Thursday, March 6, 2008; 12:00 AM
Thursday, March 6
The name Cadence Weapon (listen) initially comes across as a moniker adopted by a belligerent battle rapper building a rep on eating emcees or maybe the name of a forthcoming Immortal Technique album or possibly even a rapping Decepticon. But the tracks we've been bumping since he really started blowing up at the end of last year are more like D.A.I.S.Y. Age meets Computer Age. While there is a smattering of battle rapping, Cadence Weapon sticks to quirky party jams that alternate between uptempo break loops and electro. Catch this young Canadian blog sensation at DC9 tonight.
For laptop electro/house/bloghouse DJs, a French site called Fluokids (read/listen) is pretty high on the list of bookmarks. Since 2005, the team of seven Parisian music fans has made its MP3-laden blog the place to go to find exclusive tracks and remixes from the likes of Justice and Simian Mobile Disco, get previews of new releases on the ultra-trendy Ed Banger and Kitsune labels and be introduced to up-and-coming sensations like MGMT and the Teenagers. Of course, you might also find songs by Nada Surf or DJ Khaled (the New Orleans DJ of "I'm So Hood" fame). That's what keeps fans coming back. Since they're music fanatics of the highest order, the Fluokids do a bit of DJing themselves, and tonight Pharrell and Redhotcar are hitting the Rock and Roll Hotel as part of a short North American DJ tour. They're being hosted by Matt Nordstrom, Simon and Spiggy of Sleaze, D.C.'s top electro DJ crew. The show's at 10, and you'll pay $10 to get in. (Hey, it could be worse -- they could pull a Gisele and demand the club charge 10 euros.)
The area's two Rock Bottom breweries are both unveiling new beers tonight, and every sip you take sends money to deserving charities. In spring, each Rock Bottom comes up with its own beer called Fire Chief Ale, and a portion of the proceeds from each pint goes to fire-related charities. In Bethesda, brewer Geoff Lively has crafted what he describes as a "Dusseldorf-style Alt Bier," a malty, medium-bodied red lager with a hint of bitterness. Sales help the Burn Foundation of Montgomery County. Over in Ballston, Chris Rafferty tells us his version is a "copper colored" West Coast Pale Ale. "It's assertively hopped, but only mildly bitter," he promises. You can stop in tonight for a sample -- there will be food and beer specials -- but we might wait until Friday night, when the brewpub is hosting a firefighter bachelor-and-bachelorette auction. (Good luck, but you better hope your date's pager doesn't go off during your time together.) That gets underway at 8 p.m. The auction, like the beer sales in Arlington, benefits Aluminum Cans for Burned Children, a charity that sends seriously injured children to summer camp.
The spoken word scene still packs 'em in around town, and accomplished local poet Beny Blaq has done his fair share in bringing world class talent to Washington venues. The Attic grew quickly at International Grille before Beny and crew moved it to the lounge at Station 9. Catch HBO Def Poet Sunni Richardson doing it for women's history month tonight along with tastemaker and promoter DJ Munch.
Looking to get your weekend off to an early, raucous start? Then catch young Atlanta punks the Coathangers (listen) at the Red & the Black. The up-and-coming all-female quartet is all in-your-face attitude and energy, something you could guess by looking at their (often vulgar) song titles. (See: "Shut the [Expletive] Up," "Don't Touch My [Expletive]!," "Where the Hell Were You?" and "Nestle in My Boobies" -- that's the verb, not the chocolate, by the way.) The band's brief, organ-fueled romps certainly bring to mind the mischief and fun of Le Tigre, especially when the songs reach their chant-along choruses.
Things you probably wouldn't believe but we're not making up: There's a Filipino restaurant in Falls Church called Karaoke Idol Restaurant. As the name implies, the main attraction is amateur singing. You're invited to get on stage tonight as Karaoke Idol hosts a fundraising karaoke contest for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, a nonprofit group that rescues dogs and cats from rural shelters in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina and brings them to the D.C. area for adoption. A $10 donation at the door includes singing, a buffet and an entry into the Karaoke Idol contest, where there are prizes for the winners. Doors open at 6, and the contest starts at 7.
Friday, March 7
Missy Elliott helps us old, stodgy hip-hop cats remember that sometimes you have to turn off your brain, because her subject matter rarely veers from salacious come-ons and crowing about her newest material excesses. She knows she can keep the meter stuck on silly and make you powerless to resist it; her lyrics are slick, tasty junkfood and her beats are wonders of gluteal motivation. Even without Timbaland's magic touch, her current single "Ching-A-Ling" will have you spilling your drink and smashing feet in a rush to the dance floor. Practice in the mirror before you try to recreate Missy's famous video dance sequences at Ibiza tonight.
Tucked under the heading of the D.C. Independent Film Festival is the D.C. Independent Music Festival. It's the second year that the film festival has incorporated live music, and it's not as much a festival as it is a couple of bands playing sets on the 11 nights that films are screened. The venues for the performances aren't exactly what you'd expect from something billed as an independent music festival -- most of the shows will be held at Bertucci's and T.G.I. Friday's, both in Foggy Bottom. Pangea Cafe will also host its share of shows, including tonight's free performance by Kitty Hawk (listen), a longtime office fave and one of the "forgotten" bands in the Federal Reserve Collective. The quartet is down to a duo after losing a lead guitarist and bassist over the past few months, but the band's woozy indie-folk tunes still hold up well with just guitar and drum instrumentation. Other shows to check out this week include Greenland (listen) at Bertucci's on Saturday (10 p.m., $10) and the Alphabetical Order (listen) and Nihilitia (listen) at T.G.I. Friday's on Sunday (5 p.m., free).
We were completely smitten with Brooklyn's Tigercity (listen) last year. On one of our podcasts, Rhome said the band's smooth, '70s-style funk made him want to go roller skating, while Fritz compared the deep disco basslines, jagged guitar stabs and multi-tracked vocals to Steely Dan and Hall and Oates. (High praise, indeed.) The band's only put out one new track since then, but "Red Lips" delves deeper into Prince-meets-Funkadelic-lite territory, which means it'll have everyone dancing at DC9 tonight, where Tigercity performs at a special edition of the weekly Liberation Dance Party. Opening is the much-buzzed about British indie-synthpop duo I Was A Cub Scout (listen), which has been seeing increasing BBC Radio 1 airplay after the recent release of its debut album, "I Want You to Know That There Is Always Hope."
Firefighter bachelor/bachelorette auction at Rock Bottom Brewery in Ballston. (See Thursday listing.)
Saturday, March 8
One of the favorite pastimes of indie music fans in D.C. is to lament bands that skip the nation's capital on their tours. It's one thing when bands only hit New York and L.A., but when we get passed over for Philadelphia and Baltimore, it kind of hurts. One band that will never draw our ire on this subject is the LK (listen). Last summer D.C. hosted one of just two shows by the Swedish indie-pop maestros (formerly known as the Lovekevins) who serve up delectable, danceable treats that are less ABBA and more Royksopp. This month there will be three chances to see the band. The first two are this weekend -- Saturday at the House of Sweden and Sunday at Millennium Stage. Both shows have something going for them. The appeal of the Millennium Stage show is clear -- it's free. But the House of Sweden show is only $5 and as nice as the Kennedy Center is, the House of Sweden is mighty appealing as well, and it really is the perfect venue for this show. (The band will be back on March 31 for a show at the Black Cat with Meredith Bragg.)
"The popularity of prom nights for 20- and 30-somethings raises some interesting questions for budding sociologists. Was high school really the best time of our lives, or was it so horrible we want a chance to do it over, a la Drew Barrymore in 'Never Been Kissed'? Or has our generation just watched those John Hughes movies too many times?" Hard to believe we wrote that almost three years ago, because the adult-prom-as-fundraiser trend is still as popular as ever. Tonight, the second annual Capital Queer Prom takes over the Almas Shrine Temple, the exotic-looking Masonic lodge on K Street. Guests get the whole high school experience -- dancing to DJ Ri-Mix, heavy hors d'oeuvres, prom photos -- plus the one thing that might have made our high school proms better: a cash bar. To make for an even more memorable night, the $50 tickets include discounted limo service (optional) and discounts on a pre-prom dinner at Grillfish, as well as admission to an after-party at Town. Proceeds from this event benefit the Wanda's Will Project, which encourages the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities to create living wills. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. on Friday; see the official Web site for more information.
Man, it's getting closer and closer to St. Patrick's Day. We wish we could find a way to keep the date of this holiday from drawing near -- maybe setting up obstacles like Grover in the Sesame Street classic Golden Book "The Monster at the End of This Book" -- but it's no avail. Green season kicks off today with the annual Leprechaun Lap bar crawl around Dupont Circle and midtown. Register at Mackey's between 1 and 6, then go off to 10 other bars for $2 Miller Lites, $3.50 Sparks and food specials until 9. (Porter's, the Black Rooster, James Hoban's and the Front Page are among the participants.) The evening wraps up with DJs, dancing and drink specials at Steve's Bar Room from 9 p.m. on. Admission to all the bars is $10 if you bring two cans of food for local charity Manna Food Center and $13 if you don't.
Everything about BBQ Bob & the Spareribs smacks of the deep South, from the finger-lickin' name to the overdriven, harmonica-riding, bluesy shuffles. Surprise: This two-decade-old band hails from the swamps of Manhattan. We won't hold that against the band, though, because its music is a solid bar-band mix of Southern rock and rockabilly that fans of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Georgia Satellites and our own Nighthawks will eat up. BBQ Bob & the Spareribs stops in at Madams Organ tonight.
Tuesday, March 11
It's going to be an interesting week for members of the London-based Urban Voodoo Machine (listen). They'll spend Sunday and Monday at the 9:30 club, performing their first American shows as the opening act for the Pogues. Both nights have been sold out for weeks. Then, tonight, they'll head across town to the much, much cozier confines of the Red and the Black, which holds one-tenth the audience. On our most recent podcast, Fritz compared the theatrical nine-member band to "Nick Cave in a dark mood fronting a drunken Dexy's Midnight Runners," and he's standing by that assertion: Using horns, violin, accordion, banjo and multiple percussionists, the band veers into mariachi-influenced blues, whiskey-soaked country rags and punkabilly-style rave-ups. If you catch them opening for Shane and co., you'll want to see the Urban Voodoo Machine again in a more intimate venue. If you didn't get tickets for the Pogues, this might be the next best thing.