Reach for the Stars

Astra Heights returns from L.A. with a major-label deal in hand

" 'Burning' and 'Choices' are my favorite things of ours that people know of," Mark says. "In concert, we tend to close the shows off with 'Choices,' and it's almost like a sing-along at the end. People tend to really respond to it, and it's a blast to play. And this new stuff we're writing is really good too -- I'm just really proud of what we're doing right now."

He should be -- if the stuff they're woodshedding is better than what they've got up there on MySpace, it's bound to be monstrously good. And it's pretty much guaranteed that you won't have many more chances to see them in clubs as small as Rudyard's (early birds will be able to see them there on November 30) and Walter's on Washington, where they'll play with Rock Kills Kid, the Lovemakers and She Wants Revenge on December 12.

Scuttlebutt Caboose

Boy, talk about revolutions that weren't. Supposedly Clear Channel Radio's flip of Rock 101 to the new reggaetón format was going to usher in a whole new age of Tego Calderon-fueled Hurban cultural hegemony. And for one ratings book, it seemed to be working; Mega 101 surged to seventh place in the ratings and seemed to be giving even KRBE a run for its money. But then the next ratings book came out, and it became clear that Mega was out of "Gasolina": The station sank all the way down to a 14th-place tie with the Arrow's stale classic rock and the smooth-jazz malaise that is the Wave. Just last week, Clear Channel dropped the hammer on Mega program director Al Fuentes, and rumor has it that CC might be flipping the format to a sort of Mix-like regional Mexican format known as "La Preciosa." (Think lots and lots of Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez and Los Bukis.)…In what could prove an ominous development for the Stag's Head Pub and other nearby businesses, the Houston Business Journal has reported that H-E-B has taken control of tenant selection, property management and future development of Shepherd Plaza. David Kayle, director of real estate for H-E-B in Houston told the HBJ that "at some point, this property might give us an opportunity to have a store inside the Loop. For now, we are working to be an effective landlord for the tenants involved."…Now playing on VH1 Classic: "Breathe," a 16-year-old video of a Pere Ubu song shot entirely at Houston's own Orange Show…Short answers to burning questions. No. 1: Why hasn't Warehouse Live opened yet? Because there's a shortage of building supplies after that hellacious hurricane season we had. No. 2: Why did My Morning Jacket cancel their gig in Houston a couple of weeks ago? Rumor has it that it was because they went to Austin to tape an episode of Austin City Limits instead…Talk about worlds colliding: Racket is a big fan of both Houston rap and The Apprentice, so it was truly surreal for him to see a recent snapshot of Bun B hobnobbing at the Vibe Awards with Apprentice femme fatale Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.

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