by Borderstan.com June 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

Khelan offers up some summer suit options that work in the DC summer heat.

Khelan offers up some summer suit options that work in the DC summer heat.

Above: Thomas Pink Shirt, J.Crew’s Ludlow Summer Suit and Ralph Lauren Tie by khelan on polyvore.com.

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com. 

Today, I have some options for suits that work in the DC summer heat (and address the issue of seersucker, once a DC uniform in the summertime).

First, let’s address some do-not-do fashions on the subject of (ill-placed) patriotism on Independence Day. I was in Penn Quarter the other day, and I saw a fashion atrocity that I hope was perpetrated by a tourist and not a resident. This guy was wearing… get this… American flag slacks. As in white stars on a blue background on the right leg and alternating red-and-white stripes on the left leg. Cannot make this sh*t up. It almost made me yearn for a constitutional amendment banning the desecration of Old Glory… or mandating a sense of style. Relax, ACLU’ers, I believe that free speech is a fundamental, inalienable right. However, fashion is most definitely a privilege.

The Loss of Seersucker Thursday

Anyhow, down to business at hand. Not sure if you read Dana Milbank’s Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column last Tuesday, but it was an interesting piece intertwining two of my passions: politics and style.

The article’s intent was clearly to lament the loss of a frivolous, yet important, tradition in the halls of Congress: Seersucker Thursday, which was started by former GOP Senator Trent Lott to create a sense of bipartisan camaraderie and, well, fun in an often humorless institution. And, hey, I’m all for tastefully pushing the sartorial envelope in the workplace.

But the column got me thinking about seersucker in general and I came to this conclusion: Very few guys actually look good in the summer fabric. In fact, it looks downright costumey and (dare I say it?) Colonel Sandersesque on most guys. Don’t get me wrong; I fully appreciate that everyone from Thom Browne to Club Monaco has attempted to make the seersucker suit look cool… no pun intended. But it so rarely does. Am I right?

However, that doesn’t change the fact that many of us have to still wear business formal to the workplace even as the thermostat inches closer, and sometimes past, 100 degrees. And, as I’ve said repeatedly, this column isn’t just my little corner to bitch and moan about the heinous crimes against style. I pose solutions to the problems I often bring up (unless you’re wearing American Flag trousers — there’s no fix, outside of shock therapy, I can think of).

The Perfect Summer Suit

J.Crew’s Ludlow fine-striped suit is quite literally the perfect summer suit (well, at least, the best one I’ve ever worn). It’s cotton, so it breathes better than tropical wool, and doesn’t wrinkle quite as easily as linen. Plus, it’s just this side of off-white (sometimes slate, depending on the light), so it doesn’t look too stark, as pure white suits often can (look, this is still the District, not Miami. Let’s not get too crazy). And the stripes are so wonderfully subtle that you can pair it with literally any color or pattern dress shirt.

Here’s an idea: let’s try a red-striped shirt…maybe this one from Thomas Pink. And a blue knit tie from Polo. Red, (sort-of) white, and blue. Oh hey, I just found a solution for Mr. America, too.

This column first ran July 4, 2012.

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by Borderstan.com June 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm 0

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

 (Courtesy )

June 14: Bright Light Bright Light. (Courtesy BLBL)

Hello, music lovers. Very excited to shed some light on an event that’s happening this Friday, June 14. Kick Kick Snare takes over LivingSocial for the first ever Pop Up show! They’ve flown in U.K. Electro wonder (and sexy Welshman) Bright Light Bright Light for his first trip to DC to headline the night!

If you’re into Robyn and the Pet Shop Boys, then trust me, you’re gonna love his sound. We’re bringing you the best new pop music from all over the world to DC, along side the best new pop DC has to offer!

This is easily gonna be one the best pop show of the summer and it’s coming the LivingSocial’s 918 F Street NW location on June 14, 2013 at 7 pm. Tickets are only $19, and space is limited for this once-in-a-lifetime live pop show. Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out!

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by Borderstan.com May 17, 2013 at 10:29 am 0

Friday: Breakfast Club Remix party at Duplex. (David Claypool/Kalorama photography)

Friday: Breakfast Club Remix party at Duplex. (David Claypool/Kalorama photography)

Adam and Khelan are back this Friday. Together they will once again celebrate the BreakfastClub kids. Get ready for great music and to remember tunes that you had forgotten.

