¡Rata Phink y Boogaloo ala Wham-O!

Rata & Boog swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Rata & Boog swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

On September 3, The WHAM-O WATUSI returned to its regularly scheduled slot on the calendar: the first Saturday of the month. It also marked the return of DJ Rata—who has now been the guest at The WHAM three times. “Why is that?” you may ask. Because he plays boss records. The Boogaloo Bag writers, who have a voice in selecting guest DJs, like the way he mixes tough R&B and rocksteady records with mambo records. What can be better? Host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus spent the whole night diggin’ the tracks he laid down.

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DJ Rata’s own event, known as Mambo Jambo and usually held at Otto’s Shrunken Head, is an excellent mish-mash of records that contain bongo bashin’, guitar thrashin’ and mind trashin’! He brought plenty of that to The WHAM, that’s for sure. The Bootleg Bar’s clientele was very enthusiastic and appreciative as they spent much of the night on the dance floor. Man, ya shoulda been there.

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Our pal Roger and his wife Maria from Barcelona dropped in and did the hully gully, before they moved on to another scene. It was great to see Señor Roger, who played host to The Boogaloo Omnibus when he was in Spain about twelve years ago.

Roger y Maria bop at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Roger y Maria bop at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at The WHAM-O WATUSI held on Saturday September 3 at the Bootleg Bar—including four Rufus Thomas covers in a row and a cool one by Memphis Slim, who was born on that date 101 years ago. Plus, because DJ Rata is a fan of Batman records, The Boog started each of four sets with one. Dig it all here:

 

None of these records are for sale.

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Boogaloo swings with Mr. Fine Wine!

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As this blog post is being written, the Boogaloo Bag writers are listening to Downtown Soulville, the wonderful soul music radio show presented by Mr. Fine Wine each Friday night on WFMU. Although it started as a straight soul music show, it has, in recent years, opened the floor to doo wop, R&B and blues. Indeed, he just played a cool Guitar Slim track. At the moment he is playing an ultra hip song by The Miracles called “Save Me.” On his show he plays a LOT of ultra hip tracks, many of which are barely known outside the realm of hard-core soul music enthusiasts. Mr. Fine Wine’s show has been aired for over twenty years. Luckily for the world, many of his shows are archived and nearly all of them have their set lists noted at the WFMU website.

Lately, Mr. Fine Wine and his lovely wife One Mint Julep have been spinning soul records together at a Brooklyn club called Friends and Lovers. It’s a good soul night, with folks dancing until dawn to the great music that these two put down. They also have a popcorn oldies night at the Robert Bar.

Mr. Fine Wine swings at Botanica every Wednesday night!

Mr. Fine Wine swings at Botanica every Wednesday night!

It has been noted several times in the Boogaloo Bag that Mr. Fine Wine also spins records at a cozy Manhattan club called Botanica. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has DJ’d there with him on several nights, but always special event nights—ie, record release parties, anniversaries, etc. However, on the last night of August, he was asked to be Mr. Fine Wine’s sole special guest at Botanica.

So, what does one play when one is in the company of such a significant presence? Any attempt to out Fine Wine Mr. Fine Wine would be embarrassing and futile. So instead, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played a few records that Mr. Fine Wine may not have heard (mostly because they are of foreign origin), records that he may dig (ie., he’s a big fan of versions of “Green Onions,” thus the opener), a few weird things, and some recent acquisitions. The Boogaloo Bag writers were very happy to see several of our buddies in attendance, including Jenny Wasserman (Sweet Divines) and DJ Rata (Mambo Jambo). With Mr. Fine Wine presiding, it was a splendid night of splendid soul music, as every Wednesday night at Botanica is.

Mr. Fine Wine can be seen selecting his fine 45s from Houston Street!

Mr. Fine Wine can be seen selecting his fine 45s from Houston Street!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus the night he was guest DJ for Mr. Fine Wine at Botanica:

None of these records are for sale.

