Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide highlights the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Find a longer list of events at www.goingoutguide.com.
Thundercat is one of the most distinctive talents to come out of the churning Los Angeles music scene. By his late teens, he was already a bass guitar virtuoso and a member of Suicidal Tendencies. His playing is reminiscent of bass god Jaco Pastorius, but in addition to his heavy metal bona fides, the aptly named Thundercat has held down the low end for Snoop Dogg and Erykah Badu. His Brainfeeder releases seamlessly meld intricate bass playing, soul, jazz fusion and electronic songcraft. The last time he was in the District, he opened for Flying Lotus, his label’s head honcho. Pockets of the crowd perked up at jams off his two albums, but the room wasn’t entirely his. On this visit, however, he’s headlining at a smaller room, so Thundercat nuts can really pack in and turn up.
Tuesday at 9 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 202-588-1880. www.ustreetmusichall.com. $12.
Showtime gets our vote as one of the best additions to the Washington bar scene in 2013, thanks to $3 beers and a seriously amazing jukebox. Owner Paul Vivari, a talented local soul DJ known as Soul Call Paul, lovingly assembled the selection from his favorite James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner and Howlin’ Wolf tunes, as well as rare 45s by forgotten local funk and soul artists. On Thanksgiving eve, Vivari will assemble an all-star team of actual DJs to provide the music, including Michael and Manolo of Haydees’ TNT Night, Mad Squirrel of the Black Cat’s Party Lights, and Vivari himself. There’s no cover charge to dance all night.
Wednesday at 9 p.m. Showtime, 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free.
The Bullbuckers play a laid-back style of ska infused with northern soul and early reggae, but the peppy brass section has enough zip to get an entire bar grooving. (If you’ve ever seen the Delaware band at the Dogfish Brewpub in Rehoboth, you’ll understand why it’s regularly on the bill there.) The Bullbuckers begin a monthly residency at Acre 121 on Black Friday. In honor of the “holiday,” all seasonal drafts, including Abita Christmas Ale and Sam Adams Winter Lager, will be half-price all night.
Friday at 10 p.m. Acre 121, 1400 Irving St. NW. 202-328-0121. www.acre121.com. Free.
The Walkmen left Washington for New York years before their album “Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone” made them Pitchfork stars back in the early ’00s, but we’re always going to claim these St. Albans grads as our own. They’ve spent a decade crafting records full of driving, anthemic indie rock and airy, delicate soundscapes, and few bands do it as well or as consistently. The Walkmen haven’t released an album since 2012’s “Heaven,” but they’re in town to celebrate the opening of Union Market’s second-floor events space, known as Dock 5. DJ Will Eastman of Bliss opens. There’s a two-tier pricing structure: Admission is $25, but $125 VIP tickets come with all-you-can-eat oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Bar, cocktails created by “Mixtress” Gina Chersevani of Buffalo and Bergen, and all-important private bathrooms.
Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight. Union Market’s Dock 5, 1309 Fifth St. NE. www.unionmarketdc.com. $25; $125 VIP includes food and drink.