Rooty-toot-toot, who gives a hoot. It's officially spring on Friday. Let's dance and sing.
Here are a few nightlife goodies to allow you to achieve the above-stated goals:
Come kick up your heels at the top of the Hilton with Gizzae, Thursday's featured "Reggae Night" band. Pronounced "Gee-Zay," the name means "time" in Amharic, an Ethiopian dialect. Members of the group have performed with Dallol, Ziggy Marley, and Moja Nya, a prominent reggae band out of New York City. They have over 100 years of musical experience among them, and they've been the recipients of four Grammy awards while with other groups. In 1992, they came together as Gizzae, based in Chicago, and began staking out the Midwest, a known hotbed for reggae music. Through gigs at college campuses, festivals, and friendly clubs like the Wild Hare in Chicago, the Red Sea in St. Louis, and the First Avenue in Minneapolis, the musicians have succeeded in establishing a large fan base and are currently working on a second CD. Their claim to fame is doing "it a little bit different," taking a progressive slant, fusing jazz, rock, and blues into the traditional soca, cumpas, and calypso rhythms. Yeah, but can you dance to it? No problema, mi amigo. You won't be able to control yourself. Look out for the happy feet--they just won't stop.
Springfieldian David Hoffman, a successful musician (wow!) who for years has worked as a soloist and arranger for Ray Charles, sits in with the Heartland Jazz Orchestra on Thursday at the Coffeehouse, 114 Beaufort, in downtown Normal. The group plays out once every few months and is always a treat for sore ears. The early evening show runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and will cost you 5 smackers. Try to drink lots of coffee and get that foot uncontrollably a-tapping to some speedy swing or big-beat bouncing blues.
There is some excitement out there this week for you of the "all-ages" variety. Saturday at the Space, 830 S. College, Junkie Princess, Resident Genius, and Chawbacon rock the house (literally) at around 8 p.m. Tub Ring and Clone knock out a double bill at Viele's Planet on Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. Then, back at Viele's on Tuesday, Even in Blackouts (with John Pierson, founding member of Screeching Weasel), NIL8 (yes, our hometown heroes), and the ubiquitous Resident Genius pull it together from 5 to 9 p.m.
Plan ahead for the Sangamon Valley Roots Revival's anniversary party on Thursday, March 27, at the Underground City Tavern in the Hilton's lower level. Sean and Jamie deliver the goods with the internationally acclaimed and just plain good Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys. Come to give thanks, congratulations, and swing your pardner 'round and 'round to some of the finest dance music in the world. In our world for sure.
Now you're on your way to reaching those highly esteemed goals of fun, frolic, and all around whoop-ti-do. Yes, even you can do it.