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"The rumor is it's going back to being a brew pub," which was what it was before it became the Orchid, says Pitzer.

Pitzer — a native of Pittsburgh, still-rabid Steeler fan and overall good guy — says he and Fitzgerald have been friends "for years." He also says: "There's stability [at Fitz's]. And that's usually lacking here. But Sara's persevered. And the location ain't going anywhere."

Fitzgerald's will benefit, in Fitzgerald's opinion, by being both a good-size venue for touring and big local acts (Fitz Up) and by being a place people ("18 and up," says Fitzgerald) can walk in off the street Tuesday through Saturday and find either good music or good atmosphere or both (Fitz Down/Orchid Lounge). She expects no cover charges on weekdays, and to be open to the public after a July 22 grand opening invitation-only party.

Local punkers think Sara Fitzgerald wants to give 'em the steel-toed boot.
Phillippe Diederich
Local punkers think Sara Fitzgerald wants to give 'em the steel-toed boot.

Gone Dumb

So the rock-metal-punk band Gone Blind ends up in the "Best Funk/R&B" category for this year's 1999 Houston Press Music Awards. A tragedy, but no biggie. That the band ended up miscategorized is testament to three things: a) ignorance here at Music Awards Headquarters; b) a couple voters' ideas of a prank; c) science; and d) all of the above. See, the votes are tallied the way all votes are tallied. The bands are not estimated for their non-vote-getting appeal or talent. They are all at the mercy of empiricismŠ ("okay, here's one for Gone Blind, chalk it up there"). No voters, local industry peeps, who didn't know the band's sound would have voted for them anyway, so call the mistake a little blessing. At the showcase, when Gone Blind takes the stage at TOC BAR at 9 p.m. (right after their reggae brothers, Irie Time, vacate the floor), the band members should remind themselves to remind the listening public to vote for them in any category. A little faith in your faithful servants at Music Awards Headquarters to get the names spelled right, and Gone Blind might be on the business end of one of those coveted Music Awards come August. For the showcase, though, I'm sure Gone Blind's fans would appreciate a cover of "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)." Whadda you say?!

E-mail Anthony Mariani at anthony_mariani@ houstonpress.com.

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