Wham-O-Phonic Watusi!

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Todd-O-Phonic Todd prepares to introduce PMS & the Mood Swings with Leah Lugosi at the Union Pool.

Todd-O-Phonic Todd is one of the hardest working men in show business. He has been a presenter of fabulous Rock’n’Roll events seemingly before any of us were born. For many years he made Maxwell’s of Hoboken the swingin’est place in New Jersey. He was responsible for such super boss reissue LPs as Shakin’ Fit, What a Way to Die, Bug Out, Bo Did It and Wail on the Beach. His Telstar Records put out important platters by The Mummies, The Pussywillows, The Swingin’ Neckbreakers, The Fleshtones and The Woggles. Over the last several years, he has had his own show on Saturday afternoons from 3 to 6 on radio station WFMU. If you dig hot Rock’n’Roll records, it’s the show for you.

On August 4, Todd-O-Phonic Todd, also known as the Boss Groover, was slated to swing his boss records at the WHAM-O WATUSI at the Bootleg Bar. He also had a show he was running earlier that afternoon at Union Pool, part of its Summer Thunder series. The show featured some very fabulous talent: Miriam and Nobody’s Babies, The Jay Vons and PMS & the Mood Swings. Plus, it was being broadcast in the Boss Groover’s radio show’s time slot–though he was not actually hosting his show. In his stead was Amanda Nazario. She has a couple of shows on WFMU, too, one of which is on the “Give the Drummer Some” interweb stream, and she fills-in from time to time. Mr. O’Phonic was running around making sure the bands got on stage on time and eating tacos.

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Amanda Nazario hosts The Todd-O-Phonic Todd Show while Todd-O-Phonic Todd hosts Summer Thunder.

Speaking of tacos, as Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus entered the building, he was accosted by Matt Fiveash, another WFMU DJ (his blues show on Tuesday nights is super) and the bass player in Miriam’s Nobody’s Babies. He saw The Boog and insisted that he have a couple of chits to get free tacos. Said the band had way more than they needed and who wanted them to go to waste? At the Union Pool–a place that, before gentrification came to Williamsburg, was actually a place that sold swimming pool supplies and equipment–there is a big yard in which is parked a taco truck vending tacos. Good tacos! Who can resist? Thank you Mr. Fiveash.

The bands were originally supposed to play in the yard, but a late morning thunder storm necessitated a change of scene. The bands played in the Union Pool’s concert hall. Inside the hall, Ms. Nazario was playing records and making announcements for the folks listening to the broadcast at home. Around 3:15pm or so, Miriam and Nobody’s Babies took the stage. Miriam Linna does it all: record company mogul for Norton Records, book publisher for Kicks Books, drummer, local personality, and now fronting her own band. Plus, she’s on a one-woman crusade to wangle The Kinks into getting back together! At the Union Pool the band rocked. Then The Jay Vons played; one of our favorite local bands. Closing the show was PMS & the Mood Swings (which featured our friend Leah Lugosi who guest DJed at the WHAM-O WATUSI a while back). Each band was unique, did its own thing, and was boss!

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The Jay Vons

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Miriam & Nobody’s Babies

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PMS & the Mood Swings

The Boog headed home, unlaxed for a while, had a little grub, then grabbed his box of rekkids to go back out to the wilds of Bushwick in order to swing at the WHAM. He arrived at the Bootleg Bar just before 10:00PM, set up everything and was soon playing his records. Guest DJ Todd-O-Phonic Todd arrived shortly thereafter. As one would expect out of a man with such impeccable taste, he played some fabulous records. Our friends Peanutbutter Brown, Matt Clarke and Alex DeLaszlo showed up to groove to the Boss Groover’s jams.

