Dear Night Writer:

Who are the Whammies? I heard they were coming to town next week. Are they heavy metal? Can I get tickets?


Hey, calm down. You are talking, evidently, about the Wammies -- the honors to be handed out at Monday night's third annual Washington Area Music Awards show at Lisner Auditorium. Now, there are no heavy metal acts scheduled -- but among those local stars who are performing between presentations are Mary Chapin Carpenter, Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, Pelegro, Radiant, John Starling, the Orioles, Tom Principato, Bill Harris and opera singer Chrissellene Petropoulos. Seats are $18. Calm down. First of all, it's for a good cause -- mostly the purchase of wings to go with the prayers supporting the Washington Area Music Association (and thus Washington's slowly but surely developing music "scene"). Second, the $18 gets you into a post-show party at Wolensky's (next to Tower Records up the street) -- where you might even meet, say, jazz honoree Shirley Horn, or a congressman, or Root Boy Slim, or even the manager of the Roadducks. Call TicketCenter (432-0200) for seats; call 237-9500 for details.

Night Notes: A couple of weeks ago, some of us who didn't have Grateful Dead tickets went to see the Yellowjackets and Larry Carlton at the Warner. The show was introduced by Steve Alan from WBMW-FM (106.1), the "new age" radio station.

Before he brought on the first act, Alan "plugged" a few upcoming shows at the Warner. He has an odd way of ingratiating himself. About the only act he didn't go out of his way to scoff at was the Japanese synthesist Kitaro; among those he belittled (once with the comment "Who are these guys?") were every hard rock and heavy metal band on the schedule, plus the Fixx, and two of the most solid local pop bands Washington has -- Big Bang Theory and B-Time.

If this is the "new age" attitude, we'll take old Elvis.