Going into Fremont last Saturday, the day of the Solstice Parade, may not have been the wisest choice for an automobile-driving, late-to-the-party person - parking in Fremont, especially on a day that draws hordes of families and revelers, ain't gonna be easy, and you will inevitably have to overcome the stench of Brodeos and Cowgirls Inc. that infiltrate the once progressive neighborhood.
But I had matters to attend to. James Pants, a tall, goofy Spokane-based DJ/producer jumpin' out of the gate on Stones Throw, was the night's headliner at Nectar. I had heard good party stories about Mr. Pants, and I wanted to dance. I knew I couldn't be let down. The weather was perfect, and Nectar, which boasts a large open air patio in sight of the stage, would have it's huge glass garage doors open. And I wasn't. Pants indulged us with so many things - like the weird early-80s electro and dance music (Jellybean's "The Mexican," Strafe's "Set It Off"), dancehall and reggae, classic rock, hip hop and rap, soul and funk. I danced and my mind was blown.
Tuesday night, I found myself again at Nectar, this time for Extra Golden, a group made up of a few Washington D.C.-based musicians and a group of Kenyans on guitar, drums and microphone. The drummer was clean, precise, and agile, probably the best drummer I've seen play since the first time I saw Trans Am perform for the first time almost a decade ago. My mouth was agape as watched him and the band, swaying my hips to their rhythmic mechanics. It was a kind of pop music that should convert every Vampire Weekend fan, on principle that Extra Golden possess a profoundly deep understanding of the music they're playing, not some undergrad-vision of what they think it is. I left Nectar not as sweaty as Saturday night, since attendance was unfortunately low (y'all missed out!), but with the same euphoric state that I just witnessed something special. I don't think it would've felt as special if it were in a dark, windowless club elsewhere.
Tonight, The Saturday Knights celebrate the release of the long-anticipated full-length, Mingle, supported by the absolutely amazing New York instru-funksters Budos Band. As the liquor flows, asses wiggle. Especially when the weather is just right, as it is right now.
Nectar, you're wearing me out with all your awesomeness! My hat goes off to talent buyer Colin Johnson for providing great music in a place that should very well become the premiere Seattle summertime spot of 2008.