Boutique quibbles, horse nibbles

Sasha manned the spaceship, er, deejay booth, at the all new District 30 on K Street last Thursday.

Sasha manned the spaceship, er, deejay booth, at the all new District 30 on K Street last Thursday.


In da club (by da mermaids):
“Where’s the rest of the club?”

Last Thursday, I brought a local electronic producer and good friend to District 30—K Street’s spankin’ nu, publicly financed nightclub—for some perspective. Dance clubs outside Sac, I know not; said companion frequents top clubs worldwide, from Tokyo to London—and he was taken aback by D30’s, shall we say, “modest” digs.

The PR crew calls D30’s feel “boutique,” a euphemism for small. But really, the last thing K Street needs is an enormous, empty club.

Access was breezy, with ample but amicable security, despite the big show—’90s-era rave headliner Sasha—and it being just the second night open to the public. Inside, the entryway was flanked by the club’s lone bar and empty VIP booths. D30 boasts a shotgun layout with additional VIP grazing at the far end, a deejay booth smack-dab in the center and a sprinkling of go-go dancers and stilt walkers overwhelming the, again, “boutique” dance floor.

D30 packed in a good 300. Owner George Karpaty, in a sweater and sneakers, sipped champagne in a booth. Even Midtown legend Steve Vanoni was in da club, zoning out on go-go neon whiz.

Here’s what works: D30’s sound system is tops, the security guys were polite as all hell and the deejay setup state of the art. I like that every Thursday the club will forgo Top 40 in favor of house, including touring acts (hopefully not always leftovers from Karpaty’s S.F. meat market Ruby Skye). But I have a hunch that house-music Thursdays will skew trance, and I’d like to see D30’s booker take occasional risks with hybrid genres—dubstep, minimal, tropical—and maybe bring in artists like F or Shed or Ricardo Villalobos (dreaming). Or hell, even Borgore, which would please mainstreamers and shamelessly curious outsiders.

The bad? With all the roving security and waitresses toting bubbly, there’s a whole lot of unnecessary bumping into other people. But it’s a trendy club—or what I like to refer to as a “suburban bang zone”—and you’re supposed to pack it in.

Plus, these are just small, er, “boutique” quibbles. Welcome to the K, D30. (Nick Miller)

Cake earns worst of the best honors:
I want to thank SN&R contributor Jackson Griffith for pointing out that Cake’s new record, Showroom of Compassion, now holds the distinction of being the least-selling Billboard No. 1 album of all time, at 44,000 copies, the lowest tally for a top record since SoundScan began tracking albums in 1991. The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and zinged the band for this dubious honor, which is bogus: Cake, who produced and released Showroom without help from a major label, should instead be praised for going No. 1 without, say, Sony, Warner, Universal or EMI’s war chest. Nice icing, Cake dudes. (N.M.)

R&B newbie:
Local producer Jae Synth tipped me off to a fresh voice in town, one Tessa Evans, who’ll open for soul artist Goapele this Friday, January 28, at Harlow’s in Midtown (2708 J Street, 10 p.m., $20). The track I heard by Evans, titled “Too Much of a Good Thing (Is Never Enough),” surprised with its lounge R&B vibe, and I’m sure her set, complemented by Goapele, will make for a unique night of not-the-same-ol’ live rock and hip-hop. (N.M.)

Rare French treat at the Crest:
The Sacramento French Film Festival presents something special this weekend: two screenings of René Clair’s 1928 film The Italian Straw Hat with live accompaniment by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. Clair’s classic tells the story of a horse that eats a woman’s hat and a man’s journey to replace the rare chapeau—who can’t relate, eh?—and composer Raymond Alessandrini, who just came into town from France and had but a couple opportunities to rehearse with the Philharmonic, will conduct the two performances (Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.; $25-$30; Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street). (N.M.)