There's no reason the island sounds of reggae and the exotic music of the Middle East can't get along, especially when beer and beautiful belly dancers are involved. Every week, Sinbad, 5004 South Price Road in Tempe, hosts Hookah Jam Thursdays, a culture dish of hookah smoking, impromptu jams, and navel gazing hosted by Daimeon of Reggae Legend. While you feast your eyes on the whiplash curves of Sinbad dancers like Vashti and Makara, you can suck the smoke of flavored tobaccos, including licorice and Coca-Cola. Check out the weekly jam bands or call ahead and get on the list to jam yourself. The party starts at 8:30 p.m., and admission is free. Call 480-491-5588 or visit www.sinbadaz.com.
Anything that's "a culmination of extensive research, travel and shopping" sounds like a fabulous thing, especially when it's the brainchild of life partners Chris Bale and Kurt DeMunbrun, both of whom had careers in the creative departments of record labels like Warner Bros., Virgin Records, and BMG. On Friday, November 4, the duo opens the doors of its new "micro-department store," Retail Laboratory. The shop, located in Suite 137 at 610 East Roosevelt Street, will house a selection of stylish wares from around the world, including fashions, gifts, and hip house kitsch. Bale and DeMunbrun enlisted former Holgas resident Tara Logsdon as fashion director, and Bale says the trio has traveled to "various destinations, including New York, Paris and Barcelona, to bring back all the hot trends and cool merchandise to Phoenix." Retail Laboratory's hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, but the grand opening lasts until 10 p.m. Call 602-256-1477.
Do not miss your chance to go blind and deaf at Dance Atlantic, a beat massive from Tidy Trax Records that promises "the sickest light show this year" (courtesy of Cybertech lighting) and "15,000 watts of heart pumping, chest thumping sound" by the Rukus Monster Sound System. Dance your senses away to mixes by DJs Lisa Pin-Up, Amber D, and Krys Kros in the main room, while local DJs Tranzit, Rhinox, Tranceducer, and Zak provide more surreal spin support. The event on Saturday, November 5, also features a "Chill Out Room," with ambient sounds provided by DJs LP, DeFrag, Fredj, Pastey, and Groove. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door; VIP tickets are $40. Call 602-793-4408 the day of the show for directions to the "secret" venue, which promoters are calling the Speaker Box. Call Swell Records (480-829-7746) for tickets, or visit www.eventvibe.com.
Hookah Jam Thursdays
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There's nothing like bonding with your dog over a mutual makeover. On Sunday, November 6, Taglio Salon will primp and preen you and your pup at the Second Annual Cut-A-Thon & Dog Wash. Show up with little Fido or Fifi and grab a first-come, first-served appointment card for salon services. You can get a haircut or tint for $45, and partial highlights for $65. Your furry, four-legged friends can get a bath from Friends of Animal Care for a donation. There will also be a raffle for a year of complimentary cuts at Taglio (raffle tickets cost $5 each). All proceeds benefit animal-rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Head down to the salon, 7000 East Mayo Boulevard in Scottsdale, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 480-991-6828 or visit www.tagliosalon.com.
If you thought doing Disneyland on bad acid was a trip, check out the opening of Rummy Starker Love Fest on Monday, November 7, at Prism Theatre, 851 East Tyler Street in Tempe. The "disturbing, philosophical sketch comedy" offers an abusement park of wild rides, including "a dead cat, an evil chicken, smashed fairies literally trapped by semantics, romance, battle, religious discussions, and explosions." Whew. Playwright Amanda Schaar (Poetry Coroner, Monsieur O'Nard) and director Daniel Brodie (Sexual Perversity in Chicago) sure know how to stoke a schizophrenic attention span. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5, and the show runs through November 10. Call 480-965-6447 or visit http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/calendar/boxoffice.html.
Some signs that you might be a werewolf: You have a hairy back. Your teeth are unusually sharp. When there's a full moon in the sky, you start howling and looking for a coyote to hump. But perhaps you don't exhibit any of these symptoms. Maybe you just have a fascination with furry things or people with lycanthropy (the belief that one transmogrifies into an animal, most often a werewolf). Find your clan or pack -- or just satiate your curiosity -- at the Phoenix Werewolf Meetup Group on Tuesday, November 8. The group is "dedicated to those humans that believe they have a personal connection with the animal world," and is open to "Wolves, Shifters, Furries and other Weres . . . along with similar believers and the curious." The group suggests a $2 donation for attending the 7 p.m. event at Applebee's, 2 East Camelback Road. Visit http://werewolf.meetup.com/4/ecents/4780933.
What the funk is "crunk"? Crunk, hip-hop's Southern spawn and the latest club craze, is derived from the term "get crunk," which means something to the effect of "party down" in nerdy white-man speak. Some people say "crunk" is a frankenword made up of the words "crazy" and "drunk," which explains why we're all shaking our asses on the dance floor and shouting "Yeeaah! Yeeaah!" over and over. Get hip-hopnotized on repetitive rhythms and rhymes at Crunk Wednesdays, a weekly party at The Loft, 420 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. DJs Sean Morley, Benny-B, and Big Time will spin all the latest crunk cuts while you get tipsy on crunk juice (which "King of Crunk" Lil Jon will tell you is Hennessy and Red Bull). The crunking commences at 10 p.m., and admission is free. Call 480-967-8188.