Nightlife Agenda: Parties for a long weekend
With a long weekend on the horizon, we've got a calendar full of events, including appearances by trailblazing DJs Afrika Bambaataa and Ron Trent, the 10th anniversary of the Prince Dance Party, a showcase for D.C.'s own Socket Records, a competition that sees six of the area's top bartenders crafting bourbon cocktails, a Roaring Twenties-themed evening at the Phillips Collection and a big night at U Street Music Hall starring DJ Dave Nada and his brothers-in-moombahton.
Wednesday, Jan. 12
For much of last summer, we were raving about local DJ Dave Nada and his new genre called Moombahton -- funky Dutch house tracks slowed down to the percussive, dance-floor friendly tempo of reggaeton. Last month, we knew weren't the only ones in love with Nada's invention, which showed up on numerous year-in-review lists, in the Post's Style section and on the cover of the City Paper. Though Nada has moved to L.A., he's back in town this week for a couple of gigs, including the second Moombahton Massive party at U Street Music Hall. The first one, held back in October, rattled the building. This time, with Dutch moombahton DJ Munchi, Charlotte, N.C., producer Heartbreak and New York's DJ Sabo, it may knock it down. Admission is $5 if you RSVP, or $10 at the door.
Thursday, Jan. 13
(Update: This event is now sold out) Ninety years ago, as Duncan Phillips prepared to open the gallery that bears his name, Prohibition was just over a year old. Certainly, throughout the city of Washington, there were discreet parties where flappers danced the Charleston and men drank hooch. That's the era the Phillips Collection's young members group is trying to conjure at its Speakeasy party this week: They're taking over the carriage house, located in Hillyer Court behind the museum, for a 1920s-inspired party with ginny Stork Club cocktails, a Cointreau tasting and music by Bluebrain. (It's just one of the ways to celebrate the Phillips' 90th anniversary this week.) Admission is $10, which includes one drink, and space is limited: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. And don't forget your beaded dress: The best roaring '20s outfit wins a pair of tickets to the Phillips Collection's annual Gala After Party (a $250 value).
Here's tonight's choice: Charleston or chocolate? The Washington Ballet's Jete Society is throwing a happy hour at chocolate lounge and restaurant Co Co. Sala, which sounds like a perfectly cozy destination for a cold winter night: three types of house-made chocolates and a glass of prosecco for $9; glasses of wine for $6 each; rich and sweet house martinis for $9. Don't worry about RSVPing -- just drop in between 6 and 9.
Afrocuba at Sutra Lounge is the party for salsa lovers who want to go deeper. DJ Asho, his guest DJs and live drummers explore the roots of Cuban dance music as well as modern offshoots like reggaeton.
Get a good start on 2011 karma at the Bottom Line, where you can enjoy happy hour drinks in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. From 6 to 9, donate $3 to help fight blood cancer and you'll get a wristband good for $3 rail drinks and glasses of wine and be entered in a raffle for bigger prizes.
Friday, Jan. 14
His frequent event collaborations with Adrian Loving and Chris Burns are making D.C. a home away from home for accomplished house DJ and producer Ron Trent. With his disco background, early techno releases and a deep soulful and Afro-house discography, that means D.C. wins. He's joining Burns again at the Loft for another edition of Body Music.
Five bands on one bill may seem a bit intimidating, but when things start at 7 p.m. and it's a punk show, it should still be a relatively early night. All varieties of punk will be on display Friday at St. Stephen's Church. Headliners Lemuria play pop-punk with a spark; there's the brutal grindcore onslaught of Magrudergrind; and the equally chaotic thrash of Baltimore's Pulling Teeth. Give and Hot Mess also perform at the show, a benefit for Positive Force.
In a city teeming with massive jazz talents, you have to carve out some space to take in the younger ones. Akua Allrich knows her standards and her way around an acoustic jazz ensemble, but as she showed on her 2010 debut "A Peace of Mine," she's handy with folk, soul and Brazilian styles, too. Get to know Allrich at Twins Jazz.
Saturday, Jan. 15
Sockets Records has successfully made the transition from "excellent local record label" to simply "excellent record label." The qualifier isn't necessary - and, honestly, it hasn't been for a few years - since there are few labels in any city that boast such a diverse and high-quality roster. Saturday's four-band showcase at the Black Cat won't hit on experimental electronic or hip-hop sounds, but it will feature plenty of head-spinning guitar rock. Headliner Hume specializes in jumpy, intricate long-form guitar workouts that are as precise as they are powerful. Opener Laughing Man is about to release an excellent debut album, "The Lovings ('63-'69)," of rock-blues-soul that establishes singer Brandon Moses as one of the city's most intriguing vocalists. Buildings and Skeletons round out the stacked bill.
