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Posted at 5:47 PM ET, 07/ 2/2007

Making the Most of Your Day Off

By Fritz Hahn

In a company town like Washington, most workers have Wednesday off, so the parties are flying fast and furious on Independence Day Eve. (If you're one of the people who has to work on July 4, you have our sympathy and condolences.)

It wouldn't be the day before a holiday if Lindy Promotions wasn't trying to get folks downtown to cut out of the office early and head out on a bar crawl. The annual Midtown Liberty Bar Tour offers drink specials at 11 bars near the Farragut and Dupont Metro stations from 5 until midnight. You'll have more money for fireworks if you spend the evening drinking $2 Miller Lites or $3 Pilsner Urquell or Captain Morgan rum cocktails. (If you must, you can also order the nasty, Zima-like hell that is Miller Chill, the company's new salt-and-lime-flavored "beer," for $3.) Register at Mackey's between 5 and 10, then set off for Black Rooster, the 4th Estate Grill, the Front Page, Overtime Cafe, Ozio, Porter's Dining Saloon, Recessions, Rumors, Singapore Bistro or Steve's Bar Room. The cover is $10 if you bring two cans of food for local charity Bread for the City, or $12 without.

It also wouldn't be a holiday without a massive party featuring the one-and-only Chuck Brown. The Godfather of Go-Go is at Zanzibar on the Waterfront, capping a lineup that mixes old-school styles (Sugar Bear and E.U.) and the best of the new-school "grown and sexy" bands that blend R&B with the more familiar funk style (Familiar Faces and Suttle). The night starts at 8 with an hour of open bar and a free soul food buffet, then the music goes until 3 a.m. Dress to impress and leave the athletic wear in your closet. Tickets are $30 in advance from Downtown Locker Room locations; call 202-487-7006 for more information.

You really haven't heard house music until you've been to the Shelter in New York. From its massive custom system that makes you feel like you're enveloped in a womb of sound to its star-studded roster of resident DJs, The Shelter is a required pilgrimage for anyone who loves their soul with a four to the floor beat. If Quentin Harris, Ruben Mancias and Sting International are the Superfriends of the Shelter, then Timmy Regisford is Superman. Going on two decades Regisford has been the prime talent pushing the prominence of The Shelter's brand, from his epic DJ sets to the coveted original releases and remixes adorned with the club's bomb shelter logo. If you have yet to make your pilgrimage, the Rebirth are bringing Regisford to Washington tonight for their party at Mirrors. They better have that system tuned up.

For dance music fans, Buzzlife's annual Firecracker party has become just as much of a tradition as the fireworks on the mall. Tonight's extravaganza at Fur features four rooms of DJs, ranging from drum 'n' bass (Aphrodite and DJ Marky) to house (turntable marauder DJ Dan) to Baltimore booty bass (Tittsworth). Kicking off the party in the main room is the legendary Scott Henry. Admission is $25 in advance, $30 before midnight and $40 after, and the party runs until 4 a.m.

If you like to party at Smith Point, you're going to really love Stars, Stripes and Smoke, which is sponsored by Georgetown Events, Smith Point and social networking site Late Night Shots. The soiree at the Galleria at Lafayette Center includes an open bar, a (hopefully) endless supply of Red Bull and vodka drinks and DJs spinning Sophie Ellis-Bextor, R. Kelly and King Harvest. The dress code is summer casual. All-inclusive tickets are $60 in advance from Georgetown Events, or $80 at the door.

The Independence Eve Bash at Clarendon Ballroom has been drawing crowds for six years, thanks to a mixture of good-time cover bands, popular DJs and that all-important rooftop deck. This year's lineup includes Dr. Fu dishing out its versions of tunes by Guns N' Roses, the Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi and, uh, Stone Temple Pilots; resident DJ Pat Premier spinning party jams on the lower level and DJ Rene handling the upstairs between bands. Doors open at 5 for a rooftop party, and be warned: That deck fills up fast. Another incentive to arrive early: The cover is $5 until 7, $10 "early" and more as the clock ticks closer to midnight.

Inspired by years living and dancing in Brazil, the DJs of the Brazilian Beat Brooklyn crew started throwing weekly parties in New York City in June 2001, and they're still the city's top destination for tropicalia, samba and baile funk. Expect your hips to shake at the group's D.C. debut, which finds them spinning on the Eighteenth Street Lounge's patio with local DJ Neville C. As usual, Moose and the Funk DC crew hold down the main room. Here's a reason to beat the crowds: From 7 to 10, there's a holiday barbecue, ESL style, hosted by Carlton Livingston.

Taint, the electro-and-indie-rock party for gay clubbers and their straight friends, is making a special weeknight appearance at DC9. Doors are at 9.

We've sung the praises of the dancefloor-filling house DJs All Good Funk Alliance in this space more than a few times, and if you've missed them, well, their name says it all. When they're not rocking clubs, Alliance DJs Frank and Rusty also run the Funk Weapons record label. On July 3, you can check out the Funk Weapons posse for yourself at Five, as the All Good Funk Alliance is joined by labelmates Doctor Delay (New York City) and Neighbor (Canada).

A couple of months ago, Asylum made a big deal about ditching their popular (and mildly controversial) Jello wrestling events in favor of all-female pillow fighting bouts. We're still waiting for those to take off, but the kiddie pool filled with gelatin is making a return tonight for "Star Spangled Slam-Her." Women compete for $500 in cash prizes, but this time around, they have to come up with a costume and wrestling persona based on a patriotic character or symbol. (Ladies, if you're interested in competing, send an e-mail to Guys, behave yourselves. That's all we need to say.

If you're looking for after-work food and drink, Mister Days is delivering. From 4 to 9, the Arlington sports bar offers $1.50 domestic drafts, half-price burgers and red, white and blue shooters. Later on, there's a DJ and dancing, and there's no cover.

(This list was taken from our weekly Nightlife Agenda column, which appears every Thursday in the City Guide.)

By Fritz Hahn  | July 2, 2007; 5:47 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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hr (of the bad brains) is playing the smoke in 7/4/07. 23rd and constitution nw. 7pm? 8pm?

Posted by: mr weed | July 3, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

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