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News & Updates

Taxi Dancers!

Hello Rhythm Junction!
There is a new thing at RJ now: the Taxi Dancer. You can identify them because they have a Taxi Dancer badge on. For those of you familiar with Uptown Swing, it’s essentially the same thing.

Taxi Dancers are there to help new dancers make connections and get dances in. RJ can be an intimidating environment to come into, but the Taxi Dancers are there to help! If you’re looking for a dance and have trouble getting to someone quickly, look for the taxi dancer. If you’re playing “wall flower”, they might come up and ask you to dance.

Taxi Dancers are not RJ volunteers, per sae, but they are indeed individuals who voluntary take on the role of Taxi Dancer. If you’d like to be a Taxi Dancer, please stop by the front desk to pick up a badge at the start of the night. Right now we have four available, 2 leads and 2 follows. Then we’ll write your name on the whiteboard so folks know what you’re up to.

We hope that you continue to enjoy Rhythm Junction. Please let us know if you have any other Good Ideas (TM) for us! Thanks to Peter Strom and others for asking for this! It’s definitely a Good Idea!

~ Shawn and Chelsea

Eve of the Eve Ball

Rhythm Junction is excited to host a New Year’s Eve Party!  The party is on New Year’s Eve, Eve, that is — December 30th, 2012, and features Erin Schwab, Robert Bell, and small plates by Joe’s Garage!

Break out your fancy dance shoes and white gloves, ’cause we’re partying with live music, good food, fun friends, punch and more to bring in New Year’s Eve in style! Celebrate with dancing, music by Robert Bell and Friends, fancy dress, food, drink, and even a count-down to New Year’s Eve!

The Eve of the Eve Ball comes in two flavors: Social followed by the Dance or just the Dance.  The Social is $30/35 and the Dance alone is $15/20.   Our attire for the evening is somewhat formal. Please, no denim!

7:00pm 
Small plates by Joe’s Garage
Non-alcoholic beverages by Rhythm Junction
Entertainment by Erin Schwabe and Robert Bell
BYOB

9:00pm
Live music by the Twin Cities Hot Club w/Erin Schwab on vocals

11:59pm Countdown to NYE!

You can buy your ticket right now! Click on the button below.

Eve of the Eve Ball

Online registration has closed, but you can still purchase your tickets at the door tonight. $35 for the small plates and cabaret show at 7pm, $20 for the Ball alone.

Kings of the Clarinet

by Michael Brafford.

I was very excited to DJ the “Kings of the Clarinet” theme night last week at Rhythm Junction.  The clarinet has become one of my favorite swing instruments that can sound silky smooth or blazing hot.  Through my research, I was able to listen to a lot of great music and learned a great deal about the popular clarinetists of Jazz history. I also enjoyed hearing the opinions of the local swing community. I was able to get some great recommendations and I’d like to thank local clarinetist, Tony Klug of the beloved Southside Aces for telling me about two of his heroes, George Lewis and Jimmy Noone. The night was dedicated to three of my favorite clarinetists, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Sideny Bechet but also included several other great clarinetists with a variety of styles and sounds.  Playlist clarinetists included: Alix Combelle, Barney Bigard, Bobby Gordon, Buster Bailey, Eddie Condon, Edmond Hall, George Lewis, Jimmie Noone, Jimmy Dorsey, Johnny Dodds, Mezz Mezzrow, Pee Wee Russell, Pete Fountain, Tony Klug (Southside Aces), and Woody Herman.

Thanks to all the dancers that came out last Monday night and I hope you all had a fun time dancing to these great clarinetists.  I’m looking forward to planning more theme nights like this in the future to introduce us all to the great musicians of swing.  See you soon at Rhythm Junction!

2011 Survey Results!

At the end of 2011, we ran a survey to see how we did in the first 4 months of this Monday Night adventure.  Results are generally positive, but there were some interesting finds and all are informative.  There were 22 respondents.  Here is the summary of those results:

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The making of Halloween 2012!

