Phoenix hasn't exactly been a hotbed of the gothic club scene. For one thing, it's too sunny here (honest, it is!) for any "vampire" to survive; and for another, it's too damn hot to wear black all the time -- not to mention the fact that the Valley has traditionally lacked goth-rock clubs. But now's the time to bust out those ripped fishnets, pleather pants, and ghoulish makeup. Thanks to Steven Rogers, owner of the new club Palazzo, 710 North Central, denizens of the dark can get their goth grooves on with "Tranzylvania," a weekly Friday night event that combines melancholy music, fiendish fetish fashion, and austere art.
The art murals -- most of which contain some element of the erotic -- cover the walls of the club, but are only visible under black light, which is a good thing considering Palazzo hosts weddings during the day. But event promoter Shea B. Dean thinks the "Tranzylvania" patrons might give the art a run for its money. "The [style of] dress is pretty dark," says Dean. "I dress pretty distinctly, very dark and erotic. But people can wear whatever fits their mood."
And since no one should be too dark and depressed to dance, DJ Kevin Brown will spin "dark trance" music all night, the definition of which is hotly contested by dance-music junkies, so we'll just liken it to spacy haunted-house music.
And of course, there'll be plenty of spirits in the house, of the alcoholic variety. Wicked ones can wet their whistles with $5 well drinks of premium vodka, rum, tequila and gin, and $3 draft beers (drink booze, not blood!).
"Tranzylvania" debuted two weeks ago, and Dean says the turnout was "pretty good," especially considering the only promotion they'd received was by word of mouth. "It was packed early on in the night," he says.
Doors open at 10 p.m., with revelry lasting until 4 a.m., or until the last bat flies the cave. Cover is $7. Call 602-229-1150. -- Niki D'Andrea
Women in high places
Men get all the glory in mountain climbing, those chiseled, gruff men's men who conquer their own personal (and sometimes the actual) Mount Everest, throwing caution to the wind. For women, meanwhile -- the "kinder, gentler" sex -- we tend to pat them on the head and say, "Nice try, sweetheart." Jennifer Jordan, the author of Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, finally gives these "mothers, daughters and wives with complex personalities" their due when she discusses and signs her book at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock in Tempe. Call 480-730-0205 or see www.changinghands.com. -- Ashlea Deahl
Woodland district parties like it's 1905
Unlike our teen idols, some Phoenix neighborhoods only get better with age. In Woodland Historic District, where the earliest home was built in 1905, the residents take great pride in their neighborhood heritage, going so far as to throw a block party in its honor from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5. The area from 13th to 15th avenues along Monroe Street has been designated as "a space for recognition and appreciation for our district," says Nicholas Krump (pictured), one of the event organizers. Ten Dollar Outfit will provide live music, and there will be plenty of food, drinks, garage sales, and children's activities for everyone, plus a 50/50 raffle. Admission is free. Call 602-254-1001. -- Niki D'Andrea
It's Burlesque, Baby
Your Red Door to entertainment
The folks at the Red Door Gallery, 1229 Grand Avenue, keep chasing hookers away from their events (it's the Red Door, not the Red Light, ladies). But the Door will be open when the gallery hosts "Burlesque Cabaret," beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Count Smokula will emcee the event, which also features burlesque bombshell Lolita Haze, snake charmer Mother Sakir, Stephen Strange and the Strange Family Circus, belly dancer Carrie E., and a "wild wig cabaret fashion show" by Devious Wigs (pictured). Photographs by Indigo Verton, Len Harris, and Kirby Soderberg will also be on display. Doors open at 7 p.m., and admission is $7. Seating is limited. Call 602-295-2278. -- Niki D'Andrea