Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are five we think you can’t miss.
Before we mention anything else: This week is both the buildup to the Savor craft beer festival and the final week of the Capital Pride festival. You can find our picks for the best beer-related happenings and the best Pride events.
Wednesday: It’s hard to get a more intercontinental double bill than the one the 9:30 Club is presenting Wednesday night. Headliners Dengue Fever hail from Los Angeles but play Cambodian-style psychedelic rock music with an authentic feel. (Many thanks to their singer, Cambodian native Chhom Nimol.) The real treat is a rare appearance by Omar Souleyman, an Arab musician who has become a cult favorite thanks to his continent-smashing combination of Western techno and Syrian folk music. His unique sound and captivating vocals have earned him a cult following and famous fans such as Damon Albarn and Bjork. His first-ever D.C. show should be on the itinerary of all adventurous music fans.
Wednesday: The annual Savor craft beer festival is held in Washington this weekend, drawing brewers and beer fans from around the country. D.C.’s beer bars get into the act, with events where Deschutes Brewing takes over a few dozen taps at ChurchKey (Wednesday) or the Black Squirrel puts rare Devils Backbone beers on draft to celebrate the Virginia brewery’s arrival in D.C. (Friday). While Savor itself features 60 breweries, most events only highlight one particular brewery. A notable exception: Savor Our Suds at Scion in Dupont Circle. Sample 24 brews from the 21st Amendment (San Francisco), Boulevard (Kansas City), Elysian (Seattle), Nebraska (duh), Two Brothers (Illinois) and Unita (Salt Lake City) breweries. Beers will be sold a la carte, but for a more intimate experience, you can sit in on seminars with the brewers. (Space is very limited, and reservations are required.)
Friday: When trying to come up with musical genres analogous to Washington D.C.’s go-go, the parallels with the music of New Orleans are intriguing. NOLA’s brass bands have deep connections to local neighborhoods, employ distinct rhythms and feed off of a call-and-response relationship with their audience — just like go-go. That’s why it’s fitting that New Orleans has love for our Chuck Brown. And since they have a culture that sends their departed to the afterlife with huge celebrations, the Brass-A-Holics tribute to Chuck Brown at the Hamilton will be cranking to the fullest. The Godfather was slated to perform with the brass band before his passing, but the show will go on in dedication to him.
Saturday: One of the summer’s best DIY shows was dealt a tough blow a few weeks ago when grungy New Jersey rock trio Screaming Females had to cancel its tour. But Ted Leo to the rescue! (Ain’t that always the case?) Leo will be performing with Citizens Arrest , one of his earliest bands, and a fixture of the New York hardcore scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Co-headliners Ceremony play blunt and bruising rock-and-roll that sometimes lurches forward and other times blasts full-speed ahead, dishing out an equal helping of both on this year’s breakout album, “Zoo.” A pair of Icelandic bands - Muck and Plastic Gods - round out the packed punk bill at St. Stephen's Church.
Saturday: Bob Mould and Richard Morel have come a long way since launching a DJ night called Blowoff at the Velvet Lounge back in 2003. What started as a night where Mould, the former Husker Du and Sugar frontman, and Morel, the talented producer/remixer who worked with Deep Dish and New Order, could play anything from Fugazi to Mariah Carey remixes has evolved into sold-out club shows, appearances at Pride festivals and even an album of electronic music. The duo still takes the stage at the 9:30 Club a few times a year, but nothing can match the energy of the crowd during Capital Pride.
Need more ideas? There are seven more after the jump.
Tuesday, June 5
Beer lovers get so excited about new breweries opening up that it’s easy to forget the pioneers. Capital City Brewing Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer with a series of parties featuring new and rare beers. The first one is on June 5 at the original downtown location from 7 to 10 p.m.: Get cised to taste an imperial coffee stout aged in Jack Daniels barrels.
Thursday, June 7
Seeing Jimmy Cliff should be on your bucket list. The man embodies 50 years of reggae music history and he’s not slowing down. His recent “Sacred Fire” EP keeps the history intact and is compellingly current. Hear him at the 9:30 Club.
Friday, June 8
The European soccer championships — aka Euro 2012 — get underway in Poland today, with the co-hosts playing Greece and Russia facing off against the Czech Republic. If you’re planning on taking a few “long lunches” to watch a favorite team, most of the usual soccer-friendly bars will be open -- ie Fado, Lucky Bar or the Four Courts. One to note: Biergarten Haus will be opening at 11:30 on game days. (All first-round matches will kick off at noon or 2:45 p.m.) Call 202-388-4085 for table reservations, especially if you plan on watching Germany on Saturday afternoon.
Whether at a fashionable French nightclub or the Playboy Mansion, Dmitri From Paris drops perfect party music: fun, sexy disco, house and old-school funk. He’s spinning a six-hour set at U Street Music Hall this Friday, which gives you plenty of time to get down.
Jaleo and the Washington Wine Academy are serving up fruits of the vine for Crystal City oenophiles at Wine in the Water Park . You can hang out among the cascading waterfalls near the Crystal City Metro Station, enjoy some vino and groove to the sounds of DJ Adrian Loving from 6 to 10 p.m.
Saturday, June 9
Can’t make it to the shore this weekend? The outdoor Beach Bash and Wine Fest at EatBar might be the quick vacation you need. Sample 20 different summery wines -- roses, zweigelts, gewürztraminers -- while listening to reggae and beach tunes, sampling fish tacos, Red Apron hot dogs and boardwalk-style fries, and posing in a photobooth. Tickets are $25 and include tastes of all the wines; food costs extra.
You knew the hard-charging cats behind the Capital Bop Web site wouldn’t be content to just book a hall and organize a show for the D.C. Jazz Festival. Instead, the all-day Jazz Loft Mega Fest , held in the loft above Taste of DC headquarters, offers multiple sets of music from the Jazz Academy Youth Combo, a trio led by the dynamic saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed, Lenny Robinson’s Mad Curious, and two sets from Marc Cary’s Cosmic Indigenous, including one after midnight. There’s also a pop-up shop and art gallery, food trucks, and a interactive panel on jazz and hip-hop with Dr. Will Smith, rapper Kokayi and DJ 2-Tone Jones. Admission is $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Check out Capital Bop for a full schedule and to purchase tickets.