Soul Night Is Go!

Mr. Fine Wine, Liam Large and Thorsten Wegner observe the excellent turntable technique of DJ Fancy Cat at Soul Night.

Soul Night is just that: a night of soul music. But that’s not all. Anyone can play soul records and call it “Soul Night.” This is Soul Night with Mr. Fine Wine, One Mint Julep and Fancy Cat! Three great soul music DJs. It takes place on the first Saturday of the month at a joint in Crown Heights, Brooklyn called Friends and Lovers. The place has a large back room with a stage where the DJ booth is, and plenty of room for dancers—and there are always a LOT of them. On Saturday April 1, the room was packed with gyrating bodies from about 10:30pm to about 3:30am—everybody doing the watusi to the fabulous records played by the DJs—which, on this particular evening, included guest DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and a couple of special guest DJs from Europe: Liam Large of London and Thorsten Wegner of Hamburg.

Liam Large swings with another hot soul jam at Soul Night!

Unfortunately, on this evening One Mint Julep could not make the scene; her presence, her smiling face and her cool records were sorely missed. The three guest DJs did all they could to try and make up for it.

Thorsten Wegner spins a rare soul record at Soul Night!

Both Liam Large and Thorsten Wegner come to the United States from time to time to search for records. Liam had been here for several weeks and both he and Thorsten attended the Allentown Singles Only (45s & 78s) record show earlier that day. If the records they played were any indication of the records that they had recently purchased during their time in the states, one can only conclude that their time here was very well spent. Both DJs played amazing records that had the place dancing and prancing.

Mr. Fine Wine takes a second to look out at all the dancers at Soul Night!

Mr. Fine Wine has been written about often in the Boogaloo Bag. Do we need to discuss him further? Well, we might remind the reader that he has a Friday night show on radio station WFMU and that every Wednesday night he swings at the Botanica Bar in Manhattan and it is an excellent hang; and of course he has the best soul records in the world. Dig some Boogaloo Bag entries that feature him here, here and here.

Fancy Cat picks another excellent record to play at Soul Night!

The Boogaloo Bag writers met Fancy Cat for the first time on this evening. He, too, played some great records, with a strong lean toward women singers and girl group sounds. It was a gas diggin’ and dancin’ to his spins.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at Soul Night!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is no stranger to soul records—as can be attested by the many feet that go tappin’ at Subway Soul Club events—so he fit right into the mix. Man, he loves playing those records and he spun a bunch of old favorites as well as a few recent acquisitions, including a couple that he purchased earlier that day when he, too, attended the aforementioned Allentown record show. Even though he had been up since about 4 o’clock that morning, the night seemed to end much too soon.

Soul Night DJs: Thorsten Wegner, Liam Large, Mr. Fine Wine, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. Where’s Fancy Cat???

If you, dear Boogaloo Bag reader, are paying attention, you will know that the first Saturday of the month is usually the night that the WHAM-O WATUSI takes place at the Bootleg Bar. On April 1, The WHAM switched nights with Border Beat, a night hosted by our friend Reyes Rodriguez; he and Avi Spivak held forth at the Bootleg Bar. The WHAM will return to the Boot on April 22nd with guest DJ Brian Hurd of Daddy Long Legs. The WHAM is scheduled to take place on the first Saturday of the month for at least the next two months.

Here’s a list of all the 45s played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Soul Night on April 1. Nearly all of them have links to the youtubes so you can listen to them in the privacy of your own home. Check it out:

None of these records are for sale.

BIG TEN INCH with cake and cookies!

Several Chuck Berry 78s were played in order to salute the passing of the man at the BIG TEN INCH.

On Sunday March 26, the BIG TEN INCH held it’s regularly scheduled meeting of shellac enthusiasts at the Hi-Fi Bar in Manhattan. Counting host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, 13 men came with boxes of 78s to play:  Adam Lore, Alex De Laszlo, Andy Upsetter, Bob Pomeroy, John Clemente, Justin CollectorScum, Michael McMahon, DJ Rata, Rich Sibello, Ted Baron and Tony Salvaje. Let’s not forget Juke Joint Jonny, who celebrated his birthday!

Juke Joint Jonny celebrates his birthday at the BIG TEN INCH!

Adam Lore

Alex de Laszlo

Andy Upsetter

Bob Pomeroy

John Clemente

Juke Joint Jonny

Justin CollectorScum

Michael McMahon

DJ Rata

Rich Sibello

Ted Baron

Tony Salvaje

Soon after The BIG TEN INCH got started, we were joined by a team of roller-hockey players fresh from a game. They stayed on their side of the barroom, we stayed on ours and the only beef we had with them is that when the pizza arrived (there is pizza at every BIG TEN INCH) they quickly snatched a couple slices! In other news, Adam Lore brought about a dozen 78s to give away (The Boog got a cool Ruth Brown 78!) and Michael McMahon brought a bunch of empty 10” sleeves for anyone who wanted them. Everything went to appreciative new owners.

Oh, and did I mention that Juke Joint Jonny celebrated his birthday? There was cake, baked by Karen McBurnie (Grade A Fancy) and it was heavenly—everybody said so.

Also, Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner baked very delicious oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips and they went very quickly. Folks, the BIG TEN INCH is so much more than just another DJ night—it is a multi-platform, ultra-dynamic experience in magnificent monaural sound where everyone participates!

Here’s a list of all the 78s played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus:

None of these 78s are for sale. Some of them have links to youtubes clips. Click on them and dig what the BIG TEN INCH is all about!

John Clemente’s list of 78s that he brought. He actually played those that are ticked off.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus

Berry flavored Mambo!

DJ Rata and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the Mambo Jambo.

Our pal DJ Rata hosts a groovy night at Otto’s Shrunken Head called Mambo Jambo. It usually takes place on the third Saturday of the month (and sometimes it takes place at the Robert Bar!). At the Mambo Jambo, one may expect to hear plenty of mambo records, that’s for sure… but also Jambo! What does that mean? It means basically that Rata and his guest DJs play all sorts of reet music on these nights—especially jumpin’ blues, Fifties R&B, ska, rocksteady, surf, boogaloo, calypso and rock’n’roll. Otto’s Shrunken Head is the perfect place for such an affair—this kind of music sits well with the punk rock tiki motif of the venue and the clientele bop along with it all night.

For Saturday March 18, Rata invited Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to come swing with him. This is a gig The Boog looks forward to. He has a box marked, “mambo,” where he places records that he feels may be appropriate for the Mambo Jambo. Some of them are new acquisitions; others are those that he comes across in his collection that he thinks will be appropriate for the night. Most of these records are cha-chas, latin soul, boogaloos, skas, or somehow mambo-influenced—records that have that certain Spanish tinge. So, when it comes time for an appearance at the Mambo Jambo, The Boog grabs a handful or two of the records in the Mambo Box, then adds some assorted favorite records and/or recent finds into his play box.

DJ Rata spins a boss mambo record at the Mambo Jambo!

During the afternoon of March 18, it came to the attention of The Phast Man that one of the architects of rock’n’roll had died: Chuck Berry. A truly sad turn of events, sure, but it meant that Chuck Berry’s records must be played at the Mambo Jambo that evening! And so they were. The Boog played seven and Rata played at least five, if not six or seven. (At the end of the night, Rata put on a side of The Great Twenty-Eight and let it rip!)

Don’t let us forget that another musical giant passed away during the week—James Cotton, the great blues harmonica player. So a track by him was played in tribute.

Since this was ostensibly a mambo night of sorts, Phast also played four versions of “Caravan”—one to lead off each of his sets (the first set starting after a three song salute to Chuck Berry). Of course, “Caravan” isn’t really a mambo, however it is often played with a seriously syncopated rhythm that brings to mind Caribbean cultures. For the final hour, Rata and Phast traded spins, playing reggae, cumbia and other jams with exotic rhythms. The vibe of the evening was enhanced further by the presence of two spectacular DJs who showed up to groove: Tony Salvaje and DJ Xerox.

Here is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Mambo Jambo:

None of these records are for sale. Some of the songs listed above have links to the youtubes—click on them and one may recreate the Mambo Jambo experience in the privacy of your own home. All photos by Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner.

WHAM-O Goes Whaaaaaah!

Dab Van Ommen and Jonny Trash swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Saturday the Fourth was the date of the March WHAM-O WATUSI; it was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because our pals Jonathan Toubin and Todd-O-Phonic Todd had scheduled, for Friday the Third, a fabulous program of boss rock and soul acts at the Warsaw: Nick Waterhouse & his band backing Ural Thomas, Baby Washington, Young Jessie, Maxine Brown, Archie Bell and David Johansen; King Khan; Joe Bataan and his Orchestra; all topped off with a very special performance by the legendary Irma Thomas. A most excellent event, and the Boogaloo Bag writers were in attendance and dug the show immensely. This show drew people from all over the world and The WHAM-O WATUSI benefited when several out of town DJs came knocking, looking for jobs for the following night.  WHAM-O host and resident DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus hired on three of them, plus local selector DJ Rata. It was going to be a very swingin’ affair!!

