Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Check out our list of recommended events below. And if you’re looking for July 4 events (from pool parties to open bar-fueled celebrations) or Tuesday night pre-parties, check out our list of the highlights.
Now through July 15: During Pizzeria Paradiso’s annual “ JulyPA ” festival, beer director Greg Jasgur changes every one of the draft beers at all three Paradiso locations to an India Pale Ale - 44 in all. Last year, the tap takeover lasted a full month; this time, it’s going until July 15. “I think a whole month might be a little much,” Jasgur says, for people who aren’t into hoppy beers. Despite the shortened event, the list of beers is stronger than ever. Look out for such rare treats as the Kind by New York’s Three Heads brewery (”I brought that one down myself,” Jasgur says) and Victory’s Ranch R (”I’m in love with that beer. It’s clean and crisp and has high alcohol, even though it doesn’t taste like it.”). All three locations are pouring different brews at different times, so check out www.eatyourpizza.com to see whether there’s a specific beer you want to try. The best time to go? Happy hour, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Georgetown and Dupont locations and from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday in Old Town; all beers are half-price. “We’ve got Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA on at Old Town right now, and it’s $5 [at happy hour],” Jasgur boasts. “No exceptions.”
Wednesday: If you’re looking for somewhere to watch the fireworks with a cold beer in hand, the area around Ninth and U streets NW is becoming a destination for rooftop bars, three of which are throwing parties with great views and no cover charge. The Brixton , which opened Sunday, is a three-level British-style pub from the team behind Marvin and BlackByrd Warehouse. It’s opening at 1 p.m. with admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Across the street, DC9’s annual Independence Day Grillin’ is sponsored by the DC Brau brewery. Doors open at noon for the rooftop cookout, with $4 cans of DC Brau and summer jams spun by DJ Bill Spieler and DC Brau co-founders Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock. And down the block, 1905 , which opened its rooftop deck back in May, will open around 3 p.m. with a special limited menu. No reservations are being taken, so arrive early.
UPDATE: As of Tuesday morning, the Brixton will now open at 1 p.m. instead of 5 p.m., with food available beginning at 1.
Thursday: July 4: The day we celebrate gaining independence from Great Britain.
July 5: The day the Phillips Collection celebrates the awesomeness of Great Britain.
This month’s Phillips After 5 is an Anglophile’s delight, in honor of the current exhibition of drawings by London-born artist Antony Gormley. In addition to talks about Gormley’s work, the party includes models showing off fashions by British designers, screenings of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” in the auditorium and DJ Danny Harris of Fatback spinning British music. Tickets include all activities but not the special beer of the night: local brewery Chocolate City’s 1814 ESB. (1814 was, of course, the year the British invaded Washington and burned the White House and the Capitol, so it’s hard not to see this as gloating.) As with all Phillips After 5 events, advance tickets and early arrival are recommended.
Saturday: As new generations of musicians from the South American music scenes mature, they often find ways to draw connections between the music of their heritage and modern styles cross-pollinating in the pop world. This is the path that Gepe is following, creating a spare, breezy electro-pop sound from the folk music of his native Chile. Five solo projects into a growing discography, with an additional album as part of the band Taller Dejao, Gepe is gaining more interest from North America and Europe. He’ll be playing the Velvet Lounge, joined by Washington’s Maracuyeah DJs.
Still need more ideas? There are six after the jump.
Tuesday, July 3
There’s a global bass explosion set to detonate at U Hall with sounds from Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico and even farther afield. Tropical Boom features a massive slate of artists, including Boogat, Empresarios, Poirier and Afro-Brazilian percussion group Maracatu Baque do Mangue.
Since Wednesday is a holiday, D.C. bars can stay open an hour later. There are plenty of special events around town, ranging from dualing retro nights ( Peach Pit at DC9, Flashback at Cobalt) to patriotic country music at Outlaws to Lost Society’s one-year anniversary party, which features the Party Bros — DJs Gavin Holland and Chris Burns — spinning funky music from 9:30 p.m. on with no cover charge.
Thursday, July 5
D.C.-born, Berlin-based DJ Ambivalent makes fresh, engrossing minimal techno for Richie Hawtin’s M-nus label. Ambivalent has summer Ibiza dates lined up with the likes of Hawtin, Dubfire and Paco Osuna, but first, he’s coming back home to play at Glow at Lima.
Friday, July 6
Fever Bar & Lounge is one of the oases for grown folks amid the sometimes chaotic weekend revelry on H Street. This Friday night — part of the ongoing First Fridays series — is dedicated to the ladies: Beyond classic pop, R&B and old school hip-hop jams, there will be extended sets pitting the music of the Material Girl against Damita Jo, a.k.a. Janet Jackson if you’re nasty.
The Willies make some of the swingingest rockabilly/country/Americana you’ll hear these days. Fronted by Jen Jones, who sang in New York nouveau-swing act the Camaros back in the ’90s, the Nashville band is honky tonkin’ its way up to Hill Country this weekend. There’s no cover charge.
Saturday, July 7
The biggest throwback dance party in D.C. might be No Scrubs , the all-’90s night hosted by DJs Will Eastman (Volta Bureau) and Brian Billion at the 9:30 Club every few months. From Biggie to Nirvana to Color Me Badd, this is a night of non-stop dancing and singing along. Tickets tend to sell out, so buy in advance or arrive on the early side.