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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Nightlife agenda: Simian Mobile Disco, Maceo Parker, free Scotch

By Rhome Anderson, Fritz Hahn and David Malitz

Simian Mobile Disco brings its massive beats to U Street Music Hall. (Fabio Venni)

Need a dance party or your D.C. go-go fix? Check. Maybe you want to de-stress after work? We suggest the Drink and Draw Happy Hour. Or you want to impress a friend with your taste in music? This week brings both veteran sax man Maceo Parker to the 9:30 Club and on-the-rise British DJs Simian Mobile Disco to U Street Music Hall, a venue we predict they'll quickly outgrow. Read on for more of our picks of the week's best nightlife.

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Monday | Tuesday

Wednesday, Nov. 17
If you're male, ordering and drinking a good single-malt Scotch has probably felt like something you should know how to do. This masculine ritual is not just a "Mad Men" thing, either -- you don't want to call for a mojito or some complicated cocktail while playing poker with the guys, relaxing after a round of golf or mingling at a fancy dinner reception. Scotch requires some knowledge -- where the alcohol was distilled, how long it was aged, whether peat was used. The people who make and import Scotch know this, and they're always looking to educate (or indoctrinate) a new generation of booze hounds. Master of Whisky Ewan Morgan will be at Marvin from 6:15-7:30 p.m. to talk you through tasting (and pronouncing) four Scotches from the Diageo portfolio: Cardhu and Caol Ila 12-year-old, Oban 14-year-old and Lagavulin 16-year-old. All will be paired with food, and all tastes are free. All you have to do is RSVP to to reserve a space.

British DJ duo Simian Mobile Disco provides enough gritty, metallic electro to fill clubs, including the 9:30 last year. And thus far, its career seems perfectly on track: Singles "Hustler" and "I Believe" got plenty of spins from influential DJs, Simian Mobile Disco remixed Klaxons, Peaches and other buzz acts, the Gossip's Beth Ditto and Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor provided vocals for songs on SMD's second album, and recent tracks were remixed by underground favs Joker and Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve. Reports from the U.K. say the third SMD album, "Delicacies," which drops on Nov. 29, has a harder techno edge to it, which can only be a good thing. (In the rest of the world, "techno" is not a catch-all term that applies to bad electronic dance music.) Get an up-close and personal look while you can when SMD headlines U Street Music Hall this week -- they'll be in a much larger venue the next time around.

Thursday, Nov. 18
Art therapy works wonders for shaking off the trauma of workplace stress, so just imagine how helpful it can be when you combine it with beer specials. Bring your crayons and markers to the Drink and Draw Happy Hour at Wonderland and you'll get some discounted libations and may win a prize for your creations.

Friday, Nov. 19
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. That is Canyon's name on the Black Cat schedule. What, local cult favorites can't get in on the whole reunion thing, too? Back in the early '00s, Canyon was one of the best local bands in town. The group played a brand of hypnotic space-folk loud enough that it threatened to blow the windows out of the Metro Cafe. The band gets back together tonight and shares a bill with some familiar names from the old Gypsy Eyes Collective. The Deadmen (featuring Justin Jones), Vandaveer, John Bustine and Brandon Butler (Canyon's frontman) are also playing at the show, which benefits D.C. Lawyers for Youth.

You wouldn't know it by looking at them, but Liturgy is a brutal black metal band. The shrieking vocals, storming guitars, speedy burst-beat rhythms -- it's all there. Unlike some other black metal bands, Liturgy does not wear ghoulish face paint on stage, use dead animals as stage props, or, um, burn down churches. We count all of these as points in the band's favor. The musical onslaught will give you plenty to enjoy at Comet Ping Pong.

Maceo Parker blew funk through his woodwinds for a couple decades with James Brown and George Clinton, and he's never been content to be merely one of the premier soulful sax players in existence. The constant touring, new solo releases and collaborations with new artists must keep him young. Maceo gets down with groove jazz and jam band fave Karl Denson at the 9:30 Club.

Saturday, Nov. 20
The last time Jon Langford played at Iota, it was a matinee show with his cowpunk band the Waco Brothers. As the 4:30 p.m. start time arrived, there was no sign of the band. Soon, though, a van pulled up and parked outside. Langford and his mates loaded their gear onstage and immediately launched into a 90-minute set of life-affirming rock-and-roll. When you've been doing it for as long as Langford has, things like sound checks just aren't necessary. He's an institution unto himself; he plays with the still-active art-punk originals the Mekons for more than three decades and has plenty of side projects, including Skull Orchard, which stops Saturday at Iota. No matter the band, you can expect Langford to deliver pointed, populist political statements to go along with some rollicking tunes that have twang and plenty of oomph.

The younglings love the bounce beat, but the classic go-go pocket isn't going anywhere as long as Chuck, Essence and Suttle are still on the scene. Now that most of the go-go action is in Prince George's County and Zanzibar is closed, grown folks who need a fix but are suburb-averse often have to go without. That's why the WKYS Turkey Bash at the 9:30 Club is right on time.

Monday, Nov. 22
Aloe Blacc is following a path trod by better-known contemporaries such as Mos Def and Andre 3000, although his current hit "I Need a Dollar" is rapidly drawing more attention to him. Baptized in the mid-'90s indie hip-hop scene, Aloe spit rhymes with producer Exile as part of the expansive Los Angeles underground of forward-thinking rap artists before embarking on a winding road of releases and collaborations that took him through electronica and jazz. He finally emerged as a retro-style soul singer who still raps in both Spanish and English. Joining Aloe Blacc Rock & Roll Hotel on this tour is Maya Jupiter, a key figure in Australian progressive hip-hop, who relocated to L.A. to fuse beats and verses with traditional Chicano sounds.

Tuesday, Nov. 23
Delorean plays techno music. The Spanish band puts a fresh spin on the classic electronic music sound that came out of Ibiza in the late '80s: it's warm and pays attention to songwriting detail, not just danceable rhythms. The band's album "Subiza," was released on True Panther Sounds, the same upstart label that bands Girls and Glasser call home. See if the show turns into a dance party at Rock & Roll Hotel.

By Rhome Anderson, Fritz Hahn and David Malitz  | November 17, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Music  
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Is the Canyon show a one off thing or are they back together? One of my favorite local bands of all time. Thought a couple members moved on permanently to Son Volt.

Posted by: Snapper24 | November 17, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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