I feel like maybe I should have asked this further ahead of time than, you know, one in the morning at the Saturday late night, but that was when I found out that LAFLX stands for Lafayette Lindy Exchange. Isn’t that delightful?
This was my first LAFLX, but I truly enjoyed every moment of it – I stayed with a great group of people, the dancers were responsive to my music, and best of all, they were interested in finding out more about what they heard! I think I had more people coming up to me this weekend and asking, “What song was that?” than I’ve ever had before! In light of all that interest, I wanted to go ahead and share my sets from yesterday, which was kind of a marathon day – I had an hour and a half set in the afternoon, and then band breaks all evening, a competition, and another set after that. Read on for more!
I started the afternoon off with “Shorty’s Got to Go,” which is one of my favorite tunes from Glenn Crytzer’s new album, Ain’t It Grand. After that, I played around with a mixture of vintage and modern pieces, hopping back and forth between Maxine Sullivan, Artie Shaw, and the Boilermaker Jazz Band, among others. I want to highlight one moment here in particular that was a huge success – just after I played the five minute version of “Surrey With the Fringe On Top” by Mary Stallings, I put on “Hit That Jive Jack” by Shout Sister Shout, which clocks in at 194 BPM. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t follow a long song with such a fast one, but it seemed to hit the floor in just the right way and people started moving to it! It probably helped that “Hit That Jive Jack” has a bold, distinct sound and it’s a lot of fun to dance to.
This screenshot contains everything I DJed during the evening, with the exception of the LAFable competition, which is below, so this will take some explaining. I caught two band breaks for the Gaslight Squares. My first band break was pretty short, just the first four songs, including “Crazy About Lester,” which a tune by Michael Gamble that I don’t often hear and that I think I should hear more – it’s got a perky melody and a super tight rhythm.
My second band break got going with “Jump Children” by the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, which I’ve talked about on here before, and then I put on the “Dipsy Doodle” and let the floor rock out with the Tranky Doo! (I may or may not also have Tranky Done some dancing in the process.) That band break went on for longer, ending with “Blue Rhythm Be-Bop” by Van Alexander and His Orchestra.
Once the time for the competition rolled around, I played “Day-In, Day-Out” for a warm-up song, and then we dove into prelims. Because the LAFable competition at LAFLX is a really ridiculous competition, where the emcee yells out silly suggestions the crowd submits beforehand and then everyone has to dance like that or risk getting tapped out, I chose mid-tempo music with a very clear beat that would be easy to move to, and all instrumental so the emcee would be easier to hear.
Once it was narrowed down to two couples, finals took place, with the couples facing off to the prompt “wizard duel.” (Props to my friend Val for coming up with that amazing suggestion – she won the prize for best idea!) Funny story – on Saturday, I remember an organizer coming up to me and saying, “Hey, for the LAFable finals, do you have any music that would fit the prompt wizard duel?” And I was like, “Ahahaha…no…WAIT.” And I remembered that I had this delightful swinger by Ella Fitzgerald whose lyrics are all about the Wizard of Oz! It was a perfect choice for finals, as Ella’s elegant voice spun along and the competitors got very, very silly.
After the LAFable competition (you might need to scroll up to take another look at my evening set), I started back in with “If It Ain’t Love” by the Boilermaker Jazz Band, and I DJed all the way until the late night started at 12:15am. I got to play “The E and D Blues (E for Ella, D for Duke),” which is one of my all-time favorite songs – it’s infectiously swingy, kind of like “C Jam Blues,” but…it also has Ella scatting, so it’s even better. It was fun watching people on the floor as the song stretched out towards its 4:54 endpoint – at one point I was actually just cheering them on in my head. No, keep going! Two more minutes! You’re so close!
LAFLX was a really enjoyable event, and a great way to spend a relaxing weekend. If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend attending!