Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
This week’s top five recommended events:
Back in August, Georgetown’s Saloun played host to Atlanta’s Yacht Rock Revue , a tribute act that specializes in note-for-note covers of Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne and Hall and Oates. The band members wore tight polyester shirts, leisure suits and captain’s hats, as did many in the audience. They shimmied in unison while performing “What a Fool Believes,” “Steal Away” and other soft-rock hits while the audience sang along and cheered every sax solo and bongo beat. It would come off as an inside joke if the musicianship wasn’t so top-notch. (Watch this video for proof.) The band returns for its second D.C. show this Thursday at the Mason Inn, the Glover Park tavern formerly known as Gin & Tonic (and before that, the Grog and Tankard).
Seeing a local show with the name Monument attached to it is quickly becoming a stamp of approval. The local organization presents semi-regular area concerts by notable up-and-coming bands and each time a different charitable group gets the proceeds. This Thursday at DC9, the music will be provided by Suckers , a Brooklyn band that sounds exactly like a Brooklyn band, with a sophisticated indie-pop sound and minor orchestral flourishes. Opening is the infection dance-pop band Rewards, which now has a debut single out on standout label DFA Records. This show’s beneficiary is Common Good City Farm, a local nonprofit with a mission to “grow food, educate and help low-income D.C. community members meet their food needs.”
Washingtonians love to talk about themselves. How else to explain the growing number of events where people get onstage and tell stories about their real lives to a crowd of strangers? These range from the more conventional SpeakEasy events, where all tales center on a common theme, or the hilarious-meets-cringeworthy Mortified, where you can hear professional women fearlessly reading their seventh-grade love poems and diary entries. One of the best small groups is Story League , which is hosting a show and mixer at the cozy Black Fox Lounge in Dupont on Thursday evening. Stop by to hear an hour of Halloween-related stories, then hang around for a meet-and-greet fueled by $5 Absolut cocktails. Because of the theme, costumes are encouraged, but not required.
The Mansion at Strathmore’s Friday Night Eclectic series returns this weekend with a strong lineup of three local acts: Bellflur, Mittenfields and Devin Ocampo. Bellflur had one of the best local rock releases of 2010 with “Asleep. Asleep,” a dreamy collection of songs that paid close attention to melody, texture and mood. Mittenfields plays similarly psychedelic rock while Ocampo is best known for his work with D.C. post-punk staples Medications. In addition to the music, there will be rock show posters designed by Rich Bernett and other local artists on display.
With the vintage synthesizers and analog drum machines of a bygone era, Dam-Funk continues to swear his allegiance to the funk. But instead of channeling James Brown, Dam-Funk’s mid-tempo compositions reference the spacey, bouncing styles of Steve Arrington or Roger Troutman. Dam-Funk revived the genre when he burst onto the scene with his debut release two years ago, and he’s been carrying the torch, curating underground dance parties where he rocks rare releases on the original vinyl. When he wasn’t building up his Funkmosphere events in his hometown of Los Angeles, he was in the lab amassing a catalog of his own material using the same techniques on the records he studied, waiting to funk up a whole new generation — like the one you’ll find at Rock and Roll Hotel Sunday night.
Like these ideas? You’ll find 10 more picks for the week after the jump.
Wednesday, Oct. 26
Georgia’s Terrapin Brewing and Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing have teamed up to brew their first collaboration: Peotech, made with local Georgia and Colorado peaches. Sample it, along with two rare Terrapin brews and a pair of rare Left Hand beers at a special happy hour tapping party at Old Town’s Pizzeria Paradiso. Beers are $3 each between 5 and 7, and $5 after that.
There’s been a lot of talk about “Nevermind” and other albums released in 1991, but what’s undeservedly missing from most of those lists is Matthew Sweet ’s breakthrough “Girlfriend,” which gave us the power-pop gems “Divine Intervention” and the soaring title tune. He performs the album in its entirety at the Birchmere.
Thursday, Oct. 27
D.C. has a history of giving the world unique songstresses, from Roberta Flack to Shirley Horn. Ayanna Gregory continues this tradition, honoring the soul and jazz luminaries of the area’s past and maintaining the same standard of excellence. Gregory invites fans new and old to celebrate her 40th birthday at Bohemian Caverns and listen to her newly completed album.
The Washington National Opera has been aggressively trying to lure a younger audience — check out those cheap Generation O tickets — and now it’s moved into the happy hour world. To promote the upcoming “ Lucia di Lammermoor ,” the Opera is hosting a happy hour at the new Black Jack on 14th Street with discounted drinks, giveaways and a sudden-death bocce tournament on the bar’s two indoor courts.
Friday, Oct. 28
Acoustic-techno? Yes, this is a thing, and German group Brandt Brauer Frick does it pretty well. The gentle harp and guitars over lightly thumping electronic beats make a unique and intriguing sound. Catch them at Red Palace on a rare U.S. tour.
Saturday, Oct. 29
A month after hosting Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin -- a pair of standouts from San Francisco’s thriving garage rock scene -- two more Bay Area up-and-comers will hit Comet Ping Pong. Wax Idols and Terry Malts both play songs that are noisy, catchy and more than just fuzz and power chords.
At Jimmy Valentine’s annual Halloween party, you can bypass drunken hordes, wristband snafus and cheesy cover bands for a party with DJs playing music you’d rather dance to than classify. The slate of selectors include Joe L., Allgoodfunkalliance and the Brothers Brau, who are apparently spinning these days when not serving up local brews. A costume is required.
“Transcendental black metal” band Liturgy (read: black metal for people who don’t usually like black metal) is the first of three bands playing Saturday at the Black Cat but it’s the main draw. Otherworldly drummer Greg Fox, whose hyperspeed blasts form the foundation of the band’s sound, is leaving the band after tonight’s show, the last on the band’s current tour.
Sunday, Oct. 30
The Tilted Torch variety show ’s usual blend of hula hooping, belly dance, burlesque, sideshow acts and sleight of hand takes a turn for the ghoulish at the annual Spook-o-Rama party at Red Palace. Get tickets in advance and save $5 at the door.