Vinyl Fantasy Brings Out Wenches and Obtuse '70s Sex Music

Categories: Last Night

vinylfantasy.jpg
Best album cover ever? Best album cover ever.
Well, the weekend is over and I am still trying to remove my neon pink lipstick from the super fun wedding reception the Observer staff ingested too many jello shots at. All in the name of art, we are cultural consumers around these parts.

Be it a new pop-up bar or an afterparty, I don't like to miss out on things but sometimes even I need a respite. Thankfully, my plans for Friday managed to include soul music, strong cocktails and the comfy booths at Inwood Lounge. A perfect way to take it down a notch, without having to really take it down a notch.

Vinyl Fantasy generally takes place at the end of the month at Inwood Lounge (it also moves around), though some months back it became a more focused soul night. VF stays mostly in that territory but there is license to just play, well, the weird stuff those in charge have uncovered while vinyl hunting. Adam Buck (DJ Business Casual/DJ Baby Jessica) and Nathan Johnson (DJ Empty Cylinder) cover the ying and yang of '60s and '70s soul, girl groups and weird shit in one of those most consistently pleasant evenings in town.

Buck's sense of sonic adventure harkens to what I think is best described as obtuse '70s sex music. His mixes are heady but still make you move and you get the feeling he'd be an excellent host to a weird underground radio show. On Friday, a song hit the record player and I immediately went to investigate. I was thrilled to see the cover's promotional copy sticker, as it wasn't ever supposed to be for sale. It was from a WTF-level '70s artist named Wench and reward for Buck's obsessive vinyl scavenging. I would have bought the record for the cover alone.

To talk music with Johnson is to find the friendliest music snob in town. His personal projects veer into noise rock, but his 45s-only set was pure joy. I fall in love with his sets a little more every time -- just when I think it doesn't get better than The Angels' "My Boyfriend's Back," he hits me with The Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack." It doesn't seem obscure until you realize just how long it's been since you have heard it, and just how heartbreaking Mary Weiss' vocals sound at full volume.

Nearly every time I head to Vinyl Fantasy, I intend it to be my first stop on the way somewhere else, and I never quite make it to that second stop. The mix of fantastic cocktails and barkeeps, the Lounge's hard-to-define crowd and those soul-stirring spins encourage you to relax, leave your tab open and cut a rug when you finally tear yourself away from the booth.

So order that second martini. This night is snob-approved and I ran into folks from local bands The Blurries, Flowers of God and Bethan, so you should be there too. Where in god's name is a decent soul night? It's at the Inwood Lounge, sugars.

Follow Deb's adventures in real time on Twitter: @debdoingdallas.

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9 comments
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Anon
Anon

But you really can't attend unless deemed rightfully cool by said "whoever" or else be prepared to sit by yourself all night or hang out front with the much less cliquey stoners and Parliament smokers waiting to watch the midnight showing of "Blade Runner." Cause really, this is an exclusive event. Not because those attending are "Dallas's It Crowd" (they do wish). But because the music is mainly esoteric and boring, and the folks at the helm are cold, uninviting ladder climbers who I guess are hoping to "amp up" the hype of VF so Khloe and Lamar show up? Sorry, the Odoms aren't coming. And neither should anyone else.

anon
anon

i'm sorry you didn't feel welcome at vf, but honestly, are you supposed to get welcomed? i mean. it's a bar. at a movie theater. with dudes playing records. was someone supposed to find you & make sure you were having a good time?

i'm confused by the vitriol. really. i feel like the times i've been were pretty chill. i can't imagine it getting anybody this riled up. 

but really. seriously. i'm sorry you didn't have fun. that's the point of that night, i think.  why not try it again?  maybe bring a buddy & try striking up a conversation with one of the cold, uninviting ladder climbers & see what happens. but only if you're gonna give it a real chance. we don't need a grumps sitting at a table alone judging everyone & bringing the room down. that's, like, khloe's least fave vibe.

anon
anon

also: they guy smoking the parliaments is one of the djs. so...

Anonnie Nonnie
Anonnie Nonnie

Anon, When I first read your comment, I genuinely thought it was a sarcastic play at the scruffy-faced men that sit down in the big corner booth slinging vinyls all night...I started to chuckle. And giggle. And gaggle.  And then I realized you were trying to make a legitimate statement. And then I laughed again. The exclusivity remark threw me a bit. It is a small git-down, but far from uninviting. Equally as confusing is the idea of anyone trying to be a Dallas "It-crowd" ladder-climber by getting drinky with cliquey stoners and Parliament smokers in the side-pocket bar of a movie theater. I must admit that I've only ever been to VF a few times myself, but from the sound of it, that's probably a few more times than you've been.

I love a good opposing point-of-view, but yours raises a couple of questions:

1. Tell the truth. Which ex-lover never invited you to VF but went ALL the time with their friends? I can say with 85% confidence that it wasn't me.

2. Who the hell are Chloe and Lamar?

Anon
Anon

No, Anonnie Nonnie, you are not my ex-lover. Neither are any of the other regs at VF. Because my V.I.P. Event has a velvet rope.

And Khloe and Lamar? Can you just google their names (for correct spelling see my posts) and put it together yourself, darlin'?

Anonnie Nonnie
Anonnie Nonnie

Velvet ropes are for strip clubs and places called Plush. Sounds like a stellar VIP event, how long have you worked them? Also, I'm sorry that I misspelled your friend's name. Did you meet her at one of these velvet rope gatherings? 

Deb
Deb

I love a 60's girl group but I'd hardly call it esoteric. This night is free, a table or booth is always open and the staff that run the Lounge are one of the most welcoming in town - that doesn't seem so cold to me. The snob comment was tounge-in-cheek, and while the Odom's wouldn't be turned away, I think you're right. We won't be seeing them anytime soon.

And while it sounds like we won't be crossing paths, if you're there next time, you can sit with me. And please introduce me the social climbers you speak of - they might make for a good column in the future. xo.

Anon
Anon

As I'm sure we will be crossing paths (yes, I too, along with many, joined Mr. Fairey's festivities Saturday), it prob won't be at VF. I've given it enough of a go that I'm sure it's not my scene.

Thanks for the booth invite. Though, I have always seen ample table space at Vinyl Fantasy (lack of patrons?), and have never received a drink on time or with a smile. But an invite, now that's a first coming from a "deb".

But I'm more a Veronica than a Heather, I guess, except I'd rather not walk out dusty and bleeding at the end of the night. I'll be...elsewhere...digging the jams.

Deb
Deb

Yes, I only meant our VF paths. Dallas may be a big city, but it's a small town and there is room for all sort of paths to cross. I hope.

I love a Veronica, and I love a Heather's blazer selection, but amidst the girl gang references, I am more of a Frenchie. Which means I want to dig all sorts of jams. If you have a tip for another night we should check out, send it my way to deb at debdoingdallas.com

There is a lot of room in this playground, hopefully me, you and Martha Dumptruck can share a drink behind your Velvet Rope.

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