If there's a rare northern-soul version of "Happy Birthday" out there, Justin Hopper likely either owns it or has suffered crippling defeat in an eBay bidding war. Which is exactly why the Soulcialism and Pandemic DJ (and former CP music editor) is celebrating his cumpleaños by publicly indulging his obsessions with vinyl and beer: He's guest DJing at the Brillobox's funk and hip-hop blowout, The Big Throwback on Thu., Aug. 30. But lest you start thinking it's all about Juddy and his big day, he'll also be hawking copies of Don't Kill My Groove, a Soulcialism compilation of New Orleans soul, sales of which benefit the nonprofit Sweet Home New Orleans, which assists musicians displaced by Katrina.
It's also a birthday party of sorts, and also a DJ event, but that's where the similarities end, in all likelihood: Humanaut's anniversary party at Privilege on Sun., Sept. 2. Launched last year with the goal of making progressive house a 'Burgh fixture, the local DJ collective (Aaron Clark, Adam Oliveri, Matt Monroe and Paul Alexander) seems to have realized that any good local scene benefits from interaction with the outside world -- hence guest spots from international talents like Steve Porter. For the anniversary, they're bringing out the big guns: DJ T, one of the founders of Berlin electronic label Get Physical Music, favorably compared to early Warp Records by Pitchfork.com. Get all the details and dirt at www.humanaut.net.
Despite discouragement from parents, Wall Street, God, student loan officers, significant others -- and each other -- local musicians just keep putting out CDs. The fever continues this month with a free single from WOVOKA, a newish name for the trio comprised of emcee Jack Wilson, DUMs and DJ Spaed. Being released at a Shadow Lounge blowout on Sept. 13, "Alottarappers" includes several remix tracks, as well as a video for the Jack Wilson oldie-goldie, "Bridge City Bigtop," shot by local filmmaker Jessica Fenlon. You can check out the video at www.myspace.com/jackwilson.
Also keep your eyes peeled for new releases from raucous punks Medic Medic, releasing the bass-less The Horse We Rode In On, and the Lambs We Took With Us, at 31st Street Pub on Sept. 14. New Invisible Joy's fourth album, Kontakt, drops on Sept. 21 with a CD release show at the Rex Theatre.