Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 4, 2006; 4:51 PM

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Thursday, Oct. 5
Raising money for charity and going on dates -- two things we should all do more often. Tonight at Smith Point, eight singles have put themselves forward for a date raffle to raise money for Children Direct, including a legislative assistant for Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.). (We're not picking on Kate here, but when your bio says, even jokingly, that you're "kind of a big deal of Capitol Hill," we're going to Google you.) Tickets are $5, and winners of the dinner-date packages will be announced at 1:30 a.m. Check out the Web site for photos and in-depth bios of the participants.

Friday, Oct. 6
The Sonic Circuits Festival bills itself as "Four Serious Days of F*%#ed Up Music," and it's certainly an appropriate slogan. You know how sometimes you'll read that a band is "accessible," which usually means that it writes songs that are catchy and would appeal to the average person? Yeah, you won't read that about any Sonic Circuits performers. And that's really the entire point, as the festival aims to explore the outer edges of the experimental music scene. Things kick off Thursday at the Warehouse Next Door, but tonight promises to be a highlight as Harvey Bainbridge, former bassist for space rock/metal weirdos Hawkwind shares a bill with noise rockers Yellow Swans, scuzz rockers Mouthus, local improvisers Kohoutek and many more.

All Our Power is a three-day event that is old school D.C. to the core. Its goal is to bring the punk community together for workshops and discussions about opportunities for grassroots activism. Selected events include "Community Organizing 101: Building From the Bottom Up," "No Sweat: Connecting to Unions & the Working Poor," and "Punks in Action: Examples of Punk Activism," and a full list can be found at the Web site. In addition to the workshops there will be some excellent music, starting with tonight's show at the Black Cat. Dischord band Medications plays the kind of music the label is best known for -- driving, jagged, emotional (but don't call it emo) rock. It's even more intense in a live setting as the trio lets loose with wreckless abandon while still maintaining complete control of the songs. Victory at Sea and Mass Movement of the Moth open at the Black Cat.

The machinery of urban commercial radio generally hums along efficiently, pumping out a homogenous stream of the fad du jour, but every now and then a glitch in the matrix provides a slight reprieve from snap music or half-naked pop tarts. A couple of years ago John Legend somehow topped both urban and adult contemporary playlists with an emotional ballad that only featured piano and vocals. "Ordinary People" really stamped the artist formerly known as John Stephens into the public conscience, but he'd been on the grind for a while, contributing to releases by Slum Village and Lauryn Hill and building a following with his live shows. These days he rolls with Kanye West on the super-producer's own G.O.O.D. Music imprint. You can get a double dose of Legend's gospel-infused soul when he plays a show at Zanzibar tonight and then heads to Love to lend some star power as the party host.

Saturday, Oct. 7
One of our favorite Oktoberfest traditions is the Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest, which takes over the streets of Shirlington every year for an afternoon of microbrews and lederhosen. It's one of the area's largest gatherings of brewers, with more than 30 brewpubs and regional breweries bringing some of their best beers -- more than 70 different kinds to sample in all. A number of beers will be sporting medals from last weekend's Great American Beer Festival, so don't miss the brews from California's Bear Republic as well as local winners from Sweetwater Tavern, Capitol City Brewing Company and Clipper City. Tickets are $20 and include all the samples you want; the first keg is tapped at noon and the party runs until 6.

Another fine show as part of the All Our Power festival (see Friday) takes place tonight at St. Stephen's Church. Former Dismemberment Plan frontman Travis Morrison, along with his new backing crew, the Hellfighters, is at the top of a bill that also features the outspoken mayor of D.C. hip-hop, Head-Roc, and the very soft-spoken former Fugazi bassist Joe Lally.

Here's a Washington rarity: two bar crawls taking place in different parts of the city on the same day. One is targeted at hockey fans excited about seeing "The New Great One" Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, while the other is for folks who want to help a charity while hitting bars downtown.

Let's start with the Caps on Tap, which offers $2 beers at seven Chinatown bars between 1 and 7, plus a ticket to watch the Caps take on the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. The cost is $25, but the ticket's face value is $35, so even if you don't drink much, you still come out ahead. Stops on the crawl include R.F.D., Lucky Strike and, uh, Hooters. If you need to watch some football -- like Notre Dame vs. Stanford -- heard for the RNR Bar and Lounge, which has plenty of flatscreen TVs. Tickets are available from the Capitals' Web site.

