Spooky Soul Party With Mr. Vacation!

On October 7th, the WHAM-O WATUSI rolled into Bushwick’s notorious Bootleg Bar with guest DJ Mr. Vacation.

Mr. Vacation swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Mr. Vacation is one of our favorite DJs. He’s the kind of cat who can diversify at a needle drop; going from a cool funk track to a psyche rock number to a hot reggae groove. He has just come off of residency at the Commodore, where he rocked the joint for about five or six years. Currently he is taking on guest spots when ever he can. Folks, if you are in the market for a swingin’ DJ, Mr. Vacation is your man. On this night, Mr. Vacation played an overwhelming amount of top-deck soul records, turning the place into a soul party most of the night. Mr. Vacation is a long-time resident of Bushwick and it was a real opportunity to witness his excellent DJ work in his own backyard.

Bootleg owner Bobby Rich and Mr. Vacation compare notes at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

For October, the Bootleg Bar was all decked out in scary cobwebs and goblins in anticipation of the upcoming Halloween season. Indeed, a spook was hanging above the middle of the dance floor! PLUS… the Boogaloo Bag’s very own photographer, Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner made some delicious caramel thumb-print cookies that were quickly devoured.

Miss Jeannie is shown here with her excellent cookies!

Everyone who attended could tell that the host, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, was having fun with the night, trying to out-Mr. Vacation Mr. Vacation with his own eclectic selections. He played New Wave records, some heavy metal, a couple of reggae tracks, frog records, popeye records, power pop, even a coke commercial!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Mr. Vacation swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Here is a complete list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI that night:

Spook!

None of these records are for sale! Some of them have links to clips on the youtubes in order for the reader to get a grip on what happened.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus

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BIG TEN INCH September Action!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Michael McMahon discuss the significance of a Piano Red record.

On a hot night in late September, the BIG TEN INCH took place in the cool and friendly confines of the Hi-Fi Bar in the East Village. Although there were plenty of friends and folks on hand to dig the wack shellac, only a few brought actual 78s to play. This gave those who brought ’em plenty of time to play ’em. Host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus got to play just about everything in his box, including the Mr. Goon-Bones record.

Andy the Upsetter swings with Mambo 78s at the BIG TEN INCH!

Andy the Upsetter usually brings mix of genres: mento, jazz, R&B and calypso. This time he brought a ton of mambo records and played nearly every one of them–it was cha-cha city at the Hi-Fi most of the night. We think he may have even turned a couple over when he was starting to run out of records to play.

Becky G displays her Jimmy Lunceford 78 at the BIG TEN INCH!

New comer DJ Becky G brought one 78–but it was a good one! A Jimmy Lunceford on Bluebird with “Jazznocracy” on one side and the legendary “White Heat” on the other. It swung like crazy.  The Upsetter was selling some mambo 78s and Becky G bought a few of them, so we expect her to spin more Cuban rhythms at the next BIG TEN INCH.

Michael McMahon selects another hillbilly bopper at the BIG TEN INCH!

Toward the end of the evening, as both The Upsetter and The Boog were running out of records, Michael McMahon showed up with his box of hillbilly records and saved the day. That was perfect timing on his part. The club turned immediately from claves and bongos to red-neck yodeling!!! There may have been several at the Hi-Fi that were not prepared for such a sharp turn of audio ambience; but all had a great time.

Our pals Ted Barron and Juke Joint Jonny were on hand, but alas, they brought no records and were only present to dig the scene–and partake in pizza and the delicious cinnamon-infused brownies baked by Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner. She even made some glucose-free brownies for Mr. McMahon, who must eat such things to stay healthy. Thank you Miss Nancy.

Host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the BIG TEN INCH!

Here’s a list of all the 78s played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the September BIG TEN INCH 78 RPM Listening Party:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to youtubes clips. Dig it!

Nuggets: Fourth Time Around!

The Unrehearsed swing with Christina Caira at the Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to Nuggets IV!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is the go-to DJ when it comes to the Copycat Cover Song Night annual tribute to the great Nuggets compilation of boss garage rock records. On September 13, he worked his fourth one–of four Nuggets tributes! That’s fine with the Phastman, as he digs the Nuggets album the most, as he digs swingin’ at any Copycat Cover Song Night, hosted by our pal DJ Xerox at Otto’s Shrunken Head on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

Nuggets, of course, is the coolest two-record set of twitchen Sixties garage rock, compiled by Lenny Kaye. Issued in 1972, it has since become legendary and influential. Mr. Kaye himself appeared as a guest DJ at the first two Copycat tributes. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend this one, however his spiritual presence was definitely felt.

