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HouseWork: Latina DJs Holdin’ It Down
Can you remember the last time you heard a beat drop? As COVID-19 swept across the world earlier this year, concerts and clubs quickly went from being typical Friday night plans to public health nightmares, and they don’t look like they’re coming back anytime soon. That doesn’t mean musicians and DJs have stopped working—over the past few months, the “live” features on social media platforms have been flooded with free, high-quality performances intended to be enjoyed from home. This Friday, DJ Leydis and Kristy la Rat will be streaming live on Facebook and YouTube in a performance called HouseWork: Latina DJs Holdin’ It Down. Cuban-born DJ Leydis journeyed to the Bay Area in the 2000s to pursue her disc jockey dream, and went on to spin her Afro-Cuban beats for multiple major artists. Raised in D.C. with Peruvian roots, Kristy la Rat is a queer DJ and a co-founder of Maracuyeah, a local collective that organizes parties which highlight local, Latinx, and queer artists. They’re coming together as part of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which rebranded this year as a virtual Beyond the Mall experience and is celebrating community and creativity through July 5—beat drops guaranteed. The performance will stream July 3 at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook and YouTube. Free. —Ella Feldman
It’s time to hop into a time machine, or at least dive through a Twitter hashtag. While in-person celebrations are out of the question, the District’s beloved 9:30 Club is using the social media platform to commemorate turning 40 years old. First advertised in 1980 as “the first non-disco niteclub to open in downtown D.C. in thirteen years,” a lot has changed since then. The club has moved locations and greatly expanded its capacity. But it’s still a local icon, and #930History is a great way to learn about—or brush up on—its past. The digital journey starts on May 31, 1980, when the club first opened its doors to the public. D.C.-based Tiny Desk Unit opened the show for Lounge Lizards, a popular new wave band, and the cover fee was just $5. Then, jump forward to June 13, 1998, for a scene seemingly straight from People magazine. After lightning strikes cut short the Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium, Radiohead booked a last-minute show at 9:30 Club. Nearly two decades later, on June 16, 2017, Lizzo headlined her first 9:30 Club concert after opening at the venue for artists like Sleater-Kinney. Since then, she’s sold out a handful of 9:30 shows. Explore #930History on Twitter @930Club. Free. —Sarah Smith