Getting Sick with Mr. Vacation!

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Mr. Vacations swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!

It was on the First of December when the Wham-O Watusi last blew into the Bootleg Bar in beautiful downtown Bushwick, Brooklyn. Guest DJ for this event was the ever-popular Mr. Vacation–skate boarder, punk rocker, drummer, neat guy and the original Bushwick resident. Back when the Commodore was hip, he held court there on the first Saturday of the month. Recently he has turned records at the Robert Bar and he’s an occasional presence at the Bootleg Bar. He’s the kind of DJ who can swing with funk-to-hard rock-to-reggae-to-prog rock-to-soul without breaking a sweat. It was because of Mr. Vacation’s ability to leap tall building with a single disc that made host DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus break out with more reggae records than usual, a Blue Öyster Cult jam, two in a row by the Kac-Ties and some top funk numbers. Heck, when you know your guest DJ is going to play a Blue Cheer record, you gotta fight fire with fire!!!

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Mr. Vacation swings again at WHAM-O WATUSI!!

However, there was a bummer thing happening on this night. Phast Phreddie was under the weather. So was official Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner, who was too sick to make the scene, thus the dearth of photos for this entry–especially sad because so many of our fine friends were on hand. (However, her chocolate crinkles and vegan brownies were in the house and devoured accordingly!)

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Mr. Vacation continues to swing at WHAM-O WATUSI!!!

Indeed, The Phast Man has been sick as a dog since Thanksgiving. He was planning on going to a bunch of his friends DJ nights but was way too ill to go anywhere–so he apologizes to all of his DJ friends who have had events in the last couple of weeks. Plus, he has been busy as hell preparing for the ARChive of Contemporary Music fund raising record and CD sale (going on now!)–his busiest time of the year. There is no rest for the wicked, as they say.

At the end of the Wham-O night, after two full hours of Mr. Vacation and Phast Phreddie alternating the spinning of discs, The Phast One’s pharmaceutical aids had worn off. He was wheezing and coughing and feeling crummy. Mr. Vacation took note and packed El Rapido into a car sharing vehicle and sent him on his way so he wouldn’t have to brave the idiosyncrasies of the M-Train and the cold, bitter winds that sweep the outdoor subway station platform. May Our Lady of Perpetual Motion grant Mr. Vacation good records where ever he goes!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Mr. Vacation present boss spins at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Here is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the December Wham-O Watusi:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them may have links to the youtubes for you to dig!

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One Mint Wham-O!

On Saturday November 17, the fortieth WHAM-O WATUSI took place at the Bootleg Bar in downtown Bushwick, Brooklyn. It was held on the third Saturday of the month instead of the usual first Saturday in order for its host, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to take part in the Keystone State Soul Weekender, which happened on the first weekend of November. Lots of friends showed up to swing. Miss Nancy made some outstanding chocolate chocolate-

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One Mint Julep and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

chip cookies and vegan vanilla-flavored miniature cakes for the occasion. (Folks, if you are vegan, please note that you will not be left out of the yummy treats action at the WHAM-O WATUSI!) Special guest DJ for the WHAM was One Mint Julep.

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Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner’s yummy sweets on display at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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One Mint Julep cues another fabulous record at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

One Mint Julep is known nationally and internationally as  Becky, host of a program on WFMU. Airing on Wednesday nights from 8 to 9, her show is called Honky Tonk Radio Girl and it veers toward a hillbilly tip; however, she can play just about any kind of reet sound at her whim. Up until about three months ago she was a co-host, along with Fancy Cat and Mr. Fine Wine, of a fabulous soul music dance party called Soul Night, held at a venue in Crown Heights. Miss Julep is also one of America’s top proponents of a dance music style called Belgian Popcorn. This is all well known to her many admirers–including the Boogaloo Bag writers. So it was expected that Miss Julep would play some boss R&B records and boppin’ rockabilly when she came to the WHAM-O WATUSI. However, nobody expected her to throw down with some top reggae tracks, records sung in French and Spanish, Latin soul jams and cumbia records. Suffice it to say that wigs were flipped! One Mint Julep is our kind of DJ and we hope to have her back at the WHAM as soon as possible.

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A whole bunch of our friends and fellow DJs came out to witness the amazing DJ stylings of One Mint Julep. They all dug the scene and swallowed up a bunch of the delicious chocolate cookies. Our pal Lauren Khron made a short video of the scene and it can be viewed here.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the fortieth WHAM-O WATUSI (including a set of “pig” records!):

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have clips to the youtubes for your edification.

