By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
THANKS TO THE 9-to-5 grind and our rock & roll culture's second-shift showcases, club hoppers claim the midweek is more fun than the weekend. Sure, Saturday night's all right if you're a suburbanite (which you probably are if you're one of those people partying up and down First Avenue North as if you owned the place). But the freaks (as it were) come out on weeknights. So, as autumn descends, here's a necessary primer for the season's best weeknight club features, from the West Bank to Northeast.
SUNDAYS: Groove Garden Records Night at the Cabooze (beginning September 28): Currently searching for a national audience, Greazy Meal has made the admirable, albeit risky choice to wean itself off of the Sunday-night headlining gig at the Cabooze. What are 2,000 some-odd jilted Meal fans to do? I suspect the Greazy ritual became so automatic for so many people that crowds will continue to swarm the Cabooze on every Sabbath out of sheer force of habit. They could book a polka night and still rake it in.
Fortunately, someone's got an even better idea. Two Sundays from now the Cabooze will become the weekly party/forum for Groove Garden Records, which will be expanding upon the example set by Freeloaded at the Front (see below). All of Groove Gardens' usual funk, hip hop, and DJ suspects will be involved, in round-robin sessions featuring two bands, two spinners, and at least one rhymer per week. These nights will be co-sponsored by the zine Hot and Bothered, a new publication from Walker Art Center/Brother Sun Sister Moon publicist Rachel Joyce that could become the journal of record for the year's most sprawling new local sub-scene.
MONDAYS: Nicola Miller and the Jimmy Kennedy Trio at Lee's Liquor Lounge: Jimmy Kennedy was always the most musical member of the tuneful Glenrustles, and with his new-old jazz group he's finally playing to his strengths. The jewel in Kennedy's crown is vocalist Nicola Miller. Last week she wore Audrey Hepburn bangs and a shiny Japanese dress while singing into one of those clunky '50s radio mics, as Kennedy tickled his Yamaha synth like a lounge-cat Rick Wakeman. Set the dance auto-pilot on "slow swing."
TUESDAYS THROUGH OCTOBER: House of GVSB at the 400 Bar: Cute Band Alert: D.C.'s own Girls Against Boys are in the state recording their new album, and they're passing their downtime hosting Tuesday evening sets of heavy DJ music, ranging from old-school rap and go-go to groovy electro-funk. This provides a rare opportunity to watch the typically reserved scenester crowd attempting to shake it up on the floor. DJ cameos are planned for the future, but I don't know if they'll ever one-up the September 2 debut, when Alec Empire from Atari Teenage Riot jumped onstage and fucked shit up--most stupefyingly.
WEDNESDAYS: Freeloaded at the Front: Shimmying into its second fall season with some notable innovations, Freeloaded will remain an evening of improvisational genre-smashing, with a host of new names (The Nicki Craighead Latin Jazz Quartet, Amorphous) and a more eclectic stable of ace DJs including Drone, Chris Sattinger, and Focus. On September 17, Black Lite returns. On September 24, The Sensational Joint Chiefs team up with DJ Andrew, who topped the jock competition at the latest Hip Hop Olympics. Local free-jazz impresarios Happy Apple storm through on October 1. Hustle up a copy of the Freeloaded Wednesdays compilation CD on Groove Garden Records (see above) if you need a crash course.
THURSDAYS: Straight No Chaser at Blues Alley: Club controversy of the week: Straight No Chaser founders Jezus Juice and Henry Mhoon held a long, thriving stint at the Front, until they recently, and abruptly, parted ways with Front/Ground Zero management (the usual "irreconcilable differences"). That's bad news for both parties, but at least the original purveyors of this high-energy acid-jazz DJ night have survived and relocated to the more antiseptic environs of Blues Alley, just two skips from First Avenue. Meanwhile, the Front has replaced SNC with Off the Beaten Planet, a CD-centric, turntableless chill session that might be subtitled "Björk and Tricky Night."
Kiss These Boys: The atrociously cute Girls Against Boys spin at the 400.