If you stop by Seven Lounge in Midtown this Friday, don't be alarmed by the freaky LL Cool J video vibe. The candles brightening up the joint will be lit for a good cause, so just check your dirty mind.The charity event "Illume," benefiting the Candle Lighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance, features music by DJ Surrian, food from Farrago and Flaming Dr Peppers all night long. Nightclub violinist/party planner Catherine Burnside, who organized a benefit for the Candle Lighters a year ago, is planning the incandescent display. "I wanted to give the whole night a kind of a theme," says Burnside. "Probably gonna have it decorated with more candles -- you know, just very warm and inviting."
Burnside rustled up a trio of friends from Houston's art community -- Lana Chu, Santosh Varughese and Houston Press illustrator Anthony Butkovich -- to create pieces for the event's silent auction. Miami native Chu, whose 11-year-old cousin is a leukemia survivor, was happy to contribute to her pal's charitable get-together. "We're out there to help people on a serious cause," says Chu. Here's hoping people see the light. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, May 16. Seven Lounge, 2000 Bagby. For information, call 713-298-1802. $10.-- Craig D. Lindsey
Molina's Patrón Larry
Hanging out at Molina's (5227 Buffalo Speedway, 713-432-1626) one recent afternoon proved to be a lot more entertaining than I had imagined. The lunch crowd was winding down, but Juan the bartender was fired up and full of amusing stories. After working here for more than five years, Juan has become sort of a platonic bar-scene matchmaker. He has a knack for introducing regulars to each other who go on to become best friends and drinking partners. One person I'd really like to meet is some guy named Larry, who has his own margarita named after him. Apparently no one has seen him at this location for a couple of years (word has it he's now a regular at one of the other Molina's). But Patrón Larry lives on, in a glass at least.
1-3/4 ounces Patrón Silver tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce sour mix
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Use the lime wedge to moisten the rim of the glass, then salt the edge lightly. Pour mix (including ice cubes) into glass. Garnish with lime. -- J.W. Crooker
If you think art car owners are a little wacko, consider the folks who dress their dogs. You'd think forcing an extra layer on a fur-wearing animal would be a tad cruel, especially in Houston, but then maybe the little beasts like it. At the (dog-clothing-optional) Paws on Parade Dog Walk, the canines strut like runway models. The event helps raise money for Citizens for Animal Protection, an organization that finds homes, and sometimes costume wardrobes, for orphaned animals. Registration: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Walk: 9 a.m. Saturday, May 17. Rover Oaks Pet Resort, 2550 West Bellfort. For information, call 713-662-2119. $15 to $20. -- Troy Schulze
Malcolm X in the Middle
The National Black United Front celebrates Malcolm X's upcoming 78th bornday with its Self-Determination Weekend. Friday's events include a video and panel discussion, "The Meaning of Malcolm X to the Hip-hop Generation." (7 p.m., May 16.) Saturday brings the By Any Means Necessary Hip-Hop Show, featuring Houston's own revolutionary rapper K-Rino, neo-rock soulster Zin, the dope poets of the BlackOut Arts Collective and the Dead Prez official listening party. (9 p.m., May 17.) And on Monday, Malcolm's actual birthday, NBUF hosts the Black Unity March to promote "respect and discipline in da hood." (6 p.m., May 19.) NBUF headquarters, 2428 Southmore. For information and a full schedule, call 713-942-0365. Friday, $5; Saturday, $10; Monday, free. -- Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc