Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Josh Duke gets into the swing of things

Just like the last time I got a drink thrown in my face, Saturday night had a sense of refreshing vigor that raised me from my doldrums and left me standing and asking myself the question, “What did I do to deserve this?” Donna Landry and her band gave us a swing and R&B set at the Jambalaya that got a modest crowd dancing to a docket full of old standards.

Swing dancing is one of those things that you think is a great idea to learn, mostly because it can help you meet girls, right? We all saw Swing Kids, so you know what I’m talking about. So why is it that the vast majority of people I see swing dancing are married couples that are twice my age? Kudos to them for getting out there and dancing.

Ms. Landry’s presence on stage was welcoming and enjoyable while serving as a nice foil to her zealous harmonica player. A bass player that looked oddly like Wilford Brimley kept the rhythm, while drums and guitar filled in the rest. I would have danced myself, but I didn’t want to embarrass my date by blowing her out of the water with my superior dancing skills.

Old Wilson Pickett favorites such as “In the Midnight Hour” dotted her set list between other classic swing tunes, prompting me to jones for watching The Commitments when I got home right after I check my blood sugar for “di-a-beet-us.”

Perhaps I don’t go to enough shows that are meant for dancing, but I feel like there aren’t really enough shows here for such purpose. I know you think there’s dance shows with the slew of cookie cutter jam bands out there that you can swing your dreadlocks to, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about shows like this one, where you had to have taken some kind of class to strut your stuff. It might inject a little class into our “every day is casual Friday” mentality.

If Saturday night has taught me anything it’s that I really need to buy a pair of wing tip shoes, and I need to be at least 45 years old to look at least remotely cool wearing them without looking pretentious.
Nah, you just need to dance like a slick 45-year-old, Josh!

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  blah blah cough cough wrote @

what an old fogie in training. swing dancing with wiflord brimley? go for it. talk shit on local rock bands, but kiss the swing dancers collective ass? maybe you should take a class on how to write reviews that are interesting without seeming pretentious.

  Terrence McNally wrote @

Maybe you should put your name on your comments and not be such a weenie.
Or start a band named Collective Ass, weenie.

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