Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, April 9
Glorious spring weather means the return of outdoor happy hours, and it's not just humans who get to enjoy the benefits. Hotel Monaco's long-running Doggie Happy Hour attracts dozens of canines and their owners to the Old Town hotel's large brick courtyard every Tuesday and Thursday. Pooches socialize at water bowls and enjoy free treats, while their owners get discounted food and drink from the Jackson 20 bar. Festivities begin at 5 p.m., and common-sense rules apply: Dogs must have all their shots, stay on a six-foot leash and not bite or fight.
It's a popular week for outdoor happy hours: P.J. Clarke's is launching a Tuesday oyster happy hour on its patio. From 5 to 8 p.m. today – and then from 2:45 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday throughout the summer – the downtown saloon will offer 50-cent oysters and $3.50 DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter. (Oysters are $1 each at happy hour on other weeknights.) P.J. Clarke's also is unveiling its own house oyster, raised by the War Shore Oyster Company on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Bomba Estereo is an ambassador of native Colombian sounds, including cumbia and champeta, but also is evolving to include alternative, psychedelic and electronic elements. The group is bringing the hot club sounds of global bass to larger audiences that may not be familiar with electro-folk fusion, and its heavy international touring schedule is evidence that there's a growing appetite for this new sound. Bomba is anchoring the Cherry Blossom Jam at the Howard Theatre with the Empresarios and the DJs of the Maracuyeah collective.
Wednesday, April 10
When he's not crafting insanely catchy electro-pop with Hot Chip, Joe Goddard joins fellow Londoner Raf Rundell in a DJ duo called the 2 Bears. They've remixed Scissor Sisters and St. Etienne, and their own productions have a distinctly funky flavor, whether the tracks lean toward bouncy house, booming club bass or banging 2-step. The 2 Bears visit U Street Music Hall for an 18-and-older party.
J.C. Brooks looks and performs like a cross between Chuck Berry and H.R. of Bad Brains in their primes, but his skintight R&B and post-punk soul upend expectations of a retro act. Joining Brooks and his band, the Uptown Sound, at Tropicalia are the Grits N Gravy DJs and Washington’s own hidden treasure of classic soul, George Smallwood.
Thursday, April 11
Effortlessly blending France Gall-style French chanson, rough-and-tumble garage rock, perky electro-disco and minimal German new wave, the Berlin-based Stereo Total remains quirky and catchy, no matter which style they’re playing or which language they’re singing in. They make a rare D.C. performance at DC9.
Friday, April 12
Jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, who died in February, had a resume few could match: He was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the '50s; he was a leader on two dozen Blue Note records; and he performed on famous albums by Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley and Jackie McLean, among others. But Byrd also was a mentor to young musicians, including Herbie Hancock and, as a professor at Howard University, a group of students dubbed the Blackbyrds. They, of course, became a key part of the city's jazz-funk soundtrack in the '70s, thanks to such hits as "Walking in Rhythm" and "Rock Creek Park," which remains the city's unofficial anthem. The Blackbyrds are hosting a concert at Anacostia's THEARC in honor of Byrd, and they'll be joined by flautist Bobbi Humphrey, who recorded for Blue Note in the '70s.
Saturday, April 13
Does the warm weather have you craving a quick round of golf? Toss on a "Caddyshack"-inspired outfit and putt your way round Dupont Circle during the Lindy Promotions Bar Golf Tour. Mini-golf holes will be erected inside 11 bars, including Irish Whiskey, Buffalo Billiards and Public Bar. Play through them all, and head for the 19th Hole party at Rumors, where there will be prizes for the lowest scores – the grand prize is $1,000 – and the best male and female costumes. The entry fee ($12 in advance) includes $2 Miller Lites and $3 Blue Moons at all participating bars. Signup or check-in at Mackey's any time between 2 and 6 p.m.; Play continues until 9 p.m.
GOOD Music label member and Kanye mentee Big Sean has hit the charts with Nicki Minaj, Weezy and the Biebs, but he's still trying to set up a summer release for his sophomore album. Hear him live at the Fillmore.
Monday, April 15
Two years ago, DC Brau launched its Public Ale, becoming the first production brewery in Washington since the 1950s. DC Brau was originally known for its canned offerings, but its distinctive Capitol Dome-shaped taps have become ubiquitous at neighborhood hangouts and hipster beer bars. Beyond its hoppy ales, DC Brau has launched numerous one-off brews and seasonal experiments, collaborating with breweries from across the country. To mark its second anniversary, DC Brau is taking over 17 taps at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights, pouring many of its best beers from the past 24 months, including Yonder Cities farmhouse ale, the Belgian quadruple Ghoul's Night Out, El Hefe hefeweizen and On the Wings of Armageddon Imperial IPA. All draft beers, as well as two cask ales, will be $5 all night. (Word of warning: Last year's one-year anniversary party led to lines down the block by 6 p.m. Arrive early.)