Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, March 25
Snow on Tuesday? Sounds like the perfect night to drink dark, rich, potent porters and stouts at ChurchKey. Ales From the Dark Side features 20 rare and fantastic drafts from across the globe. The imperial stout selection is rather strong: Foothills Sexual Chocolate, Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus, Stone Imperial Russian Stout. But you’ll also find barrel-aged selections from Mikkeller, Lagunitas and DeMolen. Word of advice: You’ll want the four-ounce pours of most beers, unless the OPM shuts down on Wednesday. (You can see the full draft list on Facebook.)
Wednesday, March 26
Just in time for cherry blossom season, the local distillery behind Green Hat Gin is bringing back its popular Spring/Summer gin. The sweet, floral gin, which gets flavors of blood orange and tropical fruit from three different kinds of citrus peels, includes one great local ingredient: cherry blossom petals. “There’s a new crop of cherry blossoms,” says distiller Michael Lowe. “Other than that, it’s as close to identical [to last year’s batch] as we could get it.” The gin makes its official debut at Boundary Road on Wednesday night, where the creative bartending team will feature it in five special cocktails, such as the Hummingbird (Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, the floral Hum liqueur and blood orange juice) and the Hustler (Aperol, Lillet Blanc, Dolin dry vermouth and cucumbers). The drinks begin to flow at 5 p.m.
DJs from the monumental vintage reggae night D.C. Soundclash join DJ Sean Peoples of the much-missed Fatback funk and soul party for La Belle Epoque, a night honoring classic music from Africa. You’ll hear highlife, congotronics, Afrobeat and songs familiar and forgotten at Marx Cafe, beginning at 9 p.m. There’s no cover charge.
Thursday, March 27
... And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead's "Source Tags and Codes" was one of the great indie-rock albums of the early 2000s, a bristling wall of noise that took post-punk in an epic, almost-orchestral direction. While the Austin-based band is still recording original music, their current tour, which stops at the Rock and Roll Hotel tonight, finds them performing 2002's "Codes" in its entirety.
Here’s one for the whiskey lovers: Master of Whiskey Ewan Morgan, who represents a number of major brands of Scotch, Irish and American whiskey, is coming to Little Miss Whiskey’s to give a presentation on the differences between “American vs. Irish” whiskey. A $5 ticket includes the chance to sample four different whiskeys: Bushmills 16-year, Bushmills cask-aged Black Bush, Bulleit Bourbon 10 year and Dickel rye. Space is limited, so don’t delay.
Friday, March 28
Local hip-hop and R&B fixture Wes Felton has found a new home for his Dub’s Pub parties: Starting Friday, he’ll take over Den of Thieves from 6 to 9 p.m., spinning rare grooves and featuring live music by artists ranging from jazz to electronic. Soulful singer-songwriter Ari Lennox, a D.C. native, performs this week. There’s no cover charge.
DJ Nickodemus' Wonderwheel Recordings label has served as a way for him to bring greater attention to fascinating international music for a decade. The label's newest find is Sudanese singer Alsarah and her band The Nubatones. Alsarah's East African retro-pop is rooted in '60s and ‘70s music from the Nubia region, with influences picked up along the way in Yemen and her current base of Brooklyn. The Nubatones play Tropicalia with support from DJ Underdog.
Saturday, March 29
At this point, the question question is not what have Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia done, but what haven't the iconic New York DJs done? Their underground show on New York's WKCR from 1990 to 1998 broke the careers of everyone from Notorious B.I.G. to the Fugees, putting the duo in the Hip-Hop Radio Hall of Fame. Bobbito's individual career as a hip-hop renaissance man includes extensive writing on music, sneaker culture and basketball, as well as running several boutique record labels. Stretch similarly branched out, producing major label hip-hop artists and pushing new dance music acts. Together on the decks, they cover every sound from progressive hip-hop to classic Nuyorican to funk and soul breaks. Stretch and Bob bring their years of party rocking experience to the Lodge at Red Rocks this weekend, and you can see them for free.
Dynamic young singer Luisa Maita weaves together many musical traditions of her native Brazil -- primarily bossa nova and samba -- and adds dancehall beats, bass and spacey keyboards to acoustic guitars bring the sounds into the world of 21st century lounge. The highlight, though, is her supple voice, an airy instrument that captivates even if you don't understand the language. Hear it at Artisphere.
Sunday, March 30
Young Mack Wilds has an old soul, and his musical debut is helmed by a roster of classic New York boom-bap producers, including DJ Premier, Salaam Remi and Pete Rock. Best known for his star turn as Michael Lee on "The Wire," the actor is bringing out his music side while his acting career continues to grow. His first single "Own It" rode the beat from Eric B. & Rakim's classic "Eric B. Is President." and was an introduction to his classicly rooted hip-hop and R&B approach. Wilds hits at the Howard Theatre with Washington go-go/rock/pop outfit Black Alley.
Last summer, bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley – of the Clinch Mountain Boys and, more popularly, the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack – announced he’d be embarking on a farewell tour. After all, the great singer and singular banjo player is 87 years old. And yet he seems content to let the “farewell tour” roll on with no signs of stopping. Stanley has told reporters that he “reconsidered” his decision, but he could change his mind at any minute. He’s at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.
A New Orleans brass band for people who think they don't like New Orleans brass bands, Bonerama's multi-trombone attack and penchant for Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin covers have won them fans across the country. More than a few will be at the Hamilton tonight.
Monday, March 31
Pharmacy Bar is not the oldest dive bar in Adams Morgan (Dan’s Cafe and Millie and Al’s have it beat). Nor is it the trendiest. But Pharmacy, with its pill-topped tables, medicine cabinet décor and gloriously rocking jukebox, is a survivor. The bar celebrates its sixteenth anniversary this week, and owner Kristaps Kreslins is making the trip back from Riga, Latvia, where he currently lives, for the occasion. There will be guest DJs and plenty of shots.