I will never tire of going out dancing with the girls, because what usually happens is that we end up dancing with a bunch of guys, which was the case this past Sunday night.
My new favorite local band, Rupa and the April Fishes, had a show at Amnesia. Lilia and I had met Aaron, their drummer, a few weeks ago at Café Revolution, where he was informally performing in his Monday night jazz duo. We literally were sitting in on his session as the only available table was right behind his drum set.
The show at Amnesia began with a set from The California Honey Drops, a jazz/blues quartet that reminded me a lot of my years in Mississippi when I used to fly down Interstate 55 to New Orleans to escape the Delta for a weekend of music, dancing, booze and urban anonymity. We stood next to the piano, which was located inconveniently at the bottom of the stage and in the middle of the dance floor. I saw the drummer dancing away on the other side of the piano, so we smiled and waved at each other as the pianist energetically plucked out melodies in black and white.
When the set was over, Jenny C. and I traded off dancing with Johnny, the well-dressed pianist. Rupa and the April Fishes, if you haven't been lucky enough to hear their music yet, play an eclectic blend of klezmer, chanson française, norteña and gypsy, their unique sound resulting from brilliant songwriting and a fantastic combination of instruments, from stand up bass, to cello, to accordion and trumpet (not to mention the drums and Rupa's smooth vocals and guitar). Again my spot was right beside the drummer, but this time the only exchanges we managed was for me to pass him glasses of water every once in a while as the club was packed and HOT (thus we were all sweating profusely), for which he proclaimed me a "goddess."
The dance party didn't end after their encore. The DJ continued with an eclectic music set that included more klezmer, Prince, my fave The Talking Heads (whom the drummer had never heard of... sigh... another annoying sign of my age), and then, the unforgettable, ultimate last song of the night: Love and Happiness by the Reverend Al Green.
My memory is more impressionistic than clear, but I recall hearing the lyrics sung softly in my ear as I danced slowly with my partner, my nose to his neck, my arms draped over his shoulders, his around my waist. It felt like prom night, only without the teenage angst.
There's nothing quite like the memory of dancing cheek to cheek to a classic slow jam to make a girl smile for days on end.