Rather than type about the four albums I listened to yesterday (and there will come a day when I type way too much about how fantastic Dare is), let’s talk about the place I visited in the evening. I went with a friend of a friend’s wedding party. At a place called Salón Los Ángeles which, from the outside, doesn’t look overly impressive.
Image source: Google Street View
At the door (and in a couple of places inside) there’s a coat of arms kinda thing that says Quien no conoce Los Ángeles, no conoce México. If you don’t know Los Angeles, you don’t know Mexico. This room has a bit of an ego, it would seem. So, anyway, it’s a salon de fiestas. An enormous room with a large stage at the far end, a shiny wooden dancefloor, and some splendid neon. It’s been open since 1935.
Image source: Chilango.com
There was live music all night, some Cuban band, I think, and a cumbia band. Among the guests were several people who were really dressed for the occasion. Not sure if they were actually guests or just came with the room. Zoot suits. Amazing zoot suits. One guy’s was orange with a teal shirt and teal feather in his fedora. Another guy’s was white with red, another with a suit that had pinstripes like a fancier version of a Yankees uniform, and the snazziest of all wore black with a bright yellow sequin-covered jacket.
As I have mentioned before, I live above a salon de fiesta. So I know what a Mexican wedding party sounds like through the floor and stairwell. It was kind of fun to hear the same thing properly. I recognised lots of the songs just from hearing it from below. It was interesting to hear and see the cheering that I’ve heard. In between the bands, they played some Glenn Miller. I enjoyed that. It was nice to hear his music in the type of room that it was probably played in at the time.
When it came to dancing, though, I make a wonderful drinker. I see all the footwork and moves going on, how the men and women know exactly what to do and when, and it makes me feel like I really should learn how to dance to at least one type of Mexican music. If I don’t, I will forever be sat at a table, watching people dance.
At one point in the night, the band announced something about a rodeo. The dancefloor filled up, like it was gonna be something special. Then the band started playing “Achy Breaky Heart.” Lyrics in Spanish, and dancers all line dancing. Line dancing! And they all knew the moves. It was both wonderful and horrifying. For some reason, seeing such a thing interrupted the enjoyment of all the Latin music and dancing, the floaty way the brain can enjoy an evening; the free booze had begun to take its toll. My friends and I had a quick “are you drunk?” chat, we all were, so we bowed out, and got a taxi home.
Yesterday’s albums. Left to right, top to bottom:
Dare – The Human League
Coastal Grooves – Blood Orange
Introspective – Pet Shop Boys
Decks, EFX & 909 – Richie Hawtin