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Keystone State Soul Weekender Number Three

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Founded by a Spaniard, Julio Apollo XII, and an Englishman, David Raistrick, The Keystone State Soul Weekender has now taken place three times in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Each time, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has been lucky enough to have been asked to spin a few records. Each time it has been a wonderful experience.

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Connie T Empress, the Empress of Soul and Brother Weems arrive ready to swing at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Brother Weems introduces Ian Friend at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Mikey Post swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Above are scenes from Friday Night at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

This year’s event took place on November second, third and fourth and, like the other two, the location was the Elks Lodge Hall in downtown Lancaster. The hall is spacious and beautiful and it offers a most excellent floor for dancing, plus a side room with a full bar where folks can hang out and wheel and deal records. Some of our favorite DJs from the first couple of events were in the house: Andy Powell, Denise Draper and Kev Draper from England; Andrew Turner from Reading, PA; Jason Thornton from somewhere in Massachusetts; Ian Friend from Pittsburg; Tom Dechristofaro from Cleveland or Detroit (depending on what day of the week it is) and Nick Reiner (aka DJ Salinger) who is a local Lancasterian. Eric Svirida from Long Island, George Rodriguez from St. Paul, Minnesota and Connie T Empress from New York City all returned from last year. New DJs this year were Scott Boyko and Jay Boxcar from the Garden State Soul Club (New Jersey); Larry Grogan, who is the king of the New Jersey soul record experience; and Mikey Post of Daptone Records.

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Andrew Turner swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Don Hodgen of The Ambassadors (Vee Pee) sings “Too Much of a Good Thing” at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Mr. Robinson and Don Hodgen pose with an acetate of a recording Mr. Hodgen made many years ago and had not heard since at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Scott Boyko swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Tom Dechristofaro AKA DJ Alr¡ght swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Scenes from Saturday afternoon at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

This year, Phast Phreddie was paired with Connie T Empress for a set on Friday and another on Saturday. The Friday set they just split their 40 minutes in half, but on Saturday they had fun with it–The Phast Man played five records, then split the spinning duties with The Empress for a few records before turning both turntables over to her to complete the allotted time. The Fez and the Tiara in action!

Also this year, Brother Weems, an associate of The Empress since her Empire State Soul Club days, acted as the master of ceremonies. He made a very professional job of it, too. He kept things happening and made sure every DJ was properly introduced.

Some of the highlights include the appearance of Don Hodgen of The Ambassadors (the group on Pee Vee, not The Ambassadors on Arctic), who sang his song “Too Much of a Good Thing” on Saturday afternoon. Our friend Mr. Robinson was on hand and he owns an acetate of a song Mr. Hodgen sang on but was never released. Mr. Robinson played it for Mr. Hodgen, who hadn’t heard it since the day they recorded it!

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Andy Powell swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Denise Draper swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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DJ Salinger digs for records at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Eric Svirida swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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George Rodriguez swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Jason Thornton swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Jay Boxcar and Larry Grogan swing at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Kev Draper swings at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Above are scenes from Saturday night at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

On Saturday night, Denise Draper once again set the dance floor on fire with a set of incendiary R&B records. Also on Saturday night, after a blistering set of rare records played by George Rodriguez, Andy Powell announced that we had just heard about a hundred thousand dollars worth of records played in forty minutes! High praise from a fellow who has been doing this stuff probably longer than Mr. Rodriguez has been alive–a British fellow at that; and we know how well the Brits know their soul records!

It was great to see Larry Grogan spinning records. That guy knows a LOT about soul records and every Boogaloo Bag reader should also be reading his Funky 16 Corners blog and digging his podcast. He also has a show called Testify! on the WFMU Give The Drummer Some web-stream that airs on Wednesday nights. On the show he plays all sorts of reet music. We met Mr. Grogan’s fellow New Jersey citizens Scott Boyko and Jay Boxcar for the first time. We hope to be seeing more of them, too.

Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner whipped up two kinds of chocolate chip cookies for this event–and those things were gone quick!!

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Julio Apollo XII and Dave Raistrick are already plotting for the FOURTH Keystone State Soul Weekender!!

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Julio Apollo XII swings under the ghoul at the Keystone State Soul Weekender!

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Above are scenes from Sunday afternoon in the Elks Lodge lounge at the Keystones State Soul Weekender!

