by May 3, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,401 0

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

Featured image by Khelan Bhatia.

Hi there, Borderstanis. Yes, it’s me, Khelan, the resident contributor to the BorderStyle column for Borderstan. No, you don’t need to adjust your screens or smart phones. I’m just pinch hitting for the music column till we get a regular. Don’t worry though, you’re in good hands. I’m probably slightly more passionate about music than I am about fashion/style.

AVAN, LAVA, DC9, Khelan Bhatia

AVAN LAVA was at DC9 last Friday for Liberation Dance Party. (Khelan Bhatia)

So, the other day, I invited you, and your friends, to come to an intimate concert at DC9’s Liberation Dance Party. The group: AVAN LAVA. The sound: Prince meets MGMT. The look: Early 90’s, only Ironic.

If you blew it off, no worries. They’ll be back soon. In the meantime, let me tell exactly how awesome the show was…and I go to a lot of concerts. In fact, my homes away from home are the 930 Club, U Street Music Hall, Rock & Roll Hotel, and, of course, DC9.

AVAN LAVA began their set with an infectious beat that was reminiscent of 1991’s “Get Off” by Prince and the New Power Generation (this is a good thing btw). What followed wasn’t so much a concert as it was one of the best parties I’ve been to in ages.

Their 45-minute show was pretty-damn-close-to-flawless. Their stage presence and energy matched the music and you really can’t say that about many mainstream acts (Rihanna, I’m looking at you).

The two highlights from the show were “Slow Motion,” a wonderful little slow jam in the style of D’Angelo’s “How Does it Feel” (Check it out here on SoundCloud and “It’s Never Over” which was the perfect capstone to their show. A friend of mine who showed up to DC9 right after AVAN LAVA got of stage said he could feel the manic energy lingering in the room, which is exceedingly rare. He wasn’t wrong.

So next time, promise to come?

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by April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,918 0

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

Into pop music with a sly, sardonic wink yet an earnest sensibility? Yearning for the audible love child of the Black Kids and the Backstreet Boys… without even realizing it?

Well, have I got a treat for you this Friday.

Rather than going to the same bar to see the same people you see every week, come join me at AVAN LAVA at DC9’s Liberation Dance Party (thanks to fine folks at Kick Kick Snare for bringing them down). Tickets are only $8, which, frankly, is less than you paid for that watered down vodka soda/tonic/cran/hemlock/whatever at (Insert-name-of-generic) bar. And I have it on good authority that the band throws. One. Hell. of. A. Party.

Still not convinced? Ok, well, let’s if moving pictures and music can succeed where my words have failed:


So I guess I’ll see you at DC9 tomorrow. Location is 1940 9th Street NW, just south of U. Doors open at 9 pm, show at 11 pm.

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by March 3, 2011 at 5:45 am 2,017 2 Comments

U Street NW, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

What’s happening on the U Street corridor this weekend? The Liberation Dance Party is at DC9 , food trucks are around and you might ask for a “Charlie Sheen” cocktail at your fav hangout. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Laura Herman. You can follow Laura on Twitter @Lmhhabs.

Happy Thursday, Borderstanis! After traveling for the last few weekends, I’m REALLY EXCITED for a weekend back in the District. Per usual, there are no shortage of things to do here in Borderstan (and beyond!) to get the most out of your weekend:

  • Thursday, March 3 marks the beginning of the DC Independent Film Festival, which runs through Sunday, March 13. There are a TON of different films being shown at a multiple locations (unfortunately none of the theater venues are officially in Borderstan, but you can make the trek for this) throughout the ten-day period, so you basically have no excuse or reason not to go at some point. Everything looks amazing and I’m at a loss for which one(s) to check out, so if anyone has recommendations, please let us know.
  • Now that you’ve gotten your “culture” out of the way, head over to U Street on Friday night. Per usual, DC9’s weekly Liberation Dance Party is a good bet for blowing off some steam at the end of the week. Doors open at 9 pm and admission is $7; the open bar (rail cocktails only) runs from 9 to 10:30 pm so it makes sense to get there early.


by January 27, 2011 at 5:00 am 2,236 1 Comment

Snowy Night Logan Circle Luis Gomez Photos

Snow much to do this weekend in the neighborhood. Pictured: Wednesday night at 15th and Corcoran NW. (Luis Gomez from Flickr Borderstan Pool)

From Laura Herman. Got a weekend tip for Laura? Send her an email. You can follow Laura on Twitter @Lmhhabs.

Assuming that we’re not all snowed in for D.C. Snowpocalypse 3.0 this weekend (and here’s to hoping), there’s lots going on in and out of Borderstan this weekend.

Got pics to share from last night’s snow? How about the Dupont Circle Snowball Fight? Share them in Borderstan’s Reader Pool on Flickr.

Tonight. If you find yourself with an OPM-granted snow day on Thursday, or if you want to blow off steam/resentment after working a full day, you may want to check out Asia Nine for happy hour because What’s The Deal (or WTD, to those of you in the know — sign up for their emails!) is hosting a FREE sake happy hour. Make sure to RSVP here, and you’ll get a free small sake just for showing up between 6 and 8 pm. I hear that sake bombs go well with thundersnow…



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