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Wham-O Watusi Goes on Vacation!!!

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When all the planets are in alignment, the WHAM-O WATUSI takes place on the first Saturday of the month at the Bootleg Bar in downtown Bushwick. However, due to circumstances beyond his control, WHAM host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was out of town when the regularly scheduled event in August was to take place. Luckily, he was able to trade the night with his pal Drew Redmond—who moved his Sleaze to Please night (usually the third Saturday of the month at the Boot) to August 6 and the WHAM took place on August 20.

 

The good thing about this change of scheduling was this: our pal Mr. Vacation has a regular DJ night at the Commodore on the first Saturday of the month, so getting him to guest at the WHAM-O WATUSI is impossible. When the WHAM was moved to the third Saturday of August, asking him to guest was topmost on The Boog’s mind. When he agreed to swing, everyone here at the Boogaloo Bag headquarters whooped it up in glee!!

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Mr. Vacation! Yayyy!!!

Mr. Vacation is one of the most eclectic DJs in town. At the Commodore, he can work a funk set into a heavy metal set, followed by bossa nova records, then turn some German prog rock, and if you don’t watch out, he’ll play a classic disco jam! This seems to go down really well with the fried chicken eaters at the Commodore. Mr. Vacation is also famous as a pioneer of Bushwick living, a skateboard enthusiast, a connoisseur of hard-core punk rock and has been known to play drums in heavy, heavy rock bands. The Boogaloo Bag strongly suggests that all readers dig his Interwebs radio show on KPISS.fm where he plays all sorts of solid stuff. Some of the shows are on the soundclouds and can be accessed. Dig one here!

However, when the WHAM-O WATUSI took place at the Bootleg Bar on Saturday August 20, a night that was expected to delve into the madness turned out to be a pretty cool evening of mostly soul, funk and reggae records, with occasional detours into rock-type things. Needless to say, the clientele at the Bootleg Bar was completely satiated with groovy sounds.

 

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus:

 

None of these records are for sale.

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Utica Club Boogaloo!

Drew Redmond, Josh Styles, Sophie Thunder, Mr. Vacation and Gary Scopitone swing at Utica Club!

Drew Redmond, Josh Styles, Sophie Thunder, Mr. Vacation and Gary Scopitone swing at Utica Club!

On Friday July 22, the WANG DANG DOODLE presented UTICA CLUB at The Commodore of Williamsburg. This event was entitled “Utica Club” because special guest DJ was Drew Redmond, who hails from Carthage, New York. Where is Carthage, you may ask? It’s about 70 miles north of Utica, New York, home of Utica Club lager. Plus, there is a cool record of the Utica Club theme song that Mr. Redmond played that night.

 

Drew Redmond recalls his days in Utica, NY!!!

Drew Redmond recalls his days in Utica, NY!!!

Drew Redmond came to Brooklyn several years ago, and quickly became one of the most popular DJs on the reet music front. He was co-host of Finger Lickin’ Fridays with our pal Charles Gaskins at the Grand Victory until that club closed for good on July 31. He swings at Midnight Offerings, a night of American garage rock records that he co-hosts with Josh Styles and he hosts his own Sleaze to Please—both at the mighty Bootleg Bar. Plus, he is often found DJing at all kinds of events all over town. It’s always a gas to dig what he is putting down.

At the UTICA CLUB, he presented a program of wild, rockin’ R&B and garage rock records that got the room chewing the fine Commodore fried chicken in rhythm with the records! It was magical.

In order to keep up to speed with Mr. Redmond, UTICA CLUB host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played nine chicken records—six of them in a row!

Several of our pals dropped by to dig the scene, including Josh Styles, Sophie Thunder, Mr. Vacation and Gary Scopitone. All night long, The Commodore was jumpin’. By the end of the night, beer was spilled, bottles were broken, fun was had and the DJs were paid—which is all we really care about, anyway!

Here’s a list of every record played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at UTICA CLUB:

None of these records are for sale.

