DOCTOR NIGHTLIFE recognizes Memorial Day as the beginning of beach season. She even recognizes it (albeit reluctantly) as the beginning of white shoes season. But she sayeth unto you: White belts are never in season. Even at boxing matches. Elsewhere, in better taste:
DUSKY DANCING -- If the thought of the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Old Georgetown Road leaves you shuddering with post-traffic D.T.s, stop by the Metro Plaza some Friday evening between 6 and 9, when the Richard Bray Orchestra does its big-band thing. And if you're beach-bound, don't worry: The "dance hall" is open through September.
BETHESDA BEACH -- If the Memorial Day holiday makes you crave the shore, skip the drive and take the subway back to the Bethesda Metro Plaza, which by then will have transformed (by the miracle of 30 tons of sand) into a beachhead for the afternoon. The Q boops beach music, the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band whoops island music, the volleyball exhibition loops, the hula-hoop workshop hoops . . . and Doctor Nightlife stoops to stupid pet rhymes. Anyway, it all starts at noon; for more information call 652-4988.
THIRD WORLD BEACH --
In 1988, Yoruban Nigerian steel guitarist Demola Adepoju and Washington percussionist/Dance Place founder Steve Bloom collaborated on the creation of the infectious Latin/African/soul dance band Beatology. After Demola was forced by INS regulations to return to Nigeria, he put together a 17-piece juju band, partly modeled on his 10 years touring with King Sunny Ade, while Bloom continued to develop Beatology. Thanks to a Rockefeller Foundation grant, Bloom was able to spend five weeks in Nigeria this summer and to bring Demola back for a short reunion. Beatology's showcase Saturday at Dance Place (3225 Eighth St. NE; 269-1600) will be the last before Demola returns to Africa. Admission $10; $8 for students, seniors and professional artists (be honest!).
BEACH PARTY BINGO -- For those who'll never be able to face the Bay Bridge again, but just can't see Bethesda as the beachfront, here's another beach within reach: Chesapeake Beach on the Western Shore, home of the Rod 'N' Reel "entertainment complex" (wharf and woof). The Welcome Summer weekend celebration there includes not only the usual greasy beach stuff (bikini and bulge contests, arm wrestling, peel-and-eat on the boardwalk and, yes, bingo) but also performances by Downtown (at the Chesapeake Lounge) and Little Red & the Renegades (at Adam's Ribs). It all comes to a head Monday, with two shows (at 4 and 7) by the Drifters on the beach. They're free, thanks to the North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, but the others aren't; for information call 301/257-2735 or 301/855-8351. From the Beltway take Route 4 south to 260 and go all the way to the bay; at the dead end at Route 261, turn right and go a quarter-mile. The Drifters, incidentally, go from here to Anton's 1201 for a two-week engagement (783-1201).
FRATERNITY BASH -- If you're not ready either for the beach or white shoes, head the other way toward King's Dominion, get up on a couple of thrill rides and then get down with the Isley Brothers, featuring brother Ronald, who was one of the original trio on the family's first hit -- "Twist & Shout" back in 1962 -- and who just had a Top 10 hit with Rod Stewart on a remake of their 1966 hit, "This Old Heart of Mine" ($5; 432-0200 or 800/448-9009).
BLACK-HEARTED IRISH -- Working the road with shapechanger Warren Zevon has added stage savvy to the already intriguing street noir of the Raindogs, a proud mongrel of a bar band that gets its bite from frontman/writer Mark Cutler and its tailwag from Irish fiddle champ Johnny Cunningham. They play the Bayou ($7.50; 333-2987) with the Grease-garage Aquanettas -- another of those pairings presumably inspired by the names.
'WINING' & DINING -- Mixing its holiday metaphors, Kalabash brings in Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival entertainment kings, David Rudder and Chris "Tambu" Herbert with Charlie's Roots, for a soca celebration. Rudder is more socially and politically articulate -- his song "Panama," released before the U.S. invasion, focuses on drug running and money-laundering, and "Haiti" mourns the continued suffering there -- while Tambu is the proponent of more physical calypso: When he orders you to "wine," he's talking about the bumb-and-grind in overdrive that characterizes Carnival dance ($20 in advance, $25 at door; 369-6487 or 369-7010).
HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU -- Don't let the name or that smokin' steel guitar fool you: Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings are no Grandsons of the Pioneers. Rogers is a Mississippi blues boy, booting up a little R&B on the side, who takes Robert Johnson back down to the crossroads on his latest album, "Blues on the Range" -- and thence to the Bayou ($5; 333-2897). Opening is High Noon, an Austin-based rockabilly trio featuring Washington expatriate Sean Mencher (Golden Bats, 500s); they're in between record-label showcases in Nashville and New York, which puts them in between rock and the hard place.
MARDI DRAW -- It may be Memorial Day, but it's a fat Tuesday musically speaking at Glen Echo, where Loozianna fiddle-footers File' and local Ca'junguns Allons Zee play a special benefit for the ballroom restoration fund ($10; 320-2330). Workshop 7:30, dance at 8. Glen Echo is one-third of the way toward its $300,000 goal, but according to the matching-grants provision, have only until next summer to raise it all.
HEART LIKE A REEL -- Canadian gentlewomen Anna and Kate McGarrigle, whose writing is warmed by the spare beauty of traditional French-Canadian folk music but made more potent by their particularly vivid turns of phrase and melody, return to the National Geographic's Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW, for concerts at 5:30 ($9) and 8 ($12). Tickets at the box office 9 to 5 weekdays or 45 minutes before each show; 857-7133.
AFFORDABLE FORDHAM -- Julia Fordham's new album is called "Porcelain," and in fact it evokes those self-possesed continental women who fill their by-appointment English cups with exotic liqueurs. Fordham blends Europop resort rhythms with alternative radio-rock into a smart and somehow elite-school melange; she's part of the new toffee generation (at the Bayou; $12, 333-2987).
KATERING TO THE GREENS -- German-born adult-contemporary pianist Peter Kater now lives in Colorado, the only place where green politics is probably more common: His current tour, including his two shows at Blues Alley ($15; 337-4141), benefits the United Nations Environmental Program.