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Matt Clarke and Peanutbutter Brown discuss the fabulousness of the records Todd-O-Phonic Todd was playing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Folks, the Boogaloo Bag writers cannot emphasize enough what a cool radio show Todd-O-Phonic Todd has. Every Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 (unless he’s vacating in Wildwood, NJ with his lovely wife Siss-O-Phonic Cheryl) the Boss Groover swings with some extremely hip sounds. He plays all kinds of Rock’n’Roll records, just the good stuff, from every era; he has had some cool interviews with folks such as Graham Gouldman, Kid Congo, Chris Stamey, Eric Carmen and David Aguilar; and live bands like The Posies, Yo La Tengo, Los Vigilantes, The Whips, The Muffs and Daddy Long Legs. This is mandatory listening for all Boogaloo Bag readers!

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Todd-O-Phonic Todd re-sleaves another boss jam at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

For this occasion, Miss Nancy made some most excellent cinnamon cookies to complement the vegan brownies she likes to make. Always snacks and finger-snappin’ music at every WHAM-O WATUSI! A very tired Todd-O-Phonic Todd left the scene a bit early–who could blame him after all that action he provides, plus he had two rivers to cross to get home to Jersey City–so the Boogaloo Omnibus was able to play a few more songs than usual.

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Todd-O-Phonic Todd and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus prepare to consume more of Miss Nancy’s yummy cinnamon cookies at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes, so you can dig ‘em yerselves!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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Boogaloo at the Ran Kan Kan

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DJ Rata swings at Ran Kan Kan!

Our pal DJ Rata has a groovy new DJ night called Ran Kan Kan. It is held on early Friday evenings at Diviera Drive–happy hour, indeed! Named after a fabulous composition by Tito Puente, the night includes the playing of all sorts of cool stuff–yes, including Mambo records–and it swings from 6pm to about 10:30 or so and it takes place in a side outdoor patio area, where the DJ set-up is on the other side of an open garage door. Señor Rata was nice enough to ask Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to spin with him on Friday, July 27. After pulling a bunch of records for this occasion, around 5:00pm, when it was just about time head to the venue, the New York City area was hit by a tremendous thunder storm that sent torrents of rain for over an hour or so. The gig was therefore postponed, and instead, The Phast Man made the scene at D-Drive the following Friday, August 3.

So that’s what happened–Rata y Phasta playing records to those fine folks at Diviera Drive who wanted to get an early start on their weekend buzz. Part of the deal was that the DJs get pizza–and the pizza there is good! Also, conveniently located next to the DJ booth was a pinball machine that had some free plays on it. This is an activity that Phast Phreddie used to occasionally excel in, so he had to try his hand at it, as Rata played his groovy Mambo records. 1,400,000 points wins a replay. Seems like a lot. The first ball The Boog played and he racked up about 380,000 points! This got The Boog hooked, but he never played a ball like that again after about ten games–some games never went above 90,000 points (but tilting never helps!). At one point, Rata turned to The Boog and asked if he was ready for another set of record turning. The Boog started for the DJ booth, then begged off–“Let me try one more game.” This game was the bomb, as the kids say. The Boog racked up over 300,000 points on the first of three balls–and the ball went out of play when there was a tilt. The next two balls did even better, and with all the bonus points involved, the score went way over the amount needed for a replay with a loud bang and came in at around 1,600,000 points! OK, The Boog is ready to play records now…

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DJ Rata displays groovy Batman 45 adaptor at Ran Kan Kan!

These happy hour gigs at Diviera Drive are great. As the astute Boogaloo Bag reader knows, The Drive is a fine Italian restaurant and the music that Rata and El Rapido played was piped all over the place–seems you can hear it best in the bathrooms! Management complimented the DJs on their musical selections, saying that the swingin’ bongo beats were very appropriate for the hot and humid early Friday evening.

After Rata and The Boog had packed up, were paid and got ready to leave, our friends One Mint Julep and Brett Burton entered the Diviera Drive premises for a nip and a nibble and we got to chat with them for a spell, but unfortunately, they missed the bop.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at DJ Rata’s Ran Kan Kan Happy Hour at Diviera Drive:

None of these are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes in order for the reader to dig the essence of the hustle.

