By William Michael Smith
By Jef With One F
By Craig Hlavaty
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Sonya Harvey
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Nathan Smith
By Craig Hlavaty
Bozo Porno Circus
Nine musicians, performance artists and superfreaks make up the finely tuned Circus, where over-the-top showmanship meets musical talent head on. Although they could be called the Bondage Band, since shows include performances by the PornStarrz, a trio of fetish queens that engage in fire-eating, sexual reenactments and a variety of disturbing, demented deeds, Bozo Porno Circus doesn't rely solely on outlandish stage antics. They also have solid music skills. -- O.F.A.
The Brewery Tap, 9 p.m.
Texas Johnny Brown & The Quality Blues Band
A recording artist for parts of seven decades and 11 presidential administrations, Texas Johnny Brown is the most seasoned musician still regularly working the scene. Brown got his start as the guitarist in Amos Milburn's band, and later backed Ruth Brown, Bobby Bland and Junior Parker. Though he recorded a handful of sides for Atlantic in the '40s, his solo career got started in earnest about 50 years later with the release of two fine albums that showcase his clean, suave picking and swinging arrangements. But it's not just his guitar case that's packed with dynamite -- so too is his songbook. After all, this is the man who wrote the Bobby Bland classic "Two Steps from the Blues." -- J.N.L.
Hard Rock Cafe, 9 p.m.
Best Folk/Acoustic, Best C&W, Local Musician of the Year, Song of the Year ("Highway 87"), Songwriter of the Year
Yes, all of these yahoos who pose as Texas artists nowadays claim to be following in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt, even though most of them can't even spell his name. Woodlands native Hayes Carll is one of the few who can legitimately make the claim, which is not surprising, since he grew up as a songwriter around Van Zandt's old running mate Wrecks Bell. With his hot new band that includes Australian bluegrassers Kym Warner and Carol Young, the sly, humorous, word-playing Mr. Carll is one of the fastest-rising figures on the entire Texas music horizon. -- W.M.S.
Hard Rock Cafe, 6 p.m.
Best Dance DJ
You gotta love ol' Sean Carnahan. Even when at his most prima donna-esque, the boy is still an entertaining sight to behold. He and his Tastylick Records brethren still convene over at the Davenport Lounge on Wednesday nights for an evening of laid-back grooves. And during the week you can find him at residencies at The Social and the newly introduced Barcode. But Carnahan is still a social surveyor at heart, and if you wanna be hip to all the parties and clubs around the city, you can always log on to his long-running Web site 77002.com. All-seeing, all-knowing, all-doing -- Sean Carnahan is a supreme being of leisure if there ever was one. -- C.D.L.
Boaka Bar, 7 p.m.
Best Lounge DJ
This hip-hop-loving skate punk traded in his deck more than ten years ago and bought a pair of Technics 1200s and a mixer and immediately began honing his skills in some of Houston's earliest below-the-surface hip-hop spots. He booked groups like the K-Otix and Freedom Sold at some of their first gigs, in venues ranging from hole-in-the-wall juke joints like Hoi Polloi's Hip Hop Coffee Shop to elite dance clubs like Power Tools. To this day he remains the man with the plan behind many of the hip-hop jams going on inside the Loop, though he certainly doesn't limit his playlist to the urban stuff. Expect to hear everything from Trans Am to Boards of Canada to Anticon to Scratch Acid, and if you're lucky he might even spin some 50 Cent, albeit, backward. -- M.S.
Boaka Bar, 6 p.m.
Best New Act, Best Rock en Español
Ask the members of Chango Jackson how they describe their sound, and they'll just shrug their shoulders. All they know is that nobody else in the rock en español world sounds anything like their blend of punk, metal, jazz and the odd polka that bassist/singer Mojo Jackson calls "cock rock for the new millennium." Their apocalyptic live shows always have a different theme -- over the last year, they have taken the stage in pimp attire, cowboy duds and, on day one of the "Shock and Awe" campaign, chemical suits and gas masks. -- J.N.L.
Slainte Irish Pub, 5 p.m.
Remember the Jacques Loussier Trio and their popular "Play Bach" thing? Clear Lake-based Classical Grass runs in that popular-music-in-tuxedo-and-black-tie vein as their repertoire travels from traditional, easily recognizable bluegrass standards to classical pieces played bluegrass-style. Along the way they may veer into jazz, swing, blues and about any other genre that strikes their fancy. Kerry Jones (banjo), Steve Jaap (mandolin), Andy Moritz (bass) and Chuck Gunn (guitarist who just happens to be a former West Coast flat-picking champion) have more musical pedigrees than a dog show. Sparks will fly. -- W.M.S.
Barcode, 5 p.m.
Best New Act, Best Guitarist (Kelly Doyle), Best Drummer (Claudio Depujadas), Best Horn/Horn Section
This collective of groovy cats and cool chicks has the Tiki Spy Exotica Lounge music category all to itself, but the brainchild of Middlefinger alums Jay Brooks and David Cummings (and most of the ex-Suspects) also has a much broader appeal. We like the band's own take on its alluring style, something it describes as what Ward Cleaver would slap on the turntable to seduce June. Having upped its ranks to a dozen with the addition of vocalists Johanna Harris and Miss Formica Dinette, the totally unique Clouseaux makes us damn proud to be from H-town. -- G.B.
Dean's Credit Clothing, 7 p.m.
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