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esl

April 23rd, 2003

Garth [codejunkie.org] and I went out last night to the Eighteenth Street Lounge for a few drinks. He had never been there and when I stopped out front to open the door he asked ‘is this it?’ and ‘dude, where’s the sign.’ I think that the following, which comes from the Washington Post [www.washingtonpost.com] should explain it to anyone else who has never been:

“On the wall outside the front door is the smallest of bronze plaques indicating that, yes, this is the Eighteenth Street Lounge. If you don’t know the club is there, maybe you don’t need to know. And if you do, you’re probably familiar with the world of modern dance music and techno, where the names Thievery Corporation and ESL Music carry lots of weight. If you don’t recognize those names, you might find it hard to understand this: Since the Eighteenth Street Lounge opened in April 1995, people have traveled from around the globe — Iceland, Malaysia, India, Zimbabwe — to cross its threshold, musical tourists who couldn’t care less about the monuments and the Smithsonian.”

Sound like over kill? It’s not. The Lounge is filled on the weekends with people from everywhere. It really is part of another world. Sometimes getting into that world is not so easy:

“On any given night there’s a crush of people on the sidewalk waiting to get in, hoping to withstand the scrutiny at the door (no khakis, no ball caps, no attitude), pay the cover ($10, $15, $20 or free, depending on many things, including the time of night, the number of people in your party and the doorman’s mood) and be let into the club.”

Which is actually not really true. Very rarely are there more than a few people talking in small groups on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The best time is early on Tuesday or Thursday evening, around 6, in the summer when the windows are open. Take a group of friends and just relax. And If your like jazz, brazilian jazz, downtempo or lounge music check out The Lounge and ESL Music’s website [www.eslmusic.com].

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