A Base for Drums

Dhol Beat International

SAT 8/14

It's so hot, even rappers Jay-Z and Nas are on its tip. We're not talking about the latest Escalade -- we're talking about bhangra, one of the spiciest musical genres on the globe. In the U.K., it's so established that many musicos there dub it "the British hip-hop." Club kids worldwide are in love with the music's deep, throbbing beats, created by dholi drums from the Indian province of Punjab. (The term is thought to be derived from the bhang, or hemp plant. Seems Punjabis would bust crazy moves after eating the intoxicating leaves.) The folks at Bayou Bhangra, who throw monthly parties at various clubs, are slowly nourishing the H-town scene. "Man, we get crowds of anywhere from 300 to 500 people," says Himanshu Nagar, Bayou's promoter. "You get the FOBs, the Indian 'thugs' from Sugar Land and quite a few white fans." This Saturday's gathering at Club Live is both bhangra party and Independence Day -- or Days -- celebration: Pakistan's and India's independence days fall on the 14th and 15th. "We celebrate both in one night," says Nagar, "so it works out perfectly for everyone." There'll be drink specials and DJs from Dhol Beat International.

But Nagar says the real party is in September, when his group will throw what he calls the "biggest bhangra party in the Southwest." DJ Jazzy B, bhangra's Jay-Z, will headline, while eight teams battle it out in a dance competition for a $3,000 purse. But for now, get your first dose of doong-a-tack-doong-doong-tack at 10 p.m. Saturday, August 14. 407 Main. For information, call 713-669-9557 or visit www.bayoubhangra.com. $10. --Steven Devadanam

Cyclone Anaya's Horny Margarita

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Once again, I woke up looking and feeling like a zombie. I'd thrown my prescribed sleeping partner -- a face mask you could play hockey with that was connected to a 10-foot-long vacuum-hose thingy -- halfway across the bedroom floor. "Putain la merde!" I yelled, kicking the stupid respirator on my way to the shower. I was late to meet my French study partner for lunch at Cyclone Anaya's (5761 Woodway Drive, 713-339-4552). When I finally got there, we both ordered the "horny margarita" from a nervous young waiter on his first day on the job. "Mama, don't let your busboys grow up to be waiters," I mumbled out loud as he walked away. "Quoi?" responded my partner. I just shook my head, not even attempting to translate. "Amusons-nous," I stated simply. The lunch wasn't bad -- not enough spinach in the queso -- but my partner's summer dress was c'est magnifique. She kept catching me staring at her perfectly shaped, uh, earrings, which were making me stutter. If I kept up at this pace, I figured I'd be fluent by 2010. We ordered another round and basked in the afternoon heat. As her questions became more and more difficult to decipher, I noticed that my hands had stopped trembling. "Se bon!" I declared.

1-3/4 ounces Hornitos tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Lime wedge

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and measure out the booze and juice. Shake well. Pour into a salt-rimmed, old-fashioned glass and garnish with a lime. Enhances hearing, taste buds and vision. A fast and inexpensive treatment for shaky hands, nervous twitches and unexplained muscle spasms. -- J. W. Crooker

Youthful Vision

There are things that go bump in the night, and you can hang out with them at Club Vision. Nestled in a strip mall at the northeastern edge of Midtown, this after-hours club has all the elements of old-school rave culture: thumping electronica, floating glowsticks and sweaty bodies. Don't go if you want to hang out with twentysomethings dressed to the nines. Do go if you want to hit the floor with a bunch of kids who seem to have an endless amount of energy. We just hope you don't have to get up for work in the morning. 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays; and 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 2117 Chenevert. For information, call 713-571-6003. $10. -- Keith Plocek

Scotch Guard

TUE 8/17

The next time you're on the town nursing a sophisticated single malt, raise your highball glass to Captain Bill McCoy. The sneaky bastard helped smuggle scotch whiskey into the U.S. during the Prohibition years. His sauce, sent straight from Scotland, was dubbed -- duh -- "the real McCoy." Thankfully, those days are over, and the appropriately named S.C.O.T.C.H. (Scotch Connoisseurs Official Tasting Club o' Houston) meets right out in the open every month. This Tuesday, your fiver benefits Gabriel Gifts and scores a drink coupon, three tastings and a chance to toast Cap'n Bill. 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 17. McCormick & Schmick's, 1151 Uptown Park. For information, call 713-521-2694 or visit www.scotch.bz. $5. --Steven Devadanam

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