Music | Huka Mama: Smoke may get in your eyes at the Huka Bar & Grill | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music | Huka Mama: Smoke may get in your eyes at the Huka Bar & Grill


Going out on the town is getting harder to do, it seems. My recent attempts were thwarted by a live-band karaoke leader getting in a car accident (forcing him to cancel inspired takes on Journey), bars not updating their Websites to explain that advertised events were suddenly nixed, and exorbinant cover charges of approximately $1 million and a left toe. I almost gave up on leaving the house altogether.

I found what I thought was a sure bet at The Huka Bar & Grill in Murray on Dec. 20. The gods were vengeful, and a blizzard dumped down something fierce prior to my leaving the house. I was stubborn and decided that the only thing that could possibly be more stupid than going might be encountering the bar’s clientele.

I made it there safely and walked into a room where a bunch of men stood screamingmanly things that only testosterone overload can fuel. That, and steroids. After regaining my hearing, I sat down at one of the tables. The ambience was so atmospherically curious that I expected couch humping and blow snorting to commence.

The best part of The Huka is the sweet, succulent tobacco you get to smoke there, out of, well a huka. You are invited to choose: Do I want to ruin my liver or lungs tonight? Liver? Lungs? I opted for both. New Year’s is coming up, and I can resolve to fix them both at a later date. I wanted to be sure I knew whom I was sharing my huka with. No surprise strains of mono for this lady! Happily enough, the club provides you with your very own plastic tips—or, as I like to call them, huka condoms. The irony of the bar is that you cannot smoke cigarettes inside. Fine with me; the bar did have a pleasant aroma of a distinguished gentleman’s jacket.

Though I was interested in seeing The Huka in its full glory, I was actually mainly there to watch One Punch (formerly known as Afro Omega), a damned-good dub-rock group packing heat out of Salt Lake City. I was too late to talk to the band about their name change, and drummer Josh “Mancrush” Dixon (sorry, dudes, he is taken) was not quite sure of the reasons behind the switch, either. But he does play an impeccable high hat and snare drum—and that’s what really matters.

Consensus? Huka crowd: bad. One Punch: good. At least for one night. As the bar filled, I started to regret that fact that I had made the harrowing drive. I couldn’t drink myself into a coma of tolerance. If popped collars were still in, that place would have been littered with them. The term “trick-ass bitch”? Probably coined at this establishment. I saw more hoochie mama than I have in my nightmares and heard more transparent conversation than my eardrums could handle. Favorite pick up line? “Sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you. Actually, I did. Heh. Heh. Heh.”

Favorite bathroom conversation—crack-skinny girls complaining that they should not eat sushi anymore because it has too many carbs and that the bathroom mirror makes them look fat.

I was in the “hubble-bubble” of a superficial-personality planet, with no hope of salvation. The few people I ran into that evening were there on accident, or by kidnapping, I am not sure which.

Plus, the drinks were spendy. I was convinced I might have to pay off my tab by doing dishes.

You know when you have this look on your face, and you aren’t trying to intentionally make it and somebody comes up to you and says “What’s wrong?” and you say “Oh, nothing. I didn’t know I was making that face.” I was intentionally making that face the whole time. Apparently, chivalry is checked at the door here, too. I have never been bumped so rudely this many times in my life. You bump your mother with that shoulder, people?

It’s this kind of rude behavior that gives good clubs a bad name. When I check out One Punch again, it might be at a different venue—or maybe at the Huka Bar & Grill—just a different night.