By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
"What do you think, Kreme, you think I look hot?" she asks.
"Hotter than a Boy Scout after a bolt of lightning," I quip. "Since when do you get nervous?"
"I can't wait to meet them," she squirms. "Are they really gonna be there?"
"According to William Fucking Reed, that Hell on Heels chick Katie Rose bartends there," I tell her. "And she knows someone who knows the band and has thus scored an appearance."
Indeed, when we arrive, Scottsdale's Rogue East at 423 North Scottsdale Road (www.roguebar.com) is plastered with Louis XIV posters announcing the band's imminent arrival, and the spot is packed tighter than Oprah's feedbag. Seems there have been changes afoot since we stopped by in May of last year ("Punk Rock Paradise," Inferno, May 13, 2004). There's still no cover. Let me repeat, NO COVER! And the pool tables are still there, though no one's using them because of the density of flesh. The big TV screening A Clockwork Orange doesn't seem out of place, but the band stage to the left of the bar is now a dance floor, and (gasp!) there are some fine breezies on it, gyratin' to tracks WFR (that's Mr. Fucking Reed to you) is layin' like pipe. At least on this night, what used to be a knuckle-dragger dive is a little more fabulous -- similar to Hot Pink!, but with better music.
"It's an eclectic mix of rock-based music, most of it dancey," is how WFR describes the six-month-old dance party to us at one point. "I weave out of the last four or five decades of music. You can hear anything from the Beach Boys to T. Rex, to The Jam, The Raspberries, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, The Clash, and all the new stuff like The Killers, The Bravery, and White Rose Movement that's coming out of New York and London now. But it's all rock-based. No electroclash or New Wave, really."
While the bi-Sienna Miller and I are grabbing a brewski, we hear Reed drop T. Rex's "Bang a Gong," Roxy Music's "Love Is the Drug," Bowie's "Suffragette City," OutKast's "Hey Ya," Hot Hot Heat's "Bandages," and a number of other tunes that keep the squalies movin'. We bump into owner Mark Maertens, the guy who renamed the bar The Rogue when he bought it as Sneaky Pete's some four years ago.
"We're still an underground bar," he asserts. "But we're trying to get away from the hardcore punk thing and be a little more L.A.-style. Over the last few months we've gotten a huge response to Shake!. We're drawing very interesting folks. Artists, fashion designers, band people. A fun, intelligent crowd."
The Jettster starts chatting up these dime-pieces Melinda and Ann, and Melinda tells us that The Rogue's new image has won her and her pals over.
"We heard that the club had redecorated and gotten a dance floor and booths," states the sultry brunette with stunning décolletage. "My friends brought me here last week, and I loved it. I came here before when it was kind of grungy and dirty. There's a lot more energy now. And the people are warmer and friendlier than the crowd that used to hang here."
At a nearby table, hot boy Jonathan, with slicked-back hair, black eyeliner, and tattoos up and down his arms, is in complete agreement. We last saw him in a black suit and silver tie at Tranzylvania, but he looks 180 degrees different in this milieu.
"It's fucking awesome here!" Jonathan says, sucking on a Malibu and Coke. "A really good mix of genres and crowds. The people are amazing, and it doesn't cost that much money."
"And William Reed rocks," slurs a honey, stumbling into Jett and me as we conversate with Jonathan.
"I believe that's William Fucking Reed," the J-unit corrects her.
"Fuck yeah! William Fucking Reed!" growls the drunk chick, flashing us the devil sign.
That's when Maertens comes by and informs us that Louis XIV is in house. We go in search of the band, but the crowd is pretty thick, and I'm not seeing the band's members. Finally, we look outside and see bassist Jimmy Armbrust sitting on the trunk of someone's car, along with Katie from Hell on Heels and various other wenches. Jimmy says his bandmates have just left him, and he'll have to catch up later. The J-girl buttonholes him, and the next thing I know, she, Jimmy and some other dude are sneaking around the corner of the building together. To do what? Heh, let's just say I've been sworn to secrecy.
"Sorry, Kreme," she announces with a swagger when I see her again in da club. "I had to help Jimmy with a little somethin'-somethin'."
"Did you kneel before rock royalty?" I query. "Or just snog?"
"I didn't do anything nasty," she says, slapping my shoulder hard. "Don't be a hater, Special K. I just gave him directions back to Tempe!"
"Sure," I spit. "And Band Aids ain't just a strip club on Seventh Street."