* Who: Roosevelt Roosevelt
* When: 9 p.m. tomorrow
* Where: Zig's, Alexandria
When Roosevelt Roosevelt takes to the stage at Zig's tomorrow night, it will be a loud and happy homecoming. In January, the four-man, Arlington-based group began an extensive tour of the eastern United States with this very same club as its launch pad.
The tour, supporting the late 2002 release of the full-length CD "A Wish to Be Blind," covered bars, clubs, colleges and prep schools, reaching as far south as Georgia and as far west as Illinois. The band's intense material, high-energy live shows and the recording contribution of renowned D.C. area producer and engineer Don Zientara, of Dischord Records fame, all added fuel to what were successful travels.
The January show at Zig's also marked a turning point for the band. It officially became a full-time venture for all involved. "We've all been basically positioning ourselves for the jump for a while," said drummer Ben Oliver, describing how he and the other members -- Aaron Tarr, vocals and rhythm guitar; Ben Pastor, bass; and Charles Gray, lead guitar -- cut ties with leases, classes and jobs to make the big commitment.
"When we booked Zig's for January, we said, 'This is the day,' " Oliver said.
On its Web site, www.rooseveltroosevelt.com, the band positions itself as "intelligent rock with punk sensibilities," and the group clearly takes the do-it-yourself ethic seriously. "While we aren't necessarily punk-sounding, we have the punk mind-set," Oliver said. He described the band's touring strategy: "Every city we go through, we find the two or three college campuses and get something to the newspaper and something to each of the radio stations."
As a result, the group has earned college radio play, attracted good-size crowds to gigs and distributed the workload so that band members handle booking, promotion and Web site maintenance.
In another cool move, Roosevelt Roosevelt gives back -- literally -- to underage fans by reimbursing them when they have to pay supplemental club admission charges to make up for lost drink sales.
The band's personal promise, according to Oliver, is: "Anybody who comes to a show anywhere who's under the drinking age and has to pay an extra fee, go ahead and pay it. At the end of the night, you come to us, and we'll give you the difference."
-- Marianne Meyer
Zig's is at 4531 Duke S., 1 1/2 miles east of Landmark Mall in Fox Chase Shopping Center in Alexandria. Admission $10. For more information, call 703-823-2777 or visit www.zigsbar.com.