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Posted at 7:02 PM ET, 10/21/2008

Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn

Little Brother, one of the rare hip-hop acts to straddle the line between underground success and mainstream acclaim, performs Sunday at the Black Cat. (Atlantic Records)

Get ready for German beer at a party celebrating David Hasselhoff, rambunctious rockabilly, big names from the U.K,'s drum 'n' bass and dubstep scenes, an all-you-can-drink happy hour, '80s flashback hip-hop and a singer who's so punk rock it hurts.

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Tuesday

Wednesday, Oct. 22
If you've been into drum 'n' bass for more than a minute, Doc Scott (listen) is one of those names you just know. Maybe you first discovered him on those legendary Metalheadz "Platinum Breakz" compilations, on "The INCredible Sound of Drum 'n' Bass" or as part of the "Kingz of the Rollers" 12-inch vinyl series. Tracks like "Far Away" and "Shadow Boxing" (released under his Nasty Habits alias) remain critical moments of the genre, and Scott's 31 Records is still releasing tunes that find their way into the boxes of the biggest names on the circuit. Given the lack of big-name club opportunities for d'n'b DJs these days -- where have you gone, Buzz and Five? -- Scott is taking over the booth at the relatively cozy Modern in Georgetown tonight, along with the 2Tuff Crew, who've been holding it down in D.C. for as long as we can remember. Tickets are $10.

Thursday, Oct. 23
Dexter Romweber (listen) is one of those minor legends in the rock pantheon. He was one half of Flat Duo Jets, who in the mid-'80s fused punk, rockabilly and early rock-and-roll and became cult favorites and a legendary live act. To make the leap from legendary-at-the-time live act to fondly remembered minor legends, you need good songs, because, well, what about the folks who never got to see you play? If the records aren't any good, it's just a bunch of stories from people who are older than you. Romweber had plenty of those and he still has them, as evidenced by his output as Dexter Romweber Duo, with his sister Sara on drums. It's still some amped-up rockabilly madness, some distinctly American rambunctiousness, the kind of stuff you wonder why Jim Jarmusch hasn't featured on a soundtrack. 7 Door Sedan (listen) opens at the Red and the Black.

Friday, Oct. 24
For fans of subwoofer-killing dubstep, the Tempa label is a mark of quality. Trailblazers Skream, Kode 9, Horsepower Productions, Benga and Coki have all laid down bass-wobbling tracks for the London-based label, which was putting out 12-inch singles before the genre even had a media-approved name. One of the latest to join the family is Headhunter (listen), a DJ from Bristol whose debut CD "Nomad" dropped last month. Headhunter adds a techy sort of itch to the usual creeping heaviness and ominous synth washes and reggae-esque stabs, which adds up to a sound that's as suited for the dance floor as the stereo -- and with a deepness you'll feel in your gut. Touring briefly in the U.S. to promote his new material, Headhunter is dropping by the Loda party at Gallery in Silver Spring tonight. Not sure if dubstep's your thing? Upstairs, it's the all-legend Sam "The Man" Burns, whose smoking soulful house and disco-inflected grooves will get anyone onto the floor. As always, Loda is free before 10, and it's $10 after that -- unless you e-mail for the password. Once you've got that, you can dance until 3 a.m. for just $5.

Teenagers are rocking high-top fades and gold dookie ropes, but it's 2008 instead of 1988. Some of them have even managed to scrounge up boomboxes. Nike has long since reissued the classic Air Jordans, so some of these kids look like they could have been an extra on the set of "Do the Right Thing." When the '80s retro trend first creeped in, Rhome found it a bit jarring to see mirror images of himself from 20 years ago, but now he's actually seen kids inquiring about Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Brand Nubian. He's come across them on blogs comparing and trading classic hip-hop MP3s the way we discovered the soul and funk of our parents' record collection. So if you happen to know some of these kids finding inspiration in the hip-hop that you grew up on, bring them to along to the Black Cat tonight. DJ Dredd's putting on his Close To The Edge party, a celebration of golden age and old-school b-boy classics.

We like to think of Baltimore's DJ Spen (listen) as a guy who's been on the grind since the early '90s, becoming a major player in the house scene as a part of the Basement Boys with Teddy Douglas, lending his sweet, soulful sound to remixes of Diana Ross, Everything But the Girl and dozens of other artists, putting out his mix CDs on labels like the hot underground imprint Defected, and touring the world for some of the biggest house clubs from England to Australia. And then we also feel compelled to mention that his early career included being in a hip-hop group called Numarx, which penned a dance tuned called "Girl You Know It's True," which another group eventually took to the top of the charts. We wouldn't request that one tonight at the Trinidad and Tobago Association, where the latest installment of Hometown Heroes features Spen, the All Good Funk Alliance, Joe L. and Dimitri Max of the local Everybody Loves Music collective, DJ Stereofaith, and host Chris Burns of Disco City over two floors -- basically more house, disco, funk and electro than you'll know what to do with. The $10 cover gets you in all night, with free mix CDs for those who ask.

So in case you missed it, Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan were at Lotus Lounge last week. The K Street nightspot is celebrating its first anniversary tonight with free food and drink: Send an RSVP to and you can partake of an open bar and free hors d'oeuvres from 10 to 11, then stick around for DJs spinning top 40 and hip-hop, but beware that at 11:01, prices are going to jump to $10 for a "premium" mixed drink, i.e. Maker's Mark or Bombay. If you were planning to hit Josephine, Tattoo, Lima or one of the other nearby lounges, this could be a good first stop.