And what bands: The Unrehearsed, The Flying Insects and The Serpentones all played.

The Unrehearsed in action at the Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to Nuggets IV!

The Unrehearsed is comprised of some local Sixties music aficionados who happen to be excellent musicians. They never rehearse, but they know this music so well that they can just get up and play it. Their repertoire consisted of all sorts of Sixties garage rock nuggets, which they played with authority. The Boogaloo Bag writers were especially wowed when the group played “Fight Fire,” the excellent Golliwogs song (not on the original Nuggets, but included in the incredible four-disc Nuggets box set; a sort of tribute to the original, right?). Our pal Christina Caira (of Quitty & the Don’ts) sang lead on “Stop Get a Ticket” and banged tambourine on another song.

The Flying Insects swing with a decidedly British Beat at the Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to Nuggets IV!

Nuggets II is a four-CD compilation of mostly British recordings from the same era–1964 to 1969. Like its predecessor, it is packed full of the sounds of flash and pow! These days the kids call it Freakbeat. We can dig that. Apparently, so can The Flying Insects, who performed songs from that box set. Stand out song was The Smoke’s “My Friend Jack.”

The Serpentones swing at the Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to Nuggets IV!

The Serpentones opened their set with “Sweet Young Thing” by The Chocolate Watch Band–one of the all time favorite songs here at the Boogaloo Bag. The band proceeded to play mostly original songs, occasionally spicing things up with a track or two from Nuggets, as per the event demanded. The Serpentones were a bit unusual for a modern rock band, as it incorporates a tenor saxophone into its sound. But it was cool and those in attendance seemed to dig it.

DJ Xerox and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus enjoy frothy beverages at the Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to Nuggets IV!

For his part, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played all cover songs; songs from the era performed by other acts from the era. The only exception was the record by The Searchers, which is the first version of “Sugar and Spice,” which was performed by The Cryan Shames on the original edition of Nuggets. After the bands played and DJ Xerox was able to get the bands sorted and his records delivered to the DJ booth, the Phastman handed it over to the host, who always plays the most unexpected cover versions of songs imaginable.

Here is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Fourth Annual Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to Nuggets:

None of these records are for sale. Some have links to the youtubes for your personal listening pleasure!

Wham-O Fiesta!

Elisse Locomotion, Carlos Rene and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Reyes Rodriguez)

The WHAM-O WATUSI takes great pride in featuring DJs and/or records from all over the world. So far, this year alone, The WHAM has had DJs from Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Venezuela, the Netherlands and even Cleveland; host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus often spins records from such far away places as France and Japan; plus there was a guy who played some rockin’ jams from Thailand! Truly, it is an international affair.

On Saturday September 2, two more DJs were flown in from Mexico City to DJ at the Bootleg Bar in Bushwick for the WHAM-O WATUSI: Carlos René and Elisse Locomotion. They host a fabulous DJ night called Hipshakers and they own a cool record store called Dedos Susios. They were recommended by our pal DJ Rata and they did not disappoint. All night long, these two master disc selectors played some of the bossest records the Boogaloo Bag writers have ever heard; many of them from way south of the border that nobody in this city will ever hear again! They had just come from Montreal, where Señora Locomotion picked up some very cool French Canadian records and proceeded to spin them. Señor René has spent time in Peru and Colombia and he played some incredible records from there.

Unfortunately, the Boogaloo Bag writers finked-out by leaving the official Boogaloo Bag camera at home, thus there are so few good photos of the night available. The one shown above was taken by our pal Reyes Rodriguez (whose own Border Beat night happens on the fourth Saturday of the month at the Bootleg Bar) who showed up to swing for a while. Also in attendance was the lovely Lilly Martini, who is moving back to Spain in a couple of days. Sorry to see her go, as it was always a delight to see her dancing at the Boot. Although the rain fell pretty hard all night, there were still plenty of people in the Bootleg Bar to make it fun. Plus, Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner baked some cinnamon-infused fudge. Man, that was good. With the rain keeping attendance down somewhat, there were plenty for everybody who was there! Yummy!!

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

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to youtube clips. Dig it!!

Copycat at Ten!

Host DJ Xerox and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the Tenth Anniversary of Copycat Cover Song Night!

