Sunday, April 27, 2008

Frankie and Johnny Wins FNS Song Poll

Sam Cooke's legendary rendition of Frankie and Johnny won by a landslide in our first-ever song poll.

Clocking in at a distant second place was Ray Charles' Ain't That Love with 31% of the votes, followed by Lou Rawls' Fine Brown Frame (25%) and Cab Calloway's Everybody Eats When They Come to My House (12%). Louis Jordan's Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby, Martin Sexton's 13 Step Boogie, and Roger Miller's King of the Road tied for last place.

"The people have spoken," said Autumn LaVarta, who has agreed in writing to play the hugely popular Sam Cooke song at least once per hour at every Friday Night Swing from here on out.

According to Wikipedia, the first published version of the music to Frankie and Johnny appeared in 1904 and was credited to Hughie Cannon. The online encyclopedia also notes that there are at least 256 different recordings of Frankie and Johnny, including versions by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and Count Basie. But Wikipedia also claims that elephants are egg-laying invertebrates. Which they aren't. Right?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Angie Turns 10 + 10 + 10

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Lindy hopper extraordinaire Angie Gango is turning 9 x 3 + 3!*

Friday Night Swing's own bubbly blonde, whose performance in last year's "Jingle & Rock" brought audiences to their knees, has been a lindy hop devotee for about two years. She made headlines earlier this month when she publicly denounced "boring old walking" and now perambulates exclusively by doing the Charleston, leading herself in a swingout, or spinning in an eight-count beat. She is pictured here doing the Charleston on her way to a pick up some drycleaning.

"It takes a little longer, but it's plenty more fun," Angie said.

Join us this Friday as we celebrate this Momentous Occasion with a birthday jam to Martin Sexton's "30-step Boogie." With your help, this will be a birthday jam to remember!

*Please note that this is distinct from turning 9 x (3 + 3). That won't happen until 2032.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Friday Night Swing Goes Green

In a daring effort to raise awareness of the urgent need for energy conservation, Autumn dimmed the lights at last week's Friday Night Swing. Instead of illuminating the dance floor with dozens of wasteful overhead halogens, he put several multi-colored strands of Christmas lights in strategic locations throughout the space, creating eco-friendly ambient lighting (EFAL).

"Sure, we've got fancy footwork," Autumn explained. "But that doesn't mean we should have a fancy carbon footprint."

Compiled by lightbulb specialists, this graph (click to enlarge) shows that incandescent 240V and 120V lightbulbs consume what scientists call "a crapload" of energy. But while most consumers think they're doing the planet a favor by replacing their standard bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL), they're really just kidding themselves -- and sticking it to Mother Nature at the same time.

According to new research published by the Christmas Lights Institute of Technology, Christmas lights use less than half of the energy consumed by CFLs, last fifteen times as long, and have an unprecedented Initial Luminous Flux.

"When you're dancing, you're in the moment," Autumn said. "But when it comes to protecting our planet, you've got to be forward-looking."

Speaking of forward-looking, you have a lot of Friday Night Swing to look forward to -- and we look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Night Swing Celebrates the Return of Captain Face-Paint

Much has been said about Andy, that lean, mean dancing machine who was a regular back in the Block Party days. Many say he's an evil mastermind plotting to take over frozen-foods aisles everywhere. Some say he's a madman in disguise, while others suggest that he's a madman without a disguise. But most people just know him as real-life superhero Captain Face-Paint, whose dedication to spectacular acts of derring-do in the public interest is his most defining feature.

As is the case with most superheroes -- like Batman, Superman, and Plastic Man -- Captain Face-Paint's appearances are sporadic and difficult to predict. But one thing is certain. Whenever there's a swing dancer in need (of a leader), Captain Face-Paint will swoop in and save the day!

But tonight, it's our turn to save Captain Face-Paint -- from the creeping vortex of old age. Let's gather forces to fend off the necroplasmic armor-wearing WrinkleBots with a birthday jam to remember!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Autumn Confirmed as ABC's Next 'Bachelor'

ABC has announced its selection for season thirteen of its wildly popular reality dating show, The Bachelor -- and he's none other than our very own Autumn LaVarta!

In "The Bachelor: Babes by the Bay," which begins filming in May and premieres on September 22, bachelor Autumn will be courted by 25 stunning women. He will go on a series of dates -- some group, some one-on-one -- with blonde, brunette, and red-haired bombshells, and at the end of each show, a preselected number of women will be eliminated until only one woman remains.

But this time, there's a twist. Traditionally, the elimination takes place during a rose ceremony: the bachelor offers a rose to each woman he wants to continue dating, and those who do not receive a rose are sent packing (only after they are interviewed in tears, of course).

This season, the elimination ceremony will take place at Friday Night Swing! The beauties will attend our weekly swing party, and over the course of the evening, Autumn will ask some of them to dance. So, rather than "Will you accept this rose?" this season's crucial question will be, "May I have this dance?" Those who are not asked to dance will be kicked to the curb.

Will Autumn find true love? Will he propose to the last woman standing? Will you fall for this absurd April Fool's Day prank? Tune in to ABC to find out!