Best Dance Night 2010 | Ransom: Fridays at Philthy Phil's | Bars & Clubs | Phoenix
Some clubs have bikini-clad girls dancing on pedestals. Others book touring DJs who are "big in London." And most are decked out with mirrored walls and flashing lights. But none of that guarantees a great dance night. That's why we love Ransom, on Fridays at Philthy Phil's. You won't see any of those cheap tricks at this authentic dive bar. And with a teeny dance floor, it only takes about 10 people to fill it — you'll never feel alone or awkward.
The Lost Leaf
Name a crappier feeling than this: The bar's closing and you're 12 fluid ounces away from being slightly more than "just buzzed." One solution is to spend a night drinking brewskis at The Lost Leaf. Then, when you're about to get booted after last call, order a bottle/multiple receptacles of beer, keep it capped, get home safely, and enjoy the beverage at home. The downtown spot, open 365 days a year, has a license that allows takeout beer purchases — so, as long as you don't do something stupid, like shotgun a Chimay in The Lost Leaf's front yard, you'll be all good.
Word from the wise: It'd be a shrewd move to become a fan of The Quincy on Facebook or to start following the underground venue's tweets. That's the only way to find when the next over-the-top after-hours affair is happening at The "Q." Hidden in a ramshackle strip mall down the street from Rainbow Donuts, it functions as the studio and gallery of funky photographer Quincy Ross. But it transforms into a secretive seraglio of sinful fun on weekend nights, most of which don't even get going until after midnight. But if you're eager to attend the next big bash, be warned: Getting inside typically involves traipsing down a pitch-black alley leading to the back door. Better download that flashlight app for your iPhone.
Patricia Escarcega
Our qualifications for "Best Hangover Breakfast" have more to do with the comfort of our surroundings than the actual food on the plate. Let's face it: Those first few bites aren't going to be pretty, no matter what you're eating. The food just needs to be greasy. And the lighting had better be dim, the booth high-backed, and the waitress kind. Harlow's fits the bill on all accounts. We're not recommending you drink yourself sick (or even silly), but if you do, we have just the morning-after spot for you.
Rough night? We've got the cure. The Meadows got a lot of press this year when Tiger Woods booked a suite there in an effort to kick his lady lust — or, at least, execute a hollow gesture to please his sponsors and avoid a $100 million divorce settlement. No word on whether the program worked for Tiger (the nearest Perkins restaurant is in Bullhead City, so we suggest you ask around there), but he probably had a nice stay at this dude ranch-like clinic that advertises its "desert views and clear skies." In addition to helping people with a poontang problem, they'll treat your addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, and — get this — work. Sounds corny, sure, but their programs draw well, so The Meadows has served as a quiet place for Kate Moss, Mike Tyson, and Whitney Houston to battle their demons. As for us, we're not ready to give up booze, pills, or sex just yet, but we'd still consider a weekend retreat. Who knows what the relapse rate is, but The Meadows seems to be a great place to spot a celebrity — provided you don't mind don't listening to a dude in a cable-knit turtleneck yammer on about how you're "destroying everyone and everything you love." And, hey, you might just get the chance to have sex with Tiger Woods.
Lauren Cusimano
Though James Bond would hate the Three Wise Men shot at Rips, the drink might be as close as you get to having the balls of the original international man of mystery. The girl behind the bar at Rips will pour hefty amounts of Crown Royal, Jose Cuervo, and Jack Daniel's — the three international wise men — into a sizable tumbler. Then she'll laugh at you when you try to take it all at once. It's known as a "catch up with your friends," for any latecomer to happy hour, or a "pre-Obscura," to be consumed before the weekly Saturday-night dance party. Trust us, getting up the courage it takes to dance like a true hipster at Obscura just might be worth the drink's $9 price.
Benjamin Leatherman
The electricity bill at Kat's probably doesn't tax the wallets of its proprietors too terribly, as the lighting is low inside this dive bar located near Indian School Road and 24th Street. The inky interior is punctuated only by the faint glow of a few neon beer signs and a pinball machine, providing a shadowy sanctuary in which to escape the worries of the world, if only for a few hours. It's a little bit like the Batcave (or should we say, Katkave), only with beer, booze, and billiards. The barkeeps never seem to answer the phone much, either, so one will never have to worry about his or her day-drinking sessions being disturbed by a concerned significant other.
As frenetically fun and fashionable as indie dance nights like Electrostatic are to attend, the haute hipster hangouts can seem a bit blasé and predictable after a while. (If you've seen one 20-something dressed in American Apparel dropping Laidback Luke and La Roux remixes, you've seen 'em all.) Thank God, then, that our city has the Rock&RollDancePatrol around to liven things up and save us from tedium with outrageous exploits. A quintet of well-coiffed local scenesters, the RRDP bill themselves as "26th-century DJ superstars" and have appeared at such weeklies as Jared Alan's fauxShow and the Retro Hi-Fi at SideBar — and they tend to steal the show. Though true identities of this foxy five are top secret (they go by such nutty nom de guerres as Dance Armstrong, The Royal Ruffian, and Dude Huge), their off-the-wall antics are a matter of public record. RRDP members Honey Bear and Disco Tex integrate sweet guitar licks with laptop-driven electro, indie, and pop tracks as the rest of the team performs spastically choreographed dance moves. And they do it all whilst dressed in kooky or coordinated costumes, ranging from sleek business suits to a mix of ski masks and gym wear. DJ William Reed, whose defunct Shake! affair at the Rogue hosted the debut of the patrol in March 2009, describes them as a "fun and campy" experience. "It's a little corny but definitely entertaining," he says.
Like many a swanky Scottsdale danceteria, Afterlife usually has a line out the door on the weekend's wee hours. The only difference being that it's happening long after every other disco has slammed its doors shut. Last call is a forbidden concept to this after-hours party pen, which features plenty of all-night adult fun (albeit of a non-alcoholic nature) for all ages. Puff on a hookah in the Earth Room downstairs, partake in poker on the patio, or down energy elixirs or iced mochas in the drink bar. Owner Aron Mezo also has a penchant for outrageous costume and theme parties, like the Anything But Clothes party (as the name indicates, both female and male patrons sport outfits made from duct tape or other household objects). He's also hosted major label hip-hop and R&B artists like Jason Derulo and the GS Boyz. Who says there's nothing fun to do after 2 a.m.?
Phoenix's Juggalo scene has evolved in an interesting way over the past two years. Once upon a time, back when The Monstar Shop was the home base for the "family" of Insane Clown Posse fans — certainly a sub-genre of mutant superheroes, at least in our twisted mind — the Headhurtz Records crew was reppin' the clowns wherever they could. The hatchet-men logos have slowly faded from view as the crew has morphed into more of a horrorcore outfit. Actually, it's getting sort of hard to tell Juggalos from Maggots, as Slipknot's fans are known. DieNasty of the group Dark Side Immortals is certainly one of the Juggalos who's changed, and we support that. He and his group have evolved beyond just dropping ICP references and imitating the Detroit duo, and it's pretty cool to see Phoenix's Juggalos try to build their own greasepaint-covered empire off dumpy beats and bloody lyrics. That said, we can also tell he's still got mad clown love. A big "whoop whoop" from us to DieNasty and the whole DSI crew.

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