There's a cold reality facing dance music: Cher, the reigning club queen, will soon step down. And while she's on only her first "farewell" tour, the divine diva eventually will have to hand off her crown to someone. Our bet's on Amber. Consider their similarities: Both have released numerous bona fide club smashes (and innumerable remixes) in the past decade. Both can boast a to-the-death following of drag queens and aging club kids. And both, while having grown children, seem to defy age. (Thankfully, Amber, unlike Cher, has never shaken her scantily clad ass in front of her son in a video.)
If you've stepped foot in a dance club -- or heck, listened to pop radio in the last five years -- you've no doubt experienced Amber's bouncy hits. She made waves early on with the dance compilation staple "This Is Your Night." Later she created the infectious (to a fault) club faves "Sexual" (with its "li-da-di" mantra) and "Above the Clouds." Now, fresh off a split from her record label and husband, she'll be pushing her new album, My Kind of World, at 2401 San Jacinto this weekend. It's a departure from her dancier roots, but her funky, grinding release "You Move Me" has already hit No. 4 on the Billboard Dance Chart and, perhaps, has her poised to usurp the dance throne. Doors open at 9 p.m. Saturday, November 20. 2401 San Jacinto. For information, call 713-759-9606 or visit www.boyzcircuit.com. $15 to $20. -- Steven Devadanam
Ixtapa Seafood & Mexican Grill's Piña Presidential
A gal I hadn't seen for more than two years called me up wanting to meet for drinks at Ixtapa Seafood & Mexican Grill (231 FM 1960 West, 281-895-9700). Our last encounter had ended rather abruptly on her waterbed...something about me freaking out in the middle of the game and storming off the mound. We ordered a couple of piña presidentials, and I asked her why she'd looked me up. The place was pretty full. There was no shortage of talent around, but I couldn't take my eyes off her long black hair and her piercing brown eyes. Since I'd last seen her, she'd lost a pound or two and obviously was taking better care of herself than I'd been. As she rambled on, I remembered how she used to kick my ass on the pool table. She finally dropped the bomb and told me she was running off to get married in Jamaica at the end of the month. We were in the middle of our third round, and once again I felt like walking out on her. Instead, we quietly finished our cocktails, and I paid the tab and wished her the best. I drove home, only to find my apartment had been burglarized.
1-3/4 ounces Presidente brandy
1 ounce pineapple juice
Splash of De Kuyper crème de cacao
Scoop of ice
Combine above ingredients in a blender. Mix until ice has been completely crushed. Serve immediately. Garnish of orange and maraschino cherry optional. Best imbibed alone or at Thanksgiving tailgate parties. -- J.W. Crooker
Eight Is Enough
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Houston ranks 27th in Forbes's recent list of the best cities for singles. It's not at the bottom (sucks to be you, Indianapolis), but Houston's still not the easiest place to meet people. Eight Friends Out is here to help, and they'll even feed you in the process. At the group's third annual Holiday Blast at the Remington, roughly 500 single professionals will enjoy hors d'oeuvres and live music and show that Houstonians are in fact very social -- once we get out of our cars. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, November 18. The Remington inside the St. Regis Hotel, 1919 Briar Oaks Lane. For information, call 281-870-0827 or visit www.eightfriendsout.com. $10 to $15. -- Julia Ramey
It's the mark that slackers everywhere strive for in school. It's the proverbial symbol of just getting it done -- of being passable, not excellent. So what in the hell is DJ Ceeplus, who has landed tons of "Best DJ" nominations and invites to SXSW, doing with such a moniker? Ask him tonight at Dynamite Lounge, where Ceeplus, host of Reprogram Radio on KPFT, waxes with Eban Doss and the Dum Dum Boys. The genre melding includes dance punk, electro-funk, retro/nu/no wave, electronica, dirty hip-hop and "cheese" pop. Add $2 beers into the mix, and you're in for an A-plus night. 10 p.m. Monday, November 22. The Proletariat, 903 Richmond. For information, call 713-523-1199 or visit www.theproletariathouston.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam