Calling all first-date flirters, karaoke kings and queens and tranquility seekers—the sun has set and this is your invitation to a whole new side of the city. From classic soul jams and comedy clubs to trivia nights and bingo, there are countless ways to celebrate staying up as the lights go down.
1. Music AppreciationThe Lo-Fi Performance Gallery in South Lake Union bumps with old-school Northern Soul as sweaty patrons groove under a solitary disco ball. It’s a bit after midnight, and the packed house (with a line out the door) is here for the monthly all-45s Emerald City Soul Club. There’s a good chance that the tracks everyone is dancing to were first dropped before their parents were born, but it doesn’t seem to matter. This audience is getting down without pretense or pretension—partying like it was 1959. In a day when almost anyone can plug a memory stick into a Serato and mash up, say, Danny Brown with the Doobie Brothers, or have Pandora’s algorithm shuffle out a play-list, someone’s skill in conducting vinyl night dance parties like this starts well before that person gets behind the DJ booth. It begins early in the never-ending pursuit through yard sales, eBay bids and a closely knit community of obsessed record hunters. Simply put: Spinning 45s is a style of turntablism that relies more on the knowledge of the music than layering the beats per minute of two songs. While Emerald City producer Marc Muller considers himself a vinyl addict, he also knows that you don’t have to have deep pockets to shepherd yesterday’s forgotten tunes into a club setting. “So many modern and not so modern artists have liberally ‘borrowed’ from some of the artists we play,” he says. “For example, Biz Markie’s 'Just a Friend' samples heavily from Freddie Scot’s 'You Got What I Need,' and an audience goes crazy when they hear that since it’s so familiar.” He adds, “Everyone, young and old, has heard a Motown song or two, and we are a spot to just let go for a few hours to music that is usually unknown, but still somewhat familiar. People can just let loose.” It’s a fitting approach to a party that has steadily built a 10-year following (their anniversary is this November) with simple word-of-mouth buzz and a few boxes of vinyl. Second Saturdays. 9 p.m.–midnight. $10. Eastlake, 429 Eastlake Ave. E; 206.254.2824; thelofi.net Track down vintage vinyl from artists you grew up with, check out recent releases, or stumble through musical genres you didn’t know existed (see: Scottish pirate metal, crunkcore, space disco). We asked clerks at a few must-visit record stores what they thought was the Holy Grail of vinyl and the most expensive gem they ever sold.Georgetown Records Georgetown, 1201 S Vale St.; 206.762.5638; georgetownrecords.net Holy Grail: The Lamar Harrington Band, "Oom Cocka Mau-Mau/Paralysed!" on Bad Taste RecordsMost expensive album sold: Pink Floyd’s “Arnold Layne” sold for $500Jive Time Records Fremont, 3506 Fremont Ave. N; 206.632.5483; jivetimerecords.comHoly Grail: Seattle’s own Patrinell Staten’s 1969 single "I Let A Good Man Go/Little Love Affair" Most Expensive: The Har-You Percussion Group, Sounds of the Ghetto Youth (they wouldn't tell us.) Sonic Boom Records Ballard, 2209 NW Market St.; 206.297.2666; sonicboomrecords.comHoly Grail: A set of the first nine albums released from the International Artists Label (psychedelic Texas rock in the ’60s) Most expensive: An original pressing of Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West sold for $250Singles Going Steady Belltown, 2219 Second Ave.; 206.441.7396; Facebook, “Singles Going Steady”Holy Grail: Misfits 1978 single, “Bullet” Most expensive: Nirvana “Love Buzz” 45, sold for $1,500 Bop Street Records Ballard, 2220 NW Market St.; 206.297.2232; bopstreetrecords.comHoly grail and most expensive: Patrinell Staten’s "I Let A Good Man Go/Little Love Affair" sold for $3,300The Greenwood Karaoke CrawlIf the idea of bingo conjures images of smoky, florescent-lit Grange halls, think again. Seattle’s Greenwood Senior Center has put a fresh twist on the retro group game, and its monthly Bingo Karaoke Night is one hot ticket. A multi-generational crowd gathers for bingo and karaoke in Greenwood; photo: Tia WhiteThe bingo half of the equation got its start in 2008, when the Greenwood Senior Center replaced its long-standing auction with this old-school crowd-pleaser. It was a hit. The following year, organizers kicked things up a notch by adding karaoke between games. Some of the center’s younger staff members started telling their friends, and by the time the Halloween-themed event rolled around in October, interest was at a fever pitch. Organizers had set up for 150 guests, but close to 200 showed, sending volunteers scrambling to set up extra tables and chairs. Since that night, the event’s popularity hasn’t waned.