Thursday, May 31
Last Thursday The Melody Inn hosted its very first Souldies Dance Night; a vinyl-only, retro dance party featuring great psychedelic and soul and blues hits mostly from the '60s. The party is slated to take place on the last Thursday of every month. It was also the last night for a very, very long time (maybe forever) that smoking would ever be allowed in the famous punk venue. Even though I'm not a smoker, I indulged in one last parting cigarette just for old times' sake and, I have to admit, a small hint of sadness hung in the air amidst the last haze of smoke that would ever linger inside the Melody Inn.
But it was just a very, very tiny hint of sadness, as the first ever Souldies Dance Night turned out to be a totally groovy, neat-o, nifty, happenin', far-out success. Hostess and Melody bartender Kelzey Riggs took the stage to kick things off as co-host and DJ Jeb Lambert (also guitarist for Vacation Club) took the controls first, spinning nothing but 45s. If you like music from that era, this is an event you won't want to miss next time it comes around, which is Thursday, June 28, to be precise.
You couldn't have asked for a better scene with a more fun, relaxed vibe. Really it wasn't too different from any other great night out at the bar, except that the people were there to dance, looking good in modified '50s and early '60s garb (think blue jeans and white T-shirts, not tie-dye), and the music was incredible. Unlike some places where the jukebox reigns, there was no crap Top 40 frathouse dance party music, arena rock, or other cheese-ball music to break up the flow; just classic psych-rock and blues from deep in the vault, stuff I'd forgotten existed and, in many cases, never knew existed. I came away with at least a half-dozen new artists/songs to look into. Music like "Crimson and Clover," "Daytripper," "The Letter," (the "ticket for an aeroplane" song), "Pictures of Matchstick Men," "Bird is the Word," and even some slimy blues hits from artists like Slim Harpo.
At least that's what dominated while Lambert and then DJ Action Jackson were at the helm. I left around 1:00 a.m. and therefore missed sets by Ryan Stroble and Ryan Caudill, but I'm sure the action at the turntables only got better as the night wore on. I will definitely be attending the next Souldies Night and I'd highly recommend you clear every last Thursday of the month for at least the rest of the summer.