DJ Rata, Lilly Martini & Dab Van Ommen swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Then, perhaps a few weeks before the big weekend arrived, it was announced that Mr. Toubin had scheduled another slightly less heavy but still quite fabulous show at Baby’s All Right (with Nick Waterhouse, King Khan, Ural Thomas and Eli Paperboy Reed in the performance space and more than a dozen fabulous DJs spinning in the front room) for Saturday the Fourth. Mr. Toubin even invited a couple of WHAM-O DJs to work at his event!

Whaaaah!!!!

But all was not lost. The WHAM-O WATUSI took place as scheduled at the friendly confines of The Bootleg Bar, where WHAM-O attendees were in abundance in spite of the hipper gig across town. Guest DJs included Jonny Trash (Spankys; Peterborough, Ontario), Dab Van Ommen (Utrecht, Netherlands), DJ Alr!ght (Secret Soul Club, Cleveland) plus our pal DJ Rata. Everybody took turns spinning their rockin’ 45s with host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. Excellent records were played, new friends were made (including Chelsea Hartman, Jay Nugent and Lilly Martini, who provided the Bag with some photos) and old friends turned up to jump around. DJ Alr!ight and Jonny Trash performed their respective sets early in the night, hung out for a spell, then took off for Baby’s All Right. Mr. Van Ommen and Rata stayed to make noise well into the wee hours.

DJ Alr!ght swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

The Boogaloo Bag writers first became aware of DJ Alr!ght at the Keystone State Soul Weekender last year. Although his DJ sets were not witnessed, music was discussed intensely and it was determined that DJ Alr!ght has all the right records and attitude.

Jonny Trash swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!!

Jonny Trash came to us via SMA-F (social media apparatus: facedog). He owns a joint called Spanky’s in Peterborough, Ontario that apparently features reet music every night and has hosted Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap events there. So you know he’s got the goods.

Chelsea Harman, Dab Van Ommen and Jay Nugent swing at WHAM-O WATUSI!!!

Dab Van Ommen came to our attention via DJ Rata. The two of them have DJed together, both in New York, as well as in Mr. Van Ommen’s home town of Utrecht, where he hosts many fine parties—some dealing with reggae music.

DJ Rata swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Of course, DJ Rata is DJ Rata, a frequent guest DJ at the WHAM-O and one can read about him in many past Boogaloo Bag posts, such as this one and this one.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Dab Van Ommen and DJ Rata conspire to swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Chelsea Hartman)

Not only did each DJ play incredible records, some of them came bearing gifts. DJ Alr!ght presented the Phastman with his recent mix CD. DJ Rata gave the Boog a cool Swing-A-Ling record. Our new Dutch friend gave everyone a copy of the EP Go Sound by The Riddlers, a fantastic surf combo Mr. Van Ommen played guitar with during the Nineties. He also gave the Boog a cool 45 by the Nederbeat group Ro-D-Ys.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Javier Roa)

For his part, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus gave each DJ a copy of The Pizza Record and played all of these 45s:

None of these records are for sale. Some of the songs listed above have links to the youtubes–click on them and recreate the WHAM-O WATUSI scene in the privacy of your own environment!

DJ Rata, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Dab Van Ommen are the last DJs standing at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Lilly Martini)

This Little Piggie does the WHAM-O

standells

For February, the WHAM-O WATUSI was pushed back two full weeks and took place on the 18th at the Bootleg Bar—Bushwick’s most exciting watering hole! But that’s ok, as it turned out that night was the best time for guest DJ Andy Maltz to make his first appearance at the WHAM.

samthesham

The Boogaloo Bag writers have been aware of Mr. Maltz for some time, mostly via a vast array of mutual friends; his bands The Little Killers and The Piggies; and through the activities of Norton Records in which he often partakes. Plus, he DJs twice a week at Union Pool in Williamsburg–Thursday and Sundays starting at 8pm. Thus, everybody already knows he has hip taste in reet sounds. However, The Boogaloo Bag writers were very impressed with his DJ skills as he applied them on January 1 at Friends and Lovers during the birthday tribute to the late great Billy Miller of said Norton Records. The way he put his set together—punk rock mixed in with garage rockers and R&B shouters—was totally boss. WHAM host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus heard that and was knocked out completely—deciding right then that Mr. Maltz had to be asked to swing at the soonest WHAM-O WATUSI possible.

