90s, be it through ubiquitous Rugrats shirts, wide-leg jeans, or Friends becoming a universally beloved cultural landmark. Independent music is no exception. Many tattooed, hardcore and punk bands have been inspired by the feedback-drenched rock of MTV’s Buzz Bin. Of these bands—Drug Church, Fiddlehead, to name a few—Militarie Gun are one of the most promising. Lead singer Ian Shelton’s musical pedigree is extensive, most notably for his role fronting Seattle’s Regional Justice Center, a powerviolence project named after the prison where Shelton’s 18-year-old brother was incarcerated. Over the course of just a few years—professed to be inspired by Guided By Voices and the Beatles—Militarie Gun have dabbled in various ’90s styles, mostly of the alterna-rock variety, but their restlessness is already showing. The band’s 2022 single “Pressure Cooker,” a collaboration with Dazy (who’s performing with Militarie Gun in D.C. on March 20), demonstrates a fondness for the acid house-tinged rave-ups favored by Primal Scream and Happy Mondays. These ’90s touchstones sound newly invigorated when filtered through the lens of those not old enough to have been there the first time. Militarie Gun play at 8:30 p.m. on March 20 at the Runaway, 3523 12 St. NE. therunawaydc.com. $16–$18. —Matt Siblo

Tuesday: Spelling Bee at Tight Five Pub 

To all the wordsmiths looking for a community to share their impressive vocabulary with, the spelling bee at the Tight Five is the answer. Inspired by an episode of Canadian comedy series Letterkenny, the Adams Morgan sports bar now hosts a spelling bee competition every third Tuesday of the month. While enjoying some drinks and food, participants get the chance to show off their talent and meet like-minded people. Each round of the competition has a specific theme, giving the game a little bit of a trivia feel. So if you’re the friend who has a lot of general knowledge but isn’t the best at spelling big words, you’re still more than welcome to join the group. Y’all might even bring home a prize … mostly consisting of the random items sitting unclaimed in the bar’s lost and found—gloves, an umbrella, maybe even an unclaimed jacket. First, second, and third place winners are also guaranteed a bar tab for $50, $30, and $15 and each month’s winner qualifies for June’s Championship Spelling Bee. The Spelling Bee starts at 7 p.m. on March 21 at Tight Five Pub, 2471 18th St. NW. tightfivepub.com. Free. —Nahawi Hoop   

Ongoing: Variety Show: A Photo Ensemble at Gallery B

“Starry Night in the Backcountry” by Kevin Duncan; courtesy of Gallery B

The nine-artist group exhibit at Bethesda’s Gallery B may be called Variety Show, but that’s a bit of artistic license. In reality, the D.C. photographers’ works on display are heavily tilted toward botanical still lifes and natural landscapes, along with a secondary emphasis on urban panoramas. That’s not to say the exhibit gets redundant; each of the participating artists has at least one compelling image, and often several. Jo Levine’s finest is a close-up of a leaf with tiny internal structures that looks like it has been photographed by X-ray; Jim Coates’ is an idiosyncratic street scene in which pedestrians seem unbothered by an advancing watery tide; Barbara Southworth’s is an understated image of lush grasses illuminated by dappled light; Leslie Kiefer’s are any of a series of botanical close-ups set against a brushed-metal backdrop. Tana Ebbole’s best photos are a pair of autumn-hued landscapes, one featuring a flock of geese; Ann Benjes Steele’s is a natural pool containing rivulets of bright green and rusty orange. Kevin Duncan’s otherworldly homage to Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” only in black-and-white, stands out, while Barry Dunn’s image of water rushing over a dam at Maryland’s Liberty Reservoir looks as if it was etched rather than photographed. Leslie Landerkin’s photograph of a fountain inside the National Gallery of Art somehow captures water droplets as improbably straight lines. Variety Show: A Photo Ensemble runs through April 2 at Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda. Thursday through Saturday noon to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 am to 4 p.m. bethesda.org. Free. —Louis Jacobson