Nightlife Agenda

By Fritz Hahn, Rhome Anderson and David Malitz Staff Writers
Thursday, October 4, 2007; 12:00 AM

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Thursday, Oct. 4
Explore the avant-garde reaches of hip-hop and soul fusion tonight at Asylum with Rosetta Stoned and the Cornel West Theory(listen), two local hip-hop groups who incorporate freestyles, electronics and odd meter deliveries into their creations. You can get a headstart on getting your mind into an alternate space by coming early for the Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins (listen) listening party. Muldrow's first self-produced record sent shockwaves through the music world with its dusty beats, intense vocals and challenging melodies. Its dark themes contrast with her current body of work, whose optimism is no doubt influenced by her personal and creative partnership with Dudley Perkins, an odd, endearing and often profound singer from the Stones Throw Records camp.

Tryst occasionally has a jazz band set up near the front window, but tonight's Ghetto Rock features a rare rotation of hip-hop, soul and funk DJs as an audio counterpart to a showing of the work of illustrator Aniekan Udofia. His hip-hop based paintings have been seen everywhere from his popular custom t-shirts to portraits in XXL magazine to a mural just off of 18th Street in Adams Morgan. Udofia will be discussing his work starting at 9:30 before the DJs take over.

The annual Reel Affirmations Film Festival officially begins on the 11th, but there's a "kickoff party" tonight at Fab Lounge that features a screening of the forthcoming Logo channel series "Exes and Ohs." The show is being described by the channel as "a lesbian 'Sex and the City.'" All we know is that it stars Heather Matarazzo, who was awesome as Dawn Wiener in "Welcome to the Dollhouse." There's no cover, drink specials and Reel Affirmations will be giving out door prizes.

On the heels of its summer pool party happy hours, the Omni Shoreham hotel has shifted into autumn with its weekly Your Stein or Mine? Oktoberfest happy hour. The new Thursday night gatherings, held on the rear terrace overlooking Rock Creek Park, feature sausages and soft pretzels to snack on, German beer and a trio of musicians playing oompah music. Admission is $15, which includes food and one drink. (Extra beers are $4 each.)

Friday, Oct. 5
It's a good thing that the 9:30 Club doesn't have a marquee, because there's no way the following would fit: Gypsy Eyes Records, ESL Music, the Federal Reserve, Proper Topper and the DC Public Library Foundation Present A Fund Raiser for the DC Public Library System featuring performances by Federico Aubele (listen), Child Ballads (listen), Revival (listen), Vandaveer (listen), John Bustine (listen), Rose (listen), Kitty Hawk (listen), These United States (listen), DJs Yellow Fever, ESL Music DJ's Will Griffin & Stone. So basically you've got the entire Gypsy Eyes roster, frequent Thievery Corporation collaborator/rising dub-lounge star Aubele and the ragged folk of office faves Child Ballads teaming together to raise money for local libraries. We can get behind that. Who knows how long each act will be on stage? Who knows what the order will be? Who knows if there will be on-stage collaborations? When it's for charity, these kinds of questions can tend to go unanswered and people can't really get too angry.

If Soundwave from the Transformers got voice lessons from R. Kelly, he'd probably sound like T-Pain. It's easy to to hate on him until you hear him without his ever-present auto-tune effect and realize he's actually got some decent vocal chops. We thought Cher had ruined it for everyone, but once the current obsession with the plug-in fad dies off, T-Pain might still have a career. Maybe historians will actually consider him the Roger Troutman of his generation. Some of his lyrics are indeed cringe-inducing, like "she made us drinks to drink, we drunk 'em, got drunk" but that is the fluff upon which pop gold is built. And truthfully, every man who has ever had tried to forget his lady troubles by hitting the bar has had a momentary crush on a cute bartender at least once. Mr. Pain speaks truthfully, if not eloquently, for the average man. You can catch the "Rappa Ternt Sanga" at H2O tonight. Admission is free from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. if you get on the guestlist at, and the drinks are on the house from 9 to 11.

It seems like R&B and soul artists are contractually bound to only sing about amorous themes, but albums like "What's Going On," "Songs in the Key of Life" and "There's a Riot Goin' On" stand as landmark works that dig deeply into social commentary while also exploring love. Atlanta's Donnie (listen)is inspired by that approach. On his second album "Daily News," Donnie explores his memories of the Atlanta child murders that gripped the nation at the turn of the '80s then rails against the "Over the Counter Culture" of a society that seeks solutions in pill form. Donnie brings his gospel-tinged classic soul sound to the Black Cat tonight, along with jazz-reggae fusionist Julie Dexter.

If David were to ever pack up and disappear, he would run off to New Zealand. It's as far away from D.C. as you can get while still being part of English-speaking civilization, and it arguably has the best "quality music per capita" ratio of anywhere in the world. The Clean, the Bats, the Verlaines, the DoubleHappys, Tall Dwarfs, Dead C, Bailter Space ... the list goes on and on. One of the latest additions to the country's wonderful pop lineage is the Brunettes (listen). The Auckland duo of Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield -- yes, both with brown hair -- have been making records for nearly a decade, but their big stateside break came when the recent "Structure & Cosmetics" was picked up by Sub Pop Records. The album is full of infectious twee pop -- lead track "Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth" is especially addictive -- and fans of Camera Obscura or locals Georgie James should find plenty to like tonight at the Rock and Roll Hotel. The Fairline Parkway (listen), recent signees to nifty local label Kora Records, will open. It's the group's first D.C. show, and the few songs we've heard -- sweet, low-key indie pop with some killer fuzz guitar tones -- have us excited.

Saturday, Oct. 6
Oktoberfest is wrapping up in Munich this weekend -- the Wiesn ends on Sunday -- but it seems like it's just taking off in Washington.

The Capitol City Brewing Company's annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest is always one of the highlights of the season. Dozens of breweries from across the country bring their beers to the streets of Shirlington; German dancers perform and a good time is had by all. Admission to the festival is free. If you want to sample the beers -- and this is a good chance to peruse Oktoberfest seasonals from all our local brewpubs -- then it's $25 for unlimited tastes between noon and 7 p.m. A clip-and-save list of booths Fritz thinks you should watch out for: Avery, Bear Republic, Bell's, Lagunitas, North Coast, Smuttynose, Star Hill, Stoudt's, Troeg's and Victory.

Oktoberfest is also getting underway at Blob's Park, the wonderful old beer garden in Jessup. Blob's claims to host the longest-running Oktoberfest party in America, dating back to the 1930s, and it's still going strong every weekend. The house band is the Rhinelanders, who play polkas and the Chicken Dance with equal gusto. Tonight's Oktoberfest kickoff features dancing from 7 p.m. to midnight, and the $20 cover charge includes an all-you-can-eat German buffet. (To make your experience more authentic, you can purchase a stein at the bar before ordering one of their German beers, like Spaten Oktoberfest or a dark Warsteiner Dunkel.)

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