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Funktified Friday

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I haul the Jettster back outside, where Campbell brings us a slice of his bread pudding drizzled with a chocolate coffee sauce. I'm in fat-boy heaven, and tell Campbell as much before he heads back into the kitchen. Calumet has finished its set and is breaking down its equipment as the DJs for the night, resident DJ Brazilia and this L.A. DJ Jeremy Sole (www.musaics.com), fire it up. They take turns, dropping some Brazilian tracks, roller boogie, rare groove, Afrobeat, and about a dozen more styles of music besides. It takes a sec for the transition to kick in, but then people are feelin' it.

After a while, I notice a couple of familiar faces in the mix. Painter Banding Hendrix, whom we met over at RedMonkey (< href="/issues/2005-09-15/news/inferno.html">"SuperMix Saturday," September 15), is working on a canvas downstairs next to the stage, while this other artist Breeze Marcus is working upstairs in the "loft" section of the nightclub. And at some point, I see our old pal DJ Seduce from "P.A.I.N.T." at Paper Heart. Seems DJ Sole is in town to do a gig with Seduce on a different night, but he also decided to drop by StraightNoChaser and spin a bit.

Finally, Calumet's finished packing and we get to kick it with E.T. Mobley, the group's lead vocalist and guiding light, who also plays keyboards and rhythm guitar. We take note of the playa's steez, stylin' in shades and a white shirt, and sippin' on a glass of Hen. So naturally the Jettster has to flirt 'til it hurts as we conversate with him.

"Hennessey?" wonders the Jettster, sniffing his snifter. "Now, that's a man's drink. I hear it puts hair on your chest."

"It certainly put hair on Jett's," I crack. The J-girl shoots me a dirty look as Mobley replies.

"I was actually a little nervous coming over here to talk to you, but this is starting to loosen me up," he says, smiling.

"Why do they call you E.T.?" queries the J-unit.

"The old bass player we had in the band decided to name me E.T. because he thought I was an extraterrestrial music lover," replies the suave soul man. "It just kinda stuck over the years."

"You guys sounded really tight up there," I state. "What was that keyboard you were vibin' on, if you don't mind me asking?"

"That was a Fender Rhodes, and usually, I have a clavinet out there with me, too. The clavinet is straight out of the '70s. It's something Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, and all those guys used to play," Mobley schools us.

"Do you play a lot of places in town?" I inquire.

"Well, we're trying to be kind of picky about where we're playing right now," says the cat from Calumet. "We're getting ready to go to L.A. in January to record an album, go on tour and try to become a national act. We definitely want to expand beyond Phoenix."

"You need to ask the Kreme-Filled One here about that," says Jett, patting my paunch. "He's an expert in expanding, especially when it comes to the elastic in his Underoos."

I consider introducing Jett to the back of my hand, but figure that wouldn't be polite in front of Mobley. We move on to snag some more drinks from the bar where owners Mike and Brandon are tending. That's when we bump into this brunette cutie Melissa Laine, who shares that she's also a DJ and has spun at different venues in town. Jett excuses herself to visit the squirt-box, so I confabulate with Miss Melissa for a minute.

"Looks like you have a cool job," says Melissa, nodding her head knowingly after Jett's bobbing form.

"What, me and her? Alas, there are no fringe benefits to our relationship. It's purely professional," I confess.

"Well, at least you get to look," she murmurs.

"So do you like to look at women, too?" I venture.

"Sure do," she replies. "I guess I'm in a good town for that. There are a lot of hot women out here."

"I tend to notice that all the cool people in this town tend to be either gay or bisexual . . . ," I suggest, not wanting to insult her, not yet knowing her preference.

"I'm bisexual," she admits. "But I know what you mean. It's getting that way. For a while, all these girls were just hooking up with other girls to turn their boyfriends on. Now it's like, 'Hey, I think I like that.'"

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