Flappers and gangsters at the art museum

I doubt Al Capone took much interest in American impressionism, but there were plenty of gangster and molly get ups amid the paintings at the Speed Museum on a recent Friday night.

It was the Louisville art museum’s monthly fundraiser, dubbed “After Hours at the Speed.” And the party theme was prohibition. You remember prohibition: that dark hour when bourbon imbibing moved behind the closed doors of speakeasies. That calming shot of Elijah Craig became, technically, illegal.

You might expect most people to run the opposite direction when they hear the words, “museum” and “fundraiser.” But Speed’s After Hours events can be fun when the planners get the right mix of entertainment.

It helps that there’s a full bar and food catered by Wiltshire Bakery. I got the Waldorf salad. The omnivore ordered something like meatballs. The salad was tasty and definitely left enough room for a bourbon and coke later in the evening.

The Wiltshire Waldorf redesign: a mix of greens, apples, and cranberries

By far the most fun thing was the silent disco. It was my first, but it will not be my last. The best thing about silent disco is the silence. If you want to have a conversation, all you have to do is take off your headphones and have a chat. No vibrating speakers are blasting in your ears.

The omnivore danced his heels off.

And, your conversation will in no way disturb the serious exertions of the dancers all around you.

In a silent disco, everyone wears his and her own headphones and listens to a choice of three different music stations broadcasting non-stop music to rock and roll by.

Don’t worry. It’s all dance music. Beethoven will not make an appearance at this kind of event.

The next great thing about silent disco is that you control the volume on your headphones. No more nerve deafness.

And, if you and your dance partner are not into exactly the same music at the same moment, you can love each other and dance together while listening to two entirely different songs.

But the very best thing about the recent After Hours at the Speed was hearing Rannygazoo for the first time. They were awesome. They sing deep cuts from the 1920s. This unique musical knowledge comes courtesy of an inherited record collection. So they have a sound like no other you will ever hear.

Rannygazoo is a two-person music team, featuring vintage deep cuts into the American songbook

My favorite song from their repertoire is “Goodbye, wild women,” which features the prohibition era quip, “After the country goes dry, goodbye wild women, goodbye.”

If you get a chance to see and hear them, go!


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