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Several film directors have used actors as their alter egos: François Truffaut had Jean-Pierre Léaud, Federico Fellini had Marcello Mastroianni, and John Hughes had Michael Anthony Hall. When I was in high school, I had no idea who those European directors were — but Hughes made a big impact. The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Sixteen Candles were classics in my book, and the characters Hall played in those films were all based on Hughes. And it turns out that Hall turned down roles in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink because he didn't want to get typecast!
Why this obsessing about Hall? Because I was at the Supreme Court (1550 Court Place) on a recent Wednesday for the weekly Tantrums Jam, and this guy playing guitar and singing was a dead ringer for Hall circa Sixteen Candles. I mean, the guy was Farmer Ted — the hair, the shirt, everything except the braces. Not to knock the dude or anything, since he was tearing it up on his Stratocaster, but I couldn't stop thinking about that scene where Ted holds up a pair of panties in front of a bunch of kids in the bathroom.
Before that little trip down memory lane, though, I'd been focusing on the music. Tempa Singer moved her jam night to the Supreme Court about a month ago; she'd previously held it at Kokopelli's and Cricket on the Hill, both now closed. The new digs are a step up, as the roomy Supreme Court is probably bigger than both places combined and sports a bigger stage, as well. And while it's located in a hotel (now the Sheraton, which took over from the Adam's Mark about two months ago), it doesn't necessarily feel like a hotel bar.
Tempa's jams have always brought in a steady stream of solid players, and that night was no exception. A guy sporting an extra-long soul patch and wearing a cowboy hat laid down some tasty riffs on his lap steel; another guy who looked like a rougher version of Tom Waits did a stand-up job on the Rolling Stones' "Live With Me." (I've always dug the live version of that tune on Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!) The night was also a going-away party for singer-songwriter Dan Walker, who's moving to Nashville after gigging extensively around these parts for the past few years. And near the end of the night, Tempa herself got on the mike and knocked out a few tunes, including a killer version of "Shaky Ground."
On my way out past the club's spacious patio, I realized that I should have asked the Michael Anthony Hall look-alike if, by some bizarre chance, he played in the local band John Hughes Fanclub.
Club scout: Bar Standard (1037 Broadway), which recently installed a patio in front to match the one in back, has introduced Fun in the Sun patio parties on Sunday afternoons. Cowboy D, Ascension, Dave Devill and others will spin sexy house in the back, while Kaya, Operation AK, Ishe and Sureshot spin breaks and electro in the front. The fun starts at 2 p.m. and runs until 10. There's no cover, with $2 PBRs and $3 wells at the bar. A block away, DC10 (940 Lincoln Street) has launched a weekly House of Words spoken-word open-mike night on Thursdays. The spoken-word portion starts at 9:30 p.m., and the after-party kicks in at 11:30, when DJ Kimani fires up the hip-hop and neo-soul beats. It's two-for-one martinis from 8 to 10 p.m., $5 glasses of Hennessey, $6 shots of Patrón from 10 p.m. to midnight, and a $5 cover. And DJ Rex Buchanan now heads up Recession Sessions on Wednesdays at Below (1422 Larimer), where he's spinning dirty electro.
On Friday, June 13, Beta (1909 Blake Street) hosts its Dirty Pirate Summer Party, where you can party like it's 1699. DVDJ G-Funk heads up the jams; there's an open bar from 9 to 11 p.m., plus Bacardi giveaways and drink specials all night long.