Nightlife Agenda Pick of the Week
"The formula is this: me, Tip and Ali." Phife's verse on A Tribe Called Quest's "Oh My God" from 1993's "Midnight Marauders" album really could suffice for the entirety of this blurb. Really, what more do you need to know other than that this legendary hip-hop trio will be performing at Love Friday? It's remedial to even have to rehash how their five albums in the '90s defined an era and several aesthetic branches of hip-hop, from playful and intelligent boho-hop to the pioneering use of jazz samples that could rattle a trunk when layered over meaty slabs of beat. Whether it was DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad's rare-groove loops, the upright bass of jazz legend Ron Carter or the minimalist arrangements of pioneering producer J. Dilla, the one thing that connected Tribe's different sonic eras was the chemistry between abstract poet Q-Tip and the scrappy bluntness of Phife Dawg. That chemistry seemed to be waning by 1998's "Love Movement" as personal and fiscal fissures widened in the group. A farewell tour followed at the end of that album's arc, and many of us thought that we were seeing them for the last time.
Time really must heal wounds, because Tribe has popped up on spot dates over the last couple years, sometimes even with member-emeritus Jarobi, who has been a Washington-area resident for a good while. There's been no official proclamation that Tribe is back, but even if this unofficial reunion only persists on stage we all win. No more advance tickets are available online, so you're going to have to line up at the club and take your chances. Doors open at 6 p.m., which is about five hours before you can expect Tribe to hit the stage.
This is just one of our 16 recommended events in this week's Nightlife Agenda column, which includes a potential Barrack Obama sighting, mystery guests at the Rock and Roll Hotel, Puerto Rican salsa stars and the promise of a "Soul Train" line. How can you turn that down?
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