The other night I went to a music venue I’d never visited to catch a friend of a friend’s band. Of course, catching a “friend of a friend’s band” is always a risky proposition. The show was being promoted as an “Afro-Cuban Klezmer Fantasmagoria” and I was frankly worried that this musical journey was into the world/jam realm where I can’t travel without major risk of stomach illness. But, contrary to my natural biases, the show was great. It’s strange how a town as small as Seattle seems to instantly expand when you sidestep your own habits. It reminds you how your impression of a city derives from a self-reinforcing sampling of what it offers. You identify with one or a handful of peer groups and then they become the people you see all the time, citizens of the unique subset of the city you’ve chosen to inhabit. Since I spend my show-going time in the rock, indie pop, and twang worlds, I remain largely oblivious to many other scenes: jazz, world, hip-hop, classical, etc. The audience that night defied the stuffy, hipster “Seattle don’t dance” tradition with energy and joy and it seemed quite commonplace to them, as if this was just another night out on the town. There are people who consider animated Salsa dancing part of their regular social routine…in Seattle? There’s a Northwest Klezmer scene? I guess it’s not all that surprising, but I do find it fascinating. I’ll have to return to Nectar, and elsewhere, to explore more outside my habitual musical range. And props to Eli Rosenblatt: for fronting a talented band and creating a joyous scene around his music; I’ll surely be back for more.