Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide staff highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, March 18
When we were kids, we loved Rock Paper Scissors, and it’s still a useful way to figure out everything from who has to take out the trash to who sits in the front seat. This week, you can play for an even better reason: A Rock Paper Scissors tournament at Penn Social benefits Playworks DC, a group fighting to make sure more kids have fun (and great experiences) during recess and games. A spot on the bracket will cost you $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.
The Internet might be the last thing you'd expect from an offshoot of the sprawling Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future: A funky, sexy love letter to '80s R&B that incorporates acid jazz, Brazilian lounge and Michael Jackson-esque pop-soul. Vocalist Syd "The Kid" leads a full band onstage at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.
Wednesday, March 19
One of the most anticipated nights of U Street Music Hall’s anniversary week is the 35th edition of the Moombahton Massive, a party dedicated to the funky, polyrhythmic beats of moombahton and tropical-tinged electronic dance music. You probably don’t need to hear the genre’s origin myth again – Maryland DJ Dave Nada slowing Afrojack remixes way down to match the beat of reggaeton -- but this night, which features Nadastrom, DJ Sabo and Branko of Portugal’s Buraka Som Sistema, should be on your radar.
The Anacostia Arts Center is a jewel in the creative community thriving east of the river. This Wednesday, it hosts a lineup of Washington soul songstresses whom you should really get to know. Maimouna Youssef anchors the evening, bringing her modern hip-hop sensibilities that also draw from classic R&B divas, world music and jazz. She's joined by Tamika Love Jones and Violet Marley.
Thursday, March 20
Why is there an oyster festival at Meridian Pint this week? Because Columbia Heights is jealous of St. Louis. Every year, St. Louis’s Schlafly Brewery throws a Stout and Oyster Festival, which features 35,000 oysters and untold kegs of beer consumed over two days. As fans of Schlafly, Meridian Pint wanted in on the action. So they’re bringing in 5,000 fresh local and East Coast oysters and putting Schlafly beers on all 24 taps, including such hard-to-find brews as Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Chocolate Milk Stout and Munich Dunkel. Oatmeal Stout and Dry-Hopped American Pale Ale will flow from casks. Chesapeake oysters are only $1 all night, while other East Coast oysters are $2. Doors open at 3 p.m., and here’s your incentive to arrive early: All Schlafly beers are half-price until 5 p.m.
Washington's punk community was rocked by the January death of Travis Jackson, the head of Windian Records and the drummer for the Points. Jackson, who worked in construction, was struck by a car on the Suitland Parkway. He was 34 and left behind a wife and 1-year-old son. A planned Feb. 13 benefit for Jackson’s family at the Black Cat was snowed out, but musicians and DJs are coming together again. Live sets from Thee Lolitas and End Crimes will be bookended by DJs Baby Alcatraz and Mad Squirrel of Party Lights, and Collin Barth of Thee Lolitas. A $10 donation to the Travis Jackson Memorial Fund is requested.
Happy birthday to Lee “Scratch” Perry, the bold, experimental reggae producer who became of the founding fathers of Jamaican dub music. Patty Boom Boom marks Perry’s birthday with a set by New York City’s Subatomic Sound System, a collective of musicians that has backed Perry live and helped Perry create his first dubstep track, including Black Ark percussionist Larry McDonald. DJs, vintage videos and strong rum punch are also on the agenda. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door; the party runs from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Friday, March 21
At its best, Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. makes trippy, irresistibly catchy lo-fi electro-pop songs with a sheen of new-wave nostalgia in the bubbling guitar lines and skewed synth lines. (Case in point: The standout single “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. performs at the 9:30 Club with Chad Valley before heading over to Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, where they’ll DJ at a free party. (Doors at Little Miss Whiskey’s open at 10, but there’s no telling what time the band will start its set. John Thornley of U.S. Royalty will handle the opening DJ chores.
Saturday, March 22
No '90s romantic cassette would be complete without at least one SWV slow jam. These three ladies gave us some of the best hits in recent R&B girl group history, and their interpolation of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" in their own "Right Here" still goes. And if you haven't given "Weak" a try at a karaoke night, or simply sung alone in your room with the radio on, you have yet to access a deeper emotional experience. SWV returns to Howard Theatre still sounding great, as their recent reality show assisted comeback revealed.
DJ 2-Tone Jones shares the decks with up-and-coming lady DJ Holly GoHeavy at Kushi for Playitcool. Grown folks can turn up and take it back with the throwback classics at this mix-and-mingle dance party that's always well attended by what promoters like to call the “mature professional set.”
Sunday, March 23
You’re sure to hear a lot about cachaca this year – the pressed sugar cane spirit is the most popular hard liquor in Brazil, where the 2014 World Cup is being held. (Spirits writers do love a good, timely hook for a story.) Cachaca Sao Paolo has been available in Brazil for more than a century, but it’s only now finding its way to the U.S. You can try free samples of cachaca and learn more about the spirit at Jack Rose this Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m., and then sip $5 cocktails.