Nightlife Agenda: Welcome back, Tracks edition

April 23, 2013

Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.

Tracks
DJs from Tracks -- shown here at its 1999 closing party -- take over three clubs this weekend to honor the groundbreaking nightspot. (Rick Bowmer/The Washington Post)

Wednesday, April 24
Steadily improving weather means that bars are still unveiling their patios and outdoor food and drink menus. J&G Steakhouse kicks off its outdoor season Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. with free hors d'oeuvres (think crab cakes and spicy tuna tartar), and $5.15 spring cocktails. Make sure your smartphone is charged: The person who takes the best Instagram photos of the party (hashtagged #jgpatioparty) wins a dinner for two.

A side project from Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, EmptyMansions plays sinister, heavy rock that would have fit comfortably on MTV's "120 Minutes" during the grunge era. They're at DC9 tonight.

Friday, April 26
In honor of Arbor Day, all three locations of Pizzeria Paradiso will serve beers that have been aged with wood or matured in wooden barrels. Beer director Greg Jasgur has been putting kegs aside for months, so you'll find rare treats from such big-time breweries as Stone, Allagash, Glazen Toren and BFM, as well as locals 3 Stars and DC Brau. Each bar will have its own selection of beers on tap, with no overlap between locations, so check the bar's Web site before you head out. A special pizza continues the theme - wood sorrel pesto, applewood-smoked bacon and wood-smoked mozzarella. Feel good about indulging: Ten percent of all beer and pizza sales will be donated to Casey Trees, which works to restore the District's tree canopy.

Tracks was Washington's first true superclub, a multi-room warehouse that welcomed thousands of people to its dance floors and outdoor volleyball court every weekend in the late '80s and early '90s. It was a breaker of taboos - a place where straight suburbanites found themselves dancing next to same-sex couples, while flamboyantly costumed characters grooved next to Gallaudet students who could dance to the bass vibrating through the floor. The club closed in 1999 after a 15-year run, but it's being celebrated this weekend at three reunion parties. On Friday at DC9, DJs Mohawk Adam, Earic Patten, Michael Meachem and Mike Kangal will spin their favorites from Tracks' Thursday and Friday nights, which focused on industrial, techno, goth and college tunes.

Saturday, April 27
The Tracks Reunion continues on Saturday with two events at Town Danceboutique. The first is a reunion mixer from 6 to 10 p.m., with a display of club memorabilia, a speech by Tracks owner Marty Chernoff and a silent auction. Then, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., DJs Tim Sheehan, James Graham, Michele Miruski and Ed Bailey will try to re-create the vibe of Tracks' legendary Saturday gay parties.

For fans of old-school sideshow and vaudeville, there are few acts as entertaining as Philadelphia's Olde City Sideshow: a troupe of daring men and women who swallow swords, stub cigars out on their tongues, hammer nails up their noses and wipe their tears with broken glass. You won't be able to tear your eyes away, even if you want to, especially during the bullwhip tricks. They're making the trip down I-95 to perform at one of the Bier Baron's new variety nights.

Robin Hitchcock and Peter Buck are icons of alternative rock, thanks to their work with the Soft Boys, the Egyptians and R.E.M. They’ve also been friends and collaborators for decades. A trio of albums released under the name Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 is full of catchy, psychedelic power pop that would have been a hit on any college radio station circa 1985. This show at the 9:30 Club finds Buck opening with a solo set before a full performance by the Venus 3.

Pink and Drink looks pretty similar to most bar crawls though Dupont Circle: Pay $20 and spend the day hopping between 11 watering holes, including Irish Whiskey, the Mighty Pint and Public Bar, for $2 beers, $3 shots and $4 mixed drinks. The difference is that Pink and Drink is a multi-city fundraiser where proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Raffles and prizes will be available at bars; festive pink costumes are encouraged. Signup and check in runs from noon to 4 p.m. at BlackFinn or Madhatter, and deals run until 9 p.m. Buy tickets in advance to save $10.

Brewer Christian Heurich was one of Washington's wealthiest men in the late-19th and early-20th centuries -- you can marvel at his palatial "Brewmaster's Castle" south of Dupont Circle -- and he regularly spent his summers in Europe with his family. This Saturday, the Heurich House Foundation is setting the Wayback Machine to the 1920s and hosting a "Bon Voyage" garden party to wish the Heurichs well as they sail to Germany. Sip Prohibition-style "giggle juice" and snack on fresh pies while the Present Company brass band performs. 1920s attire is requested.

Sunday, April 28
The final night of the Tracks Reunion features DJs Mike Malapit, Geoffrey Cee, Michele Miruski and Sam Burns at Phase 1 of Dupont, where they'll revive the Tracks Sunday night party, which catered to a gay and lesbian African American crowd.

Now that Chez Billy's back patio is open, it didn't take long for the bar to start hosting events there. The new Le Social Sundays find a team of DJs dropping everything from go-go to house to indie hip-hop on the back deck from 3 to 8 p.m. There's no cover charge, and drink specials will be available.

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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