Monday, April 03, 2006

For Dancers Only

Song: For Dancers Only
Artist: Jimmie Lunceford

Why we like this song: N--The All Music Guide says that Lunceford's band has "always been difficult to evaluate," rated by contemporary observers as top notch, but when judged soley on their music, they are "second tier." I say...what-the-bleep-ever, second tier my foot. This song to me is a shining example of a top notch dance song. It has wonderful pulse and direction and simplicity, and it has tons of space within the phrases to play. I first heard this song at Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in Minneapolis--we recorded some of the dance competitions at ULHS, and this was one of the songs dj-ed there. Have you ever seen two people have a super tight dance to a song, and then watch footage of said dance over and over, and then try to dance in the same way to that same song, and somehow your body just won't cooperate? Ah, the joy of learning how to dance well. In any case, this song rocks. And the Midcoast Swing Orchestra plays a mean rendition of it--check them out every other Tuesday at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis.

Lindyhopper's Delight

Song: Lindyhopper's Delight
Artist: Chick Webb
Album: Strictly Jive

Why we like this song: N--To commemorate the start of lindy hop lessons for some of you, I give you this song. This entire album is awesome...if you're looking for albums where most if not all songs make you want to move, then go buy this one right now! I particularly like this song because it has great energy and drive and that good old make-merry feeling. And the funky discord section at the end is somehow refreshing in a weird way. Also, Chick Webb's life story is inspirational, which makes his music that much more interesting to listen to.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pandora & the Music Genome Project

P--Ever found a song/artist you like and wonder what else is out there that is similar to it? Of course you have! If you haven't heard about the Music Genome Project, visit Pandora to see how cool this is. Pandora lets you create your own radio station based on an artist or song. So if you're just getting into swing/jazz and want to see what else is out there, this is a great way to start.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sweet Georgia Browns

Song/Artist: Sweet Georgia Brown / Django Reinhardt
Sweet Georgia Brown / Benny Goodman

Why we like this song: N--For those of you who take lessons with us, here are a couple of songs to which you can play and create with your solo charleston. There are a million and one versions of this song out there--here are two of my favorites. Try listening to them back to back, and then dance to them back to back. What do you think?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Kansas City Riffs

Song: Kansas City Riffs
Artist: Buster Smith

Why we like this song: N--A humongous thank-you to Peter Strom and Caitlin George for using this song to teach with at last fall's Big Red Swing Weekend at IU. We can't stop listening to it...holy crap what tremendous energy! AND, thanks to both of them for the inspiration for this blog--check out the links on the sidebar to their own music blogs...

The Flat Foot Floogie

Song: The Flat Foot Floogie
Artist: Slim Galliard and Slam Stewart

Why we like this song: N--I like this looney tooney because, good gosh, it's silly. I also like the Slam Stewart humming-while-tearing-up-the-bass thing. If these guys feel familiar to you, it might be because you saw them in Hellzapoppin'--they're the ones that happen upon some instruments and start a crazy spontaneous jam that opens up the floor for one of the most famous and frenetic recorded dance scenes ever EVER, featuring Whitey's Lindy Hoppers.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Everything is Jumpin'

Song: Everything is Jumpin'
Artist: Artie Shaw

Why we like this song: N--This song is a 4 minute and 22 second all-out-house-party-in-a-bag, with one heck of an ending!! It never fails to leave me feeling all satisfied and full of sunshine and exclamation points after listening/dancing to it! It was on the second swing dance cd I ever bought (the first of course being the Swing Kids sound track), and I only recently dusted it off again to find that I had been missing out on this song for years and years! Lesson learned: don't neglect your old music! Exclamation point!!!!