Thursday, November 2, 2006; 12:00 AM
Thursday, Nov. 2
When tracks from Los Angeles band the Rebirth started floating around in 2003, listeners might have been fooled into thinking that Patrice Rushen, the Brand New Heavies and Roy Ayers had formed an all-star group. Well, the Rebirth is an all-star group of sorts, as it features former members of Ozomatli and the Breakestra. The Rebirth mines that sweet spot when jazz, soul and disco collided in the '70s to create some sophisticated and transcendent dance music: Rhodes, Wurlitzer, rhythm guitar and syncopated bass form the backbone as vocalist Noelle Scaggs stacks a sweet alto on the harmony parts sung by the rest of the band. Joining the band at the Black Cat tonight -- only the Rebirth's second trip to the area, are Washington's much loved soul princess Deborah Bond and emerging Brazilian chanteuse Tita Lima.
Raising money for charity with alcohol, food and dancing always sounds like a good idea to us. (Actually, spending money on alcohol, food and dancing always sounds like a good idea, and the charitable aspect just makes us feel better about ourselves.) Tonight, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's young members group, Society Ties, is teaming with Ketel One vodka for Ketel for the Cause, a fundraiser at F. Scott's -- that's the swanky private establishment next to the Tombs and 1789 in Georgetown -- that promises unlimited vodka martinis and mixed drinks, food and dancing. (The word phrase "open 'ice' bar" on the invite also makes us think there's going to be an ice luge in there. Woo!) Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door. Call 703-960-1100, Ext. 215 for tickets and more info. Doors open at 8.
Friday, Nov. 3
Nearly six months after its launch party, Gypsy Eyes Records finally has GYP-001 ready to go. Shortstack's "The History of Cut Nails in America" proves to be worth the wait, as the local quartet hones its twangy, throwback country sound on its second album. The blueprint for most songs is the same -- a galloping drumbeat, walking bassline, reverb-heavy guitar and singer Adrian Carroll's confident vocals. More and more bands, especially in this area, seem to be looking to the past for inspiration today, but Shortstack pulls it off better than the rest. And as good as "History of Cut Nails" is, the band's live show is even stronger. Celebrate the release of the new album at the Black Cat, where These United States and the Hard Tomorrows round out a top-notch all local bill.
The gruff vocals of the late Notorious B.I.G. weren't too often cut out for the sheen of popular R&B songs, even when his image morphed from ashy to classy. That's why his few appearances with the crooners of his day are so notable: He was able to add just the right rugged touch in a way that few rappers have equaled since. Ten years ago, one of Biggie's most notable contributions in this vein helped blow up a young quartet from Atlanta called 112. Before the group purveyed big quiet-storm ballads like "Cupid," the Biggie-assisted remix of its single for "Only You" became a club classic and radio staple. 112's output for Diddy on Bad Boy has been uneven since then, with the highs often head-scratchingly polarized from the lows. The Boyz II Men-inspired harmonizing translates much better directly when it's not filtered through Diddy's marketplace gamesmanship. The shrieks from the ladies at Love tonight when the group gets lovey-dovey should support that.
Saturday, Nov. 4
It's no wonder the city's indie/electro DJs love to rinse !!! and Out Hud vinyl -- the infectious four-on-the-floor drums and bouncy basslines of "Me and Guliani Down By the Schoolyard (A True Story)," "Take Ecstasy With Me" and "One Life to Leave," really get dance floors going. The script is flipped tonight at DC9's Tease, where Justin Vandervolgen, who plays bass in !!! and performs with Out Hud, will be in control of the turntables. Will he play his own music? Will he go in some other direction entirely? You'll have to go to find out. Also on the bill, and a star in his own right, is DJ Denny Le Nimh of New York's rock/electro Ruff Club night. As usual, get there before 10 for free admission and free Sparks, the hipster's favorite alcoholic energy drink. At 10:01, you're paying $10.
If you don't get into the city much to get your dance on, you might not have noted who was behind the decks at Gua-Rapo or Eleventh Street the last time you really worked it to some soulful and energetic house selections. You might have just told your friends the next day that whoever that cat was, he was rocking and hopefully they'll have him back. If you decide to hang at Eleventh Street tonight, you might want to get to know the DJ because Double o7 crushes dancefloors around the country. As part of the Chicago-based 3 Degrees Global family, Double o7 has made very discerning house music tastemakers pay attention to Washington. He's one of the best kept secrets to come out of this area and can play with the best of them, so a night when he's playing away from the usual hardcore dance clubs is not to be missed -- especially since you won't have to pay for it.
