Of Bats, Benefits and (almost) Birthdays!

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On Saturday February 23, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was the DJ at another happy hour event at the Jupiter Disco–East Williamsburg’s best-named night club. Due to the mysterious appearance of the Bat Signal, these early evening events are now referred to as Happy Hour in Gotham City. This is how Phast Phreddie constructs an audio environment that compliments the imbibing of frothy beverages: During the early part of the evening the scene is set with Mod jazz, organ grooves, reggae, provocative pop and mid-tempo soul records. The beat picks up as the evening moves along, until the final hour or so when heavy, heavy funk records are played, leading up to the ten o’clock disco DJ. On this evening, The Phast Man’s personal night did not end at ten, as he was also scheduled to DJ a later event.

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Oh, and let’s not forget the most excellent Bat Cookies baked by Miss Nancy Gardner! Those were good! Although the evening started slowly, the Jupiter Disco attracted a nice crowd and folks were bopping along with the groovy music emanating from the club’s excellent sound system. Attendees got down on the sounds and chowed down on Miss Nancy’s cookies and vegan brownies. These nights are absolutely swingin’ and all Boogaloo Bag readers should dig it (next Happy Hour in Gotham City will be March 30th).

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Big Eugene and Matt Clarke swing at Happy Hour in Gotham City!

At ten o’clock, the next DJ arrived and set up her gear in a professional manner as The Boog set down. However, the evening was not yet over–two more places to go! 1) The Grab This! benefit at Milo’s Yard hosted by our friend Drew Redmond. 2) Quitty’s birthday at Easy Lover in Williamsburg with our friend Nogood Nick leading the charge. Both events were scheduled to run late, so there should be time–if there is energy!–to hit them both.

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Artist Camille Olivia, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Drew Redmond and Miss Hap swing at the Grab This! benefit.

The Boogaloo Bag writers hit the benefit first because Phast Phreddie was scheduled to spin a few records and it was closer to The Jupe. Mr. Redmond lined up a full crew of DJs to swing, including Mikey Post, Grace of Spades, Classy Chris and Miss Hap. Luckily, there were plenty of Bat Cookies for this event also!

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We walked in as Grace of Spades was playing some great reggae records–its what she does; Classy Chris followed with his specialty, mid-tempo soul records; Miss Hap also played reggae records (she totally gassed the Boogaloo Bag writers when she played “Rock Steady” by The Marvels, then turned it over and played “Be My Baby!”); and Mikey Post played some soul and funk records from the sixties and seventies (was that an ESG record?). Since the event was arranged to benefit groups that support women’s causes, Drew Redmond asked the DJs to play records made by women. It was so noted on the poster, but The Boog did not get that memo (or at least he didn’t read the poster!). Once he was informed of this theme, he looked through his records in order to dig out selections that would be appropriate–and found some! As for the benefit, money was made–mostly via a passed hat and a piece of the bar– and it went to Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice organization NARAL NY.

By the time the Boogaloo Bag writers, Miss Nancy and Phast Phreddie said their goodbyes at Milo’s Yard, it was late, late, late. It was raining. The M Train was just a few blocks away. It was just too easy to hop onto it and head home, instead of walking three times as far and waiting around for an L Train shuttle in order to make the scene at Quitty’s birthday party. Miss Quitty is one of our favorite people and we were saddened that we couldn’t be there to wish her well in person on this, her special night. So we hope she accepts our apology and best wishes as noted in this blog post.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Happy Hour in Gotham City:

Here’s a list of the records played at the Grab This! benefit, including probably the only record played all night–the one by Della Reese–that mentions abortion:

None of the records listed here are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes clips. Please donate to women’s causes, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

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WHAM-O Required to Swing!!

Matt Clarke swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

After the last WHAM-O WATUSI in December, Boogaloo Omnibus Productions received a memo from the Bootleg Bar management: DJ residencies will be terminated for the new year; each DJ will be called to serve as required.

With less than five days notice, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was required for DJ service on Saturday February 2. A guest DJ would be needed, but who could swing on such short notice? Probably only someone who lives in the area. The first person anyone thinks of when thinking about Bushwick is Mr. Vacation, of course, but he was guest DJ in December. How about Brandon Peck AKA Handsome Vanzant. He’s off vacationing with his lovely wife on some remote Mexican island! Anyway, we’d like to give him more time because he always draws fabulous posters for the events. Then there’s Matt ClarkeThe Elevator Operator. He lives nearby, has great records and is one cool cat. Lucky for us he was available and did a noteworthy job at the WHAM-O WATUSI.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Matt Clarke swing at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Mr. Clarke is one of the busiest men in town. He’s got a program on the WFMU Rock ‘n’ Soul Ichiban Stream called “What’s Happening” and often fills in for DJs on the regular radio station. Also he is a musician who has been in several of our favorite bands. Let’s see if we can name some: Quitty & the Don’ts, The Above, Miriam and Nobody’s Babies and his own group The Elevator Operators. Surely one or two has been left out.

