Looking to make the most of your long weekend? We have details on DJ parties (including Fatback's second birthday blowout), concerts and an appearance by the cast of "The Jersey Shore" that's bound to get crazy. (Guys, maybe you'll want to hit a bar seminar on how to meet women before you practice your lines on JWoww.)
Tuesday, Jan. 19
For all the hype that "The Real World: D.C." received when it was filming, it hasn't had much buzz since it's been on the air. Instead, the water-cooler talk has settled on "The Jersey Shore," MTV's drama-overload reality show centered on all things guido. (The controversial show has been protested by Italian American organizations and lost advertiser Dominos Pizza in December.) With all the craziness on the program - which has included cast members cheating on/with each other and getting punched by members of the public - we have to wonder how insane an appearance by onetime sweethearts Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio at McFadden's is going to be. Throw in $1 High Life cans, $5 Jagerbombs and a bikini contest, and things are going to get even more interesting.
-- Fritz Hahn, David Malitz and Rhome Anderson
Update: We moved the events we wrote about earlier in the week to the bottom of the post to make it easy to see today's picks at the top.
Wednesday, Jan. 13
The dating and relationships aisle at your local bookstore is full of books that claim they can help you meet (and attract) any woman you see -- "The Rules of the Game," "Secrets of the A Game," "The Mystery Method," "How to Succeed With Women." There are all kinds of would-be pickup artists prowling D.C.'s bars, with peacock feathers in their hats and practiced opening lines at the ready. But does any of it actually work? Find out for yourself tonight at the Black Squirrel's upstairs lounge, where "Brother James" and the men of Professional Pickup are leading a seminar on the four pillars of success for meeting women. The whole thing comes off as an ad for Professional Pickup's four-week course on meeting women, but maybe you'll learn something. And there's no doubt the beer will be good. The session begins at 7, and no RSVP is needed.
Thursday, Jan. 14
January 14 is more than the 14th day of 2010 -- it's also the second Thursday of the month, which means that it's time for the Going Out Gurus' monthly happy hour. This time around, we'll be at Eyebar, the sleek lounge near Farragut Square. As always, there will be deals -- including $3 beers, $4 wine and rail cocktails, $5 mixed drinks -- and we'll be giving away tickets to Taste of the Nation and the International Food and Wine Festival's Film Night. Oh, and you get to mix and mingle with the Gurus and fellow readers. Doors are at 6.
One of the admittedly few bright spots for the Redskins this season was the play of tight end Fred Davis. After Chris Cooley went down with an injury, Davis stepped up, finishing the year with 509 yards and six touchdowns, including a pair against the Raiders. Davis turns 24 on Jan. 15, and he's celebrating with a birthday party at the Park at 14th. Everyone can partake of an open bar from 5 to 7, then the party goes until 2 a.m. Get on the guest list or, if you prefer to have a hard copy on your cell phone, text JLVIPTEXT to 313131 to get a pass you can show to the doormen for free admission before 11.
Friday, Jan. 15
Ben Davis (listen) is an unassuming name. It sounds like someone who's maybe the backup catcher for the Seattle Mariners, not a rock musician. For the past decade, Davis lurked on the fringes of the indie-rock underground in cult-favorite punk bands such as Sleepytime Trio and Milemarker, and then he embarked on a solo career and turned down the volume in favor of lushly orchestrated chamber-pop. But his new album, the appropriately titled "Charge It Up," sounds like a bid to break from the shadows. Joined by backing band the Jetts at Big Bear Cafe, Davis speeds his way through 10 spiky numbers with sharp guitars, buzzing keyboards and high-pitched vocals that give each song a sense of urgency.
Diddy's in town, which means there's going to be a party with bottles and models and people who look like they could be models and folks who wish they could throw down a few grand on one night out but will settle for having a few drinks in the same building as Sean Combs and his reflected glory. Love is still closed, so the venue for this Ciroc-sponsored celebration is the Park. Get there early, and not just to beat the inevitable cluster at the front door: There are free drinks from 5 to 6, then $5 premium drinks and free hors d'oeuvres from 6 to 8. (The guest of honor, of course, will be showing up well after that.) Get on the guestlist by using the Park's Web site, ot send an email to Fridays@Park14.com to avoid getting left on 14th Street.