On the Sunday, things were changed up back at the Elks Lodge. Instead of finishing the event in the big hall, closing festivities were held in the lounge downstairs, where breakfast was served (good and cheap!) and records were bought and sold. DJs spun records under the watchful eye of a scary ghoul–leftover Halloween decorations. This made an excellent opportunity for a more intimate affair with Weekender attendees and DJs mixing it up while devouring drinks and omelets.

Our friend and Keystone State Soul Weekender regular Arinivah posted on her cool facedog Dance Culture page a great video that will give you an idea of what happened at the Third Keystone State Soul Weekender. Check it out.

The Boogaloo Bag writers salute and thank Julio Apollo XII and Dave Raistick for another fabulously successful event. We are looking forward to next year and we ask all Boogaloo Bag readers to start making plans for the first weekend in November to make the scene in Lancaster. It is a total gas–a full weekend of dancing and digging some of the greatest soul records of all time. Make it your annual happening.

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Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at The Keystone State Soul Weekender:

Friday Night–

Saturday Night–

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

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Zombified Wham-O Watusi!

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Nogood Nick, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Yana Lil-Jerk flash their gang affiliation signs at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

As the astute Boogaloo Bag reader knows, The WHAM-O WATUSI takes place on the first Saturday of the month at the Bootleg Bar. However, host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was called to action in San Francisco–with DJ work at the Internet Archive and Forbidden Island on October 3rd and 4th, respectively. Originally, our pal Drew Redmond–who also swings at the Boot–was going to do the 6th, but he had to rescind his offer due to a previous engagement.

This left the The Boog in a bind. What to do? Well, since he was scheduled to return to New York City at 10 pm on the night of the scheduled WHAM, he thought, “If I get two really boss guest DJs to swing the night, I may be able to make the scene around midnight. That way, if the jet is delayed, the night will still be a groove.”

The two really boss DJs selected were Nogood Nick and Yana Lil-Jerk. Both have been mainstays on the reet music scene for several years. Nogood Nick with his fabulous Rip! Rig! Panic! events and Miss Yana with her equally fabulous Bangarang, both of which take place at Otto’s Shrunken Head. These two fine, fine, super fine DJs were able to keep the Bootleg Bar swingin’ for the early part of the evening, trading sets of their super fine records. The Boog regrets that he was unable to be there to dig it.

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Yana Lil-Jerk swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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Nogood Nick swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

As it happened, The Boog’s flight was delayed by thirty minutes. Plus, with the MTA working on the subways, The Boog was unable to arrive until about 12:45AM. But he got there, and he was happily greeted with cheers and yummy pumpkin-filled, mummy-looking truffles made by Boogaloo Bag’s official photographer (and baker) Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner. Miss Yana was at the turntables selecting top-notch stuff to play for the punters. Although he was exhausted from his trip–zombified, in fact, much like the seasonal ghoul hanging from the ceiling of the Bootleg BarPhast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was soon at home in the DJ booth where he played records for almost an hour; records from the previous two nights (or their B-sides) and others purchased at Rooky Ricardos Record Shop in San Francisco just a few days earlier. At about 2:00 or so, the WHAM-O WATUSI went into high gear when the three DJs traded turns at the decks, each playing a song, then making way for the next. This was a gas.

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The ghoul hanging from the Bootleg Bar ceiling at the WHAM-O WATUSI. Or is it the zombified Boogaloo Omnibus!!!

Also, The Boogaloo Bag writers were very pleased to see that several of our friends were in attendance. This always makes them happy. In the house: Kirstyn Soles, Sophie Thunder (Virgo Slam IV), Josh Styles (Daddy Long Legs), Lady Dawn (Subway Soul Club), Shelly Paus (Lunar Orbits), Sanford Santacroce (Telecommand), Mr. Vacation (Robert Bar)… did we forget anyone? Oh, yeah, ace photographer Miss Lauren Krohn, who was happy to eat a few of the vegan brownies that Miss Nancy also brought.

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Josh Styles goofs as Lady Dawn watches at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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Yana Lil-Jerk, Mr. Vacation and Nogood Nick share DJ tips at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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Kirstyn Soles, Nogood Nick, Shelly Paus, Lady Dawn and Sanford Santacroce swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Thank you too much to Nogood Nick and Miss Yana for holding down the fort until The Boogaloo Omnibus could arrive on the scene. There was always a chance that his flight would get cancelled, or that it would crash, or he may have been too burned out to come to the club. But having watched Tomb Raider on the flight, he was invigorated enough to brave the A-Train to the L-Train to an L-Train shuttle in order to get to the Bootleg Bar. Due to the zombification caused by the flight, plus the long night at the Boot, The Boog did not make it to his Sunday softball pick-up game. Ya can’t do everything!

