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In a town where coffee shop open mikes and dimly lit jam sessions abound, a lot of attention is paid to an artist’s ability to improvise. Whether it’s a jazzman soloing, a poet freestyling, or a rapper “comin’ straight off the head,” D.C. folks love to see performers put on the spot. It’s a testimony to a musician’s concentration and ingenuity when he or she can perform well under pressure. However, spontaneity often gives birth to embarrassing as well as exhilarating moments, and it is hardly the ultimate test of creativity. Smoke Down Productions’ Talent Tuesday is a weekly showcase that allows all genres, but no improv. In fact, auditions are held the night before, for quality assurance. The open mike gives local talent a chance to show off considered material in its best light—rehearsed. At 7:30 p.m. at Cafe Tango, 1344 U St. NW. $5. (202) 234-4033. (Neil Drumming)