The 8th BreakfastClub event is this Friday, May 17, and the mixes will be on. There is no cover and drink specials include $3 champagne cocktails and $7 orange squeezes — much better than slurping the milk from your sugary Ghost Busters cereal.

The party starts at 9 pm at Duplex Diner, 18th and U Streets NW. To get into the mood a little early, check out Khelan European Vacation mix and the newest mix from Adam.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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by Borderstan.com April 26, 2013 at 10:30 am 0

"CTRL"

Celebrate CTRL’s birthday this Saturday at Cobalt. (Courtesy CTRL)

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

Greetings, Borderstanis! A few months back, I gave y’all the scoop on CTRL, a queer underground party, making its move to Cobalt the last Saturday of each month. If you’ve gone to their last three events, then you know it’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys playing Twister on nitrous oxide. IF you haven’t gone (and really why haven’t you????) then their very first anniversary this coming Saturday is the perfect reason to pop your cherry. Check the invite.

All four of CTRL’s DJ’s, Jeff Prior, Adam Koussari-Amin, Devon Trotter and Brett Andriesen (the latter two affectionately known as the “Pocket Gays), are uniquely talented guys. And they’ve completely taken over all of Cobalt this time, including Level One, which will feature the mad beatz of the one and only DJ Della Volla.

The music is slightly off-the-beaten-path… songs you may not normally hear at your regular night at Town, or even Cobalt, (though there will be a few familiar tracks). But the boys of CTRL have their collective finger on the pulse of the audience and have never failed to get the house moving at a pace of about 130 beats per minute.

The cover’s only $5 (believe me, you’ve spent a lot more on things you’ve liked a lot less), plus drink specials including $3 PBR Tallboys, $5 rail drinks, and $4 Jameson shots. Look for me in the middle of the dance floor. Hope to see you all there.

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by Borderstan.com April 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

Friday: Breakfast Club Remix party at Duplex. (David Claypool/Kalorama photography)

Friday: Breakfast Club Remix party at Duplex Diner. (David Claypool/Kalorama photography)

Adam and Khelan are back this Friday. Together they will once again celebrate the BreakfastClub kids. Get ready for great music and to remember tunes that you had forgotten.

The 7th BreakfastClub event is this Friday, April 19, and the mixes will be on. There is no cover and drink specials include $3 champagne cocktails and $7 orange squeezes — much better than slurping the milk from your sugary Ghost Busters cereal.

The party starts at 9 pm at Duplex Diner, 18th and U Streets NW. To get into the mood a little early, check out the preview mixes from Adam and Khelan.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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by Borderstan.com March 15, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

"Bespoke"

Bespoke: Michael Andrews is ready to measure. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

Well hello, Borderstanis. It’s been a while, I know. I’ve missed our chats about all things menswear, fashion and style. But I’m back now… pinky swear.

Now that we have the pleasantries all sorted out, let’s get to brass tacks. You know I love nothing more than a perfect-fitting suit… and I loathe nothing more than shopping for one. Department stores, even high-end ones, are filled with off-the-rack monstrosities that cost more than they should, uninformed (and often-times rude) sales people who couldn’t give you fashion advice if you paid them (and, hey, guess what? we are paying them) — and other customers who keep getting in your way as they try to find that perfect belt to hold up their pleated pants.

Remember: your suit’s your armor in this crazy world; life in the District can be stressful enough but buying a great suit doesn’t have to be.

Made to Measure

The Michael Andrews Bespoke studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The Michael Andrews Bespoke studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Luckily, our little borough has seen a growth of made-to-measure suit makers to help us unlock our inner Don Drapers in a civilized manner. The latest and greatest of these is Michael Andrews Bespoke, who not only offers made-to-measure suits but is a full custom clothier. Already a force to be reckoned in NYC for the past seven years, Michael opened up his DC location last October on the corner of 17th and Q NW.

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit his Dupont studio; as I walked in, I knew this is a place where I’d feel more than comfortable dropping a chunk of change for a well-tailored suit. Frank Sinatra was playing softly in the speaker and I was immediately offered a beverage of my choice.

As I was introduced to Michael, the proprietor of this lovely establishment, I noticed his sharp, finely cut three-piece navy suit (BTW, I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust anyone who looks sloppy). We sat down and chatted about the experience he and his team want to create for their prospective customers.

