I'm pretty good at naming a tune within a few seconds, but sometimes I don't have the slightest clue what the hell is playing, especially if it's hip-hop, R&B or techno. Over the past few months, I've come to rely on my iPhone and its Shazam application to identify songs that I hear in clubs or on the radio. I just hit "tag," and it samples about thirty seconds of whatever is playing, sends it to the server, checks it against the four million or so songs in its database, and a few seconds later I have the artist, title, album and label.
Fortunately, when I was thoroughly frisked by the door guy at House of Babes (2265 West 84th Avenue, Westminster) — with the inside of my hat inspected for weapons and my friend's purse checked to see if she had any knives or Mace — I got to keep my phone. That way, Shazam could tell me that the DJ, who was a big dude wearing white shades, a lime green cowboy hat and matching scarf, was dropping cuts like Chris Brown's "Forever," Ne-Yo's "Closer," David Banner's "Get Like Me" and Lil' Wayne's "Got Money."
Whatever the DJ was spinning, man, it was working on the ladies, most of whom lived up to the venue's name. One blond babe on the dance floor was hiking her short skirt up so high that her white panties kept poking out. The hottest gal in the joint, she was playing two guys against each other. I almost wanted to stick around to see which dude she'd leave with — or maybe she'd just leave with both of them. She seemed like that kind of gal.
House of Babes
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In fact, subtlety would be wasted at House of Babes. One gal was bent over while a guy thrust his pelvis against her ass; meantime, her friend was getting felt up by another guy, who was also grinding her. The occasional blast of the smoke machine and the strobe lights that kept changing color added a little '80s magic to the whole scenario. It looked like everyone in the place might have a good chance to hook up, save for the Joe Walsh doppelgänger drinking bottled water and sitting by himself in the back corner.
I really liked the fact that there wasn't any of that bullshit where a guy sees a gal at the end of the bar, buys her a drink, she does that flip thing with her hair, they chat, he buys her another drink, she flips her hair some more, then does the same thing with another guy ten minutes later. At House of Babes, it was all about zooming in on someone, getting him or her out on the dance floor and getting frisky right away. Hell, if two people are into each other, why waste time on idle chitchat?
Club scout: The hip and swank Suite Two Hundred (1427 Larimer Street) just kicked off Room Service Tuesdays, a new night devoted to both the ladies and the service industry crowd. There's a complimentary buffet at 9 p.m., ladies drink free from 9 to midnight, and industry folks (waitresses, bartenders and salon stylists) get half off drinks and bottles. For more details, visit www.lotusclubs.com/roomservice.
Brian Howe, one of the city's top DJs, has started a residency at Sutra (1109 Lincoln Street), where he'll hit the decks every Friday. Meanwhile, Uriah West, who's spun at Two A.M. Afterhours (1144 Broadway), the Church (1160 Lincoln Street) and Vinyl (1082 Broadway), has teamed up with Vitall to start the new Soulful House Sundays at Blue Ice (22 Broadway). There's no cover before 10 p.m., and two-for-one wells until 11.