We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

friday to sunday

There’s no overstated snapshot of this particular moment in D.C. music history, no grand strategy to bridge communities or symbolically give the finger to the Bush administration. Which is exactly why the Exotic Fever Fest—a weekendlong festival of performances by bands on or associated with Exotic Fever Records—has the label poised to tear down the perception of the District’s independent rock scene as a bunch of pseudo-politicos with rods up their asses. Exotic Fever has shown a consistent knack for scooping up emerging local artists who, regardless of their political leanings, let their music do the talking. These three evenings will feature some of the best evidence the label has to offer against the argument that the artistic well of our nation’s capital has dried up with Dischord. Among the bands playing Saturday is Mass Movement of the Moth, whose sound borrows equally from the Dismemberment Plan and Pretty Girls Make Graves. The MMM is perhaps the best positioned of Exotic Fever’s young acts to claim the chorus-free, postpunk helm; they add sci-fi terror-core elements such as screeching vocals and high-pitched static to a Pitchfork-friendly portfolio. Mike Law, formerly on Exotic Fever with the intentionally misspelled Eulcid, returns as a special guest with the relatively accessible New Idea Society, a polished pop collaboration with Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky. Liza Kate adds friendly, unassuming folk ballads to the playlist, and new signees Hope and Anchor test the waters. Of course, Exotic Fever Fest isn’t completely without activist subtext—rounding out the docket are workshops on the reproductive and animal-rights fronts. The festival runs at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15 at the Warehouse Next Door, 1017 7th St. NW, $6, (202) 783-3933; 9 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW, $8, (202) 667-7960; see City List for a complete schedule. (Kriston Capps)