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Please Kill Me 20th Anniversary Tour!

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Has it really been twenty years since the first publication of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, the excellent and fascinating collection of interviews with punk rock icons as assembled by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain? That would make punk rock itself about forty years old! But none of that matters. What matters is that Please Kill Me was first published about twenty years ago and a new special edition of it has been published by Grove Press and, in order to publicize it,  Mr. McNeil and Ms. McCain were sent on the road to read from it, with a party being thrown at each location–an event room at an Ace Hotel.

The Boogaloo Bag writers will take it for granted that all readers have already read Please Kill Me. (If you have not read it,  you should immediately google it in order to see what an important work of literature it is. We’ll wait.)

Well, ok, a little background: Legs McNeil, along with John Holmstrom, founded Punk Magazine, a cool fanzine that coincided with the underground rock scene then developing in the East Village of New York City during the mid-seventies, especially at clubs like CBGB’s. So you know that this fellow knows about what was going on and who was doing it. Gillian McCain is a published poet who has worked with the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, so you know that she is smart and knows how to put together a story. And what a story! The book traces the development of punk rock music from its roots to its explosion. From The Velvet Underground, The Doors and The New York Dolls up through The Ramones and The Sex Pistols.

It’s time to replace your old, beaten up copy of Please Kill Me with the new edition, which has some new material, including many more photosgraphs.

Suffice it to say, the publication of the 20th anniversary edition provided a great opportunity to throw a most excellent party at  Ace Hotel in Manhattan, and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was invited to DJ the event, held on July 13. As folks were entering the Liberty Hall, The Boog played some, shall we say, lower energy underground rock records for about thirty minutes.

The master of ceremonies was Michael Des Bares–the Boogaloo Bag writers remember him from his days in the seventies British glam rock group Silverhead and he currently hosts a show on Sirius XM Radio.

 

Michael Des Bares introduced Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil at the Please Kill Me - 20th Anniversary Tour event.

Michael Des Barres introduced Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil at the Please Kill Me – 20th Anniversary Tour event.

After Mr. Des Barres introduced Mr. McNeil and Ms. McCain, the authors proceeded to read passages from the book.  Then Mr. Des Barres engaged them in a question and answer period. After that, the authors signed books as The Boog played more raucous punk rock records, starting with “I Wanna Be Your Dog!”

 

Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil sign autographs at the Please Kill Me - 20th Anniversary Tour event.

Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil sign autographs at the Please Kill Me – 20th Anniversary Tour event.

Here is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Please Kill Me 20th Anniversary Tour event at Ace Hotel*:

