Post-Halloween and post-election, there's no slowdown on the nightlife front with the always-engaging Dan Deacon bringing his electro beats to the Hirshhorn, D.C.'s finest soul DJs uniting for a dancefloor showdown, a new club opening in Penn Quarter, King Kong fighting Godzilla on the big screen, Wild Turkey's master distiller leading a bourbon tasting and "Lost" recaps rocking the Kennedy Center.
Wednesday, Nov. 5
At last, the end of election season. We all went out early Tuesday morning to do our civic duty and hope you did, too. But now we just want to relax. As Ellen wrote about earlier, the Washington Post Express is hosting a pair of Post-Election Hangover Parties tonight, so no matter which party you support, you have a chance to blow off some steam and a chance for some free beer. The winning candidate's supporters should gather at the Top of the Hill for a celebration, where they'll get $3 Yuenglings and $5 nachos and quesadillas all night, and can toast their victory with free beer (while it lasts). Meanwhile, the losing party can drown its sorrows at the 18th Amendment, where the night's specials include $3 Peronis and $5 chicken-and-fries platters as well as free beer (while it lasts). The free beer is going to depend on which party you belong to: Killian's Irish Red for the Republicans and Blue Moon for the Democrats. Admission is free, but you need to RSVP on the Express' Web site. Doors -- and free-beer taps -- open at 6.
Washington has become Stockholm on the Potomac over the last month, with all sorts of amazing Swedish bands stopping in to pay us a visit: The Division of Laura Lee, Ane Brun (twice), Lykke Li, Hello Saferide, Firefox AK, Tobias Froberg (twice) and Theresa Andersson (ditto). We've got even more Swedes in town this week, and while Fredrik (listen) isn't burning up the blogosphere like those artists, the experimental indie-folk group is worth a listen. Founders Fredrik and Lindefelt are better known as members of the LK, a Swedish electro-rock group that drew good crowds for its recent DC9 shows. The two have taken this side project in a very different direction, focusing more on instrumental tunes that embrace ringing, fingerpicked acoustic guitars, washes of cello, banjo and other instruments -- is that an accordion? -- to create songs that make us wonder what Benjy Ferree or Iron & Wine would have sounded like if they grew up in Malmo. This show marks the four-year anniversary of the Kora Records, so openers Meredith Bragg (listen) and Pree (listen) will be holding it down for the D.C.-based label.
Why do we love the Washington Psychotronic Film Society? Because there's nowhere else where we can sip a cold beer while watching amazing films like "King Kong vs. Godzilla" or "Sextette." The weekly night, dedicated to B-movies, rarities and offbeat cinema, is moving from the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse to the Meeting Place on November 18, so enjoy your last chances to catch some retro kitsch on the big screen. Tonight, King Kong and Godzilla do battle over Tokyo. (The awful plot has to do with Japanese businessmen who decided to kidnap Kong from a deserted island in order to get some publicity for their company. Meanwhile, an American sub accidentally awakens Godzilla from his undersea slumber. You can probably guess the rest.) The screening starts at 8:30, and admission is free, though a $2 donation is "suggested."
Thursday, Nov. 6
You probably drank Wild Turkey in college to get drunk. It's okay. We all did. But if you haven't tried it since, you don't know what you're missing. The Lawrenceburg, Ky., distillery has reestablished itself as a place for fine bourbon, thanks to products like the 101, a smooth, high-test whiskey whose notes of honey and vanilla belie its 50.5 percent alcohol by volume. It also has 8- and 12-year-old aged versions. Try the "new" Wild Turkey at Bourbon in Adams Morgan tonight, where master distiller Jimmy Russell will be hosting a tasting from 7 to 9 with free appetizers, special Wild Turkey cocktails and free samples of the Wild Turkey line. (Non-whiskey drinkers can check out the extended wine and beer happy hour.) We also hear there will be a cigar-rolling master class, so hope for good weather.
Holly Golightly (listen) has always been a throwback. These days she just throws back a little further. For more than a decade she could be counted on to deliver some of the best '60s style garage rock around, but her muse has changed recently. "Dirt Don't Hurt" is her third album of songs inspired by Depression-era sounds of the American deep south, and Golightly sounds wholly convincing with her take on dusty blues, country and folk. Needless to say, "My 45" isn't about a 7" record. Her backing band, the Brokeoffs, is really just one guy, Lawyer Dave, who does the one-man-backing-band thing, playing guitar while sitting down and stomping on a few drums. Iota will feel like an old-school honkytonk tonight, just without the moonshine.
A team of Producers, Labels and DJs -- known as PLD -- are aiming to baptize the new lounge Muse with a different sort of energy than you would have found in the building's previous incarnations as fratastic Coyote Ugly and sports themed RnR Lounge and the Rock. Anchoring tonight's PLD jam is DJ Rusty B of All Good Funk Alliance, a squad known for bouncy dancefloor jams, and the Video Killers' John Bowen, who wowed with his VJ work at the Laced events at Cue Bar.
