By Isa Jones
By Mary Willson
By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
Remember that scene in Animal House when Otter, Flounder, Pinto and Boon pick up those girls from Emily Dickinson College and then drive by the Dexter Lake Club, where they spy an Otis Day and the Knights banner hanging outside? Since the band had played one of their frat parties, they figured they'd stop in to say hello. But when they walk inside the primarily African-American club, the band stops playing "Shama Lama Ding Dong" and everyone turns to look at them. I couldn't help thinking of that scene when I decided to check out Mr. A's Restaurant & Lounge (3200 East 40th Avenue). I had an idea of what I was getting myself into, but I figured a place that had a big sign on the front of the building proclaiming itself "Denver's friendliest lounge" couldn't be that bad.
And things started off well. Before I even got inside, I chatted with two ladies who were smoking out front, and they were pretty damn friendly, so much so that one of them did that thing that girls do on the dance floor where they bend over and stick their butt into your crotch. But she was just joking — or at least that's what I assumed. In any case, Mr. A's was already living up to its sign.
When I stepped inside, the lounge reminded me of the Dexter Lake Club save for the Dexter's zebra-striped wall coverings. It had the feel of a place that hadn't changed much over the past few decades, which is something I always dig. In the corner was a small stage where a DJ was spinning old-school jams, including one by another Otis — Otis Redding. And while I did feel kind of like the odd man out, the looks I got were a lot friendlier than the ones the Delta boys received.
Club scout: Wesley Wayne had a really good thing going at Bender's Tavern (314 East 13th Avenue) with Night of the Living Shred. Westword gave him Best Midweek Club Night in 2006, Best Club Night to Hook Up in 2007 and Best Club Night in 2008. But after parting ways with Bender's last year, Wayne didn't seem to have much luck firing it up again when he shopped around for another location to spin his stuff. Now, though, he's giving it a go at Tooey's Off Colfax (1521 Marion Street), where he'll do Night of the Living Shred on a monthly basis. He's kicking it off with a skater-centric dance party on Thursday, April 9, just in time for the Silly Pink Bunnies skater convention. Shred resident DJs Wayne and Parris will be joined by San Francisco-based DJ Sonny Phono.
The Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites, which claims to be Boulder's first zero-waste hotel, might not seem like the first place you'd look to find blues, but the restaurant and club that used to be Skinny Jay's and is now Blues Greens has brought in its fair share of local and national blues talent, including Chris Duarte, Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin and John Nemeth, who all play there this month. Gretchen Troop, a fine singer in her own right, recently started a blues jam on the last Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Mark Diamond and Lionel also alternate weekly with jazz and blues jams on Sundays from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Sugar House Lounge (1395 West Alameda Avenue) just launched a live karaoke night with the band Zen Sadist, which will be banging out tunes by Tool, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Pantera, Bon Jovi, Poison and other '80s rocker bands. Just don't ask for any Milli Vanilli. And finally, on Friday, April 10, Lipgloss DJs Boyhollow and Tyler Jacobson will host DJ K.I.M. from the Presets at La Rumba (99 West Ninth Avenue) following the band's gig at the Bluebird.