  • Patti Smith–Pissing in the River (Arista)
  • Television–Little Johnny Jewel Part One (Ork)
  • The Velvet Underground and Nico–I’ll Be Your Mirror (Verve)
  • The Doors–Wild Child (Elektra)
  • Pere Ubu–30 Seconds Over Tokyo (Hearthan)
  • Lester Bangs–Let It Blurt (Spy)
  • Talking Heads–Love Goes to Building on Fire (Sire)
  • Mink De Ville–Let Me Dream if I Want to (Atlantic; Germany)
  • Iggy Pop–Sister Midnight (RCA; Germany)
  • The Velvet Underground–What Goes On (M-G-M)
  • Suicide–Rocket U.S.A. [from LP Suicide] (Red Star)
  • Television–Marquee Moon Part I (Elektra; UK)
  • the stooges–i wanna be your dog (Elektra)
  • New York Dolls–Personality Crisis (Mercury)
  • Ramones–Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (Sire)
  • The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed–Sweet Jane (Atlantic; Germany)
  • David Bowie–The Jean Genie (RCA Victor)
  • Richard Hell & the Voidoids–Blank Generation [from the LP Blank Generation](Sire)
  • Television–Ain’t That Nothin’ (Elektra)
  • Sex Pistols–Pretty Vacant (Columbia; Japan)
  • The Damned–Neat Neat Neat (Stiff; UK)
  • Ramones–Blitzkreig Bop (Sire)
  • New York Dolls–Jet Boy (Mercury; UK)
  • The Undertones–Teenage Kicks (Sire; UK)
  • The Jam–In the City (Polydor; UK)
  • The Radiators From Space–Enemies (Chiswick; UK)
  • The Saints–(I’m) Stranded (Power Exchange; UK)
  • The Primitives–The Ostrich (Pickwick City)
  • 999–Homicide (United Artists; UK)
  • Talking Heads–Psycho Killer (Sire)
  • The Adverts–Gary Gilmore’s Eyes (Anchor; UK)
  • Blondie–Rip Her to Shreds (Chrysalis; UK)
  • Magazine–Shot By Both Sides (Virgin; UK)
  • The Clash–White Riot (CBS; UK)
  • Lou Reed–Vicious (RCA; UK)
  • The Feelies–Fa Cé La (Rough Trade; UK)
  • The Only Ones–Lovers of Today (Vengeance; UK)
  • Heartbreakers–Born to Lose [from LP L.A.M.F.] (Track; UK)
  • Zeros–Don’t Push Me Around (Bomp!)
  • Damned–Sick of Being Sick (Stiff; UK)
  • Eater–Thinkin’ of the U.S.A. (The Label; UK)
  • The Jam–News of the World (Polydor; UK)
  • X-Ray Spex–The Day the World Turned Day-Glo (EMI International; UK)
  • MC5–Human Being Lawnmower [from LP Back in the USA] (Atlantic)
  • Iggy and the Stooges–Shake Appeal (Play Back)
  • The Weirdos–Destroy All Music (Bomp)
  • The Cramps–Drug Train (Illegal)
  • Dead Boys–Sonic Reducer [from LP Young Loud and Snotty] (Sire – test pressing)
  • Johnny Thunders–You Can’t Put Your Arms Round a Memory (Real; UK)

 

*unlike most lists, the order on this list is approximate due to the LP tracks not being noted when they were played, so their playing order is estimated here. None of these records are for sale.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the Please Kill Me - 20th Anniversary event.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the Please Kill Me – 20th Anniversary event.

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Bobby and the Boogaloo!

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If it is July—and sure has been hot enough to be July—then it must be time for Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to make a guest DJ appearance at Lincoln Center’s fantabulous Midsummer Night Swing series of dance concerts held in Damrosch Park in Midtown Manhattan. Last year—and especially the year before—The Boog’s MSNS night was rained on. This time the weatherman went the other way: a very clear sky with hot, hot heat that made one burning, swingin’ night!

Eva Carrozza leads a crew of dancers as they teach the Lindy hop at Midsummer Night Swing!

Eva Carrozza leads a crew of dancers as they teach the Lindy hop at Midsummer Night Swing!

On July 6, the evening started with a DJ set by The Boog that included some jumpin’ and swingin’ numbers. Then dance instructor Eva Carrozza and her crew broke quite a sweat as they taught the audience how to Lindy hop. Once the folks on the dance floor were fully in command of their dance steps, The Boog returned to the turntables as they were able to Lindy hop to more jump and swing music, commencing with the great Wynonie Harris’ version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (and including Joe Turner’s “Boogie Woogie Country Girl” in a small tribute to Doc Pomus, who was honored at last year’s rainy event).

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at Midsummer Night Swing!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at Midsummer Night Swing!

The headliner for this evening was the pre-Beatles, Philadelphia teen sensation Bobby Rydell.

From 1959 to 1963, Mr. Rydell released more than two dozen teen pop hits, including “We Got Love,” “Swingin’ School” and “Forget Him.” But Bobby Rydell—much like all the “Bobbies” of the time: Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Vee—aspired to be a vocalist in the mold of Frank Sinatra. (Even the “anti-Bobby,” Bob Dylan, eventually had such aspirations!) Thus, ably backed by Philadelphia’s City Rhythm Orchestra, Mr. Rydell presented a set of mostly songs from the great American songbook, sung in a very Sinatra-like manner.