Friday, Nov. 7
For lovers of Motown, northern soul, funk, boogaloo, greasy R&B, rare grooves and anything with a touch of soul, the only place you should be tonight is at Friday night by Dahlak. The Hometown Soul DJ Appreciation Night is a Justice League of America-type gathering with DJs from the area's top soulful nights, including Nitekrawler (of Dahlak's Moneytown), Soul Call Paul (of a soul night with an unprintable name at the Black Cat), Neville C. (Marvin, Saint-Ex), Lunch Money (Heat at Saint-Ex, Wonderland Balltoom) and Provoke (The Soul Thing at Marx Cafe). Each DJ will play 35-40 minutes, then trade off more quickly at the end of the night. We are giddy with anticipation about how good this is going to be. Wear shoes that will be comfortable for dancing all night, because there are no breaks. The music starts at 10 p.m. and goes until 3. As always at Dahlak, there's no cover.
You may think that the previous Hirshhorn After Hours events have been a bit outlandish for a classy Smithsonian museum. But as the great Bachman Turner Overdrive once sang, you ain't seen nothing yet. The latest installment of the Hirshhorn's hipster happening features Dan Deacon (listen), Baltimore's mad scientist/electronic music wiz/blogger favorite. Deacon's recorded output, including 2007's "Spiderman of the Rings," is exciting, hyperactive indie-electro madness. But it's not the kind of music that makes for the most interesting live performance since it's mostly a lot of pre-programmed beats. Not much to see. But Deacon makes sure there's plenty to see -- and do -- during his shows. He takes audience participation to new levels. David saw him up in Baltimore at Whartscape a few months ago and for that show he instructed to the audience to get into chanting battles and make various hand gestures, and he eventually led them through a neverending game of London Bridge. If his recent performance at the Whitney in New York is any indication, it's going to be quite a scene tonight. (Check back later this week for an interview with Deacon.)
Saturday, Nov. 8
As much as we love going to see the Hej Hej DJs spinning the best new Scandinavian indie music at Cafe Saint-Ex every month, we're always disappointed that there's not more dancing. Granted, Saint-Ex's basement isn't really set up for getting down, but it's impossible to listen to Club 8, Lykke Li, Robin, Firefox AK, etc., without wanting to move. Tonight, the ladies are spinning alongside DJ Milk at Peppermint at the Rock and Roll Hotel, so having space to groove shouldn't be an issue. Doors are at 9:30, and the free party goes until 2:30.
Sunday, Nov. 9
Who needs Television Without Pity when you have Previously on Lost (listen)? The Brooklyn band is like a musical version of one of TWOP's recaplets. During those rare but wonderful weeks when there is actually a new episode of "Lost" -- the best show on TV, natch -- the group writes a quirky indie rock song covering what went down on the island in the last episode. Musically, it's definitely more They Might Be Giants than Driveshaft, but lyrically, it's exactly what you'd expect. "Running through the maze, I've never witnessed/Elecro-magnets help me know which way to go, my future mouse has told me so," they sing on "Be My Constant," successfully recapping the episode when Faraday and his mouse figured out how to time travel. (Or something like that. We're still not sure what's going on on that island, which is why we make sure to read Celebritology the day after every episode.) What started off as little more than a lark and an increasingly popular MySpace page is turning into a bit of a sensation. The band has made it out of the five boroughs for a show tonight at Iota and will perform at Millennium Stage on Monday afternoon in advance of the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for Humor presentation, honoring the late George Carlin.
"I love my job" is a phrase that has to go through the head of Ben Kinney (listen) regularly. The Philadelphia-based multi-instrumentalist has been able to play intriguing funk-rock and hip-hop to dedicated fans either by himself or with heavyweight peers on his own terms for the better part of a decade. Philly rock outfit Supergrub gave him his start, eventually morphing into the Division Group with the addition of Soulive's monster keyboardist Neal Evans. When rhe Roots decided they wanted guitar textures added to their iconic nucleus of drums, bass and keys, Kenney stepped in and contributed heavily to their "Phrenology" album and subsequent tour. But then Incubus came calling and Kenney handily imprinted their popular sound with his distinctive basslines. All the while, Kenney managed to find time to freelance with folks like Erykah Badu and Timbaland and release three albums worth of his own solo material. His solo tour for his most recent project, "Distance And Comfort" stops at the Black Cat tonight.
Plastic Crimewave Sound (listen) calls its music spacepunk, which is about right. The Chicago group knows its way around loud and droney, and it keeps things interesting by adding some psychedelic flourishes. Fans of bands like Black Mountain, Comets on Fire and Bardo Pond should find plenty to enjoy, and those psychedelic flourishes should be even more ... flourishy? ... tonight at the Velvet Lounge since the group will be accompanied by Djin Aquarian on guitar. He was the guitarist and one of the few constant members of cult band -- literally -- Yahowa 13 back in the 1970s. Times were different back then, man. You could live on a commune, start your own religion and make improvisational psych-rock records after meditation hours. I suppose you could still do it now. Kohoutek -- who maybe took their name from the 1973 album by Yahowa 13 leader (well, Leader) Father Yod, or were maybe just influenced by the same celestial body -- is also on the bill.
-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz
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