By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
So I'm minding my own business, lounging in my triple-XL Underoos, crunchin' on a big bowl of Cocoa Puffs and watching a rerun of the Squidbillies that I'd taped off Adult Swim, when the PHX's Zooey Deschanel checks in with me via land line.
"Hey, Kreme, whatcha doin'?" queries the Jettster, as I cradle the receiver while spooning some milk-chocolaty goodness into my craw.
"Studying quantum mechanics and string theory," I tell her as I munch. "Whaddaya want?"
"Don't you wanna do the damn thing?" she replies. "I hear that new gay club is bangin'. We should check it out."
"Which new gay club?" I wonder.
"Um, I think it's called 'Homey,'" she says. "You know, like homeslice, homedog, Homey the Clown."
"Homey?" I wonder. "That's weird. I haven't heard of any new gay place named 'Homey.'"
"Well, that's what it's called," she informs me. "I'm looking at the flier right now. It's spelled H-O-M-M-E: 'Homey.'"
"You moron," I bark. "That's French for 'man.' It's pronounced 'ohm.'"
"Whatever, Mr. Know-It-All," she huffs. "You say 'ohm,' I say 'homey,' so what? Anyhoo, tonight's the first night of that new StraightNoChaser deal called 'One.'"
Correct the J-unit is, as Master Yoda might say. Homme (www.phoenixhomme.com) is a nearly year-old gay club just west of Central Avenue on Camelback Road, which has begun to garner a buzz both in and outside the world of dudes-who-like-dudes with its BS West-style two-for-one drink special on Wednesday nights, its chill atmosphere and tight lil' dance floor downstairs, and its jam-packed upstairs with its mural of the Golden Gate Bridge and Castro Street signs from San Fran. It's the work of former real estate broker Jeremy Johnson and business partner Terry Walters, who've taken over what was formerly a bit of a dive and jazzed it up with modern decor, fresh coats of blue and red paint, and cool touches like a roof that sparkles with glitter, and paintings from Phoenix pop artist Glenn Allen.
I'd been by the watering hole once before for that sweet hump-night 2-4-1 special and chatted with Johnson, a laid-back fella who seems pretty stoked by the new joint.
"As soon as the light rail's finished, it should be great," chortled Johnson at the time. "We had a backhoe in the parking lot for an hour earlier. So it's not great right now, but as soon as that's done . . ."
"Yeah, I don't know how businesses survive with that shit going on," I told him. "How long has this house been around, anyway?"
"Since the late 1800s," stated Johnson. "We've even got a ghost here. All the bartenders actually have seen him. It's an older gentleman, black coat, with a big mustache. For the past 23 years, it's been a bar. But before that it was a magician's show place. Apparently, a couple of people were killed here. One shot over here, one stabbed over there. Originally, though, it was a house that some man built for his family."
The background is interesting, but for the purposes of Jett and I, Homme is a fresh party palace on the scene, one with a core gay audience, but with crossover appeal to hipsters of all sexual orientations. Indeed, that's the reason promoter Joe DiPadova of StraightNoChaser fame has teamed up with Homme's hommesfor "StraightNoChaser Presents: One," a soulful Friday night of dance music, deep house, Afrobeat, brokenbeat, and Paradise Garage classics spun by DiPadova and pals. As DiPadova related during the Kreme crew's recent outing to Pink Sunday at Camus ("Think Pink," July 27), One is DiPadova's attempt "to unify, and bring together the gay and straight crowds, which have been on different paths musically for a while now."
As my grandmamma used to say, the proof's in the banana puddin' along with the Nilla Wafers. And this past Friday night was all the proof needed to show that Homme and the DiPadovites can pull it off. It was tighter than Mo'Nique's thong in that bitch when the Jettster and I finally arrived, long after I'd finished my Cocoa Puffs and put my britches on. There were plenty of himmersexuals hims that dig hims but there were plenty of breeders in the house as well, and loads of cute shawties. See, het shawties love the gay clubs 'cause they know the fellas won't be rubbin' up on 'em. Or at least, that's what they think.
Downstairs, DiPadova is rippin' the decks a new one with a sound system at his command that could blast a hole in the side of Camelback Mountain. And upstairs we hear that our gals DJ Mamastrosity and DJ Brazilia are holdin' it down, though we never make it up the narrow staircase because the second floor is crazy with people and because there's no Crisco in the closet to grease my sides should I get stuck. DJ Santos helps out DiPadova on the tables later on, and DJ Mark Chai does right by the ladies up above. On the same flo' as the J-girl and me, there are a number of artists doing their thing live and uncut, including the inimitable Banding Hendrix, jokerman Tariq Sabur, dauber JB Fail, and bad boy Matt Brown. We take a tour of the art in progress, then head over to the bar for some imbibing, beginning with a couple of mini "Dum Dum" martinis, in the flavor of your fave Dum Dum Pop, which is then used as the candy "olive." I go for blueberry, while Jett demands watermelon, and we chase 'em with vodka-Red Bulls. Not exactly Cristal or nothin', but it scratches the itch, all the same.