Thursday, July 13, 2006; 12:00 AM
Thursday, July 13
Looks like a kiddie clash is about to jump off on New York Avenue. In one corner we have the current champ Earth, which has been running at Love since many of today's students were in junior high. DJ Geometrix is extending the reach of his territory and going head up against Masoud's time-tested brand name with his new College Thursdays night at Avenue. Geo matches up similarly to the hip-hop, R&B and retro stylings of Love's DJ Analyze, but Avenue might have to concede floss points. Then again, access to cabs and public transportation is definitely in Avenue's favor and should be a draw for the young party set, as will the lack of cover charge for ladies with a pass from DCClubHost.com.
U Street has a similar matchup brewing, but ultimately it's the partygoers who win. Just Bcus has been growing in popularity right down the block from Uncle Q's Living Room over the last two months. DJ Underdog from the Tru-Skool series at Capital City Records sets up on the second level of Cafe Nema and pulls funk, rock, rare groove and underground hip-hop selections for heads who shuttle back and forth between the upstairs party and the Young Lions jazz trio in the lower lounge. In this summer weather, you'd be remiss to not take in both of these free parties when you head out on a Thursday night.
Friday, July 14
So it's finally come down to this: The end of Buzz/Sting/Cubik at Nation. The end of an era. Washington's best electronic dance night has celebrated 10 tumultuous years filled with many highs, including multiple appearances by Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and Digweed, and a staggering number of the world's best DJs. Ravers and fans who packed the club every Friday built a community, and were a large reason that Washington became a major destination for house, trance and drum 'n' bass DJs of all stripes. Of course, there was that Fox 5 "investigation" into illegal drug use by patrons that didn't seem to show much but still got the club shut down; two name changes to try to escape the stigma of "Buzz"; more allegations of drug use in and around the club, leading to a ban on military personnel at Nation; and finally, a year of exile in Baltimore when Nation canceled the event. Founder Scott Henry and Buzz's regulars persevered, and when the event returned as Cubik in 2003, it looked like they'd finally turned the corner. Sadly, though, the new Nationals baseball stadium means that land around the Navy Yard has become more valuable, and Nation is being torn down to make room for an office building. But there's time for one last party, and what a memorable one it promises to be. Taking to the decks tonight are some legendary locals who've done so much to build and nurture this scene -- Henry, his partner in crime Charles Feelgood, Lieven, Lonnie Fisher, even former WHFS DJ Gina Crash, who hosted the stations' late-night Trancemission show. Also on the bill are heavyweight national acts Utah Saints, Rabbit in the Moon, Micro, John B and Scott Hardkiss, plus, in a nod to Buzz's roots, a number of local DJs who are always worth catching, including Fort Knox Five, Tittsworth and Palash. More than two dozen DJs will play between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and while tickets are pricey -- $50 in advance -- you'll be getting your money worth. Expect a sold-out crowd and long lines, so plan to arrive early to say farewell to a night that really will be missed.
It's Bastille Day, so join us in a rousing chorus of "La Marseillaise," won't you? "Aux armes citoyens! / Formez vos bataillons! / Marchons, marchons / Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons!" (Literally, "To arms, citizens / Form your battalions / March on, march on / May their impure blood water our fields") Inspiring, n'est-ce pas?
Fritz has rounded up a number of parties in this blog post, and while our favorite gathering remains Bistrot du Coin's -- where else will you have women dancing on the bar well past midnight and guys jumping up and down singing French soccer songs? -- lines are invariably long. Arrive early or spend your holiday on the sidewalk. If you can't squeeze in, head a few blocks east to L'Enfant, where you'll find the indoor/outdoor celebration includes DJs, discounted Kronenbourg and a "French maid relay race."
Every summer, Allen Iverson hosts a Celebrity Softball Classic at Prince George's Stadium in beautiful Bowie. Fellow ballers, professional athletes and music and movie stars are invited to come out and play some slow pitch to raise money for Iverson's CrossOver Foundation, which works with disadvantaged children. The "scheduled to appear" list for Saturday's big game includes LeBron James, Nelly, Vivica A. Fox, Larry Hughes, Gilbert Arenas, Young Jeezy, T.I. and Martin Lawrence. With that many celebrities and musicians in town, they're going to need somewhere to party. Word is that a number of folks will be heading to Opium tonight at Avenue, and even if you don't actually see A.I. or Gilbert, a pass from MadPowerUnit.com still gets you free admission and a full open bar (including top-shelf) from 9:30 to 11.
Underground fashion, underground music and underground art are on the agenda at Gallery Restaurant Lounge in Silver Spring, where the DCU: Style Class of 2006 party brings together six local designers, three DJs, graffiti-inspired artist Kelly Towles (whom you may have seen at the David Adamson Gallery) and record and clothing vendors. Muss Line, Kristina Bilonick, Loose Lips, Superperfecthair, Realm jewelry and DeNada Bags will be featured on the runway show, which begins at midnight, and the Ace, Rosenberg and the People's Champion spin electro, indie and dance music from 11 p.m. on.
Saturday, July 15
Tonight, it's Velvet Nation's turn to go dark. Velvet's history isn't quite as storied as Buzz/Sting/Cubik's, but the huge party has played an important role in the gay community. Capacity-wise, Velvet is the largest dance night in Washington targeted at gay men, and its insane theme nights, including founding DJ Ed Bailey's annual Madonnarama tribute to the material girl, have won the club legions of fans. It's also been the residence of DJ Manny Lehman, who flits between New York's Avalon, Miami's Crobar and other big-time venues. For the final party at Nation, Velvet is eschewing big-name guests to let its house DJ remind clubgoers why they loved the place and how much they're going to miss it. Lehman brings his hard house and tribal beats to the main room, alongside DJ Aubrey and a performance by the boundary-pushing X-Faction dance troupe. Longtime resident DJ Wess works the Blue Room. Tickets are $20 in advance when purchased from Ticketmaster or at Halo, Bailey's Logan Circle lounge, or $30 at the door.
After today's strenuous softball game, Allen Iverson's going to need a place to kick back and relax. Hmmm. May we suggest the "Allen Iverson All-Star Weekend Main Event" at H2O? Nelly, Jermaine Dupri and T.I. are all supposed to be in the house, the Shane Mosley-Fernando Vargas championship bout will on screens around the club, and you know H2O's dancefloor and outdoor deck will be packed and jumping. Just watch out for price inflation at the door -- show up after midnight and you may get hit up for an exorbitant cover charge.
One of our favorite lesser-known summer traditions is the Summer Sessions party at Arlington's Gateway Park, just over the Key Bridge in Rosslyn. The free, day-long gathering of local house DJs includes the dancefloor-filling All Good Funk Alliance, Keenan (of Spy Lounge) and Cortzu and Stoneager, late of the much-missed Lemur Lounge. There's no cover, and you're welcome to bring snacks and drinks, though alcohol should be left at home. The music begins at noon and goes until 9.
Sunday, July 16
A weekend of festivities winds up, appropriately enough, with the Allen Iverson Celebrity Weekend Finale at Fur, hosted by A.I., Nelly, Young Jeezy and Jermain Dupri. Now, just because Nelly's hosting the party doesn't mean he's going to come out and sing "Hot in Herre." When celebrities "host" a party, it usually means "get paid to use your name and face on the flyers, then sip
Cristal Dom Perignon in the VIP room unbothered by the sweaty masses." But maybe we'll be surprised. After all, A.I. promised on his radio ads that "It's going down again... Be there or hear about it, homie." Promoters are also giving away two luxury watches made by our favorite indicted jeweler-to-the-stars, Jacob Arabov. This is no small door prize -- as Young Buck reminds us in G Unit's "Poppin' Them Thangs," "The ice in the Jacob watch'll make a broke ***** take somethin." (Coincidentally, Jacob the Jeweler's new premium vodka Bocaj is being unveiled at the party.) Doors open at 9:30, the dress code is "sexy and superfly," and the first 100 ladies get in free.
Wednesday, July 19
If you dig established names from the local soul scene like Deborah Bond and Afi or if you've checked out rising talents like Muhsinah, do yourself a favor and give Green Tea a try tonight at JoJo. She has a vocal style just to the left of mainstream R&B with tunes that bring to mind the new India.Arie album that just shot to the top of the charts. There's no cover, so you can put some ends towards a hump day combo of a meal and drinks.