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Posted at 6:26 PM ET, 01/ 6/2009

Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn

Let the Going Out Gurus entertain you with music, free food and cheap drinks at happy hour, hit a Brazilian party with the buzzed-about Sao Paolo band Garotas Suecas and DJs spinning dance tunes at Comet Ping Pong, taste vintage cocktails, hit a warehouse party where hip-hop and house collide, or head for a weekly happy hour where you could leave with one of several Caribbean vacations up for grabs.

Going Out Guru Rhome Anderson -- a k a DJ Stylus of the Poem-Cees and WPFW's Soul Controllers -- is spinning at the Going Out Guide's inaugural happy hour on Wednesday. (Jati Lindsay)

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Tuesday

Wednesday, Jan. 7
We're kind of a modest bunch here at Going Out Gurus central -- we rarely mention when Rhome is rocking a party at an upscale nightspot, when David's taking the stage with his band at the Velvet Lounge or where Fritz is plugging in his iPod to spin a few tunes. This week, though, we'd like to brag a little: The first Going Out Guide Happy Hour is taking place tonight at Bourbon from 6 to 8. As bribes incentives to get you to come hang out with us, we're offering free food, drink specials like $3 draft beers and $4 selected bourbons and a chance to win tickets to Thievery Corporation's Jan. 30 concert at the 9:30 club before they even go on sale. Oh, and DJ Stylus of the Poem-Cees and the Soul Controllers show on WPFW -- a k a Rhome -- is going to be spinning party music; get a preview with some downloadable mixtapes here. We hope you can join us.

After spending years as one of the pillars of the U Street soul scene, acoustic soul artist Mikuak Rai handed over the reins of the Movement Monday night open mike at Bar Nun and caught the travel bug, following his muse to Hawaii, Atlanta and Australia. Rai is back in Washington now with a sound that keeps the spiritual singer/songwriter underpinnings of his earlier work with additional downtempo electronic textures. Think Seal meets Vikter Duplaix. Rai will be featured at Busboys and Poets tonight as part of the Humpday Grooves series.

It's a nice sampling of local acts at the Black Cat tonight. First up you've got Edie Sedgwick (listen), the glammed-up alter ego of our Post co-worker Justin Moyer, who sings about famous people and things over top of propulsive punk-funk. It sounds good on record (that'd be the new "Things are Getting Sinister and Sinisterer") but when you see it live, in all its cross-dressing glory, it's a sight to behold. Title Tracks (listen) is the new band from John Davis, recently of Georgie James, less recently of Q and Not U and far less recently of Corm. (Yeah MoCo basement shows!) It's no coincidence that Title Tracks sounds a lot like Georgie James, a band that fell apart before it reached its potential, so expect plenty of bright and bouncy pop songs. That's not what to expect from Imperial China (listen), a band that has been gaining some attention around town lately. The trio's spiky post-punk recalls the city's classic Dischord sound, but Imperial China certainly sounds of the 21st century and not like a band trying to recreate 1980s glory days.

Thursday, Jan. 8
Washington just keeps getting better for cocktail lovers. (Read Fritz's Year of the Cocktail recap on the blog for the long version of why.) The latest example to tickle your taste buds is Punch Club, a brand-new weekly happy hour hosted by longtime bartender Dan Searing. (Searing, a member of the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild, also works at Looking Glass Lounge and his own soon-to-come Room 11 bar at 11th and Lamont streets.) The name Punch Club will provoke the usual "Fight Club" jokes, which aren't far off. Held in the otherwise moribund bar at the Warehouse Theatre, it feels kind of like an underground night of drinking. At the inaugural Punch Club on New Year's Day, Searing ladled several 19th-century concoctions from large glass bowls, including Rocky Mountain Punch, an amazingly sweet-and-tart drink with a recipe that calls for five bottles of champagne, a quart of rum, a pint of maraschino liqueur and half a dozen sliced lemons. (Large mugs of punch were $5 a pop.) He also mixed up Bloody Marys with a homemade horseradish-and-tomato sauce and made one of the best Corpse Reviver No. 2s I've had in a while, balancing the gin and lemon with the right amount of pastis and a nice touch of Lillet. Punch Club runs from 6 to 11 every Thursday.

Studio wizard and party animal Sharkey anchors the General Store Inc.'s Popoff at DC9 tonight. Known for his work behind the boards on solo releases and with Monster Maker, Sharkey gives his DJ sets the same style: rock-tinged, big-beat hip-hop with some of today's mash-up aesthetic. Performances by Ra the MC and jazz poet Carolyn Malachi round out the evening. Come early for schwag and rock your best flannel to win a prize.

