Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap & Dance Off is likely to be the most joyous musical way to break a sweat this weekend. Toubin's Soul Claps in New York routinely draw close to 1,000 people for the DJ's mix of obscure but crackling good vintage R&B and garage rock. He was last in Houston in June 2011 out at Stereo Live. Saturday he'll be at Fitzgerald's. The long layoff can be attributed to a freak accident in which a taxi slammed into Toubin's Portland, Ore., hotel room in Dec. 2011 while he was sleeping and pinned him to a wall. More on the accident and recovery can be found here.
Though he made his name in New York, Toubin is a Houston native. He promoted shows here in the late-'80s before going to college at UT. He was a regular in these parts with his bands Cheezus and Noodle, documentation of both can be found on 7" recordings in the used bins at your local independent record stores.
Here are a few of his Houston memories that weren't in the story:
On Lexington Street:
"I spent a lot of time on Lexington Street in the early '90s. There were these big houses that cost $600 a month to rent. Sprawl had one of those houses. My favorite story: One of those houses, you could leave beer in the fridge and there was a take-what-you-want policy. But if the beer was in the crisper, then you couldn't have it. I know one guy took a beer out of the crisper and got kicked out of the house."
On Rockin' Robin Guitars and Music: "When I was a kid I wanted to learn how to play guitar really badly. And unlike most of the other kids my age, I wanted to learn the blues. I really wanted to learn from an old black man. So I called Rockin' Robin and they said, 'Yeah, we'll set you up with Muddy Fields.' And I said, 'Yes! I found the guy I want to take lessons from!' So I go there and go upstairs and I pictured an old black man like in the movie 'Crossroads' or something. It turns out Muddy Fields is this old white guy in a Hawaiian shirt with a gray beard, a Panama hat and flip-flips. He said, 'Hi, I'm Muddy Fields!' He taught me 'Smoke on the Water.'"
On local radio:
"Man, that station (KTRU) changed so many people's lives. You'd turn it on and hear the Minutemen on the radio. That was something. And Chuck Roast, the guy who owns Vinal Edge, had that show on Pacifica on Sunday nights, The Fun House. It was really heavy noise. Not even industrial, which at least had a beat. Just intense heavy noise. U of H would play free jazz and avant garde jazz. There was that Cajun guy on NPR. It was a great time to listen to radio."
New York Night Train Soul Clap & Dance-Off
Featuring DJ Jonathan Toubin
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak
Tickets: $8; 713-862-3838 or www.fitzlivemusic.com
FEATURING DJ JONATHAN TOUBIN, PSYCHEDELIC SEX PANTHER