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Happy Birthday JT!

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Birthday boy Jonathan Toubin swings at the Sunday Soul Scream!

On Saturday, July 28, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus received a text from Jonathan Toubin that read: “Yo Phastman. I’m turning 47 tomorrow on the roof! Feel free to come hang. Also bring a few records if ya like.” 

The Boog is certainly not one to turn down an opportunity to “play a few records;” especially for his friend JT. His reply: “Happy birthday. See ya tomorrow!”

So that night, he quickly gathered a bunch of his favorite records together–not too many, as he was sure there would be many other DJs rounded up to do the same–and put them in a small box. He pulled records from his “Wang Faves” box, from his “Boss Soul” box, from his “Top Go-Go” box and mostly from his “Go-Go Instrumentals” box. About 50 in all, that had to be pared down to less than 30.

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DJ Drew Groove displays rare white paper record sleeve at the Sunday Soul Scream!!

On Sunday around 8:30 or so, The Boog made the scene at Our Wicked Lady in East Williamsburg, where Mr. Toubin hosts his Sunday Soul Scream on the roof. It is in a very industrial area and very few people live in the neighborhood, so loud noise can be made at all hours. Every Sunday during the summer Mr. Toubin and his crew make a righteous loud noise. Things were just getting started when the Boogaloo Bag writers arrived. Our friend Drew Groove, who was in town from Portland, Oregon, dropped in with a box of 45s and got the festivities going. Then Drew Redmond showed up with his box of boss platters and better needles and the place really started to come alive. It was great to see so many of our friends, including Josh Styles, Sophie Thunder, Todd-O-Phonic Todd, Siss-O-Phonic Cheryl, Brooklyn BabydollMatt Clarke, Anna Copacabana and of course the birthday boy himself, Mr. Jonathan Toubin.

As the regular Boogaloo Bag reader may remember, Jonathan Toubin had a near-death experience. In 2011, he was hit by a car while sleeping in a hotel room in Portland, Oregon. He was literally nearly crushed to death, but the medical professionals in Portland said, “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic DJ.” And so, Mr. Toubin was kept alive and is now more popular than ever; with better records, too!

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Brooklyn Babydoll and Drew Redmond swing at the Sunday Soul Scream!

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Josh Styles and Todd-O-Phonic Todd discuss the intricacies of flowered accessories at the Sunday Soul Scream!

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Josh Styles at the controls at Sunday Soul Scream!

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Jonathan Toubin, Matt Clarke and Todd-O-Phonic Todd swing at Sunday Soul Scream!

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Jonathan Toubin is given a birthday toast by Josh Styles, Alexander Thompson and Sophie Thunder at Sunday Soul Scream!

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Siss-O-Phonic Cheryl, Drew Redmond and Matt Clarke swing at Sunday Soul Scream!

Around 10:00, The Boog took over the turntables and played his records. Drew Groove played a few more, then a band took the stage: Crush, that featured members of The Black Lips. The band played a wicked noise; one instrumentalist played a saw! The Boog didn’t stay too long after that, since he had to get up early and be a regular person on Monday morning.

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The Crushes featured members of The Black Lips, one of whom played a musical saw(!) at the Sunday Soul Scream!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the special Jonathan Toubin Birthday Edition of Sunday Soul Scream:

Happy birthday, Jonathan–here’s hoping you have many more!

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes in case the reader would like to dig them.