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Miss Nancy’s yummy mummy truffles!!! Tasty little guys, balls of pumpkin covered with white chocolate, were looking at folks, saying, “Eat me! Eat Me!” They got eaten.

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

None of these records are for sale. Dig the links to the youtubes clips on some of them. Records played at the previous two gigs that were already linked, will not be linked here.You can go to the main Boogaloo Bag page to find them.

NOTE: The next WHAM-O WATUSI will take place on November 17th (with guest DJ One Mint Julep (ie, Honky Tonk Radio Girl, WFMU) instead of the 3rd, in order for him to participate in the Keystone Soul Weekender–as should you, as well. On the 3rd, Drew Redmond will hold court with his Sleaze to Please action at the Bootleg Bar. That will be cool, too.

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Another look at the yummy mummies!

Boogaloo in Otto’s Grotto!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Otto Von Stroheim swing at Otto’s Grotto!

Otto Von Stroheim is the brains and main maestro (along with his lovely wife, Baby Doe) behind one of the most fabulous weekenders in the world–Tiki Oasis, a celebration of tiki culture. Because of that, he is one of the most fabulous people currently living on this planet. Mr. Von Stroheim is obsessed with the world of tiki, Polynesian paraphernalia, atomic living and things that are reet.

Mr. Von Stroheim is also a DJ, who swings on the first Thursday of the month at Forbidden Island, a wonderful tiki bar on Alameda Island in the East San Francisco Bay. On October 4, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to be his guest DJ.

The Phast Man has worked with Mr. Von Stroheim before–he has selected records for several Tiki Oasis events, each one being momentous and thrilling. Mr. Von Stroheim’s nights at Forbidden Island, called Otto’s Grotto, are much more low key than the sensational Tiki Oasis; but it is still one fun night.

The Boog was in the S.F. area to DJ the party at the Internet Archive the night before, and picked up this gig as an add-on. He was planning to play many, if not all, the same records (or their B-sides) he had played in The City.  However, The Boog was able to pay a visit to Rooky Ricardo’s Record Store in San Francisco to spice up his Thursday night set with some fresh vinyl.

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Otto in his Grotto!

If any Boogaloo Bag reader lives near the East Bay you should know that Otto’s Grotto is an excellent night out. Forbidden Island is tastefully decked-out with all sorts of tiki regalia throughout the venue, including it’s spacious outdoor patio. The bartenders were able to concoct for The Boog an excellent beverage that was tangy, fruity and minty. The DJ booth is right next to a lovely little waterfall, so Otto really is in his grotto! Mr. Von Stroheim played a pleasing selection of exotica, mambo, mod jazz and provocative pop records for his many friends who showed up to dig his action. The Boog was visited by some friends, as well, including Brooke Wentz (Seven Seas Music) who drove over the Oakland Bay Bridge; and Darla Hitchcock, a friend from way back! Miss Darla used to attend Phast Phreddie’s DJ nights at the Starwood in Hollywood back in the late Seventies; so good to see her.

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Darla Hitchcock visited with Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Otto’s Grotto!

Early in his first set, The Boog played a record by Pete Rodriguez. Soon after, he received a request for his “I Like It Like That.” Luckily, it was on the other side–so it was played! Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Otto’s Grotto:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes for you to dig! (Some songs were played the night before and may have links to them in that Boogaloo Bag post and are not re-linked here.)

Jumpin’ at the Archive!

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A groovy mural was drawn by Ju Young Ku for the Internet Archive Celebration.

Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library offering millions of free books, movies, & audio files, plus billions of saved web pages in the Wayback Machine. It has been doing this for 21 years. For the last two years, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has been asked to DJ at its annual party. On October 3, he did so for the third time. (Phast Phreddie hooked up with the Internet Archive a few years ago via a partnership with his day job, as an archivist for The Archive of Contemporary Music.)

The annual Archive celebration runs like this:

Around five o’clock, folks start showing up. All around the Archive building on Funston Avenue in San Francisco there are about a dozen booths that are  managed by Archive employees. Each booth is an example of the work that the Archive does. Many of them are hands-on, giving attendees an opportunity to understand Archive operations. Most of them are fun; for example, this year temporary tattoos were made out of GIFs that have been collected by the Archive or one was able to play a virtual reality game. Many of the booths were educational; one could see how a book is digitized. This year, a booth was set up to register people to vote and hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution. Tacos are served via taco trucks parked on the street in front of the building. Starting last year, during these first two hours of the event our friend Chas Gaudí spins 78 RPM sound recordings in the back yard–swing, pop, bop, hillbilly, blues, R&B, rock’n’roll. He made sure to play one by the great bluesman Otis Rush, who had recently passed away.