One of our favorite trends of 2008 was the rise of funk and soul dance nights. Tonight at Dahlak, check out Soul Stew for your mix of '50s and '60 grooves covering the spectrum from James Brown to obscure cuts. There's nothing to lose -- there's no cover. Doors are at 10.

We don't know much about Garotas Suecas (listen) besides what we've seen and heard on the Internet. And we do mean seen and heard and not read about, because most of the type that's been devoted to the Sao Paulo band is in Portuguese, and ours is a little rusty. (OK, so Carrie Brownstein just wrote about the band over at Monitor Mix.) But seeing and hearing should be plenty of incentive to get you over to Comet Ping Pong to check out the Brazilian rockers. If you're thinking it's going to be some Tropicalia throwback, you wouldn't be totally wrong, but the band's sound isn't totally tied to its homeland. It's just as much an homage to the freakadelic sounds of the '60s; you know, bands that fit the "Flavor"/"Object That Has to Do With Telling Time" mold. (Chocolate Watchband, Strawberry Alarm Clock, etc.) It's music to boogie to, and you can boogie for free, which is the best kind of boogieing. DJ Neville Chamberlain of Cafe St-Ex's Brazilian Rhythms (aka Neal Becton of Som Records) will be spinning appropriate tunes before and after the band plays.

Friday, Jan. 9
So you're just back from your holiday breaks, faced with 1,400 e-mails and a mountain of phone calls, meetings with the boss and all kinds of looming deadlines. Wouldn't it be nice to get away (again)? At Union Jack's Kickin' It Old School happy hour tonight, organizers are giving away trips every hour -- this week's destinations are Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and a pair of tickets to any destination in the continental United States. These vacations, which include airfare and a hotel, will be handed out when the British-themed pub's clock chimes at 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. While you wait to win, hit the extra-long happy hour for $2 Coronas, Budweisers and Bud Lites, $4 plates of nachos or wings, and $5 burgers. Good luck.

The Loft has been a great outlet for stripping parties down to the essence: DJs going full tilt for serious heads. It's been a good space for Washington's DJs to come together in ways they wouldn't be able to at conventional venues. The lineup of Double o7's Give It A Name jam unifies the hip-hop and house worlds tonight. Orbit 122 brings the true school hip-hop energy from his runs at Chief Ike's and Blue Room, and he teams up with John Bowen, whose VJ skills were most recently on display at Laced. Curt Clay and Double o7 will handle the four to the floor house rhythms.

Saturday, Jan. 10
After kinda-not-really-local Ted Leo kicked off the Black Cat's Second Saturdays series month, it's good to see a true local headlining the second installment. Mary Timony has been an on-and-off fixture of the local scene for the better part of the past two decades, and that's always been a good thing for the D.C. She's experienced a recent resurgence that started with 2005's "Ex Hex" and continued with 2007's "The Shapes We Make," a pair of albums that saw her returning to songs featuring driving rhythms and jagged guitars. Pow Wow is her new band, and when it debuted at Comet Ping Pong a few weeks ago, things didn't sound too different from those two previous albums. When Timony coos over some sharp guitars and start/stop rhythms, it's still one of the town's best sounds. True Womanhood (listen) opens on the backstage.

Tuesday, Jan. 13
Completing our Week for Vintage Cocktail Buffs is "All Cocktails Is Local," a delicious history lesson brought to us by Phil Greene of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. He and local bartender Derek Brown are setting up shop at Rock Creek restaurant in Chevy Chase to discuss the intersection of history and specific drinks, from the Ward Eight -- a bourbon drink created in Boston in 1898 to celebrate a new state legislator's election -- to the Rickey, which took its name from Joseph Rickey, the lobbyist who invented it at a bar called Shoemaker's on Capitol Hill. The lecture -- which includes tastings of all the beverages discussed -- lasts 90 minutes and costs $35 in advance. (You'll pay more at the door.) Reserve a spot on the museum's Web page.

--Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

By Fritz Hahn  | January 6, 2009; 6:26 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events, Music  
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I loves me some Bourbon, and $4 sweetens the deal. Buy me a drink and I'll tell you about the time I gave Fritz my seat on the Titanic lifeboat.

Posted by: monkeyrotica | January 7, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey Fritz - thanks for the agenda notes. You mentioned Pow Wow at Comet a few weeks ago - I haven't been since 2006 and would like to take some out of towners there. Mixed reviews on the Restaurant Guide. What do you think - yea or nay?

Posted by: doug27 | January 8, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I vote yes. The Smoky and the Little Lamb are my favorite pizzas there. Service can be a little weird and choppy, but my overall experiences have been good.

Posted by: Fritz_Hahn | January 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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