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Posted at 6:44 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Nightlife agenda

By David Malitz

Raheem Devaughn hosts an After the Yard showcase Friday at U Street Music Hall. (Dayna Smith/FTWP)

This weekend. This is one of those weekends that is truly overwhelming. Howard Homecoming, Halloween and the Stewart/Colbert rally? Needless to say, things will be hopping all weekend. To make it easier on you we've decided to break things down a bit. Here are our top picks for Howard Homecoming -- including scheduled performances by Rick Ross, J. Cole and Soulja Boy -- and best Halloween events. Here is a collection of rally-related events. In addition to that, there's the Moombahton Massive, a unique Wale vs. Tokyo Police Club concert and a local indie band's bicycle concert tour of the city.

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Wednesday, Oct. 27
Shortly after DJ Dave Nada stumbled on moombahton, the scene exploded with other DJs trying their hand at the club rocking hybrid of reggaeton, mixing into it everything from chopped up bits of '80s tunes to cumbia folk songs. Other than Nada himself, New York veteran Sabo's work has risen to the top of the genre, making it more than just another dance music micro-genre fad. Catch Nada, Saba and and Munchi representing the Moombahton Massive at U Street Music Hall.

Thursday, Oct. 28
You can dislike Woodrow Wilson all you want, but one thing you can't blame the 28th president for was Prohibition. Yes, the 18th Amendment went into effect under his watch, but Wilson opposed prohibition and vetoed the Volstead Act, which outlawed the sale of any beverage with more than 0.5 percent alcohol. His veto was overridden, but history shows that Wilson was on the right side. Raise a toast to his memory at the Speakeasy Costume Ball, held at the Woodrow Wilson House in Kalorama. Dress as a gangster, flapper or bootlegger; dance to live ragtime music; and enjoy an open bar of rum cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres. The house will be open for tours - including Wilson's rarely seen wine cellar - as well as socializing.

Comet Ping Pong has become a reliable hot spot for seeing some of the best indie and garage bands coming to the area, so it's nice to see the Chevy Chase spot branching out a bit by welcoming reggae band the Aggrolites. Many current bands use reggae as a launching point to add more elements to their sound but the L.A. quintet stays true to the genre without sounding like straight tribute. There are elements of funk and soul that enter the mix but for the most part, it's a traditional sound done right.

Friday, Oct. 29
Howard University homecoming parties generally slot into one of two holes: Big club events with current radio stars (see: Soulja Boy, Rick Ross) or smaller, dressier, pricier lounge events (see: The Park at 14th, Shadow Room). But if you want to spend the whole night just dancing to fun retro jams, the choices are fewer. That's why Dynasty on U at Tabaq grabbed us: It's headlined by Monie Love, the bubbly British MC whose résumé includes a star turn on Queen Latifah's anthem "Ladies First" and her own hits "Monie in the Middle" and "It's a Shame (My Sister)," which still light up dance floors if you're lucky enough to find a DJ who'll drop 'em. Speaking of DJs, Dynasty's selecters - all HU alumni - include DJ Jahsonic, DJ Ben Hameen, DJ Infinite Soundz and DJ Saucee spinning on multiple levels. Tickets are $30 and include free hors d'oeuvres and an open bar with Courvoisier drinks from 10 to 11 and $5 drink specials for the rest of the night. A $50 VIP ticket includes access to the rooftop bar and an extra hour of open bar from midnight to 1.

You'd be hard pressed to find a band more beloved than "on hiatus" trio Sleater-Kinney. By the end of its nearly 10-year run the band had morphed from scrappy riot grrl punks to a full-fledged rock-and-roll freight train. Corin Tucker's piercing howl was an integral part of the band's arsenal and became one of the most distinctive voices in rock. She's dialed it back a bit on her debut solo album, which fits the more laid back musical offerings that still have plenty of punch. But there are a few moments when she lets loose and it remains one of the most powerful instruments - let alone voices - around. Hungry Ghost opens at the Black Cat.

Like any good local heroes who blow up big, Raheem Devaughn and 9th Wonder have both reached back into the talent pools of their respective hometowns to groom the next generation of artists to follow in their footsteps. The center piece of Devaughn's DC based 368 Music Group is nimble, charismatic and widely appealing young rapper Phil Ade. 9th Wonder's Carolina rooted It's A Wonder World Music Group has a burgeoning roster of artists that includes straight-ahead hip-hop duo Actual Proof and the very promising Rapsody. In a rap world that gives you a choice between Nicki Minaj or nothing when it comes to female artists, Rapsody is a much needed new voice. Get introduced to all of these artists at the After the Yard Showcase at U Street Music Hall.