Matt Clarke hides behind his Golden Earings picture sleeve at WHAM-O WATUSI!

At any rate, Matt Clarke is a cat with the goods. He’s heavy into Sixties British rock and pop records, so he certainly played a bunch of that. The Boogaloo Bag writers have never heard so many records on the British Decca label all in one night, that’s for sure! All good stuff. He also played some hot R&B and soul records.

Miss Nancy Gardner made some strawberry/chocolate cake cookies that went over quite well. The base of the cookie was of a pink strawberry flavor that folks all agreed tasted like Captain Crunch Berries and it was topped off with a dark chocolate kiss.

YUMMY!

Of course, Miss Nancy also made her signature vegan brownies–now better than ever. A lot of our friends showed up to dig the music, the baked goods and each other. The night went really well and we’re hoping that the Powers That Be will give The Boog a little more time to prepare next time. Stay tuned.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI–the 42nd one:

None of these records are for sale. Many of them have links to the youtubes for your edification.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Nogood Nick each point to the DJ who plays the best records!

Our pal Nogood Nick is a cool DJ who swings a hot happy hour affair at Otto’s Shrunken Head called Rip! Rig! Panic! It happens periodically and the Boogaloo Bag writers try to make the scene whenever they can. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to partake as a guest DJ for the January 18th edition.

As the more astute Boogaloo Bag reader may understand, Rip! Rig! Panic! is named after a keen album by the adventurous jazz modernist Roland Kirk. Thus, the evening usually bops along on a heavy jazz tip, but soul, funk, latin beats and all sorts of reet rhythms are also heard. The Boogaloo Omnibus brought all the appropriate records and made sure they were played. This took place in the front room of the club, where all the serious drinking is done. Nancy Gardner made some of her famous vegan brownies and they were devoured accordingly.

Nogood Nick swings at Rip! Rig! Panic!

Toward the end of the four hour event, Nogood Nick and The Boog alternated playing their records. At one point, they played a pair of records, both of which noted a bird up in a tree, or something like that. Anyway, the evening was a gas; it’s always a gas working with Nogood Nick, since he has such exquisite taste in these kinds of records. Plus, did we mention that Nancy Gardner made some of her signature vegan brownies? They were so good it can not be overstated.

When 10 O’clock rolled around, it was time to stop the Rip! Rig! Panic! event and time to start Rebel Night, which was scheduled to take place from 10 to 4 in the back room. Just like that, Otto swung its Shrunken Head from Mod Jazz to rip roaring rockabilly. Rebel Night has returned to its ancestral home at Otto’s. It was held at the East Village tiki-themed rock club for several years, before it moved to a couple of other locations. Now it is back where it belongs–in Otto’s back room where there is room to dance and the records can be turned up loud. The place was packed and the Rebel Night DJs had a brand new banner they were proudly displaying.

The Boog set his records aside and pulled Miss Nancy into the back room where they twisted away to the rockin’ sounds the Rebel Night crew were putting down. Guest DJ was Mr. Fine Wine. Although he is not a rockabilly enthusiast, he played some fabulously jumping R&B records that got the Rebel Night faithful bopping about.

Rebel Night DJs Seiji Sato, Hiromu Yanagiya and Akinori Okada set up for another great evening of rockin’ and a’rollin’–note the beautiful new banner!!

Then, one of the Rebel Night DJs, Hiromu, approached Phast Phreddie and asked him if he had any records he could play. Perhaps it has not been mentioned in the Boogaloo Bag before, but when he was a wee lad, Phast Phreddie was a Boy Scout. The Scout motto, “Be prepared,” was something he always took to heart. In fact, just in case he was asked to swing, Phast Phreddie brought six up-tempo rockers and was happy and honored to play them.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Rip! Rig! Panic!:

Here are the records played for Rebel Night:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them may have links to the youtubes so you can dig them on your own time–however, you won’t have Nancy’s excellent vegan brownies!

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Batman at the Go Go!