One of the nice things about the Loda electronic music parties is that they simultaneously manage to look backwards and forward: Older heads in the crowd can get the classics they love while checking out some up-and-coming talent, while the younger folks can develop a better understanding of where the music came from. The group's latest event at the Warehouse Loft is no exception. One room features house tracks spun by Ray Casil, Lexus King, Lovegrove and Tom B, who've been fixtures on the scene for about a decade. The "Future Bass" room, meanwhile, is given over to Born Infinite, the up-and-coming rapper whose "Tomorrow Is Today" album finally dropped this week, dubstep DJ Daniel Merrill of the Aligning Minds duo, drum 'n' bass mixmaster Harry Ransom and several others. Cover is only $5, and the party runs from 10 to 4.
If, like Bob Seger, you've been craving old-time rock and roll, then you absolutely have to be at the Quarry House Tavern tonight. It's a rare reunion for the Old Line Skiffle Combo, a Maryland six-piece that plays traditional skiffle and rockabilly tunes using everything from a washboard to pedal-steel guitar to recreate the shufflin' '50s vibe. Taking turns on stage is the Flea Bops, one of the area's finest rockabilly acts, playing raw, straight-ahead Carl Perkins and Wynonie Harris covers and some edgy originals that could be the b-sides of some rare 45" if you didn't know any better. There's no cover charge, and the music starts at 9.
Sunday, Jan. 16
Ten years ago, the local Prince fan club had a fantastic idea: an all-Prince dance party with hits, rarities and tracks by such Prince-associated groups as Vanity and the Time - nothing but funk all night long. And it was good. DJ Dredd, a resident at Metro Cafe and huge Prince fan, was the original selector, and it wasn't long before he took the parties to bigger and bigger venues and expanded the concept to "versus parties," where he would deftly blend the music of Prince back to back with a featured artist all night - think Outkast, Rick James or Madonna. A decade on, the idea still packs the Black Cat and (occasionally) the 9:30 Club on long holiday weekends, because you need extra sleep after all that dancing. This year, Dredd celebrates at the Black Cat by taking the party back to basics: It's Prince vs. Prince, featuring Prince and his friends all night long while Robin Bell projects visuals on the sweating walls. Get there early, as there's frequently a line.
Here's an easy way to spend part of your long weekend: Watch six of the area's top bartenders take turns creating cocktails with smooth-sipping Jefferson's bourbon, then try each drink in the plush surrounds of the Jefferson Hotel's Quill lounge. There are prizes on the line at the Quill Cocktail Competition, including a trip to the Jefferson's distillery in Kentucky, but the real winners are those who get to sample beverages crafted by Clinton Terry (PX), Jon Arroyo (Founding Farmers), Patrick Owens (Jaleo), Sal Aldana (CityZen) and Joseph Cleveland (Oyamel) in 20 minutes or less. Duane Sylvestre of Bourbon Steak, who won the debut Jefferson's competition last year, returns to defend his crown. Tickets include a cocktail reception with snacks from 2 to 3 p.m. and passed cocktails during the competition.
As a DJ, when you can check Afrika Bambaataa off your bucket list of people to work with, your legitimacy is in pretty good shape. For Washington funky breaks collective Fort Knox Five, it was a case of opportunity meeting preparation, as it had established itself as a group of consistently talented producers before one of the progenitors of global hip-hop and beat culture came calling. Bambaataa, known for "Planet Rock," the '80s hit that crossed hip-hop and German electro pioneers Kraftwerk, will be mining his breakbeats with the Fort Knox crew at an MLK holiday blowout at U Street Music Hall featuring Asheru and Mustafa Akbar on mike control and the Video Killers handling visuals. Local DJs Rex Riddem and Jahsonic are also in the mix.
There are lots of options for taking advantage of a three-day weekend. Not all of them will be worthwhile, especially if you're looking for a solid hip-hop and R&B party with a mature vibe. Grammy award-winning hip-hop producer 9th Wonder will be celebrating his birthday in D.C. instead of in his native North Carolina. True School residents Cuzzin B and DJ Face share turntable duties at Modern.
It's a double album release show at Iota on Sunday night as local roots rockers Billy Coulter and the Ruins both celebrate new CDs. Wammie mainstay Coulter -- he was just nominated for five more awards this week -- releases "Trace, Live at Goose Creek." The live set features the band expanding its roots rock sound to include hints of Celtic, country and pop. The Ruins keep the rustic vibe going.
Monday, Jan. 17
Indie this, indie that. On its new album "Nothing Fits," Detroit trio Tyvek abandons the scraggly, lo-fi sound of its earlier work for a full-on punk rock assault. Most songs explode out of the gate and run wild for 90 seconds before reaching a sudden conclusion. The band's sound has a lot in common with the straight-ahead raw power of '80s hardcore, so it will be loud and fast at Comet Ping Pong.
Fritz Hahn, David Malitz and Rhome Anderson
| January 11, 2011; 5:23 PM ET
Categories: Bars and Clubs, Events, Music
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