Copycat Night is a night of fun and excitement that is held twice a month at Otto’s Shrunken Head and hosted by our friend DJ Xerox. It involves Mr. Xerox picking an act to hail and asking some bands to come play and include several songs by said act in their sets; and by inviting some DJs to play records of artists interpreting other artists’ songs. (Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has been such a guest many times over the years.)  This activity apparently has been going on for a long enough time for it to celebrate ten years on Wednesday August 13.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Jonathan Toubin and DJ Xerox celebrate ten years of Copycat Cover Song Night!

For the Copycat Night Tenth Anniversary Extravaganza, DJ Xerox booked Emma Craig and her band to play songs from the movies Grease, Grease 2, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Shock Treatment. DJs selected to select records included Drew Redmond, Jonathan Toubin, Captain Heartlock, MC Huge, Greg-Gory and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. Cat videos played on the TV screen all night and the excellent bar tenders poured rum drinks adorned with plastic monkeys and umbrellas.

Captain Heartlock, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Drew Redmond swing at Otto’s Shrunken Head!

DJ Xerox is congratulated by Captain Heartlock and Jonathan Toubin for presenting ten years of Copycat Night!

Mr. Redmond was first on the scene, and the Boogaloo Bag writers were hoping to catch his set, but the slowest R Train in the world made sure that this would not happen. The Boogaloo Omnibus arrived just in time to start his set, then proceeded to let it rip, playing all New Wave records (ie, records made after 1975), many with involvement by close personal friends. As his allotted thirty minutes were coming to an end, he was asked to spin a little longer as the band had not yet arrived. This he was able to do for a while, but since he didn’t bring very many records–and the last one played was the B-side of an earlier spin–Drew Redmond was asked to return to the turntables. Mr. Redmond always packs plenty of records, and the Boogaloo Bag writers were delighted that they were able to dig him in action after all. He did not disappoint. He played his coveted original pressing of the MC5’s magnificent version of Them’s I Can Only Give You Everything on AMG. What a boss record!

Finally, the band appeared and played its 45 minute set, during which our friends Jonathan Toubin, Captain Heartlock and Matt Clarke also showed up and the Boogaloo Bag writers were so busy discussing things with them that not much of the Emma Craig show was experienced. Whaaahhh! But we did get this fine photo…

Emma Craig and her band swing at Otto’s Shrunken head!

After the bands set, Mr. Toubin wowed everybody with Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” as played by the contemporary bluegrass band The Bad Livers. His fabulous set also included an MC5 song–“Ramblin’ Rose,” a song first recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis on Sun records, but mostly known by the great soul singer Ted Taylor.

Unfortunately, the Boogaloo Bag writers couldn’t stay much longer than halfway, and through Mr. Toubin’s set they went home (via the F Train).

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus displays his groovy Freddy Cannon with the Gears record!

Here is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Copycat Night 10 Year Cataversery:

None of these records are for sale.

DJ Xerox circulated buttons for the event! The top one is courtesy of Juke Joint Jonny.

The Tiara and the Fez: A Soul Music Showdown!

Connie T Empress does the boogaloo in front of the Robert Bar, emphasizing the magnificence of her tiara. Photo montage by Luis Zuluaga.

On July 27, Joshua White, an owner of the tastefully appointed Robert Bar in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, posted on the Facedog that he needed a DJ for Saturday August 19. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus–living up to his name, for once–saw it and pounced. Maybe a second or two later, Connie T Empress, the Empress of Soul Records, also saw it and asked for the night. Thus, it was decided that the tiara-wearing Empress and be-fezzed Boogaloo Omnibus join forces on this evening in order to present Tiara vs Fez: There’s Gonna Be a Showdown!

 

Empress at the controls!

As has been written previously in the Boogaloo Bag , Connie T Empress was the den mother of the late, great Empire State Soul Club. Also, that Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is the resident DJ for the Subway Soul Club. So you just know that when these two get together a few soul records will be played.

And so they were.

Connie T Empress and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus display their respective headgear at the Robert Bar! Photo by Christopher Kay.

The Empress excited all the attendees with her excellent selection of favorites from the Empire State Soul Club days. Those ESSC events were so fabulous and every record that Miss Connie played reminded us all just how so. The Boog, on the other hand, played a bunch of new acquisitions along with a few old favorites and folks seemed to dig it anyway.

Brooklyn Babydoll and her man Jack swing at the Robert Bar!

