Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus round up the week’s top happy hours, concerts and dance parties. Here are four we think you shouldn’t miss:
Wednesday: The best thing about the Hip-Hop Gods Tour at the 9:30 Club is that it’s not a somewhat-sad gathering of oldies artists trying to leverage a handful of time-worn hits. No, wait. Actually, the best thing about the Hip-Hop Gods Tour is that it’s anchored by Public Enemy. So the second best thing is that the tour collects golden-era hip-hop artists who don’t show up in the standard old-school starter kit. X-Clan and Wise Intelligent represent the era of treasured album cuts on cassettes, and both still make relevant music today. Son of Berzerk was way ahead of its time 20 years ago, so maybe folks are ready to finally understand them now. DJ Johnny Juice binds the whole tour together, and he’s still one of the nicest jocks to cut it up on two decks.
Wednesday: This is a pretty slow week, concert-wise. Some clubs are closing on random nights, but the Black Cat is filling its schedule with movie double-features and happy-hour specials. The undoubted highlight is the wrestling-themed “ No DQs ” on Wednesday night. First up is “Over the Top,” a 1987 flick about a down-on-his-luck trucker (Sylvester Stallone) who tries to repair his relationship with his estranged son by entering an arm-wrestling championship in Las Vegas. After the credits roll on that gem, it’s time for “No Holds Barred,” starring Hulk Hogan as a WWF champion wrestler who battles a sleazy network chief and a mysterious challenger. Ask your bartender about “Real American” beer-and-a-shot specials.
Thursday: ‘Tis the season for charity events at bars. Pizzeria Paradiso is bringing back last year’s “ Give a Can, Get a Can ” fundraiser for Martha’s Table. Bring a nonperishable can of food to the Dupont Circle restaurant Friday, and you’ll get a free can of beer. Bring two cans of food, get two cans of beer. And so on. The best part: Because you’re at a serious beer bar, you can trade a can of green beans for a can of DC Brau, Oskar Blues or Maui, among other brews. The trade-in runs all day, so feel free to stop by at lunch or happy hour. If you can’t make it this week, Paradiso is running similar events at its locations in Old Town Alexandria (Dec. 6) and Georgetown (Dec. 13).
Friday: “Walk on By.” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” “The Look of Love.” “I Say a Little Prayer.” “What the World Needs Now.” Few songwriters had as much impact on the popular music of the past 50 years as Burt Bacharach. Washington R&B vocalist Julia Nixon - a veteran of Broadway’s “Dreamgirls” - lends her sumptuous voice to the Bacharach catalog during two shows at Strathmore. (The 7:30 p.m. show is sold out, but tickets remain for the 9:30 p.m. concert.)
There are even more ideas after the jump, including the debut of a once-a-year beer at ChurchKey, country music hero Billy Joe Shaver at the Hamilton and Virginia ciders on tap at Meridian Pint.
Tuesday, Nov. 27
Cider has been super-hot this year, but not the Strongbow and Woodchuck that have long been bar fixtures. The trendy obsession with small-producer beers has led to an interest in small producers of hard cider. We’re lucky to have a number of stellar cider producers in Virginia, one of which is Bold Rock, located in Nellysford in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bold Rock cidermaster Brian Shanks is bringing Virginia Draft and Virginia Bold to Meridian Pint for a night of tastings. Pints will be $4 until 8 p.m. and $5 after.
Wednesday, Nov. 28
Going to the Public Enemy show mentioned above? Continue basking in your full b-boy bonafides afterwords at Classic Material at Fever Bar and Lounge. The city’s only strictly vinyl classic hip-hop night features happy hour beginning at 7 p.m. and a full night of DJs Roz and D-Skillz digging in the crates, literally.
Thursday, Nov. 29
Make a list of the heroes of outlaw country, and Billy Joe Shaver will be up there with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. He might not be as famous, but Shaver wrote some of country’s biggest songs (including most of Jennings’s landmark “Honky Tonk Heroes” album), and his “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” album is widely considered a classic. Shaver has spent decades touring relentlessly and battling his personal demons, but a new live album, recorded last year in Fort Worth, shows a man who’s still a potent force in concert. Hear the proof at the Hamilton.
If you’re making the rounds of D.C.’s teeming comedy scene, you might want to add Slim’s Comedy Show at Jin Lounge to the list. Always free, it provides a good mix of established comics and those seeking polish on the open mike. Happy hour runs from 6 to 8 p.m. before Slim kicks off Brown Girl Comedy Night at 8:30.
Saturday, Dec. 1
Once a year, Belgium’s Cantillon brewery releases a limited number of kegs of a one-time-only beer called Zwanze at 35 beer bars around the world, and Belgian beer fans get very, very excited. ChurchKey is again one of those lucky bars on Zwanze Day and will have Zwanze 2012 — reportedly a tart beer with rhubarb soaked in lambic ale — on tap, along with a two-year-old unblended Cantillon lambic. (Fritz tried the latter during his recent trip to Brussels, and it’s very tart and very tasty.) The beer starts flowing at 3 p.m., but the bar gets packed much earlier than that. Tide yourself over with bottles of Cantillon, including gueze, the unblended Iris lambic or the Fou Foune apricot-flavored lambic.
Pleasurekraft — the one-two techno punch of D.C. DJ Kaveh Soroush and Stockholm-based DJ Kalle Ronngardh — makes spiky tech-house tunes that work as well in dark late-night dance clubs as they do on runways. (The duo’s songs have been featured on various “Next Top Model” shows.) Pleasurekraft headlines what should be a busy night at U Street Music Hall, alongside Funkdamentalist and George K.