Well, the weekend is over and I am still trying to remove my neon pink lipstick from the super fun wedding reception the Observer staff ingested too many jello shots at. All in the name of art, we are cultural consumers around these parts.
Be it a new pop-up bar or an afterparty, I don't like to miss out on things but sometimes even I need a respite. Thankfully, my plans for Friday managed to include soul music, strong cocktails and the comfy booths at Inwood Lounge. A perfect way to take it down a notch, without having to really take it down a notch.
Vinyl Fantasy generally takes place at the end of the month at Inwood Lounge (it also moves around), though some months back it became a more focused soul night. VF stays mostly in that territory but there is license to just play, well, the weird stuff those in charge have uncovered while vinyl hunting. Adam Buck (DJ Business Casual/DJ Baby Jessica) and Nathan Johnson (DJ Empty Cylinder) cover the ying and yang of '60s and '70s soul, girl groups and weird shit in one of those most consistently pleasant evenings in town.
Buck's sense of sonic adventure harkens to what I think is best described as obtuse '70s sex music. His mixes are heady but still make you move and you get the feeling he'd be an excellent host to a weird underground radio show. On Friday, a song hit the record player and I immediately went to investigate. I was thrilled to see the cover's promotional copy sticker, as it wasn't ever supposed to be for sale. It was from a WTF-level '70s artist named Wench and reward for Buck's obsessive vinyl scavenging. I would have bought the record for the cover alone.
To talk music with Johnson is to find the friendliest music snob in town. His personal projects veer into noise rock, but his 45s-only set was pure joy. I fall in love with his sets a little more every time -- just when I think it doesn't get better than The Angels' "My Boyfriend's Back," he hits me with The Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack." It doesn't seem obscure until you realize just how long it's been since you have heard it, and just how heartbreaking Mary Weiss' vocals sound at full volume.
Nearly every time I head to Vinyl Fantasy, I intend it to be my first stop on the way somewhere else, and I never quite make it to that second stop. The mix of fantastic cocktails and barkeeps, the Lounge's hard-to-define crowd and those soul-stirring spins encourage you to relax, leave your tab open and cut a rug when you finally tear yourself away from the booth.
So order that second martini. This night is snob-approved and I ran into folks from local bands The Blurries, Flowers of God and Bethan, so you should be there too. Where in god's name is a decent soul night? It's at the Inwood Lounge, sugars.
Follow Deb's adventures in real time on Twitter: @debdoingdallas.