Sunday, Nov. 5
Reunions remain all the rage on the underground rock circuit these days, and another one is coming to the Black Cat. The Slits were pioneers in many ways during the group's brief heyday in late '70s England. Not only was it in the first wave of female-fronted punk bands, but it was also one of the first bands to incorporate dub and reggae rhythms into the punk scene. The group's debut album, "Cut," remains a classic, and you can expect to hear favorites such as "Instant Hit" and "So Tough." Get there early for local openers the Apes and Eyes of the Killer Robot.
Monday, Nov. 6
We're on the record as big fans of Birreria Paradiso, Thor Cheston's basement rec room for adults, where you'll find 16 oddball draft beers that can change with alarming frequency, an English-style beer engine, hundreds of bottles and a staff that knows what it's talking about. Problem is, it can be pretty daunting. What's that tap with the owl on it? Why should I care that a beer is dry hopped? What does it mean when Chimay says it's a triple? To help alleviate some of this confusion, Cheston is launching a weekly beer tasting series, which includes samples of about 15 beers every Monday night, a lesson on various styles and terminology and a three-course dinner. It all kicks off tonight with a look at the beers of Belgium, which brews some of the most fascinating (and tasty) styles in the world. Future sessions will cover England, Germany and American craft brews. Admission for the all-inclusive event is $60 per night or $220 for all four classes.
Tuesday, Nov. 7
Alabama's Dan Sartain is a rock 'n' roll throwback, churning out punky, no-frills garage rock in the vein of genre legend Billy Childish. Sartain infuses his songs with some surf and rockabilly flourishes, which helps separate him from the masses bashing out three-chord rockers. He'll be opening up for Gogol Bordello next month at the 9:30 club, but he's best experienced in a smaller setting, such as DC9, where he'll be playing tonight.
In other cities, people gather in bars to watch major sporting events, like the World Series or the Super Bowl. In Washington, people write in to the Going Out Gurus to ask where they should go to watch election results roll in. Here are a few ideas:
The Hawk and Dove boasts that it's "the leading political bar in the country," according to Manager Paul Meagher, and two years ago, "ABC couldn't get its cameras in here because it was so packed." For this go-round, Meagher says there'll be drink specials, including $3.25 pints of the house Hawk Ale, all night and $2 pints of Miller Lite from 6 to 9. Also, if you were wondering about the composition of the crowd: "We're pledging to keep John Kerry out of here before he does any more damage," Meagher says. "And we'll be playing Happy Days are Here Again throughout the night." If you get in before Monday, the bar is asking patrons to predict the results of 24 races. The top three prognosticators take home gift certificates for the pub.
Over at Smith Point, the bar is hosting a rare Tuesday night event -- it's usually open Thursday through Saturday -- with a DJ, dancing, and Red Bull and Vodkas for everyone, no matter who your candidate is. All the election results will be on TVs throughout the bar.
For some Capitol Hill hangouts, it'll be business as normal, albeit with more TVs turned to CNN or Fox News. Tortilla Coast is sticking to the usual format of 50-cent tacos and $2.50 Bud and Bud Light bottles for a mostly Republican crowd, while Union Pub is offering free domestic draft beers and rail drinks for women from 4 to 7, and all the televisions -- including the 50-inch plasmas and 100-inch projection screen -- will be on news channels, with sound.
Other bars are compromising. The weekly pub quiz goes on as usual at Stetson's, though the upstairs will be reserved for anyone who wants to watch TV, including the big projection screen.
Keep watching the Going Out Gurus Blog for more updates on election parties.
Wednesday, Nov. 8
It's been almost two years since Klute's last album, "No One's Listening Anymore," and the North London-based drum 'n' bass DJ had completely fallen off our radar. We never heard the American Metalheadz mix CD he compiled in January 2005, and didn't know he released a new 12" back in April. Then we heard he was coming to Five and decided to see what the die-hard skateboarder been up to. Well, we're idiots. Check this April session recorded for the online-only Pyro Radio, via Breaksblog. It's a take-no-prisoners swarm of d'n'b and breaks that twists away from most preconceived notions of what drum 'n' bass can be. If Klute's this massive on the radio, tonight's set at Five, with a crowd going nuts on his first visit to Washington, should be amazing. Also performing is UK DJ Spirit, who's released records on Klute's label Commercial Suicide as well as Metalheadz.