By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"Sure, go right ahead," I tell her. "Have fun in the bog, and, uh, think of me."
"Ugh, you're so disgusting," she huffs, flitting off toward the loo. I order her drink, but no grub, nada. The price of arm candy is set not to exceed my modest Inferno expense account, you see. And plus, she could stand to shave five pounds off her hips, curvaceous though they may be.
Nighthawk Joe DiPadova gets in where he fits in, right next to me at the bar, and we chop it up about what Joe's got going on. He explains that his Straight No Chaser event, which used to be at The Loft in Tempe on a weekly basis, will soon be at Homme on Camelback Road, just west of Central Avenue.
"It'll be on Friday nights," Joe explains. "We're billing it as 'Straight No Chaser Presents: One.' The first 'One' will be on August 18."
"And what can the people expect, señor?" I inquire.
"Well, Homme has two floors," he informs me. "Downstairs will be all about dancing: deep house, Afro-beat, nu jazz, brokenbeat, Paradise Garage classics. Upstairs will be down-tempo, slow disco and all kinds of creative music. We're bringing in a big sound system for it, so people can really feel the music."
"Sounds dope," I note. "But isn't Homme a gay club?"
"Primarily, but everyone's made to feel welcome, which is what I dig about the place," asserts Joe. "That's kind of what I'm trying to address with the name 'One.' It's an attempt to unify, and bring together the gay and straight crowds, which have been on different paths musically for a while now."
"Here comes the living embodiment of just that sentiment," I state as the bisexual Cassie crosses on over to us. "In Jett you find the lez and the het fused together into one femme fatale."
Jett grabs her bevvy and looks around: "So, where's my food, Kreme?"
"On its way, my dear," I reply, handing her the digital camera. "As soon as you snap a few pics, in fact."
"You better not eat my French dip when it comes, Fat Boy," she warns, snatching the camera. "Or I'll bitch-slap you black-and-blue."
"Promises, promises," I say, as she begins her paparazzi shtick. During this exchange, Joe began chatting up some dark-haired shawty sitting nearby, so I meditate with the remainder of my martini until I spy my favorite anarchist Joey G. over to one side, sippin' on a Kronenbourg and lookin' right demented in his blue-tinted aviators. So I amble on over to his side of the waterin' hole.
Joey's the philosopher in chief of this clothing company-cum-anarchist collective called Mob Action. He's also the author of the fularious (fucking hilarious, yo) and thought-provoking tome Traveling America Broke: The Life and Crimes of Joey Grether, sort of a modern-day, real-life On the Road meets Road Trip, with Joey in the combined role of Sal Paradise/Kerouac, with a touch of Tom Green thrown in for good measure. This P-town Peter Kropotkin heads up the weekly Anarchist Library Monday night at the Counter Culture Cafe, with readings, films and discussions. And sometimes he hosts CCC's Wednesday open mic event, Speak Up. According to Joey, Speak Up can get pretty hairy once in a while.
"We get a good crowd for it sometimes," says Joey. "A coupla weeks back, this guy Manifest hosted it, he pissed a lot of people off and it started to get confrontational in there."
"Really?" I wonder aloud. "Throw-downs in a coffee shop?"
"Yeah, Manifest is kind of a control freak," Joey tells me. "They had to hold the barista back from swinging on him."
"Nutty," say I.
"We even had a knife pulled at one of the Speak Ups last year," claims Joey. "Some dude gets up there and gets aggressive, then he grabbed a girl's ass. Then some dudes confronted him, one pulled a knife, and he hit the dude holding the knife. Of course, that kinda stuff doesn't happen there usually."
"Damn, and all that without alcohol?" I ask rhetorically as Jett returns to the bar.
"Here are some pics, Big Daddy," she announces, handing me the camera. "Now where's my grub?"
"Um, sorry, we didn't get the order in on time," I lie. "They stop serving at 1 a.m."
"This car doesn't run on empty, Sir Kreme-a-Lot," she spits. "I get ill if I don't have something to munch on."
"Hey, whatdya want me to do about it?" I shrug.
"Carve off a hunk of that flab of yours and fry it up," she tells me. "Maybe I can make a BLT out of you. You know, blubber, lettuce and tomato."