You know the ladies' night scene at most clubs: You get some dudes at the turntables and hordes of other dudes ogling the women who -- having shown up for the discounted drinks and free cover -- become the entertainment and eye candy. At tonight's Ladies' Night at Clark's, the ladies again will be the entertainment, but they'll be turning the tables on the gentlemen (who are still free to ogle). The gig features DJs Jessica Lozano, Jessica Partin, Amanda Robinson and vocalist Diva Karina, backed by DJ Gracie Chavez. The event is part of "Rotate," a weekly showcase of hot H-town DJ talent.
Fans of local table talent will recognize Chavez as one of Houston's leading DJs and promoters, while Karina (you may have seen her go-go act years back at Club Wax) works regularly with producer Joe B and is featured on a new album from Sistah Stroke. As the headlining act, Chavez will spin freestyle house, down-tempo, jazz and Latin house while Karina tempers it with her ambient, poetic flow interspersed with Spanish vocals.
And if that's not enough eye candy for you, not to worry: Some Houston Ballet dancers will be mixing in with the B-boy, street-dance crowd. "We're gonna be battling each other and showing each other up," laughs Karina. "They'll be doing their pirouettes, and I'll be doing my freestyle and V kicks!" 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, December 3. 314 Main. For information, call 713-237-8220 or visit www.rotate.tv. Free; $5 after 11 p.m. -- Steven Devadanam
Smith & Wollensky's Cape Cod
I decided to take a part-time job at a mall near my house to help make ends meet. The little extra money I had from my restaurant job was going to either my shameless thirst for alcohol or my girlfriend's shameless thirst for underwear. With a gig as a stock boy, I might even get a discount on batteries for her other boyfriend, which woke me up every morning before the crack of dawn. The new job's biggest drawback was the nonstop Christmas music -- and December had just begun. If I heard "Jingle Bells" one more time, I swear I was going to hurl all over aisle seven! After I finished with work, I found myself sitting at the bar of Smith & Wollensky(4007 Westheimer, 713-621-7555). I ordered a festive concoction known in some circles as a cape cod, although I've always preferred vodka cranberry. The first sip went right to my empty stomach, which churned around like an off-balance washing machine. I didn't notice the gaggle of geese sitting just behind me until they started raising their voices, getting louder with every sip of their cosmopolitans. Each and every one of them had a complaint about her boyfriend -- except for the slightly rotund plain-Jane, who never once took her straw out of her mouth. I turned back to my empty glass, ordered another drink and wondered what qualifications were needed to be a mall Santa.
2 ounces Belvedere vodka
3 ounces cranberry juice
Mix in cocktail shaker with ice and strain into an iced highball glass. Or skip the shaker part and just measure into any tall glass. Better yet, skip the juice and glass altogether and tip the bottle into your mouth. -- J.W. Crooker
Back in Black
Helios is out to end the redundancy of going out -- or maybe they just want to make everyone look thinner. At this weekend's Black Party, revelers wearing (you guessed it) black get in free before 11 p.m. This breed of black, however, is less goth and more "sensually elegant"; think intense and moody, enhanced by Afro-Latin tribal rhythms from DJs Dave Allen, Kevin Moore and Blake Dennis. The event is the first of a series of Thursday-night theme parties at Helios; future events include a XXX holiday party and a "Dirty Dancing" night. Think fashionable, not funereal, at 10 p.m. Thursday, December 2. 411 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-4648. $4. -- Julia Ramey
Hairdressers may charge obscene amounts of money in exchange for a trim, but that doesn't mean they're not charitably minded. A group of these 'do-gooders has gotten together to throw the Naughty or Nice Get-Ready-to-Share-Your-Holiday Burlesque Show at Club 2401. The party will raise funds for the Houston Food Bank. For your entertainment, the saucy Fanny LaFaye's Burlesque Review will kick it along with performances by the band Little Compass and a local DJ. But hit the salon first -- the stylists will be leaving their scissors at home. 9 p.m. Saturday, December 4. 2401 San Jacinto. For information, call 713-528-4450 or visit www.77002.com. $20 with donated nonperishable food item. -- Steven Devadanam