Sunday, August 24, 2014

Adult Swim

What's better than a birthday pool party in the summertime?

A pool party with a really good band, that's what.

So after black bean nachos and 1800 at 821 Cafe, it was on to Granite Pool, a place I hadn't been in 15 years, and one so tucked away, I'm always amazed that I'm able to find it.

By the time I joined the fun, plenty of people were in the pool, enjoying water that felt warmer than the air.

I greeted my hostess who was in a stellar red bikini, hugged the birthday boy and absorbed some of his pool wetness, then moved on to talk to others I knew: the WRIR couple, the singer and her cute pink shoes, the guitar player in his cammo bathing suit, the other singer, looking fabulous, like she was wearing a classic 1970s jumpsuit (actually a bathing suit and pants).

It was hard to beat the combination of sitting on the side of the pool with my calves submerged and having a front row seat for the band's performance.

What are soggy shorts and a wet butt but two of the pleasures of summer?

A guy floated up in an inner tube and introduced himself. I suggested he stay nearby for a great view.

And not just any band, but the Shangri-Lords - a local band in which I know five of the members (including Kyle and Tim from Diamond Center as the rock steady rhythm section), and yet had inexplicably never seen perform ("What? Are you serious?" a friend asked, slack jawed)- all of whom have the last name Lord.

The Ramones have nothing on these guys.

With Michael doing lead vocals, Lindsey and Janet doing back-up vocals and Kyle doing some of both, they proceeded to get the party started with some outrageous '60s girl group songs.

Don't say you don't know what I'm talking about: "Be My Baby," "Nowhere to Run," "Good, Good Lovin." Amazing stuff.

There was one girl determined to get the dancing started, sometimes alone, sometimes with a willing or reluctant partner. She even asked me.

Handling the lead vocals, the witty banter and the dramatics, Michael (whom I know from much different bands) was smooth as silk, his arm around the blue support as he crooned, making kiss and good-bye gestures as the lyrics dictated.

Even better, he was dressed in a tux. During the band's set, our hostess appeared at my side in the pool, asking rhetorically, "Who would show up at a pool party in a tux? This guy."

Yes, and we love him for it.

Our lovely back-up singers were equally as impressively clad and talented, all in black and dancing rhythmically to every song.

They were masters of the double clap/snap routine and harmonized magnificently with Michael.

Clearly the band had put some thought into the set list, mixing up raucous dance songs with slow dances so people could grope.

With a funky drum part coming from Tim, they even sang "happy birthday" to the beaming celebrant.

When they announced they were doing a sexy song, Lindsey warned party goers, "Single people, you need to start talking to each other now."

Then when it began, she used her best announcer voice to say, "And now it's adult swim."

For the last three songs, she exhorted the crowd to get up and dance now if they'd been planning to and plenty of people couldn't resist The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On."

Saying it was anthem time, we got what was the highlight for me, the vintage proto-feminism of Leslie Gore's 1963 classic, "You Don't Own Me."

They absolutely nailed it, Janet and Lindsey's vocals and dancing spot on as Michael sang, "Don't tell me I can't go with other boys!"

I don't tell you what to say
Oh, I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself'
That's all I ask of you

That's some stellar '60s girl power right there.

They closed their set with the Tammys' "Egyptian Shumba," practically a call to arms to twist and do the bugaloo and the dancing crowd obliged on the wet decks.

Near the end of the song, Michael left the stage to incite the crowd further and before long, jumped in the pool, incidentally losing his glasses along the way.

In his tux.

Not to be outdone, Lindsey was next and Janet soon followed.

Coolest part? They splashed around a bit and then returned to finish the song.

How in the world had I not seen this band before? Already looking forward to the next time.

If you've been to a better pool party, I want to hear about it.

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