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Courtesy of E-Pro Recordings

Gear Head

FRI 6/4

Ron-E is all about the tri-fader. He's all over it. This Austin-based spinner is the master of the little black box that can fade a track in three places: the high, the mid and the low. Most mixers have only one fader, you see, so his contraption's got two up on the rest of the pack. "It adds a lot of energy to the set," says Ron-E, who just so happens to be sponsored by the company that makes his equipment. "And it lets me do things you can't do with a normal mixer, because it would require you to have, like, six hands." So not even Vishnu could match this technology -- that is, of course, assuming the four-armed Hindu god has a thing for electronica.

Ron-E likes to spin (and apparently fade the hell out of) hard-edged trance, UK hardhouse and breakbeats. "It's all high-energy," he says. "I even dip into a little bit of melodic, but it's still at the same tempo."

The blond-haired decknician is lugging his gear down U.S. 290 for the "Fast Forward" event this weekend at Club Monaco. Also on the bill are Mister Spacely, Carlos Rene, Joshua Michael and X-Cel, not to mention lasers by Eye Erotika and a second deck featuring the turntablist stylings of the Traffic Crew. The lights (and sounds) fade at 10 p.m. Friday, June 4. 9347-1/2 Richmond. For information, call 713-952-4540 or visit $10. -- Keith Plocek

Drexler's Astro's Grand Slam

The 30-pizza cook-off I had been to earlier in the afternoon had left me bloated and thirsty as hell. A case of beer would have been nice, but something compelled me to eat even more. I headed for Drexler's World Famous BBQ (2300 Pierce, 713-752-0008). Gene the bartender suggested a lemon drop martini, but I couldn't resist a libation called the Astro's Grand Slam. The only other guy at the bar could have been a poster adult for AA. He asked me if vodka was my drink of choice, and I raised my fist and gave him a loud "hell, yeah!" -- which was a mistake. He went on a long, drawn-out digression about some vodka made in Austin while I waited for my brisket. My second drink arrived right along with my sandwich, but all I could do was dip my pickles in the sauce. It was tangy and sweet, but it didn't hold a candle to what they serve at Otto's on Memorial. As I picked at my food, the drinks were going down like water. A bodacious woman sat down next to me, and I tried hard not to breathe on her. My stomach started to growl, and suddenly I wasn't feeling very well. I excused myself and headed for the men's room.

1-3/4 ounces Stolichnaya vodka
3/4 ounce DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker
Splash of cranberry juice

Measure out ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Do the dance, and pour recklessly into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with love and serve immediately. Perfect for graduation parties. -- J.W. Crooker

The Tonys on Draft

SUN 6/6

Pomp, circumstance and retractable metal claws: Hugh Jackman, of Wolverine fame, is hosting the Tonys for a second year in a row. It's odd to think that the same guy who plays the toughest X-Man also plays Peter Allen (the exceptionally flamboyant gay singer-songwriter and ex-husband of Liza Minnelli) in The Boy from Oz. On second thought, roles as a mutant and as Liza's ex both probably involve a lot of fighting, clawing and scratching. You can watch the Tony action on the big screen from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 6. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1000 West Oaks Mall. For information, call 281-556-0204 or visit Free. -- Eric A.T. Dieckman

House Schooled

Electronica lovers throw around the terms "house" and "garage" all the time without really knowing where they come from. House music allegedly originated in Chicago at the Warehouse, and garage had its beginnings at New York's Paradise Garage. Get a history lesson in house every Thursday at Opus for "The Underground," where DJs Rocky B and C-los Medrano know how to keep the old wax free of dust. "I was there at the beginning," says Chicago-bred Medrano, who is 32. "I've been deejaying since '85." We'll let you do the math on that one. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays. 412 Main. For information, call 713-222-6787 or visit Free. -- Keith Plocek


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