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Posted at 6:10 PM ET, 03/12/2008

Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn

There's lots going on this week, including St. Patrick's Day parties, the Clash and Godzilla on the big screen, a benefit concert with a deep lineup of hip-hop and go-go acts, and a party where you'll be denied admission unless you're wearing shorts. (Jorts are fine, a skort is not.)

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday

Thursday, March 13

The sun's shining later, temperatures are moderate -- it almost looks like spring is in the air. But are we finally ready to exchange our jeans and wool trousers for swim trunks and daisy dukes? Apparently -- how else to explain the Shorts Party at Asylum tonight? Shorts are pretty much banned from every club in D.C., as anyone who's tried wearing cargo cutoffs to Love or Ibiza knows, but they're required tonight. The hosts -- DJ Gavin Holland and the local designers behind the DURKL clothing line -- helpful recommend Umbro soccer shorts, jorts, mesh shorts, board shorts or cut-offs, but warn that capri pants, skorts, skirts or any other non-shorts will find you denied at the door. Once inside, you'll enjoy drink specials, dancing, a ball pit (you know, Chuck E. Cheese-style) and other entertainment. There's no cover.

In the list of our favorite monster movies, "Godzilla" has to come near the top, along with "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack," "Rodan" and "Attack of the 50-Foot Woman." While we love to watch a 60-meter-high green lizard rip apart startlingly fake Japanese cityscapes while battling the entire army, we should remember that the original 1954 "Godzilla" movies -- "Gojira" in Japan -- had a much deeper message about nuclear warfare and the environment. Godzilla, after all, was first awakened (and given his powers) by Americans testing nuclear weapons. These messages are why we have a chance to see the original "Gojira" tonight at the Japanese Embassy's Japan Information and Culture Center: It's part of the annual Environmental Film Festival. Admission is free, though reservations are required. Call 202-238-6949 or email jiccrsvpwinter08@embjapan.org to get on the list.

If you're mourning the closing of the Kickballers store and M3's departure from Club Five you can settle in at Steve's Bar Room with Diallo Sharif, a DJ and sneaker head who was part of the shop's team and could also be found spinning hip-hop on the roof at Five occasionally. Known for serious underground hip-hop selections, he can also toss up popular club sets that bounce between dance rock, '80s electro and dancehall reggae.

Friday, March 14

Get St. Patrick's Day weekend off to a roaring start tonight at MCCXXIII, where the Feeling Lucky, Punk? party should be a little more populist than the lounge's usual "upscale" affairs. Hot 99.5 DJ Chris Styles spins hip-hop and top 40, and the St. Patrick's theme is all around: The bar serves green beer and green shooters, hosts will give away green beads, and you have to wear green to get into the VIP room, where Frederick Van Paernal is spinning trance and house. (Just leave the green sneakers at home.) RSVP at nightlifeagency.com for free admission before 11.

Saturday, March 15

There are going to be piano fireworks beyond your wildest imagination Saturday night at Glen Echo. Two of the most renowned boogie pianists of their respective generations, Pinetop Perkins and Daryl Davis will work their magic, tickling the ivories like few others can. At 94 years old, Perkins was probably past his prime before any of us were born, but even in his tenth decade he can still work a crowd into a frenzy. And after all, 99 percent of pianists would give a pinkie to even come close to Pinetop in his heyday. He's perhaps best known for his work with Chicago great Muddy Waters in the '70s, and he has been a regular on the touring circuit for decades; the old Wheaton club Twist and Shout was a favorite local haunt of his. Davis, then a young upstart who made his name as Chuck Berry's go-to pianist, often shared local bills with Perkins. His style is the perfect combination of flash and substance, so don't be surprised to see the two greats square off or even share the same piano at points. As an added bonus, local bar band greats the Nighthawks and jump blues veteran Mitch Woods will also perform.

If you want a big St. Patrick's Day party -- and we mean a really big St. Patrick's Day party -- it doesn't get more over-the-top than Shamrock Fest at RFK Stadium. The day-long festival includes more than 50 bands and DJs, from local Irish hotshots Scythian and the more traditional Flying Cows of Ventry to an all-star lineup of Dewey Beach favorites like Love Seed Mama Jump, Burnt Sienna, Jimmie's Chicken Shack and Mr. Greengenes. (Bizarrely, the festival also features an hour-long set by the great trance/house DJ Paul Oakenfold, who can fill stadiums on his own, as well as Motley Crue drummer-turned-DJ Tommy Lee.) Besides music, the day features a midway with carnival rides, beer trucks, TV areas for watching college hoops, pub games and more. Tickets for the day are $19.99 (rising to $30 by the time gates open), while VIP tickets, which include unlimited beer, more TV screens, lounge space and private bathrooms, are $89.99. Your choice depends on how much clean portajohns matter to you.

