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Posted at 7:38 PM ET, 10/ 5/2010

Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn

Back in February, Scotland's We Were Promised Jetpacks thrilled a sold-out Rock and Roll Hotel with their charging post-punk guitars and soaring choruses. They're back for a return visit on Sunday night. (Courtesy of Fat Cat Records)

There's a little something for everyone this week: An artsy opening party for Rosslyn's Artisphere features a variety show, DJs, performance art and $10,000 worth of balloons, rising reggae star Gyptian visits the Crossroads, Wale shows off D.C. hip-hop artists at U Street Music Hall, veteran doo-wop acts perform at National Harbor, LMFAO pours "SHOTS!" at Eden, the German Embassy hosts a black-tie Oktoberfest party and the Kreeger Museum gets in on the after-hours arts action.

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Tuesday

Wednesday, Oct 6
The hits and trends in dancehall reggae churn so rapidly that it's easy to miss them if you aren't involved in the scene. But every now and then an artist will drop something that resonates beyond Jamaica and its diaspora. With its minimalist piano line and lilting melody, Gyptian's "Hold You" became a huge crossover hit in 2009 and is still going strong. It's a song that's equally at home in an authentic reggae party set or on a pop chart. Gyptian followed that smash with "Nah Let Go," which is being just as warmly received. While his brand of lovers' rock is comparable in style to that of the socially conscious Sizzla, Gyptian seems poised to follow the path to stardom blazed by international star Sean Paul. See him make his move at the Crossroads

Thursday, Oct. 7
David and Carmen Kreeger really knew how to live it up back in the '60s, commissioning architect Phillip Johnson to design an aesthetically forward residence, museum and concert hall where they could indulge their passions. When they weren't traveling the world collecting art, the Kreegers staged concerts with their musician friends. If Foxhall isn't a part of town you kick it in often, you should take advantage of a late-night opportunity to mingle and explore the Kreeger Museum's collection courtesy of the Alliance Francaise. Between guided tours at After Hours at the Kreeger, enjoy a DJ, live jazz and documentary screenings. Tickets are $25 in advance from francedc.org.

Prolific and clever underground rap duo Tanya Morgan is on the road again doing dates with DJ and drum machine genius Exile, an artist who plays MPC samplers like he was Travis Barker on drum pads. Catch them at Asylum with DMV's own Lyraciss, Sketch, DJ Jav and Enoch the 7th Prophet.

Pick an electronic dance genre popular in the last decade and John B. has probably done some work on it. He's recorded thunderous drum'n'bass tracks for Goldie's flagship Metalheadz label, hosted mascara-streaked electroclash nights along New York impresario Larry Tee, made hard-hitting trance mixes for Paul Oakenfold's label ... and more important, it's not dabbling, as he shows great creativity in disparate genres. Tonight, he's visiting U Street Music Hall to spin some speaker-rattling bass tunes alongside our own Dubstep Legion of Doom and the Grime Syndicate. For fans of dubstep and other dance music with a heavy low end, this should be a no-brainer. Admission to the 18-and-over show is $10; Doors open at 10.

Maddy's Bar & Grille has quickly become one of our favorite north-of-Dupont spots, with good beer, an atmosphere that's upscale but not fancy, and, best of all, a kitchen that turns out great miniburgers and other treats until 1 a.m. The bar celebrates its first anniversary tonight at a special party with $2 Yuenglings, $3 glasses of champagne, discounted appetizers and some deals that will remain a surprise. It all kicks off at 5.

Speaking of anniversaries, Science Club's weekly Droppin Science party turns one this weekend. Born Infinite spins hip-hop and electronic beats inside, VJ John Bowen of the Video Killers handles entertainment and video projections on the front patio and the bar dishes out free birthday shots and drink specials. Celebrations begin at 10, admission is free.

Friday, Oct. 8
If you've been at a club after midnight in D.C. in the past year, you've heard LMFAO's "Shots" played multiple times. A refresher: It's the song with Lil John that goes "SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SH-SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!" and "WHERE MY ALCOHOLICS? GET YOUR HANDS UP!" over a thumping bass line and an infectiously squiggly synth line. LMFAO's other singles "La La La" and "I'm in Miami" similarly combine hooks and bank-of-'80s-synths beats in a feel-good party package, but it's "Shots" that conquered the club landscape. Look forward to the same hedonistic vibe on Eden's rooftop tonight when LMFAO rapper SkyBlu -- the grandson of Motown founder Barry Gordy -- takes over DJ duties, along with resident Jose Rodriguez. Doors open at 10; hit www.edendc.com for a guestlist spot, which allows free entry before midnight.

Munich turned off the taps of the 200th Oktoberfest on Monday, but the festivities are still going strong in America -- and on German soil, too. Young Professionals group Things to Do D.C. is sponsoring its annual black-tie Oktoberfest Gala at the German Embassy. The $130 ticket includes German wines and beer, buffet and dessert bar. Entertainment includes dancing to a German band and watching a traditional German dance presentation. Add a diplomatic greeting and hundreds of guests in their Oktoberfest best, and you've got quite a memorable evening. Get a ticket in advance from thingstodo.com, as they won't be sold at the door.

