Best of Washington: Music Off the Beaten Track
Music venues on the rise.
Rock and Roll Hotel: It’s not actually a hotel, but the name hasn’t stopped it from becoming an up-and-coming concert venue for local and national bands. With a capacity of 400, the Rock and Roll Hotel provides an intimate space to watch bands—plus funky rooms upstairs if you’re not in the mood for a night of music but would rather sip a beer and enjoy the indie-and-punk aesthetic (guitars with wings hang from the ceilings). Two larger rooms available for private rental make it a popular spot for birthdays. 1353 H St., NE; 202-388-7625; rockandrollhoteldc.com.
611 Florida: If you’re looking for something completely off the radar, 611 is the place to go. The façade of this little-known concert venue is regular-looking gray brick, a rowhouse in DC’s Shaw neighborhood. Don’t expect quiet acoustic tunes or radio-friendly pop-rock groups: The music is avant-garde and art-noise. There’s never an official cover charge, just a suggested amount for donations. 611 Florida Ave., NW; 611florida.alkem.org.
HR-57: For a laid-back night of local jazz, head to HR-57 in the District’s Logan Circle area on Wednesdays and Thursdays. That’s when the dark and spacious club hosts an open-mike jam session, where local jazz musicians come together to play and riff starting at 8 pm. There’s an $8 cover charge and, if you bring your own wine, a $3 corkage fee. 1610 14th St., NW; 202-667-3700; firstname.lastname@example.org.