Appointment Only

First of all, you have to make an appointment, and the DC studio is only open on Mondays and Tuesdays. But what better way to start off the week than to strategize about your next suit? Especially with a drink in hand. Once you have your appointment… and your beverage, Michael and his team get to know you as a customer (hopefully a customer for life).

Why do you need the suit? Is it for work? A wedding? What’s your budget? (Made-to-measure suits start at about $1,000; full bespoke suits at $1,395). Then they help guide you through the 10,000 or so fabrics they have in stock, in addition to their vast collection of linings (I gotta tell ya, they have some very, very fun ones) and other details, like buttons, etc.

Once you’ve made your selections, it’s time for the measurements. A few weeks later, you’ll come back for your first fitting and then a couple of weeks after that, you get your brand, spankin’ new suit. All in all, it takes about eight weeks, but don’t forget, good things take time and a little TLC (and I don’t mean No Scrubs).

That’s it for me this time around. Talk to you soon!

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by Borderstan.com March 14, 2013 at 11:30 am 0

Breakfast Club (Luis Gomez Photos)

The 6th BreakfastClub event is this Friday at Duplex Diner. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Adam and Khelan are getting together once again to celebrate the great tunes and toons.

The 6th BreakfastClub event is this Friday, March 15, and the theme is ’80s cartoons for “BreakfastClub Presents: Cartoon Express.”

There is no cover and drink specials include $3 champagne cocktails and $7 orange squeezes — much better than slurping the milk from your sugary Ghost Busters cereal.

The party starts at 9 pm at Duplex Diner, 18th and U Streets NW.

To get into the mood a little early, check out the preview mixes from Adam and Khelan. Dressing in Saturday morning PJs — or in a costume of your favorite cartoon character — is encouraged.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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by Borderstan.com January 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

"queer"

The boys of CTRL Clockwise: Brett Andriesen, Devon Trotter, Adam Koussari-Amin and Jeff Prior. (Courtsey of CTRL)

Greetings, Borderstanis. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted about music… yeah yeah, I missed you, too. Let’s blame it on that pesky election and the holidays, shall we?

Normally, I offer my perspectives on recent concerts in this space but I’d like to digress to chat about an exciting development in our little “burrough.” Many of you are familiar and/or have attended a wonderful party called CTRL which used to be at Dahlak, the Eritrean restaurant on the corner of 18th and Florida NW.

“Used to” are the operative words here, of course. For those not familiar with CTRL, it’s a self-described Queer Underground party with off-the-beaten-path dance music, inflatable props, and, oh yeah, popsicles. Yep, you read that correctly, I said popsicles.

Well, the exciting news is that Queer Underground is moving from the proverbial basement up to second floor… in a manner of speaking. CTRL is making the sojourn from Dahlak (don’t get me wrong… it’s a great venue) to a much larger space: DC’s quintessential gay club, Cobalt, at 17th and R NW.

The event’s first night at Cobalt is Saturday, January 26. And oh, yeah, CTRL is taking over both floors at Cobalt. In fact, you can RSVP here.

Bee-Tee-Dubs, all four of CTRL’s DJ’s, Jeff Prior, Adam Koussari-Amin, Devon Trotter and Brett Andriesen (the latter two affectionately known as the “Pocket Gays), are uniquely talented guys.

As I mentioned previously, the dance music is slightly off-the-beaten-path… songs you may not normally hear at your regular night at Town or even Cobalt (though there will be a few familiar tracks). But the boys of CTRL have their collective finger on the pulse of the audience and have never failed to get the house moving at a pace of about 130 beats per minute.

The cover’s only $5 (believe me, you’ve spent a lot more on things you’ve liked a lot less), plus drink specials including $3 PBR Tallboys, $5 rail drinks, and $4 Jameson shots. Look for me in the middle of the dance floor. Hope to see you all there.

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by Borderstan.com January 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

"Breakfast"

Adam Koussari-Amin and Khelan Bhatia remixing the ’80s. (David Claypool/Kalorama Photography)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

If you are ready to “hear your body talk,” head on over to Duplex Diner on Friday, January 18 for BreakfastClub’s “Let’s Get Physical” ’80s dance party.