You can stumble between bars and wait in endless lines outside bars celebrating St. Patrick's Day, or you can sit back and let the Boomerang Party Bus do all the work. Two crazy converted school buses will be making the rounds today, departing from Rumors and hitting mystery destinations that might just include the Irish Times, McFadden's or Mackey's, though you won't know where you're going until you're actually on the bus. Don't worry, though: The $34 fee includes access to three or four bars, plus you get to skip the lines at every location. (That alone is worth the cost of admission.) You'll be back to Rumors by 7 or 7:30.

Most people will be drinking beer over the next few days, but Bobby Lew's Saloon is hosting an Irish whiskey toast tonight in the hopes of turning folks on to Ireland's other great drink. There will be a grand toast at 8 p.m. and $3 Jameson shots all night, but you don't have to like the hard stuff to celebrate: from 6 to 10, the bar offers $4 Guinness drafts, $2 domestic beers and half-price appetizers.

The young professionals group Professionals in the City has decided to avoid Irish pubs this year and hold its annual St. Patrick's Day soiree at the trendy kstreet Lounge. Despite the urbane surroundings, organizers are keeping with tradition and handing out green beads and Irish bowler hats, offering prizes for the best green outfit, giving away a trip to Iceland and letting a DJ spin Irish and top 40 dance music. The party runs from 8 to 2, and admission is $10 in advance from prosinthecity.com.

Sunday, March 16

The closing night of the D.C. Independent Film Festival features the screening that we've been looking forward to all week: a preview of "Revolution Rock" (watch). The Clash is one of the most important rock bands of all time, fusing punk's raw aggression with elements of ska, dub, funk, rockabilly and even early hip-hop, and the band's tightly wound live shows are legendary. "Revolution Rock" is a new documentary drawing on concert and studio footage of the Clash recording "London Calling" and performing live at London dives and New York stadiums, and there's even a 1981 appearance on the Tom Snyder show. The DVD will be out next month, but we'd rather see it on a big screen. Tickets are $10.

Travel around enough pubs in Ireland and the U.K. and you'll find yourself being challenged to a game of darts. It's only appropriate, then, that this weekend is Things to Do D.C.'s first Darts and Drafts tournament at the Pub Formerly Known as Ireland's Four Provinces. The evening includes two hours of open bar on Irish beers, a selection of appetizers and the knock-out dart competition, which offers as-yet-unnamed prizes for the winner. All of this is included in the $30 cover charge.

Monday, March 17

It's St. Patrick's Day! Here are our picks for the best events at local pubs, and here's the big list of all events. Our usual advice applies:

Lines for entry will be long at almost all Irish bars. If you're meeting friends at a popular spot, like the Dubliner or Fado, you might want to have backup plans to gather at a non-Irish spot nearby.

If you drink, have a designated driver. If you can't find someone willing to swear off booze, use SoberRide.

Many bars are removing some or all of their furniture for the day. If you need to sit, especially for medical reasons, it's best to call ahead and explain the situation.

Eat up elsewhere. A number of bars we've talked to are closing their kitchens for the day and only serving corned beef sandwiches. Others, including the Dubliner, the Irish Channel and the Harp and Fiddle, will keep their kitchens open all day.

Never drink green beer. You don't know what it's dyed with.

Tuesday, March 18

No matter how you view the war in Iraq or our government's shocking response to the Katrina tragedy, you have to be touched by the human toll these upheavals have caused. Amnesty International and the Hip-Hop Caucus have assembled tonight's We Care Concert at the 9:30 club, a jam-packed assembly of local and national artists bringing attention to the plight of displaced people. Wise Intelligent spits a more intense strain of the politically charged material that he was known for as part of his golden age group Poor Righteous Teachers. He has a D.C. counterpart in Head-Roc, who has taken his raw raps to the activist circuit. Saigon lends some star power, while Mambo Sauce and Uncalled for Experience put it in the pocket, go-go style. Also on the bill: Mia X for New Orleans and young teen phenom Emoni Fela, who will bring some youthful freestyle energy to the stage.

By Fritz Hahn  | March 12, 2008; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Music  
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Comments

Ummm...if I'm not mistaken, St. Patrick's Day has been officially moved by the Catholic Church to Saturday in observance of Holy Monday (remember, next Sunday is Easter).

Posted by: Jock | March 13, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Jock, that only applies to Ireland. There's a big discussion about this over on my St. Patrick's Day post, but the American Conference of Catholic Bishops has not formally requested that St. Patrick's Day be moved. (And if it is celebrated on a day other than the 17th, it should be the 14th, not the 15th -- that's the rescheduled feast day for St. Joseph, whose celebration has been moved from the 19th.)

All very confusing, I know.

Posted by: Fritz | March 13, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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