Thursday, November 16, 2006; 12:00 AM
There's no Nightlife Agenda next Thursday because of Thanksgiving, so we're giving you a double shot of events this week. Enjoy.
Thursday, Nov. 16
For your entertainment, tonight's most intriguing event brings together a straight-jacket escape artist, a woman who eats glass, burlesque dancing, an acrobat, drag kings, drag queens, lipsynching, and something called "hula hoop burlesque." As you've probably guessed by now, it's taking place at the Palace of Wonders on H Street, but this show is a benefit for HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive), a charitable organization that provides help and outreach services to the city's prostitutes. Doors open at 7, and the suggested donation is $10.
Once a year, Washington's thriving community of Texas ex-pats gets together for a gigantic Lone Star-style party with county music, longnecks, food and dancing. You don't have to be from Texas to attend the Terlingua Two-Step at the Clarendon Ballroom, which is organized by the Texas State Society, but you have to be ready to pretend you're partying in Austin. Local honky-tonk hero Wil Gravatt and Houston-born country singer Cory Morrow perform from 6:30 to 10:30 while the crowd socializes and snacks on "Texas-style hors d'oeuvres." Admission is $30, which includes two drink tickets. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-809-8989 for more information.
Located down a quiet side street off Connecticut Ave., Panache Restaurant is a nice-enough spot if you're looking for a loungey happy hour (don't miss the cocktails with house-infused vodkas). But it really comes alive on weekends, when the lights go down and dining-room tables make way for a dance floor. Tonight, Panache is hosting a special "Red and Black" party to raise money for the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Wear something red or black, enjoy drink specials, dance to a DJ and know that the $10 cover charge is going directly to help District residents with HIV and AIDS. Doors open at 10.
Friday, Nov. 17
When Dream opened in late 2001, the nightclub had an immediate impact on Washington's after-dark scene. A converted four-story warehouse with mahogany walls, huge bars, plush VIP sections, an enormous outdoor deck and flat-screen televisions, it was featured in music videos (most notably Cam'ron's "Hey Ma") and became a regular stop for hip-hop stars and professional athletes. Of course, most of the thousands of people who come every weekend are just normal folks who want to party in stunning surroundings. Renamed Love last year, the club celebrates its fifth birthday this weekend with two nights of parties. Tonight, LeBron James is the celebrity host. On Saturday, it's an old-school event with an open bar and free buffet from 9 to 11. Passes good for free admission are available from Lovetheclub.com.
Daniel Craig makes his debut as the sixth James Bond in "Casino Royale," and reviews of the film have been glowing so far. (Check out Stephen Hunter's write-up in tomorrow's Washington Post and on washingtonpost.com.) While we haven't seen the film yet, that won't stop us from getting dressed up and heading over to the "Casino Royale" Afterparty at Leftbank tonight. Sponsored by Smirnoff Vodka -- an "official partner" of the James Bond films -- this is the latest in a series of Bond-themed events sponsored by the promoters at Party Slave. Previous soirees have featured men in tuxedos and women in evening dresses; women painted gold from head to toe a la "Goldfinger"; and bartenders cranking out "shaken, not stirred" martinis. (What else do you expect at a Bond party?) Tonight's should be much the same: There's no cover charge when you RSVP, an open Smirnoff bar between 9 and 11 and a "Best Bond" and "Best Bond Girl" contest. Winners get a private table and a bottle of alcohol, while runners-up take home anything from passes to the Spy Museum to free drinks. Get on the list at www.jamesbonddc.com.
We really like Fly Lounge's airplane-like decor, service and open-minded music selection. We don't, however, love the door policy, which requires expensive table reservations or showing up way too early on a Friday night if you want any chance of getting past the velvet ropes. Tonight, the subterranean club's walls will shake to the sounds of Middle Eastern and Bollywood music and it's really easy to get in: Just RSVP to Euronet International. There's an optional half-hour "bellydancing for beginners" lesson at 6:45, followed by a dance performance and a DJ spinning international dance tunes -- heavy on the showstoppers from Indian musicals. It's $10 if you want to lounge and socialize, or $15 if you want in on the belly dancing lesson. Hit euronetinterntional.com by 4 p.m. tomorrow to reserve your spot.
Saturday, Nov. 18
The annual Chill on the Hill bar crawl has expanded in its third year -- so much so that the organizers might want to consider changing the name. What had been a tour of the bars along Pennsylvania Avenue near Capitol South and Eastern Market now sprawls to include the Dubliner and the Irish Times (North Capitol and F Streets NW) and gritty little Trusty's (Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets SE). In fact, the distances are so great that there's a shuttle bus between venues. But let's not allow logistics to get in the way of what could be a very enjoyable afternoon of exploration. Capitol Hill gets a bad rap among people who don't work for or with the government, but the stretch between Capitol South Metro and Eastern Market has a good concentration of bars that can be less wonky than the caricature might suggest. From 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, you can hop between 11 bars (walking or via the "Kegbus") for $2 Budweiser beers and various food specials. Participating taverns include the Irish Times, My Brother's Place, Union Pub, Tune Inn, the Hawk and Dove, the 18th Amendment, Lil' Pub, Tunnicliff's, Finn Mac Cool's and Trusty's. All participants check in at the Dubliner between 1 and 6. Admission is $13, or $10 if you bring two cans of food, which are earmarked for local food bank Bread for the City. Advance tickets and more information are at lindypromo.com.
It's official: The new direction at Dischord Records skews toward intelligent, understated indie pop made by male/female duos. The Evens, the Aquarium, Soccer Team -- it's more than just a trend, but we're not complaining. After all, how many jagged guitar riffs and yelping vocals can we really take? Soccer Team is less immediately gripping than either of those other two acts -- no punchy keyboards like the Aquarium or gritty, clenched-teeth vocals like the Evens -- but the group's self-titled debut is another fine effort released by the suddenly prolific-again label. Ryan Nelson and Melissa Quinley's songs have a slightly haphazard feel, which makes sense since the album was recorded mostly at home studios. But that doesn't take away from the quality of the material; in fact, it makes it sound more honest. The intimate Galaxy Hut is a perfect place to catch the Soccer Team, and they're headlining tonight.
Let's get all the snide comments about D.C.'s lack of style out of the way, shall we? Yes, the city is full of identically dressed Ann Taylor-bots, guys wearing blue blazers and khakis and women who think it's okay to wear white sneakers with business suits on the way to work. On the other hand, there are a number of up-and-coming designers who don't get the credit they deserve because their wares aren't marketed in the department stores or shopping malls where most people shop. The situation may began to rectify itself this weekend. Head for the Rock and Roll Hotel's Garutachi event and yes, you'll find members of the buzz band Brazilian Girls behind the turntables (hint: look for the people who are neither Brazilian nor Girls), but upstairs at STYLEistcs, you'll find MUSS Vintage's refashioned thrift-store finds, awesome handbags by De*Nada Design, Perfect Har's stylish T-shirts and vintagey dresses by LooseLips. There are clothes for women and men, so arrive early to explore. Actually, you'll want to get there early because there's no cover charge before 10, and it's $10 after.