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Posted at 4:54 PM ET, 08/17/2010

Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn

"Kickball Katy" Goodman at the Vivian Girls perform an intimate show at Comet Ping Pong on Sunday night. (Roger Kisby - Getty Images)

The Vivian Girls and the Paul Collins Beat turn Comet Ping-Pong into the area's most rocking club, D.C. Beer Week gets off to a cerebral start, Dogfish Head and the Tortoise & Hare mark their anniversaries with multi-day celebrations, Andray Blatche's 24th birthday is so good he has to celebrate it twice, the Textile Museum hosts a mod party and a "Jersey Shore" viewing-meets-costume party raises money for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Wednesday, Aug. 18
It's not just that Lou Barlow is still going, and still going strong. It's that he's never stopped. There have certainly been some dips in the quality of his material over the past 25 years - find one artist who can claim an unblemished stretch that long - but for that quarter century he's been an indie rock industry unto himself. Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion, Sentridoh, solo albums - the man knows how to stay busy. Currently he's heading up a trio called the Missingmen and it's a nice distillation of his career to date. Some soft, some loud, some reinterpreted old material, lots of self-loathing. Longtime Nightlife Agenda faves Wye Oak open at Rock & Roll Hotel.

Would-be Don Drapers and all fans of mid-century modern design can enjoy a particularly stylish evening at the Textile Museum for PM @ The TM: Mod Madness. A DJ, live jazz, hors d'ouevres and adult summer beverages will accompany guided gallery tours before a panel of judges votes on the attendees wearing the best mid-century styles.

No D.C. athlete appears on as many club flyers as Wizards center Andray Blatche. Need a celebrity host for a party? Want to throw him a party? Dre Blatche is your man. He's such a party animal that he's celebrating his 24th birthday twice this week, even though the big day's not until Sunday. First up is a "VIP Birthday Celebration" at District with an open bar happy hour from 6 to 7:30 and DJ Quicksilva of WKYS. The party's going to go late. Admission is free before 11 if you get a pass from or e-mail your name to to RSVP. (See Saturday's listings for more Dre Madness.)

Mount Pleasant's low-power community Radio CPR -- that's 97.5 on your FM dial if you're within a stone's throw of the Raven -- is hosting several fundraising events this week, and they sound a lot more fun than the usual PBS pledge drives. Tonight at Marx Cafe, for example, CPR DJ Wanako, who spins a variety of Latin music on Saturday nights on the station, headlines a night that will feature music from a variety of genres, including cumbia, rock en espanol and tropicore. DJs rAt, MaFe and bent are also on the bill, which starts at 9. There's no cover charge, so where does the benefit come in? Easy: Marx is donating 30 percent of bar sales.

Thursday, Aug. 19
Dogfish Head beers have a special place in the hearts of D.C.-area beer lovers. We've embraced the Delaware brewery's hoppy ales, super-strong stouts and re-creations of ancient Peruvian and Chinese fermented beverages. The three suburban Dogfish Head Alehouse bars have proved to be successes with 13 or 14 Dogfish beers on tap in addition to live music and fun happy hours. The Fairfax branch marks its first year in business this weekend with three nights of anniversary parties. Thursday kicks off with free pint glasses, a vintage keg of the super-hoppy 120 Minute IPA and from 4 to 6 p.m., an appearance by Randall the Enamel Animal. This strange machine is filled with fresh hops leaves and connected to the taps, so draft beer is filled with even more delicious hop flavors and aromas by the time it reaches your glass. Randall is back Friday from 3 to 9 p.m., which coincides with an extended happy hour featuring $1.50 off all draft beers, pizzas and appetizers. On Saturday, there's a parking lot party from noon to 6 p.m., with a moon bounce for the kids, beer for adults and barbecue for everyone. The rockin' blues band Bad Influence takes the (indoor) stage at 9.

If you believe those old Colt 45 commercials, Billy Dee Williams was smooth gentleman with the ladies. (Even smoother than Lando Calrissian, it would seem.) Truly a man to look up to. That's why the Bandanas DJ night is hosting "A Smooth Music Tribute to Billy Dee Williams" at Little Miss Whiskey's. Expect Yacht rock, "Solid Gold" hits and light 80s funk. Wash down the Steely Dan and James Ingram with $3 Colt 45 malt liquor tallboys. Mmmm -- loaded with dynamite taste!

Why just watch "Jersey Shore" when you can dress up like a character from the show and drink cheap booze? That's the promise behind a fundraiser for the Greater New Orleans Foundation's Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund at Gin & Tonic tonight. Make a donation to the fund at the door and get a wristband good for $4.50 16-ounce Bud Light bottles, $6 Red Bull and Vodka cocktails and $7 Jagerbombs until 2 a.m. "Jersey Shore" starts at 10 -- it will be on TVs in the bar -- and Snookie-inspired costumes are optional, but appreciated. Gym, Tanning, Laundry, Drinking in Glover Park. Done.

You can hear Georgia soil in his voice and echoes of bluesmen in his guitar playing but Anthony David can also rock out, drop a hot sixteen bar verse or take on the style of an acoustic folk troubadour. He's written for and worked with India.Arie extensively but was eventually rewarded with a Grammy nomination for a single from his third solo album. Anthony David hits at Liv just in time to drop a taste of his upcoming October album release.

