Nightlife Agenda: Old Town bar crawl, rooftop DJs and a free Afrobeat dance party

July 9

The DJs, bands, dance nights and parties you need to plan for in the next seven days.


Mad Fox Brewing Company is throwing a birthday party with rare beers, live music and free cake on Saturday afternoon. (Evy Mages for the Washington Post.)

Wednesday, July 9

A widely praised collection of Etta James covers showed that throaty, raspy R&B singer Leela James could handle the classics. But Leela James' original tunes, including the funky, sultry songs on the new album "Fall for You," demonstrate that she herself is an artist that future songbirds will try to emulate. Hear both sides of the singer tonight at the Birchmere.

Thursday, July 10
Hollis Brown plays classic pop-rock with a slight country twang, in the vein of old Tom Petty and John Cougar Mellencamp. The New York group is also adept (and hip) enough to record a song-for-song cover of the Velvet Underground's "Loaded." They perform two sets without a cover charge at Hill Country's Backyard BBQ, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

With each new release, Ana Tijoux continues to evolve into the most intriguing international MCs in hip-hop, blowing away "world music" cliches in the process. Initially inspired by golden-era underground hip-hop, Tijoux put a Chilean spin on the American sound and became a Latin American fan favorite. Along the way, her output has grown to encompass funk, alternative, and a full circle inclusion of native Andean folk on her most recent album, "Vengo." Tijoux will be the guest of Washington's global Latino DJ crew Maracuyeah along with Rebel Diaz at U Street Music Hall.

Washington jazz singer Integriti Reeves has a soft, soulful voice that recalls Ella Fitzgerald. Her impressive resume that includes performances with Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding, and residencies at Strathmore and Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center. She's the featured act at this month's Jazz at Jackson Place, which brings live music to the courtyard of the historic Decatur House on Lafayette Square. The $30 ticket includes a concert, unlimited food, wine and beer, and guided tours of Decatur House.

Recent expansion means that the 3 Stars Brewing Company will brew about 3,000 barrels of beer this year, or triple its 2013 output. What to do with all that extra space? Part of it will be devoted to Sansho Panza, a collaboration with Daikaya chef Katsuya Fukushima. A saison brewed with yuzu and sansho, the Sansho Panza is the first in a series of beers that 3 Stars will brew exclusively for Daikaya. Get your first taste this Thursday in Daikaya's izakaya, beginning at 6 p.m.

Friday, July 11
If the recent rash of hot, humid weather has you actually wishing that it was winter – seriously, this does happen – then you can play pretend this Friday at the Black Squirrel. The annual Christmas in July happy hour features 10 holiday beers, including Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Port City Tidings and Scaldis Bush de Noel, Black Squirrel, paired with free homemade Christmas cookies. (Hopefully the A/C will be on full blast.) The fun begins at 5 p.m.

One Friday a month, Mandu hosts Anju, a special late-night party with guest chefs and bartenders. This time should be especially interesting: Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Birch & Barley, the Partisan)  join chef Jonah Kim of Baltimore's Pabu to create Korean-style bar snacks, while Doug Atwell of Charm City's Rye bar is in charge of the cocktails. Menu items include barbecued pork with a panko crust over rice, fries with kimchi and pork cutlets, and pork blood sausage with a pickled salad. To drink, there's a house soju infused with cucumber, and a bourbon punch with pomegranate, orange and cacao. Doors open at 10 p.m.

Meek Mill just announced Monday that his sophomore album, "Dreams Worth More Than Money," is scheduled for a Sept. 9 release. What are the chances you'll hear previews of some cuts from that record when he headlines Echostage tonight?

Saturday, July 12
It's a busy Saturday for beer lovers. Let's start in Falls Church, where Mad Fox Brewing Company is celebrating its fourth anniversary. The party, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., features the tapping of Orange Whip IPA (noon), Praha Pils (2 p.m.) and the 2011 version of Batch 100, a black IPA/Russian imperial stout hybrid (4 p.m.). The Justin Trawick Band performs until 5 p.m., when everything wraps up with free birthday cake. There's no cover charge.

Sticking to Virginia, Port City Brewing is organizing a pub crawl throughout Old Town from 2 to 6 p.m. Start at Pizzeria Paradiso, where you can pick up a bar crawl passport and grab $3 Port City bottles and IPA drafts. Then get bar-hopping: Specials include $4 pints of Derecho Common at Virtue Feed & Grain, $3 Port City pints at the Fish Market, and $4 Port City drafts at the Waterfront Market. Get a punch at every bar, then bring it to Union Street Public House between 5:30 and 6 to get a limited-edition Port City pint glass – and 20 percent off all food.

Finally, Chicago's American Beer Classic is heading to RFK Stadium for the first time, with more than 60 breweries pouring their wares. Tickets are currently $65, which includes unlimited samples from 6 to 10 p.m. and access to educational beer seminars; VIP tickets, which cost $95, offer admission at 5 p.m. and priority seminar access. Fair warning: Prices rise at midnight on Friday.

There's a new rooftop party on the U Street corridor: On the second Saturday of the month, Dunya hands its deck over to DJs for a party called Our Thing. It's helmed by former Fatback DJs KC, Steven Swann and Pete Welsch, with regular special guests. Welsch describes the music as "Balearic by way of soulful disco, boogie, and more," which sounds like the perfect summer vibe. Doors open at 5 p.m., with $2 off all drinks until 7 p.m. All-night specials include $4 rail drinks and red and white sangria.

Philadelphia's Ill Vibe Collective  returns to D.C. this weekend for its ongoing residency at the Lodge at Red Rocks. What makes this Swiss Army knife of DJ crew so thorough is the mastery of every possible genre a party-rocking DJ can play. That breadth of ability also extends to their extensive remixing output. Ill Vibe's Bodyrock jam has been going on in Philly for 13 years, so party people who haven't experienced it in the City of Brotherly Love should make their way down to H Street. As a special treat, Washington's Kokayi, who featured on Ill Vibe's album All Together Now will rock the mic as crew members Mr. Sonny James and lil'dave rock the decks.

You probably associate Town with pumping house and Top 40 remixes. But every other Saturday, country and western tunes play on the upstairs dancefloor. The DC Rawhides, a group that promotes LGBT country dancing, organizes the events, offering two-step, line dancing and West Coast swing lessons from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by open dancing until 10:30. Admission is $5, which includes the dance lesson, and dancers can stick around afterwards for Town's usual musical programming.

Sunday, July 13
The Capital Fringe Festival is more than just plays: The two-week festival also brings some great music to Fort Fringe. Sunday is an especially strong pairing for a night dubbed "Africa, Center of the Universe." Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band is a full-blown funk orchestra in the Parliament-Funkadelic vein. Headlining is Chop and Quench, an Afrobeat band made up of performers from "Fela!: The Musical," including Tony-nominated singer Sahr Ngaujah. More than just a show band, the unstoppable Chop and Quench mixes well-known Fela Kuti tunes with dynamic original compositions. DJ Underdog spins Afrobeat tracks between sets and after the show. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the tunes flow until 1 a.m. Best of all: It's absolutely free.

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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