Sometimes you just can't deny your artistic tendencies. Ask Ken Quam, the drummer for D.C.-based Ra Ra Rasputin, and you'll hear the excitement even as he talks about the long days and nights he and his three band mates put in -- and why they wouldn't have it any other way.

"It is difficult to balance everything we are involved in, but we do it because we like playing music and we are all musicians [who] want to make music we play and enjoy and want other people to share that with us," he said, noting the band mates' day jobs. "It's great to get everyone together, friends and anyone else who's out there, and play a show and say hello," he said.

Though the band is known for its synth-heavy, dance-friendly gigs, they've also recently recorded a self-titled debut album and are ramping up the special effects in their lives shows. The goal is to ratchet up the buzz to perk up interest throughout the region.

The Dance Party with Ra Ra Rasputin, Wallpaper, K-Flay and lowercaseletters
» When: 8 p.m. Friday
» Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW
» Info: $15; 800-955-5566;

"We just put this record out and we're really excited about it and happy and proud of it," he said. "We're booking and playing shows in D.C., Philly, Baltimore, New York, anywhere we can get to in a few hours. When we tour, we always go to the local record stores and make sure [college and other radio stations] have our album. We're working to build on the success we've had in D.C."

As part of that, the band is making concerted efforts to boost the appeal of its lives shows. The band's primary songwriter, Brock Boss, is an electrical engineer who devised automated lighting that adds to the band's entire performance.

The idea developed after the group played the 9:30 Club this past summer. For that gig, they hired a professional lighting crew and immediately saw the benefits in creating a more textured performance.

"We're an independent, self-sufficient band and we divide all the duties, and that's been really great," he said. "There are so many opportunities out there. Now that the album is out, we can be successful if we do this right."