Femmes Fatales

The fun is freaky -- and free -- with the Ladies of the Night

THU 2/17

Along with the requisite two turntables and a microphone, a good number of DJs come equipped with a set of the ol' twig and berries. Well, on the third Thursday of every month, you and friends can tap your feet and let the caboose loose to a team of female dominatrices of the shellac discs. That's when Les Femmes de la Nuit (the Ladies of the Night) head to the Social and display their skills behind the wheels of steel. The translation is figurative, sicko: The only thing getting serviced will be hot tracks billowing like death smoke from the ones and twos. "I don't think guys are gonna have anything on their mind other than having a drink and shaking it on the dance floor," says host and Social resident DJ Gracie Chavez. Produced by Rent promoter Little Martin, the night features a rotating cast of all-female DJs and vocalists. This week, the très chic Spinnin' Kitties will spin a web of duct-taped electroclash, and Jessica Lozano will take a break from her usual Thursday-night Dean's digs to bond with her sisters behind the Social's decks for a special Mardi Gras-themed event. Both will provide pulsing click-clack beats behind the freestyle vocals of Karina Nistal and Margaret Menchaca.

According to Chavez, the night "is evolving into an important part of what it means to be a female DJ or vocalist in Houston. And yes, it's also a lot of fun!" Hang with the ladies from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday, February 17. 3730 Washington Avenue. For information, call 713-426-5585 or visit www.thesocialinfo.com. Free. –- Brian McManus

Margaret Menchaca and her spinnin' sisters let loose 
at the Social.
Antonio Alucema
Margaret Menchaca and her spinnin' sisters let loose at the Social.
Red Cat Jazz Café's Cîroc sour apple martini
Troy Fields
Red Cat Jazz Café's Cîroc sour apple martini
Ming and Ping Thing
Ping
Ming and Ping Thing

Red Cat Jazz Café's Cîroc Sour Apple Martini

It was close to midnight on Fat Tuesday, and I was getting bloated on sour apple martinis at Red Cat Jazz Café (924 Congress, 713-226-7870). The Tuesday-night jam band was taking a break, so the crowd was rather spread out. By the time Pam served me my second drink, the atmosphere had changed dramatically. Turns out Terrence "T.C." Carson was in the house, the dude who played Kyle on Living Single. As the rain outside turned to a delta mist, the brick walls and rafters inside were dripping with sensuality. Dressed in a tailored black vest, ascot and a colorful array of Mardi Gras beads, Carson was the epitome of cool on this festive evening. When he sang "Summertime," it was pure magic, and his pickup band helped bring down the house. Everyone upstairs was leaning over the railing, and disposable cameras seemed to jump out of every handbag in the joint. After a little crowd-mingling and picture-taking, he went back up on stage and pulled off an amazing Al Jarreau song I recognized but couldn't place. I ordered one more drink, asked him to sign a cocktail napkin and slipped out into the night.

1-1/2 ounces Cîroc vodka
1/2 ounce De Kuyper Sour Apple Pucker
Maraschino cherry

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and measure out vodka and liqueur. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry. Perfect with hot and spicy jazz. –- J.W. Crooker

Ming and Ping Thing

SAT 2/19

Like their new-wave predecessors the Cure and Duran Duran, new-wave/synth-pop duo Ming and Ping bring style with their substance, harking back to Robert Smith, Nick Rhodes and, hell, even Siouxsie Sue with their jet-black hair and fabulous makeup. The identical twins from San Francisco will be the toast of the New-Wave.02, a gig sponsored by the online music hipsters at New-Wave Radio.net. Along with Ming and Ping, you can catch B! Machine (who also hails from Frisco) and DJs Mina, Breye, Halo & OverByte and Ominous 001. Note to the cool kids: See if you can score entry to the exclusive afterparty. 9 p.m. Saturday, February 19. 202 Tuam. For information, call 713-529-5296 or visit www.unionbarandlounge.com. $15. –- Steven Devadanam

Doin' It Latin-Style

THU 2/17

Oscar de la Rosa knows how to start a charity en estilo. The native Houstonian and lead singer of the Grammy-winning Latin group La Mafia is hosting a fashion show this weekend to benefit his new foundation, which supports the likes of the American Red Cross and the AIDS Foundation. Italian clothier Lucho will dispatch male models in Bond-worthy suits and sportswear throughout the Gatsby Social Club's lush interior. Meanwhile, DJ Ramy will spin club hits while guests sip cocktails and mingle with local celebs (and local male models, we're sure). The strutting starts at 9 p.m. Thursday, February 17. 2650 University Boulevard. For information, call 281-413-7323 or visit www.oscardelarosafoundation.org. $25 to $50. –- Julia Ramey

 
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