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On Saturday January 12, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus hosted a happy hour swing session at the elegant Jupiter Disco on the outskirts of East Williamsburg. Or perhaps we should call it a Bat Bash, since there seemed to be a peculiar Batman theme! The Phast Man played the “Batman Theme” twice (once at the beginning of the night, and again in the middle), he wore his Bat Socks, the Bat Signal was projected on the wall behind the DJ, and the lovely Miss Nancy Gardner baked Bat Cookies! It was as if the Bat Cave had been turned into a groovy discotheque.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus displays his Bat Socks!!

The Boogaloo Bag writers were very happy to see so many of their great friends at the Bat Happening, too. They all partook in the eating of the Bat Cookies and diggin’ the groovy sounds.

For four straight hours, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played his records: Some Mod jazz things, some funky things, some soul things, a couple of pop things, a few nice organ grooves, some things with Cuban rhythms–all of it groovy.

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Batman made a surprise appearance at the Jupiter Disco!

When time was up, the night was still young. The Boog gathered up his records and Nancy gathered up the uneaten cookies. They then accompanied their friends Matt Clarke and Big Eugene on the L Train to Manhattan, where they all went to Otto’s Shrunken Head for Soulfinger, the great new soul dance party hosted by the DJs Connie T Empress and Girlsoul. There, Nancy put the cookies out and folks were happy to eat them. After about an hour or so, DJ Jumpy dropped in and he ate the last one.

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MMMMMM!!!  Yummy chocolate covered Bat Cookies!!!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Batman Happy Hour Affair:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have clips to the youtubes–check them out on your own Bat Time!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus responds to the Bat Signal at the Jupiter Disco!

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Thanks to our pal Robbie Busch for the beautiful image on the poster.

Subway Soul Club Black & White New Year’s Eve Ball

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New Year’s Eve is a very special time. Very often folks go out to what should be a wild New Year’s Eve bash only to think back the next day about how ordinary the evening was. When hostess Lady Dawn decided to throw a New Year’s Eve Subway Soul Club event, she wanted to make sure it was not going to be just another Subway Soul Club event. She wanted a Happening!  She called for a Black & White Ball–that is, she asked everyone who would attend to dress in elegant black and/or white evening wear. She dressed the venue, Ceremony, in black and white decorations and she called on resident DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to enlist some fabulous DJs.

Fabulous DJs for the Subway Soul Club Black & White New Year’s Eve Ball were One Mint Julep and Peanutbutter Brown.

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One Mint Julep swings at the Subway Soul Club New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball!

One Mint Julep is a personality on radio station WFMU–where she is known as the Honky Tonk Radio Girl every Wednesday evening. We understand she also has a secret gig in the Gowanus Canal area that we are not supposed to discuss. However, she is also one of the resident DJs–with Mr. Fine Wine and Fancy Cat–at Soul Night, an outstanding Sixties soul dance party that has been successfully operating for five years. So you know she has boss records for Subway Soul Club–and she played them!

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Peanutbutter Brown gets visited in the DJ booth by a person who did not receive the “dress in black and white” memo at the Subway Soul Club New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball!

Peanutbutter Brown is the most recent example of a Subway Soul Club attendee graduating to Subway Soul Club guest DJ. After being inspired by Subway Soul Club, he started his own Uptown Getdown several years ago. Then he moved to San Francisco where he initiated the Golden State Soul Club. He has DJ’d several events since moving back to the New York City area–and people dig his sound every time. On New Year’s Eve, Peanutbutter Brown got so carried away that he played “Testify” twice!

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Lady Dawn (on the left) surveys the groovy scene at the Subway Soul Club New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball!

Ceremony–that intimate, dark bar off the beaten track in the middle of Williamsburg, Brooklyn–was all decked out with black, white and silver balloons; its tables covered with black and white table cloths; the DJ booth accented by a silver tinsel fringe; and black and white movies shown on the wall: Ready Steady Go’s Motown Special, James Brown Live in Boston, a groovy old movie featuring French models. Plus, Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner baked chocolate crinkles and her signature vegan brownies for the event.

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The thing that really made the scene was the fact that so many people actually dressed up for the event–in black and white, fancy clothes, some with masks, and everybody with great big smiles as they danced out on the floor! More photos of the event were taken by Lady Dawn and they can be seen on her facebook site. Midnight was counted down and the club provided a champagne toast to keep spirits high. This was most definitely a New Year’s Eve to remember.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus endeavors to pick a top disk that all the kids will dance to at the Subway Soul Club New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Subway Soul Club Black & White New Year’s Eve Ball:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to clips on the youtubes. Get dressed in black and white before you click on them.

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Peanutbutter Brown, Lady Dawn and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus celebrate at midnight at the Subway Soul Club New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball!

 

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Thunder and Boogaloo Birthday Bash!

