Show & Tell

Harangue the DJ Local dance night spinners, in their own words

Navigating D.C.’s dance-party scene is tough work. January alone finds nine DJ nights scheduled at the Black Cat, 12 at the Rock and Roll Hotel, six at DC9, and 13 at Wonderland. With so many parties competing nightly to impress a lingering hand-stamp to your flesh, where should you sink your cover charge? Local DJs are here to help. They’ve peppered the Internet with detailed descriptions of their sound, but navigating their self-promotion poses its own problems.

Don’t know the difference between synthpunk and electroclash? Confused as to whether a dance night requires you to pull out a twee sweater and cozy up against the wall, or go bare-chested underneath an American flag windbreaker, pumping both fists to the jams? You’re not alone.

“The challenge of the write-up is that you’re trying to market it to enough people to get them in the door, but at the same time you want to attract the right crowd,” explains Gavin Holland, one-third of DC9’s monthly dance party Nouveau Riche, whose new flier describes the dance night simply as “Pretty Risky.” Holland has one suggestion for local spinners: “Even if you play techno, don’t say the word ‘techno.’ American people are really afraid of the word ‘techno.’”

Below, local dance night autobiographies excerpted—and translated for the uninitiated.

Will Eastman

Where You’ll Find Him: Bliss at the Black Cat

The Spin: “BLISS likes Bass Ale, Daft Punk, and has an agenda. Its mission is to get you 1) in trouble 2) intoxicated 3) in love.” Bliss adds a scan of a hand-drawn note from an angry partygoer that reads, “Stop playing your own agenda—we pay to hear our requests.” Kelis’ “Milkshake” is the only such request that can be deciphered.

Translation: Thinly disguised musical blowjob tutorials are out, but the right combination of British beer and Parisian house music just might get you some similar drunk, troublesome bliss. And love, or whatever.

DJ YumYum

Where You’ll Find Him: Crap at the Black Cat, Felix, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Spin: “Indie kids, goths, punks, gays, lesbians, suburbanites, drunks, truckers, hipsters, muppetteers, and Prince disciples alike gather to dance to the music on that sticky mix tape you found in the bottom of your Delorean that has been taped over 77 times and missing since 1991. You will attend. You probably heard this music in a carpool or at your dentist.…I’m not going to lie, this is the best dance night of all-time and if you argue, you are clearly in a fucking coma.”

Translation: Prepare to be surrounded by people who work up pit stains as badges of honor. Expect sets ending in extended versions of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” sung along by dancers too drunk to remember if they’re supposed to be ironic or not. Duck to avoid errant hands attempting “The Sprinkler.”

DJ Enferno

Where You’ll Find Him: Lima, Fly, Ultra Bar

The Spin: “I’m not one for broadcasting intimate, personal info about myself on the Internet. I save that for my good friends, and family. I am, however, a big fan of Internet marketing, so let’s get this thing going.”

Translation: The ensuing 516 words of Enferno’s MySpace bio address 16 years of his history—including his high school (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology), college (University of Virginia, B.S., Marketing, ’97), and former IT day job. Still, the précis fails to cover what you really need to know: You’re probably going to have to tuck your shirt into your pants.

Kim Klinger and Sara Rycroft

Where You’ll Find Them: Pow Wow at the Rock and Roll Hotel, Kicks! at the Black Cat

The Spin: “Pow Wow is a big old mess of garage rock, psych, 70s punk, powerpop, bubblegum, beat, shoegaze, the occasional classic rock or metal track, and whatever else we feel like playing through a Jameson haze.…You may find yourself waking up in a gutter afterwards.”

Translation: Powerpop or bubblegum? Who can tell the difference when you’re too drunk to hear anything. Avoid loose clothing, stick with a dance move that doesn’t require much control over the extremities, and hope for the best. Be warned: Irish whiskey might cost you a fiver, but public-urination charges and ambulance bills can run much higher.

DJ Nitekrawler

Where You’ll Find Them: Breakin’ Glass at the Wonderland, Heat at Café Saint-Ex

The Spin: “When not DJing, Nite engrosses himself in music research and ‘development.’ His quest for elusive soul recordings has left him with a plethora of local material; each new discovery becoming a stepping stone towards deeper (and rewarding) obscurity.…The Nitekrawler never sleeps.”

Translation: Some may doubt the danceability factor of one man’s descent into deep, rewarding obscurity, but Nite’s vaguely ominous sign-off might just be enough to quiet the haters. If DJ Nitekrawler really “never sleeps,” just dance like you know what “Boomin’ in Your Jeep” is and don’t ask any questions.

Gavin Holland and Chris Burns

Where You’ll Find Them: Party Bros at the Rock and Roll Hotel

The Spin: “Are you ready for party jams packed to the brim with WILD guitar solos? Do you sometimes just want to LET LOOSE… but don’t feel like apologizing for it??!?! Do you think that dance parties are starting to look too much like Zoolander…and not enough like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? God damn it, do you like to party? Then party with the experts: PARTY BROS.” Party Bros finish their rundown by employing a time-tested hipster pastime: making fun of hipsters. “It also sounds like poor little hipsters getting their ears crushed by our MASSIVE SOUNDSYSTEM!!!”