rollingstones

Andy Maltz did not disappoint. First off, due to subway train schedules being mixed up over the weekend, the Phast Man was nearly 20 minutes late to the dance. Luckily, when he walked into the dark, friendly confines of the Bootleg Bar, Mr. Maltz was already swingin’, having set up the DJ booth and commenced playing cool 45s at the appropriate volume for the lucky folks in attendance. Each of his thirty-minute sets seemed to contain mini-sets that kept the beat flowing in a sensible manner, even when he was playing insensible records! For the last hour, he and Phast Phreddie traded plays, as they went from some rockabilly platters, to garage rock, to surf records before it got a little nuts.

hitparader

Unfortunately, the Boogaloo Bag writers left the camera at home, therefore no photos exist of Andy Maltz swingin’ at the Boot on this night. For that, we apologize and promise to have him back soon in order to make up for this unthinkable oversight in planning!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI on February 18:

Some of the songs have links to the youtube so the reader can attempt to recreate the night in the privacy of his or her own home. None of these records are for sale.

whamo_19_flyer

Solid Hit Boogaloo

gregs45s-1

On Friday January 27 at the Commodore in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, an evening took place that could only have been billed as Solid Hit Boogaloo. Host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus asked his pal Greg Tormo to guest DJ with him and to spin more syncopated soul records than he usually does. Mr. Tormo has great records—mostly the kind known as Northern Soul. In fact, he is known far and wide as an excellent Northern Soul DJ and record collector. His Solid Hit Soul Club of the late Nineties was a fabulous, though ultimately short-lived, stop-gap between the Empire State Soul Club and the Subway Soul Club, the latter of which came alive in the early part of the 21st Century.

greg_selects

Greg Tormo makes another genius selection at Solid Hit Boogaloo!

Little did anybody know that Mr. Tormo also has a fine collection of funk records, and it was mostly those that he spun at the Commodore on this evening. Greg was obviously having a good time. It seemed as if after just about every record he played, he would announce that he had never played that one out at a club before. People, if you have an event that requires funk music, the Boogaloo Bag writers heartily recommend that Mr. Tormo be hired; he has fantastic funk records! You better catch him quickly, as he is due to move to Palm Springs, California in the fall. If the good people running the Desert Soul Club have their dirt together, they would ask Mr. Tormo to swing as often as possible.

greg_cues

Greg Tormo cues another hot funk 45 at the Solid Hit Boogaloo!

Here’s a list of the soul and funk records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Solid Hit Boogaloo–many with links to youtubes clips:

None of these records are for sale.

solidboog

Too Much Boogie at Big Ten Inch!

78_nolanstrong

On Sunday January 22, a BIG TEN INCH took place at the Hi-Fi Bar in the East Village of Manhattan. Along with host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, eight other folks showed up to spin 78s: Adam Lore, Alex DeLazslo, Tony Salvaje, Andy Upsetter, John Clemente, Michael McMahonJuke Joint Jonny and Rich Sibello. Each came packing hot 78s that were each played at the proper speed.

adam

Adam Lore

alex

Alex DeLazslo

tony

Tony Salvaje

andy

Andy the Upsetter

boog

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus

johnc

John Clemente

michael

Michael McMahon

jukejointjonny

Juke Joint Jonny

rich

Rich Sibello

 

Highlights included a 12-inch V-Disc recording of Machito and his Orchestra and a 1968 recording by Ramito—an ode to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had just been assassinated. The latter is proof that 78s were part of the Latin music market well into the sixties and it is probably one of the most recent 78s that will get played at the BIG TEN INCH. Both of these were played by Andy Upsetter.

78_cotique 78_machito

Another high point of the event was when spontaneous swing dancing took place. This often happens when a hot swing or jump blues record is spinning.

A pair of Goofballs swing at Big Ten Inch!

A pair of Goofballs swing at Big Ten Inch!

Let’s not forget Adam Lore’s full set of nothing but John Lee Hooker records! “Too Much Boogie!” I don’t think so.

78_hooker-boogie_2 78_hooker-boogie 78_hooker-dimples 78_hooker-huckle 78_hooker-madman 78_hooker-wife

John Clemente always prints out a list of the records he brings, and often plays them in the order in which they appear.

John Clemente's list.

John Clemente’s list.

In all, it was another fabulous evening of platters, pizza and pilsner at the Hi-Fi Bar. Here’s a list of all the 78s played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus:

 

None of these records are for sale