Nightlife Agenda: Go-Go legends, Virginia gin and a tribute to Duke Ellington

November 5, 2013
D.C.-based singer Wayna, whose recent work earned her a Grammy nomination and plaudits from Stevie Wonder, recorded her new album "The Expats" in Toronto. Hear it at U Street Music Hall on Sunday. (Photo by Siddiqui)
D.C.-based singer Wayna, whose recent work earned her a Grammy nomination and plaudits from Stevie Wonder, recorded her new album "The Expats" in Toronto. Hear it at U Street Music Hall on Sunday. (Photo by Siddiqui)

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

Tuesday, November 5
Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout is a writer of the first order and longtime jazz fan. His Louis Armstrong biography, "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong," was one of The Post's 10 best books of 2009. Teachout's latest work covers the life of Washington's own Duke Ellington. "Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington" was released last month and was on the longlist for the 2013 National Book Award for nonfiction. Ellington probably would have felt right at home at the elegant art-deco Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, which makes it the perfect place for Teachout to discuss Ellington's life and legacy. And since you can't talk about the Duke without listening to the Duke, a jazz quartet will be on hand to perform Ellington's
swinging hits.

As the leader of the Decemberists, Colin Meloy writes folk-rock operas with inspired by Shakespeare, Irish folk tales and original tales of forest-dwelling fairy queens. But when Meloy ventures out on a solo tour, he's more likely to reverently cover Morrissey, Sam Cooke or Fleetwood Mac while throwing in a selection of his band's tunes. His current jaunt, which stops at the Lincoln Theatre tonight, finds Meloy paired with Eleanor Friedberger, the Fiery Furnaces singer who released a solo record of gauzy indie pop over the summer.

Brewers aren't the only folks experimenting with aging their products in used wooden barrels: Scotch whisky distilleries have been playing around with the process as well. One of the more forward thinking is Balvenie, which has made award-winning whiskys using other people's barrels. You can taste three of them under the watchful guidance of distillery ambassador David Laird at Bar TNT tonight, including the 12-year Doublewood, aged in both whisky and sherry barrels; the 14-year Caribbean Cask, which is "finished" in casks that once held rum; and the 17-year Doublewood, which is aged in American oak before being moved to vintage sherry casks. A $25 ticket covers samples of all three whiskys, beginning at 8 p.m.

When Fritz was in England recently, he drank quite a few beers from Magic Rock, a West Yorkshire brewery that's embracing an American outlook toward craft beer – lots of experimenting with hops and malts to create anything but stale old ales. Magic Rock is making its first forays into the American beer scene, and four will be on tap simultaneously at ChurchKey on Tuesday. These beers don't just mimic American craft beers – they put a very British spin on styles, with big, malty backbones behind the grassy, piney hop character. (And because they're English, they're lower in alcohol than most American cousins: The signature Curious Pale Ale is a whopping 3.8 percent ABV.) Curious, Cannonball IPA, High Wire West Coast Pale Ale and Bearded Lady Imperial Brown Stout go on tap at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, November 6
You don't have to grow a mustache to support Movember (though it wouldn't hurt if you did). Through the end of the month, Boundary Stone will donate 50 cents from each pint of DC Brau Corruption IPA to the Movember movement. Swing by any weeknight between 4 and 7 p.m. and you can get some of the Bloomingdale bar's excellent wings for half price to accompany the hoppy brew.

Thursday, November 7
Washington has had a beer boom in recent years, but our next big spirit might just be gin. Sperryville's Copper Fox Distillery is introducing its new gin - "Vir Gin," after its home state - to D.C. this week, joining the city's own Green Hat. You can get a first taste of Vir Gin at Vinoteca. Distiller Rick Wasmund will be at the 11th Street NW wine bar between 6 and 8 p.m., pouring free samples and chatting about the gin. Mixologist Horus Alvarez has come up with four cocktails to play off the gin's full body and bold anise and juniper notes, including variations on the Rickey and Hanky Panky, which will sell for $7 all night. No reservations are required.

For more than three years, the @DadBoner Twitter account has been regaling its followers with gross-out tales of booze, potty humor, Guy Fieri, Bob Seger and still more booze, as recounted by Grand Blanc, Mich., resident Karl Welzein. Except, of course, there is no Karl Welzein – the hilarious feed is run by Michigan-born/California-based comedian Mike Burns. He now (of course) has a book – "Power Moves: Livin’ The American Dream, USA Style" – and is undertaking a U.S. tour to tell his stories onstage. The Black Cat staff are big fans of @DadBoner, which is why you'll find Burns (reading in his Karl Welzein persona) with comedians Matt Braunger, Brooks Wheelan and Noel Manzullo on the club's main stage.

Friday, November 8
Whether you're a Tennessee native, a Sewanee graduate or just a fan of the Volunteer State, the Tennessee State Society is bringing you a taste of the South tonight. The Moonshine party at Southern Hospitality features on open bar of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Southern-style cuisine and country, rock and blues from the Broken Monday band. Tickets are $30 for non-members of the society and $40 per couple, which includes admission to a late-night after-party at George.

Pecha Kucha events are a delicious combination of nerdery, aesthetics, socializing and music. Hang out in a beautiful space and learn about design via presentations from accomplished creatives, check out an exhibit of visual art and then have a great party. For this FotoWeek DC edition of Pecha Kucha at House of Sweden, Swedish and American photographers will host a presentation about storytelling through photography. Fatback DJs KC and Steven will provide the music. These events always sell out, so get tickets soon.

Sunday, November 10
"Overnight Scenario." "Work the Walls." "Pump Me Up." "Drop the Bomb." Those songs are part of the essential heartbeat of Washington, the city where Rare Essence and Trouble Funk have been packing clubs and spreading the gospel of go-go since the 1970s. That longevity will be celebrated at the Veterans Old School Jam at the Howard Theatre on Sunday, where the two groups will be joined by other vets of the scene, including one-time Rare Essence members Jas Funk and Mike Muse and the Chuck Brown Horn Section. Proper attire is required, but make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes -- and get your tickets in advance to save $5 over the Sunday price.

Over the past decade, Wayna's flawless soprano and vocal arrangements have solidified her as one of the most fully realized artists of the indie soul scene. Her cover of Minnie Riperton's "Loving You" earned her a 2009 Grammy nomination; she has been a vocal muse for acclaimed local beatsmiths Roddy Rod and Kev Brown; and she earned a co-sign from Stevie Wonder. On "The Expats," her third full-length release, Wayna has forged a new creative path. Hunkering down with a collective of musicians in Toronto, she has crafted a record with a much broader spectrum of styles, including touches of Afrobeat, psych rock and Ethiopian rhythms, and the result is brilliant. "The Expats" puts Wayna among the cadre of young world music artists forging new ground. For the official D.C. release of her new album at U Street Music Hall, Wayna will be joined by another longtime D.C. peer, Wes Felton, whose new project, Imagine the Future, was produced Transatlantically with local singer Kenny Allen, who is now based in Ethiopia.

Sam "The Man" Burns is known for preaching the gospel of deep, driving house music and saving souls on the dance floor. But his roots in the game go much deeper, and his musical interests are much broader. At Vinyl + Vino, you can hang out with Burns and get to know him through his record collection. This vinyl-only event, which starts at 5 p.m. at Wisdom, caters to wax curators and devotees, and each month's highlighted DJ pulls out the special bits from his or her crates that separate the real collectors from the dilettantes.

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Maura Judkis · November 4, 2013