Summer unofficially comes to a close with this long weekend, so make the most of it. Your top options: a pop culture blogger at The Modernist Society, an overload of top local DJ talent at the 9:30 club and DJ Dredd's usual holiday weekend throwdown at the Black Cat.
Thursday, Aug. 28
You're envious of Whitney Matheson, even if you don't know it. She's the author of Pop Candy on USAToday.com, where it's her job to dish on pop culture, her favorite movies and music, and get paid for it while attracting a very large audience. Not a bad gig, right? We're not ready to proclaim her greatness over our own Liz Kelly of Celebritology, but Pop Candy resides in the same bookmark folder, which is mighty fine company. She's been doing Pop Candy in some form for almost 10 years, so she got in on the ground floor of both blogging and bringing indie into the mainstream, which pretty much go hand-in-hand, we suppose. Matheson will be this month's guest at the Modernist Society, Bourbon's monthly "intelligent lounging" event. Basically, Matheson will answer some questions about what she's digging these days and will then spin some tunes. If her current MySpace playlist can be trusted, expect to hear some Animal Collective, the Kills and Man Man.
Benny Boeldt, aka Adventure (listen) had the right idea. The North Carolina native plays indie-electro jams with lots of sounds like the noise Mario made when he ate a fire flower in the original Super Mario Bros. Baltimore is the spot right now for Nintendo rock, so Boeldt packed up and moved to the Charm City and now he's got an album coming out on Car Park, home of Baltimore's blip-rock king, Dan Deacon. Good work, dude. Similarly spazzy, slightly vowel-averse Ear Pwr (listen) open at the Velvet Lounge.
Friday, Aug. 29
When Tittsworth (listen) decided it was time to graduate to bigger things from being a successful local DJ and promoter, he implemented a disciplined plan for worldwide domination. He had already paid mad dues honing his party-rocking skills, but they didn't earn him the attention he deserved until he started pumping his Baltimore club remixes into the blogosphere hype machine. Titts had studied the original B-more masters in ways that a lot of the new jack hipster kids had not, so his work quickly rose to the top of the club world's love affair with Charm City's dirty, frenetic dance music. He also has production chops, a sense of humor and a knack for concepts that surpasses the masses of DJs trying to capitalize off of a fad. So now he circles the globe and rocks the biggest rooms on multiple continents and is in the perfect position to drop a full-length record. His recently released "12 Steps" is full meal of Tittsworth club bangers for party people who've been getting by on a string of appetizers. For the official release at the 9:30 club tonight, Titts will be bringing it back home to D.C. with Dave Nada, Will Eastman and Gavin Holland, as well his Detroit counterpart in filthy ditties, DJ Assault.
We swear this isn't just lazy journo-speak, but you really can tell a lot about a band by the influences listed on its MySpace page. For locals Sugarcane Crawl (listen) there's just a single influence -- "early Shaggs." It doesn't get more awesome than that. Nevermind that Sugarcane Crawl doesn't sound much like the famously primitive late-'60s outsider legends. There's definitely a primitive quality to the band's music, but there's also, well, competence. And an appealing, grimy, garage-blues sound with female vocals that have some attitude. The band is just getting started, so keep an eye on it. Sugarcane Crawl is opening for one of our longtime local faves, the Hall Monitors (listen), who will hopefully be releasing a proper album sometime in the not-too-distant future. Jupiter One (listen) gets things started at the Rock and Roll Hotel.
Saturday, Aug. 30
Last week Fritz reported on the return of live music to Comet Ping Pong, which was a very welcome development since the Chevy Chase pizza place quickly became one of our favorite spots to see bands play. Now that the legal hurdles have been cleared, Comet just needs to let us know about the shows that are happening there. If the Velvet Lounge could finally upgrade its Web site, we're sure that Comet can get something going, even if it's just a basic MySpace thing. Pup Tent (listen) will bring its swirling, atmospheric rock to Comet's back room tonight; details other than that are sketchy. Things always start pretty late at Comet -- don't want to disturb the diners -- so don't expect the music to start any time before 10.
Here was an oddity spotted while browsing the Iota listings. Justin Jones and the Driving Rain (listen) -- local roots rockers, nothing weird about that. Opening act ... Alicia Witt (listen)? The name rang a bell and it is indeed the actress who you might recognize from "Four Rooms," "Cecil. B Demented," or TV shows like "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "The Sopranos" or "Cybill," that sitcom your parents made you watch with them back in 1995. (Wait, that was just David?) There's nothing particularly exciting about her confessional piano ballads, but if you want to a see minor celebrity in Clarendon, hey, here's your chance.
Not many bands can feel equally comfortable in the Velvet Lounge or Bohemian Caverns, but Funk Ark (listen) is one of those bands. Will Rast leads the massive group on keys, and he's joined by former Fugazi percussion cohort Jerry Busher on drums and a whole lot of horn players. The funk is hot and heavy and if Sharon Jones ever got into a bitter battle with the Dap-Kings and needed a new band, Funk Ark could very likely step in, no problem. Rast has always been a highly sought-after player both in and around town, but if he finds the time to dedicate to this new ensemble, there's no doubt you'll be hearing it lots more. (Edit: Saturday's show is at the Velvet Lounge.)
Sunday, Aug. 31
It's Sunday night of a holiday weekend, so you know what that means ... DJ Dredd will have the Black Cat dance floor shaking something silly. By this point he's pretty much used up all the variations of his Icon vs. Icon dance night -- we swear we've seen tonight's Prince vs. Michael Jackson vs. Madonna lineup before, but it may have just been all the different combinations of those three. It doesn't really matter, though, because those three legends have enough hits to last until Columbus Day, and that's just their '80s output. (Adding the '90s and '00s output would take you to, well, the day after Columbus Day.) There are few better than Dredd at turning songs you've heard thousands of times into something fun and fresh, so if you're a way to send summer out with a bang, this is it.
-- Rhome Anderson and David Malitz
Posted by: Mike | August 26, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse
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