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Sophie Thunder and Josh Styles swing at the Birthday Bash!

When the nice people at the Jupiter Disco contacted Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus for possible Happy Hour DJ action on a Friday or Saturday night in December or January, he quickly looked at a calendar to check the dates. Hmmm, he thought… The Boog’s birthday is December 28–a Friday. Our friend Miss Sophie Thunder shares the birthday. Maybe we can have a joint birthday party at the Jupe and really swing the happy hour scene on that night. He pitched to the Jupes. The Jupes said, “Go for it!” So–

On Friday December 28, Sophie Thunder and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus celebrated their respective birthdays together at the Jupiter Disco, a groovy bar on Flushing Avenue on the outskirts of East Williamsburg. The affair started at six o’clock when The Boog set up and started playing records. Soon after, Sophie Thunder showed up with a box of records and her husband, Josh Styles–a most excellent DJ in his own right. He also appeared with a box of old 45s.

 

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Miss Sophie Thunder enjoys her Birthday Bash!!

We were very happy to see so many of our lovely friends come to celebrate the birthdays of these two fine people. It helps that Miss Thunder and Mr. Styles live fairly nearby, as do many of their friends. The Jupiter Disco was packed out with folks jumping around to the groovy records, mostly played by Josh Styles, who took over the turntables at a couple of points, allowing Miss Sophie–who never seemed to have played a record!–and Phast Phreddie a chance to swing with their pals. Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner arrived around 8:30 with cupcakes and little vegan cupcakes. Party hats were donned and merriment was had.

 

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The party ended promptly at ten o’clock, when the scheduled evening DJ showed up and played disco records that pretty much chased all the party-goers out to Flushing Avenue. The disco DJ seemed to have his own following, though, so the Jupe was never empty. Special shout out goes to our friends Yana Lil’Jerk and Quitty Tottenham who showed up after 10:00 PM and insisted to the DJ that he was not supposed to be there!!!

The Boog will be back at the Jupiter Disco for another happy hour event on Saturday January 12. Make the scene! Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Sophie Thunder/Phast Phreddie Birthday Bash. He swung with a bunch of old favorites, some that he doesn’t get a chance to play much (ie, Seventies records) a couple of recent acquisitions, and five by folks who also had birthdays on this date:

None of these records are for sale.

The next day, Phast Phreddie pitched a softball game in the Parade Grounds at Prospect Park. What a way to celebrate a birthday–DJing with all your friends one night, playing a ball game the next afternoon. It’s good to know that at 65 that cat still does just what he wants to do!!

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Boss flyer by Josh Styles!

ARC Dance Party action!

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Jellybean Benitez cues up his first record as DJ Bunny Ears and Laurie Anderson look on at the ARC Dance Party.

On Monday December 10, The ARChive of Contemporary Music hosted a fund-raising dance party at an event space in the far corner of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn featuring some world famous DJs and personalities: Hank Shocklee, Fred Schneider, Laurie Anderson, Jellybean Benitez, Craig Kallman and DJ Bunny Ears.

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Ashley Gail Harris helped organize the party. Here she is sorting out the cool posters of the event at the ARC Dance Party!

The space is called 99 Scott. It is located at…99 Scott Avenue, an industrial area two blocks from Queens and two blocks from Bushwick. The room was huge and spacious–good thing, too, as there were a lot of folks in attendance, but even more so because of the giant speaker cabinet that emitted the sounds of the evening. The whole audio set up was excellent and donated by the nice people at Dub-Stuy Records.

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ARC Dance Party scenesters Jenni Callo and Brenda Brand pose in front of the Dub-Stuy Sound System.

Hank Shocklee’s name was immortalized when he produced albums by Public Enemy, the fabulous rap ensemble. He has also been kept busy working with a host of other rap and contemporary R&B acts. He has worked with Ziggy Marley, Mary J. Blige and Yoko Ono. Although the ARC Dance Party was advertised as featuring “vinyl-only sets,” Mr. Shocklee played his selections via some digital hook-up. Many of his tracks contained hip-hop style beats, but he also played some hot Eighties soul records, like “Just Be Good to Me” by The S.O.S. Band. Mr. Shocklee considers himself a “sonic architect,” and that’s just what he did–he built a heavy, heavy sound that got the folks dancing!

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Hank Shocklee at the controls at the ARC Dance Party!

Fred Schneider is the driving force behind the ginchy new wave rock band The B-52’s. He knows groovy records, that’s for sure, and he had the dancers dancing the moment “Ain’t Nothin’ but a House Party” by The Show Stoppers was aired. Mr. Schneider’s set consisted of some cool Sixties soul and girl group records and it made folks happy.

