The idea of ‘safe spaces’ has become controversial, but in nightlife it’s increasingly important

When Kate Ross first came out, she would go to lesbian bars and parties by herself. She didn’t exactly get a warm welcome. At the lesbian dance party She Rex, which used to pop up at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, she says a fellow partygoer took one look at her high heels and long hair and called her a “confused straight girl.”

“I shaved off all my hair and had a mohawk,” she says. “No one questioned me after that.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

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D.C. concert of the week: Power trio Screaming Females

“For Screaming Females frontwoman Marissa Paternoster, songwriting isn’t about eureka moments. “A lot of people are under some misconception that when you write music or make paintings or execute any creative act, you’re struck by inspiration. I have never found that really to be true,” she says. “It’s kind of like banging your head against the wall until something comes out.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

D.C. concert of the week: Soul singer-songwriter Jenna Camille

“One of Jenna Camille’s first musical memories is learning to sing “You Gotta Be,” the 1994 smash hit by Des’ree, at 4 years old. “My mom tells me I was all over the house singing it,” says the 27-year-old singer-songwriter. “That was the first song I fell in love with.” It certainly influenced Camille, and not just musically: Its hook — “You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser” — is a message of self-confidence that Camille clearly took to heart.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

D.C. concert of the week: Avant-garde composer Nils Frahm

“Across Nils Frahm’s dozens of albums, collaborations and soundtracks, there’s often a high concept uniting them all. On “Felt,” the Berlin-based composer, pianist and producer attached felt to the strings of his piano; on “Screws,” he performed with just nine fingers because there were four screws in his broken thumb.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

D.C. concert of the week: Rapper Ras Nebyu

“When asked to define “slizzatrism,” the philosophy of his collective, the Washington Slizzards, and the title of his most recent mix tape, Ras Nebyu reels it off with ease. “Slizzatrism,” he says, “is the art of finessing good energy to work in your favor by way of meditation, pure intent and acknowledgment of your ancestors.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Bad Gyal’s D.C. debut felt like an event

“It was uncharacteristically busy in the D.C.-area music world Thursday night. Fans of R&B might be seeing Kelela at the 9:30 Club. Hip-hop heads had ASAP Ferg and friends at the Fillmore. Country music came to the Rock & Roll Hotel via Tyler Childers. But if you were looking for the future-present of club music, you had to be in the subterranean confines of Union Stage to see Bad Gyal.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Brent Faiyaz brings R&B to Southwest Wharf’s new Union Stage

“On Friday night, R&B singer Brent Faiyaz opened his concert at Union Stage with the lyric, “I remember being scared to go home.” Soon, the 22-year-old Columbia, Md., native would prove he had nothing to fear.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Interview | Julius Jetson

“As Julius Jetson, 26-year-old DMV talent Julian Ragland has spent the last few years treating audiences to new songs, styles, and artists, first as a party promoter, then as a DJ-producer, and now as the head of his Ghetto Ghetto imprint. But it turns out his gift for musical introduction started even earlier.”

Read more at Blisspop.