Abe’s Boogaloo!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Nogood Nick swing at Abe’s Pagoda Bar.

Nogood Nick is one of our best pals, DJ-wise. He used to host a swingin’ soirée called Rip! Rig! Panic! It has taken place at several nightclubs, but most recently at Otto’s Shrunken Head. it featured his exquisite mix of Mod jazz, sweet soul and provocative pop music. These days he is often called to action at a new joint in Bushwick called Abe’s Pagoda Bar. The name of the joint is a clever play on the name of the character actor Abe Vigoda–which has nothing to do with the lovely exotic, “tiki-inspired” decor of the club. Rip! Rig! Panic! would be right at home at Abe’s Pagoda Bar, however for some reason, Nogood Nick doesn’t call his nights there by that name. We don’t think his nights at Abe’s are regular, nor do they even have a name–he just shows up and plays his exquisite mix of Mod jazz, sweet soul and provocative pop music. Sometimes with a guest DJ. It may as well be Rip! Rig! Panic!

Nogood Nick selects another fine jam to play at Abe’s Pagoda Bar.

On Sunday July 7, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to be Nogood Nick’s guest DJ. Having been a frequent guest and/or attendee of Rip! Rig! Panic!, he knew the drill–plus he added some mambo vibes, international beats and groovy instrumentals in order to spice up the scene.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus checks out the track that Nogood Nick is going to play next at Abe’s Pagoda Bar.

Miss Nancy was on hand and she had some yummy strawberries dipped in white chocolate to feed the faithful. Abe’s Pagoda also serves food and the Boogaloo Bag crew partook in orders of vegan hot dogs–or some such thing. Plus, the bartenders were happy to make a non-alcoholic, frothy & fruity drink for The Boog.

Miss Nancy strikes a pose in front of Abe’s Pagoda Bar!

We hope that Mr. Nick’s night becomes a regular thing and that he invites the Phast One to join him often. This was a swingin’ scene that needs to survive.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus when he DJed with Noogood Nick at Abes Pagoda:

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

Abes July

Happy Home Sweet Boogaloo!

Around noon on Friday June 21, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus received a desparate message from our pal Drew Redmond: “Would you be interested in covering my shift at Home Sweet Home tonight?” Mr. Redmond was double-booked and need someone to swing at his regular Friday night gig, working the early shift before the main man, Jonathan Toubin arrives on the scene.

“¡No problemo!”

They don’t call him Phast Phreddie for nothing–he can prepare for a DJ gig in minutes!! Although it ain’t so easy as just picking up this box of records or that box of records and heading out. The Boog doesn’t work that way. He has records all over his record room and must choose the right records for each gig–a time consuming activity.

Luckily, The Phast Man was able to get out of his day gig a little early, get home, gather a bunch of old 45s–mostly cool instrumentals, organ grooves, sweet soul, funk and some other weirdness (I mean, this is Drew Redmond’s gig–the king of the weird record!)–and make the scene at Home Sweet Home in the Lower East Side. The Boog kept things fairly mid-tempo and not too rockin–well, it’s Happy Hour, after all; plus, you don’t really want to work the crowd up so much that when Mr. Toubin arrives they are all pooped out. That’s his job! You just want the folks in the bar to feel groovy, bop their heads and, if they’re standing up with a beverage chatting with friends, groove around a bit. There: some Happy Hour DJ etiquette for you.

Jonathan Toubin swings at Home Sweet Home!

Right around 11:00PM, Jonathan Toubin blew in and took over the turntables–and rocked the place good, as he always does.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus for a swingin’ Happy Hour at Home Sweet Home:

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

Boogaloo at Showtime!

Washington, D.C.’s Showtime Lounge is considered one of the best bars in America by Esquire Magazine. It is a small dive with a great jukebox and an excellent DJ booth. Our new friend Baby Alcatraz is hostess to several parties held there, often on the first Saturday of the month. As noted in the last Bag entry, she is co-host with Rob Macy of the excellent Save Your Soul dance party. She also plays hostess to other local events such as Shout Bamalama, Saturday Night Record Party and Smashing Time. She clearly knows the scene and is able to work it well.

