Saturday, December 13, 2008

Smooth Sounds of the New Dorchester

Top forty and hip-hop have their places in Dorchester. This is a neighborhood of middle-aged, middle class, working folks out to dance like it's 1999. It is also a neighborhood that pulses with the fresh and angry sounds of disaffected, disenfranchised, urban youth. Between these two extremes there is another demographic that is a little more suave, a little more laid back, a little more je ne c'est quoi, if you know what I mean. They're cocktail people.

D Bar caters to these clientele. So does C.F. Donovan's. So does the Blarney Stone and the Ashmont Grill. Other joints have upped their sophistication to lesser degrees but there's a new beat in Dorchester and it's measured in 3:4 time. To be or not to be? I would tell you after last call, but by then I've forgotten the question. There's no such thing as too much lounging. It is good for the soul, if a little soggy on the gray matter.

We were in the Twelve Bens on Adams Street when some joker played Herb Alpert and His Tijuana Brass's classic "A Taste of Honey" on the jukebox. The patrons were a bit riled as this album has never been played in the Twelve Bens and they didn't know what to make of it. There was a vote to pull the juke box's plug and it was done unceremoniously.

A younger guy sitting in the corner stood up and said, "Hold on a minute. If you don't like that, I think you'll like this. It's the same thing, only better." He pulled out his ipod and plugged it into the house stereo. The John King and Dust Bros. remix of "A Taste of Honey" came through the overhead speakers and peace settled over the bar. It wasn't an Irish lullaby but everyone got swept up with the refrain and the back beats. Everyone agreed this is the sound of the new Dot.

This is your father's Herb Alpert:

This is the new, re-whipped cream:

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