DJs  Khelan Bhatia and Adam Koussari-Amin will spin all of your 80s favorites while you indulge in $3 champagne drinks and $7 orange squeezes.

There is no cover. The party starts at 9 pm at 2004 18th Street NW. Leotards and leg warmers are encouraged.

Remember to wear your lycra pants, headbands, leg warmers, and leotards, ’cause, “we wanna hear your body talk… your body talk.”

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by Borderstan.com November 29, 2012 at 11:00 am 0

"Breakfast"

Adam Koussari-Amin and Khelan Bhatia remixing the ’80s. (David Claypool/Kalorama Photography)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Adam and Khelan are doing it again. The Breakfast Club Remix Dance Party is on again at The Duplex Diner, this Friday, November 30, from 9 pm to 2 am.  Travel back in time and enjoy all that ’80s music with this Dance Party.

“Being bad feels pretty good, huh?”

The boys say: “You don’t need to bring your mixtapes of recorded songs from the radio; we will be playing more new wave, synthpop, one-hit wonders and 80’s hits (and remixes) than your average John Hughes movie soundtrack.”

The Duplex Diner, will be serving outrageous drink specials, including $3 champagne drinks and $7 Orange Squeezes. All for NO COVER!

If you want to check if your friends are going look here. And unlike the film’s stars, you don’t have to sit through morning detention to experience the party.

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by Borderstan.com September 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm 1,229 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"BreakfastClub"

Khelan Bhatia. (David Claypool/Kalorama Photography)

"BreakfastClub"

Adam Koussari-Amin. (David Claypool/Kalorama Photography)

This Friday, September 28, D.J.s Khelan Bhatia (Borderstan’s very own) and Adam Koussari-Amin will pay homage to one of the 1980s’ most classic high school films while reliving the music of the decade with “BreakfastClub: An ’80s Remix Dance Party.” And unlike the film’s stars, you don’t have to sit through morning detention to experience the party.

The duo will be playing new wave, synthpop, one-hit wonders and ’80s hits (and remixes) at the Duplex Diner (2004 18th Street NW) starting at 9 pm. Drink specials include $3 champagne drinks and $7 Orange Squeezes; there is no cover for the evening.

Parachute pants and leg warmers are encouraged.

For more information on BreakfastClub, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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by Borderstan.com September 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

bag, campaign, trail

Tumi-Tech Kobbe Tri-Fold Garment Bag featuring Tumi bags 2. (Khelan on Polyvore.com)

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

Editor’s note: This column first ran March 2. As we enter the general election campaign — and all those cheap off-season all travel specials the rest of us are contemplating — we thought it was time to remind readers how to efficiently pack efficiently for travel under less than desirable conditions.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

For more images on polyvore.com, click on each photo in this story.

Howdy, Borderstanis. I hope you’re having a lovely week. Mine started off splendidly: I grabbed an afternoon cocktail with lovely journalist/media personality and fellow Borderstani Julie Mason (read Borderstan’s profile of her, it’s a must).

Mason is a veteran of the White House Press Pool for two newspapers and now hosts the national political talk show “The Press Pool” on Sirius XM radio.

campaign, trail, blazer

Rag & Bone Dagger Blazer. (Khelan on polyvore.com)

We had a grand time chatting about politics, fashion, that we had both lived in Texas for a several years, etc. Since she’s a veteran of the campaign trail, I shared my most recent experiences (both sartorial and professional) in the early states, as well as my last column.

campaign, trail, packing

Take a pair of  khaki-chinos. (Khelan on polyvore.com)

We commiserated over the fact that, unlike other cities, DC doesn’t have much of a biz casual culture, which can result in some inappropriate fashion choices by campaign staffers and journalists alike. (Jules, I’m totally giving you props for succinctly making a point I’ve attempted to convey through this column for over a year!)

BTW, I have to ask: If DC is known as the Hollywood for ugly people, is New Hampshire our equivalent to Sundance? Think about it.

My chat with Julie led me to think about how, through trial and error, I’ve learned to pack smartly and efficiently for long bouts of travel. Here are a few tips from Julie and yours truly, that have helped us along the way (and probably couldn’t hurt you on your next business trip).

campaign, trail, packing

To add a little pop, add a rep tie. (Khelan on polyvore.com)

Luggage. Buy the right piece of luggage: large enough to carry about a week’s worth of clothes, yet small enough to fit in an overhead bin. Honestly, who has the time and patience to wait at baggage claim these days?

