War Games

Jett's run off in a corner somewhere at Mardi Gras in Scottsdale, snapping a pic of this squalie's ass, while I'm dodging flailing arms and legs near the dance floor. On stage, there's a bald white dude, in a flowing Middle Eastern-type shirt that reaches all the way to his bare feet, who's belting out creepy, ethereal vocals for this industrial/electro duo Mentallo and the Fixer. Parachute material turned ruby red by a back light forms a tent over the performers. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a black-and-white propaganda film of Mao Tse-tung exhorting the Red Army projected onto a far wall. Suddenly, I feel some stranger pinching a hunk of my right love handle through the fabric of my shirt until I yelp in pain.

Welcome to Sadisco, boys and girls, specifically "World War III Sadisco," which took place on a recent Saturday night in Mardi Gras' cavernous brick expanse, and featured two bands, a "Sadisco Does Breakfast" room with your choice of post-imbibing victuals, from eggs and ham to brisket with baked beans, a makeshift hookah lounge, and, of course, all of the usual debauchery, filth and drunkenness for which this "Sadistic Disco" is renowned.

As you may know from having read Inferno's previous forays into the sweaty, oversexed funk of this bimonthly industrial-noise-EBM-goth freakforall, Sadisco was hatched a coupla years back from the twisted noggins of Generalissimo Toby Heidebrink (a.k.a. DJ Squalor) and Field Marshal Donnie von Burbank (a.k.a. DJ Dr. Father, or Dr. Fun). With the assistance of their demented minions, an army of pierced and tatted, stimulant-snorting inebriates fond of anonymous dance-floor frottage, and bisexual pairings, triplings, and quadruplings, each Sadisco soiree boasts a theme: from the fisticuffs-lovin' Fight Club Sadisco and the Hunter S. Thompson-esque Fear and Loathing Sadisco to the sublime majesty of Crime Lab Absinthian and the unbridled butchery of the Serial Killers Convention.

Tonight, camouflage nets, fake shrubbery, olive-green attire, and gas-masked cuties help the Third World War theme flower, like a black orchid fed with human blood. Jugheads on McDowell Road in Phoenix was the original home of Sadisco. And after a brief run at .anti_space and then a disastrous foray into The Sets in Tempe, Sadisco currently is trading off venues back and forth from Jugheads to here at Mardi Gras, a squat brick building larger inside than it seems outside. I don't know if Mardi Gras' A/C is busted, nonexistent or if it's trying to re-create the broiling swamp humidity of a summer on the bayou, but you'd need a Ginsu knife to cut the air in there. From jump, I'm sweating like Jack Black in some Mexican wrestler getup, and the AC/DC Tila Tequila of the PHX is perspiring as if she were Rosie O'Donnell in a Russian bathhouse. Thus, the first order of bidness is procuring libations to replenish our precious bodily fluids. This is way before my getting pinched, by the way.

"Order me a Long Island, Kreme," commands the Jettster. "I need something sweet and cold."

"A Newcastle for me," I tell the barkeep, wiping my brow. "And a Long Island for the lady. Sorry, I mean, this broad here beside me."

"One of these days, Kreme, I'm gonna sock you right in the nads," she informs me.

I decline to remind my hood-rat hoochiemama sidekick that I'm the putz who nabs the tab on these adventures. We grab our glasses, then proceed to survey the scene. Black bustiers, scarred flesh and glow-in-the-dark contact lenses are de rigueur for this crowd. And should you look like David Blaine following the last time they buried his scrawny rear alive, no worries. Even if you bathe before attending, your skin's bound to end up with that Sadisco layer of scum all over it. Sadisconauts revel in the tawdry trashiness of their profane events. The band onstage upon our arrival, Dawn of Ashes, fits right in, what with red and black liquid latex poured all over themselves and their clothing, making 'em look like a crew of the undead from a Rob Zombie flick. The L.A. trio cranks out a thumping techno beat with distorted, slightly monstrous vocals coming from the front man Khris. Artist/photographer Dayvid LeMmon, in the hizzouse tonight with his gal Colleen, calls it "goth booty music." Seems as good a description as any.

This tall, thin, bald dude in a long white shirt and sandals that make him look like a Sufi mystic passes by, and we follow him outside, where we enjoy cooler, drier air and can have a relatively civilized confabulation. He tells us his name is Gary Dassing, who along with his brother Dwayne make up the Austin industrial-electro duo Mentallo and the Fixer.

"Gary, tell us about this robe, mon," I state.

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