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Fred Schneider does the standing still as Laurie Anderson snaps his photo at the ARC Dance Party!

Laurie Anderson is an artist first, and she approached her DJ set with that in mind. She started her set with a long, drum-beat and chant number of an ethnic nature–played from her laptop– before playing a couple soul records: Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff” and Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady.” Also in the mix was Devo’s version of “Satisfaction.” She ended with a Tom Waits track–not exactly super dance floor material, but all in attendance seemed to dig it.

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Craig Kallman, Jellybean Benitez and Tommy Silverman (Tommyboy Records) swing at the ARC Dance Party!

Portions of the early part of the evening’s program were slightly marred by technical difficulties–mostly due to the last-minute preparations by presenters who wanted to use technology other than the turntables. However, once Jellybean Benitez started his first record, it was as if the whole room had been teleported to an underground downtown disco of the early Eighties. The Jellybean knows exactly what he is doing. His set started with Third World’s version of “Now That We Found Love,” went into “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango then The Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” His transitions were smooth–you could hardly tell where one record stopped and another started. This, folks, is how DJing is done; don’t give the dancer’s a reason to leave the floor! Many people know of Mr. Benitez as a guy who produced some Madonna records. He’s done that, sure, plus he’s remixed about fifty or so hit records from artists ranging from Afrika Bambaataa to ZZ Top. He got his start as a club DJ, working such legendary New York City dance clubs as Electric Circus, Hurrah, Paradise Garage and Studio 54. Having not been to a club like that in many years, it is easy to forget what it’s like when a professional DJ is at the wheels of steel.

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Craig Kallman hints at a record he is going to play on the back of his jacket at the ARC Dance Party! 

Craig Kallman is another music industry big wig–currently he is the Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records, so perhaps he is one of the biggest wigs there is. However, he is a devout record collector–owning hundreds of thousands of records. Also, he, too, got his start in the music biz as a club DJ, spinning his vinyl at The Tunnel, Danceteria, Area and The Palladium. At the ARC Dance Party, much like Jellybean, Mr. Kallman was a supreme DJ–very danceable records, smooth transitions, non-stop bop. His set consisted of what sounded like hot dance records from the Seventies and Eighties. Most of the tracks he played were unrecognized by the Boogaloo Bag writers, but it was a gas when he played the Funkadellic number.

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Hank Shocklee, Fred Schneider and DJ Bunny Ears swing at the ARC Dance Party!

By day, DJ Bunny Ears is a music supervisor for a top Madison Avenue advertising agency. At night he swings his reggae records at various clubs around New York City and around the world. A peek into his box proved that he had well over 150 Jamaican-pressed 45s ready to play in case he was needed–no dead air was going to happen at the ARC Dance Party. Although he never got a chance to play any of them, he was kept very busy assisting Fred Schneider and Laurie Anderson during their respective sets. Mr. Schneider likes to pick the sides and have an assistant cue and spin the actual records. Mr. Schneider then does the frug. However, the setup for this evening–mostly the way the DJ booth was constructed and situated–we saw little of Fred’s frug; but his music was heard and appreciated. Ms. Anderson, likewise, does not like to actually deal with the technical aspects of being a DJ. Thus, DJ Bunny Ears was enlisted as the technical assistant for these two and he did a magnificent job–especially considering he had to switch between turntables and a laptop several times during Ms. Anderson’s set.

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ARC founder and director B. George addresses the crowd at the ARC Dance Party!

In the middle of the event, B. George, the founder and Director of the ARChive of Contemporary Music, welcomed folks to the Dance Party and thanked them for their support. The ARC Dance Party was a huge success–happy feet danced, folks had great big smiles on their faces, money was raised. When it was over Hank Shocklee approached B. George and suggested he do this twice a month!  Well, that may not happen, but it seems as if there may be more ARC Dance Parties in 2019.

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B. George and Laurie Anderson swing at the ARC Dance Party!

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Jon Hafter (ex ARC employee, now heavy Hollywood music supervisor), Professor Patrice George (Fashion Institute of Technology) and B. George swing at the ARC Dance Party!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Hank Shocklee swing at the ARC Dance Party!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, whose day job is taking care of the records at the ARC, was enlisted to start the evening off with a few jump numbers as folks were rolling in. He rounded up some boss Go-Go jams, a couple of skas, funks and boogaloos and let them rip. Hank Schocklee a was a bit late, and took some time to set up, so The Boog got to play a few extra records than scheduled.. Here’s a list of everything he played:

None of these records are for sale.

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