Get ready for the long weekend and the long hours spent counting down to said three-day weekend. We've got pool parties, cookouts, an Oktoberfest beer tapping (yes, already), happy hours with cool DJs, the anniversary of super soul night Moneytown, a holiday bar crawl, DJ Dave Nada's birthday party and live performances by Rick Ross, Nobunny and U.S. Royalty.
Wednesday, June 30
It's June. Walking outside feels like stepping into a blast furnace. There's a severe thunderstorm watch almost every day. So why in the world are we talking about Oktoberfest beers? The brewers of Great Lakes -- a Cleveland brewery that has become a cult favorite in D.C. -- have sent the Black Squirrel a keg of their Oktoberfest Marzen, which the Adams Morgan beer bar is pouring tonight (and serving with bratwurst and roast chickens for that September-in-June feel). We're dubious -- what next, drinking Belgian Christmas ales in August? -- but if you want to get a taste, you're advised to get there soon after the 5 p.m. tapping. This keg will not last long.
Last week, we ran a blog post about the fundraisers H Street bars will be holding to help the employees out of work due to a devastating fire at the Argonaut. The first of those fundraisers is tonight at the Rock and Roll Hotel. A $20 donation -- which goes directly to the Argonaut staff and its repair efforts -- is good for free mixed drinks between 5 and 11, and five DJs, including Argo regular DJ P.Vo, provide the tunes.
For the past couple years, DJ Sean Gone has held down a space on Connecticut Ave for creativity in dance music. Mechanix has found Sean Gone and a rotating cast of DJs mixing it up on the decks with acoustic and electronic musicians, adding an improv element to the house and disco tracks. The Mechanix crew (DJ Names, Joey B and Mechanix regular Deep Sang) is bidding him farewell this evening at Steve's Bar Room as he's getting out of the grind of promoting events that take place in the wee hours.
How long have we been proclaiming U.S. Royalty to be the Next Big Thing coming out of D.C.? Long enough that it should have happened by now? OK, we're still waiting on the debut album from the well-coiffed, well-polished rockers, but what's taking so long? Oh, we kid, we kid, but we also want to hear their rollicking tunes on wax. (Or MP3.) For now we'll have settle for their debut at U Street Music Hall, with Toronto's Dinosaur Bones opening.
Thursday, July 1
Policy is beginning to escape the upscale-lounge-with-bottle-service tag and rebrand itself as a place you can go to kick off the night, not just show up after midnight. The latest addition to its lineup is the Jump Off, a no-cover throwdown with drink specials ($3 Guinness and 16-ounce Red Stripe cans) and terrific DJs. Up this week is party-rocking hop-hop DJ Quartermaine (a.k.a. Supa Qool Uncle Q) joining resident Rex Riddim, who specializes in reggae, funk and hip-hop beats.
On the first Thursday of the month, emPower magazine hosts a happy hour at Tabaq that benefits a local non-profit. It's a win-win situation: Groups receive 10 percent of all drink sales and they can also use the event to collect donations or supplies. At July's happy hour, for example, Books for America is asking patrons to bring new or gently used books, which will be donated to youth centers, inner-city libraries, hospitals and shelters. So grab a book off your bookshelf (or pick one up on the way to U Street) and enjoy a cocktails for a good cause.
Eden -- the lounge formerly known as Eyebar -- is reinventing itself as a new al fresco happy hour destination, thanks to its rooftop deck. On Thursday nights, a new weekly party call the Summer Jam pairs DJ Ed the Bruce and saxophonist Natty Rico for uptempo music all night without a cover. Show up between 8 and 10 for free food, and stick around the rest of the night for specials on mojitos and frozen drinks.
Friday, July 2
If you're like us, you're counting the seconds until the long weekend gets underway. For those trying to slip out of the office a little early, here's a piece of advice: The annual Midtown Liberty Bar Tour gets the weekend going with $3 Blue Moon and $4 Absolut or Malibu drinks at a dozen downtown bars, including the Madhatter, BlackFinn, the Front Page and Mackey's, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. They're all pretty standard after-work haunts, and they get crowded with revelers, but we like the ready-to-party crowds and extended hours. And food and drink deals are good until midnight. (Even better: Save $3 on admission when you bring two cans of food, which will be donated to Manna Food Center.) Show up at Mackey's to sign up, then get on your way to a different spot.
For fans of rare funk and old soul - the ones who like to really listen as well as to dance - there is no finer night in D.C. than Moneytown. DJ Nitekrawler (a.k.a. Kevin Coombe) and his guests rock forgotten 45s from the '60s and '70s, getting crowds to dance while avoiding the popular and expected Motown hits. Think of it as a history lesson with a greasy, gritty groove. The monthly party turns 2 this weekend, so Nitekrawler is bringing in Pittsburgh's J. Malls for an assist, while Little Miss Whiskey's offers drink specials and a Southern-style barbecue cookout on the back patio.
In Victor Wooten's hands, the electric bass guitar is so much more than an instrument confined by the bass clef and the root notes of the rhythm section. He's a master of every articulation, from the low-end thump and slap to super fast trills, runs and tapping techniques. His work isn't solely the province of extreme jazz nerds. Wooten is a warm and soulful player whose considerable technical gifts are not just about shredding, but about unique interpretations of great material. In addition to his working solo, Wooten has long been a centerpiece of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, the daring instrumental outfit that rewrites the way bluegrass, fusion, funk and jazz can be married to other musical forms. Over the past couple of years, Wooten, has worked with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller to form a bass-playing hydra known as SMV, wowing crowds with three generations of bass guitar innovation. Tonight is the 9:30 Club's turn.
