Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. These are the five events you can’t miss in the next seven days:
Tuesday: There’s been a lot of talk about DC Brau, 3 Stars and Chocolate City beers, but the truth is there are dozens of brewers in Washington, and Meridian Pint is offering the chance to taste their products for free. At the semi-regular Home Brewers Match Up , you can sip beverages made by two dozen amateur brewers - everything from hoppy IPAs to chocolate-chipotle stouts - and vote for your three favorites. (There’s a big tournament-of-champions showdown at the end of the year.) Admission and beer samples are free, but get to Meridian Pint’s basement bar on the early side, because the better beers tend to run out fast.
Wednesday: You can say that Meklit Hadero is internationally influenced, but her music doesn’t fit in the cliche “world music” bin. She naturally assimilates both Western and East African traditions into her music in a way that evades focus on any individual element. Her style is folk in that she shines in an acoustic setting, but she also touches on jazz while doing so. Hadero was born in Ethiopia but assembled all the facets of her music while coming up in various San Francisco music scenes. Don’t miss her sensuous presence and delightful voice at Artisphere.
Saturday: Here’s a concertgoing experience that promises to be different. Assemble is an aptly named event that brings together a handful of musicians at Comet Ping Pong for an improvised exercise that, we hope, ends with something cool. Saturday’s edition features Bob Boilen of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” (and former D.C. new wave star), Fugazi/French Toast percussionist Jerry Busher and Patrick Noecker of These Are Powers. They’ll sit in a circle and play their own micro-jams for a few minutes before passing the invisible baton to the next person. Eventually they’ll team up for a 10-minute jam. Video projections by Robin Hill will run continuously. After the experiment, get ready for loud music by Expensive [Expletive], a band that is percussive and funky enough to use a name inspired by Fela Kuti’s classic album.
Saturday: In the aftermath of holiday party season, many people cut down their drinking in January or give up altogether. But now that we’re into February, it might be time to cut loose again. This weekend, Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church is hosting its annual Barleywine Festival , celebrating the pumped-up beer style that goes over the top in terms of flavor, hops and alcohol level. (These beauties clock in between 9 and 15 percent alcohol by volume.) There will be about 30 barleywines to sample, including two from Mad Fox and others from Dogfish Head, Rogue, He’Brew and Heavy Seas, plus the famous Samichlaus from Austria’s Schloss Eggenberg. Each will be sold for $3 for a four-ounce glass. The party runs all day, with a special food menu and music by local blues and funk band Pebble to Pearl between 5 and 9 p.m. (Reminder: Take Metro or bring a designated driver.)
Sunday: The Red Palace hosts a triple bill of gloomy rock that’s fitting for a winter Sunday night. The headliners, This Will Destroy You , play instrumental rock that reaches thrilling peaks naturally and organically without falling into a simple soft-loud formula. Mountains play an entrancing brand of droning, ambient music, the kind that’ll make you wish the venue provided plush seats. Amen Dunes will provide some vocals, but expect them to be buried and coated in plenty of reverb. The band is touring in support of 2011 album “Through Donkey Jaw,” which is filled with dark dirges from which subtle hooks and slight rays of light frequently poke to the surface.
Still want more? We have 10 more ideas after the jump.
Tuesday, Feb. 7
Washington still has an active, constantly churning hip-hop scene of hungry MCs striving for recognition. At Liv’s weekly Up and Up Open Mike, you’ll find Mambo Sauce or Sound of the City backing up aspiring rappers and vocalists as the evening’s house band. Such top rap acts as Substantial and Gods’illa stop by to rock the set, along with a stream of newcomers aspiring to be as dope as those acts.
Wednesday, Feb. 8
Excited about the Black Tambourine reunion show at Artisphere in April? Then don’t miss
at the Black Cat this week. The
U.K. group plays indie-pop and matches up with the genre’s titans from a few decades back.
Thursday, Feb. 9
Friday, Feb. 10
The Yacht Rock Revue is one of the smoothest bands around, wowing crowds with note-perfect Hall and Oates, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald covers that transcend the irony of 20-somethings sporting polyester leisurewear and sailing caps. The Atlanta group sails into the State Theatre this week to perform at a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Call it fundraising for jitterbugs: The Have a Heart Hop at the Dulles Hilton features the Rock & Roll Relics performing the music of Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Dion & the Belmonts; free swing dance lessons; and a silent auction, all to benefit Lucky Dog Animal Rescue League and the Honor Flight Network, a program that helps veterans visit the World War II Memorial and other Washington landmarks.
Tatsuya Nakatani is revered as a percussionist and experimental musician who creates his own instruments and draws otherworldly sounds from singing bowls, bowed gongs and various metal objects. On Friday he leads the Nakatani Gong Orchestra through what is sure to be a fascinating performance on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
Saturday, Feb. 11
D.C. hip-hop elder statesman Head-Roc has been curating a community-focused hangout spot at Ras in Petworth. The recipe is heaping plates from the kitchen, classic banging hip-hop beats and featured performances. Catch Head-Roc himself performing at this week’s show.
Sunday, Feb. 12
Vinyl junkies, prepare your crate-digging fingers. The DC Record Fair returns with more than 40 dealers selling LPs at Riot Act Comedy Theater. As always, there will be DJs spinning throughout, this time including members of Ra Ra Rasputin and Phenomenal Handclap Band and Volta Bureau’s Will Eastman.
The Sunday afternoon Guil-Tea dance on the roofdeck of Nellie’s quickly became a staple last summer, thanks to a mix of guilty-pleasure top-40 tunes and cheap drinks. While 90-degree days are something of a memory at this point, DJ Shea Van Horn is bringing the party back to the now tented-and-heated roof for a special event called Iced-Tea . Dress to impress: The Winter Werq Walk Off will allow anyone wearing a winter-themed outfit to strut their stuff on a catwalk to win prizes. There’s no cover charge.
Monday, Feb. 13
If you’ve ever visited Galaxy Hut, you’ve seen paintings by Ben Claassen, the artist behind the syndicated cartoon “ Dirt Farm .” For the first time in years, Classeen will be displaying all new art on the Hut’s walls, which calls for a celebration. Aside from the great beer and low-key vibe that the bar is known for, the Last Minute Valentine party will feature music by the Torches and Third Channel, the solo project of the Aquarium’s Jason Hutto, standup comedy by Mickey Free and Ellie Beziat and a “Valentine’s Day Sappy Love Mix” between entertainers.