Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Next Gig: The Salon's New Year's Eve Eve

frankly, i prefer hanging out on new year's eve eve -- there's less hassle in general, things aren't too crowded or touristy and if you find the right situation, you can lounge and have fun in a high octane enviornment with a minimal amount of fuss.  new year's eve has turned into a real amateur hour in this town. there are all these things that you're supposed to do -- like going to times square to watch the ball drop, for example -- that aren't really that much fun at all.

you want fun? here it is: the salon's new year's eve eve.

this happy gathering of well-heeled swing scene stalwarts is an annual, elegant, non-stop party of epic proportions: over 40 performers -- jazz musicians, banjo pickers, burlesque dancers, djs spinning 78s on vitrolas and the like -- take over 3 floors of the dl, a beautiful newly restored hotspot in the lower east side.

each floor will have a different band, a different vibe. the first floor will be dedicated to the 1920s -- a lot of hot jazz from red hook ramblers, a lot of crooning from gelber and manning and of course lovely tunes to dance to from dj michael "the barber" haar of the ragged phonograph program.

he's not the only dj, either. each floor will have one.

the second floor -- the red room, lined with red walls, laced with red chandeliers and studded with red furniture -- will be filled with blues from ron sunshine and his band.

the third floor -- where i'll be, for an early set -- has a beautiful water fountain, huge tropical trees and a retractable rooftop that's kind of breathtaking because you can feel the clear expanse of sky hanging just above your head. i'll be with my quintet the hot five, playing an extra special first set crammed with billie holiday's rare sides and well known tunes. i'm out by 10pm and then george gee and his orchestra takes the stage for the rest of the evening.

the hot five:

todd londagin: trombone, vocals
warren smith: drums
al street: guitar
patience higgins: tenor sax

now, doesn't this sound like a fun night out?

if you can't lindy, don't sweat it -- just show up early for a complimentary dance lesson.  there's hand crafted cocktails for your drinking pleasure, of course.  and yes, lots of burlesque all over the place.

i'm looking forward to dressing up like its 1935, seeing a lot of familiar faces from the swing scene, sitting in with ron for at least one song and going home early, like a sensible little bird. after all, i'll be chirping on new year's eve, at the astor room.

doors open at 7pm. they'll be ripping it up until 2am, easily. get your tickets in advance here for $25. (vip tickets are available, too.) the cover at the door is $30 but here's a tip: if you say "yehoodi" at the door, they'll give you $5 off.  huzzah!

see you there!

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