Mulligan's Pub in east Boca is a flurry of sweaty frat boys punching each other in the arm, vanilla-scented chain-smoking girls drinking pitchers of beer, and creepy older guys with shiny, Botoxed faces and gold watches who lurk in the corners. Conversations are batted quickly about the bar:
"Dallas just needs six more points and you owe me beer, bro."
"Have you seen that new Gucci fanny pack?"
"She wasn't that fat."
But there, above high-pitched laughs and the buzz of televised sports, the Freakin' Hott is tearing through a cover of Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You," and all is right with the world. Maggie and Aaron (who prefer to remain last-nameless) are the Freakin' Hott, a band that wants to kick you in the crotch and throw a drink in your face. Musically speaking, of course.
"We met doing a play together, and I convinced her to come see me play out one night," Aaron recalls. "She liked it, and we open-mic-hopped for two or three months, doing mostly covers. And then a friend of mine gave me the Moldy Peaches CD, and we listened to it and said, 'Holy cow! This is total shit, but it's so much fun! We can write songs as good as that.' And so we set out to be the South Florida version of the Moldy Peaches, and then it mutated into what it is now."
"I was so green when we first started out," Maggie says. "I'd never performed in front of anyone. I was terrified. Aaron was always like, 'You have to sing...'"
"And then we got drunk and went to karaoke," Aaron says. "And I was like, 'See, you cansing!'"
With influences ranging from country to '80s hair metal, Aaron and Maggie's sound has something for everyone. A glance at Maggie's vintage Donnie and Marie record case confirms this. He's a little bit country, and she's a trifle bit rock 'n' roll. Their set consists of mostly originals, sprinkled with a few cover songs. "We cover songs we like," Maggie says, "anything from the Jesus and Mary Chain to Joan Jett."
And the Freakin' Hott also does a smokin' cover of the Moldy Peaches' "Who's Got the Crack?" and "Tear Me Down" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But don't pass them off as some novelty act.
"My hope for the band is that people get it," Aaron says. "We've made an effort lyrically to write songs that have different levels. Some of my favorite songs are the ones I listen to the first time and say, 'Yeah, this rocks.' Then I listen to it again and realize it's the saddest song anyone's ever written. People get stuck writing lyrically in certain styles. Country songs are a great example. Instead of writing about your girlfriend leaving you, why not write a country song about how your girlfriend's on the rag? Or write a balls-out AC/DC-type song about how sad you are?"
Maggie sums it up: "We try to be clever but not jokey."
And they succeed. When they harmonize on the lyric "waking me, shaking me, 'cause you're all messed up/drinking Listerine and whiskey out of a Dixie cup," you can't help but smile.