By Emma Silvers
By Gary Moskowitz
By Alee Karim
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Derek Opperman
By Emma Silvers
By Alee Karim
Alternate: "Random Acts of Music" @ The Bamboo Hut, free
The delightfully cheesy Tiki vibe ensures safe haven from most highbrow hipsters. You can even get drinks in a coconut!
Thursday: "Club Dare" @ Edinburgh Castle, free
First and foremost, '80s nights, by their very definition, are full of shit. The plethora of ironic, Reagan-era jive has some mystical power to turn normally rational people into blubbering piles of nostalgia. That said, the promising freshness of Club Dare is a port in the storm. DJs Little Melanie, Aidan, David, and Cherry Jam have a knack for toeing a tasteful path through the minefield of '80s music on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Their taste for dark, danceable tunes from the decade includes OMD, Bowie, the Smiths, and New Order. And, at least for now, it's free.
Alternate: Alphabet Soup @ Bruno's, $5
This live band blasts through tirades of hip hop-touched progressive jazz; the perfect antidote to "angular" guitars.
Friday: Live Music @ Thee Parkside / The Hemlock Tavern,admission varies
Avoiding the perils of a Friday night on the town can be a bit dicey. But cross your fingers and hope for salvation at one of these two dives. Its sporadic "Budget Rock" series has made Thee Parkside a safe bet for catching up-and-coming rockers who are usuallyreally good -- while the cover is usuallyreally cheap (in the neighborhood of $5). The workaday charms of the place might not have much by way of Lower East Side savoir-faire, but any transplants from the Midwest might get a little homesick from the tattered linoleum floor, no-bullshit bartenders, and cheapie drinks. If the tunes at Parkside don't have appeal, try the Hemlock where consistently rad shows turn the teeny back room into a sweaty sardine can of artsy-punk-folkie-indie strangeness. Though often uncomfortably crowded, the inspired booking and intimate feel is like taking a trip down memory lane to the basement shows of youth -- or at least you can pretend it does.
Alternate: "Sexotica" @ The Make-Out Room, Free before 10 p.m., $5 after
It's like musical foreplay: DJ King Coffin spins aphrodisiac selections of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latin grooves.
Saturday: "Browntempo" @ The Tunnel Top, free
Sure, the Tunnel Top might not be the best place for cheapie drinks, but it's free to get in. Sure, the expat Euro vibe might not be so indie. But the Afro-soul mishmash and dim lights have the uncanny ability to tempt even the most stoic of hipsters to the tiny dance floor. Host DJ Alvaro sums up the turntable ethos as a "mix of Latin, Brazilian, and world music on the electronic tip, so to speak," but five minutes in the company of the able hands of Alvaro and his team of turntablists (including DJ Coop d'Ville, Rueben, and Jah Yzer) and you're hooked. Next thing you know, you're covered in sweat, grinding some hottie, and throwing back Mojitos like it's going out of style (which it probably is). After you've worked up an appetite, stumble next door to the newly opened Crepuscule (blissfully open until the wee hours of the weekend) to wolf down fancy-pants French food.
Alternate: "Undertoe" @ Julip Cocktail Lounge, free
DJs Él Ron Hubba Hubba and Doug de Fresh Deacon have mad good taste for rare groove, worldly hip hop, and soul.
Heed the advice of Chicken John, "Go ahead, play God." Even God needed a day of rest.
Alternate: "Mundo" @ Lingba Lounge, free
Don Bustamante and El Doctor spin Afrobeat, Cumbia, and bass-heavy dancehall.
Top 10 Clubs to Get Piss-Drunk and Vomit At
1. The alley beside the Hemlock Tavern: The smell of piss makes you feel less self-conscious.
2. DNA Lounge: You can check your e-mail at the same time.
3. Bimbo's 365 Club: The attendant will always hand you a towel to clean up.
4. The Edinburgh Castle: On a quiz night you'll have the toilet to yourself.
5. The Fillmore's men's room: Since it has a long tub, all five of your buddies can yuke at the same time.
6. Top of the Mark: If the view doesn't make you hurl, the bill will!
7. Tunnel Top: If you can make it outside, you can try to hit tourists on the street below.
8. Cafe Du Nord: You're already bent over so you don't hit your head on the low ceiling.
9. Bottom of the Hill:Think of it as a challenge: If your puke smells worse than the bathroom itself -- you win!
10. Odeon Bar: Everything's a performance here!
-- Dan Strachota