For local DJs back in the day, competing for space amidst grunge acts was damn near impossible. DJ-producer-personality Sean Carnahan remembers it well: "When I started out, we had places like Power Tools, but there wasn't a huge conglomerate where new guys could really spin." Now Carnahan is a minor celebrity in the DJ world, and Houston has become a mecca of sorts for serious spinners of drum 'n' bass, techno, house and progressive. And Numbers is making life easier for waxers. "Listen," a new weekly happening there, throws newbies and turntable pros together for a three-stage, ten-DJ spotlight. Having players like DJ Sun, Danseparc, Mike Snow and Mike Masters share the stage with unknowns makes for a good show and an instant audition for the first-timers, says Carnahan. "The very cool thing about this is some up-and-coming DJ will be playing at a very big club and on a very big system -- a real system."
So while taking a break from the VIP room, could a passing Somebody discover the next hot spinster? "It could happen," says Carnahan. "A lot of club owners and guys like me will be out there listening. I mean, if I hear someone I really like, I contact them. It's how you keep the scene going. Someone did it for me, so I intend to do it, too." Carnahan and a host of DJs wax at 8 p.m. Wednesdays. 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.numbersnightclub.com. $5 to $10. -- Steven Devadanam
La Strada's Veronica's Cherry Popper
It was an uneventful night in the Bayou City. I finished work early, hit two gentlemen's clubs and dropped by the nursing home to visit my confused and rapidly deteriorating aunt. Afterward, I roared into the parking lot of La Strada(322 Westheimer, 713-523-1014), bringing with me a thirst bigger than Texas. As I pulled a stool up to the bar, Dan the bartender popped the age-old question. "So how we doin' tonight?" I looked around, realized he was talking to me, and replied, "Do you mean emotionally, sexually or financially?" He didn't seem to want to get that far into it, but he was more than willing to suggest a drink. "Here's one I made up a couple of weeks ago," he said. "I call it Veronica's Cherry Popper." As the bottles whizzed by, I imagined several scenarios whereby this drink was named. The drink was refreshing enough, but I couldn't stop thinking about poor Veronica. So I switched my attention to the hot hostess. She was flirtatious at first, albeit a bit reserved. After downing my second and third drinks, I finally summoned the courage to ask her out. "So what do you do with yourself when you're not working?" I asked. My pickup line was as tired as my pathetic aunt. "Mostly I hang out with my boyfriend and watch TV." I paid for my fun and paused by the hostess stand. "We should probably both work on getting a life," I said. "Buenas noches, señorita." She smiled but said nothing as I walked out the door.
1-3/4 ounces Smirnoff Orange vodka
1/4 ounce Bols blue curaçao
Splash of sweet-and-sour cocktail mix
Dash of pineapple juice
7 drops of Rose's grenadine
Measure out ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake nonchalantly -- like you couldn't care less -- and pour into a glass, any glass. Repeat until bored to death, and contact a physician if you develop any liver- or kidney-related illnesses. -- J.W. Crooker
Sugar and Spice
When a restaurant is having trouble staying on its feet, there's only one thing to do: Add a whole lot more legs, especially scantily clad ones. At least that seems to be the theory behind Home on the Range's recent addition of burlesque shows to the menu. And we can't really blame them for trying to spice up the joint. The food is good, no doubt, but a little T&A goes a long way on the Richmond Strip. (Hell, they don't call it the strip for nothing.) If the buffalo wings don't make you sweat, then the dancing ladies certainly will. 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. 6224 Richmond. For information, call 713-977-4663 or visit www.hotrhouston.com. $10. -- Keith Plocek
After you've paid for entry fees and drinks, it's usually pretty tough to scrounge up enough dough to buy a musician's CD, no matter how much you love the guy or gal. "I'll buy it later," you say, and the artist instantly falls off your radar. You won't get the chance to forget at the Projekt Mayhem party, where hundred of CDs will be given away by DJs Noizee and SDF3. Noizee spins funky house, and SDF3 drops drum 'n' bass, so you can take your pick between the two, or just grab both CDs and bounce for hours. 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday, May 7. Underground Lounge, 804 Fannin. For information, call 713-225-0948. $7 to $10. -- Keith Plocek