The 2012 Halloween party was a great success, thanks to all who came out.  Officially the “2012 Rhythm Junction Zombie Apocalypse,” the night consisted of special decor, foods, music and entertainment.  We thought we’d share what goes into making a Rhythm Junction Party, in case you were curious:

Theme.  It all starts with the theme.  Most often, the themes readily lend themselves to the dance.  Obviously, it was Halloween, so that put many things into play: graveyards (2011), zombies (2012), vampires, werewolves, psychos, etc.  The Theme drives the planning for the night.  The choice of the Zombie Apocalypse led itself to some particular decoration choices.

Decor. For the Zombie Apocalypse, all stereotypical things Zombie called out to us.  From the [Zombie] Research Center where outbreaks begin and end, to the hack-job final holdout, to brains and eyeballs, and the rise of the dead.  This sense of decoration requires appropriate signs and displays to make the theme readily apparent when dancers arrive.  The decor sets the stage for the night’s event.

Food. Themed nights bring out our culinary sides.  We like to vary the food offerings at Rhythm Junction and Themed Nights give us an opportunity to indulge.  The Zombie Apocalypse yielded a GraveYard (Brownie, under crumbled choclate cake with gummy worms, gummy body parts, white chocolate ghosts, and white chocolate tombstones), Chewies (The scary form of Crunchies, a peanut button & butterscotch family recipie), and the return of Eyeballs (Oreo Truffles covered in white chocolate with M&M Irises).

Music. On theme nights, the music also receives special attention.  While there aren’t enough songs to constitute Zombie Swing, there are plenty that discuss aspects of Halloween.  Here’s what DJ Michael Brafford put into the evening:

I had a lot of fun DJing for the RJ Zombie Apocalypse Halloween Party last Monday night.  It’s always fun to put songs together for special occasions and through my research I found quite a few great songs that I may have to incorporate into future sets regardless of the season. Below are a few of the highlights.

 I started the night off with “Friday the 13th by Royal Crown Revue and eased into the night with some low key swing tunes.  As more people arrived, more themes started to creep in.  “Killing Jive” by The Cats and the Fiddle and “Murder, He Says” by Gene Krupa, while not literally about homicide, seemed fitting for the night.  Later a Devilish set unfurled with “At the Devil’s Ball”, Bob Scobey’s Fisco Band; “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”, Benny Goodman; “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down”, Rhythm Junkies”; and “Satan Takes a Holiday” by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, which is actually a great song that doesn’t get enough playtime. More ghostly and ghoulish songs included “Mr. Ghost Goes to Town”, Mora’s Modern Rhythmists; “The Headless Horseman” featuring Kay Starr; and “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” featuring Ella Fitzgerald.  And no Halloween Party would be complete without  “Monster Mash”, Bobby “Boris” Picket & The Crypt-Kickers; “Love Potion No. 9”, The Clovers; “Werewolves of London”, Warren Zevon; “Ghostbusters,” Ray Parker Jr.; and of course “Thriller”, Michael Jackson.  Hopefully, more people will join in the Thriller dance next time.  I had a blast and I hope you enjoyed the tunes.  And always remember the gh’oul times!

Entertainment. Finally, we add a bit of entertainment to some of the themed nights.  For the Zombie Apocalypse, the entertainment was a game that actually brought about the Zombie Apocalypse.  The Apocalypse occurred around 10:05 with pockets of Survivalists holding out even until the end of the night by employing various evasion strategies, antidotes, and weapons.  However, the weapons and antidotes were running out and who knows what another hour would have brought.  As an “inside” joke, the Research Center’s predictions of the apocalypse were spread out in the Research Center.  For our population, there was a 30% chance of surviving the apocalypse.  It turns out that over population decreases the chance of survival!

 

We love to throw parties, it’s in our nature.  They’re a lot of work, though, and we’d love your help.  If you want to help out with them in the future, please let us know. Email shawn@rhythm-junction.com if you to be involved with the party nights!

Our next planned Parties are Dec 17 — Holiday Party and a New Year’s Eve of the Eve party on December 30th.  We hope to see you there!

Shawn & Chelsea with Michael Brafford