Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
This week’s top five events
Wednesday: It seems like every other bar is throwing an ugly sweater holiday party this year, but Cafe Saint-Ex’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party sounds like a real winner. Beyond the inevitable “best dressed” contest - with a $50 gift card for the most cringe-inducing outfit - the party features $5 hot buttered rum, spiked eggnog and winter beers, free Christmas cookies and soulful tunes spun by DJ Soul Call Paul.
Thursday: It has been quite a year for Washington-area beer lovers, with the debut of the DC Brau, Chocolate City, 3 Stars and Lost Rhino breweries, plus the continued expansion of Alexandria’s Port City. Celebrate by lifting a glass of each at Smoke and Barrel’s first beer dinner. The “ 5x5 ” event features two beers from each brewery paired with a five-course meal.
Saturday: Back in 2003, Pink Floyd was honored with the reggae cover album “Dub Side of The Moon,” which still has legs. Phish and the Clash’s Joe Strummer have also gotten the dub treatment. And then an assembly of Baltimore and DC area musicians created Yellow Dubmarine , reworking the Beatles “Abbey Road” in a shuffling, bass-heavy, slow-skanking style. Horns feature prominently, reshaping iconic melody lines from the original album in different voicings. And the rhythms range from rock steady to ska, a testament to how malleable yet iconic the original Beatles material is. The eight-man reggae ensemble plays the entire “Abbey Dub” tribute to the Fab Four at the State Theatre this week.
Saturday: The D.C. rock group Hume has put about 20,000 miles on its van over the past few months traversing the country to bring its razor-sharp indie-prog-punk songs to basements, coffee shops, clubs and various DIY spaces. The band excels at stopping on a dime and changing directions, often multiple times within the same song. The playing is incredibly tight, and the songs are sprawling without ever losing direction. The band ends the year with a well-earned hometown show at the Shop, located in the Fort Fringe art space.
Sunday: The buzz on D.C. rapper Fat Trel has been building for a couple of years now, and it’s starting to make it out of the DMV. After last year’s “No Secrets” mixtape and this year’s “April Foolz,” it became apparent that he was entering the upper echelon of street rappers. He’s a fierce and passionate storyteller with a sinister edge that can’t be faked. For this performance at U Street Music Hall, Trel will be backed by a live band, and it could be a signature performance for a soon-to-be breakout star.
Looking for other ideas? There are nine more after the jump.
Thursday, Dec. 15
The One Love Massive squad wants you to help add some heft to Santa’s bag this Christmas. The Video Killers VJs will splice visuals on two screens at Science Club while DJ Oso Fresh rocks straight classics all night on vinyl at the neighboring Sweet Spot. Bring a toy to donate to the kids at Covenant House.
Friday, Dec. 16
It’s been a busy year for local retro rockers U.S. Royalty : In between appearances at the South by Southwest and CMJ festivals, the band dropped its first album, “Mirrors.” The fashion stars celebrate a 2011 to remember with a free concert on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
If you listened to ska in the late-’90s you should absolutely feel ashamed of the decisions you made. But two bands that it’s still OK to like are the Pietasters and the Slackers , who remain excellent bands more than a decade after the brief ska fad. Catch them at 9:30 Club.
Saturday, Dec. 17
The all-’90s Peach Pit dance party celebrates the holidays at DC9 with a special guest: Keenan Orr, the Eighteenth Street Lounge resident who won “Best DJ” in last year’s Metro Weekly magazine reader’s poll.
‘Tis the season for bar crawls: The Snow Day party features $2.50 beers, $3 rail drinks and $4 shots at six bars between Farragut Square and Dupont Circle. Start at the Front Page or BlackFinn at 1 p.m., and you’ll get deals until 8 p.m. at the Madhatter, the Mighty Pint, the 19th or Bread and Brew.
Sunday, Dec. 18
Kicks for Kids brings a new twist to the traditional holiday charity drive. A $10 donation at the 9:30 Club gets you assorted swag and guarantees some fresh footwear for a kid at Children’s National Medical Center or National Children’s Center. Maybach Music’s Meek Mill headlines the show along with a slate of hot DMV rap stars, including Black Alley Band, Gods’illa and Pro’verb.
Monday, Dec. 19
For fans of holiday beers, Rustico’s annual Festivus Celebration is two nights to treasure. It begins on Dec. 19 at the Ballston restaurant, where there will be a dozen special seasonal brews on tap. The following night, the Alexandria location pours 12 more and hands out free glassware. Anyone who attends both nights gets entered into a raffle for gift cards, rare bottles of beer and other goodies.
We do not endorse this show in the classic sense, but if you are looking for the week’s (month’s? year’s?) most bizarre concert with highest possibility of a trainwreck then Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland ’s 9:30 Club Christmas show is one not to miss.