Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. These are the ones we think you can’t miss.
Tuesday: After James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006, local vinyl slinger DJ Soul Call Paul noted that Dec. 25 may not be a big enough day to accommodate both the birth of Jesus and the passing of the hardest-working man in show business. It’s not blasphemy — it’s the truth. Soul, funk, hip-hop and even electronic music draw huge chunks of their DNA from Brown’s work. If you want to celebrate the original roots of polyrhythmic funk, precision horns and songs that need no structure other than a killer vamp, head to the Black Cat’s annual James Brown Death-Mas Holiday Bash , where Soul Call Paul will be spinning the JBs as well as such associated artists as Bobby Byrd and Marva Whitney. It’s a Christmas miracle.
Thursday: Simply put, the Rebirth Brass Band in full flow is one of the most joyous sounds in the world. New Orleans’s cultural ambassadors create a jaunty, raucous party wherever they go, thanks to trumpets, trombones and one funky tuba, played by co-founder Phil Frazier. We won’t be surprised if the 9:30 Club audience is waving handkerchiefs and parasols second-line-style before the end of the first number.
Friday: The Red Palace is .closing its doors Jan 1, depriving Washington of a home base for the steadily building burlesque scene. The New Year’s Eve farewell show is long sold out, which means your last chance to be titillated is at GiGi Holliday’s Ladies Night Out. Performers from Washington and Baltimore will be onstage all night.
Saturday: Warchild is a throwback to the days when heavy metal was not to be trifled with. The Washington foursome plays old-school thrash metal in the vein of early Megadeth and Metallica — lickety-split drums, thick guitar riffs, blistering solos that invite headbanging. A Warchild live show is a sea of action: The crowd forms a surging mosh pit while the shirtless, tattooed band members wield their instruments like weapons. This band has a wicked sense of humor, but it’s deadly serious about rocking out. See for yourself at the Rock and Roll Hotel.
The fun continues after the jump with Nadastrom, indie rock reunions and new jack swing.
Wednesday, Dec. 26
If you ate and drank too much at Christmas dinner, this is the night to work it off. All-conquering DJ duo Nadastrom is back at U Street Music Hall for the 21st edition of the Moombahton Massive , this time with special guest Sabo. Not only is this a good chance to catch up with what Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom have been doing — you know, besides playing massive festivals in Mexico with Skrillex — it’s also Matt Nordstrom’s birthday, so we’re guess there will be a few surprises in store.
Thursday, Dec. 27
Poole’s jangling guitars, candy-sweet melodies and penchant for soaring choruses helped it fit right in during the 1990s heydey of D.C.’s indie-pop scene. With such song titles as “Mary Shakes Her Hair” and ”Strawberry Kool-Aid Smile,” you can guess exactly what you’ll get from the Fairfax quartet, which plays a reunion gig at Iota this week with Koshari and Helo.
If it’s a post-Christmas rave-up you want, check out the Thrillbillys at a free show at Hill Country. Featuring members of Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun, the Nighthawks, and Ruthie and the Wranglers, the group specializes in blues and southern boogie.
Friday, Dec. 28
Steve Angello — one-third of the Swedish House Mafia — is bringing his bag of big-building progressive house anthems to Echostage, along with Third Party and Tim Mason.
The smoothest tenor from the New Jack Swing era, Keith Sweat made it cool to beg for that loving, then sweet-talk you into making bad high school decisions. Decades later, he’s still out there thrilling the ladies. The man with the iconic-yet-unfortunate stage name and such hits as “Make It Last Forever” and “Something Just Ain’t Right” will be crooning for undergarments at the Howard Theatre.
New Year’s Eve isn’t the only chance to cut loose this week: DJs Stereo Faith and Trevor Martin are back with another edition of Becky , the all-request, no-longer-ironic night of dancing to Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Pitbull, Rihanna and Chris Brown at the Rock and Roll Hotel. No cover charge = more money to spend on cheap booze.