There are a few nightlife options this weekend that shouldn't be overrun by the combined hype machines of Halloween and Howard's Homecoming. DJ Face of the True School old school parties will be serving hip-hop and classics at Liv with DJ Bee, Virginia's premier party-rocking turntablist.

Saturday, Oct. 30
Halloween is coming, and with that comes a tidal wave of ironically worn afros, bell bottoms and platform shoes. For those who take their funk and their fun seriously, a swarm of funk dilettantes can seem insulting. Those styles look outlandish with the passage of time, but seriously, when you listen to music by bands such as Parliament-Funkadelic, the Bar-Kays or the Ohio Players, what other clothing could possibly fit those sounds? For those nodding vigorously in assent by this point, the Decades Halloween party will include a contest for best decade-themed costume and a P-Funk tribute performance by the Clones of Funk. You can go the James Brown route if your retro-grooming tastes trend more toward an elaborate perm rather than an afro. Those with the best euphoric screeches and elastic-hipped footwork can vie for a $500 prize in the Godfather of Soul impression contest. And it's all hosted by radio personalities Chris Paul and Huggy Lowdown at the Washington Convention Center.

Red Bull keeps coming up with ingenious ways to spend their considerable revenue and indie, underground and progressive music movements continue to benefit. They've got a music academy, a worldwide b-boy battle, and soundclashes, where bands of different genres are pitted against each other. For Red Bull's DC Soundclash, Wale's go-go powered hip-hop is matched against indie rock band Tokyo Police Club.

Impossible Hair mostly flies under the radar, which suits its music. The local group plays songs that don't command attention but rather earn it, quick and quirky ditties that are also plenty catchy. To celebrate the release of its new album, "Toast a Dozen (on the outside)," the band will break from its usual M.O. and make itself very well seen. Sure, there will be the official release show Saturday night at the Velvet Lounge. But there will also be "renegade tandem bicycle shows" all over town. The band will be equipped with practice amps, kids drums and guitars and will ride around the city playing short shows at Volleyball Island near the Lincoln Memorial, on Thomas Jefferson St. near the C&O canal in Georgetown, The Q Street & Connecticut Ave. Triangle in Dupont Circle and 18th Street & Columbia Rd in Adams Morgan. Plus there will also be a 2 p.m. in store at Crooked Beat. Whew.

The streets will be out of hand tonight. If you decide to get in the mix, you definitely want to stick with sureshot options. Here's your drive-by guide to all manner of quality revelry you can get into. DJ Dredd and DJ Rekha team up again for a night of south Asian beats with Bhangraween at the Black Cat. Eighteenth Street Lounge hosts an afterparty for Colbert and Stewart's National Mall stunt featuring the funky, tropical sounds of the Bastard Jazz DJs with Amon on percussion. Sam Burns and DJ Double o7 will house your body at Funxion with John Bowen on the video assist. Marvin's Halloween evening goes extra retro with a Cotton Club Revival. (Update: Marvin's Cotton Club Revival is Sunday night.) DJs Keenan and Smudge know how mix fun cheesiness with the jams that make the crowd get messy. They'll be packing in the partying zombies at the Velvet Lounge. The '80s and '90s hip-hop lovers will be getting it in at Lounge of Three for the Jheri Curl Soul / New Jack O'Lantern Swing jam while Napoleon recreates the atmosphere of an old time French circus for Halloween in Paris. Over on H Street, the All Good Funk Alliance will be debuting their new video at Little Miss Whiskey's Halloween Ball.

Sunday, Oct. 31
Before Robert Lopez became El Vez ("the Mexican Elvis") he was frontman for the Zeros, one of the country's first punk bands, Latino or otherwise. The band's short run in the 1970s ended when most members were still in their teens but included shows with greats such as the Clash and Devo. The band has played on and off reunion gigs over the past few years and hits the Velvet Lounge tonight with a jam-packed lineup featuring many of the city's best punk bands -- the Shirks, Beasts of No Nation and Maybe Baby.

If you're keeping it traditional and not using Halloween as a three day extended party, you can get down on the actual holiday with the Latin funk of Pimps of Joytime and Nayas at Rock and Roll Hotel. DJ Christine Moritz and DJ Concerned will augment the body moving activities.

-- Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz

By David Malitz  | October 26, 2010; 6:44 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events, Music  
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Next: Getting Up Guide: Carved pumpkins and colorful cocktails

 
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