Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Find a longer list of events on www.goingoutguide.com.
Jazz fans are becoming an endangered species as the music industry continues to contract, but somehow pianist Robert Glasper managed to move units and impressively chart this year with “Black Radio,” his fifth studio release on Blue Note Records. The record’s success can be attributed to Glasper’s insistence that jazz should expand its reach to meet new audiences without compromising artistic quality. His band’s core personnel and the album’s guests (Mos Def, King, Lupe Fiasco) created a hip-hop, soul, jazz fusion project that will surely earn a slot in best-of-the-year lists. Glasper returns to the Birchmere just as the “Black Radio” remix album, which features tunes reworked by the likes of Pete Rock and ?uestlove of the Roots, is set to drop.
Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 703-549-7500. www.thebirchmere.com. $35.
Like a quick weekend jaunt to Paris without the expense, Brightest Young Things’ two-night party at the French Embassy’s La Maison Francaise pulls together all the culture an aspiring 20th-arrondissement hipster could want. Friday night features Wax Tailor, a Parisian hip-hop-meets-mellow-electronica band, and local DJ Chris Nitti. Saturday is the D.C. debut of Tomorrow’s World, the new collaboration between Jean-Benoit Dunckel of French downtempo group Air and Lou Hayter of New Young Pony Club, and two artists who have appeared on the influential Kitsune label: Housse de Racket, an electro-tinged Parisian pop group, and Yan Wagner, who croons pop tunes over edgy dancefloor-friendly beats. Throw in an exhibit of works by Parisian illustrator Paul Grelet, short French films screening in the embassy auditorium, a beauty table offering French braids and makeup tips, French food, a full bar, photobooths — it’s guaranteed to be a scene.
Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. La Maison Francaise, 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. www.brightestyoungthings.com. $20 per night in advance; $25 at the door. $35 for limited two-night admission.
In a season of Oktoberfest celebrations and outdoor beer festivals, it’s going to be hard to top the Snallygaster. Beer sommelier Greg Engert, who is behind the award-winning lists at ChurchKey and Rustico, has selected more than 150 draft and cask-conditioned beers for sampling at this all-day gathering at Yards Park. Beyond Oktoberfests and seasonal ales, there will be rare brews from Germany’s Franconia region, wide varieties of ciders and pumpkin ales, and a few beers from every local and regional brewery. (Check the Snallygaster Web site for info on ticket packages that will let you skip inevitable lines or even allow for an extra hour of VIP-level tasting.) It’s not just a day for beer geeks, though: There will be live music, food from the ChurchKey restaurant family and activities for the kids. And the $5 cover charge goes to Arcadia, an Alexandria nonprofit group that provides healthy local food to the D.C. area.
Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Yards Park, Third and Water streets SE. www.snallygasterdc.com. $5.
Every year, the D.C. Blues Society selects an up-and-coming blues band to send to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. How to choose the group carrying the torch for the D.C. blues scene? An old-fashioned battle of the bands. Because of the prestigious nature of the competition, you won’t hear the six acts cranking out multiple versions of “Mustang Sally” or “Got My Mojo Working.” Expect a mix of rollicking originals and slow-burning guitar workouts, with more than a few laments about someone’s baby done them wrong. The first band goes on at 7:50 p.m., and the winner will be announced about midnight.
Saturday at 7 p.m. American Legion Post 268, 11225 Fern St., Wheaton. 301-322-4808. www.dcblues.org. $13 in advance, $15 at the door.