Bobby Rydell swings at Midsummer Night Swing!

Bobby Rydell swings at Midsummer Night Swing!

If you are familiar with Bobby Rydell from just a handful of his hits (“Kissin’ Time,” “I Dig Girls,” “Ding-A-Ling”) you may scoff at the idea. Don’t. Mr. Rydell has a commanding voice and he was able to carry this off much better than any lounge singer. Although he did not sing any of our favorites (“The Fish,” “The Cha Cha Cha,” and his cool version of The Kinks’ “When I See That Girl of Mine”), he did perform “Wild One” and “Sway,” ending his portion of the show with “Volare.” Once he was off the stage, The City Rhythm Orchestra continued to swing for another half hour or so, much to the delight of the dance floor inhabitants. When the big band was through, soaking with sweat every one of them, The Boog barely had time to play four more songs.

Here’s a list of all the 45s played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at this year’s Midsummer Night Swing event:

None of these records are for sale.

Bobby Rydell and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus greet after Bobby's performance at Midsummer Night Swing!

Bobby Rydell and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus discuss the finer points of early sixties Philadelphia pop music after Bobby’s performance at Midsummer Night Swing!

Friends and Fireworks on the Fourth of July!

Ol' Stark and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at Artists and Fleas on the Fourth of July!

Ol’ Stark and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at Artists and Fleas on the Fourth of July!

Fourth of July is always a fun time and on this Fourth there were two things made it even better: 1. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to DJ at the Artists and Fleas room at the Chelsea Market by Ol’ Stark, who sells records and groovy threads there. 2. Our old pal Marty Jourard was in town and dropped by to make the scene.

As the astute Boogaloo Bag reader knows, it was just a couple days prior to the Fourth that Ol’ Stark joined Phast Phreddie the Booogaloo Omnibus at the Bootleg Bar in Bushwick for the WHAM-O WATUSI. That spirit of camaraderie carried over to the early evening of the Fourth of July when the Phast Man showed up at Ol’ Stark’s booth with a box full of surf instrumentals. Ol’ Stark passed out wine (The Boog had a diet soda), bags of salty cheddar cheese-flavored snacks and Artists and Fleas tote bags to those in attendance, making it a very festive occasion.

Marty Jourard and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at Artists & Fleas on the Fourth of July!

Marty Jourard and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at Artists & Fleas on the Fourth of July!

Marty Jourard, as the perceptive trainspotter will tell you, is the keyboard/saxophone player for the cool L.A. new wave band The Motels. The Boogaloo Bag writers have known him since the late seventies, and indeed, he often played saxophone with Phast Phreddie & Thee Precisions. Marty also hosts a website that pays tribute to a saxophonist that both he and the Phast Man admire: Earl Bostic. Marty took part in the festivities, even going so far as to purchase a pair of sharp looking shoes from Ol’ Stark’s booth.

After The Boog played all 26 records he brought, he and his buddies hung out a bit, then he and Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner, Marty Jourard and his gal-pal Natalie walked not too deep into the West Village to an eatery called The Bus Stop, where dinner was served.

It was great catching up with Marty. He has been touring with The Motels recently. Also, he has just written a book about the music scene of his hometown Gainsville, Florida called Music Everywhere: The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town. He was clearly excited about the good reviews and fine reception it has received. The Boog has just ordered a copy, and it comes highly recommended to Boogaloo Bag readers. After dinner, the group walked up to the High Line Park, back in Chelsea. Although it was on the wrong side of Manhattan to properly see the fireworks, some pyrotechnics were observed between the buildings as it gently sprinkled.

The Fourth of July, as seen from the High Line Park.

The Fourth of July, as seen from the High Line Park.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Ol’ Stark’s Fourth of July shindig at the Artists and Fleas room in the Chelsea Market:

None of these records are for sale.