By studying from the classic Memphis playbook, Tre Williams's created a refreshing sound, especially when the studio-tweaked vocals and club-rap rhythms of today's R&B bear little resemblance to actual rhythm and blues. Tre and the Revelations (listen) specialize in that southern soul experience of singers who belt one out at a juke joint on Saturday night and then shout in the pulpit the next morning. Catch the band at Liv tonight with beat-boxing, progressive folk-hop stylist Christylez Bacon.
You may not have heard much about the Warehouse Loft, an intimate club in an obscure office park off New York Avenue NE, but now that all its licenses are in place, you probably will. Tonight is the premiere of Wild North, in which the pop-influenced house and electro of the Party Bros (Gavin Holland and Chris Burns) pair with Pacemaker (DJs TJ and Sami Y). The latter's MySpace page is full of good-time, dance floor-friendly electro remixes of Trick Daddy, DMX and David Banner. Not the most intellectually stimulating music you'll come across on the Interwebs, but we can imagine it's fun to dance to after a few drinks. If you RSVP at tinyurl.com/wildnorth, admission is $5 before 11:30 and $8 after that.
"No irony, no rules, no bamas!" is the theme for Work the Walls, a kitchen-sink night of electro, go-go, hip-hop, New Jack Swing, Baltimore Club and whatever else it takes to get people dancing on the Black Cat's back stage. It's hosted by DJs K la Rock and Brian Senyo.
Saturday, Jan. 16
There are few nights in D.C. where the crowd dances with more abandon than at Fatback, the monthly excursion into all things soulful, deep and funky at Liv. The lack of cover and dress code help pack the place to the rafters every time, but we think it's really the music -- vintage R&B, gritty soul, funky-yet-smooth disco -- that urges you to cut loose and move your feet. The crew is celebrating two years of Fatback tonight, so they have some special treats in store, including the "Electro-Heliotrope Theater," an trippy piece of interactive art that digitizes images of nearby dancers. (Seriously, just watch this YouTube clip.) Doors open at 10, and the lines will be down the block by midnight. You've been warned.
Silver Spring's after-dark scene has gotten a shot in the arm from Jackie's Restaurant, which is now hosting concerts and events in its large back room behind the main dining room. Tonight, for example, it's a release party for local band American Sinner (listen), whose accordion-violin-bass-drums lineup lends a distinctly Eastern European feel to its original tunes, which seem inspired by DeVotchKa and Nick Cave. Also on the bill are bellydancers, sideshow acts (including Mab, whom we've seen do tricks involving piles of broken glass and nails hammered up her nose [watch]), and experimental electronic artist Pilesar (listen). Best of all, there's no cover all night long.
One of the more interesting lounge concepts we've seen in a while is the Day Party, which completely blew up Skye Lounge one afternoon during last year's Congressional Black Caucus weekend. People were popping bottles and dancing on sofas like it was midnight instead of 5 p.m. The party returns to Skye, complete with an open bar (from 3 to 4 p.m.) and DJs spinning hip-hop until doors close at ... 9. Then the late-20s-to-late-30s crowd can just pack up and move to the next party. There's a $10 cover but no dress code.
DJ P. Vo is a fan of D.C. music. Not D.C. go-go, hip-hop or indie rock, but D.C. music in general, from Chuck Brown to New Rock Church of Fire. At the monthly Hometown Sounds night upstairs at the Argonaut, you'll find him playing music of all genres for dancing and chilling, and the only requirement is that the artists made their homes in the D.C. metropolitan area. (Take a listen to one of P.Vo's mixes.) It's free, and it runs from 10 to 1:30, so this could be a good pre-party and late-night meet-up spot if you're going to be on H Street NE.
The brothers Hays and Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain (listen) have already done the traditional guitar-based indie-rock band thing with the Epochs. They even lived in Brooklyn while doing it. So it doesn't come as much of a surprise that they tired of that tried-and-true setup and that their new project is as much a concept as a band. The band's biggest feat to date was September's boombox project in Dupont Circle where the band and a few dozen cohorts created a performance art cacophony. Visual effects are a large part of Bluebrain's live shows, and the band jumps around genres, trying to hit on multiple moods. Tonight's show will also feature Outputmessage (listen), one of the city's best electronic music acts, as well as a DJ set from Autorock. The whole thing's free at the Fridge.
