Sometimes I have to get the work out of the way before I start the fun.
Meaning the hired mouth swept through two places and deposited me at home by 11:00. Seriously, 11 p.m.?
So, assignment over, I said goodnight to my dining companion and moved on to the fun part of the evening.
D.J. Harrison and Sound Genesis were playing at Balliceaux. For the uninitiated, that meant that Reggie Pace and his hand-selected crew wold be playing the music.
Walking in, I found the DJ set already deep into it. Reggie, he of No BS and Bon Iver, was just finishing up his set. The lilliputian photographer was hard at work capturing it all.
The crowd was half dancing, but obviously entranced by the music.
The first person I ran into was a songbird Lydia, back from the West Coast, and thrilled to be hearing Reggie. I made sure to inquire if she'd be playing a show while she was back on our coast.
At the bar, I asked for an Espolon and the bartender inquired if I wanted to open a tab. Not necessary. One was plenty.
Not long after, Reggie gave way to Sound Genesis, a DJ he said was familiar to many rap artists but who was virtually unknown in Richmond.
His music was low key and people began dancing almost at once, unable to resist the slow grooves he was playing.
A girl was dancing mid-floor ("This music is so chill," she said, eyes closed) but soon made her way to my side, asking if I liked to dance. Do I ever!
She turned out to be a graduate student at the Corcoran and she felt like she'd met a soul mate when she found out about my art history and Washington, D.C. background.
After asking me to dance. she ordered two fireballs, insisting that I drink with her. While I had no idea what a fireball was, she explained, "Like a fireball candy but with alcohol."
Of course. But when a stranger is buying you a drink, you drink it and that's that, so I did.
After downing our fireballs, a guy walked by and I recognized him from a band I'd interviewed in 2007. Amazingly, he remembered me.
Next thing you know, we were talking about personal freedom, fashion and how children can crimp your style (okay, so that was his complaint).
I also saw a wildly curly-haired upright bass player I knew from shows around town and we got into it about where I'd seen him play as well as tonight's entrancing vibe.
The music was chill but before long most of the room was dancing or at least grooving to it.
Reggie came over to let me know that this was not a one-off event and that at least two DJs would be playing every other week.
It'd hard to beat an Espolon in hand and multiple people to talk to or dance with especially with chill-wave playing by a DJ who needs to be heard by way more people.
"Hi, I'm Xavier," the DJ said, introducing himself to me post-set. "Will you be back in two weeks?"
I will. First we work and then we play.