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Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 12/11/2008

Black Cat Kicks Out the DJs, Kicks Out the Jams

By David Malitz

If you check out the Black Cat's schedule, you'll notice something different is going on this Saturday. Mousetrap, the King of D.C. Dance nights, will be featured upstairs on the mainstage, as is usually the case on the second Saturday of the month. But downstairs on the backstage, The Nicest Dude in Indie Rock, Ted Leo, will be giving a special (sold out) solo performance. And this isn't just a case of the Black Cat squeezing in a Ted Leo show when it had the chance. It's the kickoff to Second Saturdays, a new series that will feature local bands on a night that was previously devoted to DJ dance nights.

OK, so Teddy isn't exactly local anymore, but he has plenty of D.C. ties and he helps kicks the series off with a bang. Now you may say, "What's the big deal about local bands playing at the Black Cat? That happens all the time." And it's true, local acts grace the club's stages many times every month. There aren't too many local bands that can fill the club's big upstairs space, so that makes the backstage the usual home for them. But weekend nights have been reserved for dance nights because they draw well, but therein lies the sort of self-fulfilling prophecy: Deny the best spots to worthy locals and it makes it hard for them to build a following that will allow them to outdraw dance nights.

It now qualifies as news when a club opts for live music over a DJ night, even if it is just once a month. And it means more when it's the Black Cat that does this since it's the oldest, biggest and most venerable rock club in town without numbers in its name. So as a live music lover I'm extremely happy with this new development, especially as more and more DJ nights have been taking over the mainstage on weekend nights. (No Scrubs a couple of Fridays ago and Right Round Up next Friday, for example).

What bands can you expect to see over the next few months? Black Cat booker Vicki Savoula reeled off a handful that she'd like to have: The Shirks, The Ambitions, The Electricutions, Benjy Ferree, Shortstack, True Womanhood, Medications, Ra Ra Rasputin and Trophy Wife among them.

How about you? Who would you like to see get a shot on Second Saturdays?

By David Malitz  | December 11, 2008; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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10 years ago I noticed that there were fewer local bands because there were so many fewer venues for them to play in, thanks to the scourge of the music scene, DJ Nights. Why is it no cool people ever went to DJ Nights? Sheesh!

Well glad to see they're on their way out. I will never pay money to listen to someone play records I bought 20 years ago. Only one time in my life did I hear a club DJ play a record I had never heard- they just have no creativity and shallow collections in this city.

Posted by: bbcrock | December 11, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this is news worthy.

Let's see here...
Black Cat is a dump...
Hasn't been swept in the entire time its been open and you're worried about the DJ versus Band Nights.

I'm wondering if the Post feels obligated to run this since Black Cat runs ads in the paper. What the Post should write is an article that the Black Cat needs to invest more in brooms, mops, pinesol, and a MUCH more attractive wait staff (right now they look like they were extras from the Adams Family movie)

Posted by: jimmydeanroundsausages | December 12, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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