Nightlife Agenda: Local beers and the Roots at happy hour

August 6, 2013

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

A golfer at the National Building Museum takes a shot at "The 19th Crater." (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)
Visit the National Building Museum after happy hour on Thursday to play artsy mini-golf until 9 p.m. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

Tuesday, August 6
Dead Prez broke through in 2000, thanks to the huge single "Hip-Hop" on their album "Let's Get Free." While the rap game has since devolved into an orgy of crass consumption since then, the duo has not abandoned its "revolutionary but gangsta" ethos. Their activism-focused output has stayed consistent. Catch up with Dead Prez at the Howard Theatre's Black August concert, also featuring soul man Martin Luther and the DMV's Gods'illa, Maimouna Youssef and Farafina Kan.

In honor of Gordon Biersch's 25th anniversary, the brewpub chain sold its house beers for $2.50 every Tuesday throughout the month of July. It went so well that they're extending the deal through August at all area locations.

Wednesday, August 7
Oktoberfest is still more than six weeks away, but the beers are already arriving. We don't like it, but since there's nothing we can do, we might as well enjoy them. Lost Rhino's Rhinofest was one of the best local Oktoberfest beers last year, and it makes its big return at a special luau-themed party at the Ashburn brewery. Doors open at 4, and the first 50 people receive special Rhinofest steins. Break out your grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts: There's ukulele music from 7 to 8 and Hawaiian food specials all night.

The Capitol City Brewing Company is finally legal. When its first location opened at the corner of 11th and H streets NW in August 1992, it was the city's first brewpub since Prohibition. It has seen competitors come and go, and launched the careers of a number of brewers. (Bill Madden of Mad Fox Brewing won his first national awards while at Cap City.) To mark the brewpub's 21st anniversary, owner David von Storch and brewer Kristi Griner have come up with Honey 21, a wheat beer made with local honey, coriander and orange peels. They'll tap it at a special celebration 7 p.m., but you should show up early for happy hour, which starts at 4 p.m. and includes $3.50 pints and $5 appetizers.

Thursday, August 8
Twenty-five years ago, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter met in high school and began the Roots' journey busking on South Street in Philadelphia. Now they stand alone as the most prolific band in hip-hop history. New fans drawn in by the group's cushy gig on Jimmy Fallon's show are just catching up with the Roots' stellar discography. Take a journey through that catalogue with DJ 2-Tone Jones at Tropicalia as he spins a Roots-only happy hour featuring a Roots-inspired art display and $5 specialty drinks.

The National Building Museum's miniature golf course is like no mini golf you've ever played. The 18 engrossing holes were designed by local architects and building firms, and they're works of art as well as a puttable course. The problem for most of us is that mini golf is open only until 4 p.m. on weekdays, which means you either have to call in "sick" to play or brave the capacity crowds of families and tourists on weekends. The solution? Late-night mini golf on two Thursdays this month. You can putt away until 9 p.m. tonight and again Aug. 22. We suggest pairing it with a visit to the Hill Country Backyard BBQ on the museum's lawn. There's barbecue to eat and Shiner beer and spiked lemonade to sip while you sit on hay bales or at picnic tables. Virginia singer Randy Thompson performs engaging bluegrass and Americana from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The antidote to the whole Lumineers/Mumford and Sons folk-schlock scene: The Dustbowl Revival. Like some weird jam session between the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Old Crow Medicine Show, California's Dustbowl Revival swings between Appalachia, old-timey country and hot New Orleans-style jazz, with accordions wheezing, slide guitars slithering and horns jumping in and out. Sure, it can be precious at times (I can't stop myself from fast-forwarding past the version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" that leads into the new album "Carry Me Home") but the infectious "Riverboat Queen" and the fiddle-driven bluegrass rave-up "New River Train" more than make up for it. The sartorially appropriate Sweater Set and Ugly Purple Sweater open at DC9.

Few singers can meld romantic words and the jerking beats of dancehall the way Beres Hammond does. The Jamaican singer, one of the leading lights of lovers rock, shows no signs of slowing down at age 57, especially after last year's chart-topping double album "One Love, One Life." He brings the tour for that collection to the Howard Theatre.

Friday, August 9
It seems like 3 Stars Brewing Company has been around for more than a year, but the prolific D.C. brewery is celebrating its first birthday Friday at ChurchKey. Owners Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey are bringing 20 beers that show off the wide variety of flavors they create, from potent Coffee Pandemic (a hoppy imperial porter brewed with cold-pressed Yirgacheffe coffee) to the refreshing, summery Lime Basil Saison. Expect the celebration to run all night.

The Story League does more than just enrapture audiences with true-life tales. Sometimes its storytellers break into song. That's the premise behind Story League Sings, which returns to the Black Cat's mainstage. Performers are telling stories around the theme of "Bad Girls," so after they entertain with anecdotes about backstabbing and women on the run, they'll belt out a thematic tune accompanied by the HariKaraoke band.

Saturday, August 10
El-P and Killer Mike's "Run the Jewels" LP is one of the rare collaborations that live up to the hype. This is not simply a "collabo," where one artist e-mails verses for another artist's beats, hardly endeavoring to generate a unique combination. By working together, El-P and Killer Mike found a futuristic meeting point between El-P's conceptual, avant-garde style and Mike's southern flow. "Run the Jewels" was given away for free by Fool's Gold Records this summer, and now the duo brings its creation to the 9:30 Club.

Poseurs was one of the leading lights of the D.C. club scene in the '80s, the coolest new-wave bar in town with VJs who spun New Order and Nitzer Ebb long before anyone else, or so we hear. Even after the Georgetown club closed, a party with a similar theme continued, eventually winding up at Tracks. Now the original crew is getting back together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Poseurs' grand opening at the Rock and Roll Hotel, and are inviting old Poseurs regulars and those seeking an authentic retro vibe. DJs "Mohawk Adam" Lief and Michael Meacham, who fueled so many parties over the years, join Poseurs opening DJs Lisa White, Rev. Franke Deth Feige and Michael Scruggs to spin dance hits over two floors.

Martyn fuses jungle, dubstep and pounding electro-house into a comfy, enveloping sonic blanket. Layers of echoing synths meet d'n'b beat drops and huge basslines in tunes that are busy but always retain focus. The eclectic-yet-tuneful Dutch producer brings his sonic wizardry to U Street Music Hall, where he performs with Beautiful Swimmers.

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Lavanya Ramanathan | August 5, 2013