Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are five things not to miss in the next seven days:
Thursday: Brooklyn’s Farewell Republic plays big music - supersized, widescreen, panoramic. Guitars are layered on top of each other, creating a rumble that’s both dreamy and imposing. The band is celebrating the release of its debut album, “Burn the Boats,” which is one of the better recent examples of looking back to the early ‘90s guitar overload of bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Smashing Pumpkins as inspiration. In addition to the big-bigger-biggest moments, the band also has some jagged post-punk tunes in its repertoire. Thursday’s show at DC9 is the latest presented by advocacy group Monument; it’s a benefit for DC Vote.
Thursday: In our weekly Got Plans? chat, people often ask for the best place for a birthday gathering. It’s a tough decision that contains many variables. However, if you are a globe-trotting DJ and a part-owner of one of the best clubs in the country, the choice is an easy one. And that’s why D.C.’s own Tittsworth will be hosting his birthday bash at U Street Music Hall. He’ll have friends and fellow standout DJs Willy Joy, Switch and Sinden along. With that lineup it’s sure to be an especially raucous party.
Friday: Trivia night may be king, but there’s no smarter, boozier bar game than the Rock and Roll Hotel’s Spelling Buzz . Every Friday night, up to 40 contestants crowd into seats in the second floor bar for a happy hour that turns a grade-school spelling bee into a riotous drinking game. Everyone must have a drink in hand at all times, because the host can make the crowd drink whenever he or she wants. And if you’re at the podium, spelling the same words found on the Scripps National Spelling Bee list, you can also force anyone or everyone to take a drink. Go ahead and demand every guy take a sip, tell the whole third row to drink - whatever your fiendish heart desires. (Fiendish. F-I-E-N-D-I-S-H. Fiendish.) The only caveat is to arrive early, because only 40 people can sign up to play. The bar opens at 6; the first word is read at 8.
Saturday: As the house band at Memphis’ Center for Southern Folklore for almost 15 years, Mack Orr and the Daddy Mack Blues Band know the blues inside and out: Irresistible boogie grooves, raspy vocals, razor-sharp guitar solos, just the right amount of swing. The group also has a sense of humor; the album “Slow Ride” featured “Whole Lotta Love” and other classic rock standards reimagined as soulful blues shuffles. The Daddy Mack Blues Band is visiting Silver Spring’s American Legion Hall this week for the D.C. Blues Society’s Black History Month celebration, which doubles as a fundraiser for the free annual summer blues festival at Carter Barron Amphitheatre.
Saturday: When popular D.C. Afropop outfit Elikeh takes the stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel this weekend, the band will be accompanied by a few friends whose performances are usually staged under a canopy of trees, breezes and sunshine. Seven of the Malcolm X Park drummers will perform a set at this show, and if you’ve never spent a Sunday afternoon rocking to their rhythms in what is officially known as Meridian Hill Park, your bucket list is missing a crucial bit of D.C. cultural history. Joining Elikeh and the drummers is Chariot, with their re-worked covers of classic reggae and ska tunes.
Still need more ideas? You’ll find 10 extras after the jump.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
The Souljazz Orchestra: it’s all in the name. You don’t even have to Google them to find out what they sound like. The funky Canada-based group visits Rock & Roll Hotel.
Thursday, Feb. 23
Rock star poet Saul Williams chooses his words and his projects carefully, which is why his latest album “Volcanic Sunlight” took a solid two years to brew. The lauded spoken word pioneer and actor is now bringing the dance tinged record on tour, stopping in D.C. at the Black Cat.
For some East Coast hopheads, the arrival of Troegs’ malty Nugget Nectar is almost as anticipated as Bells’ more famous Hopslam. To mark the occasion, Scion will have six Troegs beers on tap, including Nugget and the very rare Scratch #55 Double IPA. All Troegs pints sell for $4 from 5 p.m. to close.
Friday, Feb. 24
The National Museum of African Art’s Africa Underground is one of the more enjoyable and spirited museum parties around. This month — a celebration of African and African-American women — features Cameroonian R&B singer Naomi Achu and local DJ Natty Boom, spoken word and dance performances and an African weaving workshop. One drink is included in the $25 ticket price; after that, it’s a cash bar.
Head to Science Club between 5 and 9 p.m. and your after-work drinks support Thrive DC, a charity that offers meals and services to the homeless. A $10 drink ticket includes a libation of your choice and a raffle ticket; there are restaurant gift certificates and other prizes to be won.
Saturday, Feb. 25
All you really need for a true deep house party is a sparse room, a good, level floor and a sound system you can feel in your chest. The Sweet Spot is just such a no-frills space. DC’s Ken Christiansen, founder of East Coast Boogiemen, spins with Hugo Zapata and inkHouse.
Noon:30 and Priests are two of the most raw and energetic bands in D.C. Catch them on the same bill at Comet Ping Pong.
It’s time for another dose of classic Motown soul, roughed-up funk, Latin grooves and deep reggae and ska in the heart of Mount Pleasant. This month’s free TNT! party at Haydee’s finds DJs Teddy Garcia and Mad Squirrel joined by Tariq Haqq of Dodge City’s monthly Stumble dance night.
Here’s an interesting one — a punk show at Casa Fiesta and it’s free if you eat in. The Electricutions, Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Teen Liver and the Snallygasters all play.