His name is Catfish -- just Catfish -- and he loves Asian action cinema. Catfish gathered his 400-strong collection of hard-to-find films by picking through video stores, searching the Internet and attending conventions. His arsenal includes such titles as Mantis Fist, a kung fu horror mystery in which a woman gets her grind on with her husband, morphs into a monstrous praying mantis and attacks him. "I like to focus on the beauty and expression found in the movement of martial arts movies," Catfish says.
The bartender/booking agent shares his love of all things celluloid and Asian at his workplace, Fitzgerald's, where he puts on "Kung Fu Movie Night" every Monday. The event began over at Emo's, but after that bar closed, Catfish picked up in the Heights where he left off in Montrose. Each week he serves up sake shots and unspools his favorite flicks, which range from Sonny Chiba films to Japanese anime to the more mainstream Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
But don't expect the works of white actioners like Seagal and Van Damme to play on the club's digital projector. "I'm not opposed to it," says Catfish, "but I like to keep it more on the Hong Kong level." No matter. "Kung-Fu Movie Night" has ass-kicking to spare. 9 p.m. Mondays at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak Drive. For more information, call 713-862-3838 or visit www.fitzlive.com. Free. -- Craig D. Lindsey
A Lotta Damage
KPFT's Damage Control, an underground rap show that plays almost all indie hip-hop, showcases ghetto superstars that don't usually get a lot of play over the airwaves. To mark the program's one-year anniversary (one of its DJs is Matt Sonzala, who does film showtimes and music listings for the Press), the station is hosting a benefit concert in its backyard, featuring some of the best rappers in H-town and beyond. The $10 cover will get you a tight show -- with performances by Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, the G.R.i.T. Boys, Billy Cook and Flo Mob out of Austin -- not to mention some drank for your cup and grub for your plate. And the knowledge that you're supporting independent artists? Priceless. 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 24. 419 Lovett Boulevard. For information, call 713-526-4000 or visit www.kpft.org. -- Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc
Give this San Marcos-based rock group credit: The dudes have a good band name. Before, the moniker "the Spiders" belonged to a '50s New Orleans R&B group, and after that, to a '60s British Invasion-type act from Japan. The new incarnation of the Spiders could be the bastard child of the two former groups. The band's debut record, Sex Is Thicker Than Blood, winks at noise-rock, glam and British soul, and singer Chris Benedict has even been compared to T. Rex's Marc Bolan. The Spiders' swaggering live show will make you shake your hips. 10 p.m. Monday, May 26. Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh Drive. For information, call 713-529-3984. -- Troy Schulze
Fishing has never been my strong point. Not only did I catch very little over the weekend, but I also lost my glasses, my cooler and my wedding ring when my boat flipped over in what authorities are calling "a freak accident." Once I had dried off, I went to Fleming's (2405 West Alabama, 713-520-5959) looking for a strong drink, some real food and maybe a stranger or two who might enjoy a good fish tale. The drink was called a metropolitan, a zesty little number served in a martini glass the size of my canoe. Although my vision was still a little blurred, as I looked around, I noticed everything in the place was huge: the steaks, the bar stools, even the bartenders! As I stared into that ocean of drink, I thought about how much I was going to miss my cooler.
3 ounces Belvedere vodka
1 ounce Chambord
3/4 ounce triple sec
Fill an oversize martini glass with ice and water. In a mixer filled with cubes, measure out liquid ingredients. Shake vigorously. Remove ice and water from glass, and strain in mixture. Squeeze a wedge of lime into drink and garnish with the cherry. -- J.W. Crooker