Words, Beats & Life is behind this weekly open-mike session, one of the city's finest. Go-go band Mambo Sauce (of "Welcome to D.C." fame) provides the beats, and Mambo Sauce's Black Boo and vocalist Michael Thompson of Lissen Band are the hosts. Up and Up stands out because of its three distinct segments: an a cappella session for freestyle rappers or spoken word artists performing original works; one where singers and rappers get three minutes to perform a song with accompaniment by the band; and one jam-session-style segment, where vocalists get to deliver one verse each with the band. The night also includes a performance by a featured artist. The talent level is high, and the audience gets into the groove. If you want to participate, arrive early to get your name on the open-mike list. If you just want to watch, arrive early to skip the cover charge and enjoy happy-hour specials, including $3 drinks and a $5 food menu.
-- Fritz Hahn (Jan. 10, 2010)