On May 4, she asked Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to come swing with her at the Showtime. Since it was the night after Save Your Soul in nearby Baltimore which the Phast Man was scheduled to DJ at, it was easy to just stay in the area and swing the D.C. event as well.

The Boogaloo Bag writers understand that these Showtime gigs are often very well attended. However, the heavy, heavy rains that night may have kept some of the local punters away, as the Showtime was not packed–however, there were plenty of folks in attendance–more than enough to make it fun–but definitely.

The evening started oddly enough, with Baby Alcatraz arriving late. So The Boog set up the DJ booth and got swingin’ on time, or soon after. Ms. Alcatraz showed up with her box of records, saw that The Boog had the place jumpin’, so she had a drink at the bar. Then she excused herself–said a good friend was having a birthday party nearby in the neighborhood and would The Boog mind if she attended it for a while.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus sets up for the night at the Showtime Lounge.

So Phast Phreddie played records all night. Good thing he brought plenty, since even after she returned to the Showtime, Baby Alcatraz,who has great records and knows how to play them, didn’t seem interested in playing any of them! Fine with The Boog, as he felt comfortable in the groovy bar playing his records to the locals–who all seemed to enjoy them, as they bopped and twisted to the swingin’ sounds. So it was fine, except that when The Boog finished playing the records he didn’t play the night before at Save Your Soul, he decided to play those records in the same order as he did then! He was able to play all of them except for maybe eight before the club closed down.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the Showtime Lounge.

Funny thing is this: when Baby Alcatraz returned to the Showtime from her friend’s birthday party, it was just about the time The Boog started playing records from Save Your Soul. We certainly hope that she doesn’t think The Boog plays the same records in the same order at every event he DJs at–as the Boogaloo Bag postings can easily verify. This was a special case. However, if The Boog was a genius, he would have mixed all the records up. Oh, well, next time… and we certainly hope there will be a next time, as this trip down south was a blast.

Baby Alcatraz and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the Showtime Lounge.

Miss Nancy, of course, made enough maple fudge and vegan brownies for this event, also, and they were duly distributed. Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus on a rainy Saturday night at the Showtime:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them may have links to the youtubes for the readers’s edification. For the last 25 records, see the previous Bag post.

Baltimore Boogaloo!

The Lithuanian Hall in Baltimore is mostly a restaurant and meeting place that caters to the local Lithuanian community. But on the first Friday of the month it becomes the scene of a swingin’ party called Save Your Soul hosted by our new friends Rob Macy and Baby Alcatraz.

Rob Macy and Baby Alcatraz swing at Save Your Soul!

For the last several years, our DJ colleague Drew Redmond has been telling us about this fabulous dance party, as he has been guest DJ there several times. He says the place is packed, the dance floor is always full and they all dance around to every record he plays. Which is wild, because Mr. Redmond is known to play some pretty crazy records!

Baby Alcatraz spins another great jam at Save Your Soul!

Rob Macy cues another hot record at Save Your Soul!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus wanted to taste that action, so he lit a candle to Our Lady of Perpetual Motion and, what do you know, Rob Macy contacted him and invited him to swing for the May edition of the party, which took place on May 3rd.

And swing he did.

Drew Redmond did not exaggerate. Spinning records for all the fine folks at the Lithuanian Hall was indeed a most fabulous DJ experience. Once the room filled with people, the dance floor was jammin’, non-stop. Mr. Macy and Baby Alcatraz were very accommodating hosts. They had some fine visuals of soul singers projected on the back wall and they each played some fantabulous records. Man, this scene was very much a gas! How could any DJ not enjoy it? The only problem was that it ended too early; Baltimore bars close at 2 O’clock, unlike New York City where swingin’ is allowed until 4.

Rob Macy, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Baby Alcatraz swing at Save Your Soul!

Phast Phreddie made the trip with Miss Nancy Gardner (a native of Baltimore), who dished out her legendary maple fudge and vegan brownies to anyone who would bite. It made a sweet evening even sweeter. For this event, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus pulled some of his most favorite records to play for the wonderful people of Baltimore. Here’s a list of all of them:

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

一緒に幸せ

DJ Xerox swings at the Copycat Night Tribute to The Turtles!

Wednesday, April 25, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to participate in another fabulous Copycat Cover Song Night. Hosted by our friend DJ Xerox  at Otto’s Shrunken Head, this one paid tribute to The Turtles and it appears to be one of the last one to take place for a while. For some reason, DJ Xerox is putting all Copycat activities in New York City on hold. As The Spinners once said, it’s a shame, because it is one of the most fun events in town; we were happy to be part of this one.

Detail of jacket worn by DJ Xerox at the Copycat Night Tribute to The Turtles!

The bands that played were The Cheap Sneakers and The Unrehearsed. The Cheap Sneakers played its own songs and sprinkled some Turtles songs into the mix. The Unrehearsed played all songs by The Turtles. This band is made up of four musicians who know these songs pretty well. Each is assigned a part and must learn it off the record before playing the song live in Otto’s back room. The Boogaloo Bag writers have witnessed The Unrehearsed do this several times and can attest to the fact that the band knows its stuff!

The Cheap Sneakers swing at the Copycat Night Tribute to The Turtles!

The Unrehearsed swings at the Copycat Night Tribute to The Turtles!

For his part, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus started with an instrumental by The Turtles, then proceeded to play all songs from the mid-to-late Sixties–the Turtles Era, if you will–but none of them sung in English (and some instrumentals)! The other two Turtles songs played were both cover songs.

Here’s a list of all the songs played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Copycat Cover Song Night Tribute to The Turtles:

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

Bangarang Boogaloo!

Our friend Yana Lil-Jerk hosts a cool DJ night on the third Thursday of the month at Otto’s Shrunken Head. It is called Bangarang, named after the groovy rocksteady song by Lester Sterling & Stranger Cole. Miss Yana jams with the heavy irie Jamaican sound. Although Miss Yana has been known to feature other types of music (last year she was a guest DJ at the Subway Soul Club, also see Living for Kicks), reggae is her beat and rocksteady is her meat! However, the Bangarang can feature all sorts of rhythmic sounds, including Latin boogaloo and soul music.

Yana Lil-Jerk swings at the Bangarang!

For her April 18 event she asked Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to come hang with a bunch of his rhythmic sounds. The Phast Man doesn’t get many opportunities to play his reggae records, so he packed a bunch of them–plus a few boogaloos and funky soul rekkids–and dragged them out to Otto’s, which sits at the top of the East Village on 14th Street.

The Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Company swings at Otto’s Shrunken Head!

A special added attraction to this evening was the presence of the great western swingabilly group Susquehanna Industrial Tool and Die Company. SIT & Die, as its many fans like to call the band, is known for its unique take on boogies, ballads and blues. The trio played in the back room, while the Bangarang took place in the front, submitting those in attendance to a sort of cultural whiplash. The SIT & Dies have a residency at Otto’s on the fourth Thursday of the month. But for some reason, the April gig was moved to the third Thursday. Good thing, because this is one of The Boogaloo Omnibus’ favorite bands and he rarely gets a chance to go see it any more. On this night, he was able to witness several sets, plus play some totally unrelated records in the front room. Also on this night, the jumpin’ little trio was aided and abetted by the thrush Stella Rose Saint Clair, whose lovely voice treated all to wonderful renditions of popular ballads.

Stella Rose St. Claire swings with The Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Company!

Meanwhile, the front room was popping with the rocksteady, reggae and assorted mambo jive of Miss Yana and Phast Phreddie. It was a very groovy night, appreciated by the many open-minded folks who frequent Otto’s.

Here’s one of the boss records played by Yana Lil-Jerk at the Bangarang!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Bangarang.

None of these records are for sale. Some of the titles above have links to the youtubes for you to dig.

Yana Lil-Jerk and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus display their affiliated DJ gang hand signs at the Bangarang!

 

Collage by Yana Lil-Jerk.

Detail of window display at Otto’s Shrunken Head.

Shake and Boogaloo!

