Hot Rhythm Ball

Last night Brooks and I decided to take a break from unpacking and go to this dance that we had heard was happening. It didn’t seem like it would be a huge event or anything (and it wasn’t), but it wasn’t a regularly scheduled Austin dance either. We had heard the band would be good and that there would be food (it was also BYOB). So we got gussied up and off we went.

The place was kinda hard to find. It was an old German style ballroom/meeting hall/manual bowling alley (yeah… I was confused about that too). The building was easy to miss. It didn’t stand out at all.  But it was perfect for this. The dance was a prohibition era themed dance. The ballroom was designed like an old supper club (with the tables at the perimeter of the dance floor), with a stage on one end of the floor, and the bar at the back. And, everyone was decked out in vintage 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s garb. It was  like walking into the past (a little). They definitely did the theme up right. The bowling alley, I found out, was even farther in back, and about only two lanes, and yes, manual. You set the pins up yourself. No, I didn’t try bowling.

The band last night wasn’t a usual group. They were members of about three different local jazz bands, chosen and thrown together into this one-time ensemble they called the Hot Rhythm All Star Band. And oh, how amazing it was. Jazz couldn’t get any hotter than that combo, it was so good. The one downfall to the evening was that the floor was so damn fast! It was hard to keep your balance even in rubber soled shoes… but we danced the night away anyway, just with some additional precaution.

During the band break there were some performances. Two musicians, and a dance performance by Mike and Laura. First off, I want to commend Mike and Laura for being so brave as to even attempt their choreography on that hellishly fast dance floor. Not to mention, Laura didn’t have rubber soled shoes on. She was dancing in suede (even slipperier) for that performance. Most of the partnered stuff in their routine worked just fine. The trouble was with the solo stuff. The floor was so slippery you had nothing to work off of for your movement. There were times watching their performance I thought ice would have given them more traction. So yeah, if you’re reading this, I commend you guys for doing that. You’re troopers. Seriously.

One of the musicians that performed during the band break was particularly memorable, and really, the reason I wanted to write this post in the first place. Luna Tart. Let me just describe what I saw…  A mature (but not old) woman staggers up to the stage looking totally drunk, dressed in vintage garb, holding a ukulele. When she speaks, she sounds drunk too. I wondered if she was. Then she starts singing. Her songs were this mix of humor, honesty, and multiple personalities. One song in particular was about a party she couldn’t leave because she was too drunk to find the door and she wanted to leave because they had run out of rum, but then she found the door but couldn’t find her keys, but then she didn’t want to leave because she found the gin… I laughed so hard I cried.

I found her website, and a particularly descriptive review of one of her performances. You should read that review and check her out. I know I definitely want to see her perform again.


A Review of Luna Tart at Joe’s Pub

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