I highly recommend the Tumi-Tech Kobbe Tri-Fold Garment bag. It’s compact, can hold a couple of suits (or blazers/slacks), shirts, ties, jeans, an extra pair of shoes, toiletries and your super-slim Macbook Air with no problem. At just over $200 it’s also a bargain.

campaign, trail, packing

A shawl-collar cardigan sweater is one option. (Khelan on polyvore.com)

Blazer. For your trip, take the all-purpose blazer that goes with … well, everything. The one-button Dagger blazer by Rag & Bone works just as well with a pair of dress slacks as it does with a pair of dark-rinse jeans. Plus, the slim lapels and pewter buttons are very chic.

Pants. Speaking of which, pack one pair of dark jeans that are slightly dressier than the rest of your denim collection. Also, take along a pair khaki-chinos for contrast.

Shirts and Ties. Since we’re trying to make the most of limited space, leave the louder, more casual shirts at home. Instead, go minimalist and take three non-iron extra-slim fit solid button-downs (one in white, one in blue and one in grey). To add some pop to your outfits, feel free to tote around a few rep ties, or even a “little-critter” tie, if you decide to go a wee bit crazy.

Air Franklin’s by Cole Haan are comfortable and affordable. (Khelan on polyvore.com)

Sweaters. Even though it’s been a ridiculously mild winter here in the District, you could be off to some frigid climates. Be sure to stow away one shawl-collar cardigan and one pull-over. I’m partial to a well fitted fair-isle sweater myself.

Shoes. Comfy, yet stylish, shoes are a must. The Air Franklin’s by Cole Haan are affordable (under $200) and won’t kill your feet, thanks to their nifty Nike-air technology.

Skin Care. For the love of God, pack a facial scrub and eye cream! Chances are you’re not going to get the most nutritious meals or sound sleep on your travels. If your experiences are anything like mine, you’ll have about ten minutes to eat and about two hours to sleep. To help battle the effects of campaign funk, I highly recommend the travel size versions of the facial scrub and eye cream from Anthony for Men.

That’s it from me this week! See you next time.

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by Borderstan.com August 17, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,120 1 Comment

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

Miss me, Borderstanis? Yeah, I missed you too.

But I figure we’re like old friends who can go ages without seeing each other and pick up right up where we left off. I’m sure the last time we chatted, I was bitching and moaning about some fashion atrocity I saw on the street. And guess what, I’m gonna bitch and moan about a fashion atrocity I saw on the street. This, boys and girls, is what’s known as a self-fulfilling prophecy… maybe.

Wait… I lost my train of thought. Where was I? Oh right, the sartorial equivalent of the “Killing Fields.” So, I understand that these… foot gloves (for lack of a better term) are quite the rage in some fitness circles. They’re supposed to give you better arch support, or back support, or emotional support or whatever. That’s all fine and dandy. The gym is one of those places where function > form. Even if the footwear makes one like one of our primate ancestors. But once you step out of Vida, Mint, WSC (wherever you go), take those things off, man up, and put on some brogues. Or, hell, a pair of Chucks even.

Not on the Street. Please.

But do not. Ever. Ever. Wear them out on the street. They look ridiculous.

Your clothes, and accessories, define you on a daily basis. Wearing a sharp, fitted suit says you’re ready to conquer the world. Wearing a pair of chinos and an untucked oxford shirt says you’re ready to enjoy the weekend. Wearing foot gloves says hand me a banana, would you? I’m gonna go chill up this tree.

"Foot Glove"

Click for more info: Go for the LunarGrands, not the foot gloves! (Khelan Bhatia on polyvore.com)

So of course, I see this hopelessly clueless guy walking, perhaps dragging his knuckles, while wearing these out and about. He wasn’t going for a jog; he wasn’t heading to CrossFit; he was just strolling around. It was disconcerting, to say the least. Part of me, the sliver of a good, decent human being buried under all this snark, sympathized with him. I’m sure they’re the most comfortable pair of shoes he owns.

