The constant rain makes it seem like summer is already a distant memory. So we’re forgetting about pool parties and focusing on all the fun stuff that’s going on indoors. This week, that includes a taste of Brazil at Artisphere, an indie-rock guitar hero taking an acoustic turn at the Kennedy Center and a handful of standout events at the Black Cat — from Sergent Garcia’s self-described “salsamuffin” to the album release show for art-folk band Pree.
Wednesday, Sept. 7
When J Mascis was in town this summer he brought his band, Dinosaur Jr., to the 9:30 Club. He plugged in his guitar and proceeded to create the kind of violent, wild chaos that has made him one of indie rock’s most revered axemen. Tonight there will be a very different side of Mascis on display. The venue — the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage — should be a hint that this won’t be an evening of feedback and squealing solos. On his recent album, “Several Shades of Why,” Mascis traded electric for acoustic and showed that his songwriting skills are as impressive as his noisemaking abilities.
The Textile Museum is putting a cool spin on the whole “party in a museum” idea with Twice Is Nice. The museum’s regular happy hour soiree takes a vintage twist in connection with the exhibit "Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles." Attendees are encouraged to bring their less-than-treasured old garments for a giant swap meet hosted by Trash Cats vintage clothing exchange. In addition to the swap meet, there will be prizes awarded for best vintage clothing ensemble plus food, drinks and music from local rockers Laughing Man — an appropriate band to play at this event as the trio’s loose and limber songs have a bit of a ramshackle, secondhand feel — comfortably familiar but with something new to offer.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Bottom Line’s multitude of happy hour specials puts it near the top of
any list of after-work destinations downtown, and this week, getting
friends together for a drink helps fight ovarian cancer. Donate $5 to
the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and get a wristband good for $2.50 Budweiser and Bud Light bottles, $3 rail drinks, $5.50 flavored vodka drinks and $5.50 Jager and cherry bombs from 4 p.m. on. A DJ starts spinning at 6, and there will be a raffle at 8 p.m., with prizes
that include a trip to Las Vegas.
White Mystery is the guitar-drums brother-sister duo of Alex and Francis Scott Key White. They both sport red curls that they regularly thrash back and forth. It’s a neat visual and suits their herky-jerky garage-punk-thrash. Expect short songs and plenty of sweat at Asefu’s.
On a journey that began in France with a multi-cultural family straddling the European and African continents, Bruno Garcia acquired punk, ska and reggae influences and even helmed an influential French alternative rock band before arriving at the persona of Sergent Garcia. This DJ, bandleader and musicologist calls his style “salsamuffin,” and over eight albums he has thrilled audiences with every new genre he incorporates into each project, spending extended stints in Cuba or Colombia to expand his sound. Washington’s Empresarios, another group that blends styles across the Latin diaspora share the stage with Garcia at the Black Cat.
Friday, Sept. 9
New York, New Jersey and Chicago are always considered the pillars of deep house music, but Baltimore has contributed a number of celebrated talents to the scene and DJ Spen stands among the most influential. Over 20 years, his releases on Code Red have given an underground remixing touch to scores of projects and created many banging big room anthems. Spen takes this U Street Music Hall set to another level with a live performance.
There are few things that puff out the chests of HBCU alums more than a football game serving as proxy for a battle of bragging rights. Events will be jumping off all weekend around Howard and Morehouse’s gridiron clash, from alum gatherings to academic and service opportunities, but it wouldn’t be complete without the parties. Jermaine Dupri and Big Tigger host a major shindig at the Park for the maroon Tigers and blue Bison.
Saturday, Sept. 10
As one of the most inventive pianists in the history of jazz, a progenitor of bebop and the composer of “Round Midnight” and “Straight, No Chaser,” Thelonious Monk left a rich and varied contribution to the canon. Monk died in 1982, but his influence on young musicians continues to be felt through such programs as the annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which trains young musicians and offers free jazz programs and education at public schools around the world. For the past six years, California’s award-winning North Coast Brewery has helped support the institute with sales of its stunning Brother Thelonious, a rich, dark Belgian-style ale. ChurchKey is following suit, hosting an afternoon fundraiser for the institute with nine North Coast beers on draft. Get a taste of the rare Grand Cru, a light Belgian-style ale made with agave nectar and aged in oak barrels; the funky, fruity Le Merle farmhouse saison; the heavyweight Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout; or, of course, the Brother Thelonious. Sip your way through four-ounce tasters or full chalices while a jazz band performs, and feel free to try them all: All proceeds from every North Coast beer go to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
The DC Shorts Film Festival is screening 145 films from 23 countries over the next two weeks. One of those countries is Brazil, which is good enough reason for a Brazilian Carnival party. Rosslyn isn’t quite Rio, but on Saturday night Artisphere will try to make you forget that. There will be music from Alma Tropicalia, D.C.’s excellent band that pays tribute to the psychedelic sounds that grew out of Brazil in the 1960s, as well as the all-female percussion group Batala and Brazilian jazz from Elin. Admission includes an open bar and Brazilian food prepared by Whole Foods.
Even though These United States was based in the District the past few years, it was still surprising to see band members around town. That’s because the group was earning its money the old-fashioned way — on the road. The band’s annual show count was regularly in the hundreds and the group somehow still managed to crank out albums at a one-per-year pace. Sometimes they were twangy; sometimes they were fuzzy; and they were always catchy. TUS will stay together but splinter into different cities after this show at the Black Cat, leaving another group to pick up the title of D.C.’s busiest band.
Today’s big rock event is the Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion. But if you couldn’t snag tickets, don’t worry — there are still other excellent options. At the Red Palace there’s Male Bonding, a trio that’s part of a current crop of young U.K. bands that take their cues from classic ’90s indie rock. There are plenty of hooks to be found underneath the fuzz on the band’s new album, “Endless Now.” Opening is Hospitality, which has earned “band to watch” status thanks to recently signing with Merge Records.
Over at Comet Ping Pong there’s another fast and loud show. Locals the Electrucutions waste no time getting to the point with their hard-hitting blasts of punk rock, the same of which can be said for New York’s Xray Eyeballs. Grave Babies slow things down a bit and add moodier elements, but this is still a show of no-frills rock. Even if you do go to FreeFest, leaving early and missing Black Keys and Deadmau5 in order to hit one of these shows wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
There’s something homey about local art-folk-pop group Pree. That’s mostly due to singer May Tabol’s voice, a shaky and excitable chirp that’s also very inviting. The band employs plenty of arrangements — past shows have included bits of flute and melodica in addition to the usual guitar/bass/drums — but never overdoes things to the point of distraction. The band sets out for two months in support of new album “Folly” after tonight’s show at the Black Cat, so be sure to send them off in style.