Perfecto Night Out

MON 7/14
Biggest DJ on the planet? It's debatable. But Paul Oakenfold is certainly a top contender. For nearly two decades now, Oakenfold -- known to his followers as Oakie -- has presided over the modern dance-music scene. Under his belt: legendary club nights, record-selling mix CDs, original singles, remix releases, film scores, awards and just about every DJ accomplishment you can think of. His busy tour schedule has carried him to the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Portugal and Greece -- and that was just last month. Oakenfold can pack stadiums, but on Monday, he'll lug his phone book-sized passport to the intimate M Bar on Main. As if that weren't enough, the evening's supporting lineup is almost too much. Joining Oakie on the Southern leg of the tour are Perfecto labelmate D:Fuse and New York DJ Liquid Todd. Sean Carnahan, a Houston DJ and promoter who's trying to put our city back on the global beat-culture map, will play along with Champa Moore and special guests. The M Bar will be shaking with cutting-edge house, trance, breakbeats and maybe even hip-hop, and the place is sure to fill up. Get ready for one of the best workouts you've had on a Monday night in a long time.

Doors open at 8 p.m. Monday, July 14. M Bar, 402 Main. For information, call 713-222-1022. Cop your tickets early at oakie2.htm. $20. -- Anthony Nguyen


Just like a cheap, overworked computer running on Windows 95, my temp job with a Web development company suddenly crashed. I hadn't been doing much besides researching Rock Paper Scissors games on the Internet, so I already knew my days were numbered. My boss and his wife felt bad enough to take me to Champps Americana Restaurant and Bar (1121 Uptown Park Boulevard, 713-627-2333). They wanted to "ease the pain" -- even though I'd hated the job from day one. When we pulled up, I could hear the restaurant's music and noise in the parking lot. "Contemporary shopping-mall motif," I said to myself. And sure enough, the inside was predictable: exposed-brick walls, industrial ceilings and Casanova twirling fans. Champps is a sensory overload, with split-screen TVs showing every sporting event from here to Barcelona, and throngs of overworked, thirsty people smoking like chimneys. I ordered a Bacardi Three-Pointer, which was potent but smelled like suntan lotion. After we'd already consumed enough alcohol to make Betty Ford scream in horror, our server spilled a drop of cosmopolitan on my boss's wife's powder-blue slacks. I thought she was going to pull out a six-shooter and level the guy. I excused myself and followed a pair of high heels and jeans toward the washrooms in back.

2 ounces Bacardi Coco rum
4 to 6 ounces Island Oasis piña colada mix
Crushed ice
Splash of pineapple juice
Whipped cream
Maraschino cherry
Orange slice

In a blender, combine piña colada mix, rum and two large scoops of ice. Blend for 17 seconds or until mixture is smooth but still a little chunky. Add a splash of pineapple juice and blend for another couple of seconds. Pour contents into a squall (hurricane) glass. Garnish with whipped cream, cherry and orange slice. Repeat when glass is near empty. Exercise caution when operating heavy machinery or holding toddlers. -- J. W. Crooker


THU 7/10
Sweet Relief
Judging from the talent that convenes at Club Vision on Thursdays to dish out underground house music for "Relief," the event will definitely soothe your average frustrated house-head. Brotha Jibril (who organizes "Relief" along with Artit "Pimpy G") is on a mission to provide deep, soulful, tribal, progressive house to Houstonians who are seriously in need of it. Every week, Jibril shares DJ duties with fellow enthusiasts Seth Jones, Josh Zulu and Chello. Together, this fantastic foursome serves up a remedy that -- like Excedrin or a nurse in a porn movie -- satisfies a real need. 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays. 2117 Chenevert. For information, call 713-571-6003. $5; free for ladies until 2 a.m. 18 and up. -- Craig D. Lindsey


SAT 7/12
Opening Up

The streets will be teeming with arty folks this weekend for ArtHouston's daylong summer event, the busiest day of the year for many galleries. You'll have tons of openings to choose from at venues in the Museum District, the Heights, downtown and other areas. And all kinds of work -- realist and abstract paintings, sculpture, mixed media, photography and more -- by both established and emerging artists, will be on view. If you have no interest in art but feel like getting drunk for free, this is a definite opportunity. Drinking wine from a clear plastic cup is its own special pleasure. Saturday, July 12. For a list of participating galleries and museums, reception times and addresses, visit -- Cathy Matusow

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