Princess Kennedy

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Hello SLUG readers. I am your Princess Kennedy. I have recently relocated to SLC from California where I've devoted the last 12 years of my life to the ever-evolving club scene. I was involved in not only the San Francisco and L.A. scenes, but also in most of the large cities in the U.S. and Europe. Once, while at a Dutch hot spot, shortly after dropping a tab of X, my host informed me that the Princess of Japan wanted an introduction. As she came closer I could feel the drug making me nauseous. My only escape was to turn and throw up in my purse. Most nights in Amsterdam were like that, and my Dutch clubbing experience became kind of a blur.

It tickles me absolutely fuchsia to be given the chance by SLUG to lend my voice of experience and share a little night culture, both hither and yon, as seen through my heavily lashed eyes. My purpose is to expose the darker side, the underbelly, the backstage, the DJ booth and that swirling pulsating mosh we politely call the dance floor––as told by me, a ferocious, hot, tranny mess.

On a recent trip to San Francisco I found myself reflecting on the differences between big city nightlife and our own social standing. In such a diverse and chaotic world, where do we stand? What do we need in order to grow? And finally where are we going? Can we justify tolerating our peers that say they hate Utah and wish they were somewhere else? I say, grow a set already and get away from your mommy then. Does bitching every week about the liquor laws get you through the day? It's a moot point. We've been living with it for years. Nothing is going to change soon. Unless you're in NYC or Las Vegas, liquor laws, last calls and alcohol content are very similar throughout the county. Unless you plan on joining the coalition to change it, SHUT THE FUCK UP and have a drink! Pour me one while you're at it. What I write is simply an observation. It's for the bar patron, owner, promoter and DJ alike. Just my opinion of what I observe. Take it at face value.

The most common thing my friends say when visiting me here is how "cute" it is. Cute, huh? Not fierce or amazing, but I'll take it. They see shops, galleries, fagadasheries and most creature comforts you'd find in any other metropolitan city. What surprises them most are the unfiltered freaks walking the streets. With such a strong conservative set you're bound to have the extreme opposite. SLC has the largest number of tattooed and pierced people than any other city I've been to. We're a defiant culture that refuses to be defined by worldly perception. We go at it with a sledgehammer approach. Not only will I tat my body, but my face too! I won't be happy until I can get my fists thru my earlobes. "Very creative and artsy set," my 80 year-old Mormon mother would say. There are a lot of people marching to the beat of a different DJ.

Salt Lake has an unusually large amount of artistic young people. A trip down the TV dial reveals that every reality dance, singing, sewing or cooking show is sporting the latest Mormon inspiration. We must face the fact that no matter how much we may hate our upbringing, it has made us what we are today––a large group of talented freaks with something to prove to the world, or at least to our stupid friends in a dark bar.

We literally have a handful of dance clubs to choose from here, albeit more than we've had to choose from in the past. The mega hos and bros scene at the Ho-tel (Bro-tel?) and none of us would go there anyway, so enough about them. Then there is the houseariffic/hipster clan at the W. The "lounge" is a surprise any night of the week, but still has the house music edge and sadly we're one of the last cities to have people still attending. If you're still DJing house music, then you are like my sister who has had the same haircut since 1982 and still thinks it's hot. There is also the underage and goth damage set at Area 51. Cute as it may be, Area 51 has two––count them two–– 80s parties in one week. Is it still that cool or somehow even cooler again? 90s parties started five years ago in NY. The constantly changing and schizophrenic Trapp Door has the biggest party in town thrown by the fabulously arrogant DJ/DC. The clique and drag party "Gossip" at Sound grows cliquier week after week. The boys at Bliss are trying very hard to bring you what no one else has: VIP tables, bottle service and the hottest staff around. Come to their party conference Sodom and Gomorrah weekend to see what the hubbub is about. The person throwing the hands-down best party in town is Justin Strange and his filth-fest, Gutter Butter. Best music, best crowd and by far the best attitude. He does it for the right reason, the people... and it shows.

Let's talk about what club owner/promoters need to do to advance the scene. I challenge all promoters to raise the bar. Make your club better than the rest. If you've always wanted to have a "night" then by all means get out there and do it. And remember to be nice on your way up because you'll run into the same people on your way back down. Some of the hottest things going on in the club scene today are clubs within clubs, roving clubs, monthly clubs in small spaces and cyber clubbing (which will be my next article). We need club royalty, go-go dancers and drink tickets. I don't fucking care if it's illegal, I spend too much time being hot to have to buy drinks. We need less drag queen lip-synchers and more performance artists. Hell, I'll come to your club and fart in a mic and guarantee a better response. Think outside the box. Bubble-blowing midgets. Sod your dance floor. Get a trapeze artist. Do anything other then the obvious tiredness of a man in a dress giving you fierce Kelly Clarkson. Lastly... get online. Paris, Berlin and LA have the best nightlife in the world right now. See what they're doing and steal every idea you can. We're in a significant time of change. Tomorrow, Salt Lake will be the mecca of nightlife. Do you want to help the change, or stay five years behind everyone else? Come on people––join the club revolution!