Friday, Aug. 20
Let's do a quick bit of math and history. Paul Collins was in the Nerves, a seminal power-pop band that wrote and recorded the song "Hanging on the Telephone," which Blondie turned into a hit. He's now heading up the Paul Collins Beat, a regrouped version of his late-'70s ensemble, and will no doubt play that hit on Friday at Comet Ping Pong. Blondie probably will probably play the same song at its show next month at State Theatre. Paul Collins admission? $10. Blondie? $57. Sure, Blondie's got more hits up its collective new wave sleeve, but Collins's combo has just as many should-have-been hits. His new album is called "The King of Power Pop" and it takes guts to go with that title, but Collins has the chops to back it up. Title Tracks, Mother's Children and Black Telephone make it a full night at Comet Ping Pong.

Friday marks the beginning of D.C. Beer Week - eight nights of beer dinners, beer tastings, brewer meet-and-greets and unveilings of rare-in-D.C. ales and lagers at more than two dozen local bars. (We have a list of recommended events on The kickoff event, though, is more cerebral than bacchanalian: A beer-centric edition of the monthly Nerd Nite happy hour at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Showing off their big brains and obscure knowledge via PowerPoint this month are ChurchKey beer sommelier Greg Engert, on the history of the century-old struggle between craft brewing and big business; brewer Brian Strumke of Baltimore's Stillwater Artisanal Ales, known for using wild yeast and bacteria in his beers, on the Belgian brewing tradition of letting nature have its way with fermenting beer; and NIH neuroscientist Tracy Jill Doty, who will explain why our brains like alcohol and examine the positive and negative effects that drinking creates on our gray matter. Between talks, there's a performance by Imperial China. At 10 p.m., there's an optional seminar with beer pairings and live music by Cobra Commander, the Torches and New Rock Church of Fire.

Sharkey and Blake9 are two DJs who know how to get a party moving and keep the dance floor moving with a mix of hip-hop and electronic beats. They can lay waste to a club when they team up, so an all-night party at Jimmy Valentine's sounds like it should be on your calendars. But it gets better: The party is sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, so there's no cover and a beer special that's hard to beat: $1 16-ounce PBR cans from 8 to 9 p.m., with the price rising $1 every hour until midnight. (It will stay at $5 for the rest of the night.) No cover, no dress code, but be sure you're comfortable enough to dance all night long.

Hang out with the folks at District tonight for their Be The Tourist party celebrating the release of their new tourist t-shirt design that will hopefully take souvenir carts by storm. Coming off of last month's classic hip-hop party at the 9:30 Club, Hip-Hop Dan will be on the wheels and you'll only part with a fiver to party if you come dressed like a tourist. Double that if you're in your local attire. You can also practice a meandering walk and block the paths of those who are not on vacation, but that will only gain you authenticity points.

Saturday, Aug. 21
DJ Soul Call Paul has already established himself as one of the area's best when it comes to spinning the funkiest, dirtiest old-school soul rarities. His monthly Big Bad City party at Velvet Lounge is regularly a sweatlodge during peak hours. For The Stumble he's teaming with DJ Tariq and expanding the repertoire - less funk, more classic blues, old-school rock-and-roll, R&B and boogie. We're imagining the coolest jukebox you could find in 1961, and that it will be still be plenty sweaty. It's free all night at Dodge City.

Yet another anniversary party this month -- this time at Crystal City's Tortoise & Hare, which has become a pretty safe bet for live music, trivia and brews over the last three years. They're having a weekend of events, starting with '90s cover band White Ford Bronco on Thursday, but we'd steer you towards Saturday's night-long fiesta. It starts with free appetizers for everyone from 7 to 9, a fashion show put on by the trendy (and neighboring) Gossip on 23rd boutique, and live music by the entertaining cover band Down Wilson. (Go ahead and yell for their version "No Diggity.") As always at the Tortoise & Hare, there's no cover charge.

Andray Blatche turns 24 at midnight, and he'll be celebrating the freshly reopened Love nightclub. (Apparently owner Marc Barnes' recent bankruptcy filing isn't a hindrance for the occasional party.) Tickets for "The Resurrection" are $20 in advance, and if since Love could be sold any time now, the more nostalgic might want to make a "I remember Inauguration weekend/Gilbert Arenas' birthday party/than Cam'ron video" pilgrimage before it's too late.

Sunday, Aug. 22
Just a few years into their career, Vivian Girls already feel like grizzled veterans of the indie scene. That's because the Brooklyn trio has already endured the tidal wave of hype, a seemingly endless string of blog raves and then the inevitable backlash that unfolds in an ever-sped-up media cycle. That's what tends to happen when a band's early days are accompanied by a tidal wave of hype and a seemingly endless string of blog raves and then some inevitable backlash. It used to take around a decade for all of this to unfold; now it can happen before a group even releases its second album. The good news is that it's let the Brooklyn trio hang in the background while newer bands maneuver the sped-up cycles. In reality, Vivian Girls' ramshackle indie-pop tunes caked in fuzz have made superstars of few bands but cult favorites of many. There's no need to resign Vivian Girls to that fate just yet, but it's fine to simply appreciate at face value their two-minute songs packed with hooks and off-kilter vocals. Heavy Cream and Brett & the Whispers open at Comet Ping Pong.

-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

By Fritz Hahn  | August 17, 2010; 4:54 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Music  
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