The Washington Post

Nightlife Agenda: Trillectro, Rock & Roll Hotel and ’90s pop

Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.

Disclaimer: It's DC Beer Week, and we have a list of dozens of events happening around town. We're also publishing a daily rundown of that night's top events on this blog every morning.


Huey Lewis and the News bring "The Power of Love" to Wolf Trap to support the 30th anniversary of their breakthrough album "Sports." (Marina Chavez)

Tuesday, Aug. 13
Huey Lewis and the News were the kings of blue-eyed soul in the '80s, and "Sports" was the album that launched them to national popularity. Four singles from the band's third record made the top 10 on the Billboard charts, including "Heart and Soul" and "If This is It," while "I Want a New Drug" became the band's biggest selling single. "Sports" turns 30 this year, and the band is on tour playing it -- as well as all their other hits -- at Wolf Trap.

Wednesday, Aug. 14
Bomani Armah has been U Street since the renaissance that made it the highly active corridor it is today. His spoken word and hip-hop style has been edutaining fans since his hilarious (and NSFW) "Read a Book" satire of Lil Jon went viral. His band, Immaletchufinish, adds go-go and funk to his rap formula. They'll be at Pure Lounge for an early happy-hour set with drink specials running from 6 to 11 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 15
The Capitol Hill wine bar Sonoma is launching its first wine and oyster festival this week, with special tasting menus (Friday and Saturday) and a raw bar party Sunday highlighting Virginia's War Shore Oyster Company. Everything kicks off Thursday with a special happy hour. A selection of regional white wines, including Breaux Vineyards' Sauvignon Blanc, will be paired with oysters. The $15 ticket covers food and drink.

Friday, Aug. 16
The Rock & Roll Hotel has changed quite a lot the past seven years. The former funeral home was an early bedrock of the H Street corridor, and it's more popular than ever these days, thanks to a large rooftop deck and crowd-pleasing DJ nights, such as the monthly Becky party. But live music remains the focus, especially during this week's seventh anniversary events. Friday features the brooding synthpop harmonies of Miyazaki, a local group whose shows include a live rhythm section - yes, bass and drums instead of a drum machine. Also on the bill: Medals, an experimental pop band that grew out of Brooklyn hipster indie band Jaguar Club, and the blissed-out synthpop of D.C.'s own Black Hills.

It's National Rum Day. Yes, you could celebrate by sipping a daiquiri or a Dark and Stormy, but if you want something more over-the-top, may we suggest the Rum Runner Party Bus? Sponsored by Mount Gay, Chairman's Reserve and a couple of other rum companies, the four-hour tour sets out from Smith Commons at 6:15, making stops at the rum-focused Hogo, the tiki bar at Farmers Fishers Bakers and the new Teddy and the Bully Bar before heading back to H Street for an after-party. Tickets are $75 and include food and a drink at each bar and "bottomless rum cocktails" aboard the bus.

Saturday, Aug. 17
This is the time of year when you take a look at the calendar, realize that the summer has gone by in a blink and find yourself trying to get as much in before it's gone. Pool time is definitely a hallmark of a summer well spent. If you need to get your pool frolicking up to acceptable levels before Labor Day, the OV3RKILL crew will be raving at the Off the Deep End pool party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. There will be twerking, limbo contests, a pool full of inflatable rafts and DJs dropping the biggest bass sounds.

Hip-hop and kung fu have always been intertwined, from break dancers' adoption of martial arts moves to the Wu Tang Clan's obsession with kung fu (see the 1983 flick "Shaolin and Wu Tang"). The unlikely pairing will be the centerpiece of the Smithsonian's latest Asia After Dark event, where there will be projections of classic kung fu flicks scored with hip-hop tunes spun by the Hop Fu DJs. Of course, there will be plenty of other things to do at the Freer: Create a 10-foot Buddha with a 3-D printer, learn tai chi, sample cocktails and food trucks, and tour the galleries with curators. Admission includes one alcoholic drink.

Saturday's Rock and Roll Hotel anniversary events should inspire a degree of nostalgia. The headliner is Kevin Seconds, the lead singer of the influential '80s hardcore band Seven Seconds, who now plays more tuneful acoustic music as a solo act. Also touring acoustically these days is Kepi Ghoulie, the former singer of the Ramones-ish pop-punk band Groovie Ghoulies. But we're most excited about the contributions of hometown hero John Stabb. The former Government Issue frontman will be reading from his in-progress memoir, "Hear the Scream," and performing acoustic versions of classic G.I. songs.

Trillectro is in only its second year, but the cultural crossover of hip-hop and electronic music has made it one of the area's most vital festivals. This year finds chart-topper Wale in the headlining role at the Fairgrounds, but includes strong support from Nadastrom, Tittsworth, Phil Ade, A$AP Ferg, Gent & Jawns and about 15 other acts. (Expect "Trill Surprises.") Tickets are $39; VIP spots with an open bar and better views start at $100.

If miraculously you're still standing after Trillectro, you can rage on into the wee hours at the after party at the Howard Theatre. Or you can just rock out there if you were one of the laggards who didn't feel like splashing out for festival tickets. The lineup includes Billy the Gent, Electric Punnany, DJ Wonder and Nacey.

It has been a big week for crab feasts – there are two Wednesday night alone for DC Beer Week – and Mason Inn gets in on the action with its End of Summer Crab Feast. The $25 ticket includes all-you-can-eat crabs and sides; numerous drink specials, including $10 pitchers of Bud Light; and country music from the Wil Gravatt Band.

There's a rip in the space/time continuum somewhere around Ninth and U streets – a wormhole that will carry you back to "Here Comes the Hotstepper," "Whatta Man" and "I'm Too Sexy." The evidence? On Saturday night, DC9 hosts its regular all-'90s Peach Pit night, with Mixtape DJ Matt Bailer dropping Deee-Lite, the Fugees and the Pet Shop Boys. Meanwhile, a block away at Town, DJ Ed Bailey, who was forming the sounds of Tracks in the '90s, will be spinning music and videos at We Love the '90s. There will be '90s-themed dance performances by the Ladies of Town and the Dance Camp.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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