Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, April 16
There have been a lot of New Orleans musicians in town recently to perform at the Kennedy Center. One famous brass band is playing at Bayou tonight, but due to contractual reasons, the club can't announce who it is. If you just relax, unlock your mind and think about really funky horns mixed with go-go or heavy metal songs, you might be guess the performer. If not, just make your way down to Pennsylvania Avenue, and you won't be disappointed. (Buying tickets in advance is highly recommended.)
Thursday, April 18
If you haven't discovered Dutch DJ duo Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano, there's no time like the present. The duo's reputation has been bolstered by a blistering set of funky house and techno at last month's Ultra Music Festival in Miami, following on the heels of a bouncy, synth-heavy single called "Firefaces." At some point, James and Marciano will be headlining Echostage or the Fillmore, but you can see them this week in the cozy confines of Glow at Josephine. Don't forget to check Glow's website for the usual pass for free or reduced admission.
The DC Disco Showcase brings together three of the city's most promising dance music producers at U Street Music Hall: Volta Bureau, Mr. Bonkerz and Remote Ctrl. It's a no-risk night of dancing, too: There's no cover charge for everyone 21 and older, and $5 for those ages 18 to 20.
Friday, April 19
One of the most remarkable debut heavy metal albums of the '80s, Living Colour's "Vivid" showcased many sides of the band: The snarling guitars of "Cult of Personality," which remains the group’s defining moment; the party-ready funk-metal jam "Glamour Boys"; the impassioned "Open Letter (to a Landlord)." The fact that all four members are African American got the band press -- they grew out of the Black Rock Coalition -- but they earned more respect for their music. Living Colour is now touring in honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of "Vivid," which brings the band to the 9:30 Club.
DJ Singh Slim and the 1920dc fam are re-upping their What You Really Know About the Dirty South? party at Tabaq. Every style and era of Southern hip-hop is eligible for the evening’s mix, from Gulf Coast car anthems to Miami booty shake. “At the Same Damn Time” drink specials are on deck, too -- $5 for a PBR and whiskey shot.
The best go-go happenings aren't within D.C.'s borders anymore, and Love's glory days are behind it. But if anything can make a trek out to Okie Street NE worthwhile again, it's an all-night go-go throwdown featuring two of the best veteran bands on the scene, Be'la Dona and Da Mixx Band, along with a collection of R&B semi-celebs, including Jagged Edge, Lyfe Jennings and Marsha Ambrosius.
Saturday, April 20
'80s parties have become a cliche: Legwarmers! Slap bracelets! Hair teased within an inch of its life! But if you stop rolling your eyes, you see that people aren't jumping around the dance floor to Madonna and Bon Jovi because it's ironic: They're doing it because it's fun. The annual That '80s Prom at BlackFinn is full of guilty pleasures, from '80s metal cover band Hair Raid to the rather elaborate entries in the costume contest. But throw in Rubik's Cube contests, old-school video games and cheap drinks ($2 to $4 before 9 p.m., $3 to $5 after), and you've got the makings of good, albeit cheesy, night out.
When you hit the club Saturday night, are you the kind of person who dances a bit, heads to the bar and spends time people-watching before fliting back out to the dancefloor? Or are you the one who's always grooving in the middle of crowd until the lights come on at 3 a.m.? Those in the latter category can show off their moves while raising money for charity on Saturday afternoon. Cobalt is hosting the Let's Move dance marathon fundraiser for the D.C. Center, an organization that serves as a clearinghouse for LGBT community organizations in the Washington area. From noon to 8 p.m., DJs Keenan Orr, Sean Morris and MadScience will keep Cobalt's upstairs popping while contestants keep moving. Beware: Anyone who stands still for more than one minute will be removed from the contest, though there are three short scheduled breaks throughout the day. Advance tickets are $25 for those who want to enter the marathon, or $10 for those who just want to dance without worrying about disqualification. Prices will be higher at the door.
Sunday, April 21
Shuggie Otis's return to the music world after a 40-year absence is a story as irresistible as his music. He recorded a scant three albums before he was 21, but they all still exert major influence in soul and R&B. After being dropped unceremoniously from his label after 1974's "Inspiration Information," Otis preferred to retreat from the business rather than take offers for work where he wasn't in the driver's seat - even after his "Strawberry Letter 23" became a smash hit for the Brothers Johnson. Four decades later, Otis has a new album on the way, and his chops haven't been dulled by the extended layoff. The enigmatic soul and blues master stops by the Howard Theatre on his current tour.
The newest addition to the Pinch's monthly entertainment lineup is Burlesque and Belly Laughs, a show that alternates between bump-and-grind dancing and improv comedy. As with all shows at the Pinch, it's free.