Velvet Underground: Plenty of money saving parties await

Five bucks may take you 20 miles on a highway these days but why schlep when you can stay closer to home at places like Kork Wine & Cheese in downtown Miami where every night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. you can choose from a special white or red varietal and special gourmet and cheese platters for those same five dollars? Same goes for RA Sushi’s Reverse Happy Hour from 10 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday during which time drink and food specials range from $2 to $7.

For a $20 minimum, you can join MTV’s Staying Alive Party for a Cause from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, April 12 at Haven, featuring DJ Mauricio Parra. The party benefits the Miami AIDS Walk, which takes place on April 22. In exchange for your donation, you get a drink made with Pitbull’s Voli Vodka plus a chance to win a raffle prize including dinner for two at Juvia or an MTV backpack stuffed with stuff — music videos hopefully. Don’t forget the pat on the back you can give yourself for contributing to an excellent cause. That’s a perk, too.

Speaking of MTV, remember when they used to play music videos? If you think that recalls a Flintsonian era, consider the actual vinyl record — you know, those big black discs that DJs now use as scratchpads? Anyway, in conjunction with its very cool new exhibition The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, on view at MAM through June 10, 2012, Miami Art Museum presents “MIAMI VINYL: The History of Record-Making in Miami,” a three-part series of panel discussions focusing on the under-recognized significance of Miami as a hub for music production. The first part, The 1970s and Earlier, was hosted by Andrew Yeomanson, aka DJ Le Spam, and the second one comes at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 and will be hosted by Bruno del Granado, CEO of RM Entertainment Group. This one covers the mid-1970s, 1980s and 1990s, “a period that saw Miami rise to the status of a global dance mecca” not to mention non-dance acts coming out of the city from Marilyn Manson to The Mavericks. Following the panel is a cocktail party led by guest DJ Induce spinning the best of ’80s and early ’90s Miami bass and funk. Nonmembers of the museum pay $8, which includes entry into the museum.

Now that Jimbo’s is closed down, there are not too many places to play bocce, but the Surfcomber Hotel’s Lantao Kitchen + Cocktails takes care of that with a much, er, cleaner, cooler version from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Saturday now through June 30 at poolside bar, The Sandbar. Bocce and Bellinis will feature free bocce, $5 bellinis, $5 beer on tap, a live bossa nova band, a 5-2-7 happy hour menu kicking in at 5 p.m. offering sake, wine , cocktails for $5 and snacks for $2, $5, and $7.

Celebrating its first anniversary, a milestone for anyone these days no doubt, is Trio on the Bay, which will go all out Gerry Kelly pomp, circumstance and disco balls from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, April 7 with open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and tunes by DJ NYX. Something else to celebrate is the fact that there is no cover charge.

The party starts early at The Shelborne on Saturdays with Ricky’s Brunch & Day Party, a poolside affair featuring a $35 buffet, all you can drink mimosas and Bloody Mary for $15, and a very post-modern Gidget meets Miami social scene that’s loud, wet and, well, on Saturday afternoons, where it’s all at. For those wondering who Ricky is, it is the name of the late father of Shelborne owner Keith Menin.

And finally, Miami Music Week may be over, but the house music is still thumping as always at Mansion, where on Friday, Canadian electro group Dragonette, famous for their commercial track “HELLO” is performing live. And on Saturday, mega UK DJ Michael Woods is taking over the decks with Swedish DJ-producer duo Rebecca & Fiona, whose collaboration with Kaskade, “Turn it Down” was dubbed the hottest track of Miami Music Week. Entry to both nights is $20, doors open at 11 p.m.