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Once again, the DC Carnival parade won’t happen in D.C. this year. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for July’s street fête in Baltimore for a chance to strut to live Caribbean soca. While the fifth annual Flags Till Morning DC Carnival takes place indoors and likely includes fewer folks in flamboyant feathered bikinis, Trinidadian vocalists Bunji Garlin (shown), Kerwin Du Bois, and Lyrikal will be there chanting party-time lyrics over the genre’s galloping beats. While soca’s relentless, pounding rhythms sometimes resemble techno, these sing-song wordsmiths sound best when their oratory and their music hearken back to the lilting melodies of calypso. Du Bois has been a leading soca DJ and songwriter for years, and his vocals add a warm touch to songs, while Garlin’s vocals have a rougher, more staccato quality. Expect to see fans waving island banners and celebrating independence and bacchanalia alike.
The Flags Till Morning DC Carnival begins at 10 p.m. at the Hampton Conference Center, 207 West Hampton Place, Capitol Heights. $30. (202) 291-3009. dccaribbeanconnection.com.