Michael Jackson would have been 54 on Wednesday. Since his 2009 passing, the week of his birthday has become a time of celebration and nostalgia at D.C. area clubs. Here are three ways you can remember the King of Pop this week.
Monday: DJ Jahsonic ’s annual tribute to Michael and the Jacksons at Marvin is one of our favorite dance parties of the year. As Jahsonic artfully blends irresistible grooves from the ’70s and ’80s, particularly strong on the disco-era singles that many overlook, the tiny dance floor is packed with people shimmying, shaking and singing wherever there’s a square foot of space. After a while, you’ll need to head out to the patio to cool off, but it won’t be long before you’re pulled back inside. (Check out Jahsonic’s 2010 all-MJ mix for a quick sample of what you’re in for.)
Friday: U Street Music Hall’s annual “Michael Jackson is Still Alive” party features perennial favorites Jerome Baker III (of Rock Creek Social Club’s Goodlife Tuesdays) and James Nasty (Baltimore City Paper’s “Best DJ in a Club” for his Ottobar parties) spinning their favorite MJ songs around a set by electro-tinged rockers Redline Graffiti. The 5 p.m. start time is the perfect way to kick off the three-day weekend.
Friday: DJ Dredd is one of D.C.’s top party DJs, and he’s known for his love of ‘80s pop. That’s why his annual tribute to Michael Jackson is one of the best going: Favorite songs rub up against killer remixes and deep-but-funky album cuts and b-sides. Throw in vintage video projections by VJ John Bowen of Video Killers and MC Grap Luva, and you’ve got a memorable and cathartic evening at the Howard Theatre.