This weekend we had the pleasure of listening and dancing to not one but two live bands. The first was the amazing Fat Babies at the Music Box’s The Freshman party. There were about 6 musicians who played piano, bass, clarinet/saxophone, cornet and I think trombone. They play 1920s and 1930s tunes which are near and dear to my heart. Their performance made me deepen my thesis about why silent film parties are the best: it’s definitely the upbeat happy music. THe music of the era has this cheerful and upbeat attitude. It’s almost innocent even when the song is extremely bawdy.
The second was for the Annual St. Cecilia Czechoslovak Dinner & Dance. It’s a celebration for Czech immigrants and their descendants every year to come together and celebrate their heritage, mostly in musical and food form. They celebrate the various cultural clubs, like Czech radio station and more. It’s a beautiful event and we look forward to it every year. My boyfriend and I nickname it Polkafest but only because our favorite part is the brass band. There’s a big band with lots of brass and they play polkas and waltzes. We have a tremendous time polkaing. And to start it all off, even before the band starts, an accordionist and tuba serenade from table to table. (I believe the tuba is my spirit animal-but that’s another tale).
Dancing to live music is really just the bees knees and I wish there were more opportunities to do so. Recorded music just isn’t the same. I have played, with some competency, four instruments over the years, in order: alto saxophone, two Korean drums, the buk and channggo, and soprano recorder in a Renaissance and Medieval instrumental guild.
My favorite parts of playing instruments is the dancing. This could mean dancing with the instruments or having others dance. When I played Korean drums, we actually strapped these large drums to our bodies and marched and danced. There was really nothing more impressive that swirling around with an instrument wider that you. When I was in the guild, we played a few balls at events. Everyone is in their Medieval/Renaissance best and they would dance along to our music. Exhilarating to see people enjoying themselves and moving about because of the music you are playing. I’ll never forget the experience. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to play an instrument to people dancing in the future.
Until then I’ll visit the Green Mill to see the Fat Babies or Alan Gresik and his Swing Time Band.