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: Hot on the heels of National Daiquiri Day (July 19) comes National Tequila Day (July 24). Although we don’t know who, exactly, created this great holiday, we do encourage you to get out and celebrate. The buzzed-about El Chucho in Columbia Heights is hosting a party in honor of the new Tequila Real, a small, family-run label from Guanajuato, Mexico. All-day specials include $4 shots and $5 margaritas, and the importer will be on hand. Everything on the menu (100 kinds of tequilas and mezcals) will be 20 percent off. Meanwhile, bring a buddy to Georgetown’s Bandolero between 4 p.m. and last call for Tequila for Amigos: Buy any of the restaurant’s 40 tequilas (straight or in a cocktail) and get one free. Imaginary amigos, unfortunately, don’t count.
Tuesday: Two very different versions of punk rock will be on display in the area Tuesday. Many teenagers will be spending the day at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the annual Warped Tour , a corporate-sponsor frenzy with slick, cookie-cutter bands that look and sound more appropriate for a TV commercial than a rock club. Later that night, the teenagers will be the ones onstage at the Black Cat: Iceage , a babyfaced Danish quartet that is punk rock in the much more classic sense. The band’s brief and brutal debut album, “New Brigade,” is 12 songs of messy, urgent and unrefined guitar squalls and whiplash fury. It’s exciting and scary in a way punk rarely is these days.
Thursday: When Queen Makeda closed a few months ago, the owners swore they’d be back soon. Didn’t believe them? The new 1920dc had its soft opening this weekend and all the old regulars came through and packed it out. Like Makeda, 1920dc is a gathering place for hip-hop heads who prefer true school to trap, aren’t into shouting out Ciroc and Patron, and like to vibe out to the classics. It’s “Cheers” for grown-up rap fans. The formula stays the same at the new spot: cheap-and-strong drinks, great DJs and lots of chicken wings. This Thursday features a double dose of fun, pairing karaoke (upstairs) with blogger/comic Leon’s popular “You Know What Really Grinds My Gears” night. Sign up for the open-mike list to deliver your best gripe in the style of Peter Griffin from “Family Guy.”
Saturday: Anniversaries often serve as a good reminder to check back in on a spot that may have drifted from memory. On Saturday, the TNT! crew celebrates a full year of laying on only the thickest retro grooves every last Saturday at Mt. Pleasant’s Haydee’s. The three-headed DJ crew of Mikhail Z., Mad Squirrel and Tariq Haqq mixes it up between heavy funk, Jamaican obscurities, hard-charging R&B and rumbling Latin rhythms. Think of it as all of your favorite niche DJ nights in one. As always, it’s free.
Sunday: Here’s another teenager making a D.C. debut this week. Charli XCX has definite “Next Big Thing” potential, and this tiny show at U Street Music Hall already feels like it could be an “I was there” event. On “Nuclear Seasons,” her biggest hit so far, the 19-year-old U.K. singer is both confident and mysterious. Her voice is chilly but not detached; she’s emotive but never oversings. The result is an ‘80s-flavored slice of electro-pop that is one of the year’s most immediately catchy singles and one that sets a high bar for her upcoming album. Once that album hits, don’t count on her performing in a venue this small again.
Looking for more ideas? There are eight more after the jump.
Tuesday, July 24
The Pizzeria Paradiso in Old Town is celebrating the expansion of its bar — now almost twice as big — with a week of events. Tuesday and Wednesday feature special five-course beer dinners: Tuesday is all Belgian and Italian beers, including the exquisite De Dochter van de Korenaar Peated Oak Aged Embrasse; Wednesday’s American-focused dinner includes Terrapin, Boulevard and the Bruery. All-inclusive tickets are $65 per night. On Thursday, all of the taps are being turned over to San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Company. Fourteen drafts and three casks will be offered from 5 p.m. on, and all beers are half-price from 5 to 7. (Arrive early: We hear the impossible-to-find Green Flash/Founders collaboration Linch Pin will be on tap.)
Wednesday, July 25
Liars has turned into one of the world’s most unpredictable bands over the past decade, shifting from harsh post-punk to experimental sound collage to layered synth madness. So who knows what the band will be up to Wednesday at U Street Music Hall? It’s usually worth hearing, and frontman Angus Andrews is always a blast to watch. Off-kilter pop upstart Unknown Mortal Orchestra opens.
THEEsatisfaction is an Afro-futurist, feminist, left-field downtempo, millennial duo that finally dropped a full-length album on the venerable Sub Pop label this year after four years of collaboration and mixtapes. Washington band lowercase letters joins them at the Black Cat.
Thursday, July 26
Sugar and Spice is a night that celebrates women in music, from ’60s girl groups to ’80 pop singers to ’90s riot grrrls. It’s wonderfully unpredictable, but the dance floor stays packed. DJs Andi Supreme, Sally-Go-Round and Jennder have moved the monthly party from the Rock & Roll Hotel to Wonderland Ballroom, but they’ve kept the cover charge at zero.
Friday, July 27
Local blog All Things Go has made that never-easy leap from the Internet to real life. After a string of increasingly successful showcases at U Street Music Hall, ATG celebrates a year of live events with an impressive blowout at the 9:30 Club. RAC and the Knocks were two fan favorites at the second stage of this year’s Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather. POP ETC used to be the Morning Benders but changed its name, if not its polished indie-pop sound.
The monthly Beat City party at Chief Ike’s is a night of honest, diverse rock-and-roll — Blondie to the Gossip, Stereolab to Blur, the Cars to Def Leppard. It’s the diametric opposite of most gay dance parties in D.C., which focus on circuit tunes or retro hits. There’s no cover charge, beers are two-for-$5 all night and a beer-and-a-shot combo is $5 until midnight.
Sunday, July 29
Bluegrass singer Jim Lauderdale is a legend on the Americana scene. He has won multiple best bluegrass album Grammys, including 2002’s collaboration with Ralph Stanley, “Lost in the Lonesome Pines.” He has written songs for George Jones, George Strait, the Dixie Chicks and Vince Gill, and is a key figure in the American Beauty Project, which reimagines Grateful Dead songs in a more traditional performance setting. And he’s the longtime host of the annual Americana Music Awards. Lauderdale visits Washington this week as part of Hill Country’s new monthly Gospel Supper series , which has musicians performing in the Boot Bar on Sunday afternoon while concertgoers dine on picnic-style brisket, fried chicken and sides. Tickets for the show are $15; a meal costs $20.
Monday, July 30
Jammin Java is still a good place for all-ages audiences to rock out without coming into D.C. The bills are interesting, too: Tonight’s pairing is Kokayi’s hip-hop and funk with Spirit Animal’s indie dance pop.