Nightlife Agenda: The Roots, a beer festival and late-night pirates

June 11, 2013

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


The Roots headline the D.C. Jazz Festival's closing party at Kastles Stadium on Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of the Roots)

Tuesday, June 11
For many Clash fans, the band ended on September 1983, when guitarist Mick Jones was fired from the band, leaving singer/guitarist Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon to soldier on with new musicians on what became the Clash's final album, "Cut the Crap." With the exception of the remarkable single "This is England," the album was, unfortunately, crap. (The album was left entirely off the career-spanning "Clash on Broadway" box set and out of the documentary "Westway to the World.") Local author and Positive Force co-founder Marc Andersen is currently working on a book about this period of the Clash's history, including the band's busking tours and recording sessions. He'll show rare footage and tell little-heard stories while discussing his research for "We are the Clash" at St. Stephen's Church. Admission is free, though you're encouraged to donate to the book's Kickstarter campaign.

Thursday, June 13
For 25 years, DJ Maseo's energy, turntable skills and gruff vocals have been essential to the De La Soul experience. Plug Three, in the parlance of De La fans, still projects a genuine joy as if he has the best job in the world when he's rocking with Plugs One and Two in concert. From his iconic rhythm scratch on "A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'" to his memorable verse on "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)," DJ Maseo has cemented himself as one of the best hip-hop DJs in a group setting. Mase still gets down when it comes to party-rocking though: With a spirit born of classic B-boy essentials and the range of someone who has spent a couple of decades criss-crossing the globe, Maseo sets it off when he's the sole focus behind the decks. Tropicalia will become DJ Maseo's own house party when he hits the booth with support from D.C.'s own Fort Knox Five.

It's pirate night at Jack Rose – sorry, make that Piraat night. To mark a special appearance by the owner of Belgium's Van Steenberge brewery, the bar is hosting a party in honor of the iconic Piraat ale. The best pirate outfits win beer, including a 1.5-liter bottle of Piraat, and T-shirts. Everyone else gets to try 15 Van Steenberge beers, including Gulden Draak, Biere du Boucanier and Waterzooi Grand Cru, for $6 each between 6 and 9 p.m.

Grammy-winning R&B singer Chrisette Michele releases her new album "Better" this week. (Listen up for the track "Rich Hipster," which features local fixture Wale.) She's celebrating by hosting the party at the Park at 14th on Thursday night. Admission is $10; a $20 VIP pass lets you skip the line and includes one drink.

Friday, June 14
After-hours museum events with the Brightest Young Things posse can seem like they're more about DJs, music and booze than the actual exhibits, but this week's 125 Years of Exploration soiree at National Geographic strikes us as slightly different. Yes, you'll still get New York electro DJs the Knocks; the trio of DJs behind Liv's retro '80s funk-and-hip-hop party Axel F (including our own Rhome Anderson); storytellers, comics, and blues guitarist Johnny Grave. But since it's National Geographic, you'll also get interactive robotics demonstrations, talks by scientists and marine biologists, a chance to watch wildlife specials in 3-D, and access to the exhibits on pirates and National Geographic explorers. Drinks include a selection of "punches from around the world," while food trucks serve up late-night snacks. Tickets are $20 until Wednesday and $25 after. Word of warning: The last National Geographic late-night event sold out.

Miami's DJ Obscene, who regularly works with Pitbull and Rick Ross, landed himself a spot on the most recent series of VH1's "Masters of the Mix." When he's not hosting a mix show on Miami's Y100, he's spinning in Vegas or the Bahamas. Get a taste of the 305 at Opera tonight.

Saturday, June 15
The Roots might seem like an odd choice to headline the biggest show of the D.C. Jazz Festival, especially when well-known jazzmen Ron Carter, Paquito D'Rivera or Roy Hargrove are all playing gigs during the festival. But even folks with tin ears can't deny that the Roots have brought an unerring jazziness to hip-hop. The group's insistence on live instrumentation - horns, keys and all - allows them to jam and flow in concert. The Roots perform at Kastles Stadium, and then drummer ?uestlove, an obsessive musicologist who can rock a room better than any "celebrity DJ" on the planet, takes his record bag over to the Howard Theatre, where he'll drop rare, deep and funky hip-hop and R&B for a late-night crowd.

On a warm summer day, Kolsch beer is the perfect way to wet your whistle. Crisp, slightly dry and hoppier than a lager, these beers from the German city of Cologne aren't always easy to find - unless you're at the Navy Yard branch of Gordon Biersch this Saturday. More than 20 breweries and brews from all over the Mid-Atlantic region, including Devils Backbone, the Brewers Art and DC Brau, are bringing their kolsches to the Navy Yard for the inaugural Gordon Biersch Kolsch Cup Challenge. (Watch out for Mad Fox Brewing Company: Brewer Bill Madden has won numerous national medals for his kolsch.) A $20 ticket gets you 6-ounce tastes of 10 different beers and a souvenir mug.

Karriem Riggins is one of the best of a small fraternity of jazz artists who excel while splitting creative energy between the jazz and hip-hop worlds. As a drummer, he's steeped in swing, bop and fusion, but he also employs the pocket and snap of a crackling hip-hop loop. As a producer, he brings sophisticated jazz textures and rhythms to the beats he crafts. His credits include playing with Erykah Badu, the Roots, Donald Byrd, Mulgrew Miller and Roy Hargrove. Capitol Bop snagged Riggins for a DC Jazz Fest night at the DC Jazz Loft with ERIMAJ and Sine Qua Non.

This whole journo-musician thing hasn't been bad so far. Greg Tate performed a go-go symphony at the Kennedy Center. There's some Chris Richards guy we're vaguely familiar with. And now Ego Trip founder Sacha Jenkins brings the White Mandingos to U Street Music Hall. Jenkins' trio features himself, rapper Murs and Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer. Jenkins summarizes the group's rap/punk/R&B amalgam as a "heavy negro spiritual."

Monday, June 17
The Going Out Guide is hosting a special gluten-free pizza and beer dinner at Georgetown's Pizzeria Paradiso. Join Stephanie Merry (who can't have gluten) and Fritz Hahn (who'll drink anything) for a night of drinks that will please celiacs and non-celiacs alike. There will be two different pizzas to sample (with a new buckwheat crust) among the six courses, plus four beers, a mead and a new sparkling hard cider from Maryland. All-inclusive tickets are $65. Click on the link above for the full menu.

German producer Boys Noize makes pounding electro-house with buzzing, frenetic drops and chunky, stuttering bass, though it's frequently underpinned by a bubbling bassline. (This is a man who had Snoop on his last album, after all.) Listening to him on your headphones is one thing; being in the room at U Street Music Hall when he's controlling the dance floor is quite another.

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Stephanie Merry · June 10, 2013