The DJs, bands, dance nights and parties you need to plan for in the next seven days.
First things first: There are a lot of Independence Day events this week. If you're looking for cookouts, DJs and concerts on July 4, check out this blog post.
Tuesday, July 1
Sage Francis spent years working his way into the small fellowship of Gen-X underground hip-hop artists with an avid following and a continually evolving approach to the idiom. Then, just as the Rhode Island journeyman seemed on the cusp of something big, he put the mike down and retired. What prompted this talented MC to step away from the game for four years? Life, a sick cat, fatigue, unending home improvement projects and a shift of focus to running a record label of likeminded artists. Before checking out Francis U Street Music Hall, familiarize yourself with this video to avoid shouting dumb questions and requests from the audience. But don't miss the show.
When you flipped your calendar this morning, you probably thought today was just the first day of July. Not at Pizzeria Paradiso: It's the first day of JulyPA. Through July 15, every single tap at all three locations will be pouring hoppy, beautiful IPAs: American, Belgian, imperial, single-hopped, flavored with grape must – you name it. Welcome the hops with half-price drafts from 5 to 7 p.m., plus discounted pizza and crostini. Check out an updated beer menu on the Paradiso website.
Charlottesville comes to Petworth tonight, as Petworth Citizen turns its taps over to C-Ville's Starr Hill brewery at 5 p.m. Beers pouring throughout the night include Soulshine Belgian-Style Pale Ale, Bandstand Barleywine and GAVA Joe, a funky stout made in collaboration with Terrapin brewing, using coffee from roasters in Charlottesville and Athens, Ga.
Wednesday, July 2
It's been a busy four years for Meridian Pint, the wildly popular Columbia Heights beer bar and restaurant. (The offshoot Brookland Pint is scheduled to open in late July or early August near Catholic University.) The original Pint celebrates its fourth birthday on Wednesday by selling all drafts for $5 from 5 p.m. to close. Beer director Jace Gonnerman promises a mix of "local favorites and standout drafts from across the country."
H Street NE is home to a wide variety of events, from hip-hop DJs to deaf trivia, but we've always found it surprising there are very few gay and lesbian events on the strip. You can add another tonight: Market Crash, which takes place at the Big Board on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. DJ Zack Rosen spins, and drink specials include $5 beers and rail drinks from 9 to 11 p.m.
Thursday, July 3
Eighteen Dupont Circle bars are participating in the pre-Independence Day Midtown Liberty Bar Crawl, which has been running for 15 years and, as far as we know, never led to a naked man getting tased by the police. The drill is a familiar one: Check in at Mackey's between 5 and 10 p.m., then head off to Blackfinn, Sign of the Whale, Public Bar, Buffalo Billiards and other nightlife staples for $3 Blue Moons, $4 Bacardi drinks and other happy hour deals until midnight. (Patriotic attire isn't required, but it's stongly encouraged.) Admission is $14 in advance, and more at the door.
What's more American than dancing to a cover band performing songs by Katy Perry, Avicii, Pitbull, Ke$ha and David Guetta? The Wild Ones, who are regulars on the Dewey Beach and Jersey scenes, hit all the current top 40 hits as well as the expected Bon Jovi, Snoop and Joan Jett. They're at Clarendon Grill with DJ Pat Premier. Doors open for happy hour at 5 p.m., and the music begins at 10.
Forget mom and apple pie: For some people, America means Willie, Waylon, whiskey and a cold can of beer. The monthly Outlaws night at Marx Cafe leans heavily on classic country and Americana at its July 4 throwdown. As always, there's no cover and a beer and a shot will set you back $5.
Black Masala puts a face-melting brass section to work on rhythms as varied as Balkan beats, New Orleans jazz, indie rock and Appalachian roots music. The thread connecting it all? Party music. Black Masala shares the Tropicalia stage with bluesman Cody Brooks and curator of "weird world" music, DJ Crown Vic.
For casual music fans, Minneapolis producer Gigamesh is the man behind the massively funky electro remix of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks." DJ aficionados know him for his retro-leaning electro work with the trendsetting Kitsune label (the banging "All My Life" EP) or remixing Ladyhawke and Two Door Cinema Club. Either way, he's headlining Fort Knox Recordings' annual Big Boom dance party at U Street Music Hall, which includes Fort Knox Five and the All Good Funk Alliance battling Qdup.
Friday, July 4
One July 4 party that's not in the guide referenced above: It's the sixth anniversary of Moneytown, the best soul night in Washington. DJ Nitekrawler (aka Kevin Coombe) is a first-rate musical historian, tracking down rare funky and soul 45s as well as the stories of the musicians behind them. For this birthday party, Coombe will give out free records to guests – no, really – while presiding over the lively dance floor at Little Miss Whiskey's. Admission is free; the music starts at 10.
Saturday, July 5
One of our favorite retro dance parties in D.C., Reminisce at Liv is an all-'90s affair – everything from New Jack Swing to hip-hop to dancehall – helmed by U Street fixtures DJ Underdog and Nick Da 1Da. RSVP for free admission before 11 and an open bar from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.