Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are four we think you really can’t miss.
Thursday: The next few days bring the winter solstice, Christmas, Festivus and, depending on your reading of the Mayan calendar, the end of the world. You can celebrate all of these things at once at Rustico’s annual Festivus Celebration on Thursday night. Sip some of the country’s best holiday brews, including Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Bell’s Christmas Ale and the Bruery’s 5 Golden Rings, and take home souvenir glassware. Air grievances around the Festivus pole and sample a “Seinfeld”-inspired menu. And, for those of you looking forward to doomsday, order from the End of the World Draft List, where you’ll find DC Brau’s On the Wings of Armageddon, Flying Dog’s the Fear and Dogfish Head’s Hellhound on My Ale. It’s a popular and festive annual event, so early arrival is strongly suggested.
Friday: Angola’s home-grown kuduro music is a hypnotically repetitive, relentlessly uptempo fusion of soca, zouk and African percussion that’s liberally sprinkled with electro beats, air-raid sound effects and random samples. It has become wildly popular among bloggers and DJs looking for a new sound, but few have experienced kuduro the way it is in the Angolan capital of Luanda, accompanied by wild dancing and improvised dance battles. Well, Friday night is your first chance. Global kuduro ambassadors Os Kuduristas are visiting Tropicalia with MC Fogo de Deus, and they’re offering a full evening of cultural entertainment, starting with a kuduro dance workshop and demonstration from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by dance battles and performances from 9 to 11 p.m. There’s no cover charge all night.
Sunday: With all of the Christmakwannukah cheer in the air, let us not forget about Festivus, the important holiday of consumer resistance. After your Sunday evening meal, head to Jimmy Valentine’s as DJs Joe L, Aaron Lee and Joel Chandler perform Feats of Strength on the turntables, mixing banging dance music. There will be a box stationed at the Festivus pole to collect Grievances, which will be read over the public address system.
Monday: If you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s no reason to sit home alone with reruns and Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve. The long-running MatzoBall and Gefilte Fish Gala offer a pair of options for Jewish singles and couples looking for something to do while raising money for charity. The MatzoBall has moved to Ultrabar, where there will be three floors of DJs spinning everything from ‘80s pop to current hip-hop. A portion of proceeds benefit the Holocaust Museum. Meanwhile, the Gefilte Fish Gala is taking over Penn Social, where guests can mix and mingle while playing Skee-ball, sampling drink specials or getting down to ‘80s music. There’s a $5 suggested donation at the door, benefiting the Sharsheret breast cancer charity, and organizers also will be collecting canned goods and used clothing.
After the jump: Wayne Wonder in Hyattsville, heavy-metal cocktails, local hip-hop bands and the greatest hits of the ’90s.
Tuesday, Dec. 18
For $8 tonight, you can see two up-and-coming hip-hop bands at DC9 — All the Best Kids and the Whole Damme Delegation — plus Uptown XO, one of D.C.’s rap standard bearers. The Whole Damme Delegation classifies itself as “the world’s least definable hip-hop band,” which actually is not hyperbole.
Wednesday, Dec. 19
DJ Asho’s events have long been the most authentic outlets for Afro-Cuban dance and culture on the D.C. nightlife scene, bringing out Cuban expats and Latin music fans for nights of timba, rumba and son. It has been a year since his last head-to-head selectors’ battle with DJ Reyna, so they’re revisiting their A La Batalla Cuban dance night at El Rincon Espanol.
The always-rocking Spirits in Black heavy metal cocktail party is leaving the U Street corridor for the first time, setting up shop at Breadsoda. Dan Searing (Room 11), Patrick Owens (Tabard Inn) and Joey Ambrose (P.O.V.) are mixing up special metal-themed cocktails while DJs spin thrash, death and speed metal. (Do you loose cool points for Wii bowling while Slayer is playing?)
Friday, Dec. 21
Not many local DJs can sell out the 9:30 Club, but Will Eastman and Brian Billion have something special going with No Scrubs , the all-’90s dance party that visits the 9:30 Club two or three times a year. Guilty pleasures, top 40 bangers, jock jams, Nate Dogg — the duo spins it all.
Saturday, Dec. 22
It has been almost a decade since Wayne Wonder was hitting the charts with “No Letting Go” and other reggae-infused hip-hop tracks, but he had been recording in Jamaica for almost two decades before that, and he has kept his career going with a string of R&B-influenced dancehall records ever since, even if they haven’t made a dent on American radio. Wonder released an album called “My Way” last week, and he’ll perform tracks off it “up close and personal” at Hyattsville’s Crystal Lounge this weekend.
Bill Kirchen is one of the finest honky-tonk guitarists alive, and his annual holiday shows at the Birchmere are always a riot, thanks to rave-up versions of such forgotten holiday classics as Chuck Berry’s “Run Run Rudolph” and Commander Cody’s “Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas” — a song Kirchen performed during his days in Cody’s Lost Planet Airmen.