Another one of the highlights of the night were the yummy oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies baked by Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner. Although she was unable to make the scene, her presence was very much felt! Thank you, Miss Nancy! It was great to see some familiar faces at the Robert Bar and we met some new folks, too, including Christopher Kay and Luis Zuluaga, both of whom took some photos that are presented here in this Boogaloo Bag post. Thank you, people!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Tiara vs Fezz: There’s Gonna Be a Showdown!

None of these records are for sale. Dig the links to the youtubes and dig the soul sounds!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Connie T Empress swing at the Robert Bar!

 

Two Years of Swingin’ at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Kid Congo and Phast Phreddie swing at the Second Anniversary of WHAM-O WATUSI!

The very first WHAM-O WATUSI took place on July 10, 2015–originally billed as a “one night only” event hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus with guest DJ Rata on hand to spice up the festivities. It was such a success that the owner of the Bootleg Bar, Mr. Bobby Rich, insisted that the WHAM-O return to the club. It did, of course, eventually settling in on the first Saturday of the month–well, usually.

The WHAM-O was advertised as “a whole new scene, concocted in the Wang Dang Doodle laboratory by crazy people. It is the playing of old 45 RPM records containing all sorts of reet sounds: in other words—folks bangin’ on shit and screamin’!!!” Things have not changed since then. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and his fabulous guest DJs have done a very consistent job in spinning only the bossest, wildest, reetest of sounds–in other words, folks bangin’ on shit and screamin’! This has been going on for two years! So a celebration was in order and it took place on Saturday August 5.

Guest DJ for the Two Year Anniversary of WHAM-O WATUSI was the legendary Kid Congo Powers. As you know, The Kid was a guitarist for The Gun Club and The Cramps. Hanging out with Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Lux Interior, you can be assured he was exposed to some fabulous old noise. That is the exact sensibility that the WHAM-O WATUSI strives for and Kid Congo brought it in buckets! He played some super boss records, including some whacked-out rockabilly gassers, rippin’ R&B stompers and plenty of boppers full of East L.A. grease.

Note here that The Kid has been quietly developing his own night, called Sex Beat, at a groovy club called Cafe Nine in his present home town of New Haven, CT.  The event consists of The Kid playing “searing 60’s soul and Garage rockets, psychic surf, 70’s Glam Bam Bam, 70’s Punk peanut shells, and any other wild thing [he] can find.” Sounds like our kind of action. The next one takes place on Sunday August 13. Don’t miss it!

Oh! The Boogaloo Bag writers would be totally lame if we did not mention The Kid’s current day job: leader of a great rock’n’roll group called The Pink Monkey Birds. The band makes an absolutely wicked racket and should be checked out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, back at the Bootleg Bar, the party was further enhanced by the wonderful and delicious Mexican brownies made by Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner. Miss Jeannie has baked several sweet items for the WHAM-O faithful over the years, so perhaps she should actually be considered as a co-host of the event.

Mexican brownies. MMMM…yummy!!

The WHAM-O Second Anniversary drew a bunch of old pals to the Bootleg Bar, too, including our dear old friend Kevin Long, an original member of the great L.A. Eighties Mod band The Untouchables (dig his story of this fine band here!). The Boogaloo Bag writers were also very pleased that several of Phast Phreddie’s fellow reet music DJs also dropped by to swing, including Mr. Vacation, Drew Redmond and Reyes Rodriguez. Mr. Redmond and his significant other Zuzia Mrozinska proceeded to do the alligator on the floor; Mr. Vacation hopped around in ecstasy; while Mr. Rodriguez was simply happy to meet Kid Congo.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Kevin Long (Untouchables) and Kid Congo Powers.

Kid Congo Powers, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Drew Redmond.

Kid Congo Powers and Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner.

Kid Congo Powers, Mr. Vacation and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus.

Kid Congo Powers!

For the occasion, Phast Phreddie dragged out a bunch of his favorite 45s–especially some hot garage rock blasters that, when he played a set of them, Mr. Redmond declared, “Phreddie, you are killing it tonight!” All for the sake of the WHAM!

The Boogaloo Bag writers would like to take a moment here to thank Bootleg Bar owner Mr. Bobby Rich for allowing all this “bangin’ on shit and screamin’” go on for so long. It’s been a stupendous two years. Here’s hoping for another two or so, at least!!

Below is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Second Anniversary of the WHAM-O WATUSI:

None of these records are for sale. Click on the links to the youtubes and dig yourself!!