Courtesy of Klute

He's So Klute

THU 7/28
Tom Withers, a.k.a. Klute, has been quite busy pushing the drum 'n' bass scene. The UK-based DJ -- who has put out scores of singles and five full-lengths since his debut in 1993 -- has hit Australia, Hungary, Canada and New Zealand this year alone. This week, he's dropping by Clark's for a special edition of Turn It Up Thursdays, the first stop of his nine-day U.S. tour. "It's a chance to spread my wings, connect with more people and bring my music to a wider audience," he says.

Klute describes his live show as "rather like bringing a book to the people instead of another issue of a magazine." Fans won't hear material from just his latest release, No One's Listening Anymore -- they can expect his entire repertoire.

Klute feels like he's taking a chance with his latest single, "Torrential Pain," a nice blend of ambient techno, melody and vocals that pushes the boundaries of traditional dnb. "People taking chances is the future of music," he says, "and I would like to think that my material falls into that category." Houston dnb DJs SDF3, Switch, Hippo and Estefex kick off the evening at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 28. 314 Main. For tickets, call 713-237-8220 or visit www.houstonbeats.com. Free. -- Travis Ritter

Absinthe Brasserie's Absinthe

On a stormy summer night in Montrose, my drinking companion and I stumble through the giant wooden doors of Absinthe Brasserie (609 Richmond, 713-528-7575). The place doesn't have a sign, just a big wooden door. I'm excited to try its trendy retro liqueur. We sit at the bar and look over the pricey drink menu. Absinthe is listed, but I know it's not the addictive anise-flavored liqueur banned a hundred years ago in the United States. That stuff drives you nuts and makes you see things (I'd love to get my hands on some). What you can get stateside doesn't include the evil wormwood herb, but it's potent -- 136 proof -- and, in my opinion, an aphrodisiac. I'm fascinated with the elaborate, ritualistic way the drink is prepared: Our bartender pours the alcohol in a glass, burns a sugar cube over it on a perforated spoon and then pours water over the flame. The sugar dissolves and drips down, changing the color of the drink from an emerald-green to a milky white. As I sip the cocktail, I start to get in the spirit of things. I begin to think the large crowd is changing from a shiny green to a sappy white. I'm underdressed at this party and feel self-conscious about having ordered the "green fairy." A few people seem to be staring and giggling. I look at my partner and say, "Is it me or the absinthe?" She confirms that it's me -- I am going a little crazy.

4 ounces Absente
1 ounce water
1 sugar cube

Pour the absinthe into an old-fashioned glass, set the sugar cube over a tea strainer and ignite. Pour the water over the cube until it dissolves. -- Jason Kerr

Beach Boys

SAT 7/30
No shirt, no shoes, no plane ticket to Cabo -- no problem. Rich's nightclub is bringing the beach to Houston this weekend, with plenty of fine young fellas to accessorize it. Beach/Boys/Balls 2005 comes complete with scantily clad hunks, $3 wells and domestics and free entry before midnight for those in beachwear. Upstairs, muscle-bound fellows will strut the stage in the Best Chest/Buns competition. And if you need to cool off -- or heat up -- after shaking it on the dance floor, you can splash around in the pool or hot tub. 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, July 30. 2401 San Jacinto. For tickets, call 713-759-9606 or visit www.richs-houston.com. Free before midnight for those in beachwear; $10 after. -- Julia Ramey

Go Goth

SAT 7/30
By day, Mike Naus is a mild- mannered local music scenester. But get him on a stage, and he's Vertigo Blue, the one-man electronica force who's releasing his fourth offering this week at Texas Goth and Underworld Productions' latest party, The Leo's Ball. Joining Vertigo Blue will be Azoic, an industrial-ebm- electronica trio from Columbus, Ohio. Local artist Clay George will also be on hand, showing off his visceral, almost creepy paintings. The party promises to be a night of throbbing beats and plenty of eyeliner. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 30. Numbers, 300 Westheimer. For tickets and information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.numbersnightclub.com. $10; $15 per couple. -- Steven Devadanam


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