By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
What with Hot Pink! having shot its last hipster wad at Karamba this past April 28, there's a huge, gnarly hole on Friday nights waiting to be filled. The twentysomething sleazy scenesters who rule the white-kid club scene here in Sand Land need an appropriately skuzzalicious venue wherein to work up a sweat and get their drink on for as few ducats as possible. Could the fauxShow, which debuted at Mesa's Hollywood Alley on a recent Friday eve, be the answer? The next Hot Pink!, even? The jury's still deliberatin', but to judge by the quality and acreage of young flesh in the hizzy as the Jettster and I sashay across the threshold at the première, the fauxShow team's at least got one part of the equation in-pocket.
It's past 11 p.m., and the majority of those who're gonna get here have got here, with most mingling or chillaxing near the bar or in or around one of Hollywood Alley's black, horseshoe-shaped booths, instead of on the dance floor where DJ Jared Stevens wants them. For most of the event, Stevens, 26, is off to the left of the stage, parked in front of his Dell laptop, where he's mixing a set made up of house, punk, electroclash, and industrial on his Traktor DJ Studio program, complete with vinyl scratching sounds, like some still make the old-school way on the wheels of steel. Hey, that's technology, baby. Wonder what Grandmaster Flash thinks of that ish.
Hollywood Alley's low stage has been cleared, unlike at Blunt Club Thursdays, where it's crammed with equipment, artists and performers. Folks can grind here, as well as down on the open space before the stage, but the music's too sluggish initially, and it doesn't seem to be until an hour or so later that people are steppin' proper-like. To the right of the stage, apropos of not a goddamn thing, there's a screen where Jean-Luc Godard flicks like Alphavilleand Masculine-Feminine are being silently projected.
Fortunately, there's more feminine than masculine in attendance, a healthy 60-40 split, and we can thank MySpace for that situation. Stevens, along with his partners, used their profile page at www.myspace.com/doyouparty, with its 900-plus "friends," to reel in the clientele. MySpace is like the Matrix these days: the ultimate networking tool, even if there is some evil corporate dood like The Architect at the center of it all, pulling the strings. I mean, Rupert Murdoch owns that bitch for a reason, y'all. How else is The Man gonna sell your ass jugs of Gallo and the latest CD from Scott Stapp? For real.
"MySpace is definitely responsible for most of the turnout tonight," states Stevens, a cat sportin' the de rigueur two-day stubble on his chinny-chin-chin. "We did plenty of fliering, too, but the MySpace thing was the deal-sealer."
Stevens admits he's a newbie to the nightclub game, this being his first club gig, though he's DJ'd house parties before and composes avant-garde tracks on his 'puter for local performances. He tells us the next fauxShow will be July 7 at Hollywood Alley, but they don't have any dates booked after that as of yet. Depending on how the soiree on the 7th flies, they'll either continue at the Alley, or find another bar with the right kind of dinginess to accommodate them.
"People like that dive-bar atmosphere," observes Stevens. "And they like cheap, stiff drinks. They don't like going to Scottsdale where they're measuring their pours and watering down their vodka."
"I heard that," chimes in the Jettster. "Speaking of which, gimme your credit card, Kreme, so I can start us a tab."
"I should hide it in my britches and make you look for it," I say, reaching for my wallet. "At least then, I'd be getting my money's worth from our evenings out."
"You couldn't score an escort for the dolo you drop on me unless you were hittin' up the trannies on the ho-stroll," spits the J-unit, snapping the plastic from my fingers. "I'll be right back."
"Yeah, but at least I'd be getting sex!" I holla after her. "You'd think after, what, two years of this friggin' job that someonewould wanna knock boots with me."
As if on cue, the flat of a hand smacks my left butt cheek with a loud slap, and I turn around to see that vivacious vixen Tamar, whom I first laid eyes on back at Hot Pink! way before HP went the way of Star Jones on The View. With her alabaster skin, bright red lipstick and short, raven locks, Tamar is a heart-stealer and party girl. She always sports a classic steez, like tonight's look of pearls, a black-and-white dress, and a red fleur-de-lis tattooed on her left arm. When I turn around, she grabs my face, lays one right on my lips, and is soon back to flirting with one of her many boy toys. As I wipe the lipstick from my kisser, my old pal Dapper Gatsby, the Ubiquitous One, sidles up next to me, watching Tamar with hungry eyes.
"I see you've met Tamar before," he says, smiling. "You've got good taste. She's a wild one."
