Dance Lessons

With Club Hunan, city and state officials once again team up to destroy a local nightspot

Its much-hyped comeback album, Generation Swine, sank like the proverbial stone, dropping off the Billboard Hot 200 after only nine weeks. MTV, once the band's mindless lap dog, won't even begin to touch its video refuse anymore.

For Sixx, who long ago said he wants his band to be remembered alongside seminal bands like the Rolling Stones, it must be particularly galling to see the grandfatherly Stones pack stadiums while the reunited Crue can't even give its arena seats away. The America West incident was a pathetic display by a band that's never lacked for pathetic displays.

Grooves in Orbit: Higher Ground coffee house in Tempe rekindled memories of the Valley's acid-jazz past on December 11, when it hosted the Hip Joint by DJ Essential and DJ Pari. The two DJs took turns spinning timeless rare-groove vinyl, a flavorful mix of Latin, jazz and secret soul classics. DJ Essential is probably best known to local ravers for his drum 'n' bass work, but rare groove and acid jazz remain close to his heart. DJ Pari, stopping in the Valley while on tour from his native Germany, says rare groove remains hot in San Francisco and L.A., even while it's fallen out of favor in the Phoenix area. Anyone interested in DJ Essential's plethora of future live and recorded projects can contact him at 929-9530.

Who's in town: Tucson's premier swing band, Kings of Pleasure, celebrates the release of its second CD, Pleasure Chest, with a Saturday, December 20, show at the Bash on Ash in Tempe. The show should launch an active year of live work for the band, which is now receiving distribution and publicity support from PolyGram Records.

--Gilbert Garcia

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