Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, January 14
Nine contestants from "RuPaul's Drag Race" – can we just call them the RuPaul-Stars? – will take the stage during the "Battle of the Seasons" at the 9:30 Club, including Season 4 winner Sharon Needles, previous runners-up Manila Luzon and Phi Phi O'Hara, and fan favorite Pandora Boxx. Ed Bailey of Town is the DJ for the night.
Wednesday, January 15
We're about halfway through January. How are those resolutions going? That well, eh? Get your 2014 back on track at a special resolution-themed edition of the monthly Corcoran Uncorked happy hour at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Those who resolved to learn a new language can take a special gallery tour of European paintings; others who yearn to travel can tour the world through the Corcoran's galleries. Throw in Crossfit demonstrations, ice skating and wine tastings – who doesn't want to learn more about wine this year? – and you've got one classy happy hour. Registering in advance is highly recommended.
Thursday, January 16
The 2012 documentary "Charles Bradley: Soul of America" ensures that the life story of 62-year-old soul singer Charles Bradley gets as much attention as his raw-yet-supple voice. But even without knowing the hard luck behind the singer's powerful vocal chords, which includes long bouts of homelessness and poverty, as well as years spent as a James Brown impersonator, is obviously that Bradley's throat is a true, primal instrument, capable of channeling the smoothness of Marvin Gaye as well as the sharp shouts of James Brown. Get ready for a night of unstoppable '60s soul and slick '70s funk with Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at the 9:30 Club.
Skream emerged from the crackling airwaves of London's pirate radio in 2004, armed with the wobbling dub bass and brooding urban aesthetic that would eventually be called dubstep. But as that genre has become more mainstream, the DJ born Oliver Jones has gone in another direction: bright, spangly, disco thumpers - the kind of retro soundtrack that Daft Punk signposted with last year's "Random Access Memories." Skream hasn't abandoned the underground - witness the ragga-ish "Kingpin," recorded with DJ Friction last year - but much of his output is closer to the 2013 single "Rollercoaster," (video | audio) which could have inspired some moves that would have impressed on "Soul Train." (Check out this percolating mixtape from last summer, via Fact Magazine.) He'll be the headlining DJ at U Street Music Hall on Thursday, and the presence of Juan Zapata and Light Year on the bill tells you that deep house and funk will be cranking from the best sound system in town.
When the Park at 14th announced that Jay-Z would be hosting the after party for his Magna Carter concert at this downtown club, fans went into overdrive. So many people tried to book tables or get on the guest list that the Park decided to move the whole affair to Echostage, where the capacity is about 6,000 – several times greater than the Park's. While the Park's site insists that the event is "invite only," there are ways to get your name on the guest list beyond buying bottle service: Try hitting "Like" on the Park's Facebook page to get a code.
Saturday, January 18
Actors, singers and rappers all have encroached into the DJ game with varying results. Some are dilettantes, some are just looking for another easy income stream and most just benefit from stargazers who prefer to stare at the DJ booth instead of dance. But when the night's selector is someone like Talib Kweli, a veteran MC who has consistently been backed by top DJs and maintained a devotion to hip-hop craft, you're likely to get more out of your evening than the novelty of watching your favorite rapper try to work the decks. You'll also get bonus party-rocking bang for the buck with Sharkey and Stereofaith on the bill. Capacity at H Street's new RedRocks is limited, so arrive early or you might be shut out of this free party.
Sunday, January 19
If your favorite football team has been eliminated from Super Bowl contention - an all-too-familiar scenario around these parts - then it doesn't really matter where you watch Sunday's conference championship games, as long as the food and drinks are good. If you're on the fence, we suggest the DC Brau Playoff Tailgate on the rooftop at Jack Rose. DC Brau beers are $5 from 1 to 10 p.m., which is an attractive proposition in itself, but the 13 discounted beers include some of DC Brau's best and rarest: Corruption IPA aged in Willett Rye whiskey barrels; the new Theory and Practice Belgian IPA; the Bete Noire Baltic Porter, brewed with the gents from Right Proper Brew Pub; and the debut of a version of Heurich's Lager aged in a barrel that held Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye as well as maple syrup. In addition to beer specials, Jack Rose is offering half-price appetizers and $5 whiskey shots, and football games on multiple televisions.
The last time DJ Maseo played the District, seasoned hip-hop heads partied at Tropicalia like it was an old-school, red-light basement party. Sometimes it seemed as if Maseo was entertaining himself more than anything, as the jocular DJ burned through a classic multi-genre set and roared on the mike with the famous laugh immortalized on a Gorillaz song. After more than 25 years rocking worldwide stages with his partners in De La Soul, Maseo shows no sign of losing enthusiasm for the job. For his return to the District, the Funk 4 the Dream party at U Street Music Hall finds Maseo paired with one of the fathers of his style, the legendary godfather of hip-hop Afrika Bambaataa, as well as locals Qdup, Underdog and Fort Knox Five.
Coup Sauvage and the Snips take a cheeky approach to slamming together their varying influences, and it requires a certain type of savvy to figure who is the butt of the joke and when. Their sound and show has traces of jheri curl funk, new wave, "American Bandstand" and roller boogie, with enough local references to serve as dog whistles for D.C. and Prince George's County natives. After a couple of years building steam and grabbing the ears of local critics, the band is dropping its first video and single, and celebrating at the Black Cat with locals Teen Liver.
"Go-Go Lives" is as much of a reminder as a rallying call these days, as the number of dedicated go-go venues continues to dwindle. On this long weekend, celebrate the music at Echostage's Go-Go Lives concert, where the lineup includes the classic rough-edged sound of Rare Essence, the crowd-pleasing Sugar Bear and E.U., Da Mixx Band's horn-driven party jams and the "grown and sexy" R&B of Suttle Thoughts. DJ Jealousy works the walls between bands. Admission is $20.
"No work or school Sundays" mean that cool parties pop up in the oddest places. Case in pont: Church on the roofdeck of Public Bar. A central Dupont sports bar is probably not where you'd expect to hear deep, funky house spun by Chris Nitti (a U Street Music Hall resident) or Team Zapata, but the crew will bring the beats until 4 a.m. RSVP on Facebook for free admission; otherwise it's $5 from 9 p.m. to midnight and then $10 until 4 a.m. (Remember: holiday weekend means bars can stay open an hour later.) The cover goes down easier with $3 Miller Lite beers, $6 Jameson shots and $7 Don Julio tequila.
Monday, January 20
No ensemble has done more to spread the joyful sound of pop flamenco than the Gipsy Kings, the French family group that has racked up six Grammy nominations, millions of record sales and numerous world tours over the past 25 years. The brothers and cousins fuse flamenco's propulsive guitar riffs with rhythms and melodies from all over the globe -- Brazil, Cuba, North Africa, Andalucia -- to create a true world music. To celebrate a quarter century together, the group has released a new album, "Savor Flamenco," which is up for Best World Music Album at the Grammys later this month, and embarked on an intimate club tour. The Gipsy Kings usually visit venues the size of Wolf Trap, so a performance at the Birchmere is a very special birthday treat.