SATURDAY

Underground hiphop these days is kinda boring. And lauded acts like Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples are way too caught up in their own tautological loops (think DJ Premier with a lot less talent) to save the genre. Well, at least Dan “the Automator” (aka Dan Nakamura, pictured) has been on a roll. The San Francisco-based DJ’s 1996 classic work on Dr. Octagon’s debut (with mad doctor mike-checker Kool Keith) was followed by Handsome Boy Modeling School’s ambitious So…How’s Your Girl?—Dan’s 1999 collaboration with De La Soul producer Prince Paul. Dan’s singular sample-based songs with—that’s right—actual parts make his pals look pale. And though he may not be the second coming of Marley Marl, the Automator’s latest slab of conceptual strangeness is still pretty darn good. Deltron 3030 is a sci-fuckin’-funny collaboration with MC Del “Hey, I’m almost as weird as Kool Keith” Tha Funkee Homosapien and turntablist wiz Kid Koala. The trio nicely combines big breakbeats, orchestral production (Dan’s a classically trained violinist), and a post-World War IV story line. With Gang Starr colleague Jeru the Damaja in tow, tonight’s rap extravaganza should be—to quote Prince Paul—”inter-spectacular.” Sheik Djibouti at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Brent Burton)