"I know," I reply. "Problem with getting a kiss like that is it leaves you wanting more. Think I have a chance of wooing her?"
"About the same chance of Britney fitting her fanny into a size 6," snorts the Jettster into my ear, back from the bar, drink in hand. "Baby or no baby. Stick a fork in her. She's done. And you, Kreme, might as well stick to spankin' it."
"So, uh, where's my drink?" I ask.
"You didn't ask for one," she shrugs, suckin' down her vodka-tonic like she's Katie Rose on a bender. "But the tab's runnin' if you wanna go catch it."
I grumble up to the bar, and score a pint of Framboise Lambic, that raspberry Belgian brew that the Alley has on tap. A little more expensive, but worth it. I down a Jaeger shot with the Lambic as a chaser, and start to head back to where I'd left the Jettster. That's when I bump into this classy, well-spoken dime with straight, blond hair, who's dressed in a wife-beater and sexy, boyish boxers. Something about her reminds me of a young Meryl Streep. She tells me her name is Tess.
"Like that novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles?" I ask.
"That's what I was named after!" she exclaims.
"That's an uncommon name these days," I remark. "Are you a student?"
"Yeah, at ASU," she replies.
"What year?" I query.
"I should've been a senior last year, but technically I'm a junior now, in the program I'm in," she admits.
"Stretch it out as long as possible," I advise. "The so-called real world sucks donkey, and I ain't talkin' about the MTV show."
"Not that you have a bad real-world experience; you work for the New Times," she says. "I love you guys!"
"Gee, thanks," I tell her. "It's not too bad when my partner's behaving herself. By the way, you haven't seen a thin, dark-haired boozebag around, have you?"
Tess doesn't seem to have heard me, as we're standing right beside a speaker, and the music has just been cranked a notch. But I do spy my Missy Misdemeanor over on the other side of the bar, in a section of the Alley where the pool tables sit. Of course, Señorita Hot Pants is chatting up a gorgeous gal, a curvaceous goddess with platinum blond hair by the name of Josie Monroe. Josie has a sort of '50s pinup-girl thing going on. It would be easy to see her posing in front of a '57 Chevy for some retro hot rod mag.
"You're like the reincarnation of Marilyn," gushes the Jettster.
"Oh, stop it, you're making me blush," she tuts. "My father is a plastic surgeon, and he'd love to hear that. I've never been worked on."
"Your skin's so white," the Jettster coos. "Like ivory."
"I can't even go out during the day, I'm like a vampire," she states, puffing on a ciggie.
"You're not one of those roller derby gals, are you?" I inquire, butting in.
"Oh, no, I bruise too easy, and I'm not tough," she claims. "I'm such a girly-girl. I could never do roller derby."
"Jett wants to do roller derby," I snark. "She'd do a whole team, if they're willing."
"Excuse us a minute," says Jett, pulling me aside. "You know what cock-blocking is, Kreme? Right now, dood, you're coochie-blocking."
"Is that something liquid Drano can help you with?" I reply.
By now, Josie's getting another ciggie lit by some bar stud, and Jett, disgusted, decides to grab another beverage. I cool my heels near the dance floor, where I strike up a confab with this tall dude with jumbo-pierced earlobes named Chris X. Seems the X-man is a professional piercer for HTC Body Piercing, which has locations in Phoenix and Tempe. Says he's been doing it for six years.
"Where's the wildest place you've ever pierced someone?" I inquire.
"Name it," he says.
"Um, the anus," I say.
"Close," he hints.
"The taint?" I try again.
He laughs, nodding his head. "Yep, both male and female."
"Ouch," I grimace. "On the other hand, you prolly get to see some nice stuff if it's a babe."
"It's like a doctor looking at a body, really," he claims.
"Oh, come on, I don't buy that," I tell him.
"No, really, if you'd done it for six years, you'd feel the same," he sighs. "The first year, it's pretty cool. Then five years after that, it's just work."
"I've heard you guys get laid a lot, that chicks wanna get with you so they can get free work done," I relate.
"Sometimes," he smiles knowingly. "But not in all cases. That's up to the piercer's discretion, obviously."
Jett stumbles into the confab, new drink in hand.
"So what're we talkin' about?" she wonders.
"Taint piercing," I inform the PHX's Juliya Chernetsky (you know, the Fuse metal chick).
"If it ain't piercing, I'm fine with that," she responds. "How's a gal supposed to get through metal detectors with all that chrome in her bod? I'll just stick to tats, thankyouverymuch."