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Voters were registered at the Internet Archive party!

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DJ Chas Gaudi swings with some old 78s at the annual Internet Archive Celebration!

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DJ Chas Gaudi played his signed copy of an Otis Rush 78!

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MMMMM!!!! Tacos!!!!

At seven o’clock, folks are asked to step into the Great Room–a huge auditorium that holds about a thousand people. It is always full. There, Archive people present a show-and-tell regarding the different activities they have been involved with and the assorted collections it has acquired over the year. It is hosted by Jason Scott, and founder Brewster Kahle always talks up the exciting things the organization has done or will be doing in the future. This year’s theme was Building a Better Web, and the evening was a showcase of how the Internet Archive was helping.

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A crazy person dressed in a patriotic costume at the Internet Archive party!

Around eight o’clock or so, folks are handed an ice cream sandwich (Three Twins–the best!) and a gift (this year a handy IA tote bag) and directed to the back yard, where cocktails are served and they can dance to the boss rhythms of 45 RPM records, as selected by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. He always plays songs that people know–but not how they know them. This time, he threw in some Latin boogaloo records, some hit songs and a few weird things.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the Internet Archive party!

Thanks goes to Caitlin Oslon, Katie Barrett and all the groovy Internet Archive folks who requested the return of DJ Phast Phreddie. Here’s hoping we can all be back next year for more. The playlist of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the annual Internet Archive Celebration is as follows:

None of these records are for sale. Some may have links to the youtubes for your edification.

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Subway Soul Club Swings Again!

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Everyone swings at Subway Soul Club!

Can your heart stand it? Three Subway Soul Club events in one year! It looks as if the SSC is back for good, firmly nestled into its new home at the lovely Club Ceremony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Although it will only operate on a limited basis–perhaps three or four times a year–it looks as if Subway Soul Club enthusiasts can count on it taking place fairly regularly from now on, now that it has found a new home.

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Club Ceremony swings!

On September 29, some of the magic from the Subway Soul Club’s time at Rififi was resurrected with its two guest DJs, Mr. Robinson and Miss Shingaling, who both hail from those glory days. Indeed, Subway Soul Club hostess with the mostest Lady Dawn swears that Club Ceremony is the best venue that SSC has had since then. Ceremony has a fabulous dance floor, a wonderful sound system and friendly bartenders that know how to pour a drink.

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Mr. Robinson swings at Subway Soul Club!

The guest DJs came armed with their respective soul 45s. Mr. Robinson–who was co-host of the legendary Dig Deeper soul music events of a few years ago–owns some of the rarest soul records in the world, and boy, did he play them! He’s got records so rare that he may have the only copy in existence; we’re talking about acetates, children. When he was in the DJ booth, the happy dancers were shakin’ it to records that they will most likely never hear again!

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Miss Shingaling swings at Subway Soul Club!

In total contrast, Miss Shingaling came to the party bearing a large assortment of Motown hits and misses. Most of her sets were comprised of familiar tracks that we all love and enjoy dancing to. Since she moved out of the New York City area (where she was actually Mr. Robinson’s roommate for a while), she has lived somewhere in the South, Buffalo and now San Francisco. It’s been a very long time since she has even been able to attend a Subway Soul Club event, much less DJ at one; so the Subway Soul Club management was very happy to have her on board. Judging by the crowded dance floor, so were the attendees.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at Subway Soul Club!

For his part, resident DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played some old favorites, some new acquisitions and even a few records that he had forgotten he had in his collection all these years. He played the Don Gardner song to honor the man who had recently passed away; his “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo” is one of the greatest records of all time. Three songs by Aretha Franklin were played. She passed in August and served as the poster girl for this event. Even a track by her sister Carolyn was spun to joyful effect.

Lady Dawn, Mr. Robinson, Miss Shingaling and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at Subway Soul Club!

Of course, what made the event even sweeter was the distribution of pumpkin-flavored cookies made by Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner. She insists on cooking up something yummy nearly every time Phast Phreddie hosts an event. These cookies did not disappoint!

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DJ Honky, Mr. Robinson, Miss Shingaling, Lynne K and Lady Dawn swing at Subway Soul Club!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Subway Soul Club fall event:

None of these records are for sale. Dig the links for hot youtubes action!

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