Tag Archives: parties

two bars, three stars: body jam at looking glass lounge

9 Jan

About one year ago, I waxed enthusiastically about what was then one of the best monthly dance parties in DC: Fatback at Bohemian Caverns. Sadly, the end of 2012 also brought the end of Fatback. While I undoubtedly found this news disappointing, all good things must come to an end, and I understand the DJs’ desires to spread their wings on other projects.

I particularly support these DJs pursuing other artistic endeavors when it results in other ill dance parties, such as Body Jam at Looking Glass Lounge.

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Now, Body Jam did not begin as a replacement for Fatback- in fact, it’s been going on for over a year, if I’m not mistaken. However, Body Jam certainly plays a more important role now that we don’t have Fatback to relieve our disco fever every month, am I right?

The musical vibes for Body Jam have a lot of overlap with your favorite Fatback mixes- I’m fairly certain I could hear Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” at either party, and that is a very, very good thing. If I had to totally oversimplify the distinction between these two parties, I would say Body Jam leans more towards 70s/80s exercise video nostalgia versus Fatback’s 60s/70s disco/soul persona.

It is pretty magical how Body Jam DJs cultivate this 80s dance party meets exercise video aesthetic into a truly awesome party. First of all, Looking Glass provides the perfect venue for this sort of event; much smaller and more laid back than Bohemian Caverns, it is literally impossible to lose your friends on the dance floor here. It is possible, however, to take a break from grooving and have a beer with your friends downstairs- a dual experience that Fatback, in all its crowded sweaty glory, could never provide. Not to mention the superior beer list, slightly off the beaten path location (which usually leads to a more intimate crowd), and infinitely interesting decor. Yeah, I love Looking Glass on any old night, even without the musical stylings that are guaranteed on Body Jam nights.

Next, the Body Jam DJs have fostered an aesthetic that is fun, quirky, and full-o’-neon with the whole throwback exercise video vibe. The first time I went to Body Jam, there was a video montage of old Jan Fonda-esque butt buster workouts playing on the walls. If electric blue thong leotards won’t inspire you to do some lunges across the dance floor, what will? Also, word on the street is that soon you’ll be able to enjoy those workout views all year long, as a Body Jam calendar is in the works.

Finally, and most importantly, the tunes. I don’t know how, but with Body Jam, these DJs have given me a playlist that feels exclusively tailored to my personal taste- even moreso than Fatback. Jumping from the Talking Heads to Prince to remixes of The Smiths, I can’t get enough. I never considered myself an 80s fanatic until I heard so many of my favorite songs mixed into one set and realized I couldn’t stop dancing if I tried.

Thankfully, I can tide myself over between monthly parties with the Body Jam Soundcloud, which has been my go-to way to get through the work day with memories of ridiculous dance moves streaming through my mind. And that’s always the best way to get through the work day, isn’t it?

Check out the mixes below (and the rest on their Soundcloud page), and then tackle your New Years fitness resolutions at Looking Glass Lounge for the next Body Jam party.

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