Batmen Forever

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, 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.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons