Thursday, September 14, 2006; 12:00 AM
Thursday, Sept. 14
Black Cat trainspotters may recognize the names of DJs Steve EP, Krasty McNasty, Killa K and StereoFaith, but many clubgoers won't -- the FYM Productions DJs are more famous for their tediously themed "Morrissey vs. the Cure," "Duran Duran vs. New Order" and "All Depeche Mode All the Time" parties than any individual skills as mixmasters. That could all change with the debut of Static Age, a new weekly "indie rock/new wave/Britpop/electronic" night at Five. (Scenesters with long memories will recall that the legendary Popstars, home of over-the-top new-wave dance parties, once lived in this space.) The Static Age DJs, who promise everything from Kasabian and Bloc Party to Franz Ferdinand and the Boyfriends, are kicking the new night off with a listening party and CD giveaway for the Kooks -- totally worth your time -- and $3 drinks until 11. Admission is free until 10, then $8.
Dave Nada usually inflicts dancefloor mayhem on the 14th Street corridor or in Columbia Heights, where young hipsters greedly gobble up his party mix of dancehall, classic rock and Southern booty-shaking tracks. He'll be crossing town tonight to bust the Hill folk upside their heads with their own badges as he rocks at Lounge 201. He's been digging into a lot of the gritty South American club beats lately, which should only serve to increase the gyration factor.
Labor Day is fading into the rearview mirror, which means that promoters are firing up their "college night" events to take advantage of -- er, serve -- all the students who populate the Washington area between September and May. Even Ned Devine's Irish Village in Sterling is getting in on the act, offering $2 domestic beers and half-price burgers and wings until 9. The best part? A student ID is worth free admission and a "relaxed dress code," which is a step down from Ned's notorious "no sneakers, no caps, men must wear collared shirts" rules.
Friday, Sept. 15
Andy Rourke may have been a great bassist for the Smiths, but his DJing skills are questionable. (Yes, we've seen and heard him.) He's not cutting and scratching or even playing exclusive remixes. He just puts on his favorite CDs and presses "Play." If you like Ride, Oasis, New Order, the Charlatans, Joy Division, the Smiths -- anything from Manchester, basically -- than get over to the first night of the Rock and Roll Hotel's grand opening weekend. Admission and cans of Sparks are free from 9 to 10, and the show's open to anyone 18 and over.
Ludacris could easily be typecast as the patron saint of the outsized id of modern hip-hop music. He's got an album called "Chicken & Beer," he's an avid participant in the arms races for expensive jewelry and luxury vehicles, and he never falls short of a high music video T&A quotient. But when analyzed with a keen eye, the DNA of the most influential rappers in hip-hop history can be identified within Ludacris' blinged-out blood. With his distinctive voice and flawless diction, Luda channels Chuck D. and Rakim. His sense of humor and storytelling abilities pay homage to Slick Rick. Luda uses clever wordplay like Special Ed and swaggers like Big Daddy Kane. Hip-hop was born as party music and Ludacris definitely has party hits for days. Throw them bows and get wild with Atlanta's favorite son (we'll take Luda over T.I.) at Love tonight.
Saturday, Sept. 16
In what's becoming an annual tradition, hip-hop godfather Afrika Bambaataa -- the block-party-rockin' Bronx DJ who gave us the classic "Planet Rock," set the template for electro and founded the Zulu Nation collective -- is joining a slew of local artists to raise money for the International Red Cross at an all-night dance party. The third Funk For Peace, which takes over Five tonight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., finds Bam paired with Thunderball, the retro '60s funk/boogaloo/exotica duo who have a new album out on Eighteenth Street Lounge Records; highly recommended funky house producers and DJs Fort Knox Five; the always-impressive All Good Funk Alliance; and DJ Rex Riddim. There's a $10 cover, and half of all proceeds go to the Red Cross. Come early, stay late.
To be honest, we didn't know Ramones could DJ. We didn't know they were allowed to DJ. Not very rock 'n' roll, is it? Marky Ramone -- the fifth Ramone, as it were, replacing original drummer Tommy for 1978's classic "Road to Ruin" -- has been busy since the band broke up in 1996, forming the Intruders and playing with the Misfits, among others, though his decision to play drums with a Ramones tribute band on "Start of the Century" remains questionable. In any case, Marky Ramone is one of the last living connections to The Greatest Punk Band of All Time. He played on Richard Hell and the Voidoids's classic "Blank Generation" album. What will he spin when he DJs at the Rock and Roll Hotel tonight? Who cares? We're gambling on a night of classic LoudFastRules punk, heavy on the New York tip. This can only be a good thing. Joining Ramone are DJs Ris Richards, formerly of Q and Not U, and Alex English, the founder of New York City electro/Britpop/indie nights GBH and Girls and Boys. Cover is $10, and we'll be shocked if the club doesn't hit its 400-person capacity.
The rain and gloom should lift by Saturday, giving us a chance to try to squeeze another summer weekend out of September. Party planners Euronet International are throwing a rooftop party at the Embassy Row Hilton that promises DJs spinning salsa and Middle Eastern dance beats, refreshing drinks and a great view of Rock Creek Park and the Potomac. Euronet's events attract a crowd in its late 20s and 30s, so people looking to avoid the rush of college students and interns would find this a good opportunity to hang out and meet people in the same predicament. Tickets are $10 in advance from EuronetInternational.com or $15 at the door.
Monday, Sept. 18
Local trio the Jet Age celebrates the release of its new album "Breathless" with a show on the Black Cat's backstage tonight. Fans of jangly indie pop who aren't afraid of big, fuzzy guitar solos would do well to check out the show and the album. "Breathless" sounds remarkably assured for a debut album, but that's no coincidence, as the Jet Age features members of D.C. indie rock veterans the Hurricane Lamps. Attack Penguin opens.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
Sometimes it's nice to listen to some rock 'n' roll that doesn't make you think, but doesn't make you feel stupid for listening to it, either. Catfish Haven is a fine example of a band that fits this bill. It doesn't come much more straightforward than what this Chicago trio delivers -- catchy, foot stompin' raveups with lyrics almost exclusively about love, mostly of the failed/unrequited variety. Singer George Hunter's scratchy, almost hoarse voice is the band's secret ingredient, giving the songs a sense of real desperation. Catfish Haven delivered a memorable performance at the Warehouse Next Door in June and looks to repeat things at the Black Cat where the band kicks off an impressive bill that also features Shearwater and Magnolia Electric Co. To listen to a clip of Catfish Haven's ridiculously catchy "I Don't Worry," check out the latest edition of the Nightlife Agenda podcast.