Thursday, May 06, 2010

Jive Junket 2010: Introduction

When I turned 21, I lived in a house with six other girls on Grainger, just on the outskirts of 4th and Gill. I'm not sure how it ended up happening, but for some time, every Thursday night we would go to Sassy Ann's to dance. We became obsessed. It was like nothing we had ever experienced before, a place that said, "Come. Dance like the white person you are." The people that hung out there were cool, and you felt like you were in the hull of a pirate ship. It didn't matter what we wore; by the end of the night, we were drenched in sweat anyway. If we made it to 3am when they'd close, it meant we had a great time. We'd be herded out with the others and hang out in the parking lot for a few minutes before going to Kroger to buy Bagel Bites.

But like a lot of good things in life, our little paradise didn't last forever. At one point or another, we all experienced the Sassy Ann's burnout. As a result, we quit going every week.

A month or so would pass, however, and we'd be ready to go back. Each time, though, something would be different: there were less and less familiar faces, the DJ changed, the dance floor would get too packed, you'd have to wait in line forever to get in, the music was not as good...

The last time I went was about a month ago on a Saturday night. I didn't recognize anyone there. I'm not going to lie, the crowd was a little creepy (i.e. older men had their shirts off on the dance floor). It was weird, and I didn't want to be there.


A couple of weekends ago, I went dancing with some friends at 12th and Porter, a place on a shady side street in downtown Nashville. It was hip. It was fresh.

I admit the reason I liked it so much was due to being in a different city and experiencing something new. It made me miss those early Sassy Ann's days.

I realize I don't make the effort to go out with a bang anymore (I'm getting old), but it's time to make a change for my health and happiness. It's time to rekindle my passion for dancing, even if it's only one night a month.

That is why I present to you a new Wigshop quest: Jive Junket 2010. I'm on a mission to find the best place or places to get down in Knoxville. I have some ideas but need some more suggestions on where to go. I am open to any suggestions (within reason).

As I go on this journey, I will report back on what I learn through my research. It should make for a nice summer project.


Anonymous said...

Did you ever go to the Wednesday night blues jam sessions? I played at a few of those, back in my day (read: a long long time ago).

Sometimes it was magic: a bunch of people who'd never played together before would find a 'groove' and it felt like the whole stage was floating six inches off the ground.

I played harmonica, and they'd ask me to stay and sit in on the last set. That old house has seen some good music.

max said...

I played at a couple of the blues jams at Sassys a couple of years ago. It was a great place to play and hear good music. I wonder if they'll ever do them again?

B said...

I went a couple of times. Max actually used to play there sometimes. It was a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

I guess the first time I played in the blues jam was in about 1997. The last time was about 2003 or so.

ck said...

I've seen some people really get into dancing at Marie's OTT. Does that help? :)

Discordia said...

Went last night for Cinco, and they do still do the live music/blues/jam open group night. Some people playing were awesome. Others were entirely too noisy.

The past 3 times i've been to sassy's (all in the past month) the upstairs has been roped off, which sucks because our preferred lurking location was the upstairs table overlooking the circular hightops beside the dance floor.

As for the shirtless men statement, for the past year or so (roundabout the time michael jackson died) Sassy's has started to seem more and more like an unofficial gay bar. Not that that's a bad thing.

The Modern Gal said...

I had the same experience with McLeods (on Market Square) when I was a wee young college gal -- it was the place nobody knew about, so all my friends took it over every Thursday night and had a blast (except with karaoke instead of dancing).

Maybe CK and the Pol could open up their own dance bar to suit your lack of dance spot, B.

Micheleagogo said...

Um, I was just thinking about this on the way to work...the fact that I have very few opportunities to get my groove on.
If you need a partner in crime, I'm down. As long as it's not on a school night or when hubby is I am old!

Athomp said...

Everytime I've gone it's been a bunch of frat daddies and sorostitutes. Drinking cans of natty light in the parking lot waiting to get in. There was a fight in the line last time I was there.

Not really my scene, but I see the potential for what you remember. I'm sure they just got greedy. What do you do when your primary clientele is all young college kids with fake id's?

I go to Southbound with my friends every other Saturday or so. It's extremely top 40 heavy, but they play old 80's videos that are pretty fun to watch. I would start there, it is by far the most popular non-country dance club in Knoxville right now. Friday or Saturday. I'd be interested to hear a wigster's opinion on that place.

Other than that, Valarium Saturday's is interesting...Hannah's is still frat happy.

Personally, I like dancing at Barley's for bluegrass shows. Or at urban bar in front of the jukebox ;o

Good luck!