I'm chillaxing at the bar in the revamped and newly het-friendly lez club known as The Biz, formerly Ain't Nobody's Bizness, which up until recently mostly served the mulletcore of the PHX's lesbian community. Beside me is a phatty who, despite her roundness, is good enough to do. Except that the chubster's knee-deep in her umpteenth cosmo, stoned off her ass, crying in her glass and pining after (who else?) the Jettster, who's fled to the other end of the bar.
"Mmmmmmwoooooaah," she moans, like a beached sea lion in heat. "Why won't she kiss me? All I want is a kiss!"
"Wait 'til she's a little plastered," I advise the gal, who I soon learn is named Nancy, a nurse by trade. "After a few buckets of Belvedere, she's usually good to go."
"Is there something wrong with me?" she wonders, clinging to my arm. "First I was at the E-Lounge, then some other place can't remember the name and now here. I was all alone, and then I saw her."
"Yeah, she gives off a scent or somethin'," I reply. "Like a chimp in estrus."
"I bought her two drinksssss," she slurs, holding up her hands, confused. "And then she went away."
"It's been known to happen," I tell her, signaling the booful black barkeep named Ticey to bring us another round. "Don't worry, it's not you. You're, um, sorta hot."
"Think so?" she asks, staring off into space.
"Well," I say, peeking down into the sort of deep cleavage that'd make a spelunker shiver. "You've got some slammin' chichis."
"Ugh," she grunts, taking her drink, covering her rack the best she can from the unwelcome male gaze. "I'm into girls, hon."
"Really, me too!" I chirp, fake-amazed, like we're buds because of it.
"Later, guy," she states, giving me the Heisman.
And so it goes at what once was the most popular dyke den in the county. That is, until the E-Lounge kicked its ass on the hottie front, giving The Biz the rep for being the haven for all of the PHX's trucker-hat lesbians, the type who play pool with hardpacks of Marlboros rolled up in their sleeves and a ciggy stuck behind one ear. But recently, The Biz was sold, and the new owners have done their best to upgrade, ditching the pool tables, opening up the dance floor and the DJ station, adding tall leather booths where there were none.
Actually, my old pal Trina "the FreakinRican" Maltos is one of the new bosses, along with these two fellas Tony Clemente and Scott Harry, and they're going for some crossover appeal, with a lineup that'll include several Power 92.3 DJs and personalities, such as Karlie Hustle, Mikee Mike, DJ Fashen, and Robby Rob. (Details can be copped at The Biz's MySpace account, www.myspace.com/nobodysbizness.) The club's biggest move so far has been to snag the très popular house night Batucada away from its occasional Wednesday nights at Scottsdale's Next, and give it the Saturday night it deserves, with a bigger dance floor, and a location on Indian School Road that's easier to get to for the Phoenix crowd.
"This is the first time we've ever done Batucada on a Saturday," says DJ Senbad, half the Batucada equation, the other half being his partner Pete "SuperMix" Salaz. "Last week we had 550 people through the door. That's been our biggest night so far."
Remember, folks, this is house, not hip-hop or hardcore Latin. And for house, a draw of 550 souls is tremendous, even on a Saturday night. But then, for its devotees, Batucada is part family, part musical religion. So bringing in the bodies has never been a prob for the DJ pair. Technically, "batucada" refers to a percussive style like that performed by groups during the Brazilian Carnival, and in the case of the PHX club night, it describes Salaz & Senbad's love of Latin-influenced house. In November, Batucada will mark its sixth year in existence. As far as how it comes to The Biz, seems Trina and Senbad are buds, so when Trina took over the management of the club, discussions ensued, and deals were struck.
"Was there any worry about the move to a venue best known as P-town's answer to The L Word?" I query of Senbad.
"You know, some people were concerned," admits the teddy-bear-like turntablist. "But our party, whether it's been at Next or Sky Lounge in the last six years, has always had a large percentage of the gay/lesbian population. Any good house music event is going to have a diverse crowd, whether it's black, white, lesbian, whatever."
