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Best of Friday:
Steve Kiviat writes:
Tel Aviv power-rockers Monotonix are not celebrated for their albums. Just like previous efforts, last month’s Steve Albini-produced Not Yet blends hookless shouting with self-indulgent guitar riffs, and the result sounds like an unsuccessful MC5-Led Zeppelin hybrid. But live, the trio compensates with pure spectacle. Singer Avi Shalev leaps into the crowd and pours beer on himself and fans; guitarist Yonatan Gat usually ditches the stage and plays among the audience. When he’s not surfing the crowd with his drums—-keeping beat all the while—-Haggai Fershtman sets his sticks and sometimes his whole kit on fire. It’s not uncommon for promoters of police to restrain Monotonix, so it’ll be interesting to see what the band can get away with in upper Northwest. With Federation X. Pujol. $12. 10:30 p.m. show. Comet Ping Pong.
Harlem Arts Ensemble with Dr. Salim Washington. 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Twins Jazz.
Fresh Produce Festival Kickoff: Perfomances by Bluebrain, Contradiction Dance. Emma Jaster. Paco Fish. $15. 8 p.m. The Fridge.
Best of Saturday:
Sure, you can find a dozen or so dance parties happening each weekend, but ring the alarm for KIDS. After a brief hiatus, the classic ’90s hip-hop throwback fest is returning to DC9 along with DJ Lil’ Elle (she left D.C. for San Francisco). KIDS is peddling its usual win-win-win formula: free Olde English, free condoms, and free entry if you arrive before 10 p.m. $5 after 10 p.m. With DJs Nacey, Steve Starks, and Jackie O. 21+
Another pick from Steve Kiviat:
Corey Harris is often billed simply as an acoustic bluesman, but he’s more than that. The 41-year-old Richmond resident is the recipient of a MacArthur genius grant and has a degree in anthropology; he’s studied linguistics and music in Mali, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. Harris has periodically departed from old-school strumming, and he does so again on 2009’s blu.black. Working with a band lef by organist Peanut Whitley, Harris showcases his soulful vocals on the gospel-tinged “My Song” and on roots-reggae tracks “Babylon walls” and “Columbus.” Although Harris’ socially conscious lyrics are a tad generic, if you’re paying attention to his creative fingerwork and church-rooted warbling, you probably won’t mind. With the Rasta Blues Experience. $25. 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley.
Martin Bisi has produced a Grammy-winning single for Herbie Hancock, engineered for Afrika Bambaataa and Sonic Youth, and once upon a time, started a studio with Brian Eno. For all of his working through the indie ranks, Bisi still remains on the fringe of the fringes as a musician and could probably care less. Oh, and the guy is immensely watchable—-see what I mean in his “Goth Chick ’98” video. With Brian Viglione of The Dresnden Dolls. The Plums and Fern Night. $10. 10:30 p.m show. Comet Ping Pong.
Best of Sunday:
Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science, the cruising style of Hall & Oates, and the talk-box perfection of Zapp and Rodger’s “Computer Love”—-these are some of the touchpoints for Chromeo, the self-proclaimed “only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture.” The Montreal-born duo established its opulent, if at times gimmicky, electronic pastiche of 80s excess with the 2004 debut She’s in Control. Lead singer David Macklovitch’s husky falsetto stutters platitudes and come-ons, while new-age funkmaster P-Thugg engineers unerring approximations of glistening Cameo keyboard riffs and narrates via talk-box on hits like “Needy Girl.” Last year’s Business Casual is another well-executed experiment in back-to-the-’80s time travel; considering Chromeo has named the album’s supporting tour “Risky Business,” expect more of the same. With MNDR and The Suzan. SOLD OUT. 8 p.m. doors. 9:30 Club.
Friday Night Eclectic: Ra Ra Rasputin and Hume. $10/$12. 8 p.m. Mansion at Strathmore. All ages Tea Leaf Green. With The Bridge. $17. 8 p.m. doors. 9:30 Club. Left on Vermont (CD Release Party). The Public Good. The Crash Take-Off. $10. 9:30 p.m. show. Rock and Roll Hotel. Tom McBride. Evan Bliss and The Welchers. $12. 9 p.m. show. Iota Club. Hunter Valentine. Vanity Theft. $8. 7 p.m. show. U Street Music Hall. 18 +. Corey Harris. $25. 8 p.m and 10 p.m. Through 2/5. Blues Alley. J Raud and the Firing Squad. Benyaro. $8. 10 p.m. show. Velvet Lounge. 21+ Saturday: Tuvan throat-singing with the Huun-Huur-Tu Ensemble. $20-$28. 8 p.m. Artisphere. Cryfest: The Cure vs. The Smiths Dance Party. $10. 9:30 p.m. doors. Black Cat. Violens. Class Actress. Que Sera DJ set (Singer of US Royalty). $10/$12. 10 p.m. show. The Red Palace. 18+. The Very Small. No Compromise. Savage Badger Vags. 7 Door Sedan. $10. 9 p.m. show. Rock and Roll Hotel. DC Folklore Society: Winter Mid-Festival. Takoma Park Middle School. Here for more info. Saxophonist Walter Beasley. $39.50. 7:30 p.m. Birchmere. Fishnet Stalkers. The Bators. Nervous Impulse. Sidewalk Driver. $8. 10 p.m. show. Velvet Lounge. Sunday: Saxophonist Danny Janklow. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Twins Jazz. The Castle Trio and Friends. Free. 7:30 p.m. National Museum of American History.