Earlier this year, DC9 kindly hosted me for Synchronicity: A New Wave Party, where I celebrated 30 years since the commercial peak of new wave music.
Well, you wouldn’t know it had been so long judging from the number of parties celebrating the 1980s in DC this month! Almost all of these parties are ongoing affairs, enabling you to get your monthly fix of what some call ‘80s music every month.
Fire up the DeLorean and jump back to the future with me at all of the good parties below.
The Scene: Back in the actual ‘80s, the place to be for great new music and to soak up the new wave subculture was the club Poseurs (formerly at 3405 M St. NW, DC) in Georgetown. Sadly, it’s long closed, but principals involved with the club and many of its loyal club hoppers have instituted an annual reunion party. This year that party takes place at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Saturday with DJ Mohawk Adam and special guests Michael Scruggs, Wayne Skate Deavers and Michael Olsen.
Although technically a reunion night, the party is open to the public. All you need is a ticket! And what better way to spend an ‘80s party than to rub shoulders with a dedicated crew who have tales to share of partying with Robert Smith of The Cure or Peter Hook of New Order in their club back in the day? Expect to hear songs from The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, New Order, Billy Idol and more, more, more.
Your next chance to go: Saturday, August. 15, at 9pm. The Poseurs Anniversary Dance Party tentatively happens annually. Tickets cost $12, online or at the door.
Party: Right Round
The Scene: Right Round maestro DJ lil’e recently launched a companion ‘90s party (known as Common People), and she now alternates every other month between the ’80s with Right Round and the ’90s with Common People. Thankfully, August is a Right Round month. Right Round has been running for about 14 years at the Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW, DC), and it’s still going strong backstage.
Right Round, named so for the popular song by Dead or Alive, brings the dancing with music like The Human League, The Go-Go’s, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Psychedelic Furs, Rick Springfield, Men at Work, They Might Be Giants, and a whole lot of others. DJ lil’e is pretty much in demand everywhere these days, but she’s still working hard on keeping her ’80s party, which I like to think of as her first and best love, fresh and strong.
Your next chance to go: Saturday, August 15, at 10pm. Tickets cost $7, at the door. Look for it to return every other month.
The Scene: Be transported back into time at the monthly jam of ALL NIGHT LONG, ALL NIGHT — a free ‘80s Dance Party at the Rock & Roll Hotel (1353 H St. NE, DC), say the promoters. Happy hour prices all night, says the bar!
Although named for the Lionel Richie song “All Night Long (All Night),” All Night Long isn’t afraid to toss out just about everything to the crowd that dares turn out for a Thursday night — including songs from Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, INXS, Whitney Houston, Journey, Kenny Loggins and more — from a motley crew that could include DJ Dustin, DJ Total (Ed Conley), DJ Special Soss (Sherri Sosslau), and/or DJ Synz (Jeremy Synz).
Your next chance to go: Thursday, August 20, at 8pm. Free admission! Look for it to return every month.
Party: 80s Dance Party
The Scene: Perhaps you’re a casual ‘80s fan with a wide-ranging palate and a hunger for crowds. If so, then look no further than the longest running party in the city — 80s Dance Party, which relocated about a year ago to one of the most popular intersections in the city at 14th and U Streets with its new home at Tropicalia (2001 14th St. NW, DC).
As DC’s original “80s Night,” the 80s Dance Party is now in its 22nd year, and brought to you by longtime host DJ Neal Keller (alternatively known as “The Angel”). Neal promises lots of music videos in a comfy stylish club — and now with less Whitney! But Neal is a total softy and a true gentleman, so I’m sure he’ll play “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” if you ask him nicely. (Read my interview with Neal on We Love DC from when he took the party to Black Whiskey for a while.) You’ll hear a wide range of stuff from ABC, Depeche Mode, Rick Astley, INXS, Michael Jackson, Prince, New Order, and more.
Your next chance to go: Saturday, August 22, at 9pm. Free admission! Look for it to return every month.
Party: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The Scene: Since 2009, Spellbound Productions has been hosting a new wave/dark wave party at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar (1104 H St. NE, DC). Once twice a month, the frequency of the party has been reduced to monthly on the fourth Wednesday of every month.
KKBB, named for a glammy goth song by UK band Specimen, specializes mostly in post-punk crowd-pleasers like the Psychedelic Furs, Modern English, Adam Ant, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and of course The Cure. It’s still hosted by longtime DJs Devolutionary and Michael Scruggs — two men who have great taste in music and know how to create a scene with a certain sound.
Your next chance to go: Wednesday, August 26, at 9pm, if it keeps to its schedule. Free admission! Look for it to return every month.
Party: 80s Mayhem
The Scene: The folks at FYM Productions like to stay busy. They throw a big party at least once every quarter at the Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW, DC). And when I say big — I mean big: big dance floor, big concept and big tunes. This time around, the End of Summer Eighties Mayhem Dance Party returns to the Black Cat’s main stage on Saturday, August 29, with a new Ms. Pac-Man “theme” and same old crew DJ Steve EP, DJ Missguided, Killa K, and Krasty McNasty. As Steve says, “GET STOKED!!!”
Expect to hear oh-so-much ranging from Duran Duran, Blondie, A-ha, The Ramones, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and more.
Your next chance to go: Saturday, August 29, at 9:30pm. Buy a ticket in advance! $10 admission. Look for this event or something similar from FYM Productions every quarter or so!