In this week's music section, I take a swing at trend-piecing what I'm calling (with apologies to Nick Hornby) "Dance Music for Old People" :>"/>
In this week's music section, I take a swing at trend-piecing what I'm calling (with apologies to Nick Hornby) "Dance Music for Old People":
Many of the year's best dance records--acts like Nicolas Jaar, Motor City Drum Ensemble, the 6th Borough Project, Wolf + Lamb, and Soul Clap--have been exploring slower tempos and softer sounds and incorporating more overtly nostalgic influences, such as disco, classic house, and new jack R&B. This is in sharp contrast to the blown-out, jacked-up "blog house" that dominated trendier dance floors in the mid-to-late '00s, or the testosterone-soaked "bro-step" that persists today. It's a more relaxed sound--slow-burning rather than teeth-grinding; subtle, elegant even (stop me before I start sounding like Michael McDonald describing a fine merlot). Essentially, it's dance music for old--or at least older--people, and its presence is being felt on Seattle's dance floors.
"BUT WHICH SEATTLE DANCE FLOORS?" I hear you wheezing from your rockers. Well, let's take a look--after the jump, a guide on where to find trigenarian-friendly dance music this week in Seattle . . .
Easy @ the Hunter Gatherer Lodge (rooftop!)
Easy is the weekly rooftop happy hour thrown by the folks behind the equally adult-friendly (but hardly exclusive) monthly club night TRUST. Expect summertime BBQ vibes, mojitos, and nice, mellow cuts of soul, disco, funk, R&B, and house. More of a chilling, chatting, and head-bobbing scene than a full-on dance party, but no one would be offended if you cut a little rug.
Sophisticated Mama @ Havana
Havana's Thursday-night soul revue isn't exactly what the article's talking about, but I do mention soul nights, for two reasons: 1. They very much fit into the criteria of being a little mellower in terms of both timbre and tempo as well as leaning on an overt sense of nostalgia for old times, and 2. In the original High Fidelity, the British book, not the American film, the record-store clerk is pretty specifically a soul DJ, and so, if I recall correctly, his "Dance Music for Old People" night ends up being a soul night, and it goes smashingly. Anyway, like most of this stuff, it's not that soul music appeals only to oldsters--and Sophisticated Mama's crowd will attest to that--it's just that it's friendly to more or less all ages (even, gasp, upwards of 30).
TROUBLE @ Fred Wildlife Refuge
As mentioned in the article, I'm a regular DJ at this monthly night, so I won't spend too much time puffing it up. Suffice to say that this month, though, TROUBLE's regular mix of disco, house, and spacey electronica is going to get a considerable boost from two outstanding special guests: Norwegian disco-edit wizard Todd Terje and Tim Sweeney, host of NYC's esteemed Beats in Space radio show and podcast. Expect the former to deep-tissue massage dance floor groves out of everything he touches and the latter to astound with his vast knowledge of what's happening in dance music at all times.
And, looking ahead a bit, there's TRUST, happening Saturday, July 16, at the Baltic Room, and Slowpøke on Monday, July 18, at the Living Room.
Any other suggestions? Feel free to leave them in the comments.