Those of us lucky enough to live in (or visit) Seattle have no right to complain. Primary among many dance music treats and astoundingly talented DJs/producers, we have a weekly opportunity to feel the warmth and depth of Flammable: the longest-running house music weekly on the west coast. Flammable, held at Seattle dance music institution Re-bar, is hosted Sunday nights by resident DJs Brian Lyons, Wesley Holmes, Karl Kamakahi and Xan Lucero. After all these years Flammable is still the 800-pound gorilla of dance parties in Seattle, and always a joy to attend.
This Sunday, instead of traveling to Portland with my Bottom Forty compatriots for the Gospel According to Willam, I stuck around closer to home to commune with friends and loved ones during some difficult times. In doing so I was fortunate to have caught Alexander East joining Flammable resident Xan Lucero and Mr. Flammable himself Brian Lyons for a St. Patrick’s edition of Seattle’s favorite house music party.
My honey and I were both tired from being out late checking out DJ Paulo and Almond Brown showering circuit beats on shirtless muscle boys at Q the night before. But, upon hearing the music, we were so glad we hauled ourselves out. While we missed Brian’s opener, we caught Xan’s set, which was deeply and appropriately on FIRE. I nearly lost my mind when I heard he had actually recorded his set. If you missed it, this is what you missed. And yes, it was THAT good–one of the best live sets I’ve heard in my years in Seattle. Xan is quickly becoming one of my favorite DJs and people…so much heart and music all stuffed into one grinning, tattooed package.
Mixtape 109. You can visit the U:Move podcast to listen and download Xan’s mix at the link, or by clicking on the above image. And a little video of Xan rocking an earlier Flammable, for visual. He glows, and not just because of the traditional Flammable red light bulb. He loves the shit out of music, and you can hear them screaming in response in the background:
Flammable is sociologically interesting as well, being one of the most ardently mixed parties in town. It’s been a real treat to watch over time as more and more queer men, women, and transfolk “discover” Flammable with wide eyes. “I didn’t know this was here!” they say, as hugs and kisses are exchanged and people get down. Lately, it’s been populated by groups of friendly gays, trans, and straights of all colors and ages as well as a whole catalog of Seattle DJs, celebrating the uniting power of house music produced by locals and international talent alike.
Minneapolis’ Alexander East is a house music producer and DJ we all admire, a frequent Flam flyer, and important part of the Flammable sound Brian, Wes, and Karl have championed for years. He often plays live bass or sings while spinning records, bringing live flavor to an already deep, funky take on house music. His voice spreads across the beats like warm honey. This past Sunday he was additionally wearing bug antennae and grinning brightly as he brought soulful track after track.
East’s “Talk To Me” with Lawnchair Generals is a Flam staple–Brian once admitted to me with a guilty smile “I might play this one too much.” But how could he not? It’s a deep classic.
East also has a wicked falsetto, as evidenced on this deep/beatdown track with Manuel Tur.
East hasn’t released a recording of his set from this past weekend, but you can get another dose of Flammable this Sunday night with guest Justin Collins playing a special birthday set. If we’re lucky, he’ll wear his suit too. 😉
And one last: Bottom Forty’s DJ Nark live at Flammable, released a few months back on the Honey Potcast: http://honeypotcast.blogspot.com/2012/11/hny-164-nark-live-at-flammable.html. Snap, girl!