The concept behind Nobunny is pretty simple. Take one part garage rock, one part bubblegum pop, one part kitschy songs ("Nobunny Loves You"), add a singer wearing, yes, a bunny mask and voilà - you've got one of the most infectious groups around. The Oakland, Calif., group, led by the masked man, plays uncomplicated, straight-up party music. The dude wearing the bunny mask won't be the only one hopping - the band plays short songs that inspire pogoing and maybe a bit of moshing. It's bound to get sweaty. Local punk standouts the Shirks finish the night.
The newest happy hour destination on 14th Street: The Black Cat. Seriously. Starting tonight, the Cat unveils a new woman-focused happy hour called Think of England, with music by female DJs, and longtime Black Cat bartender Lili Montoya choosing a different happy hour special, which could range from a creative new cocktail to a discounted beer-of-the-week. For the kickoff, Black Cat talent buyer Vicki Savoula joins DJ Natalya of the Scandinavian indie night Hej Hej on the decks. The music plays from 7 to 9, and there's no cover charge.
9:30 Club's Backbar can be a great stop on your DC dive bar tour on nights when the eclectic DJ bookings combine with a random assemblage of party people who haven't bothered to secure a ticket to the concert hall above. Tonight you'll get rare groove and downtempo from mixtress Christine Moritz and DJK, a multi-instrumentalist who plays with various cutting edge outfits around town like Dastardly and whose DJ selections reflect tastes in funk, punk and classic hip-hop. Joining them for a live electro set on classic Roland drum machines is Distant Maps.
Saturday, July 3
Brightest Young Things, which ran D.C.'s biggest and hippest pool parties at the Capitol Skyline Hotel last summer, is throwing a Wild West-themed party called Cowboy Camp the day before Independence day. Expect lassoing and hamburger-eating contests, a mechanical bull, unironic cowboy hats, water guns and music by Mixtape DJs Matt Bailer and Shea Van Horn, as well as hundreds of 20-somethings working on their tans or splashing in the huge pool. Get there early and BYO towel; changing rooms and lockers are provided.
You have two chances today to see Miami rapper Rick Ross, who is set to drop his fourth album, "Teflon Don," on July 20. First, he's performing with the L!ssen Band at the Laylinn Manor in Upper Marlboro, a private mansion with a pool. The party runs from 2 p.m. to midnight. Then you can get a sneak preview of some of the new tracks and such former hits as "Hustin'" and "The Boss" during a live show at Ibiza. A $40 VIP ticket gets you express entry into the club , and skipping the line might be worth it, as it can take a while to get into the club. Dress to impress.
Globetrotting Washington DJ Dave Nada celebrates his birthday at U Street Music Hall with DJ Sabo (New York City), Oro 11 and Disco Shawn rocking Latin-flavored sets of cumbia, tropical, dancehall, house and electro during Tormento Tropical. Nada is expected to take the decks to drop some moombahton, a hot, new style of his own creation, which slows house tracks to the pace of reggaeton. At some point during the evening, there will be a yeti-shaped piñata. You have been warned.
It's an all-American party at Town Tavern, with a free open bar from 8 to 9 p.m. for anyone who RSVPs on www.towntaverndc.com, plus peanuts, hot dogs and popcorn to complete the "Red, White and Booze" theme. All-night drink specials include $3 domestic bottles of beer and $4 rail drinks. The dress code is patriotic, and the "most festive attire" wins a $100 gift certificate.
When Left Bank became Slaviya in Adams Morgan, we knew we were in for some wild-and-crazy Eastern European parties, and events like last Saturday's Vodka Infusion, with deals on Russian Standard and Ukrainian Presidential Standard, make 18th Street feel a little more international than usual. This weekend, it's a Bulgarian Party with DJs Stefan Koev and Izzo spinning trance and house. (Set the mood with a couple bottles of Zagorka, a Bulgarian beer.) This will be anything but your usual Adams Morgan night out.Get on the guest list at www.troikaparty.com.
Iota has become the local landing spot for the most intriguing new U.K. folk acts. In May Laura Marling brought her unadorned songs to the Arlington club and on Saturday the Unthanks will bring their more elaborate offerings. Like Marling, the Unthanks (named for sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank) work within classic folk structures but go for grandeur, adding lush orchestration that never overwhelms the group's harmonies and melodies. Their gripping songs are filled with an an air of mystery and intrigue, and we hope the usual chatty weekend crowds at Iota will be hushed enough to enjoy the beauty.
Sunday, July 4
July 4 means pool parties, cookouts, fireworks and rockin' out. Check out this list of July 4 events, which includes a $200-per-person soiree at the W with an open bar and "Entourage" actor Adrian Grenier's band, a water front show starring Soul Asylum and Virginia Coalition, Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown, and another installment of the surprising WTF? night at Town.
Monday, July 5
After three days of cookouts, sunburn and cheap beer, you should close out your long weekend with a relaxing movie. Head for the Black Cat, where the Drink and a Movie night features flicks about summer camp -- hopefully more "Wet Hot American Summer" than "Friday the 13th." The bartenders are whipping up an adult version of Bug Juice, that sticky-sweet no-name-Kool-Aid that any camp-goer would recognize on sight. There's no cover. Movies start at 9.
-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz
Posted by: Kev29 | June 30, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse
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