Archive for club zanzibar

Bluetech, Welder & Shen @ Zanzibar

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by worldromper

Last night I hauled my ass over to Santa Monica to catch some trippy ass music at Club Zanzibar out of Bluetech, Welder and Shen as part of the record release tour for Divine Invasion, Bluetech’s new album.

The crowd ranged from a guy in a red jumpsuit (“I have it in four colors!”) to girls with feathers in their hair to chicks with armfuls of sparkling Swarovski crystals to the dude dropping beats in a welding helmet. 

What impressed me the most about the night was the fluidity of sound between the three artists, a cohesive theme of trip which threaded the night together like a psychedelic path to the moon. This is stoner music; to get the full, gooey effect of the melodic bass you should be dipping your toes in a different state of consciousness, and in the desert, preferably.

Welder was my favorite but he has been for a while; his music made my body create new dance moves, to express itself in new ways and surprise my brain, which makes this nerd feel happy and more connected to the earth and to my carnal being. Good stuff.

I kept wishing we were all outside, and I am sure most of the hippie-flavored crowd would have come with me. Zanzibar’s sound is not the best; I am getting spoiled to epic sound systems and find that more and more these days I choose not to dance at the front of the dance floor, but at the spot where the sound is richest. If Club Zanzibar would allocate half the budget it spent on floor pillows and incense to a better sound system, it would be a vast improvement for this chi-chi club.

The slower tempos create a more mellow evening, with a more expressive dance floor. This longer space between beats means more room to swirl and twist your body parts between moves, which means greater intimidation factor on the dance floor, which means a higher percentage of better dancers because the bad dancers fall away. 

I met a lot of really neat people last night. I find that the better the music is, the better the crowd is. Funny how that works. I kept thinking I saw people from Seattle- is that Skoi in the corner? Marie at the bar? Manahan walking in? This is always a good sign for the evening.

Sorry for the puny review; the night was anything but. I would definitely suggest that anyone check out the Divine Invasion Tour as the three guys head up the West Coast for a night of chilled out, tripped out, soul-soothing music. 

Welder, duh.

Welder, duh.

AFRO FUNKE’ @ Club Zanzibar, Santa Monica

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by worldromper

Don’t you love walking into a club to hear the DJ dropping one of your favorite tracks, a song you play all the time at home or in your car, but never ever hear played out? I LOVE that shit!

DJ Jeremy Sole has earned a place in my heart for not only rockin’ Fat Freddy’s Drop but the track “Midnight Marauders” which is one of the sexiest reggae songs in the world. The voice of lead singer Dallas is like a warm sunset, pulling you into his island of love. Ringin’ on your bell, as it were.

That was how I started my Thursday night at Afro-Funke’ at chi-chi Club Zanzibar in Santa Monica. It has been a minute since I had been to a reggae show; once a regular at Clinton Fearon performances in Seattle, I have been opting to spend my nights out lately at shows of other genres. It is a hard spread when you love it all.

Apparently Thursday evening is the night to go to this swank club whose African-Indian decor is a tad obvious but still inviting and warm- lots of low booths for cuddle-whores, cut metal lamps, alcoves for sitting and drinking. Who sits at clubs?

Reggae, Latin-funk, world music- whatever you call it, it is refreshing to dance to the upbeat all night long, to slow down and savor the drums and full beats. It puts a smile on your face. It makes you, er…upbeat.

The sound however, SUCKED; I danced right in front of the speaker not because I wanted to but because I had to- four feet over and you could barely hear Bob Marley.

Nonetheless, the dance floor was full and groovy all night, even through the fashion show. I have been to a lot of fashion shows at clubs, and a lot of them are crap. People leave. Not this fashion show- these girls, some of whom were no doubt professional models, got up on the catwalk and got DOWN. Props. They didn’t just priss about like they had pretty-girl syndrome, oh no- they rocked it. The audience appreciated it, and the designer loved it too, seeing her creations being rocked out proper-like. After the show everybody hit the dance floor and shook it until we got kicked out. I love shutting down dance floors!

Two djembes and the sweetest didgeridoo I have ever seen, hand-carved with a face poking out, completed the taste of world throughout he night, and after 2AM these guys posted up on the street corner and continued to jam, the didgeridoo player super-styling in a cape. Pimp! I returned home happy and satisfied, with a heart warm from the change of pace.

The weird thing is, I had been invited to this night from a Myspace friend and didn’t even realize that the event was the same one until the next day! Small world- well, small bad-ass music community, I guess. LA has so many options, it is hard to know which are legit music nights and which are whorey meat-market shit flings with terrible music and worse people. This one is going on my good list.

Afro-Funke’ goes down every Thursday at Club Zanzibar in Santa Monica. Afterwards I highly recommend cruising down by the beach and checking out the sparkling lights on Santa Monica pier, blasting Deadmau5 and screaming at the ocean, as good for the soul as a night spent dancing to reggae.