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For starters, we’re aware that the image to the right isn’t a photograph of the DJs behind Kicks!, the dance party that celebrates its two-year anniversary backstage tonight at the Black Cat. But Kim Klinger (left) and Sara Rycroft just insisted—-insisted!—-that we use this adorable portrait drawn by their buddy, DJ Denman Anderson. And who can say no to two take-no-prisoner DJs who have managed to stick around when most dance parties have slipped off the musical radar faster than Wale’s debut album?
We sent the duo a few questions via e-mail. Read what they had to say about the past, present, and future of Kicks! after the jump:
Washington City Paper: What’s changed the most since starting Kicks two years ago?
Kim Klinger: Honestly, not much. Mainly the DJ names as given to us by the staff at the Cat—-check the flier as you walk in the door. It’s always… interesting.
WCP: Dance parties come and go frequently in DC. Mousetrap, Liberation, Bliss, and now you guys are some of the few to survive long-term. What’s the secret?
KK: First, we don’t think we’re on par with any of those parties. They’ve been around a lot longer and are way more put-together. But we’re flattered to be in their company. I think the secret is to keep it simple. We aren’t trying to impress you or change the world of DJing, especially since the nicest way to describe just how little skill we have is to call us charmingly sloppy. We just throw a fun party without attitude, except for our own when we need Jameson or somebody makes a really out there request. Oh, and it’s free. People love free.
WCP: Any special plans for this weekend’s party?
KK: Um, we’ll have candy! We’ll probably focus more on heavy hits and favorites and then weird out for most of the last hour. We’ll also play whatever request our bartender Chad America wants to hear, of course.
WCP: What current tracks are currently on constant repeat in your iTunes—-not necessarily for Kicks, just for your own personal likes? And why do you like them?
Sara Rycroft: I’d like to be able to tell you that my current iPod holdings are vastly different from the Kicks! roster, but it’s not the case (excellent workout music!). Certain Beatles, V.U., Stones albums are standard go-tos for me. I frequently rediscover/become obsessed with old classics. I’ll play the Grass Roots’ “Midnight Confessions” over and over and over. I’m also in the midst of a serious Neil Diamond bender now.
KK: My taste is all over the place, but Wu-Tang is forever. Ghostface Killah’s “Iron Maiden,” Raekwon’s “Glaciers of Ice,” GZA’s “Shadowboxin’.” It’s either that or Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen.” I like it gangster. I like it smooth. Real talk.
WCP: Sum up Kicks in three adjectives for me:
Both: Laid-back, whiskey-soaked, hand-clappy.
WCP: What other dance parties should the people of D.C. be checking out and why?
Both: Bee’s Knees at Velvet Lounge—-blatant self-promotion here as we do the party almost every other month. Sorry, y’all, but it is really good. It’s a rotating cast of DJs playing mostly vintage rock and soul, but it veers into punk, metal, and the occasional jam, too. We can also be found regularly at nights by Denman Anderson (No Control at the Black Cat) or Will Eastman (Bliss at the Black Cat)—-always solid.
Kicks’ Second Anniversary Party takes place tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. “Oh, and it’s free. People love free.” (202) 667-4490.