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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 06/26/2009

DJs Pay Tribute to Michael Jackson (UPDATED AGAIN)

By Fritz Hahn

From preppy Georgetown clubs to upscale urban nightspots to hipsters on the backstage of the Black Cat, every sort of crowd embraced and danced feverishly to Michael Jackson's classics. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

With yesterday's sad news about Michael Jackson, DJs and promoters are falling over themselves to give the people what they want: parties where they can dance to MJ and celebrate his music.

DJ Dredd has spun plenty of Michael Jackson over the years, whether just at his weekly Friday night throwdowns at Aroma or as part of his packed Prince-themed parties at the Black Cat. ("Prince vs. Michael Jackson" was a popular one.) So if you come out to Dredd's Close to the Edge night of hip-hop and funk classics Friday on the Cat's backstage, expect a tribute to the King of Pop. "I'm definitely going to play an MJ set tonight," Dredd said in a text on Friday morning. "I've got to."

He texted back later to say that he's setting up a bigger Jackson-themed party at Bohemian Caverns on Saturday night called "Remember the Time." Dredd, Undadog and Lance Reynolds will be digging deep into Jackson's back catalog for this one, going from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. There's no cover until midnight, and it's $10 after.

Other DJs are turning their regular gigs into impromptu tributes. It may seem like jumping on a bandwagon -- and actually, kind of morbid -- but it's really hard to resist an evening of Michael Jackson's music. Here's a guide to what's happening over the next few days.

Stereo Faith's Truth Fridays night at Policy has turned into "the Michael Jackson Memorial Party." (You still have to RSVP for the guest list-only party, though: hit to sign up.)

DJ Deep Sang sent out this message on Facebook to everyone attending the monthly Affair party at the Rock and Roll Hotel: "In light of Michael Jackson passing on, Ed and I are going to be playing every MJ track we have. I feel a little odd promoting the party as "MJ Tribute" in the shadow of his death, but the point is that we're gonna party to the King of Pop's music tonight, so if you want to come dance to some of the best music ever made and raise a glass to the King, then come on down."

DJ Meistro says he will be dropping plenty of Michael Jackson into his monthly set of hip-hop, funk, R&B and reggae at Saint-Ex on Friday night.

Americans aren't alone in mourning Michael Jackson -- the Francophone-centric Planete Chic party will have a special musical tribute to Jackson as part of its new "Sunset in White at St-Tropez" event on Friday. Held at the rooftop pool at the Embassy Row Hilton, organizers had been asking everyone to dress in summer whites -- no sneakers or athletic wear -- to replicate the French Riviera atmosphere. But now, instead of guests just lounging poolside with cocktails, the DJ will be spinning MJ favorites for everyone to dance to. Admission is $10 if you e-mail by 7 p.m. to get on the list; women pay no cover before 10.

Probably the weirdest story to come out of this tragedy is the tale of Who's Bad, a Michael Jackson tribute band, which has long been scheduled to play at the 9:30 club tonight. As J. Freedom du Lac relates over on Post Rock: "Seth Hurwitz, the 9:30 club honcho/cupcake czar, says that as of Thursday morning, 600 tickets had been sold to tonight's 9:30 concert by Who's Bad. ... A couple of hours after Jackson's death, the show sold out. The club has since added a late show, Seth says, with doors at 11. Should be an interesting scene, to say the least."

Friday and Saturday
DJ Oso-Fresh, known for rockin' classic R&B and hip-hop at both intimate lounges and large dance clubs, will pay tribute to Jackson on Friday and Saturday nights during his sets on the rooftop of Tabaq. (The retractable glass roof will come in especially handy if it rains.) There's no cover, and the dress code is casual.

"Remember the Time" features DJ Dredd, Undadog and Lance Reynolds spinning nothing by Michael-related tunes from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Liv, the upper level of Bohemian Caverns. There's no cover before midnight, and $10 after.

Michael Jackson was known for his charity work as well as his music, and a party at Lotus Lounge Saturday night celebrates both. DJ Bikram Keith will be spinning Michael Jackson's hits all night, and all proceeds from the night will be split between Michael Jackson's Heal the World Foundation and the Keep a Breast breast cancer charity. The usual dress code will be in force, though dressing up (white glove, red leather "Thriller" jacket -- is encouraged. Admission is free before 11 for men and free before midnight for women when you RSVP on the Nightlife Agency Web site.

The BYT Summer Camp Pool Party's DJs for the day are Meistro, Deep Sang and Ed Dudes, all of whom played special Michael Jackson tributes on Friday night. I'm told you can expect more of the same at the Capitol Skyline's pool.

Anyone who has dropped in to Marvin on Monday night knows that DJ Jahsonic has a soft spot for Michael Jackson. And Prince. And Stevie Wonder. (Basically, the classics.) The feel-good vibe should be larger than ever tonight. As Jahsonic put it in a Facebook message: "Monday @ Marvin is going to be all about MJ, so buckle up kiddies." Our own DJ Stylus (Rhome Anderson) will be a special guest at the free party.

As you might expect, D.C.'s '80s nights will be honoring one of that decade's most innovative musicians. The Polyester party at Tattoo next Wednesday should be especially cool, considering that Jackson revolutionized the art of the music video and the club's VJ plays videos. (I'm going to put in a vote right now for the full 13-minute "Thriller" at some point.) The evening starts with a full hour of open bar, giving you ample time to toast Michael's memory.

The weekly '80s Dance Party has been running for over 15 years now, and "Michael Jackson's music and videos have always been a part of the '80s Night collection, all the way back to the days when [original DJs] Jim 'n' Jon were spinning," says promoter and DJ Neal Keller. He held an improptu commemoration of Jackson's life Thursday night at 18th and Red, but plans to hold a more prominent memorial at the July 2 edition, dubbed "Kids in America." Keller explains: '80s Dance Party has done the annual 'Kids In America' party every year in honor of the nation's birthday. The theme of the event is based around highlighting the best American artists of the '80s pop and new wave scene. I feel very strongly that Michael Jackson was one of the greatest artists our nation has ever produced." The $5 cover includes a free Bacardi shot, and selected drinks are $3 until 11.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | June 26, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events  
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