Celebrate the first man in space with two nights of parties featuring burlesque, DJs, vodka drinks and a Lego competition; dance to Caribbean hits while helping victims of Hurricane Tomas; spend Saturday afternoon playing putt-putt inside 13 D.C. bars; catch the Austin Lounge Lizards playing bluegrass at an intimate venue; or learn about the history of birth control while sipping a cold beer.
The Lost Rhino Brewing Company is edging closer to completion in Ashburn, though the fermenters aren’t yet up and running. In the meantime, brewmasters Favio Garcia and Matt Hagerman — formerly of Old Dominion Brewing Company — are holding monthly open houses and tours of the facility. The public is invited to drop in today between 5:30 and 8 p.m. to chat with the brewers, sample the Lost Rhino root beer and talk about (and maybe sample) some favorite ales. There’s no cover charge.
Thanks to trend spotters high on enthusiasm but low on context, we have the useless term “hipster R&B” being applied to such artists as Frank Ocean, the Weeknd and J*DaVeY , who beat both of the first two blog darlings to the punch six years ago. So instead of playing yourself with taxonomy, just enjoy a musical dream come to life. Take one multi-instrumentalist with Jam & Lewis, Thom Yorke and Roger Troutman in his library, and combine with a runway model channeling Vanity 6, Grace Jones and Debbie Harry while cooing sleazy odes in a kittenish soprano and voila: You’ve got J*DaVeY. The electro-pop duo teams up with L.A. verbalist Blu and Washington chanteuse Alison Carney at Liv.
D.C.’s bars and clubs continue to work hard to raise money to help Japan. This week, it’s Policy, which is stepping up with an open-bar reception benefiting the Red Cross. A $50 donation is good for Japanese hors d’oeuvres and unlimited beer, wine and seasonal cocktails, including the Cherry Blossom Sangria and Sweet Green Tea Vodka. At 9 p.m., there’s a silent auction with gift certificates to local beer bars, tickets to Nationals games and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, makeover packages and other surprises. Advance tickets are available from http://policydc.eventbrite.com; all proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction will be donated.
Here’s our suggestion for an extended Thursday happy hour: Swing into Dino in Cleveland Park any time between 5:30 and 10 p.m. and grab one of the half-dozen seats at Andrew Stover’s bar. Normally we’d steer you toward one of his Negroni variations, or an Italian Manhattan with Amaro Averna and Cocchi Americano, but tonight, we’d suggest the Burger and a Brew combo: $12 for a 10-ounce burger on ciabatta with house relish and artisan cheese, plus your choice of Port City Brewing Company’s Optimal Wit, Monumental IPA and Porter, all delicious and all made in Alexandria.
The Caribbean Professional Network, a social and networking group for Caribbean expats, knows how to throw a great party. Its members also know how to give back. The group’s annual spring party , held this weekend at Tabaq, is a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Tomas, the tropical storm that killed 55 people and caused almost $600 million in damage as it barreled through the Caribbean last winter. You can feel good while dancing to a lively mix of Caribbean styles — calypso, soca, cadence, kompa, salsa, chutney — and world beats from the diaspora, including soukous and Afro-pop.
After 30 years of performing bitingly satirical country, bluegrass and folk songs, the Austin Lounge Lizards may as well be billed the Austin Lounge Legends. You’d think Washington would be the perfect place for songs such as “Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs,” which skewers those who look for scapegoats for such societal problems as joblessness and the national debt, or the self-explanatory “Too Big to Fail,” and you’re right: The group’s Saturday performance at Wolf Trap is long sold out. But why would you go to the Barns when the Lizards are playing at the new Hill Country Barbecue for $10? (Given the Austin Lounge Lizards’ history of mocking country cliches in songs such as “Stupid Texas Song,” it should be the perfect venue. Move quickly for tickets, though, as it seems likely to sell out.)
The annual Cap-City Bar Golf tour turns 13 Dupont Circle bars into the area’s largest miniature golf course. Nine of the bars are installing temporary putting greens, where you can show off your prowess, and the other four are “beer hazards,” where a visit will knock a stroke off your scorecard. (The bars will have judges recording your score, and there are prizes for the lowest individual rounds and the lowest-scoring foursome, including passes for local golf courses and tickets for 9:30 Club concerts.) Play starts between 2 and 6 p.m. at 19th, the golf-themed spot near the World Bank, and scorecards must be turned in at Rumors by 9 p.m. Along the way, there will be food and drink specials, including $2 Coors Light, $3 Blue Moon and special shots concocted by each bar. Wear golf attire for discount admission.
Fifty years ago, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin rocketed into orbit aboard Vostok 1, becoming the first human in outer space. This momentous event is celebrated every year with Yuri’s Night, a worldwide night of space-themed parties and special events. Because April 12 — the anniversary of Gagarin’s flight — is on a Tuesday, the annual Out of This World Party is being held on Saturday at Artisphere. Check out science fiction and space-themed works by 19 artists, groove to ska tunes by Eastern Standard Time and surf music by the Atomic Mosquitos, and watch male and female burlesque dancers perform special space-themed routines during two special shows.
The history of birth control, Tipper Gore’s problems with Twisted Sister and the future of robot factory workers — it must be another edition of Nerd Nite , the smartest night of bar discussion you’ll find in D.C. This month’s nerdy Power Point presentations at DC9 cover women’s birth control through the ages (though we’re not looking forward to the bits on “rudimentary IUDs”); the 1984 PMRC congressional hearings, during which Frank Zappa sparred with senators over free speech and Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” video was played; and the coming super-strong, super-smart robots that will certainly be nothing like the computers in “Terminator.” Local pop-punk singer Derek Evry performs between talks. Tickets are $10, and advance purchase is recommended. (Reminder: Once Nerd Nite is over, stick around for the all-’90s Peach Pit dance party.)
On the actual anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight, Science Club is hosting the only Yuri’s Night event in D.C. proper. (The Goddard Space Flight Center is not participating this year.) Space geeks — er, fans — can watch the film “First Orbit,” shot on the International Space Station, which traces Gagarin’s original orbit; participate in a Lego-building contest; answer space trivia questions to win prizes; and sip yet more space-themed vodka cocktails as well as all-night happy hour specials.