Translation: If you’re wondering what that orange stain is all over your tongue, lips, and jaw the next day, it’s the Sparks. Next time, cut out the middleman and go straight for the beer bong.

DJ Geometrix

Where You’ll Find Him: Avenue, Ultra Bar

The Spin: “Words cannot describe his performances, as it must be seen and heard live to be truly appreciated. Geometrix’s sets are known for creating a euphoric musical experience like no other…he flawlessly combines the energy and passion of diverse genres of music and has been known to leave the crowd in awe and utter amazement.”

Translation: Although words cannot describe DJ Geometrix’s sets, if pressed, I’d have to say that his experiences are only for that diverse crowd interested in utterly flawless euphoric passion.

DJs Ca$$idy, Ris Richards, and “Child Star” Austin

Where You’ll Find Them: Garutachi at the Rock and Roll Hotel

The Spin: Garutachi describes its sound as “something like: new wave mixed with robot rock mashed with bossa nova mixed with j-pop mashed with swede-pop mixed with french-pop mixed with hip hop mashed with disco house mixed with post punk mashed with noise.”

Translation: I have no idea what the fuck that sounds like.

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Our Readers Say

No love for Stereo Faith?
except for a few exceptions, only love for the same ol folks we have heard about over and over again. The press seriously sleeps on some DJ talent in this city.
Amanda, you write well. Just quit trying to be so damn cute all the time.
You mention "cozying up to a wall in your twee sweater" in the intro, but you don't talk about any of the wonderful twee/indie/jangle nights in DC. Swedish pop night Hej-Hej and twee/indie/jangle pop night My Favorite Dress, both at Saint-Ex, are great options for the sweater-wearing, bedroom dancing set. And while it may be more of a sway-and-hold-your-beer kind of shindig, Taking The Piss at Marx Cafe is pretty much the mother of all twee/jangle nights.
Are they not "dancey" enough? Or do nights need to charge cover to get mentioned?

The Wag (spun by Mark Zimin at the Cat) is probably my favorite dance night in town - garage, soul & mod tunes that keep me on my feet all night. And is mentioning Mousetrap too obvious?
I don't think this author intended on covering dj nights with any depth or breadth. Look at the piece she wrote two weeks ago about the Gold Leaf Warehouse. She picks topics that are ultimately easy to poke fun of and carefully chooses facts and makes points that can effortlessly be tied together into a neat little pile of snarkiness. I give her six more months before the only people who'll talk to her are 18 year old college freshman who sign up for "open decks" nights at out-of-the-way eritrean bars. She wants to make a name for herself by ridiculing, not bigging anyone up. her body of *work* makes that obvious.
Who are these people? I've been in DC for a long time, in the dance seen and have never heard of these guys. Why is it that the media always focuses on the either white or safe mainstream DJs and club goers. I know of one of the guys mentioned and he's but a baby, he was still in diapers when I started. Time to venture out more.
yeah but amanda likes it to be easy.
he's a lazy cow who like her aricles to be writen lazy cowlike
congrats amanda, lazy cow of he cow year
Well, congratulations, anonymous. You've clearly ruined Amanda's career, not exposed yourself as one of the whiny, self-absorbed wankers who's still crying over Gold Leaf milk that Amanda had nothing to do with spilling. Enjoy your measly 'scene' and for godsakes, next time you're going to try and denigrate someone's writing, don't sign "anonymous-" you might as well wear a big cardboard placard that says "I HAVE NO BALLS."
hey Jason you call what she has a career?
what "measly scene" are you talking about? there was nothing measly about the number of people who came out to the gold leaf parties. the only homogenous entity you're envisioning as a "scene" is in your head and in your friend Amanda's third rate articles.
I just read your little linkedin summary.

"Editorial professional with intimate knowledge of and broad experience in the publishing world.
Jason Mogavero’s Specialties: Copy editing, writing, research "

Ha ha. first of all try "researching" what I wrote. I never blamed Amanda for shutting down gold leaf. there's no way some little girl fresh from the most expensive college in america could have that kind of power. please. I only blamed her for the way she writes. The only wanking going on is at you alls keyboards when you poking at my anonymity and she's acting like a cookie cutter cynical hipster. it totally makes sense that you guys came from the GW "Hatchet". not as funny as your alleged "intimate knowledge of and broad experience in the publishing world". What are you? 22? 23 max? you guys should wear a group placard that reads "I HAVE NO SKILLS". Anonymous or not she writes crap. Over and out you tool.
WHo the hell are these DJ's? I've only been in the DC EDM sceen for 7 years and I don't have a freaking clue who any of these DJ Douche Bags are.
wtf is a twee
and DC is full of wonderful world class talent, that u failed to mention. u need to get out more, on second thought....
hahahahaha, this article is awesome. it got me cracking up.

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