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Posted at 5:34 PM ET, 10/19/2010

Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn

Best known for the anthemic "Born Slippy" on the "Trainspotting" soundtrack, techno duo Underworld enjoys a reputation as one of the world's finest live acts. (Courtesy of Cooking Vinyl)

This week, don't miss an all-request DJ night, kinetic electronic duo Underworld, the anniversary of the popular Brazilian Rhythms dance party (with a special food and drink menu), next-big-thing dubstep producer Rusko, happy hours that benefit charities or our picks for watching the baseball playoffs.

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Wednesday, Oct. 20 We know there are a lot of Yankees fans and haters out there, so we're doing this as a public service: If you want to watch the Bronx Bombers in the American League Championship Series tonight, the Mighty Pint -- run by a rabid Yankees fan -- and the New York-friendly 51st State should be your go-to spots. The Mighty Pint offers $4 Miller Lites during every game and $2 shots for a Yankees victory or home run. (This is in addition to the usual Wednesday night specials: 16-ounce PBR cans for $2 and cheesesteaks for $4 from 8 to close.) The 51st State, meanwhile, offers $3.50 Coney Island Lagers and Corona bottles from 8 to close.

Thursday, Oct. 21
For the past three years, DJ Neville C - a.k.a. Som Records owner Neal Becton - has hosted Brazilian Rhythms, giving music fans their monthly fix of samba and tropicália beats, spinning classic bossa novas and introducing curious clubgoers to the infectiously festive Brazilian sounds of forró, axe and pagode. (Honestly, you don't have to know what the music's called - the percussion-fueled grooves will have you laughing and dancing around Cafe Saint-Ex's Gate 54 Lounge before you know what hits you.) Becton has made numerous trips to Brazil to shop for vinyl, and the depth of his collection shows: Brazilian Embassy staffers get down next to newbies trying the fresh caipirinha cocktails at the bar and watching old Brazilian movies and videos on the flat-screen TV. For this month's anniversary party, Saint-Ex will have Brazilian food and drink specials before the music starts.

Over the summer, the Maison soirees atop the Donovan House hotel were some of the most fun (and most packed) rooftop pool parties we attended, with a predominantly gay crowd dancing the night away to French house, indie and disco tunes. But with the return of cooler weather, it's time for the speedos and flip-flops to be put away, and Maison returns to its spiritual home in the chic basement environs of Napoleon. DJs TMY and Shea Van Horn are marking the first anniversary of Maison tonight, so raise one of the bar's famed champagne cocktails in tribute. As always, it's free and starts at 10.

Friday, Oct. 22
It was a Friday night and you just got paid. It was time to par-tay! Everyone was talking about this hot spot to party and you couldn't wait to do some shots and pump your fist, but for some reason the DJ refused your request to play your favorite Black Eyed Peas jam instead of that weird house music that everyone was dancing to. If he had just followed your instructions, the party really would have been rocking. If you've ever had a night like this, then Becky at the Rock and Roll Hotel is for you. For one night only, DJs Stereo Faith and Trevor Martin will be your personal Pandora. No request shall be turned down. If it's your birthday, your friend's birthday or you're in a bachelorette party, these two human jukeboxes will be at your service. They might even do body shots with you while telling the whole club that it's your birthday. Every song that you've heard 400 times on the radio or on your iPod will be instantly spun for your dancing pleasure. PARTY!

The Bethesda branch of the BlackFinn saloon frequently has girls' night out events like Martini and a Makeover, but since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the bar is hosting something a little less frivolous: the Pink Party for Breast Cancer, a fundraising happy hour for the Bethesda-based National Foundation for Cancer Research in its private upstairs room. A $10 donation to the charity is good for free passed hors d'oeuvres and $5 specialty martinis from 7 to 9, and $1 from the purchase of a house cocktail will also be donated directly to the cause. (Staffers from the National Foundation for Cancer Research will be working the door and can answer questions about its programs.) RSVPs to are appreciated, but not required.

If you're intrigued by salsa dancing and are easing into the scene, you might want to consider trying rueda style dancing, in which salsa moves are done in a group rather than with a single partner. DJs Asho and Reyna will be going head to head to out-do each other all night, selecting the hottest cuban tunes at Sabores. Catch a rueda lesson early in the night before the selectors battle and the dancers work it out.

We've got a slew of anniversary parties this week. Next up is Taking the Piss, the Marx Cafe indie-pop monthly that's dedicated to all that's great about chiming guitars, harmonized vocals and the occasional distortionfest. DJs Mark Williams and the Pinstriped Rebel celebrate eight years in Mount Pleasant with free baklava treats and guest DJs Scott Seymour and Lady Pantsalot. Admission is free, the music starts at 10 and the bartenders pour fine Belgian ales.

As thousands of bands descend upon New York City for the annual CMJ Music Fest, the leftovers trickle down to D.C. as bands look to fill in their tour schedules before and after Big Apple showcases. That's good news for us -- Comet Ping Pong hosts three high-octane acts that are making quick returns after winning August gigs. Garage rock wunderkind Ty Segall, slack punks Turbo Fruits and Nashville hyper-poppers Pujol make for a bill that's as good as anything in New York on the same night.

