Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are five you can’t miss:
Tuesday: The Wedding Present ’s David Gedge has a lifetime supply of bitterness and regret. “He’s got you back and that’s all he wants / A lot more than I’m left with,” he sang on “Dalliance,” a standout from the band’s cult classic 1991 album, “Seamonsters.” “I hope he’s really the one / Who will make all your dreams come true,” he offers on “You Jane,” from the brand new “Valentina.” Still hung up, huh? Not that we’re complaining, since this misfortune has led to one of the best rock songbooks of the past few decades. “Seamonsters” is the catalogue standout, a blistering collection on which the guitars are as stormy as Gedge’s relationships. At the Rock & Roll Hotel, the band will perform that album in full, as well as songs from “Valentina.” It will be a great show, if not exactly the greatest date night.
Wednesday: For some people, the weekend doesn’t begin with Friday happy hour — it officially arrives when DJ Annie Mac kicks off her Friday evening show on the BBC’s Radio 1 (from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT). Every week, Annie and guests deliver a blistering blend that defies genres: Her take on bleeding-edge dance music takes in dubstep, electro, electro-funk, electro-house, drum’n’bass — anything she thinks you should be listening to (she’s usually right). Off the air, Annie Mac organizes tours of up-and-coming DJs under the banner of “Annie Mac Presents” and releases an annual CD compilation under the same name. But Annie Mac is more than a frontwoman; she’s one heck of a DJ, as she proved on a sonically adventurous visit to U Street Music Hall back in 2010. She returns this week for another go, and if you love dance music, you’d be a fool to miss it.
Sunday: Jean-Michel Basquiat left a blazing imprint on the art world over a few short years in the 1980s, jumping from street art to fine art and fueling a downtown Manhattan creative scene that is still dissected and mined for inspiration. He was also involved in music, forming the band Gray with artist Michael Holman. Reformed in 2010 with DJ and composer Nicholas Taylor, Gray revisited their art-noise sound and will be performing selections from the group’s 2010 album, “Shades Of . . . ,” at the Corcoran, along with tracks never publicly unveiled.
Sunday: After the Don-proposes-to-Megan bombshell at the end of last season’s “Mad Men,” fans are looking forward to Sunday’s two-hour premiere of Season 5. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the show’s return. Bourbon Steak’s swanky soiree features a cocktail reception with classic ’60s drinks, a three-course meal with such retro dishes as Swedish meatballs and Beef Wellington, and an episode viewing in the Four Seasons’ private dining room. Prizes will be awarded for the best ’60s fashions. The $75 ticket includes food and drinks.
For something more low-key, the “Mad Men” viewing party at Lounge 201 combines ’60s costume and trivia contests, retro cocktails, a chance to rewatch the final two episodes of Season 4 (just in case you need to be reminded of what happened), the show on numerous TVs, and a swag bag. General admission is $10, but two open-bar packages are available: Get unlimited rail drinks from 7 to 9 p.m. for $20, or upgrade to name brands for $30.
Monday: Tiesto is arguably the biggest DJ in the world, the kind who spins house and electronic dance music in front of sold-out crowds at Los Angeles’ Home Depot Center (26,000 capacity) and even larger crowds in European soccer stadiums. He’s in town to play at Glow on Tuesday, but first, he’ll spin at the waaaaay more intimate Josephine lounge on Monday night, where capacity is only a few hundred. Advance tickets are beyond sold out, but there will be 50 to 100 tickets available at the door Monday night on a first-come, first-served basis. (Doors open at 9 p.m.; Tiesto is scheduled to go on about midnight.) If you want to see one of the greats up close and personal, this is the night to do it.
Need more ideas? There are an extra eight after the jump.
Tuesday, March 20
With the cocktail world’s attention on small-batch whiskeys and craft gins, vodka seems to have fallen off the radar. The Museum of the American Cocktail will right this wrong with a talk on Classic Vodka Cocktails at the Warehouse Theatre, exploring the history of the spirit from Russia to the present day and offering samples of six classic cocktails, including the Vesper and the Caipiroska. All-inclusive tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.
Thursday, March 22
Warm weather doesn’t just mean that you get to enjoy drinks on a bar’s patio after work; it heralds the return of pup-friendly “yappy hours.” Bring your four-legged friend to the Washington Animal Rescue League’s fundraising happy hour on the Blue Banana’s back patio, where 20 percent of sales will be donated to the WARL shelter. Happy hour deals include $4 beers — draft, bottled and canned — and mixed drinks all night.
Friday, March 23
If you haven’t made it over to America Eats Tavern for its $1 oyster happy hour, here’s some extra motivation: Jose Andres’s restaurant is teaming up with Frederick’s Flying Dog brewery for a special Friday happy hour . The usual deals — $1 oysters, $4 draft beers, $6 wines and an $8 punch — run from 4 to 7 p.m. instead of the usual 4 to 6, and Flying Dog beers will be served on draft, in bottles and from a special cask for $5 all night long.
Charlottesville Americana-rockers Sons of Bill have a new album, “Sirens,” out next week and are celebrating with a free show at Iota . A free show at Iota on a Friday is a rarity and an idea we can get behind.
There was a time when Fatboy Slim ’s big beats were inescapable in advertising an sports arenas. That time is 1997 to present day. Fatboy was headlining raves when Skrillex was dubstepping in diapers, and he hits the 9:30 Club armed with a few decades worth of dance music to choose from.
Sunday, March 25
While you’re out dining, imbibing and partying around town, you probably don’t stop to think about the bartenders, servers and busboys making your nights possible until it’s time to leave a tip. But trust us, they’re thinking about you. And more than a few times, your actions cross over into the realm of epic antics that anyone in the service industry can recount in droves. SpeakeasyDC has assembled performers with the best of these stories about entitled customers, co-workers and bosses for a special night called “At Your Service” at the Dunes.
Monday, March 26
Sonnymoon made a splash in D.C. at a couple of intimate house concerts before its downtempo indie-tronica took off to wider acclaim. The group is joined at DC9 on a current East Coast jaunt by stylistic peers Teebs and Time Wharp.
The Joy Formidable has a sound big enough for arenas (check the rave reviews for its opening slot on Foo Fighters’ fall tour), so be prepared for the 9:30 Club to shake when the Welsh trio performs there. Arrive early and bring earplugs for noisy shoegazers A Place to Bury Strangers.