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Beach House, Jenn Wasner, Ami Dang, and Katrina Ford Slowdown & Grind

April 30, 2013

This weekend, Lazerbitch (Lazer Libby and DJ Mad Max) tore up a set at the Ottobar with Symbol (formerly of Claire Hux) and DJ James Nasty at the Turquoise Jeep party, which was also attended by John Waters; DJ’s Calvin Garner, Exclaime, and Cooper Miley kicked off a super cool new monthly dance party called Turntables on the Terrace at Archos Restaurant in the Latino section of Fells, and the weed smoke was wafting as superstars Abdu Ali, (profiled this week in the City Paper),  Cities Aviv,  OG DutchMaster, faced off at the Guttahball Da Baptism party at a secret location in Remington.

DJs Schwarz and DJ James Nasty, who surprised the crowd with his Major Lazer/ Lil Vicious bootleg track Sweaty Freaks provided the sounds to what I hope is a regular event. This shit was TITE!

A Convergence of Cosmic Proportions

Every once in awhile there’s a cosmic convergence. A great day for Hip Hop, a snapshot outside the old CBGBs or a quick studio visit to Sun Records. Baltimore had once such convergence at Floristree in the H&H building on Saturday night. Some might pass this off as hyperbole by an over-enthusiastic music fan, but remember this: When the Ramones, New York Dolls, and Television were broke and hanging around smoking ciggies outside a Bowery dive, they had no idea they were a part of something bigger.

The second annual Slowdown & Grind party saw groove slathered performances by members of pretty much every local band who took back, for one night, easy listening favorites like “All Night Long by Lionel Richie and “Love Hurts,” by Nazareth (among others).

On a stage that looked like a prom designed by David Lynch and fresh off their night of selling out the Lyric, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House poured out Heart’s “Alone;” Ami Dang left her usual mellow style behind and belted out “Sledgehammer;” Jenn Wasner covered the crowd with Erykah Badu’s “Honey;” Jen Kirby oozed through a fantastic cover of Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile;” Ellen DeGenerate discoed through a spirited cover of Ladytron’sSeventeen;” and Katrina Ford got the crowd chanting Sinead O’Connor’sNothing Compares to You.”   Chilling. Srsly.

And how about those beautiful boys? Well they ruled equally hard. The highlights of the “men’s competition” were Steve Strohmeier’s “Purple Rain” cover, which he should get  the rights to and legit record that shit; Tony Drummond’s rendition of “Love Hurts” (I was surprised how many kids knew the words! Not sure whether it is from Nazareth’s ubiquitous version or the Everly Brothers’ original or the sublime Gram Parsons/ Emmylou Harris duet); Shaun Flynn’s appropriately baritoned cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” which turned the ladies to Silly Putty; Adam Endres, of Wham City, crooned through the Mamas and the Papas’ “Dedicated to the One I Love;” and Trevor Wilhelm, the aforementioned skinny white dude,  closed out the live part of the night with a seriously boogaloo version of “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie. (Photo of Ellen Degenerate, by J.M. Giordano)

The sold-out show was packed with a diverse crowd including a movie director, a Future Islands-obsessed high-powered DC lobbyist, the head of a famous MD yacht club, and a hard partying NASA engineer.

“I really can’t make up my mind on just one [performance],” said artist April Wood after the party. “My face hurt from smiling. We all were loving everyone so much that night. So thankful to be a part of such a beautiful community.”

I have to end this post with a HUGE, BIG, MASSIVE thank you to  Thomas Kessler who caught the entire night on video for those who were snug in their beds and to the MCs and singers Lexie Mountain  (an erstwhile CP contributor) and Connor Kizer who were the glue that kept this whole mad night together!

(Photo: party-goers at Slowdown & Grind)

Nightlife App of the week:

Mixology for iPhone and Android: In my experience as a professional alcoholic and night owl, Mixology is the best app I could find for on-the-fly cocktail recipes. The interface is beautiful to look at and there’s 7,900 recipes to choose from in the recipe box. There’s also a nifty “Liquor Cabinet” which takes everything you have at home and suggests the proper cocktails. Mixology will also find all the cocktail bars in your area. Def download this if you like the drank!



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