Thursday, February 1, 2007; 12:59 AM
Thursday, February 1
When the Warehouse Next Door shut down for a makeover a few months ago, it left the town without it's most reliable venue for out-there music. There was talk that its booking might shift toward more traditional performers when it reopened, but tonight's show is a perfect example of something that only the Warehouse would present. Coming down from Boston are Tim Feeney and Vic Rawlings, who aren't really interested in writing songs, but instead exploring the different kinds of sounds that can be manipulated from instruments and everyday objects. It's enough to make openers DC Improvisers Collective seem almost traditional, although the free-jazz group is anything but. There will almost surely be some bleating saxophone and you just might see a guitar played with pencils. Kicking the evening off are locals Caution Curves.
Friday, February 2
It's always a good feeling for DJs when someone comes up and asks, "Hey, what was that last song you played?" Most of the time that means two things: 1) The person enjoyed the song enough to ask a stranger about it, and 2) The DJ succeeded in finding a song that at least somebody hadn't heard before. This has surely been a common occurrence the first Friday of every month for the past three years at Marx Cafe. That's when We Fought the Big One takes over the Mount Pleasant bar to play some of the best obscure post-punk, synth-rock, shoegaze songs you've never heard before. Tonight marks the night's third anniversary, and the WFTBO anniversary bashes are especially worth checking out. That's when DJs Brandon Grover and Rick Taylor cook up a special compilation of some of their favorite tracks, which can be culled from long out-of-print 7"s or import-only CD singles. Past volumes have included almost-classics from the likes of the Mo-dettes, Josef K, House of Love and Kitchens of Distinction ... all of your favorites, right? There's no cover, but the free comps will be in limited supply, so you may want to get there close to the 10 p.m. starting time.
If it was 2004 or 2005, we'd be frothing at the mouth over a DJ appearance by the Juan MacLean. Back when DFA Records artists the Rapture and LCD Soundsystem were ruling dance floors from coast to coast, the Juan MacLean was cranking out electro-funk hits like "Give Me Every Little Thing" that melded house and techno with a disco beat, and the stunning "You Can't Have it Both Ways," which veered toward krautrock while keeping the groove locked. The Juan MacLean is one of the more creative artists on DFA, and the album of "Give Me Every Little Thing" remixes last year was filler, so let's hope there's some new material on the way. In the meantime, according to the blog on the Juan MacLean's Web site, he's been spinning Nitzer Ebb, ESG and the Soulwax remix of the Gossip's "Standing in the Way of Control," so we're in for a good night at the Black Cat. Host Will Eastman is also DJing, and there's a live performance by indie-electro provocateur Edie Sedgwick, who always manages to turn disco-punk into performance art.
We're kind of confused about what Timbaland's "hosting" duties at Love entail. Yeah, he's made incredible tracks for Nelly Furtado, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and Omarion, but that's all studio magic. What's he going to do tonight, sell hott beats to members of the crowd for $25,000 each? Drop little ad-libs while DJ Freestyle Steve spins the hits? Is it a coincidence that Timbaland is hosting a party at Love the same night that Justin Timbalake -- sorry, Timberlake -- is performing at Verizon Center? After all, Timbaland created the beats for "Future Sex/Love Sounds"... . This is pure speculation. Don't mind us. Grab a free pass from MarcandTaz.com, get there by 11 and have a good time.
Saturday, February 3
Man, all we can think about this weekend is hittin' the beach, havin' a few beers and hittin' the taco toss at Ruddertowne, then headin' over to the Bottle and Cork have a few more beers and catch a band playing '80s covers. Sound good, bro? Oh, wait. It's January, it's about to snow and WE'RE NOT IN DEWEY. We can pretend, though, right? Right? Tonight at the Clarendon Ballroom, promoters have assembled a Rusty Rudder-worthy lineup of favorites -- Mr. Greengenes, Kristen and the Noise, DJ Pat Premier -- for a seven-hour-plus Dewey Band Blowout. Doors open at 5; Kristen and the Noise start 30 minutes later, and everyone takes turns hitting the stage until 1:30. There's no cover before 8 and it's $10 after, so get there early -- it's like drinking free beer, dude.