Saturday, Oct. 25
The Parisian DJ Wax Taylor (listen) had his album "Tales of the Forgotten Melodies" top the College Media Journal (CMJ) electronic music and hip-hop charts in 2006, and the influential radio station KEXP named it one of that year's top debuts. With an interesting mix of hip-hop and dub resembling a chilled-out DJ Shadow or less-gloomy Portishead, big things were expected of Wax Taylor, but his follow-up album, "Hope & Sorrow," wasn't quite the breakthrough critics were looking for. Still, the layers of old funk, soul and blues samples hiding on his CDs mean that listening to him spin at Eighteenth Street Lounge tonight should be quite the musical journey.

Buck Hill is probably the greatest Washington jazzman you've never heard of. Hill began playing his tenor sax in U Street clubs back in the 1940s, moonlighting from his job as a postman. Though he played with Miles and Dizzy and the rest, Hill never sought the spotlight or long international tours, preferring to stay home with his wife and family, work his day job and gig around Washington at night, while recording with the wonderful Shirley Horn. It wasn't until the late '70s that Hill began to record under his own name, and since then, he's (finally) been recognized for his soulful tone and expressive playing. The Wailin' Mailman is in his 80s now, but his concerts are still worth the price of admission, whatever it may be. Hill plays two sets at Twins Jazz tonight -- 9 and 11 -- for $15 each.

Glow, which has been on fire since it moved to Ibiza last year, features Cedric Gervais (listen), whose mix of electro and progressive house won him residencies at big-time Miami clubs like Nikki Beach and Space. Tickets are $20 in advance.

College students and just-out-of-college professionals have been enjoying the "All-U-Care-To-Drink" specials at My Brother's Place for years, and with the economy in the tank, perhaps the rest of us should join them. Yes, the place can take on the air of a frat mixer, but with the kind of deals the just-west-of-Capitol Hill bar offers, you won't care. From 4 to 9, it's $2 domestic drafts. From 9 to 1, a $15 cover is good for unlimited beer and wine (and, from 9 to 10, unlimited rail drinks). The DJ spins '80s and '90s classics. Just a good, cheap night out.

Sunday, Oct. 26
Little Brother's (listen) star continues to rise. No longer an underground sensation, the duo is approaching veteran status and carving out a career free from the mainstream/indie dichotomy that's breaking down as the music industry breaks down. They're still pumping out projects with their North Carolina-based Justus League fam, but you'll also find them trading bars with major stars like Lil' Wayne and Bun B. And as their stock increases in value, both Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh have extended their reach with multiple solo and side projects. But like classic duos Outkast and EPMD, there's a certain chemistry that only exists when they're together, and that is the bedrock of LB's fun-filled live show. Catch Raleigh-Durham's finest at the Black Cat tonight.

Tuesday, Oct. 28
At long last, Asylum's women-only Jello Wrestling Competition is back. It's got a Halloween theme this time around -- costumes are required for all participants -- but the rules are the same: try not to get pinned while thrashing around in a wading pool full of jello, and you could share in the $500 in cash prizes. (Want to compete? Send an e-mail to ASAP.) Admission is $15 for non-participants who want a birds-eye view from the upstairs bar. Word of advice: Don't wear your favorite outfit. The walls and floor are covered with plastic sheeting for a reason. The more squeamish can watch on closed-circuit TVs in the basement bar. Doors open at 8.

Oktoberfest may have come and gone in Munich, but you know what's still big in Bavaria? David Hasselhoff. Okay, maybe that stereotype's gotten a little tired by this point, though we never get tired of watching the campy video for "Jump in My Car." (YouTube). You know what else we never get tired of? Rustico's Don't Hassle the Hofbrau party, which takes its name from those "Don't Hassle the Hoff" Hasselhoff T-shirts, and the title of Hasselhoff's autobiography. What it really is, though, is a chance to drink good German beer from Munich's Hofbrau brewery and to take home large logoed glasses. In addition to the famous Oktoberfestbier, the Münchner Weisse (wheat beer) and Dunkel (dark larger) will be poured for $6 to $8 per half-liter glass, and for every one you order, you get to take the glass home. Meanwhile, '80s music plays on the stereo, and everyone is encouraged to dress as an extra from "Knight Rider" or "Baywatch." Doors open at 6, and those steins go fast.

Most Tuesdays, David thinks about a song by one of his favorite D.C. bands of a decade ago, the Rondelles, called "Tuesday Rock City." And the most perfect Tuesday Rock City performer is in town tonight at the Black Cat: Jay Reatard (listen). Jay is so punk rock that it hurts. Especially if you mess with his gear and he punches you in the face. He runs through roughly a song every 90 seconds. While his string of 2008 singles, recently collected on the adventurously titled "Matador Singles '08" demonstrates his knack for hooks, in a live setting it's an onslaught of Flying-V, headbanging mayhem. And as anyone who has seen him can attest, you wouldn't want it any other way. Celebrate Tuesday Rock City at the Black Cat's backstage.

-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

By Fritz Hahn  | October 21, 2008; 7:02 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events, Music  
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Thanks for the headhunter shout out. Way to stay on top of things GOG. We're really honored to be welcoming him to town. The guy has a really unique style, pulling from techno/soca/dubstep to fill out his sets.

Can't wait! For a review of his album, check out:

Posted by: davidfogel | October 24, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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