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In a city that often looks backward musically (we get it, everybody loves Fugazi and The Dismemberment Plan), the Future Times crew is all about pushing things forward. Overseen by Mike Petillo and Andrew Field-Pickering (of the duos Protect-U and Beautiful Swimmers, shown above), the local imprint brings together global psychedelia with warm, throbbing beats culled from early house and funk. The terms “new-age disco” and “aquatic techno” have been used to describe their polychromatic approach. With interest from media outlets such as Resident Advisor and the Fader and a growing roster that includes non-D.C. artists like Brooklyn’s Slava, Future Times has had a pretty big year. Protect-U and Beautiful Swimmers (pictured) toured Europe, and the label brought eclecticism and buoyancy to a ton of local live events, including the monthly Whale shindig at U Street Music Hall. Tonight, the gang takes stock of a banner 2011 with a holiday party at the same venue, featuring DJ sets from Beautiful Swimmers, Mondo and C Rob (Petillo and Chris Robinson of the Vitamin C party at Dodge City), and up-and-comer Jay Simon. The Whale is free and usually not too packed, offering plenty of room to let the trippy, tropical-infused vibes thaw your winter bones. 10 p.m. at U Street Music Hall. Free. (Joe Colly)


Locals Chain & The Gang (Ian Svenonius et al.) and Heavy Breathing (former members of The Apes) hit the Black Cat Backstage tonight. Let the primo stage banter begin! 8 p.m. $10.

Also tonight, Christylez Bacon plays the newly launched Clyde’s establishment, The Hamilton. If you haven’t scoped the new 24-hour eatery and venue yet, now is your opportunity. 8 p.m. $15.