This week, catch the hyped return of New York dance-punk pioneers the Rapture, see hip-hop star Common for free at the Park at 14th, be blown away by the pairing of [Expletive] Up and Wavves at the Black Cat, listen to local R&B/soul/hip-hop dynamo Maimouna Youssef unveil her debut album, celebrate the 11th anniversary of the Bliss Dance Party, hit a very arty singles night or go on a Fat Tire bar crawl.
“Late show” and “Velvet Lounge” is sort of redundant, so when the club advertises a show that way, you have to wonder just how late they mean. This show is worth staying out late. Carla Bozulich has been one of indie rock’s most striking performers for years, from her time fronting Geraldine Fibbers to her more recent band, Evangelista. The music she creates can be scary or imposing — and it’s always intense. Opening is Noveller, the intriguing guitar drone project of Brooklyn’s Sarah Lipstate.
We’ll bet there are thousands of people in the Washington area who listen to Junior Marvin’s music every week without knowing who he is or that he’s one of their neighbors. Marvin, born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1947, grew up playing guitar and joined Bob Marley’s band in 1977 -- just in time to record most of the guitar parts on Marley’s landmark album “Exodus.” Marvin toured with Marley until the reggae star’s death in 1981, and he’s spent many years since touring with the Wailers and the Original Wailers. He moved to Alexandria in 2000 to be with his then-fiancee, and he’s lived in the area ever since. Even though he’s close by, solo shows are rare; You’re more likely to see the Original Wailers at Jiffy Lube Live than at an Arlington club. So reggae fans, seriously, make plans to see Marvin at Iota, where he’ll be performing reggae classics and original material with a full band.
Local R&B/soul/hip-hop dynamo Maimouna Youssef impressed us this summer at Carter Barron Amphitheatre when she headlined the first Going Out Guide Weekend concert, and she has done it again with the release of her debut album, “The Blooming.” The vibrant collection of songs finds Youssef brimming with confidence as a vocalist, but her talents as an arranger are equally noteworthy. From the sultry, bluesy crawl of “Black Magic Woman” to the horn-fueled hip-hop of “You Ain’t Hard” and the slow and seductive R&B of “I Got a Man,” every track is an impressive showcase of the up-and-coming performer. Youssef celebrates the release of “The Blooming” with a concert at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center.
There are any number of ways to tell if someone at a singles event is a person you’d like to talk to -- what shoes they’re wearing, what cocktail they’re drinking, whether they’re wearing chunky black eyeglasses. But for a surefire conversation starter, it might be hard to beat commenting on the canvas they’re working on. That’s the premise behind Art Jamz’s singles-only Singles Session at the Lamont Bishop Gallery in Shaw. The $65 admission includes canvas, paints and brushes, artistic inspiration from music and hosts, an open bar and all-you-can-eat hors d’oeuvres, plus three-and-a-half hours to paint and mingle. You may not conjure up love, but as Art Jamz’s invitation says, “the only way to truly know if he or she is the one is to look into their soul through their artwork.”
Dance music is often driven by a bigger-is-better mantra. You’ll often find DJs and producers using the term “big room” to describe tracks that move a lot of air on big speakers and overpower a mass of dancing bodies. Since the late ‘90s, Miguel Migs has sought a different path to success. He focuses on nuance, varying tempos and soul rather than intensity. His many releases on Naked Music and his own label Salted Music have always been sexy and sophisticated while carrying the energy of deep house. Migs and his longtime vocal muse Lisa Shaw play Red Fridays at U Street Music Hall.
Want to see Common for free on Saturday night? He’s performing at a special showcase at the Park at 14th, and as a special treat for Nightlife Agenda readers, you can catch his show without paying a cover. All you have to do is arrive by 10 p.m. and mention the Going Out Guide to the doorman. Cross your fingers for some tunes from his forthcoming album “The Dreamer, the Believer,” which is set to drop later this fall. Doors open at 8 p.m.
After 11 years of keeping Washington dancing, DJ Will Eastman’s monthly Bliss dance party shouldn’t need us -- or anyone -- extolling its virtues. Few nights mix up electro, house, indie-dance and other ear-catching sub-genres as well as Bliss does, and to mark its 11th anniversary, Eastman is planning to DJ for six uninterrupted hours at U Street Music Hall, spinning songs that have inspired and shaped his tastes since Bliss’ early days as a Britpop and indie rock night at the now-defunct Metro Cafe. Arrive early to pick up a special 11-song Bliss mix CD or win a Bliss T-shirt; Stick around to dance until the wee hours. Admission is $10 all night.