But if it’s comfort he’s after, have I got the pair for him (in my mind, this column is so important that some random passerby is actually reading it. Don’t judge). And, surprise, surprise, they’re from Cole Haan. The boys at the almost 90-year-old Chicago-based footwear company have done it again. If you had told me two years ago, that I’d not only be singing the praises of this formerly conservative little shoemaker that could, but that I’d own at least six pairs of their wingtips, oxfords, and penny loafers, well, I probably would have said your pants were on fire. And then I would have lit a match.

Where was I? Ah yes, Cole Haan. They have a new line out this season called LunarGrand. It’s as if a running shoe and a wingtip procreated and produced a shoe that was, quite literally, greater than the sum of its parts. Don’t get me wrong; they’re a little pricey (the suede ones are around $250; the leather ones around $280), but they’re so worth it.

They do come in a variety of colors but my clear favorite are the navy leather with ivory soles and the grey suede with the neon yellow soles.

Fashionable and Comfortable. Classic and Cutting-Edge. Love the contrasts.

So, young man, if you are, indeed, reading this, climb down the three and up the evolutionary ladder. Take off the foot gloves and pop your feet into a pair of these LunarGrands instead.

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by Borderstan.com August 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"CTRL"

Camp CTRL is at Dahlak on Thursday, August 16. (Image courtesy of CTRL)

Soak up what’s left of summer with Camp CTRL and a good-old American dance party on Thursday, August 16 at Dahlak (1771 U Street NW).

DJs Jeff Prior, Reza, Pocket Gays and Borderstan’s very own Khelan Bhatia will be spinning the best in electropop, indie dance, remixes and mashups. Make memories in a summer camp-themed photo booth, sip on discounted drinks and enjoy free treats and surprises throughout the evening.

The night of summer fun starts at 9 pm and goes until 2 am. There is no cover charge; all are welcome. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more details.

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by Borderstan.com July 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm 0

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

"Scissor Sisters"

Scissor Sisters at the 9:30 Club. (Khelan Bathia)

Happy Heat Wave, Borderstanis. It’s been a while since I’ve written a music review…mostly because I haven’t been to a concert in over six weeks. (Yes, Borderstan still doesn’t have a regular concert contributor. Yes, the editors are still looking for one. Interested?)

My self-imposed melodic drought came to an end on July 3, when a friend asked me if I’d like to accompany him and a few others to see the Scissor Sisters, part two of their back-to-back concerts at the 9:30 Club. Ok, before I go any further, it’s full disclosure time. I’m not the biggest fan of the Scissor Sisters. Don’t get me wrong, I dig some of their songs, but they’d never crack my top 20 bands/artists list of all time. Not to mention, I’ve already seen them once when they opened for Lady Gaga early last year at the Verizon Center (a non-ideal music venue in my humble opinion). So really, I never intended to see them again.

But I do love the idea of spontaneously going to see live music. (Living in Austin for 10 years will do that to you.) And it was technically a “weekend” night considering that I, like a good portion of the District, had the 4th off from work. So why the hell not. Right?

You know, sometimes, it takes seeing a band in the right place at the right time with the right attitude to become a lifelong fan. At approximately 11:01 pm on Tuesday, July 3rd, I became that lifelong fan. It certainly didn’t hurt that Jake Shears, Ana Matronic and the rest of the gang kicked off the set with one of my favorites, “Any Which Way,” a tribute to its disco forefathers. The rest of the evening felt like an unbelievably fun party scored by a medley of tracks–old and new–including “Comfortably Numb” (yep, the remake of the Pink Floyd song), “Take Your Mama,” “Only the Horses,” “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” (ironic, that the whole place erupted in a dance party), and “Let’s Have a Kiki,” a recent club hit reminiscent of early 90s house tracks by Deee-Lite and Crystal Waters.

Speaking of Kikis (slang of a get-together where the participants dish a little gossip and dirt), the highlight of the evening for yours truly was when Matronic brutally took-down an audience member in the front row for texting or tweeting during the band’s performance. Listen, I’m a social media nut, but sometimes you gotta put down the iPhone and experience life, especially during an amazing concert. Plus, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing someone elbow their way to the front, then stand there like a mannequin (or, in this case, not pay attention). This is a gift; don’t squander it.

All-in-all, “this kiki was marvelous.” Even though they didn’t play “Filthy/Gorgeous.”

That’s it for me this time, kids. Stay cool!

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