By Chris Gray
By Corey Deiterman
By Jef With One F
By Chris Gray
By Rocks Off
By Rocks Off
McGonigel's Mucky DuckNational and regional folk, country, Irish and blues artists hold sway from the stage at this venerable pub/listening room and favorite of the NPR set. The decor has a tweedy, distinguished feel, while the kitchen serves up workingman's pub grub: fish 'n' chips and bangers and mash. Come here to listen and not yak -- although if a couple of pints have you feeling loquacious, there's ample space on the deck out back to blab away to your heart's content. 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999.
Mercury RoomHow can you possibly hate on a club that has so many seats for you to put your tired self down after a night hitting the downtown pavement? That's just what you notice the most when you slide down the main stairs of this ritzy joint and enter its underground labyrinth of plush comfort. But if you're not too pooped to pop, the Mercury offers live bands playing Latin, R&B, soul, jazz and funk; and if you're in the mood for something even more opulent, you can slide out the side door into the adjoining Boaka Bar. 1008 Prairie, 713-225-MERC.
The MeridianHoused in an old Chinese-food warehouse, complete with cheesy Far Eastern touches on the exterior, Houston's newest midsize arena/club offers up panoramic views of the downtown skyline and Old Chinatown in the main room, which has terrific sound. The back room has something of a Middle Eastern harem feel, with curtained divans complete with pillows lining one wall. 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.
Miller Outdoor Theatre Nestled at the foot of “Hippie Hill,” one of Houston’s only elevations — and a man-made one at that — this 1,600-seat proscenium-style amphitheater has fallen on hard times since its bigger, flashier look-alike, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, opened up in The Woodlands. You can’t tell by its appearance, though — the 36-year-old facility has never looked better, and the concessions are lately much improved. Through the spring, summer and fall, the venue hosts an eclectic assortment of free plays, ethnic music events, dance exhibitions and classical concerts. The view of the city from the top of Hippie Hill is hard to beat, and elevation-starved local kids love to gambol on its slopes, making this perhaps the finest family music venue in town. 100 Concert Dr., 713-520-3290 or 713-284-8350.
Miller’s Cave 2236 FM 1960 E., 281-443-6623.
MintWhat has apparently become a downtown hot spot for the young Asian crowd is also known for its tight VIP status, high cover and theme parties. The theme parties just might make the other two acceptable, though -- it's something different for downtown that challenges people. The best-looking facade in downtown, a green and white canopy with Mint's art-deco logo featured prominently, brings you into a room decorated with minimal lighting, baby palm trees throughout and shallow booths built into the walls. Very exquisite, very exciting, very exclusive. 511 Main, 713-224-8855.
Mr. Calvin’s 6007 Hwy. 6, Hitchcock, 409-986-9358.
Mr. A's ClubLocated just beyond the northern edge of the Fifth Ward, this spacious lounge often plays host to H-town's hippest authentic zydeco bands. There's also steady booking of various soul-funk-jazz combos featuring veteran local R&B crooners. Either way, the place stays true to the neighborhood's rich musical legacy. 3409 Cavalcade, 713-675-2319.
Mr. Gino's LoungeSince the closing of C. Davis Bar-B-Q, this roomy southside roadhouse has been home base for former Duke-Peacock guitarist I.J. Gosey, one of the classiest blues pickers in town. He holds court there every Sunday (4-7 p.m.). Meanwhile, Gino irregularly books a funky mix of zydeco and old-school R&B on other nights. 7318 Cullen Blvd., 713-738-0555.
Mixed Nuts 420 Hwy. 3 S., League City, 281-557-4555.
Mo’s Place 21940 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, 713-392-3499
Molly’s Pub 29803 Loop 494, Kingwood, 281-358-1990.
Molly’s Pub 400 Texas Ave., Kemah, 281 334-2777.
Mom’s Place 13014 Beaumont Hwy., 281-458-0561.
Muddie Waters CoffeehouseTasty hot drinks and pastries are in easy reach and pleasantly compliment the unobtrusive but skilled jazz, funk, R&B and rock acts that play here on weekends. The walls are festooned with snazzy original art, and the overall vibe is tame but constantly percolating, perfect for music-and-coffee-lovers of all age groups. Silverlake Plaza, 9330 Broadway, suite 212, Pearland, 832-736-9000.
Muddy’s Ice House 4710 Katy Fwy., 713-426-1122.
Mugsy’s Formerly Muldoon’s, this River Oaks-area spot looks of a piece with the downtown set. Outfitted with those French signs in which monkeys advertise absinthe, and a clientele composed in the main of ridiculously beautiful people, Mugsy’s still manages to maintain a veneer of intimacy. Candles adorn every table, but it’s rare that the cute couple in the corner came here together. It’s popular with the post-wedding crowd, so don’t be surprised to find the place teeming with penguin suits. 3200 Kirby, 713-526-5595.
Mustang Sally’s 1917 Garth Rd., Baytown, 281-428-1249.
The Next DoorThis cozy chill-out room offers a great contrast to Rudyard’s, with which it shares a building. Comfy sofas, candlelit tables and excellent art all vie to gratify your senses, and a foosball table is there to goose your competitive juices, but the real sensory overload here comes from the jukebox, which was named the winner in this year’s Best of Houston stakes. Its rap, funk, soul, blues and all manner of rock keep the place positively thumping. Too bad they don’t broadcast this juke’s transmissions; it sure beats the hell out of local commercial radio. 2020 Waugh Dr., 713-520-1712.