Disclaimer: There are a ton of inauguration parties, balls and concerts in Washington over the next seven days. You can find a long list of them here; since they’re featured elsewhere in the Going Out Guide, we’ve tried to have as few duplicates as possible.
Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are four we think you can’t miss.
Wednesday: Beat Society came on the scene in the days before hip-hop producers added tags to their songs to grab some of the spotlight from rappers and before anyone other than the big three (Dr. Dre, RZA and DJ Premier) was getting shine for beatcraft. The original Beat Society was an online woodshed where producers could trade tips, polish their craft and even sell their wares, and then it spawned the first significant live showcase for the artists behind the boards, crafting the soundscapes of hip-hop. More than a decade after it began, Beat Society is back at Liv with beat-makers !LLMIND, Judah, Hezekiah and IMAKEMADBEATS laying down tracks for Skyzoo, Wes Felton and other live performers.
Thursday: We miss the weekly Rock Creek Social Club dance parties at Recess, which were some of the most musically and culturally diverse throwdowns in the city. The team behind RCSC has been taking the show on the road, with DJs Spinser Tracy and Jerome Baker III taking over Josephine and Heist, among other clubs, for special events. For an early inauguration celebration , the fashion-and-music-obsessed bunch is setting up at Policy. Doors open at 9 p.m., and there’s free Don Julio tequila for all from 10 to 11 p.m.
Thursday: Hometown hero Thievery Corporation is having another sold-out stand at the 9:30 Club from Thursday through Saturday. But if you don’t have tickets, you can still celebrate with the popular dub/reggae/lounge/electronica act at its official after-party at the Brixton on Thursday night. The free party is based around a performance by local reggae band the Arkives, which will be joined for the night by Thievery Corporation vocalist Ras Puma.
Friday: After eight years of providing indie rock, Britpop and electronic music, DC9’s weekly Liberation Dance Party is coming to an end. Founding DJ/VJ Bill Spieler says he has been growing frustrated that many new songs he enjoys “don’t translate well to the dance floor” without a remix, so he’s winding up Liberation and planning to unveil a different party in late spring. This last hurrah features Spieler and Shannon Stewart spinning their favorite songs and videos, and the usual open bar from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Because it’s inauguration weekend, DC9 can stay open until 4 a.m., giving patrons plenty of time to get in one more turn on the dance floor.
More ideas are after the jump, including a party with Jurassic 5 DJ Nu-Mark, a free DJ set by Talib Kweli and DJ Spinna’s Wonder-Full all-Stevie Wonder party.
Friday, Jan. 18
The city is bursting with talent this week because everyone wants to get close to that second-term Obama energy, but few venues can match the talent-to-value ratio at Little Miss Whiskey’s. On Friday night, New York-based producer and DJ Jasmine Solano — Wiz Khalifa’s DJ and a regular at the NYC club Sway — spins. On Saturday, hip-hop all-star Talib Kweli will take to the booth for a special DJ set. And on Sunday, you can party with DJ Ayres of T&A Records and the long-running New York City party the Rub. The Rub started as a hip-hop night in 2002, but it has evolved into the most groundbreaking open-format party in New York. The best part: You won’t pay a cent to get into any of these events.
Colorado brewery Oskar Blues — home of Dale’s Pale Ale and Mama’s Little Yella Pils — celebrated its 10th anniversary in November, and the Black Squirrel is belatedly but enthusiastically getting around to celebrating this week at Smokin’ Hops . Four Oskar Blues beers will be on draft, including the rare oSKAr the G’rauch, a smoked IPA created in collaboration with fellow Coloradoians Ska Brewing. (Speaking of Ska, three of its beers also will be available, including cans of Modus Hoperandi and bottles of Steel Toe Stout.) The kitchen will be serving black angus short ribs from Hops and Heifer Farms, a farm owned by Oskar Blues.
We’re not sure if two of the four members of En Vogue qualifies as a true En Vogue show, but having Dawn Robinson and Maxine Jones together onstage is exciting enough for that detail not to matter. With their late ’80s and early ’90s hits such as “Hold On” and “My Lovin’,” En Vogue is the link between the girl groups of Motown and Beyonce. They’re doing a two-night run of four shows at Blues Alley. Saturday’s late show is already sold out.
Saturday, Jan. 19
Four years ago, Young Jeezy came to Washington for the inauguration, where he performed at Love (alongside Jay-Z) and filmed the video for his single “Circulate.” Jeezy’s back for a second go-round, joining go-go luminaries Backyard Band and DJ Quicksilva at Echostage.
Sunday, Jan. 20
Jurassic 5 DJ Nu-Mark is acclaimed for his turntable technique — catch him in the documentaries “Scratch” and “Rock the Bells” — but he also can set a club off with his original tunes, which blend hip-hop beats, disco thump and horn-fueled Latin funk. He headlines the latest edition of the Funk 4 Peace Inaugural Ball at U Street Music Hall, alongside Fort Knox Five, the All Good Funk Alliance, Nappy Riddem, Empresarios, QDup Foundation and the Brothers Brau.
Another welcome return from the 2009 inaugural festivities: DJ Spinna is bringing Wonder-Full , his legendary Stevie Wonder party, back to Liv. From Little Stevie Wonder through “Songs in the Key of Life,” this is a night where everyone sings along while they’re dancing.