Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus pick the week's happy hours, dance parties, comedy shows and concerts. Quick public service announcement: There are dozens of beer tastings around Washington this week in honor of the Craft Brewers Conference. You can find our list of the essential events on the GOG Blog.
Here are four non-beer events you really can't miss:
Thursday: For seven years, the DJ team of Gavin Holland, Steve Starks and Nacey has run a bumping monthly party called Nouveau Riche. They had people swinging from the rafters to the sound of electro and house at DC9; they've made crowds get funky to moombahton and trap remixes on the stage at U Street Music Hall. Now, the DJs are going their separate ways to focus on their increasingly prolific remix careers and to run their own events. But before they can do that: one last throw-down at U Street Music Hall. It should be properly epic. Wear something neon.
Friday: You're going to get a little bit of everything weird and wonderful at the Mansion at Strathmore this Easter weekend, thanks to You, Me, Them, Everybody's Most Eggcellent Country Teatime Jamboree: Square dancing, stand-up comedy, lessons in crafting flower crowns and decorating Easter eggs, an Easter egg hunt for adults, an avant-garde cello performance and the obligatory photo booth. Tickets are cheaper if you buy them in advance.
Saturday: DJ Sabo is one of the few DJ/producers working in electronic dance music who can guarantee that every one of his releases is a banger. If his name is on it, it becomes a mainstay in a shrewd party rocker's digi-crates. He's also responsible for molding trends rather than hopping on them. Sabo's Sol Selectas label creates a new moombahton anthem every time they drop a new project. Sabo's work transcends genre labels, but to hear him spin, it can be said that he's a master of all things tropical. So it's fitting that this visit to the District finds Sabo at Tropicalia, as a guest of local funk group Fort Knox Five.
Sunday: Proof bar manager Adam Bernbach has always been a serious cocktail craftsman. But he also has a way of tweaking a familiar drink to make you take a new look at it. His Sunday-night "Remastered Sessions" at Proof find Bernbach whipping up four different versions of the same cocktail, using different spirits and ingredients to create subtle (or not-so-subtle) flavor variations. This week, he's taking on the margarita. Don't expect something from your favorite Mexican restaurant - think homemade agave syrups and even one with olive juice. We know it sounds weird, but in Bernbach's hands, it could be awesome. Cocktails are served from 6 to 9:30 p.m.; expect to pay $10 to $14 per glass.
Keep reading for more ideas, including a late-night cherry blossom party, punk rock karaoke and the final Afrobeat 4 Yo Soul party.
Thursday, March 28
After four years as a popular stop among the world music dance parties in D.C., Afrobeat 4 Yo Soul is wrapping it up. Resident DJ Underdog will be on the mix at Bossa with deep selections from across African-based genres.
Esoteric Washington songstress Carolyn Malachi continues to draw converts to her signature brand of jazz, soul and experimental pop. After a few years honing her sound on the urban underground circuit, she popped up with a Grammy nomination in 2010. Her current tour makes its local stop at the Brixton with support from DJ Baby Alcatraz.
In honor of Women's History Month, the National Portrait Gallery's Pop Quiz! trivia night is about women whose portraits hang in the museum. The quiz starts at 6:30 in the Kogod Courtyard; wine and beer are available from the courtyard cafe, so you can make happy hour out of it. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the game.
Friday, March 29
Punk rockers must find the usual karaoke nights so square. No element of danger. Too few studded collars. And how many times can one be expected to choose from the Clash or the Ramones? Thankfully, Punk Rock Karaoke at the Black Cat is like a Bizarro Karaoke: The people on stage belting out the Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat and Black Flag sport brothel creepers and full-sleeve tattoos, and announcing "This next song is by Sleater-Kinney" gets applause, not confused looks. Otherwise, it's just like karaoke at your local sports bar, with signup sheets and lyrics on TVs. There's a suggested donation of $8 at the door; Proceeds from this show benefit D.C. Books to Prisons. Arrive early to sign up for the ever-popular Fugazi tunes.
With a packed lineup of DJs, live music, dance performances and multimedia art, the annual Cherry Blast party is one of the highlights of the Cherry Blossom Festival. (It's billed as an art event, but it's really more about dancing and socializing.) This year's edition, held in a warehouse near Gallaudet, features a Vogue dance contest. Get your $10 tickets in advance to skip the inevitable lines.
Monday, April 1
The Pharmacy Bar remains one of the best reasons to go to Adams Morgan: A dive where there's great rock music on the jukebox, a crowd around the Big Buck Hunter machine, European beers served by bartenders who probably don't want to talk to you, and, best of all, no Jumbo Slice Bros. No wonder it has lasted 15 years on 18th Street. There's an anniversary party tonight with $1 Natty Boh cans and "all-star DJs from past and present."