Every night should be Rebel Night!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to DJ another fabulous Rebel Night on Friday, July 20. Rebel Night, of course, is the boss rock ’n’ roll record hop hosted by crazy Japanese fellows with crazy rockabilly records, now held on the third Friday of the month at Diviera Drive in Williamsburg. However the evening did not start there…

Our longtime friend Paul Rutner was going to be in town for a separate event. Phast Phreddie first met Mr. Rutner when he came to Hollywood as drummer of the NY punk-ish band The Mumps in the late Seventies. He then moved there when he was drumming for The Swingin’ Madisons. Sometime in the late Eighties Mr. Rutner moved to Austin, Texas, so it is very rare when these two get to see each other. On this day, Mr. Rutner was in New York City in order to attend an event by one of his other many friends: Laura Davis-Chanin recently wrote a book called THE GIRL IN THE BACK: A Female Drummer’s Life with Bowie, Blondie and the ‘70s Rock Scene and was having a release party in a back room at the Bowery Electric. Apparently, Ms. Davis-Chanin was the drummer for a late Seventies new wave band called The Student Teachers, dated a member of Blondie, met David Bowie, and has stories to tell about it. Although it all sounds very interesting, The Phast One was not there for that, but to see his friend Paul Rutner. As it turned out, many other friends were in attendance, including Joe Katz, Antone DeSantis, Sal Maida, Karen McBurnie, Jon Hammer, Mike Rosenberg, Robert Vickers, Janie Heath, Ben Liemer, Andy Schwartz, Alex De Laszlo and the members of the hot teen combo Yo La Tengo. Other folks, too, but the Boogloo Bag memory banks are not so hot these days. The event was very worth attending, and the Boogaloo Bag writers are sure the book is well worth reading, as well.

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Musician and author Sal Maida, neat-guy and current Texan Paul Rutner, and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus flash their respective gang signals at the Bowery Electric.

When this event was over, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus popped onto the L-Train and was soon at Diviera Drive. Besides being a cool place to dig music, the venue is an excellent Italian restaurant. When he walked in, the Rebel Night hosts–Akinori Okada, Hiromu Yanagiya and Seiji Sato had just ordered some food, including some risotto for The Boog. The food is good there and it is highly advised that the Boogaloo Bag readers sample it at the earliest opportunity; and as often as possible after that (especially when our pal DJ Rata swings his Friday night happy hour gigs!)

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Aki and Hiromu swing at Rebel Night!

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Hiromu and Seiji are diggin’ the scene at Rebel Night!

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Junichi helps Akinori pick records during his shift at Rebel Night!

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Vibraphonic Vinnie is introduced to the dancing crowd by Seiji at Rebel Night!

The Rebel Nights always have two guest DJs. On this night, the second guest was Vibraphonic Vince. He and the exciting WFMU radio personality Todd-O-Phonic Todd grew up together somewhere in the wilds of New Jersey, collecting sound recordings of reet music and playing them real loud. The Vibraphonic One was also the drummer for the great Eighties teen combo The Raunch Hands. This is documented evidence that Mr. Vince is a hep cat daddy who keeps his wig loose and full of juice. Like, man, he is no hodad! When Vibraphonic Vinnie puts the needle down, BAM!! it stays down!!

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Akinori gets ready to cue another hot bopper at Rebel Night!

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Hiromu sets the pace at Rebel Night!

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Junichi says, “Everything is すばらしい at Rebel Night!

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Vibraphonic Vinnie swings with another hot rocker at Rebel Night!

Once the room was set up to jam, Seiji took to the turntables first and played some great stuff. then The Boog, Vinnie, Hiromu, The Boog, Vinnie, Hiromu and Aki ended the night with a little help from Junichi Matsuzaki, who showed up late. According to our notes, that’s how the evening went down. (The Boogaloo Bag notes have been wrong before, but who really cares?) At any rate, incredibly fantastic records were played by our Japanese hosts and by Vibraphonic Vince. The dance floor was jumping all night until the bitter end. Foxy chicks in hoop skirts did the stroll as guys in greased-back hair bopped around diggin’ the beat. This is such a gas, it’s a shame we all can’t just do this every single night of the week!!!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is always happy to swing at Rebel Night!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the July 2018 edition of Rebel Night:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes for the listener’s edification.

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