Sunday, Jan. 17
As the radio ads keep reminding us, this is a "No work or school Monday!" so many bars will be open (and busier) in search of your extra-night-out dollars on Sunday, but there are several major contenders.
Sunday, Jan. 17
At the Black Cat, DJ Dredd puts on another edition of his popular Prince dance parties. This time around, the music of the Purple One goes head-to-head with everyone's favorite "ATLiens," OutKast. "U Got the Look" vs. "Hey Ya"? "Controversy" vs. "Rosa Parks"? The mind boggles.
Meanwhile, down in Southwest, Soul on the Waterfront brings together a "mature" - but not stuffy - clientele for a night of R&B, soul and go-go. Chuck Brown headlines; Suttle Thoughts, the Lissen Band, Vybe and Obsession will also provide a groove that's good for dancing and romance. (Get tickets in advance to save on the cover charge.)
Where they were once the buzzed-about rookies of indie soul, Eric Roberson (listen) and N'Dambi (listen) are now vets who have graduated and helped write the book on what modern, mature R&B can be. Roberson, who began his career at Howard University, flourished as a songwriter before his solo material connected with eager audiences: He now has a 2010 Grammy nomination to show for his efforts. N'dambi's husky alto graced three solo albums of jazz, blues and rock before finding a home on the reborn Stax Records. It's fitting that they'll play the Lincoln Theatre on U Street tonight -- a large room that represents not only their professional trajectories, but also the Black Broadway of yore that nourished the artists who inform their styles.
Of the many holiday weekend parties going on tonight, Choice Sundays is the one where you're most likely to hear the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. We all love a Monday off to extend our weekend partying options, but you'll find that this particular branch of Washington's deep house scene goes a step further by blending dancing and merriment with some spiritual uplift. Choice resident Earnest Fountain pilots the decks for this installment at the Fab Lounge, and he's likely to pull out some of those remixes of King's speeches that will take you to church.
Long weekends mean one-off events designed to get people to come out on a night when they'd usually be at home dreading the start of the work week. Tonight, for example, the Dynamite party at Little Miss Whiskey's means DJ Nitekrawler leaves the obscure '60s and '70s soul of his monthly Moneytown throwdown behind for what he promises will be "'60s, '70s and '80s Funk & Soul of all types." We'll trust him on that, seeing how much we enjoy Moneytown and the Breakin' Glass dance nights at Wonderland. Besides, it's free -- what do you have to lose?
Monday, Jan. 18
Around the time the Troggs, the Animals, Manfred Mann and, of course, the Beatles were leading the British invasion of mop-top rock-and-roll bands in the mid-'60s, the British Walkers (listen) were holding court in D.C. Don't let the name fool you; the band was all-American, but it played the same sort of mod-rock that made superstars of the other bands. The band was around from only 1964 to 1968, but that was enough time to establish itself as a favorite in the area. There was rarely a consistent lineup during those years, so the fact that Bobbie Howard, the only original member, has recently reformed the band is of minor consequence. Local guitar great Billy Hancock joins him in this new version of the band, and they're working on a new studio album. Expect to hear songs from the album as well as the old hits at JV's. Tickets are available only in advance.
The defining characteristic of local band Tennis System's (listen) live show is volume. As in, there is a lot of it. A whole lot of it. On record, it's easier to hide behind a wall of noise, but that wouldn't make for a good album-listening experience. Thankfully ,the Tennis System has eased up a bit on its debut record; the guitar chaos that defines its live show is still there, but it never overwhelms the proceedings. The result is some fine shoegazey rock with that's equally melodic and droney. The CD release show is Monday at Asylum, but there's also a show Sunday at Galaxy Hut.
Vetiver (listen) is just so relaxing. This is really not a group that should be playing on a cold Monday night in January. The band's lilting country-folk shuffles are the soundtrack to taking it easy, so it doesn't quite equate with schlepping to Arlington at the end of a long weekend. But if you do make the journey to Iota, you'll be rewarded with some mellow, Neil Young-inspired jams.
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