It's been 48 years since 22-year-old Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash in an Iowa cornfield. It's staggering to think that, at that point, he'd written just 40 songs, including "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day" and "It's So Easy." Who knows how many more chart-toppers would have come out of his guitar? (And if he'd lived, who knows if Weezer and an entire generation of indie boys would have turned Holly into a fashion icon?) Local honky-tonk hero J.P. McDermott is a big Buddy Holly fan, and every February, he hosts a tribute to the Texas rocker. Tonight at Chick Hall's Surf Club, McDermott's group Western Bop acts as the house band while a who's who of Washington-area singers takes the stage. Look for Billy Coulter, Mary Battiata of Little Pink, Eddie Day of the Rockin' Bones, Dagmar of the Seductones and guitarist Andy Rutherford of the Thrillbillies. Tickets are $15.
With co-signers as diverse as Gwen Stefani, Eighteenth Street Lounge labelmates Thievery Corporation and the father of hip-hop Afrika Bambaataa, the Fort Knox Five's reference list is as wide-ranging as their DJing and production work, which puts a funky, soulful spin on jetsetting dance music. FK5 member Jon Horvath is celebrating a birthday tonight at Five so the crew is bringing along a few friends along, including Buzzlife icon Scott Henry and California breakbeat master Simply Jeff. DJ Hut's Stylus Chris holds down the rooftop deck.
Last week, Fritz wrote about the Eden parties taking place at Pasha, a new lounge in Dupont Circle. Eden's promoters are trying to create a cool artsy vibe in an otherwise standard nightclub setting by saving space for visual artists to show off their work and allowing video artists to mix live images on flat-screen TVs throughout the club. The main attraction, though, will always be the DJ, and tonight, it's the much-talked-about D:Fuse, whose sub-genre-spanning house mixes have made him a favorite from Miami to Burning Man. Get a feel for the club (and get on the guest list) at edenexperience.tv.
Monday, February 5
It's been almost a year since J. Dilla, arguably one of the most prolific and innovative producers hip-hop has ever seen, lost an ongoing battle against Lupus. A chameleon of a producer, Dilla pioneered many of hip-hop's foundational elements, from the ethereal jazzy textures of his early work with Slum Village and A Tribe Called Quest to the drunken electric funk of his "Welcome to Detroit" album, but as soon as it became a staple sound, he quickly moved on to something else. Dilla discography was already vast at the time of his death, but posthumous releases have only deepened his legacy. Producer Waajeed had a front row seat as Dilla built his rep on the hip-hop scene in Detroit. Now an acclaimed beatmaker himself, most notably with Platinum Pied Pipers, he'll be sharing the turntables with DJ Roddy Rod Monday night at Bohemian Caverns for the D.C. Loves Dilla tribute jam. They'll both spin selections deep from the Dilla catalog, and hip-hop insiders know that Dilla's beat tapes of demo material contained scores of unreleased tracks. You're bound to catch a lot of those treats, some of which have never been heard outside of a studio.
Tuesday, February 6
Say what you will about the local alt-folk community, but give those involved credit for at least one thing: They know how to network. Show trading, band member trading -- you never see a folkie on his or her own in this town. They will be out in full force tonight at Iota, where the club might reach capacity just based on the number of people scheduled to perform. The occasion is the birthday for J. Tom Hnatow, who has lent his guitar, banjo and lap steel talents to numerous acts, many of whom will be present tonight. On his blog he claims to have played more than 120 shows and played on six albums in 2006, so he certainly keeps busy. Whenever the number of performers on a bill approaches double digits it's always hard to know exactly what to expect, but if we had to guess we'd say to be ready for a bunch of three-to-four song sets, a whole lot of collaborations and probably at least one rendition of "Happy Birthday." Among those scheduled to perform are Justin Jones and the Driving Rain, Stella Schindler, Adam Arcuragi and Leah Morgan.
Wednesday, February 7
Mashups are still pretty popular, but until the "Black Gold" album by Wale Oyejide and DJ 2-Tone Jones, we'd never heard them done with futuristic Afro-funk. 2-Tone is known for his association with the visual arts collective AM Radio and Oyejide has crafted several producer focused albums showcasing downtempo, broken beat and hip-hop styles. For their first collaboration, 2-Tone dug into Oyejide's beat catalog and matched the tracks to popular rap vocals. Get your hands and ears on the record at The Common Share tonight during AM Radio's regular Artz & Craftz event.