Oogling: Skimpy threads, hot doings

at West Main
Thursday, July 8

Lounge Sessions (DJ Ellipsis, Kenny M)
at Station
Friday, July 9

Far be it from me to make vulgar/chauvinistic comments, but one must admit the summer in Charlottesville is an eye-feast for a young man. I remember a time when fashion had something to do with the type of clothes you wore, not how few clothes you put on. I guess I have completely passed into the realm of adulthood (my mother would probably disagree). It scares me a little. At what point did I go from "take it off, girl" to "go home and put something on"? Egad!

Regardless, summer flesh does prompt a young man to promenade. Whereas during cooler months we would be content staying inside and watching DVDs or surfing the 'net, now we feel an irresistible urge to go out and explore the world and all its heavenly glory. This past week– as warm and humid as the tropics– was perfect for clubbing more than one night to take in the late night fleshtivities... er, festivities.

Thursday, the Dr. Jekyll of guitar synth and looping, Matthew Willner, was up to no good again at West Main with his new crew, Sumthing. As always, he brings out some of the most skilled players to perform with him– oftentimes for impromptu jams just to see what will happen.

For this particular laid-back shindig, he rounded up Houston Ross (bass), Darrell Rose (percussion), Charles Cowen (drums), and a new face on the sax scene– someone whose name I unfortunately didn't get– I'd never seen this mysterious sax guy before, but he could really hold his own. Word will get out about his skill (and if he's lucky, his name). There's no doubt he'll be popping up again soon.

Darrell Rose never fails to amaze and astonish with his otherworldly rhythms. The lax format of the jam allowed room for a 15-minute solo that I would have paid money to see (West Main shows are free).

Willner himself was in a particularly quirky mood. Someone announced it was his birthday. Maybe that had something to do with it. Either way, by the end of the night, he was barely on the stage. By that time, the jams had become so freeform they were beginning to fall apart. By then it was late anyway, and I wanted to save some energy for the next night.

Friday, I was off to Station for the second installment of Lounge Sessions. The Station by itself is a pretty snazzy affair: a bar with seating all the way around and a dining area opening into a large outdoor patio complete with fountain in the middle. It's the perfect destination for a summer night. Add two DJs in the corner spinning nothing but the choicest chill drum 'n bass, two-step, and house, and you have one of the most relaxing open-air vibes in Charlottesville.

Friday night, DJ Ellipsis and Kenny M shared time on the decks. The music poured out onto the street, providing the perfect backdrop for people to relax and have a few drinks. There was even ample room for dancing. Someone brought along a one-foot-tall dancing robot to warm up the floor. Between the music, good company, and the robot, I forgot to pay attention to the ladies.

Oh, well, the summer is young.

Matthew Willner's Sumthing