“We had no idea it would take off like this,” says Cecily Kaplan, the Greenwood Senior Center’s director. “We figured most of our audience would be empty nesters.” But players range in age from mid-20s to 70s and older; the only folks you won’t see here are kids. “This is party bingo,” Kaplan adds. Jeanne Barwick, former Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe owner and irreverent number caller, cajoles the audience relentlessly, especially if one of the players prematurely announces a “Bingo!” (It’s easy to do, especially with beer and wine being sold in the lobby throughout the evening.) If you win, watch out. The rest of the players will crumple up their losing tickets and launch them at you. Last Friday of the month (usually). 7–10 p.m. $12 Phinney Neighborhood Association members, $18 general public. Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St.; phinneycenter.org/bingo Prime your pipes at one of Greenwood’s watering holes within walking distance of the Greenwood Senior Center. The Yard Cafe (8313 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.588.1746; theyardcafe.com) offers more than a dozen mostly regional, rotating beers on tap and an extensive menu focusing on Latin fare and American pub grub, including eight kinds of tacos (meat, fish and veggie), which are small and cheap enough ($3.50–$4 each) to try more than one. Or saddle up to the woodsy bar at The Cozy Nut Tavern (123 N 85th St.; 206.784.2240; Facebook, “Cozy Nut”) for a Salty Nut, a fizzy slant on a Salty Dog ($8), or the Blackberry Bootlegger ($9), with blackberry-infused bourbon, orange bitters and fresh blackberries, a fruity take on the traditional old fashioned. It won’t be long before you’re ready for the cross-generational party bingo. There’s really only one way to keep the party going after an evening of Bingo Karaoke—more karaoke. The Baranof (8549 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.782.9260; Facebook, “The Baranof”)—one of Seattle’s most well-preserved dive bars—offers karaoke Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 9 p.m. The bar’s favorite retro cocktail? “They’re all retro,” yells a somewhat cheeky bartender over the buzz of a Friday night. Our favorite? The $2 Jell-O shots are made with rum, whiskey or vodka—or sometimes, Fireball cinnamon whiskey (those will set you back $3). What better way to spend your bingo jackpot?2. Fool Proof First-Date Destinations
3. Couples ClassesWho doesn’t imagine pondering “mystery items” as amateur chefs or critiquing routines of C-list dancing stars from the safety of a couch? It’s not a guilty pleasure because we are inquisitive about these things, but rather it’s a guilty pleasure because we are inquisitive about these things while lounging in our sweatpants. We owe it to ourselves to get off the couch and expand our skill sets with someone we love.Get messy with a main squeeze at Pottery Northwestcouples class—feel free to bring wine and chocolat; photo: Sudhi TirnahalliCraft We all remember (and can never unsee) Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze’s romantic tryst with clay in the movie Ghost, right? Well, date-night classes at Pottery Northwest are nothing like that. These introductory-level sessions offer hands-on instruction, as you and your partner work on a wheel. Fridays. 6–9 p.m. $30, with a $10 firing fee to keep your creations. Lower Queen Anne, 226 First Ave. N; 206.285.4421; potterynorthwest.org CookForget the Chopped timer, there is no reason to fret when learning how to make masa with the culinary director of Hot Stove Society, Bridget Charters, or wok up a storm with former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food editor Hsiao-Ching Chou. Develop your own “taste memory" at the Tom Douglas cooking classes, located just above his restaurant Lola. Kick the lesson off or end it with a quick cocktail at Ändra Loft. Days and times vary. $50–$110. Belltown, 2000 Fourth Ave.; 206.436.0383; hotstovesociety.com Dance Alt-country twangs and jingle-jangle guitar hooks fill the room as Michael “Mikey” Augusta honky-tonks a two-step for his roaming weeknight/weekend classes of Outlaw Swing. It’s not a free-form interpretative cowboy strut, but it’s also not a buttoned-up affair or synchronized line dancing. Rather, the two-hour class finds its stride by leading partners somewhere between a raucous good time and a good ol’ American hootenanny. Prices and times vary. Various venues and studios, including Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard and The Ould Triangle in Greenwood; outlaw-swing.com