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In 1999, D.C. rap-rockers the Crownsayers were all set to follow Fred Durst’s red cap to commercial success when Elektra Records signed the band to a fat contract. Right place, right time, right? Sadly, Linkin Park and Hoobastank got there first. Post-rap-rock moved in, and Elektra dropped the Crownsayers before they could cash in on that craze. The label probably made the right call: The Crownsayers’ inventive production, brainy rhymes, and lack of buffoonery were likely over the heads of the “I did it all for the nookie” crowd. However, after a few months of post-major ennui, the Crownsayers jettisoned their frontman and picked up Gray, formerly of Latristic. Now dubbed the Spark, MC Zooks, producer Sharkey, and their new friend recently recorded with Beck producer Mickey Petralia. The new stuff proves Zooks is still up to the lyrical task—just check his rhyme of “Saskatchewan” with “Taliban.” The Spark looks for something to ignite at 8 p.m. at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $7. (202) 462-7625. (Mike DeBonis)