Dancing Queen

If you spent time in dance clubs in the ’90s, you know the name Ultra Naté. The singer’s big-voiced house-music anthems — including such classics as 1994’s “Show Me” and 1997’s “Free” — fueled many an all-night party and inspired dozens of worshipful DJ remixes. Ultra Naté (born Ultra Naté Wyche) didn’t set out to […]

On the Spot: Noon:30

In the time it takes most new bands to get off the ground, D.C.’s Noon:30 has already toured the country, survived a lineup change and tackled a record store’s worth of musical styles. The band has been in a constant state of reinvention since forming in 2008 with bassist/guitarist Aissa Arroyo-Hill, lead singer/bassist Blue S. […]

A Bubblegum Twist: Hunx and His Punx

Hunx and His Punx seem unlikely characters to be championing the candy-sweet pop of ’60s girl groups like the Ronettes and the Shangri-La’s. They’re not exactly as well-scrubbed as those girls, for one. But the Bay Area band’s latest album, “Too Young to Be in Love,” faithfully re-creates the innocence and longing of a musical […]

Not a Prairie Girl: Singer EMA, 'Past Life Martyred Saints,' At Red Palace

South Dakota doesn’t exactly have a reputation for its booming experimental noise-rock scene. But that’s where singer-songwriter EMA — a Sioux Falls, S.D., native — first dreamed up the dark avant-garde sound that’s earned her comparisons to such dirgey indie legends as Kim Gordon and PJ Harvey. Born Erica M. Anderson, the sultry performer got […]

Diverse Dance Music: MEN, 'Talk About Body,' at Red Palace

In the four years that the Riot Grrrl dance-punkers of Le Tigre have been on hiatus, bandmember JD Samson has been inordinately busy. She’s posed for her own beefcake calendar, made a cameo in John Cameron Mitchell’s 2006 film “Shortbus,” dated Aussie indie-pop sensation Sia and co-produced a track for Christina Aguilera. She also hooked […]

Jive to Jibz: Jibz Cameron, Dynasty Handbag at Fridge D.C.'s Fresh Produce Festival

<img alt="Dynasty Handbag" src="http://www.expressnightout.com/content/Photos/20110224-dynastyhandbag-450.jpg" width="450" height="300" / Jibz Cameron is a woman of many faces: film noir detective, demented femme fatale, masochistic flower in a boxing ring. The New York performance artist, known to audiences as Dynasty Handbag, transforms herself into a rotating cast of quirky characters in her campy one-woman shows, complete with singing, […]

Soul Singing: Carolyn Malachi, 53rd Grammy Awards on CBS

A few short years ago, music was just a hobby for neo-soul singer Carolyn Malachi. But this Sunday night, the D.C. native will find herself up against the likes of Janelle Monae and Cee-Lo as a Grammy nominee for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the ethereal song “Orion,” of off her breakout EP, “Lions, Fires & […]

Ladies to the Front: Ra the MC at Strathmore

Ra the MC’s rap calling came early. “I wrote my first rap when I was in the seventh grade,” says the D.C. native, who counts Notorious B.I.G. and Lauryn Hill among her biggest inspirations growing up. “I definitely always knew this was what I wanted to do,” she says. “There was no plan B.” Ra,nee […]

Afternoon Delights: Noon:30 at Comet Ping-Pong

In a city that counts Bad Brains and Riot Grrrl among its musical gifts to the world, a band like Noon:30 should feel right at home. Still, says drummer Vivianne Njoku, “a lot of people still greet us with this scratched-record effect when we walk in the door.” Audiences might not expect a group of […]