Tuesday: Justin Jones digs residencies. The local alt-country troubadour played at DC9 once a week back in December and is in the midst of another regular set of gigs, trading off between Jackie’s Sidebar and Quarry House Tavern, both in Silver Spring. The Sidebar gigs are acoustic affairs with band members playing dobro, upright bass and violin. The Quarry House, where he plays on Tuesday, is for getting loud with a full electric band. It’s a neat idea for a songwriter who has the ability to show different sides while staying true to a rustic, rocking sound and songs about characters who often find themselves in desperate situations.
Tuesday: Small-producer whiskeys and bourbons get a lot of press, but an independent gin revolution is afoot in America, too. Just stop in at the Gin Joint, the first floor bar at Woodley Park’s New Heights Restaurant, and check out the list of around 50 gins, which come from Oregon and Wisconsin as well as England and Holland. On Tuesday night, the bar welcomes the producers of New York’s Breuckelen Gin — gee, guess where that’s made — for a free guided tasting and talk celebrating the brand’s debut in Washington. Sample it while trying free appetizers, then order it in one of the special cocktails made for the occasion, including “Glorious Gin,” with rosemary-and-lime-infused ice cubes and house-made ginger tonic.
Friday: Texas, as its natives and fans will tell you, was an independent republic before it became a member of the United States. To this day, March 2 is officially celebrated as Texas Independence Day — a state holiday marking the day that Texas seceded from Mexico in 1836. You can find some of that Texas spirit at Hill Country BBQ’s rockin’ basement Boot Bar. Besides brisket and Shiner Bock, they’re celebrating with Fort Worth’s own Austin Allsup, whose sound recalls the earnestness of Springsteen, the radio-friendliness of Blake Shelton — and even a little Merle Haggard. The concert’s free, but space is limited.
Monday: Venture to Comet Ping Pong on Monday, but go there with an open mind. That’s a must for enjoying the mystical creations of Prince Rama . The trio plays psychedelic music that goes beyond some trippy electric guitar effects, getting seriously tribal with its rhythms and new age with its chants. Songs can be formless and free-flowing, and they can also contain cathartic peaks. Watch the entire set and by the end you may feel as if you’ve been indoctrinated into a cult. Get there early for openers Pygmy Lush, who play Americana that comes from a dark place.
Monday: Jim Jones is one of Harlem’s most notable hip-hop exports and a both beloved and reviled reality TV star because of his appearance in VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop.” He had a string of club hits with recently reunited Dipset partner Cam’ron, and in the mid-2000s the crew had a stranglehold on rap slanguage. There was the whole shooting-jumpshots -in-the-club thing thanks to “We Fly High” (“Ballin!!”). Still pushing his massive “Vampire Life” mixtape from 2011, Jones hits U Street Music Hall with Ninjasonik and Nyemiah Supreme.
Still need more ideas? You’ll find extras after the jump.
Friday, March 2
The Don Cornelius tributes around town since his death have each had distinct sounds representing different eras of “Soul Train.” For their nu disco-themed tribute to “Soul Train,” the Metaphysical and his pals Mr. Bonkerz, William Devon and Trev-Ski encourage everyone to don appropriate boogie garb at the Black Cat. Coordinated dance routines are encouraged.
Saturday, March 3
A great weekend go-to spot when you’ve got nothing specific in mind is Queen Makeda. The ingredients are strong drinks, a small space that feels like home, friendly folk, and hip-hop, funk, dancehall and classics on the decks. DJs Jav and RBI handle selection duties this evening.
Who elicits the loudest, most piercing shrieks from female fans? Justin Bieber is the obvious choice, but here’s a darkhorse candidate — Trey Songz. Go to see the seductive R&B singer and you’ll need earplugs, and that’s not even accounting for the music. See what makes the ladies go crazy when he plays at Constitution Hall.
Sunday, March 4
Young Prisms play loud songs with surging guitars that make your insides shake. Grab hold of something when they hit the stage at DC9.
Monday, March 5
The Swedish duo Korallreven creates songs with more vibrancy and variety than most electronic music, and the lush, layered atmospherics make the sound entrancing and blissful. The Black Cat is one of just five venues the group hits on its first U.S. tour.