Every Tuesday, the Going Out Guide staff highlights the week's best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties.
Tuesday, April 15
It seems hard to believe, but three years ago, Washington didn't have a single production brewery. Then DC Brau arrived, quickly becoming ubiquitous at bars all over town. Though the brewery is best known for its hoppy Citizen and Corruption ales, dozens of beers have come out of the Bladensburg Road brewery, from light golden ales to rich Belgian ales aged in whiskey barrels. The full range of Brau will be available Tuesday night at Meridian Pint, the Columbia Heights beer bar where DC Brau was unveiled back in 2011. "Core" beers - Public, Citizen and Corruption - will be $3 all night for the third anniversary, but the real attraction will be a range of rare and vintage beers on tap, including Natas, a Belgian-style imperial stout made with Baltimore's Stillwater Ales; a version of the strong Heurich's Lager aged in barrels that have held maple syrup and rye whiskey; and Brainless Corruption, an extra-hoppy Belgian IPA made in collaboration with Utah's Epic Brewing Company. Doors open at 5 p.m., and some beers will be in very limited quantities.
Over the course of seven albums, the Black Lips have remained a remarkably consistent (and great) garage rock band. They've lost a bit of the hazy '60s fuzzy over the years -- on their new record, they occasionally channel the circa-1970s Rolling Stones instead of the "Nuggets" box set -- but still deliver perfectly ramshackle rock and roll. They visit the Black Cat with Natural Child.
Wednesday, April 16
Even longtime D.C. residents frequently overlook the city's Emancipation Day celebrations, which mark the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensation Emancipation Act, which freed all slaves in Washington. (Nine months later, Lincoln signed the more well-known Emancipation Proclamation.) Whatever your knowledge of the holiday's history, it's hard to ignore the city's free Emancipation Day Concert at Freedom Plaza, which is stocked with talent: Hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh, conscious rapper Talib Kweli, party-rocking DJ Kool of "Let Me Clear My Throat" fame, rapper and poet J. Ivy, and go-go/funk/R&B ensemble Black Alley. Vendors will be on hand to provide food and drink.
Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is an artist who always follows his muse, whether that's recording clever, romantic cabaret tunes, recreating Judy Garland's legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert or, as on his latest album, working with superproducer Mark Ronson to create a collection of poppy 21st-century Yacht Rock songs. With so much great material, every Wainwright concert is basically a "Best of" album, so the audience at the Lincoln Theatre is in for a treat.
The future of the Corcoran Gallery of Art may still be shrouded in mystery, but its popular events and happy hours continue as usual. This month's Corcoran Uncorked is all about the future: "Best & Brightest" features performance art by three Corcoran students being featured in the current "NEXT 2014" exhibit, which collects the work of 148 students graduating from the College of Art and Design; live music from up-and-coming synthpop group Pleasure Curses and '80s-style pop group Furniteur (which features members of Brett); and samples of new cocktails at the Muse cafe. Tickets also include tours of three current Corcoran exhibits.
Thursday, April 17
New Orleans singer August Alsina is making a fairly serious bid for the mantle of "Sensitive R&B Thug" with his debut album "Testimony." Alsina has become famous for radio hits featuring Trinidad James and Jeezy, but "Testimony" mostly eschews party anthems for tender piano-led tracks or mid-tempo ballads warning about life on the streets. Even "Benediction," an uplifting track featuring a verse from Rick Ross, finds Alsina confessing "So many nights I tried / to hide how I felt, I would cry inside / And I ran through the streets till my feet got tired / 'Cause I ain't wanna have my shoes on them power lines.") Alsina marks this week's release of "Testimony" with a special appearance at the Park at 14th, where he'll perform live and host the party alongside DJ Quicksilva, beginning at 6 p.m.
The revival of the Howard Theatre and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of the Lincoln Theatre may have pushed the latter off the radar for concertgoers. Stephen Marley is a great reason to check out that space out again. Marley manages to distinguish himself among a large group of accomplished Marley progeny, whether it's his contributions to his brother Damien "Jr. Gong"'s Grammy-winning projects or his own equally celebrated solo releases. As one of the elder siblings of the Marley clan, Stephen's music is more at the roots end of the reggae spectrum, which is a great fit for the Lincoln Theatre's historic role on Washington's Black Broadway.
We're only a month or so away from beach season. If you're not already thinking about Memorial Day, you may be after Thursday night. Mason Inn is hosting a night with Burnt Sienna, the Philadelphia rock band known for performing covers at Dewey Beach's Lighthouse and Rusty Rudder and Ocean City's Seacrets, among other venues. The group takes the stage at 9 p.m. and there's no cover charge.
Friday, April 18
The DMC World Championships is the World Cup of turntablism, in which the world's finest DJs cut, scratch and juggle their way to supremacy. But before a would-be Grandmaster Flash can battle the best DJs on Earth, they need to qualify. The Mid-Atlantic regional competition takes place this Friday night at U Street Music Hall, where DJs will be judged by a panel of their peers. The public can come along to watch DJs perform sets of two to six minutes, depending on the round, or to check out a set by turntable wizard Chris Karns, who captured both the U.S. and World DMC titles in 2011. DJ BaronHawk spins before and after the main event.
Saturday's Broccoli City Festival at St. Elizabeth's features Cam'Ron, Just Blaze, Dizzy Wright and a host of other performers teaming up to promote Earth Day and the idea of sustainable living. But the night before the festival, the Rock Creek Social Club team are bringing back their much-missed "Good Life Tuesdays" vibe at Recess. Organized by DJ Jerome Baker III, Good Life found celebrated DJs genre-hopping from dubstep to moombahton to blog rap for a crowd that was always up for a party. The weekly event ended its run in in 2012, but Baker is throwing a reunion Recess. Turn up early, and not only because it will be packed: Open bar runs from 10 to 11 p.m., and free Broccoli Fest tickets are up for grabs.
Saturday, April 19
DC Brau's celebrations keep going Saturday, when the brewery hosts DC Braustomp, an all-ages ska concert with the Pietasters and Caz and the Day Laborers. Expect DJed music, beer tastings and brewery tours in between bands, plus snacks from the Grand Slam BBQ food trucks.
The greatest song ever about Washington D.C.? That's a pretty tough call, but the Blackbyrds' "Rock Creek Park" has to be high on any list. The band, formed at Howard University in 1973 by students of the legendary trumpeter Donald Byrd, reunited two years ago, and four of the members of its 1970s lineup will be on stage at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club this weekend.
If you love house and techno, there's one place to be tonight: Echostage, where Carl Cox and Nic Fanciulli will be bringing some of that pumping Ibiza vibe to Queens Chapel Road. (Cox will be a resident at Ibiza's legendary Space club for the 13th time this summer; Fanciulli joined him there for shows in 2013.) With three decades of experience stretching from rave to acid house to deep techno, Cox is one of the most accomplished DJs around, and his sets rarely disappoint.
Sunday, April 20
Why should kids get to have all the fun on Easter Sunday? At the Brixton, "The Hunt" features eggs filled with coupons for discounts, free drinks and other prizes hidden across all three floors of the bar, beginning at 2 p.m. (Eggs will periodically be replenished, so it's not a case of early birds getting the eggs.) Drink specials, which run until 10 p.m., include $5 draft beers and gin lemonades.