A few months ago, we told you about DJ Stereofaith, a local party-rocker who was found to have a dangerous tumor growing in his auditory canal. Well, he underwent surgery and -- fingers crossed -- everything seems to be going well. He's guesting at a special Friday edition of Mousetrap at the Black Cat, joining DJ Mark Zimin for an all-ages night of Britpop, indie rock and post-punk classics.

Saturday, Oct. 9
At least 30 seasonal beers will be offered on draft at Rustico's third-annual OctoBEERfest, along with food from Rustico and its sister restaurants (Birch & Barley, Columbia Firehouse, Tallula, Eatbar, Evening Star Cafe, Vermilion and Buzz). Beer geeks can compare the autumn brews of both the Oktoberfest and pumpkin varieties. The Bruery, Schlafly and Left Hand are among the breweries sending kegs. The beer itself should be enough of a draw, but afternoon-long festival also a stage for local bands, a "Bubble Lounge" with sparkling wine (for adults) and bubble blowers (for kids), plus pumpkin decorating, a moon bounce and face painting. Worth noting: Rustico rewards those who don't drink and drive. Take a cameraphone photo of yourself at the Braddock Road Metro Station (located about a mile away) and bring it to the festival, where you can trade it for a souvenir Oktoberfest mug or five tickets for food items. The party runs from noon to 6; admission is free.

The former Newseum complex in Rosslyn is now Artisphere, a regional cultural center that mixes galleries, concert spaces, a theater, a cafe and more. (You can read a full preview of it in Friday's Weekend section.) Tickets to Friday's Preview Gala cost $250 each, so we're expecting most people will get their first look at the place on Saturday, when artistic party people the Pink Line Project and Brightest Young Things join forces for Burst, a party that takes its name from the $10,000 worth of balloons that will be used to decorate the 62,000 square feet of space. (TLC is going to be filming the party for an upcoming reality show about the balloon artists called "Twisted." Seriously.) But beyond the 40-foot balloon phoenix, there's plenty to be excited about: free beer and wine, a live music and comedy show from the Family Hemerlein Variety Show, house music from DJs Ultra Nate and Chris Burns, performance artists, skate art installations and two "makeout theaters." If taking the Circulator to Rosslyn is too difficult, shuttle buses will run between Dupont Circle every 15 minutes. All inclusive tickets are $20 from Eventbrite.

Sunday, Oct. 10
We've reached the point where "oldies" stations are now playing tunes from the 1970s and even early '80s, relegating the R&B and soul of the '50s and '60s to a gray area that's before the Beatles but not quite reaching sepia-toned big band nostalgia. Elegance on the Harbor at National Harbor is a Columbus Day tribute to two local doo-wop acts. The Memories, formed in 1957, still feature two of the vocalists who performed on the 1961 hit "Love Bells." Pookie Hudson's Spaniels honor the memory of Hudson, author of the standard "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" and a longtime Washington resident, who died in 2007. (Hudson performed with the group before his death.) The concert, held at the dueling piano bar Bobby McKey's, also features dancing to classic tunes spun by DJ Watts. Tickets are $30; Doors open at 5 and the music begins at 6.

It's easy to picture very big things in the very near future for We Were Promised Jetpacks. The Scottish quartet can check off pretty much every box on the Next Big Thing application. An arena-ready sound that's built around charging guitars, soaring choruses and emotive vocals? Got it. A baby-faced lead singer who is ready for both literal and figurative close-ups? Check. A core group of devoted fans who determinedly sing along with those big choruses? If the band's sold-out show at Rock & Roll Hotel back in February was any indication, that core group is ever-expanding. Perhaps most important, the band consistently delivers in concert, its already towering songs becoming even more cathartic. They're making a return appearance, supported by Bronz.

Tuesday, Oct. 12
For the past few years, the hopes of the D.C. hip-hop community have rested on Wale. His crossover tactics - getting a guest spot on Lada Gaga's "Chillin'," rapping over a track by electro duo Justice, performing on MTV - have landed him a large, diverse audience. Now he's trying to help some talented DMV rappers get the same kind of exposure. The Board Administration is his new label, founded with UCB vocalist Tre, and you can get a look at two of its members at a U Street Music Hall Showcase. Straight outta Alexandria is Black Cobain, a deft MC whose pop-culture references and pop-oriented hooks show a definite kinship with Wale and Fat Trel, whose rhymes on his new "No Secrets" mixtape are darker and more sinister than Wale's upbeat party jams. Go-Go favorites UCB, who've backed Wale everywhere from MTV to the 9:30 Club, provide the beats.

-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

By Fritz Hahn  | October 5, 2010; 7:38 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events, Music  
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