Friday, October 26, 2012

Double Events, plus Clips

With two simultaneous events next weekend, A Floor Divided and The Eastern Balboa Championship, I thought it would be keen of me to post some associated material.

First up is a recent Intermediate lesson recap featuring Peter and Naomi.  Peter is a master social lead and everyone attending A Floor Divided next weekend will benefit immensely from his instruction.

On a side note, check out all of the Uptown Swing lesson recaps for more great stuff to use in your dancing.

EBC is the other event happening that very same weekend.  My last visit to EBC was back on 2008, and if any of you have been to EBC you know that wackiness is a fundamental component.

During the event in 2008 they featured all of the instructors and had them dance to a previously un-announced song.  Nick and Sylvia were fortunate enough to get this gem; the original video is posted below for context.

Oh the magic of deleting just a single word.  Nick and Sylvia were great sports.

I'm sure both events will be awesome and I know I'm looking forward to more wackiness.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Lindy Connection T-Shirt!

I posted this on our Facebook page, but couldn't resist sharing it here too.

New Lindy Connection T-Shirts are on their way and we have a special deal to celebrate!

This Saturday, come at 7pm to pre-purchase a T-Shirt for $10 and you can attend the Advanced Lesson (a $5 value) for free! That's like half off a shirt!

Shirts come in both Men's and Ladies' cuts and will be here in the next few weeks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators - Skinny Minne - A Review

There's a new jam I've been listening to with my ears, and my feet are getting jealous.

Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators released a live album just this last weekend and it hasn't left my playlist - now we just need to work some of these sweet tunes into the set list this Saturday at The Lindy Connection!

It's hard to decide which of the 17 tracks I'd like to dance to first.  The uptempo tunes like Bottoms Up, Grabtown Grapple, and Yacht Club Swing immediately grab my attention, but the more I listen to some of the slower jams the more I'm just not sure.

They've managed to capture a great mix of songs from their live performance at Midwest Lindy Fest.  There's a broad range of tempos, a mix of vocal and non-vocal numbers, and a wide pallet of instruments and tones.  There isn't a single dud on this album.

The song choices, the tempos, the rhythms, and especially the natural fluctuations throughout each song succeed in feeling just right to my dancer's ears.  After listening through the album a few times I begin to understand why they play so many national Lindy Hop events.  Glenn's band is first and foremost a dancer's band with a very high level of musicianship.  

By releasing a live recording they have managed to capture two very key things.  They've bottled the live energy of a band playing for a live dancing audience, but they've also managed something a little more subtle - this recording is not a perfect studio performance with auto-tuned horns, click-track drums, and a sterilized over-compressed sound stage - and I can't stress how wonderful that is.

This recording breathes, moves, feels authentic and alive - just like the old recordings we're so accustomed to listening to at every DJ'd dance.  This possibly minor detail makes a huge difference, and places them closer to the ranks of Sydney Bechet or Count Basie than any modern electro or neo-swing recording.  Of course, actually playing Jazz is probably the bigger and more noticeable component that sets them apart, but I digress.

All this is to say that they've put together a great recording that would fit perfectly into any Swing DJ's collection.  It hits all the key bullet points for a great new Swing Jazz album, contains a great mix of new and old tunes, and I know that I can't stop playing it in my car.  And my feet keep complaining.


Check out song previews at and let these awesome musicians know how much we appreciate their music by purchasing the album for only $12.

Also, send them a "like" on their facebook page and tell them Lindy Hop Weekly sent you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ULHS - Solo Jazz Fun

Sometimes you just gotta cut loose and have fun.  Enjoy the variety and energy.  Oh, and let's do more of this at The Lindy Connection!

Monday, October 1, 2012

ULHS 2012 - Jack and Jill Finals - Chaos!

It's Chaos I tell you, Chaos!!!!

...and I love it.

This Jack & Jill features some of the usual suspects and a mix of newer faces, or at least newer to me; but the real thing that stands out is the rough quality of the dancing in general. There are follows misreading lead movements and leads improvising and leaving their follows confused. There's a lot of slop in this dance, but the beautiful thing is that it's not for a lack of TRYING.

As I dissect this video a few things come to mind.  Why so sloppy and rough?  Well, for starters, it IS a Jack and Jill.  If the mix of dancers here are really that new to each other then it is going to match a social dance more than a polished competition between A list dancers who have been dancing and mixing at events for a decade or more.

Two, I get the sense that everyone is really trying hard.  They're pushing themselves to be creative, to stand out, to hit musical movements and break down tired patterns - and this really puts a strain on connection and the ability to read what is coming next.  I get the feeling that some of these leads AND follows are treading new ground, and with the energy of ULHS at their backs I can see how things might get a little sloppy.

Third, maybe we're a scene in flux.  Having watched a lot of videos from major events, I feel like we as a scene have hit a point of maturity over the last few years.  The pros are more polished than ever, we've moved beyond the wow of air steps to a real emphasis on jazz and musical movement, and many of the smaller events (heck, even the ILHC Pro-Am!) are showcasing an increasing level of lesser known competitors who are really starting to shine.  Maybe we're due to experience a growth spurt, a generational shift, and maybe that means that things will just have to be a little sloppy again until we gleam onto the new trends, the new language. I think we might just be experiencing the birthing pains of the next phase of our dance.  Or maybe I'm misreading the signs...

So yeah, this is Chaos, but it sure is exciting.