Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, December 17
Pizzeria Paradiso's annual Give a Can, Get a Can fundraiser is one of the most creative and successful holiday charity events. It's exactly what it sounds like: Bring a canned good to Paradiso's bar and you'll get a free can of beer, and we're talking Dale's Pale Ale or DC Brau, not Schlitz or Coors Light. Bring two cans of food and you'll get two cans of beer, and so on. Last year, the three locations together collected 640 cans for the hungry. They also made 100 loaves of bread with DC Brau's spent grain. This time around, each Pizzeria Paradiso will host its own night of pizza and canned beer. Dupont Circle did its part Monday, and Old Town Alexandria hosts the party Tuesday. Everything wraps up at the basement Birreria Paradiso bar in Georgetown on Wednesday, where beers from California's popular the Bruery will take over the taps. In addition to canned goods, bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Children's Hospital and you'll be entered into a drawing for one of six "extremely rare" bottles of the Bruery's "weird, awesome craft beer," such as Chocolate Rain or Windowsill, says Paradiso beer director Greg Jasgur.
"Mandela: the People's Tribute" brings a fascinating lineup of DJs and musicians to Liv for a free party in honor of Nelson Mandela. Appropriately, the performers are all over the map and span the diaspora of music: funk and soul DJ Jahsonic; Kenyan poet and singer Anna Mwalagho; local hip-hop trio Gods'illa; Afrobeat DJ Underdog; jazz singer Akua Allrich; and soca king Spyda the DJ. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets and RSVP are not required.
Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan is turning its weekly trivia contest into a special all-Christmas quiz this week, with 9:30 Club tickets, bar gift certificates and "Christmassy knickknacks" up for grabs. (Here's a tip: The "best" ugly Christmas sweater will get bonus points.) While you're playing, sip one of nine seasonal beers, including the fantastic Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Sly Fox Christmas, Port City Tidings or Schlafly Christmas. Doors open at 6 p.m., and trivia starts at 8:30.
Wednesday, December 18
Rustico's seventh annual Festivus Celebration includes the traditional Festivus pole and public Airing of Grievances, put it also has its own traditions, including a plethora of great holiday beers, such as the Christmas Ales from Bell's, Great Lakes and Schlafly; local offerings from DC Brau and Port City; and a number of strong, spiced Belgian favorites. In the spirit of the holidays, staff will hand out glassware and other swag from participating breweries. The party begins at 6 p.m.
"Give a Can, Get a Can" at Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown. (See Tuesday listing.)
Thursday, December 19
B.o.B. has spent 2013 releasing a string of catchy, radio-friendly hip-hop singles - "We Still in This B----," "HeadBand," "Ready" - but his rumored album never materialized. "Underground Luxury" finally hits stores today, and B.o.B. (known as Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. to his mom) is heading for the Park at 14th on Thursday night to host the official release party. RSVP at www.park14.com and print a pass for free admission. Show up early for happy hour, with discounted food and drinks from 5 to 7 p.m.
As individuals, DJs Trayze, Stylus Chris and Harry Hotter are members of a small fraternity of D.C. DJs who bring can their underground DJ skills to the bottle-service nightclub set. Each has put his stamp on what it means to be a true open-format DJ, mixing genres before that style even had a name. They're now performing as Crafty Daggers, a three-man crew on the decks and in the lab knocking out tasty remixes. Hear what they're working on during a free, late-night set at Tropicalia.
The Rams Head Tavern branches in Annapolis and Savage are hosting their annual Christmas Extravaganza from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, pouring Dominion Brewing's new seasonal Millennium Ale for $2.75 a pint; making hot cider cocktails with the new Jack Daniels Winter Jack cider; giving away ornaments and prizes inr an ugly sweater contest; and offering free eggnog to all.
Friday, December 20
If your run of holiday parties has been dry, rock with DJs Cuzzin B and Face at Little Miss Whiskey's tonight. These two rep for True School, a consortium of DJs and traveling classic hip-hop parties helmed by 9th Wonder that consistently turns out events that re-create the experience of the school gym party in "School Daze." Since there's no cover charge for their tag-team set, bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids instead.
The Mayflower's Edgar Bar + Kitchen is hosting its first Taste for Tots this year to benefit the Children's National Medical Center. Bring a new, unwrapped toy or make a cash donation to buy presents for Dr. Bear's Closet, and you'll have access to free food and cocktails between 4 and 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 21
If the endless parade of holiday-themed concerts have you craving something that's a little less jolly, D.C.'s Killer Christmas Show at the Fillmore should be right up your alley. Darkest Hour's marriage of punk intensity and warp-speed thrash metal guitars have made the band a D.C. favorite for almost two decades, and the group's eighth album should be out in 2014. This concert finds them paired with Richmond's always intense grindcore band Pig Destroyer and the experimental metal of locals Black Clouds.
If you would love to sing along to "Last Christmas," "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "Christmas Wrapping" at the top of your lungs while making a fool of yourself on the dance floor, head to Black Whiskey for the '80s Night Before Christmas, a seasonal party thrown at Black Whiskey by the folks behind the long-running '80s Dance Party. Doors open at 9 p.m., and there's a $5 cover.
Josephine also is in the fundraising spirit this week, with a holiday party benefiting Toys for Tots. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the downtown nightspot, and you'll get free admission all night and a free Belvedere Vodka cocktail and be entered into a drawing for additional prizes. DJs spin house in the main room all night and hip-hop in the rear Gold Room. Doors open at 10 p.m.
Sunday, December 22
D.C.'s music scene bids farewell to a beloved institution this weekend. For just shy of eight years, Daylight has been a communal celebration of deep funk, soul, disco and R&B. DJs Bill Source and Divine cultivated a weekly gathering with their gregarious host Big Tone and tireless chef Nichelle, creating an event that was part sweaty dance party, part family reunion (complete with a heaping soul food buffet), and sometimes Sunday worship service. The sessions would begin before sundown -- doors open at 6 p.m. -- so serious dancers could show up, get loose and wind down early before the Monday grind. Others made it a pre-game stop before later revelry. Source and Divine eschewed the old-school starter-kit approach to playing classics, digging much deeper into album cuts and obscure loft jams to keep their highly knowledgeable followers engaged. Wear comfortable shoes and don't plan on being a wallflower at Liv as Daylight takes its final bow.