Sweeping Riddim

Check the African-spun grooves at Fagilia Houston

 FRI 4/15

Everyone and their dad knows "bling" is snazzy jewelry, "crunk" is crazy drunk and "fo' shizzle" is, uh, fo' shizzle. Duh. But how about fagilia? If you're fluent in Swahili, you know it's slang meaning "to sweep over an area." It makes perfect sense in the case of Fagilia Houston, where African/Island DJs Dickie Blaze and Steve (Kenya), Kool MD (Trinidad) and Darda King (Tanzania) will sweep into town with dance tracks hailing from places that most Americans used to associate only with National Geographic. But thanks to the recent launching of MTV Base in Africa -- and the domestic popularity of Jamaican Sean Paul and Senegal transplant Akon -- the African/Island scene and sound have been growing.

For example, says Houston turntablist Maria Chavez, who is helping put on the show, "There is a huge East African house scene in New York City." And in southwest Houston, Club Riddim has been showcasing African/Island DJs for some time, but "the downtown area should take notice," says Chavez.

Sweeping Riddim
Al Cameron
Sweeping Riddim
McGonigel's Mucky Duck's Cream of Wheat
Troy Fields
McGonigel's Mucky Duck's Cream of Wheat
Ashlee Simpson
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Ashlee Simpson

Expect a combination of house, classic hip-hop and dancehall. "The rhythm is different, but they're very technical and skilled DJs," says Chavez. "They move from different styles of music so fluidly and bring high energy." They also often incorporate what Chavez describes as "gorgeous" vocals in their native tongue.

So could African/Island DJs be the next big thing? "Producers are always looking for something new," says Chavez. "I can see this becoming huge in a few years." Doors open at 8 p.m. Friday, April 15. Clark's, 314 Main. For information, visit www.77002.com. $5. -- Travis Ritter

McGonigel's Mucky Duck's Cream of Wheat

It was Saturday night, and I was lit like the Fourth of July, checking out the Sisters Morales at McGonigel's Mucky Duck (2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999). A sassy waitress named Alisa brought me a drink called a Cream of Wheat, which tasted more like cereal than beer. The music was contagious, with electrifying, hypnotic melodies and fabulous high-school-Spanish flashbacks. With a fresh drink in hand, I was making my way over to talk to a friend, only to be intercepted by a well-fed dark-haired beauty with a chest like Mae West's and a laugh that would wake up my dead grandfather. We had a few more drinks, and the band played on. I found myself at her place, discovering a whole new use for Mazola oil. I learned firsthand what it's like to have your head treated like a greased-up bowling ball. I woke up with my head stuck to the pillow, but I pulled myself together, splashed some water on my face and somehow made it to church on time.

1/2 pint of Paulaner wheat beer
1/2 pint of Guinness stout

Pour the Paulaner in a glass. Carefully -- and by that I mean slowly, and with all the precision of an overpriced mechanic -- fill the remaining top half of the glass with the Guinness. Best executed with slow-pouring taps. -- J.W. Crooker

Houston Hoedown

SUN 4/17

Oh, the mean things we could say. But we'll refrain, for karma's sake -- and because we're hoping to snap some photos of Ashlee Simpson when she comes to Houston and sell 'em to Us Weekly. Face it: The girl's in high demand. And while this might challenge all your notions of a just cosmos and an intelligent populace, you might as well clamor for Jessica's little sis, too, because Simpson fame is apparently not as fleeting as most thought (prayed) it would be. 7 p.m. Sunday, April 17. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. For tickets, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.verizonwirelesstheater.com. Tickets start at $29.50. -- Julia Ramey

Door Prizes

SUN 4/17

If you've cruised through Midtown along Brazos and McIlhenny streets, you know that the corner has gotten very tony. There's serious people-watching to be had at the chic Mexican eatery Casa Manhattan or the Prada-fest at the neighboring Copa Room, but there's some serious action at Red Door. (We recently watched eight nearly identical, stunning blonds strut in, whoop and holler and dominate the bar the entire night -- making drink orders at our end damn near impossible.) At the recurring event "Sundays at the Red Door," you can lounge on the rooftop overlooking downtown and sip champagne, nibble on caviar and watch for roaming blonds. The party starts at 6 p.m. Sundays. 2416 Brazos. For information, call 713-526-8181 or visit www.reddoorhouston.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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