DJ Shakey and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

April 6 was a heavy, heavy date on the calendar of Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. It was going to be one of those great days of record-buying in the daytime and record-playing in the night time. The Allentown Record Show was that morning. Only 78s and 45s are allowed to be sold. If you have been an avid reader of the Boogaloo Bag, you will know that this is The Boog’s scene. He considers it a High Holy Day and has missed very few of them since moving to the East Coast more than 25 years ago. It takes place twice a year and the Phast Man always finds good records. That evening, a WHAM-O WATUSI was scheduled at the Bootleg Bar of Bushwick. So that meant that Phast Phreddie was planning to get up about 5:00 AM, get a Zipcar, pick up his digging partner Miss Yana Lil’Jerk, drive out to Allentown, PA for the 8:00AM early entry, buy a few records, drive all the way back to Brooklyn, then make the scene at the Bootleg Bar by 10PM and play a few records until 4:00AM. A full 24 hour day if ever there was one.

However, the Zipcar stars were not aligned. When the Phast Man arrived at his car’s location, it was not there. The 24-hour lot attendant couldn’t find it. Phast called the Zipcars. The lady on the line said she could make the car honk. No honking was heard. The car was not there. The Zipcar lady assigned him another car…but it was about a 20 minute walk away. A car service was called. It would have someone pick up Phast Phreddie in seven minutes. It took 20! When he got to the Zipcar, its side mirror on the left side was broken off! Phast called the Zipcars. OK, here’s another car, across town. Phast walked up to Flatbush Avenue to try and hail a cab.

Luckily, a bus came and took him close to the lot with the third Zipcar. However, this was an enclosed lot with no attendant–totally automated. The car needed a card of some sort in order to get the car out of the lot. The card was not in the car. Therefore the car could not be removed from the lot. The Zipcars were called. The order for a car was cancelled. The Zipcar lady was very apologetic, but apologies do not buy groovy old records. The Phast Man was pissed off!! He called Miss Yana and told her the deal. Major bummer.

It just so happened that that Saturday was also the official opening day for Phast Phreddie’s weekend pick-up softball league. So he played ball instead of shopped for records. Another bummer, because he lost the game he pitched.

However, there was one bright side. Our friend DJ Mc Boing Boing and his friend Josh Rattner were having a grand opening of their new record store called Head Sounds. After the ballgame, Phast Phreddie headed over there; his day of buying records must happen, after all. The store, located at 88 S. Portland Avenue in Fort Green, Brooklyn, is a small one, adjacent to a hair-cutting joint and conveniently located just steps away from the Fulton Avenue stop on the G Train. The storefront is very small, so if you sneeze as you walk past you will miss it. However, the store has a most excellent selection of LPs–plenty that The Boog would happily purchase had he been in the market for groovy record albums. The store had only a handful of boxes of 45s–but there were some good ones, that’s for sure, since about a dozen of them were purchased. Thus the day wasn’t a total loss.

DJ Shakey selects records very seriously at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

The night was definitely not a total loss–in fact, quite the opposite. Guest DJ at this WHAM-O WATUSI was DJ Shakey. DJ Shakey is a swingin’ kitten on a mean and clean scene. She is a professional DJ; that is, she makes her living do this stuff, often traveling great distances in order to do so. Plus, she occasionally hosts the Shakey’s Record Fair and the Thrift On! clothing swap. If that’s not enough, she also is a co-organizer of the Warper Party–a series of monthly electronic music and art happenings that takes place at various venues throughout the city.

DJ Shakey swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Although DJ Shakey mostly makes with electronic dance music, she can be an eclectic record selector and at the WHAM-O WATUSI she played a lot of Sixties records–soul, funk, garage…the kind of trash that the WHAM-O enthusiasts dig. She has been pals with Phast Phreddie for about 20 years or so, but they rarely get this chance to work together, so he was very happy when she agreed to do the WHAM. For his part, the Phast Man played all sorts of jams, including many of the record he had purchased that afternoon from Head Sounds.

If you mention that you heard about Head Sounds in the Boogaloo Bag, perhaps DJ McBoing Boing–a serious artist–will illustrate the record sleeve of your favorite purchase at Head Sounds, as he did for Phast Phreddie.

Meanwhile, Miss Nancy Gardner baked some excellent chocolate Easter cookies to go along with her signature vegan brownies. She keeps outdoing herself with every new baking adventure. Who knows what she’ll come up with next?

Miss Nancy’s yummy chocolate treats!!!

Here is 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 may have links to the youtubes for your edification.