Indeed, tonight's pretty much a thick, lumpy stew of all shades and preferences, with almost everyone in the pot at one point or another gettin' funky on the floor like an old batch of collard greens, as Snoop might spit. I spot a buncha fools in the hizzy I've laid eye sockets on before, not the least of whom is FreakinRican Trina, a.k.a. T-diddy, who spends part of the eve on The Biz's bar pouring shots into people's mouths, straight from the bottle, Coyote Ugly-style. But I'd be lyin' if I didn't say there was a little tension in the drama palace between the hettsters and the lez contingent. As illustrated above, there are a lot of ladies-who-heart-ladies who do not appreciate the breeder boys breathin' down their necks, or the necks of their females. It's nothing serious. Just makes for the occasional awkward situation, is all I'm saying.
Like when the J-unit cadges a free libation from Nancy the Nurse, then passes her off to me. Or when the Jettster introduces me to this opera singer, a slim number with raven tresses who looks like she popped outta one of them paintings by what's that dauber's handle? Oh, yeah, Modigliani.
"You should talk to her, Kreme," Jett urges me later in the eve, after she's taken the chick's pic. "She's really interesting."
What have I got to lose, I figure? I perambulate over to the gal, introduce myself, and ask her name.
"My stage name is Leah Rochelle," she informs me in the sort of mid-Atlantic accent Madonna has these days.
"Stage name?" I wonder.
"I'm an opera singer with the Arizona Opera," she informs me.
"That's impressive," I state. "When's your next, er, opera?"
"It's going to be a recital," she smiles, bemused by this fat man asking her questions.
"It'd be cool to see you in action," I say, a bit too earnestly. "Here's my card; maybe you can let me know when you're going to perform."
She accepts my card graciously enough, as the beats thump and the bodies bump before us. There's an odd pause.
"You know," I compliment her, "I absolutely love the name Leah. I think it's the sexiest name ever. . . . So what do you like about Batucada?"
"I like the girls," she utters, eyebrow slightly arched.
I get the message, loud and clear. Though, really, I wasn't trying to bone her or anything. Not that I wouldn't mind, of course, were she to start playing for the away team, and develop a fetish for plus-size men. Somewhat dejected, I return to my bi-lovin' wench-for-hire, who's back at the bar, guzzlin'. I tell her what just happened.
"Jeez, what do you expect, Kreme?" she snorts. "Babes like that don't wanna mess with the stick."
"I wasn't hittin' on her, honest!" I insist.
"Sure, you weren't," she sneers. "You'd hit on a corpse if it were warm, and still get rejected."
"Look who's talking," I grumble.
"Kreme, over there!" she says suddenly. "It's BG3, he just came through the door with his entourage."
"Barry Goldwater III, you idiot," she states, slapping my shoulder. "I used to party with him, back in the day. I'm gonna go get his pic."
"Uh, okay," I shrug, as she runs off. While she's kissing up to the PHX's most eligible bachelor, I decide to catch up with my man M3, dancer, motorcycle enthusiast, MC, and graphic designer (check him at www.mma3.com). He's on the sidelines, sweatin', smokin', and sippin' for the moment, so I approach and beginst to conversate.
"Whatup, M3?" I inquire. "I've been admirin' that sweet bike of yours on your MySpace page."
"That's my baby," M3 says of his silver Suzuki SV 650S. "I've had it two and a half years, and put 24,000 miles on it. It's not as fast as the fastest bike out there, but I ride the fuck out of it."
"Where do you ride?" I wonder.
"The best roads are the twisty roads," he schools me. "You'll see a lot of idiots ridin' around the city on theirs, but that shit's weak. You've got to take it up to Prescott, Mount Lemmon, Payson, Tortilla Flats. Man, the twisty, twisty roads that shit's like sex, dude."
We jawbone for a while, lookin' at the squalies, trying to figure out which ones are fishing, and which ones are on the hunt for the male persuasion. Then M3 decides to do some more damage to the dance floor, leaving me solo. Finally, the J-girl returns, camera in hand, all frowns.
"Whatsamatta?" I ask.
"BG3, he didn't even remember me," she whines.
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"Are you kiddin', with a bod like mine?" she retorts, thrusting her chest forward. "How could he forget this?"
"Does he ride a motorcycle?" I chuckle, watching M3 do a 180 in mid-air. "Some doods prefer speed over beauty, my dear."