Up Close and Personal

Jamaican dancehall stars bring back the lovers' rock

SAT 8/2
Sean Paul may be dancehall's brightest star right now, but if you're looking for a night of pure Jamaican vibes, best get yourself over to Reception Hall to bump and sway to the island's reigning duo, Tanto Metro and Devonte. In 1998 their classic single "Everybody Falls in Love" blew up worldwide, making them part of a select number of dancehall artists who have enjoyed crossover success on American radio. The song showcased their trademark style, combining Tanto Metro's rough toasting with Devonte's velvet singing voice.

The single swept all the music awards in Jamaica, broke into the Billboard hip-hop and R&B charts and pushed the pair's debut solo album to No. 1 on the Billboard reggae charts. And early last year, Tanto Metro and Devonte struck gold twice, with the liquid digi-rhythm-backed "Give It to Her," which immediately broke into the Billboard singles charts and went into rotation on dance, hip-hop and pop stations all over the country.

Also on the bill is fellow Jamaican emcee Mr. Easy. After moving to New York as a kid, he got his first break when he won amateur night at Harlem's Apollo Theatre (in fact, he was the first reggae artist ever to perform at the legendary spot). Mr. Easy shares the headliners' melodic and song-based approach to modern dancehall, proving, once again, that it's possible to give a smooth, soulful delivery and burn up the dance at once.

Special guest Boom Dandimite from the Scare Dem Crew will also be on hand, along with DJ Mikie Faith and Supergold. Midnight, Saturday, August 2. Reception Hall, 10880 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-981-6677. $25. -- Anthony Nguyen

 

McGonigel's Mucky Duck's Snake Bite
Some days, you just can't win at anything -- not even when you're playing against yourself. After recently losing 63 consecutive games of solitaire (Las Vegas-style) on my computer, my nerves -- along with my wrist -- were shot. I needed a stiff one and I needed it bad, so I headed over to McGonigel's Mucky Duck (2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999) in search of a beverage. Grabbing a seat at the bar, I ordered a Snake Bite, a mellow, relaxing blend of fresh Guinness stout and hard cider. After a while, I got bored and decided to check out the patio, where I ran into some oil biz friends who insisted I join them. I had a crush on the sassy, nonsmoking one of the bunch, and she kicked a chair out for me with her beat-up gray cowboy boots. After much laughter and too many rounds, I was delighted to hear the front man for Asleep at the Wheel warming up on stage. Suddenly, though, my friends wanted to go. It was a tough call: stick around for homespun music -- and a night alone with my computer -- or play the wild card and see where the group was going next. Maybe my crush could show me how to play Free Cell.

1/2 pint of Peregrine cider
1/2 pint Guinness stout

Peregrine cider may or may not be available at your local liquor store, but any hard cider will work when you're trying this one at home. Guinness stout, on the other hand, is available in both kegs and pressure-filled cans, so if you're not entertaining a couple dozen of your closest alcoholics, I suggest buying the cans. In either case, carefully fill a pint glass halfway with the stout, avoiding excessive foam when doing so. Then pour in the cider; if you're lucky enough to have a steady hand, the two will stay separated in the glass. -- J.W. Crooker

SAT 8/2
Durstified
With the right connections, Taproot might have performed this Saturday at cozy Reliant Stadium with Limp Bizkit and Metallica. The Michigan-based band, led by vocalist Stephen Richards, garnered the honor of pissing off Bizkit mookmeister Fred Durst, who wanted Taproot on his fledgling label. When Richards turned down his offer, Durst left an infamous "your career is now totally fucked" message on his answering machine. But Taproot has done fine without Durst's help, adding more complex song structures into its latest release, Welcome. Courtesy of Richards's evolving Jekyll-Hyde vocal delivery, the album stretches the band's post-nü-metal sound. Doors at 8 p.m. Saturday, August 2. Numbers, 300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551. $13. -- Greg Barr

SAT 8/2
And It Don't Stop...
The Rock the Mic Tour has been extended, but without Jay-Z. Houstonians will be among the last to witness Jigga's awesome mike skills before he pulls out of the tour. Performing with him are 50 Cent, Brooklyn's own Fabolous, Bussa-Bus Busta Rhymes and that Jamaican cutie Sean Paul. As he says, just gimme the light. The show is part of sponsor Reebok's "strategy to align the brand with athletes, artists and events that reflect youth culture." Earlier this year, Jay-Z became the first nonathlete to get his own tennis shoe, the S. Carter Collection. Now 50 Cent will have the G-Unit collection. Put that in your trivia books. 6:30 p.m. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive. For tickets, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. $29.50 to $49.50. -- Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc

 
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