"It's almost like The Matrix -- it's that popular!"This is how party enthusiast Martin Mkize sees "Jeans Out 003," the annual concert and contest that'll go down at Reception Hall this Saturday. And judging by the flyer -- which features the kind of scantily clad ladies you regularly see in Sean Paul videos -- Mkize's claim doesn't seem that implausible.
"It's the best reggae party in Houston for the whole year," says event producer Rastapha, who is helping Dollar Bill's God Bless Promotions put on the all-night shindig. "But I wouldn't compare it to The Matrix, because that's too crazy." The centerpiece of this turnout is a contest for the ladies who, as that great orator Ginuwine would say, look fine and tight in those jeans. Says Rastapha, "Jeans is jeans -- but how you rock it, the attitude that you bring when you wear them, is what matters." Prizes include $300, a DVD player, a TV and a trip to Jamaica.
But no one will walk away empty-handed. The entertainment lineup alone is enough to fulfill the needs of any die-hard dancehall fan. New York's Jagga B shares headliner billing with Texas boys SuperGold and Sugar Notch. Other folks on the bill include Bigga Boss, DJ Bud Eye, 45, KBXX's GT and Mikie Faith.
With all this action going on in one night, "Jeans Out" differs from The Matrix in an important way: It will have a satisfying climax. 11:55 p.m. Saturday, December 13. 10880 Bissonnet. For information, call 281-495-1355 or visit www.reggaelink.com. $15. -- Craig D. Lindsey
The two girls I worked with at the restaurant finally found out about each other. It was both funny and tragic all at the same time. How could they, who work side by side, night after night, babbling on about every stupid thing"oh, the situations I get myself into. I needed a diversion (or at least a stiff cocktail), so I headed to Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar (1985 Welch, 713-533-0200) to get my head on straight. The night was unseasonably warm, and by the time I walked in, it was almost closing time. I asked the bartender for a suggestion, and she was quick to recommend the restaurant's signature drink, the Mockingbird Manhattan. Made with the No. 1-rated bourbon Woodford Reserve, this Kentucky wonder had everything I was looking for in a drink: strength, beauty and a lingering alcoholic one-two punch. I struck up a conversation about wine with the manager Rafael, and before I knew it we were facing off on a mad wine and food pairing. As the goodies started arriving from the kitchen, I couldn't stop thinking about the two femmes fatales, both so different, yet so appetizing.
Prepare the manhattan as you would a martini, chilling the glass before lightly shaking the bourbon and vermouth. Be careful not to shake too vigorously, as you will bruise this delicate yet powerful Kentucky spirit. Sink a maraschino cherry into the bottom of the glass. --J.W. Crooker
Naughty and Nice
It's about time we realized that Christmas stockings look far better on a pair of luscious legs than on the fireplace mantel. At the "Max G. Arnold Kinky Xmas Show," scantily clad elves will serve up Jell-O shots while local musicians jam into the unholy night. Acts like the Kants, Telemundo, Chickenhawk, Fatal Flying Guilloteens and Killers for Hire DJs should be enough to keep your interest, but the leggy elves might still be a temptation. If you stare too hard, Naughty Santa might have to put you in the Winter Wonderland Torture Chamber. 4 p.m. Sunday, December 14. The Proletariat, 903 Richmond. For information, call 713-523-1199 or visit www.theproletariathouston.com. $4. -- Keith Plocek
Mr. Griswold's Neighborhood
For the sake of argument, let's say that you haven't managed to hang your Christmas lights yet, or maybe you put up a few strings and called it a day. This week's Lights in the Heights festival may be just the motivation you need to go above and beyond even Clark W. Griswold. Many of the houses (and cars) along Bayland and Woodland streets will be seriously, seasonally decked out. Bands will perform on porches along the route. And everyone, even Cousin Eddie with his RV, is welcome to spend a winter's evening in the charming Woodland Heights neighborhood. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, December 13. Bayland and Woodland streets between Norhill and Helen. For information, call 713-683-5188 or visit www.woodland-heights.org. Free. -- Travis P. Ritter