The Mousetrap: Celebrating 15 years of Britpop

Mousetrap
(Courtesy of Mousetrap.)

For more than a decade, Mark Zimin's Mousetrap night was a staple at the Black Cat: A monthly fix of Britpop and American indie rock, ranging from Oasis and the Smiths to Hot Hot Heat and Stereolab. When Mousetrap made its debut at the Black Cat in 2000, the idea of a DJ night focusing on rock music instead of house, top 40 or '80s was a novelty, but it quickly became one of the club's biggest draws. (On a personal note, it was also the subject of one of my first stories for the Post.)

Though Mousetrap's appearances at the Black Cat have been sporadic in recent years, Zimin is celebrating Mousetrap's 15th anniversary on the Black Cat's mainstage tonight, joined by frequent collaborator DJ Stereo Faith. It's a bittersweet occasion, though: Zimin is moving to California next week, so this could be the last Mousetrap ever. For the sake of nostalgia, I asked Zimin and Stereo Faith to pick ten tracks that defined the party. The playlist -- and their e-mailed comments about them -- are below.

Tonight at 9:30 p.m. The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. 202-667-4490. www.blackcatdc.com. $10.

1. The La's, "There She Goes."
Pop's greatest ode to heroin written by someone who knew it intimately. So catchy, it's been misused countless times in commercials and movies.

2. Belle and Sebastian, "The Boy With the Arab Strap."
How could you be a music person and not like a song about hooking up with a musician?

3. Robin Hitchcock, "Balloon Man."
I honestly can't tell you what this is about. However, it is one of the catchiest songs of all time.

4. The Church, "I Am a Rock."
Australian band covers Simon & Garfunkel with one of the best re-imaginings of the song one could possibly squeeze into two minutes.

5. Pulp, "Common People."
Class tourism and hook-ups, Jarvis-style.

6. Blur, "Parklife."
By pursuing a new nexus of Kinksian Modness, it becomes cool to be proud to be English again after the rise and fall of American grunge.

7. The Strokes, "Someday."
Honestly, you could pick any song of their first record and it would still be in the top 10. The Strokes singlehandedly saved guitar music in the 2000's and everybody followed.

8. The Stone Roses, "I Am The Resurrection."
There will never be another band like them, who had a sound and poetry of their very own. They're not unlike --

9. The Smiths, "Panic"
->Hang The DJ<-

10. Lilys, "Dimes Make Dollars."
The completely certifiable lead singer writes better pop songs than most sane people.

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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