Arts Desk

Tonight at U Street Music Hall, Thundercat May Sacrifice a Six-Year-Old

Apocalypse_CoverStephen "Thundercat" Bruner can tweet some wild things when he's under the influence. Like this tweet from two weeks ago—a vague transmission about throwing salt in his own eyes and drinking a Bullet energy drink. "Wait, what did I say?" Thundercat asks me. Then: "Yeah, that happened. I didn't even know I tweeted that."

There's also the new contest show he wants to start called "Meat DJ," "where the goal is to chop so much meat and mix it with so much sauce." It's unclear when that will be taking place. When asked, Thundercat said he might premiere the show during his gig at U Street Music Hall tonight. (He's kidding, I think?)

So yeah, Thundercat is crazy, but also great. A frequent collaborator with experimental producer Flying Lotus, the Los Angeles musician is known for his fluttering bass lines and light falsetto. His brand of alt-soul takes grand and bizarre twists, whether he's recreating old Scooby-Doo tunes or trippin' on ecstasy. He's been on tour with Erykah Badu and recently guested with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And while Thundercat hasn't done anything that weird on tour, tonight could be different. Who knows. "I'm gonna play music that they like," he says. "Then maybe sacrifice a six-year-old. Maybe blow somebody's car up. Maybe come out on stage naked and bring out a tiger."

Not surprisingly, Thundercat likes big cats; he takes his stage name from the 1980s cartoon about heroic felines. Not long ago, he took to Twitter—again—and asked his followers to find the giant lion's head worn by James Earl Jones in Coming to America. "If I actually go out wearing a lion, I'm 90 percent sure someone's gonna deck me," Thundercat says with a laugh. "They're gonna hit me in the mouth for wearing a lion. To be honest with you, I'd still wear it anyway."

So yeah, expect shenanigans tonight—or no shenanigans, I guess. But speaking of shenanigans: "I'm opening a fast food chain that hits people with nunchucks in the back when you walk through the front door," says the bassist. "I invite people to come to my 'Shenanigans' restaurant."

Nah, he's just kidding, he says. "I'm not really opening a restaurant."

Doors open at 9 p.m. 1115 U St. NW. $12. 18-plus.

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