The Cap City Fall Bar Tour, on the other hand, is a legendary event. Now in its 15th year, the formula doesn't change much: $2 Buds, specials on wings and apps at the 10, cans of food collected at the door for a local charity. It kicks off at 1 at Mackey's and Rumors and runs until 9. Pay your $13 cover ($10 if you bring two cans of food for Bread for the City) and roam between bars like the Front Page, McFadden's, Porter's and the Black Rooster, watching games and talking to all the other twentysomethings at the bar. You may discover a new favorite after-work hangout while you're at it, so go out and explore.

A couple times a year, Fritz heads up to Philadelphia for Making Time, a live music-meets-DJ night that always seems to be ahead of the curve; Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand headlined there long before they hit Washington, and a few months ago, Sheffield's Long Blondes made Making Time the only non-New York stop on its brief trip to the U.S. (If you haven't heard of them, you will -- "Giddy Stratospheres" and "Separated By Motorways" are too good to ignore.) It's become an essential stop for any band on the up. Get a little taste without leaving town tonight as Making Time founder Dave P and fellow DJ Julian come to DC9 to spin some tunes at the Making Time Takeover. It's free before 10 and $10 after.

For two years Stockholm has been the brand to seek for an upscale-lite club experience: nice space, good-looking people but significantly less attitude. Based around a rotating cast of upper-tier selectors like DJ Scientifik, whom you generally won't hear in the area's top jiggy palaces, Stockholm built up a rep for a mixed crowd grooving to hip-hop, R&B and old school. The party even branched into a spin-off at Bohemian Caverns that features comics and live bands. If you want to check out the anniversary edition of Stockholm at Kolumbia tonight, make sure you get on the list at

Sunday, Oct. 8
It's getting to the point where holiday weekends run like clockwork: Chuck Brown at Zanzibar! Prince Fans at Chief Ike's! Lizard Lounge at MCCXXIII! Radio ads with That Dude Who Always Yells "No work or school tomorrow!"

Actually, it's a special super sweet 16 party for Atlas Events, the founders of Lizard Lounge, who've hosted parties at Fifth Column and the Saint (both now closed) before moving to MCCXXIII. Congratulations are in order for promoter/host/larger-than-life personality Mark Lee, and he's celebrating with Lizard Lounge's resident DJ Kostas, regular guest DJ Jean-Philippe Aviance and the usual large crowds that flood the three-story club. Admission is $8 and includes happy hour drink specials all night long.

As happens every holiday weekend, one of the area's most devoted social groups will converge to celebrate its muse and also, its raison d'etre. DJ Curtis is on the wheels for LovesexyDC's October Prince party at Chief Ike's. If you've been dancing alone in your living room to your collection of Prince bootlegs, then you need to come out and finally find your tribe.

The Positive Black Men Coalition generally does it up big, especially when it's a No School No Work Monday. We think it's become such a staple of the partying psyche to merit a promotion to proper noun. At Zanzibar tonight, the PBMC provides the perfect opportunity to get that go-go fix that you keep missing out on because you're too grown to kick it at the go-go like you used to. Get wound up with Chuck Brown and Sugar Bear for the best of the old school and also enjoy the L!SSEN Band, who bridge the gap between the mature styles and what the young'uns are doing.

It's more Sonic Circuits insanity at the Warehouse Next Door. Primitive, abrasive noise makers Wolf Eyes headline on an evening that also includes performances from occasional collaborator John Wiese and local, impossible-to-pigeonhole group Facemat. It's also worth noting that there will be an afternoon show at the Warehouse Theater featuring 73-year-old Phil Neblock, a world-renowned sound artist who was making harsh, atonal music before many Sonic Circuits performers were even born.

Monday, Oct. 9
We love shows like the one at the Rock and Roll Hotel tonight -- all local, cross-genre affairs. Dead Meadow tops tonight's bill and will deliver its usual set of trippy, heavy psych-rock-but-call-it-stoner-rock-if-you-must. The band is approaching a decade together and can always be counted on to give a high quality performance, especially as it has integrated more subtle elements into its songs, meaning it won't just be an hour of riffy, Sabbath-inspired mayhem. But don't worry, you'll still get plenty of that. Usually Dead Meadow is paired with similarly lean and loud acts, but not tonight. Torchy piano balladeer Laura Burhenn -- now known to many as one half of Georgie James -- and catchy, gentle singer-songwriter Meredith Bragg (with his backing band the Terminals) are the opening acts. Burhenn has just recently started playing solo gigs again after focusing all of her attention on Georgie James, so we hope to hear favorites such as "Helicopters" and "Memory" from her 2004 album "Wanderlust" in addition to some new material.

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