A Sunday Night w/ Craig Citizen

Craig Citizen is a local nightlife promoter, DJ, and party animal with a purpose.

He's responsible for developing some of the Valley's most reputable indie dance nights including FauxShow, Word Up, Party Foul and Ransom and his most current, Mean Streets, kicked off last Friday at Brick in Downtown Phoenix.

The new summer night is a step up from the other weekly wild times featuring live bands and guest DJ acts -- and there's never a cover.

After the years he's spent as a key player in the Valley's alternative nightlife scene, Citizen's formed a few opinions. Call him arrogant, argumentative, or a self assured damn handsome bastard.

Just don't call Craig Citizen a hipster.

The Meet up: Citizen's house in Downtown Tempe. Initially I was supposed to help him straighten his hair before heading out but by the time I arrived at 11 p.m., he decided to rock his curly locks to save us some time and arm power.

Citizen loves women -- and being tall dark and handsome, women love him back.. that is, until he calls one of your lifestyle choices, like being a vegan or vegetarian, pointless and stupid.

While sitting on his back porch with friend Jamil or "Mr. Sunday," Citizen talked about Phoenix's overuse of the term hipster, calling it "pedantic and sophomoric."

He says it's not that he finds the term offensive, but inaccurate, especially when used to describe his nightlife events. Using the word hipster dumbs down what he and other local creative nightlife types are trying to do, he says, which is support a scene that's welcoming to anyone, especially open minded music loving weirdos, willing to let their freak flag fly.

The Company: Along for the ride was Citizen's best friend and better half, Jamil. Jamil knows Citizen better than most (and he's really good and telling him to shut up during pointless rants).

Favorite Spots: Citizen may be just as good at discovering sweet dive bars than he is at arguing.. naw.

Uncle Monkey's
has been a favorite since he went to MCC before transferring to ASU. He says he likes the place's cheap drinks, karaoke, and lowkey atmosphere where he can take a chick without running into (the hordes of) people he knows.

The place was full and pretty entertaining for a Sunday night, complete with drunk Mesa peeps belting Black Eyed Peas and Nickleback jams.

We left in time to grab a beer at one of Citizen's other go- tos, Casey Moore's.

Casey's is a much different experience; inside the Tempe hangout, everyone knows Citizen's name. When he talks a female friend into taking a shot of tequila with a worm in it called Mezcal, it's clear that Citizen's good at persuading others with argument, and even better at having a crazy fun time.

We ended the night before we turned into pumpkins or (God forbid) hipsters.

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Nicole Smith
Contact: Nicole Smith

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