As you might expect, Savvi, whose name is an acronym for shrewd and vivid, is a poets' MC; his politically active lyrics strike chords with the spoken-word crowd. On the song "Figure It Out," for example, he tackles the charged issue of the word nigga: "Figga it out, but first I gotta nigga it out...nigga kinda hungry / nigga let's have a picnic / pick a nigga to lynch / nigga love beef / pick a nigga to dis...Niggas is a beautiful thang / nigga is a beautiful slang..."

The album is an underground mix tape, and its assortment of jacked and mouthwatering original beats (courtesy of Karega and Desiac) deliver a nice blend of East and South Coast sounds. And through it all, Savvi's soulful delivery and witty wordplay capture the essence of Houston hip-hop. -- Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc

The Hueston Chronicles album release party is Saturday, September 4, at the Hard Rock Cafe, 502 Texas, 713-447-7861.


Lennon, with Heart

Anyone who wasted their time watching season ten of the Real World (guilty as charged!) could see it coming. As part of their "job," the Return to New York cast worked as a street promotions team for Arista Records. One episode in particular had them meeting with a beautiful but shy goth-inspired piano prodigy named Lennon. This group of bickering dolts trying to break such a complex artist was an oil-and-water recipe for disaster. She wasn't blond. She played her own instruments and wrote her own songs. Arista and its Real World go-getters decided to market Lennon as a hard-rocking but sensitive anti-Britney. All the "next big thing" hype rang hollow, and it made this authentic talent seem as contrived as the rest of the groups plopping out on the pop-music conveyor belt.

Lennon, smart goth cookie that she is, knew this. When it came time to release a follow-up to her Arista debut, she opted instead to go into her own pocket and put it out on a label she owned, and the resulting I Am left critics and fans giving their own version of the "next big thing" speech. A grassroots buzz shot up so thick it threatened to stain her black clothes green. Now, after two years of touring with the likes of the Cult and Alice Cooper and on the Warped Tour, Lennon finds herself supporting another act of independent-thinking female badasses, the legendary Heart. Catch her before another major label scoops up the pallid crooner and hires the Road Rules idiots for radio promotion. -- Brian McManus

Saturday, September 4, at H-Town's Arena Theatre, 7324 Southwest Freeway, 713-988-1020.

Luke Fair

This Labor Day weekend, Houston welcomes an appearance from the hardest-working man on the obscure Canadian dance scene. Club confection artist Luke Fair drives a maple-leaf flag into the international arena, staking a claim on both charts and decks and, in the process, building anticipation for each stop on his tour. There's a prize for everyone in Fair's eclectic, one-of-a-kind sets, in which funhouse mirrors twist techno tracks into sinister industrial shadows; trippy trance melodies swoon into phat progressive dubs; and roller-coaster tracks climb from easy grooves to rocketing tempos, then plunge into the depths of funk. The favorite DJ of electronic act Deep Dish, Fair is both architect and attraction, a one-man thrill ride on the turntables. Step right up, eh? -- Catalina Soltero

Saturday, September 4, at 2401 San Jacinto, 713-759-9606.

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