Nightlife Agenda: Yachts, bikes and brass bands edition

May 28, 2013

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


The four-trombone attack of New Orleans' Bonerama visits the Hamilton on Saturday night. ( Bonerama)

Wednesday, May 29
Before dubstep metastasized into brostep, cracked the Grammy-nomination barrier and popped up in action films, Mala and his Digital Mystikz crew were rinsing deep tunes on London pirate radio stations and steering the genre's development with club nights like DMZ. Ever evolving, Mala traveled to Cuba with Gilles Peterson as part of the Havana Cultura project, which resulted in his "Mala In Cuba" album. Mala takes to the decks and bass bins at U Street Music Hall along with the Author and Deep Sessions crew.

Ready for another new D.C. brewery? Hellbender Brewing Company is releasing its first beer, a Belgian pale called Never Mind the Bollekes, which was brewed in conjunction with Ashburn's Lost Rhino brewery, at Iron Horse Tap Room Wednesday, beginning at 4 p.m. (It will hit more bars around Washington on Thursday.) You can read more about the beer and the brewers in a post on the GOG Blog.

With spiky guitar riffs and tight polyrhythmic bass and drum interplay, local trio Imperial China has always managed to harken back to D.C.'s '90s post-punk sound while using samples and keyboards to keep its songs rooted in the 21st century. Imperial China is calling it quits after a final show at the Black Cat to work on "new projects," which local music fans can only look forward to.

Thursday, May 30
Before Saturday's Tour de Fat bicycle extravaganza at Yards Park, the New Belgium Brewery is hosting a bike-centric happy hour at ChurchKey from 5 to 9 p.m. Not only will they be giving away a cruiser bike, but there will be 10 New Belgians on tap, including Paardebloem, a Belgian ale brewed with dandelion greens, and Heavenly Fiejoa Tripel, which gets its flavors from pineapple guava and hibiscus flowers. (Yes, you Shift and Fat Tire fans will be able to get your favorites, too.)

Friday, May 31
Happy hour, live soul music and a late-night dance party on a rooftop deck: That is what's on tap in Rockville on Friday. (What, you thought H Street had the lock on rooftop deck parties?) The free performance top VisArts at Rockville features Stax and Motown tunes performed by a group of veteran D.C. musicians, including sax whiz Marshall Keys and keyboard player Benjie Porecki, from 8 to 11 p.m. The evening kicks off with happy hour from 5 to 8, and it winds up with a DJ spinning deep house until 1 a.m. The kicker: Admission is free all night.

"Maceo, won't you blow?" Every time James Brown asked saxophonist Maceo Parker to take a solo, crowds knew what they were in for: a roaring blast of funk that bobbed and weaved like Ali in his prime. Few men have more funk in their DNA than Parker: His fingerprints are all over Brown's '60s and '70s canon; he performed with Parliament-Funkadelic in its mid-'70s heyday; and he has recorded and toured with Prince over the past two decades. Parker's current group, billed as "the greatest little funk orchestra on Earth," covers all the bases, from Brother Ray to the Godfather of Soul. Get a history lesson at the Birchmere.

Mixing gospel, country and Southern folk, Iris Dement's music hits you right in the soul. Still touring in support of her first album in 16 years, last fall's "Sing the Delta," Dement's intimate performing style seems suited for this show in the close confines of Jammin' Java.

Deborah Bond and Navasha Daya share the Howard Theatre stage during a summit of sister city soul divas. Repping D.C. and Baltimore, respectively, the two singers bring years of stellar stagecraft, critical accolades and powerhouse pipes. Bond's heartwarming "You Are the One" video still gets VH1 Soul spins, and she's readying her third release with band Third Logic. Daya has reeled off a string of collaborations since her stint fronting soul-jazz collective Fertile Ground and has a show full of new solo material.

After Fall Out Boy performs a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club, bassist Pete Wentz will be DJing on Eden's rooftop deck. (Nothing's more rock-and-roll than bottle service, you know.) He's expected to start around midnight; we'd advise arriving earlier to beat the crowds.

Saturday, June 1
New Orleans is known for producing eclectic musical acts, and Bonerama is one of the more unusual brass bands you'll ever hear. Its songs draw from '70s wah-wah funk, old-school reggae rhythms, jam-band grooves and tightly syncopated classic rock riffs - although performed by a wall of trombones instead of guitars. The band is known for its love of jazzy, free-flowing covers of songs by Led Zeppelin and the Allmans; a swirling version of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" appears on the new album "Shake It Baby." In short, Bonerama is a brass band for people who don't think they like brass bands, and a must-see for those who do. They're taking over the downstairs of the Hamilton.

Part regatta, part bacchanalia, the Yacht Week cruises each summer draw sailors from all over Europe for seven days of cruising and beach parties on the Mediterranean. Now, for some reason, the organizers are bringing the jet-set Yacht Week atmosphere to Washington, more specifically, to Town Hall's two-level courtyard and deck. Sailor caps, sunglasses and boat shoes are a must for this nautical day party, which includes unlimited Palm Belgian ales, $3 cocktails and discounted food all afternoon while a DJ spins. (Just don't request the "Love Boat" theme song, please.)

Born of the struggles in West African refugee camps -- captured in an acclaimed documentary film -- Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars have taken their experiences and transformed them into a powerful force of musical diplomacy that transcends the horrors of war. The band brings its mixture of soul, funk, reggae and African soukous and highlife to Artisphere.

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Ryan Little · May 26, 2013