Starting this week,"Fresh Is the Word" is more than a B-boy anthem created by Mantronix. It's also the name of a monthly party at Poleng Lounge, a fairly new venue in the space previously known as the Social Club (and Storyville before that). Promoters 808 Media and Kleome hope to deliver some of the feel-good energy of the song and of the mid-'80s hip-hop era in general. The inaugural night features mixmasters from the Bay Area's top DJ crews, including Tim D (Local 1200), Spair (Oakland Faders), B-Cause (4OneFunk), and Raw B (of KUSF's "Beatsauce" program), and a live performance from A-Plus of Hieroglyphics. Hip hop's critics, which apparently includes quite a few local venues too skittish to program it, are quick to jump on the negative elements of the genre, but "Fresh Is the Word!" will highlight the positive on Friday, August 5, at Poleng Lounge at 10 p.m. Admission is $7-$10; call 441-1751 or visit www.polenglounge.com for more info. T.P.
The Los Angeles-based Plug Research label provides consistent proof that properly executed techno-rooted music is anything but boring, monotonous, and nonmelodic. Jimmy Tamborello records for the label mainly as Dntel, but this month he will release Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake, a techno-pop disc inspired by a recent visit to Germany and recorded under the name James Figurine. The lead single "Apologies" features a melodic if lightweight chorus and the soothing vocals Tamborello made famous with "Such Great Heights," a hit from yet another of his projects, Postal Service (a duo with Ben Gibbard). Plug Research artists Milosh (of Toronto) and Nobody (L.A. hip-hop funkster who will perform with frequent collaborators, Santa Cruz's Mystic Chords of Memory) round out this evening of Plug Research-approved grooves on Wednesday, August 9, at Rickshaw Stop at 8 p.m. Admission is $10; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. T.P.