Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus pick the DJ nights, parties and concerts you just can’t miss.
Tuesday: Since the summer of 2010, Good Life Tuesdays has been one of the best dance parties in town. Here, a young, fashionable crowd dances to a wildly unpredictable soundtrack that might be dubstep, moombahton, old-school hip-hop or cutting-edge electro, depending on the week and the DJ. And now it’s coming to an end. Tonight is the final edition of the Rock Creek Social Club’s signature affair at Recess, featuring DJs Jerome Baker III, Spinser Tracy, Excel and Impulse. Get there early, and not just because lines will be down the block: There’s an open bar from 9:30 to 10:30, and $2 drinks from 10:30 to 12:30. The party will be bananas, and it will be missed.
Thursday: The growing fervor in Washington around celebrating today’s sources of African creativity can only bring about more good things. The musical explosion continues to flourish in more spaces, but style and visual art need the same level of attention. Supafrik is a pop-up shop and temporium opening this evening at Gallery O on H St. First launched in Toronto, Supafrik is making its D.C. debut with four days of fashion shows, dance parties, art displays, food tastings and live performances showcasing modern African style. Thursday’s opening features a fashion show with Nigerian-born designer Chinedu Ukabam’s Chinedesign label and music by R&B singer Wayna, who was born in Ethiopia and makes her home in D.C.
Friday: Howard University’s Homecoming weekend is a multi-day celebration of culture, with concerts, a step show and a fashion show taking much of the limelight that the football game gets elsewhere. The free Yardfest concert is one of the centerpieces, and for good reason: Over the years, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nelly, Young Jeezy and Howard alumni Diddy have taken the stage on the campus’s main quad. Lineups used to be a tightly guarded secret, but this year, we already know 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Beenie Man and Naughty By Nature are among the performers. You don’t have to be a student to attend, but you do have to be willing to hang out for the whole afternoon to catch the headliners. (Looking for more Howard Homecoming options? Check these events.)
Friday: Washington’s status as a hotbed of indie-rock isn’t as strong as it was in the ‘90s, when Black Tambourine, Unrest, Lilys and Velocity Girl had fans buzzing across the country. But there’s still a devoted core of indie fans here, as evidenced by the 10th anniversary of Taking the Piss , a monthly party dedicated to all things jangly, fuzzy and twee. For the celebration, resident DJs the Kaiser and the Pinstriped Rebel will be joined by an army of guests, many of whom created the records that are spun at Marx Cafe: Archie Moore (Black Tambourine and Velocity Girl), Kelly Young (Velocity Girl), Matt Dingee (Lorelei), Dan Searing (Castaway Stones and Glow-Worm) and Doug Bailey (the Ropers). Expect the vibe to be more of a family reunion than an all-out dance party, but definitely a good time.
There are even more picks after the jump, including the GZA, an early Halloween party and a showcase for local solo artists.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
GZA , the lyrical surgeon of the Wu-Tang Clan, will be performing his classic 1995 album “Liquid Swords” end-to-end at Howard Theatre. The combination of dense lyrics, metaphysical concepts and rough-hewn beats still stands as the pinnacle of Wu creativity.
Wednesday, Oct. 17
You can still find eager, college-aged folks packing into poetry open mikes around town, bursting with enthusiasm to find an audience for the contents of their notebooks. But if any of them want to actually become a great writer, they should check out Twain Dooley ’s feature performance at the 5th and K Busboys and Poets. On a Washington scene that’s many generations deep, Dooley can be considered one of its roots. He continues to refine his pen game and performance acumen, whether on the slam stage or on the printed page. Experiencing Dooley’s work is a must to understand spoken word at its finest.
Thursday, Oct. 18
Halloween is hard work. Coming up with a great costume idea, running around to try to find the elements of said costume, sitting around with a hot glue gun and felt trying to perfect your outfit – all can make Halloween seem like more trouble than it’s worth. It shouldn’t be that way. The annual Half-Assed Halloween party has two rules: You’re only allowed to make a costume out of things you have at home, and your costume can only take 30 minutes to assemble, tops. This year’s party will be held at the 201 Bar, and is a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The $30 ticket is good for free appetizers and an open bar from 8 to 10 p.m., with drink specials after that. There will be “crappy” prizes for the “best” costumes, so there’s no pressure.
Friday, Oct. 19
The 9 has a simple premise: Once a month, nine singer-songwriter types – both solo artists and members of bands who want to try flying solo – get together and play. They perform, they jam, they support each other. In honor of the first anniversary of the Listen Local First initiative, the Black Cat is hosting a special edition of the 9 on its mainstage. Musicians joining founder Justin Trawick include Christylez Bacon, reigning Washington Area Music Association artist of the year Margot MacDonald and Ryan McLaughlin of Typefighter.
The Hirshhorn’s new “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” is set to be one of the biggest museum shows of the season, and it’s taking a starring role at the latest Hirshhorn After Hours party. Tour all of the museum’s exhibits until 10 p.m., or head out to the courtyard to see performer/video director Peter Glantz’s “The World,” which mixes storytelling, videos and music. (Reminder: You have to get tickets in advance.)
Saturday, Oct. 20
Let’s go back to 1997, a time when Ska music was really, really popular. D.C.’s own Pietasters were riding a wave of popularity, having just been signed to Epitaph’s Hellcat Records, releasing an album called “Willis” and playing the Warped Tour. There was a ton of buzz about a new band called Pilfers, fronted by Coolie Ranx (late of the Toasters) and featuring members of Bim Skala Bim and Skinnerbox. Spring Heeled Jack had released its debut on Moon Ska Records, and would soon be opening for the likes of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish. Man, weren’t those the days? You can relive them all at the Skalapalooza 2012 show at the 9:30 Club. The only down note: Due to the 2002 death of Spring Heeled Jack drummer Dave Karcich, the reunited band will be performing acoustic.