Staying informed about local Caribbean music events has never been easy: Knowing what’s going on usually requires picking fliers up at specialty record stores and restaurants, listening to Caribbean radio programs that list area events, or reading the posters that line Georgia Avenue. But thanks to David Hogben, the process is now much easier. Hogben has set up the “Caribbean Hot Line,” a free taped telephone message service that lists a wide spectrum of reggae, soca, compas, and other happenings throughout the Washington-Baltimore area. Chronicling events at such locations as the Bantu Academy, Richmond Ballroom, and Nativity Hall, the tape provides a wealth of information. At the moment, Hogben, who says he’s had “a passionate affair with Caribbean culture for 35 years,” calls various island associations and does the kind of legwork described above in order to gather hot line information. Eventually, he hopes to get promoters to notify him of upcoming functions and reimburse him for phone costs. The hot line, Hogben notes, has received enthusiastic support from WHUR’s John Blake, WPFW’s Tony Carr, and its callers, but “it’s taking a while” to get all the promoters on board. Call the hot line at (301) 948-2408. Promoters can send information to: The Caribbean Hot Line, 101 Odenthal Ave., 806, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.