The Going Out Gurus highlight the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Three the House Way

Three the House Way seems like a great candidate for the opening montage of a movie sequel. The three protagonists are scattered about, each engaged in separate lives that began where their adventures ended in the first movie. The leader, in this case DJ Sam "The Man" Burns, realizes he must once again summon the team for another mission for the benefit of the city's dancers. And so goes the setup for a Friday night in which three popular veteran house DJs reunite for the first time since they rocked together regularly at the storied Red and Sanctuary nightclubs back at the dawn of the millennium. Burns has continued spinning soul-saving sets as Washington's house godfather, and DJ Oji's releases on POJI records still make waves internationally in the dance-music world. Area appearances by Doug Smith, also known as one-half of the highly regarded production crew 95 North, are even more rare, which makes this special night of garage classics, soulful house and big- room bangers even more significant.

Friday at 10 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St NW. $10.

Durkl Block Party

If there was one thing we wish Washington had more of in the summer, it would be big block parties with music, food trucks, grilling -- the works. Thankfully, local streetwear label Durkl is giving us the perfect Memorial Day Sunday with a free outdoor party in a large parking lot behind its Chinatown headquarters at Fifth and I streets NW. There will be three grills if you want to bring (and grill) your own burgers and brats, plus another grill for vegetarians. If you don't feel like cooking, look out for Sweetgreen and the Fojol Brothers truck. (Before you ask, no, they're not selling alcohol.) The icing on this free party is a DJ lineup that reads like People You Normally Pay $10 or More to Hear. Get down to Fort Knox Five, Will Eastman and Brian Billion (Bliss), the Nouveau Riche crew, Stereo Faith (Sorted), Chris Burns, Beautiful Swimmers, Jackie O and Lil' Elle (Kids), and Deep Sang (Dirty Bombs), among others. Bring bocce sets, Frisbees -- whatever you need for a hot time at a summer block party.

Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 452 K St. NW. Free.

Return of the Coolout

By the end of last summer, we thought we had seen the last of the Coolout parties on the Beacon Hotel's rooftop deck. Between the rotating cast of DJs spinning great soulful house, Latin funk music and hip-hop and the fashionable crowds, the two-year-old Sunday afternoon gatherings had become an institution. They had also become so popular and unwieldy that organizers were making noises about not returning this year. But lo and behold, this week marks the comeback of the Coolout, with longtime resident Harry Dixon joined by local D.C. indie rockers U.S. Royalty, who have their own funky residency on Wednesdays at Chi-Cha Lounge. Throw in a set by rising local hip-hop star Phil Ade, and you've got a perfect kickoff to the weekly summer series.

Sunday, 5-11 p.m. Beacon Hotel, 1650 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free.

Soul Asylum at Rockville's Hometown Holidays

Did you notice that the HFStival is back? The dormant alt-rock radio station is relaunching its signature event in September and basically pretending that the past 12 years never happened with a lineup featuring Third Eye Blind, Marcy Playground, Everclear and the bald dude from Live. And the cheapest tickets are $25! A better '90s nostalgia value is this weekend at Rockville's annual Memorial Day celebration, where Minneapolis rockers Soul Asylum will be playing for free. David Pirner and his crew have more good songs ("Runaway Train" and "Somebody to Shove" over "Semi-Charmed Life" and "Sex and Candy" any day) than the collection of Clinton-era retreads, and you can't beat the price.

Rockville Hometown Holidays: Saturday and Sunday, 1-10 p.m., Monday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Soul Asylum performance: Sunday at 7 p.m. Rockville Town Center, 36 Maryland Ave. 240-314-5000. Free.

-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

© 2010 The Washington Post Company