Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are five we think you shouldn’t miss.
Wednesday: Of all of the breweries readying to open in the District, none has the buzz of Bluejacket, a collaboration between the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (the owners of ChurchKey and Rustico) and brewer Megan Parisi, formerly of the Cambridge Brewing Co. The brewpub won’t open in a space near the Navy Yard until 2013, but Parisi and ChurchKey beer director Greg Engert have been crisscrossing the country to create Bluejacket beers in collaboration with some of the country’s top breweries, including Florida’s Cigar City and California’s the Bruery and the Pizza Port. You can try the first five Bluejacket beers at ChurchKey this week, including a Scotch ale from Pizza Port, a Belgian quadruple ale made with plums at the Bruery, and Black Berliner Techno Weiss, a sour Berliner weiss made with dark roasted malt. Want to try them all? Make sure you order four-ounce taster glasses instead of full pours.
Thursday: Fly a tie-day flag at half-staff Wednesday; it would have been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday . His former Grateful Dead bandmates keep on truckin’, but, let’s face it, it’s just not the same without Jerry. On Thursday, the Hamilton plays host to a birthday celebration featuring performances by John Kadlecik, who plays with the Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in their new band, Furthur, and Joe Uehlein, who has a long tradition of celebrating Garcia’s birthday with a local tribute concert.
Friday: In D.C., music royalty sometimes walks quietly among us instead of basking in accolades. That was the case with Kenneth Ruddock, also known as Digital K. Ruddock, who died suddenly last month and was the son of renowned dub scientist and producer King Tubby. Tubby elevated working a mixing desk into its own genre of music, so much so that Jamaican dub became the foundation for many styles of electronic music. Ruddock continued the dub tradition and expanded it with his own releases and DJ work. Digital K influenced many Washington DJs and producers, many of whom will join dancehall pioneer Sister Nancy at a tribute concert at Ras Hall.
Saturday: As much as the first visit of a young buzz band or a reunion show by an old favorite, one of the highlights of the Black Cat’s concert calendar has been Run for Cover. The annual concert features one-time-only “supergroups” that are actually creative cover bands. Some of last year’s bands included Gaga Gaga Hey (Lady Gaga songs, Ramones style) and Su Su Suicide (Phil Collins songs by the way of No Wave pioneers Suicide). This year, we’re hoping to hear Sigur Ross (symphonic Icelandic gangsta rap), but whatever creations the participants have cooked up are bound to be fun. This Run for Cover concert, which benefits Girls Rock! DC, is also rumored to be the last one.
Saturday: In this era of You Tube, Spotify and Internet radio, it’s hard to remember the days when it was difficult to discover new music, and even harder to find a bar or nightclub that would play it. For Washington’s punks and outsiders back in the ‘80s, heaven was a dark little Georgetown nightspot called Poseurs, where VJs spun videos - and records - by of-the-moment new wave, goth, industrial and hip-hop bands. The little two-room club at 34th and M streets is but a memory, but a group of Poseurs’ movers and shakers, including former general manager Brian Kane and legendary DJ Mohawk Adam Lief, are reuniting for the Poseurs 30th-anniversary dance party at the Rock & Roll Hotel. (Truth be told, it’s not quite the 30th anniversary, since Poseurs opened in April 1983, but who’s counting?) Lief, who went on to host parties at Tracks and Nation after Poseurs closed in 1989, will be the featured attraction in the DJ booth, along with “surprise guests.” Expect it to feel like one big new-wave class reunion, even if you’re too young to have grooved to New Order or Nitzer Ebb at Poseurs.
Looking for more ideas? There are 10 after the jump.
Wednesday, August 1
Joan Soriano is one of the most beloved singer-guitarists in bachata, the Dominican style of music that is best for dancing in the outdoors. The free outdoor show at Strathmore is a perfect summer treat.
The brand-new 1920dc continues to provide a home for dedicated hip-hop heads. They’ll be celebrating more than two decades of Dr. Dre’s career with a unique twist: D.C. rap rock band NDelible will perform the entire “Chronic” album to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release.
We know there are people from D.C. who always find reasons not to go to Northern Virginia, even if they miss out on good stuff. Well, those folks luck out tonight when Smoke and Barrel taps 10 beers from the Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church. Ordinarily, you have to go to the brewpub if you want to try brewer Bill Madden’s citrusy Molotov Hoptail double IPA or the award-winning Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, but this time, D.C. dwellers have to travel only as far as Adams Morgan.
Thursday, August 2
The Fort Reno season ends with what is arguably the highlight — Chain and the Gang. You’ve seen Ian Svenonius plenty of times in a dark nightclub; now see him outdoors at dusk.
If you like your happy hour with live jazz and an open bar, Jazz on Jackson Place remains one of the summer’s best deals. Held in the private courtyard of Decatur House, across Lafayette Square from the White House, the monthly concert features two hours of music, unlimited wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres and tours of the historic house for just $25. This time around, vocalist and pianist Yvonne Johnson leads her trio in a program of smooth and funky tunes.
Saturday, August 4
Alex Minoff goes by the stage name Alex, so it takes some serious sleuthing to find anything about him on the Internet. So instead of working on lists of relevant keywords, just check out his show at Comet Ping Pong, and expect clever, sometimes-cheeky songs in the vein of Magnetic Fields and Jonathan Richman.
How did August get here so quickly? Where did the summer go? You may not find answers at the End of Summer Bummer, a night of short films, music and art at the Fridge, sponsored by the quirky online zine Pandahead, but at least you’ll be entertained on a sticky summer night.
Speaking of the end of summer, Saturday is your last chance to hang out at the Capitol Skyline pool with the Brightest Young Things collective. The annual u party features DJs spinning tech house, electro, minimal and other electronic dance music while hundreds of swimsuit-clad revelers float around the pool atop inflatable animals and bars dish up cold beers and frozen drinks. Get tickets in advance; the July pool party sold out about noon.(Besides, the first 100 people through the door get a free burger off the grill.)
Aesop Rock was a leftfield act on the ’90s underground alternative hip-hop scene, and the San Francisco-based MC continues to stretch the aesthetics of hip-hop despite the fact that his label, Def Jux, is on hiatus. Catch him at the 9:30 Club.
Monday, August 6
Brooklyn’s Ava Luna plays a warped brand of stuttering R&B that’s equally heavy on sqawking synth surges and sweet, layered female harmonies. It’s not an everyday combination but one that’s very invigorating. Catch the up-and-coming group at DC9.