Nightlife Agenda: Gonzofest, DC Brau expansion and Adult Recess

July 16, 2013

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


The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion headlines the annual Gonzofest concert at the Flying Dog Brewery on Saturday. (Stefano Giovannini)

Tuesday, July 16
What do you give the future king or queen of England at a baby shower? Prince William and Kate Middleton's much-anticipated bundle of joy will never want for clothes or toys, unlike many children in this area. That's why the British-themed Queen Vic pub on H Street NE is hosting a month-long baby shower for charity. Bring in a gift suitable for an expectant mother, baby or toddler, and you'll receive a free baby-size shot of whiskey. All donations go to the Sasha Bruce Youthwork, which provides support for homeless and at-risk families.

Scottish DJ/producer Hudson Mohawke is part of a post-modern breed of electronic music artists lauded in the same breath as Gaslamp Killer or Flying Lotus. He bounces between styles but isn't particularly wedded to any of them, grabbing bits from each to slam against each other in a genre particle accelerator. Like A-Trak, he has a hardcore turntablist background but now crafts the future sounds of club music with notable credits for Kanye West and releases on Warp Records. Hudson Mohawke will be manning the decks for a night at U Street Music Hall.

Wednesday, July 17
OkayPlayer's OkayAfrica brand continues its tireless work highlighting all the exciting new sounds coming from the African continent. The crew returns to D.C. for another Azonto Fiesta jam that opens minds while making you move. Ghana's azonto dance and music style has taken popular African dance music by storm, and Ghana's own DJ Kweks will join OkayAfrica residents Underdog and Native Sun for a night of azonto, afrohouse, kuduro, coupe decale and other current styles at Tropicalia.

Strathmore's free outdoor summer concert series welcomes Alma Tropicalia to its lawn. The group's blend of samba, bossa nova and forro, along with rock and jazz, is designed for summer enjoyment. Bring a used musical instrument to donate to the Hungry for Music program, which provides musical education to underprivileged kids.

Thursday, July 18
At long last, Washington's trailblazing DC Brau brewery will sell its beers in Maryland. The big debut is in Montgomery County, where the brew crew will host an official tapping party at the beer-centric Quarry House Tavern. Four of DC Brau's core beers - Public Pale Ale, Corruption IPA, Citizen Belgian Pale Ale and El Hefe Speaks Hefeweizen - will sell for $4 from 6:30 p.m. until taps run dry. The Cooper, Sloan and Graham Blues Trio will provide the entertainment from 8 to 10 p.m.

North Carolina bluegrass quartet Chatham County Line is by turns rambunctious and moving, playing music that belies the members' youth. Don't miss them at Jammin' Java.

If you've been pining for an excuse to don your favorite sharp black suit or flashy cocktail dress, look no further than the Capital Club's annual Sinatra Soiree. The National Building Museum is again the setting for the party, which features a big band playing Rat Pack standards, four hours of open bar cocktails and light appetizers, and a best-dressed competition judged by Revamp.com. Ticket prices will go up on Thursday, and may even sell out before that.

Saturday, July 20
The final show in Flying Dog's Summer Session concert series features the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion performing in a field next to the Frederick Brewery. Rare and unusual beers will flow from taps while the fiery 1990s alternative/blues/punk quartet performs its usual sweat-soaked show. Good beer and scuzzy rock music - essentials for one of summer's best outdoor concerts. Indianapolis noise-rockers We are Hex opens.

Six years and five albums into his solo career, Kurt Vile has hit his stride. On the new “Wakin on a Pretty Daze,” Vile and the Violators are happy to jam on the psychedelic slacker-pop songs for six, nine or 10 minutes, but the shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars pull listeners in instead of nudging them to check their watches. The Swirlies open this show at the 9:30 Club.

Shmaltz Brewing – the company behind He'Brew and Coney Island beers – recently made a big step up, building its own large brewery in Clifton Park, New York. (Its beers had been brewed under contract at another New York brewery.) To celebrate its new home, the brewery is sponsoring a happy hour hosted by founder Jeremy Cowan at Jack Rose. 18 Shmaltz beers will be on tap, including D.C.'s first taste of the Death of a Contract Brewer Black IPA; a special menu of reubens and brisket will be available; and there will be carnival games, including beer bingo and baby bottle bowling. Doors open at 2 p.m., and there's no cover.

Sunday, July 21
After an extended break, the popular Adult Recess returns to D.C. for a special day party at Penn Social. It's exactly like you remember indoor recess from elementary school: Play Twister, Pictionary, Connect Four, Uno and a ton of other games while socializing. There are two big differences from your school days: Dozens of draft beers and special cocktails will be available at the bar, and DJ Sixth Sense of WKYS and the Russ Parr Morning Show will provide hip-hop beats while you play. Tickets will not be sold at the door, so buy them in advance.

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Fritz Hahn | July 15, 2013