Getting Back into the Swing of Things

PeepsAs a wide-eyed and furrow-browed youngster, I was a huge fan of Swing Music. While attending the local tech college, certain courses were required that involved physical movement (you see, it was Wisconsin, and in the winter we’d have to constantly move around to keep from freezing to death), i.e. racquetball, swimming, and the newly added Swing dance class.

It was 1997, and every 18 year old worth his weight in overzealous ambitions was an enormous fan of the 1996 classic, Swingers… and I was certainly no different. I owned the soundtrack, the DVD, and of course, several quote spilled posters that littered the walls of my shared 3 bedroom apartment on Madison’s west side. I wanted to be a Swinger (in the film’s sense, not the 1970’s shag carpet sense), and my semester learning the lively and energetic basics of Swing was arguably one of my best months of post high school education, regardless if I’ve forgotten all the moves.

Swing FrontFast-forward a good 6 or 7 years to a little record shop in Ventura, CA (no need to move around there, the temperature seldom drops below 55). I became friends with the owner and I was given a quality deal on 13, 3 LP box sets celebrating the Swing era. The series is titled, quiet appropriately, The Swing Era, with each set focusing on 3 to 5 year chunks. Currently on the platter is 1930-1936 and features a lot of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Casa Loma. This, as well as every other set includes a 64-page hard cover book focusing on the intricacies throughout the era during that set’s well, set of years.

I may never again do the Lindy Hop, but with 78 sides of quality Swing spanning the genre’s entire history (13 sets of 3 LPs each x 2 sides), I’ll certainly have the material handy if the jittery bug should ever bite again.

Bowling Brings out the Swinger in You, Too!

Swingers CoverWhen was the last time you sat down after a long, hard fought day and thought to yourself, you know, I could really go for some bowling themed swinger music presented by the world’s largest owner and operator of bowling lanes?  As the jacket says, Music for Swingers is “Dedicated to the millions of swingers in the United States and all over the world who regularly enjoy the fun of bowling.” Well, isn’t that nice of AMF?

This sweet, handcrafted collection of brass & string instrumentals are the soothing, music equivalent of nailing that 7-10 split. Like that wave of assured confidence that washes over you after a successful frame, Music for Swingers offers the welcoming support of a well-maintained bowling alley, AND it doesn’t require special shoes.

Swingers BackNo bumpers are needed to enjoy these selections of swinging, succulent, striking songs. (Striking… get it? Bowling a strike? Never mind.) Broken down for the convenience of the swinger in mind, Side 1 showcases Swinging Brass (Spanish Flea, Casino Royale, Swingers Theme), while Side 2 highlights “the most popular standards of the day in the up-beat tempo of the swinging strings you have heard 101 times or more.” Nothing says up-beat, popular standards of the day quiet like Girl from Ipanema or Georgy Girl.

Perfect for that pregame drink-up with your championed bowling team, or there to help sooth the bitter defeat of yet another losing evening, Music for Swingers is your faultless companion through the smooth, polished lanes of life, no matter where the inevitable pins of fate may happen to throw you.