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: Between single Washingtonians and dog-inspired cocktails, you might find true Puppy Love at this charity date auction for the Washington Humane Society. Local television sports reporter Britt McHenry is among the locals up for bids in the auction at L2 Lounge, which is hosted by John "Cakes" Auville of the Sports Junkies. The Washington Redskins cheerleaders also will be on hand to entertain guests. Doors open at 7 p.m., and both a silent auction and the $5 cover charge benefit the Humane Society.
Friday: Public Enemy's Chuck D recently set off a flurry of dissent on Twitter when he said the most compelling new hip-hop MCs were coming out of Africa instead of New York or the Dirty South. The hip-hop godfather knows of what he speaks, and naysayers would be wise to pay attention. Because Washington is such an international crossroads, it has a sizable community of sharp African rappers, some of whom will be performing at Tropicalia for an African hip-hop showcase. Zimbabwean Dumi Right, one of the first African rappers to get a foothold in the United States, will be hosting the evening, which will also feature Senegal's Waterflow, Keur-Gui, Foumalade and Bat’hallions Blin-D, all backed by an 11-piece band.
Saturday: Most of the organized bar crawls that pop up around St. Patrick's Day - and just about any holiday - blur together in a sea of cheap lager and same-old bars. That's not the case at Saturday's D.C. Whiskey Walk, where the goal is to visit eight Dupont Circle bars while tasting high-end Irish whiskey. Stop into Science Club, for example, and you'll find bartenders pouring samples of Powers Special Reserve 12 Year, while Irish Whiskey Public House serves 12-year-old Redbreast. (You can also try traditional blended Irish whiskies, including Kilbeggan at the Board Room and Tyrconnell at James Hoban's.) Besides whiskey, the bars will be offering food and beer deals, because nothing goes with a shot of Irish whiskey like a pint of Guinness or Smithwick's. Tickets include eight whiskey samples and entry to all bars from noon to 2 a.m. Food and other drinks are extra.
Saturday: If you do want one of those boisterous St. Patrick Day bar crawls, check out the Shamrock Crawl in Clarendon. The $15 ticket ($20 at the door) allows access to at least eight bars, including Whitlow's on Wilson, Mister Days, and Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill, for $2 beers, $3 rail drinks and $4 Shamrock Shots from 1 to 9 p.m. (All of the bars will have food deals, but participants can also grab $2 slices at Bronx Pizza.) Prizes will be awarded to the "most festively dressed" crawlers.
Keep reading for more ideas, including the kickoff of U Street Music's anniversary week, a chance to relive D.C. United's glory days and the madness of the Certified Trap Tour.
Wednesday, March 6
Veronica Falls’ “Waiting for Something to Happen” -- released last month on taste-making indie-pop label Slumberland Records -- finds the English foursome ditching the “goth pop” tag in favor of blissfully catchy, reverb-soaked lo-fi rock. Cold Showers and Juan Wauters open the show at the Black Cat.
At what may be the height of the current trap craze, D.C.’s Ov3rkill crew has assembled the Certified Trap Tour to bring 808 booms and rolling tuned-snare madness to Ultrabar. This latest metastization of electronic dance music has found electronic producers borrowing production concepts from the dominant Southern hip-hop sound, and then running with it in crazy directions. DJs Sliink, Loudpvck, Dirty South Joe and Enferno will be on deck all night for the 18-and-older crew.
Thursday, March 7
D.C. United's home opener is Saturday night, and to fire up the fans, the team will bring its 1999 championship trophy to Penn Social on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. (If you've forgotten, United beat the L.A. Galaxy 2-0 in the final, with the second goal scored by current manager Ben Olsen.) Wear your United gear and take free photos with the MLS Cup, and enjoy $4 pints of Peroni and Stella Artois.
Friday, March 8
Stringed instruments are a pathway linking Mali to the United States, and they vibrate at a shared blues frequency. This can be heard prominently in Cheick Hamala Diabate's guitar, banjo and ngoni playing here in Washington, but more musicians are exploring this cross-Atlantic connection. With Habib Koité and Eric Bibb, it’s a collaboration that plants Memphis in Bamako, and takes the stage at Artisphere tonight.
Sunday, March 10
We've been getting excited about the U Street Music Hall anniversary for months: It's not often that you get to see some of the world's top DJs in such an intimate room for just $10. The week-long series kicks off tonight with Dubfire, the award-winning techno wizard who was once half of D.C.'s trailblazing DJ duo Deep Dish. He plays much bigger venues from Mumbai to London, so getting to see him at U Street Music Hall for a six-hour set is a real treat. A limited amount of tickets are $10 in advance; get them now or prepare to wait in line.
Monday, March 11
U Street Music Hall's anniversary week continues with Grandmaster Flash. The hip-hop pioneer was rightfully enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his trailblazing technique of "cutting" between records to keep the music going as well as his work on such classics as "White Lines" and "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel." Again: A limited amount of $10 tickets are offered in advance. Don't miss out.