Dancing Stiffs

FRI 6/6
People, people, we know that each week, you look forward to shedding the oppressive shackles of your weekday, workday life and getting in the groove of things. And the monthly musical event known as "Global Fusions," happening this Friday at Last Concert Cafe, is looking for a few good nine-to-fivers to take a dip in its not-so-shallow talent pool. Billed as a "latinskareggaedubjazzhiphopfunkafrobeat" experience, "Fusions" gives eclectic, often gigless musicians the chance to take the stage and move an audience. "I try to pick a range of bands that people don't necessarily hear in other places," says Julie De Rossi, organizer and head of Motherland Entertainment. Since December, acts including local reggae rebels D.R.U.M. and Austin's Grupo Fantasma have graced the Last Concert stage.

"You've got every kind of representation there, and that's what I love about it," says Mandy Smith, whose roots-rock outfit, the Mandy Smith Group, will perform with Vibe Collective at Friday's show. "Besides, the music is always wonderful and you can always really dance."

At long last, a weekend activity where you can get your groove back -- literally. "Global Fusions" happens at 9 p.m. on the first Friday of the month, June 6, at Last Concert Cafe, 1403 Nance. For information, call 713-226-8563 or visit www.motherland.cc. $10. -- Craig D. Lindsey


Under the Volcano's Singapore Sling
It had been the perfect day: Work got finished early, the girlfriend was out of town, and I had a few extra pesos in my wallet for a late-afternoon cocktail. I pulled into Under the Volcano (2349 Bissonnet, 713-526-5282) with thoughts of a lively jukebox, fun people and a tall, frosty drink. I was not disappointed. A cute little blond was picking out songs in the corner, and the unmistakable sound of a martini shaker made my heart skip a beat. I ordered a Singapore Sling and took in my surroundings. The drink arrived before long, and the taste of cheap gin and cherry-flavored brandy was refreshing in the heat of the afternoon. Before my second sip, I felt the eyes of the girl at the jukebox staring a hole in the back of my head. "Any chance you want to help me pick out a few songs, stranger?" Her voice was angelic -- a slow, Southern whisper that was both suggestive and assertive at the same time. A minute later, I was standing right next to her and flipping through the CDs. She held her empty glass out to me, and the rest, as they say, is history.

2-1/2 ounces Gilby's Gin
1/2 ounce Bénédictine
1-1/2 ounces Arrow cherry brandy

Splash of soda

Lemon wedge

Maraschino cherry

Fill a pint glass with ice. Measure out ingredients in a metal shaker and add the ice. Mix thoroughly. Pour back into pint glass and garnish with lemon and cherry. -- J.W. Crooker


SAT 6/7
Planting Ideas
Each year at Clean Galveston's Backyard Garden Tour, nine island residents get out the manicure scissors, send the dog away and allow folks to tromp around their patios, koi ponds, veggie gardens and backyard havens. Visitors can discover cool-looking plants for their own gardens and exchange ideas with their hosts. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 8 (rain dates: June 14 and 15). Addresses include 2947 Dominque, 2939 Dominique, 2925 Dominique, 1823 Bayou Shore Drive, 44 Cedar Lawn Circle, 4502 Avenue O, 1114 Postoffice, 1417 Sealy and 1610 Avenue N 1/2 . For information, call 409-762-3363. One-day tickets ($10) may be purchased at any of the homes. -- Greg Barr


SAT 6/7
Hot Stuff
Jillian's is fast becoming a temple for folks looking to engage in good old-fashioned American debauchery. Last month, a Playboy photo crew flocked to the dining/entertainment spot to snap Playmate hopefuls for the magazine's 50th anniversary issue. (Men were lurking around the premises for moral support, obviously.) Now, some shutterbugs from Stuff are being dispatched to shoot local ladies for their magazine. Spectators also will be allowed to ogle and drool, since the event's being touted as a "Stuff Powder Room Naughty or Nice Party." We put our money on naughtiness winning out by the end of the evening. 9 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Jillian's, I-10 at Silber. For information, call 713-263-0303. $5. -- Craig D. Lindsey

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