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Go-go still hasn’t found a George Clinton, Rakim, or Rza to raise its mesh of polyrhythmic beats and chanted vocals above novelty appeal on radios nationwide. This afternoon’s “Go-Go Fest ’97” roster will again show why many members of D.C.’s funk mob remain unconcerned. Though borrowed hiphop lyrics, generic arrangements, and bland production work lessen the vitality of the genre’s studio output, such drawbacks seem less important onstage. There, grooves from festival participants like old-school prevailers Rare Essence and the Troublefunk-inspired Pure Elegance are nearly always more impressive than the thin bottom provided by rap’s canned loops and samples. The Backyard Band, Junkyard Band, Huck-A-Bucks, All-in-One, Chance Band, and Optimystic Tribe join in from 2-8 p.m. at RFK Stadium, Parking Lot No. 4, 22nd & East Capitol Sts. $15. (301) 236-5511. (Steve Kiviat)