Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
With a black bowler cocked jauntily on his smooth bald pate and an ominous cane spinning wildly in his nimble fingers, Angelo Moore fronts South Central’s Fishbone like the hyped-up love child of Willy Wonka and Cabaret’s MC. In the blink of an eye, he can switch from charmingly hammy to flat-out frighteningoften within the ska-ttershot confines of the same schizoid song. So it’s really no surprise that Moorea showman first, a lead singer second, a saxophonist in a pinchfinally succumbed to his bipolar muse and formed a separate identity altogether: Dr. Madd Vibe. Sweating over the same societal ills (racism, poverty, politics) that Fishbone has venomously dissected for 22 years and counting, Moore as Madd Vibe drops his need to rock and rap and indulges in some spoken-word poetry. Which is not to say he still can’t be simultaneously very funny and really scary. In his 1996 collection of poetry, Dr. Madd Vibe’s Comprehensive Linkology, Moore dredged up his younger days as “a fly in the buttermilk”that is, growing up in the predominantly white suburbs of the San Fernando Valley. And on his new album, The Yin Yang Thang, the good doctor describes the daily battle of remaining focused in “a world gone mad”: “Wake up in the morning and i say, “hello”/But in return i get a pezzimistic NO!/shaddup, bug off & baddvibes a flowin’/ Not a positive but a negative Glowin’.” Fair warning: The only thing more dangerous than a jazzed-up Moore is a pissed-off Moore, so beware that wickedly twirling cane when Dr. Madd Vibe gets nasty at 8 p.m. Monday, June 4, at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $7. (202) 462-3213. (Sean Daly)