You’re going to be hearing a lot about New Belgium’s beers this week because Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Hoptober and other ales will be available on tap instead of just in bottles. There’s an obvious upside to this: It’s a lot easier to convince someone in a bar to order a pint of draft beer than to splash out on a 22-ounce bottle of the same stuff. Everywhere from Iota to ChurchKey has planned special tapping parties, but we’re interested in the Tour de Biere in Columbia Heights. The Wonderland Ballroom, Room 11, Red Rocks, Meridian Pint and the Getaway are putting New Belgium beers on draft, and between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., you can pick up a passport at any of the bars and get a stamp when you order any New Belgium draft. Collect stamps from all five bars, and you could win $50 gift cards to the bars, a one-year Capital Bikeshare membership, T-shirts and other prizes; free glassware and other giveaways will be available while supplies last.
The Rapture is touring as a band for the first time in a few years. We tip our hats to the New York punk-funk group for teaching the indie kids how to dance back in the early 2000s, when “House of Jealous Lovers” - a revved-up combination of disco and post-punk full of percolating bass, thumping drums, echo-laden guitar and an insistent cowbell - exploded out of the too-cool Williamsburg scene and started showing up on hip DJ playlists. Coupled with LCD Soundsystem and Justice vs. Simian’s “We Are Your Friends,” rock-loving 20-somethings realized that it wasn’t wrong to move to a groove, and now dance parties proliferate at indie-minded nightspots. The band’s sound has expanded over the past three albums - check out the ‘90s house piano loops and chugging percussion on the latest single, “How Deep Is Your Love” - even if its current output isn’t as memorable as its hits from a few years ago. One thing is certain, though: The band’s bass-heavy grooves are guaranteed party-starters. DJs Dave P (of New York’s Fixed), Sammy Slice (of Philly’s Making Time), Simon Phoenix and Stereo Faith (of Baltimore’s Taxlo) open.
This show seems like an odd pairing. There’s Toronto sextet [Expletive] Up , a band that plays expansive, high-concept hardcore, best heard on this year’s stunning rock opera and album-of-the-year contender “David Comes to Life.” Then there’s Wavves, basically the one-man project of Nathan Williams, a dude who really likes Blink-182 and getting high. Yet the two bands have formed a friendship and even collaborated on a track on the new Wavves EP, “Life Sux.” Wavves gets the opening spot at the Black Cat, which is probably a good thing because no band should want to follow [Expletive] Up. Burly frontman Pink Eyes always delivers a full-contact performance and finds his way into the crowd.
With the undefeated Redskins atop the NFC East, Dallas Week means something again. If you’re looking for a way to get in the spirit for Monday’s game, check out Meridian Pint’s tailgate barbecue. It’s a fundraiser for the D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation, a charity that provides support and assistance to burn victims. Grab some ‘cue from the firefighters manning the smoker on the patio between 4 and 9 p.m., then grab a $4 can of D.C. Brau Public Ale or head inside to find all six D.C. Brau beers on tap. (The new Atlas Fest Oktoberfest beer is a standout.) Kickoff in Dallas is at 8:30 p.m., and you can watch the action on numerous TVs in the basement bar. During the game, pints of D.C. Brau are $4 and all appetizers are 25 percent off, as are any of the bar’s large bottles of beer.
Ty Segall comes from the fertile garage rock scene of San Francisco, where fuzzed-out bands are as common as the fog. Ty Segall, a young dude with long, blonde surfer hair, is one of the standouts, and he seems to be just entering his prime with recent album, “Goodbye Bread.” The songs are slowed down a bit this time, which allows the melodies to come to the forefront. His voice is also a prime weapon for the first time, shifting from a vulnerable falsetto to a throaty roar that recalls John Lennon. Psychedelic local Sun Wolf and Segall’s San Fran buddy Mikal Cronin open the show at Comet Ping Pong.
Rapper/singer Phonte reunites on stage with former Little Brother partner 9th Wonder in D.C. next month, but their newly released solo albums are probably exciting you too much to wait that long. Phonte has finally completed the hip-hop focused solo album that so many longtime fans have been anticipating. 9th Wonder’s new record is like those of Marley Marl and Hi-Tek: He pulls out a gang of beats and taps favorite collaborators to jump on them in all-star fashion. DJ Cuzzin B and DJ Face host the listening party for both projects at Policy. Experience the records socially with fans instead of alone on your iPod, and catch a bunch of unreleased bits from the vaults, too. Free tickets to the October show will be raffled off.