The DJs, bands, dance nights and parties you need to plan for in the next seven days. We'll feature more events on the blog throughout the week.
Thursday, June 12
On these shores, deep and soulful house remains in the shadows of EDM-infused pop hits, dubstep, electro and trap. But in South Africa, soulful house music is firmly in the mainstream, and its biggest international export is DJ/producer Black Coffee. His three albums, supplemented by many singles and remixes, have been leading the house scene since his 2005 debut. This is a DJ who filled the Moses Madhida stadium while performing with a 24-piece orchestra and then had a concert DVD of the event reach double platinum status. South Africa's deep house ambassador returns to D.C. for the first time in several years, spinning at Flash with Vanniety Kills and Double o7. Tickets are $20 in advance.
Friday, June 13
If you're the kind of person who geeks about Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos" series and the latest DJs spinning EDM at U Street Music Hall, you need to be at the annual Brightest Young Things after-hours party at the National Geographic Society this Friday. Since it's a BYT event, you'll get your fix of up-to-the-minute music, including a performance by retro pop/hip-hop/electro-funk duo Party Supplies and a funky DJ set by producer/remixer Penguin Prison. Other distractions include photo booths, 3-D movies, lasers and food trucks. Guests also get to explore National Geographic's exhibits, including "Cosmos" and "Peruvian Gold," and catch short talks from a half-dozen National Geographic Explorers, including Bethany Ehlmann, a planetary geologist working on the Mars Rover, and paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim, who explores North African deserts in search of dinosaur bones. Tickets are $25 in advance; food and drinks are a la carte.
Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but our minds are already on vacation, thanks to the recent spate of warm, sunny weekends. We're not the only ones who can't wait: The Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg is hosting a full weekend of indoor and outdoor events under the banner Dogfish Days of Summer. It starts Friday with music from local rock band One Eyed Pug and free giveaways for teachers from 7 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, part of the Dogfish parking lot will be roped off and tented for an outdoor beer garden, where bands will play in the afternoon and evening, beginning about 1 p.m. Early arrivals receive free beer steins. The music and drinks continue on Father's Day, with special gifts for dads. There's no cover charge all weekend.
Saturday, June 14
The Union BBQ, the first outdoor festival curated by the folks behind U Street Music Hall, is a refreshing alternative to the summer's stream of amphitheater events headlined by the likes of Tiesto and Avicii. Taking over indoor and outdoor spaces at Union Market, the Union BBQ has a mix of big-name electronic DJs, including Jamie xx and Animal Collective, with a solid undercard of up-and-comers, such as Viceroy and Kaytranada. Throw in Nadastrom and Tittsworth spinning on a stage dedicated to the club's monthly Moombahton Massive night and a strong bill of local house and drum'n'bass DJs -- Sam "the Man" Burns, Stereofaith, Will Eastman -- and you've got a full day of dancing. Fuel up with barbecue, snacks (watch out for the return of the infamous pho dog) and DC Brau beers. It's a perfect day of music without ever leaving the District.
Kolsch is a perfect drink on a hot day: Crisp, dry, light and hoppy without being bitter, it's a wonderful thirst-quencher after cutting the grass or for just sitting on a patio. The second annual Kolsch Cup at the Gordon Biersch brewpub near the Navy Yard finds 19 brewers – including six from area Gordon Biersch locations – facing off in a battle of the kolsches. Most are local products, such as Bluejacket, Mad Fox and Lost Rhino, though Harpoon and New Holland also are among this year's competitors. The $20 admission includes a commemorative glass and one taster of each beer, and the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite after sampling. Beers will be served from 1 to 4 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 3:30.
Tour a brewery, taste fresh beers and sample barbecue while raising money to help veterans receive mental health services. That's the plan for Brewskies and BBQ at the warehouse-like Atlas Brew Works in Northeast D.C., which also adds jazz by Tribe Inc. The $60 tickets, which benefit local charity Fightin 4 Lives, include three kinds of barbecue paired with Atlas beers or non-alcoholic beverages and a growler of Atlas beer to go. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m.