Prices being what they are these days, you're lucky if $12 gets you a single glass of wine at a nice restaurant. Alcohol is, like, almost as expensive as gas! Well, how about eight glasses of wine for 12 bucks? During the monthly Design & Wine event in downtown Hollywood, you pick up your hand-painted wine glass at the Now Art Café (1280 S. Young Cir., Hollywood), then pop into eight different art galleries that are presenting wines from around the world. Munch on cheese and crackers, check out the merchandise, and listen to your server explain why each vintage is distinctive. So what if we're the kind of people who steal little sugar packets from coffee shops? We know a bargain when we see one. The event lasts from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 954-921-3016, ext. 19, or visit www.downtownhollywood.com.
Despite being more than a smidgen out of the way for touring musical acts, South Florida has a lot of concerts on its plate this year. Of course, it's mostly your average Top 40 fluff, and when something interesting does come along, you gotta take a second job to afford the increasingly inflated ticket prices. If your favorite out-of-state bands can't make it past Mickey Mouse, your only hope is finding a local DJ who spins their albums. For fans of the more danceable, rhythmic indie-rock bands like Franz Ferdinand or the Rapture, the place to be on Friday nights is Lush (3074 NE 33rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale), where Deck Society DJs Matt Cash, Mike Vogue, and Chris Trolone spin out the latest indie tunes, as well as old-school hip-hop, electro, and '80s stuff. Doors open at 11 p.m. The cost is $5. Call 954-675-4772.
As much as we'd like to believe that Elvis Presley is alive and well, making beautiful music with Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain in a cave in Tora Bora, that's probably not the case. Hate to break it to ya, people, but Elvis is dead. Gone. Kaput. He might be hanging with Jimi and Kurt at a great rock club in the sky, but we earthlings can catch him only on film. Today, previously unreleased footage of the King will be shown at 7 p.m. during a one-night-only screening at Regal Sawgrass 23 Cinemas (2600 NW 136th Ave., Sunrise). Elvis '68: Comeback Special originally aired on December 3, 1968, as an NBC television event. It's being shown today to launch the sale of a three-disc DVD package of the same name. Tickets cost $15 at the theater, $12.50 in advance. Visit www.regalcm.com.
What exactly prompted this whole '70s retro fashion craze? Fox's That '70s Show? VH1's I Love the '70s? Beck? It's like the major labels are trying to cut costs by issuing uniforms to their bands, even if they sound completely different. Every band from the Strokes to Rooney is donning long hair (or faux afros) and dirty-looking blue jeans, presumably because they just woke up after partying all night. Though, when compared to the boorish rap-rock aesthetic that preceded it, this retro-rock thing seems quite appealing. Hell, if these bands would just stop using that annoying vocal compression effect, the music world would be peachy-keen. Almost as sweet as one of Rooney's catchy little pop ditties, which draw strongly from the Beatles and sometimes delve into Beach Boys territory. Mmm, mmm... How sweet it is! Rooney visits the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) after opening sets by Straylight Run and Ozma at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 and $15. Call 954-564-1074.
The weirdest thing we've ever seen on a menu is a chow mein burger, available at the original Nathan's Hot Dog store at Coney Island, Brooklyn. You wouldn't even have to ride the Cyclone if you wanted to see that thing a second time, on its way out of your mouth. Thankfully, it's not chow mein burgers but good ol' hot dogs that will be scarfed at the Florida Hot Dog Eating Contest, happening at 1 p.m. today at the Pembroke Lakes Mall (11401 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines). Hollywood resident "Jammin'" Joe LaRue -- who recently won a chicken-wing-eating contest and placed second in a sweet-corn-eating contest -- is favored to win. If he does, he will advance to the 89th Annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, where a chow mein burger awaits him -- as does world champion eater Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi, who weighs 145 pounds, has a 33-inch waist, and holds the world record of 50.5 dogs downed in 12 minutes. Call 954-436-3520.
Think of the last time you went to see the doctor. Not exactly a fun time, we know. Imagine if you were turned away not because of an insurance snafu, but because of who you are -- because you come from the wrong side of the tracks. Over in Israel's embattled West Bank, Israeli doctors face the dilemma of whether to turn away Palestinians who need treatment or take the humanitarian route, regardless of the political implications. For doctors in the organization Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the choice is obvious. The good doctors join some of their Palestinian counterparts to conduct free weekly health exams and hand out medicine to Palestinians who otherwise might get the cold shoulder. And you can see it all on film, as A Second Opinion shows tonight at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). The free movie is shown along with My Terrorist beginning at 7 p.m. Call 954-525-3456.
Before Marilyn Manson was a household name and certified enemy of Christianity, his band was like any other local act around here, struggling to get noticed the old-fashioned way -- by sending out demos. Manson probably wouldn't have gotten very far had the Spooky Kids taken the American Idol route. Just picture the look on Simon Cowell's face as he'd scramble to find a terse, belittling assessment of the shock rockers. If you weren't around for Manson's early days or were there and just want a bit of nostalgia, drop on over to the Lounge (517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) for the Spooky Kids Listening Party. The Wormhole DJs are spinning Lunch Boxes & Choklit Cows, a digitally remastered collection of the band's early demos. It's probably safe to assume the music's better than the William Hung CD. The night starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Call 561-655-9747.