Nightlife Agenda

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By Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz
washingtonpost.com Staff Writers
Thursday, January 11, 2007; 12:00 AM

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Thursday, January 11
It's been less than two weeks since everyone promised to give up smoking, drop 10 pounds, call mom every Sunday and forgo late-night mojitos so that you will really, truly, wake up early to make it to hot yoga on time. How're you keeping up? Not so good, huh? That's why we at the Nightlife Agenda generally don't make resolutions. But if you did promise that 2007 would be different, and you're already regretting it, there's always the Break Your Resolutions party tonight at the Front Page. Beginning at 5, specials include $1 drafts until the first keg is kicked, followed by $2 beers. There will also be $2 shooters, free "fatty" appetizers, raffles for free tickets on JetBlue and other goodies. All the discounts run until 9.

Friday, January 12
In the life of a young suburban Jewish boy, the ska phase usually comes shortly after the Bar Mitzvah phase, and David freely admits this was the case with him. This area catered pretty well to that scene, with teen-friendly shows at places like Phantasmagoria and Corner Kick, and while there were plenty of interchangable ska-punk bands, there were also bands like the Checkered Cabs that didn't sound like Reel Big Fish or Less Than Jake clones. The Cabs had a soulful, R&B sound instead of just punk with horns, and much of that was due to the powerful vocals of Caz Gardiner, who is back at the forefront with the Ambitions. There are no horns this time around, but the '60s mod/R&B influences remain, and while you probably won't be able to skank to songs such as "Look at Me" and "Can't Take It," you can surely perform some sort of less ridiculous-looking dance. (Which, of course, would be any dance at all.) Garage rock locals the Hall Monitors and the Breakups will also play on the Black Cat's mainstage.

Fertile Ground used to pack the Black Cat regularly in between international touring stints, but now it's pretty much all about the 9:30 club for our friends from Baltimore. The ever-popular hybrid soul/jazz ensemble tends to be the headliner, too -- maybe because the word got out to national performers that it's simply not in their best interests to play after Fertile Ground gets the crowd moving. Raheem Devaughn has performed with the group before, so tonight is almost like a reunion. Rounding out the triple bill is Anthony David, a bluesy journeyman singer whose "Red Clay Chronicles" album is finally raising his level of buzz closer to his talent.

Northern Virginia's always had its share of '80s cover bands, but we're going to go out on a limb and blame the all-conquering Legwarmers for the whole "let's see who can wear the most ridiculous 'Punky-Brewster'-meets-Ratt outfit" competition that's running between a couple of local tribute acts. Beyond the stonewashed denim and crimped hair, though, the real question is: Will they get you pumping your fist and singing along to "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Talk Dirty To Me"? Members Only does a pretty good job with songs like "New Sensation" on their MySpace page, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. (Members Only? Bah. We're so waiting for the retro hip-hop sounds of Cross Colours.) The band's playing at Herndon's Carpool tonight at 9:30, but you can always arrive early for happy hour, which runs from 4 to 8 and includes $2.50 beers and half-price appetizers.

Saturday, January 13
After almost two years of mixing dirty disco, Baltimore club, racy dancehall and electro-funk, the team of DJ Meistro and Dave Nada are bringing the Oh Snap! party at Wonderland to a close. After tonight, you'll still be able to catch Meistro doing monthly appearances there, but be sure to watch this space to find out what the duo does next.

One of the biggest success stories of the last few years is the growth of Blowoff, the DJ night run by legendary guitarist Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) and remixer/producer Richard Morel (New Order, the Pet Shop Boys). The duo's gone from a monthly gig spinning records in the cramped second floor of the Velvet Lounge to a regular spot in the cramped downstairs bar of the 9:30 club, and then on to a (mostly) monthly dance party on the 9:30's mainstage. No matter which venue they've called home, Blowoff has kept the party going, mixing indie, electro and full-bore dance remixes into eclectic, enjoyable sets. Last year, the duo released its first album, a synthesis of pop-rock hooks and beat-heavy electronica. Check them out at the 9:30 club tonight, where Mould and Morel are the featured Saturday event for the Mid-Atlantic Leather Festival. (That's why the 9:30 has gone to a 21-and-over age limit for the show.) Doors open at 9:30, and you'll dance until 4 a.m.

If you're going to play flip-cup when (a) you've already graduated from college and (b) it's not kickball season, then you may as well do it for charity. Two members of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program are hosting a flip-cup tournament at the Bottom Line today and tonight to raise funds for charity, and hey -- you get beer out of it! Do make sure you read the rules -- "Spillage on shirt will require a reflip" -- before participating. It costs $40 to register a team of four players; sign up and get more information here.

Keyboardist Will Rast has great jazz chops, but he can also be found backing soul and hip-hop acts from the U Street scene, holding down fusion groups at Bossa or touring with R&B star Mya. He's now spending time on his own work and touring with a quartet in support of his first album as a leader. Catch him at Bohemian Caverns tonight before he heads down the east coast and then to the UK.

All David Bowie, All Night Long at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Those of you who own "Sound + Vision" and some of the old Rykodisc reissues can probably skip this lovefest, because while Bowie's genre-bending career has more twists and turns than a roller coaster, we're having a hard time seeing anyone getting excited and yelling, "Ooh! It's a deep cut from 'Aladdin Sane!'" The best stuff from "Ziggy Stardust" or "The Man Who Sold the World" isn't exactly dance-floor material, so what are you going to do, glam up and then spend most of the night leaning on the walls and posing -- on second thought, that sounds like a perfect tribute to Bowie. Only one question: "Ziggy"-era costume or "Young Americans"-era outfit?

Sunday, January 14
As the voice on the radio reminds us, there's "No Work Or School On Monday!" That means three nights of going out, and DJs and bands are working overtime to lure you out for a third night in a row.

Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend wraps up with Reaction '07, a late-night 9:30 club dance party featuring Warren Gluck, a veteran DJ who's ridden the circuit from Fire Island to Miami's Winter Party via Gay Pride events all over the country. Expect anthemic vocals and plenty of dark house, given the surroundings. Doors open at 10 and the party runs until 6 a.m. Tickets are $30 in advance from the Leather Rack or Lambda Rising, or $40 at the door.


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