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FRIDAY–SUNDAY

When I reflect upon the many cultural amenities of our city, I have a tendency to overlook the obvious choices. No disrespect to the Kennedy Center, the legion of Smithsonian museums, or the cute little panda babies, but I’m more likely to feel civic pride about Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Washington Wizards, and, most recently, the 20 Buck Spin music festival. The event, now in its second year, was of course named for a classic Pentagram track. However, don’t expect a solely doom lineup. This year’s crew is even more diverse than last year’s; the only common ingredient among the bands is heaviness. I do not exaggerate when I say that these bands are to music what thundersnow is to weather. One of the most intriguing appearances to be made will be that of Distant Sun, a Captain Beyond tribute band formed by several D.C. doom-scene veterans. For the squares: Captain Beyond was a truly boss ’70s space-rock band, composed of members who were themselves veterans of such bands as Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly. Distant Sun’s stripped-down prole-rock approach is refreshing, given that Captain Beyond’s excesses often veered into samba-flavored art-rock purgatory. However, if Distant Sun isn’t far out enough for you, there will also be an appearance by Japanese riff-rockers DMBQ. Or perhaps you’d prefer the proggy freak-sessions of Test-Site and 31 Knots, of Milwaukee and Portland, Ore., respectively. Representing for Drama City will be the always lively Apes, thud-rockers Wooly Mammoth, and doom-dealers Unorthodox, Earthride, and VOG (pictured). It’s doubtful that the D.C. Chamber of Commerce will ever tout a festival that includes a band called Beaten Back to Pure—as this one does—but it sure as hell should. The 20 Buck Spin takes place Friday, Oct. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Warehouse Next Door, 1017 7th St. NW, and at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW, $8–$12. See City List for a full schedule, or visit claviusproductions.alkem.org. (David Dunlap Jr.)