Hot Tunes, Summer in the City

Houston Press Music Awards Showcase 2002

Kalor
Best Tejano

Septet Kalor is the first breath of fresh air to hit the Tejano scene since Selena's death. And 17-year-old lead vocalist Kristen G. may be the first singer with the right combination of raw talent, competent management and personal spark to have a real shot at replacing the slain idol. Kalor breaks the standard Tejano mold in that Kristen's voice and Juan Cantu's guitar both have deep rock roots. Also, three of the seven are Mexican-born, and singer/percussionist Lissenne Juarez writes most of the group's original music. (She penned six of the tunes on the group's debut CD, which bass player Marcial Contreras produced.) Musicians from points south of Brownsville and female songwriters are unheard of in Tejano circles. Thankfully, nobody told Kalor. --O.F.A.
4 p.m. Spy (inside)

Lucky LaRue
Best Dance/DJ

Trik Turner
Trik Turner
David Caceres
David Caceres

It seems like only yesterday (okay, three years ago) when DJ Lucky LaRue was teaching local citizens to get into the swing of things at the now-defunct Orchid Lounge with his vast collection of cuts from the swing era. Now, it's a new day, and man can't live by entertaining yuppies at Rice Village alone. Oh, no -- LaRue has added rockabilly to the repertoire, as evidenced by his performance at a 30th-birthday show for fellow rockabilly DJ Edgar "The Big E" Salazar last year at the Fabulous Satellite Lounge. This wasn't the first time LaRue tinkered with old-school rock and roll. Three years ago, he also emceed a day of local bands playing Elvis covers at Garden in the Heights. But hell, this doesn't mean he can't swing back into swing whenever he wants. It's just that once in a while a man's gotta quit with all the big-band stuff and just cut loose. --C.D.L.
4 p.m. Spy (upstairs)

Lil' Flip
Best Rap/Hip-hop

Lil' Flip, the "Freestyle King," the Jay-Z to DJ Screw's Biggie Smalls, has been going through some things lately, both good and bad. For a while, it seemed like Cloverland's most beloved MC was coming up with four-leafers every time he plucked at the ground. The success of his debut, The Leprechaun, fueled by his oft-rotated hit, "I Can Do Dat," got the teenage Flip a distribution deal with Loud/Sony. But his run of luck came to a screeching halt last March when he was shot in the side by an unknown assailant. Since then, Flip has beefed up his security detail, so much so that he reportedly had a larger entourage than Snoop Dogg at a Numbers gig earlier this summer. It's plain that unlike most local studio gangstas, Lil' Flip knows about street drama firsthand. The next time you hear him rap about haters trying to pop a cap in his ass, you better not take that shit lightly. --C.D.L.
8 p.m. Verizon Wireless Theater

Lil' Troy
Best Rap/Hip-hop

The largest of the "Lil'" rappers in Houston, Lil' Troy isn't most famous for his skills on the mike. Troy's a ringleader of sorts, a facilitator who has the ability to bring people together and formulate a hit. The breakout success of his "Wanna Be a Baller" single introduced the names Fat Pat, Yungstar and H.A.W.K. to the world outside of Houston and inspired a gang of local labels to try to take it national. Now Lil' Troy's got a whole new pack of artists for the two-double-o-deuce (that's 2002; get hip) -- most notably his son, T2 -- and hopes to turn his hometown support into a platinum plaque once again. --M.S.
6 p.m. The Brewery Tap

Lisa y Aventura
Best Tejano

For Aventura front woman Lisa Torres, the adventure has been as eventful and rewarding as it has been short. In only two years of performance (not including the karaoke career that came before), she has garnered nominations as the Female Vocalist and Female Entertainer of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards and shared the stage with the likes of Los Traileros del Norte, Los Palominos and Leonard y Los Magnificos. And so far, she's done it all without a record label. --J.N.L.
4 p.m. Spy (outside)

Lone Star Bluegrass
Best Bluegrass

It may be a little unfair to the competition, but Lone Star Bluegrass's Chris Hirsch has his own bluegrass show on KPFT. Sunday afternoons from four to six he can play his band's music nonstop and stump the string band lunatics for votes like a politician with an unlimited campaign budget in a field of cash-strapped upstarts. Not that Hirsch couldn't win on his own merits -- after all, he's a three-time Texas State Banjo Champion and has played with Peter Rowan and Joe Stuart, among others. The rest of his band's not too shabby either. Adam Cutts, the fiddler who replaced late mandolin master Dave Peters in 1999, took third in a national fiddle contest 11 years ago when he was all of 16. --J.N.L.
5 p.m. Live Sports Cafe

Mama's Big Dinner
Best Ska/Reggae

This loose-limbed, free-form hippie jam band brings out the patchouli-drenched faithful for regular Monday-night gigs at the Last Concert Cafe. Mama's serves up mostly "M" covers (Marley, Miles, the Meters, Medeski, Martin and Wood) with a few original "jams on a theme." But with a core of Giancarlo Caffarena (Chapman stick, vocals), Randy Woodard (drums) and Moses Guest bassist Jeremy Horton moonlighting on guitar, and assorted drop-in friends, the band also explores acid jazz and New Orleans funk territory. Woodard is tinkering with the Dinner lineup and incorporating other players. Those with musical chops (and a healthy case of the munchies) might want to drop by for a bite. --B.R.
6 p.m. Spy (inside)

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