Blunt Force

THU 5/29
The guys behind the weekly downtown party known as "Blunted Thursdays" are initiating an intriguing experiment. Their hypothesis: Dancehall and drum 'n' bass music can mix. "The whole reason is to, like, kinda cross over people that are into drum 'n' bass into reggae more," says decknician BMC, "and then get the reggae crowd into drum 'n' bass." Each week, BMC and spin-men Steve Swift, Vitamin A and Cef convene at NoDo's Underground Lounge and play their hybrid sound -- ragga jungle -- all night. "It was gonna be a drum-'n'-bass night, because that's mainly what I play," says BMC. "But [with] summertime and everything, there's already a few other drum-'n'-bass nights going on. So I decided to do something different."

Up and running for about a month now, "Blunted" is attracting a nice cross-section of night folk, as downtownies itching for some dub in their lives mingle with soca-lovers from the southwest side. But more important, BMC believes he's hipping night owls to a new sound. "Drum 'n' bass came from reggae in the early years anyway, so the shit's kinda full circle right now," he says. Yes, my friends, the shit has come full circle, indeed. "Blunted Thursdays" goes down from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays at NoDo's Underground Lounge, 804 Fannin. For information, call 713-225-0948. $5; free for ladies until midnight. -- Craig D. Lindsey


Vietopia's Asian Thunder

I needed a drink before picking up my cantankerous, cane-waving uncle at the airport, so I ambled into Vietopia (5176 Buffalo Speedway, 713-664-7303). A large sign greeted me at the door announcing bottomless margaritas during happy hour. Just what a guy like me needs right now, I thought to myself. The only other person at the bar was a girl in her twenties inhaling a Big Mac and fries. "The food's that good here?" I half-joked as I pulled out a barstool. She shook her head with a mouth full of food. "I just had a craving, that's all" was her reply. A guy named Victor suddenly appeared and placed a Fat Tire coaster in front of me. A drink called Asian Thunder caught my eye on the drink card. Seconds later, she was talking again. "You know what's the greatest thing about this restaurant?" she asked, her lunch finished now. I hadn't even sipped my drink yet and I had my answer. "You're right, me!" I nodded in agreement. My uncle is going to be a delight, I thought to myself.

1-1/2 ounces Stoli Orange
3/4 ounce Grand Marnier

3/4 ounce Malibu rum

Splash of cranberry juice

Splash of lime sweet & sour

Pour contents in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Mix well and pour into margarita glass. Orange garnish optional. -- J.W. Crooker

SAT 5/31
Boogie Night
It's been 30 years since Roe v. Wade. That's why the Planned Parenthood Young Leaders will be partying like it's 1973 at "Disco Groove," their benefit party at the Majestic Metro. DJ Jason Fischer will be spinning the '70s tunes that everyone, even people who weren't alive during that decade, will know by heart. And several restaurants, including Farrago, will be dishing up grub. Mandatory -- all right, suggested -- attire: platforms, loud polyester and, of course, plenty of glitter. 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, May 31. 911 Preston. For information, call 713-831-6574 or visit $35 and up, benefiting Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. -- Cathy Matusow


SAT 5/30
Dan the Man
Though the hipsters don't flock to his shows the way they did a decade ago, Daniel Johnston still manages to entice intellectual rockers and the curious to his intimate, sometimes skittery, performances. The Austin-based singer-songwriter enjoys considerable cred with underground rock fans thanks to endorsements by members of Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers and Nirvana. The extremely talented musician creates joyous, elegantly constructed pop -- which is partly the product of mental illness (he suffers from manic depression). Johnston's shows may be unpredictable, but they're always direct and honest. 10 p.m. Friday, May 30. Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh Drive. For information, call 713-521-0521. $8. -- Troy Schulze

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