Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are five we think you can’t miss.
Tuesday: Through the end of October, the Embassy of the Czech Republic’s Mutual Inspirations Festival brings classic Czech films to the American Film Institute, the Library of Congress and the cool little Bistro Bohem on Florida Ave. NW. Stop by after work to catch “ Cutting It Short (Postriziny) ,” a 1981 film based on the early life of the great 20th-century Czech author Bohumil Hrabal and directed by new wave auteur Jiri Menzel. Since “Cutting It Short” is a comedy set in a brewery, the beer will be flowing at this screening: Pilsner Urquell is giving away a free beer to the first 100 guests. Arrive early for a seat and a drink.
Thursday-Saturday: Phase 1’s annual Phasefest is a three-day celebration of gay and lesbian musicians, DJs and artists. Whether you’re in the mood for singer-songwriters, all-female rock bands, party-starting DJs or just having a beer and browsing the craft stands, there’s something you’re bound to like. Tickets are available at the door each night, but the $55 VIP pass includes admission all three nights and a special souvenir cup you can fill with $3 beers and $4 rail drinks all weekend.
Friday: Of the many ways that devotees have celebrated the work of the late hip-hop prodigy J Dilla, 1920DC ’s party with DJ Oso Fresh is one of the most original. Dilla vs. Doom will feature the discography of Dilla, one of hip-hop’s most innovative and accomplished producers, paired with that of MF Doom, the masked villain, hip-hop enigma and twisted wordsmith. This should be a tantalizing night, allowing fans to imagine the missing link of a Dilla and Doom project that never had a chance to happen.
Saturday: Town ’s annual tribute to the Material Girl is one of the biggest events on its calendar. DJs spin familiar ‘80s hits and recent remixes, classic videos play on the club’s video screens, and dancers and drag queens perform Madonna-inspired routines. But this is an interactive show: The thousands of fans who come to dance wear Madonna-inspired outfits, and free drinks are awarded for the most creative. In honor of Madonna’s two performances at Verizon Center next week, Town is hosting an extra-special Madonnarama this Saturday. Arrive before 11 for $3 drinks and reduced admission.
Saturday: From its humble beginnings at the Metro Cafe 12 years ago, DJ Will Eastman’s Bliss Dance Party has become one of D.C.’s biggest monthly events. It started with a mostly indie rock playlist, adding more and more electronic music (LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, Tiga) until it evolved into the electro and house powerhouse it is today. Eastman, an owner of U Street Music Hall, is honoring his baby’s 12th anniversary with a six-hour shift on the turntables, spinning music from every stage of Bliss’ development. Early arrivals are greeted with free Bliss T-shirts and, for those 21 and older, free admission.
More ideas are waiting after the jump.
Wednesday, Sept. 19
The Maracuyeah DJ collective is curating a night of the more raw side of South American music at Velvet Lounge: protest rock, tribal sounds, the rougher forms of cumbia and merengue that don’t creep into Latin pop and emerging urban styles that defy categorization. Guests on the decks with Maracuyeah include K-selecta from Ecuador and Cami from Colombia.
Thursday, Sept. 20
It’s a big night for Latin and South American sounds around 14th and U streets. At the new Tropicalia nightclub on the northeast corner of the intersection, the Rice and Beans Soundsystem serves up heavy Fania-style salsa, boogaloo and Latin funk. A block south at Cafe Saint-Ex, the monthly Brazilian Rhythms party finds DJ Neville C laying down ’70s rock, funk and samba in honor of the birthday of Tim Maia, the Brazilian musician who found a worldwide audience fusing American soul and native Brazilian styles in that decade. Go bar hopping, because neither event has a cover charge.
Friday, Sept. 21
Natalie Hopkinson’s “Go-Go Live” performs a cultural, ethnographic and historical analysis of Washington’s indigenous go-go music. DJ RBI will be on hand with Words, Beats and Life at Montserrat House to celebrate the book’s release. On the decks, RBI will tell a story of go-go and its sources of influence. This benefit’s proceeds will go directly to WB&L’s ongoing youth education and arts development programs.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Heavy Breathing , the bizarre, sonically fascinating psychedelic organ electro trio featuring former members of the Apes, is finally releasing its first record, “Body Problems.” The release party at Comet Ping Pong features the more poppy Win Win (they’re on Vice Records) and the always entertaining glam-indie of Edie Sedgewick.
Sour ales are not for everyone. Tart, acidic and sometimes downright strange, their flavors can be an acquired taste. Once you’re into them, though, you get hooked, and will look forward to events like Pizzeria Paradiso’s weekend-long Sour Celebration , where all 12 taps will pour Stillwater’s Debauched, aged in old wine barrels, Evil Twin’s appropriately named Uber Tart and Baladin’s Nora Sour.
Sunday, Sept. 23
Hip-hop artists and metal bands are joining forces at the Rock and Roll Hotel to celebrate the life of KT Robeson , a DC9 and Rock and Roll Hotel bartender who died in July. Darkest Hour, Supreme Commander and Nihilitia bring the rock; Flex Matthews, Educated Consumers and Ardamus rock the mike. A posse of Rock and Roll Hotel DJs, including Keenan, Big Nick and Ed the Metaphysical, will keep the crowd moving.