|DJ Le Spam and crew tear up the main room at Jazid on Saturday|
Long a refuge for the local live music community, Jazid has never
had a dress code or a door charge or any other kind of exclusionary
policy. Through financial difficulties, near closure, and new
ownership, the club has repeatedly refused to abandon its commitment to
providing a totally accessible, fully sustainable nightlife
alternative. From its earliest incarnation as a jazz-only joint to the
later latin funk, cumbia, and reggae version, the emphasis has always
been the cultivation of a tight, dedicated scene. And this Saturday
night -- despite the $30 price tag -- was no different.
two-hundred-plus people suddenly flashmobbed the place. Twenty-year-old
dread-headed beach bums encircled the bar. Cliques of mature women
worked toward the center of the balloon-flooded dancefloor. Marketing
pros in rolled-up shirtsleeves, slacks, and sandals claimed their seats
along the walls. Everyone drank -- either Heineken or Corona or a glass
of red wine -- and I had a fourth Red Stripe while DJ Le Spam and crew
started a quick funk flood.
shadow-shrouded percussionist, and Le Spam at his decks hardly halted.
The band blasted through a non-stop set of electro latin tunes,
intermittent techno segues, and grunt-powered vocal solos. The party
had started. The high point had come with Suenalo still in the wings.
As midnight rolled past, Jazid entered yet another year, still defying
the odds and always driving toward a simple, solid standard.
party loft -- alongside their seemingly stoned, bronze-skinned Buddha
-- smoking and drinking and sunk into a worn corner of the leather
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washing their clothes and drinking beer in a back-alley laundromat
while catching a free outdoor show from the other side of the fence.