Saturday, Oct. 23
Have you heard of Perks, Lethal Peanut, Modern Thieves, Same Ol' Sound or Crooked Crow? Neither have we. But these local groups are battling in Band to Band Combat to win a place opening for Everclear and the Dan Band at this year's Downtown Countdown New Year's Eve party at the Grand Hyatt. All five perform at Rumors tonight, and then a panel of judges and audience votes will determine the winner. Here's an extra reason to check out some up-and-coming bands: The final round is a benefit for Music 4 More, a charity that purchases musical instruments for schools and helps organizations that provide music lessons to youth. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door, and all proceeds go to charity. The first band is up at 8 p.m.

A few months ago, we wrote about the crazy Wild North parties at the underground-ish Warehouse Loft space on New York Avenue NE. It's hard to say what's better: the unpretentious venue, the anything-goes vibe or the crazy dancefloor-filling house music spun by the Party Bros DJs (Chris Burns and Gavin Holland) and the Pacemaker DJs (Sami Y and TJ). It's a far cry from the dress codes and buttoned-up madness you find elsewhere in the city on a Saturday night, and if you RSVP on the Wild North site, it's only $5 before 11 and $10 after.

Getting to be a rap star today is a very different process than in recent years. Two examples of the new paradigm shift -- Nicki Minaj and Lil B -- will be visiting D.C. this weekend. Nicki Minaj has the more traditional rise to fame, collecting guest spots like we collected baseball cards as kids, doing verses on tracks by everyone from Mariah Carey, Usher and Ludacris. She's become an on-the-verge superstar thanks to her constant presence and instantly identifiable style, a sort of futuristic outer space vixen with a voice to match. She'll be at DC Star on Saturday. Lil B is even more otherworldly than Minaj. The 20-year-old Bay Area rapper releases new music almost every day on his Web site, is a non-stop tweeter and has even started his own online meme of being "based." Basically, forget the haters, put out a new mixtape every couple weeks and establish yourself as one of rap's most bizarre and promising young stars. He's absurdly-prolific, often simply absurd and has built an impressive cult following that will only expand as his skills improve. He performs at Fur on Friday night and at CFE Events Center on Saturday.

Sunday, Oct. 24
Looking for a way to wind up the weekend? The new SOULcial Sundays at Social in Columbia Heights sounds like the perfect Sunday comedown. From 10 to 3, you've got the usual Sunday brunch, with $15 bottomless mimosas and bloody marys. Bur from 3 to 9, DJs take over and spin classic R&B and soul, while the bar serves up a full menu of happy hour deals: $18 pitchers of margaritas and sangria, $10 buckets of Corona, $1 PBR cans, $3 Stella Artois and highball cocktails and $4 glasses of house wine, plus $4 plates of wings, guac and chips, or burgers. There's no cover, so bring your friends.

David wrote plenty about Rusko in Friday's Weekend section, but here's the short version -- dubstep is poised to be the electronic music genre that actually takes hold in the U.S. and Rusko is the man who will be most responsible for making that happen. Sure, he's got those high-profile collaborations with the likes of Rihanna, Gucci Mane, M.I.A. and even Britney Spears. But it's the bone-rattling bass lines that fill his DJ sets and turn dance floors into sweaty masses of humanity that are equally earning him a reputation as a game changer. Expect to be dripped on at U Street Music Hall Sunday night.

Monday, Oct. 25
Do you have Daft Punk fever? Bummed out by all the false starts and false information relating to the new music and a new tour from the unquestioned kings of the electro-spectacle concert? Take in one Underworld show and call us in the morning. The veteran U.K. electronic music group won't have giant pyramids or robot outfits when it visits the 9:30 Club on Monday, but it will have no shortage of the thumping techno anthems that earned them a reputation as one of the world's most exciting live bands, no matter the genre. When vocalist Karl Hyde's barking gets more manic as the tempo picks up and the song hits one of its booming peaks, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone in the 9:30 Club who isn't in a state of full-body spasming - either voluntarily or involuntarily.

The indefinite closing of DC9 and the delayed opening of Red Palace have predictably wreaked havoc on local concert calendars. Many shows have been outright canceled, including wistful indie upstarts Small Black and progressive electronic producer Matthew Dear. The Rock & Roll Hotel, sister venue to both temporarily shuttered spots, is trying to pick up the slack where it can. On Monday that means hosting the show that was supposed to be at DC9 featuring kaleidoscopic pop collagists A Sunny Day in Glasgow and the gooey, swirling soundscapes of Candy Claws. On Tuesday that means smooshing together the shows that were scheduled for Red Palace and DC9, resulting in an unlikely but promising double bill featuring guitar-shredder supreme Marnie Stern and garage-pop standout Gentleman Jesse and His Men. Expect more juggling in the coming weeks.

-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

By Fritz Hahn  | October 19, 2010; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events, Music  
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