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The party may be happening in the city of brotherly love, but the label Exotic Fever has long been a part of D.C.’s musical landscape. In 2000, the late Clark Sabine (of the now-legendary Motorcycle Wars) convinced Bonnie Schlegel to find a way to put out his band The Halo Project. That year, a small run of CDs was pressed, and a label was born. Katy Otto, Schlegel’s bandmate in Bald Rapunzel, soon joined and would later became the head of Exotic Fever. The label often focuses on female-fronted bands, like Des Ark and Pash (full disclosure: I played bass on two of Pash’s EXF releases), and EXF definitely favors groups that incorporate radical politics into their music. Emerging from the shadow of labels like Dischord and DeSoto, Exotic Fever has consistently espoused a similar DIY and community-minded approach. Members of EXF often work with D.C.’s Positive Force, and the label has been part of countless benefit shows in the city.
The anniversary party happens this Saturday at Philly’s Kung Fu Necktie.