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"Kids that go to House shows come to see the same bands at our venue in 2-5 years when they are old enough," added a club owner from Minnesota. "Bands build their live shows by playing houses."

Paul Oveisi, of Momo's in Austin, said simply that "it brings more attention to live music."

"We have no expectations for how much we will draw here," said Rich. "You might be the only person who will show up, or we might have as many as 30. That's why everything's free. Charging money makes you expect things. We just do this for the love of music, to show that there are people out there who care more about music than money."
_____________________

Throw some signs up, Bitch!

Wouldn't it be cool if there were historical markers scattered around town that took note of momentous events in local music lore?

Here's some places I think we should get the state to erect some markers.

1. 11410 Hempstead Road. Today's El Planeta Rojo Nite Club was once the Esquire Club, where in 1959 then-Houstonian Willie Nelson publicly unveiled such songs as "Crazy," "Funny How Time Slips Away," "I Gotta Get Drunk," "Night Life," "Family Bible" and "Mr. Record Man."

2. 2809 Erastus. Now the educational building annex to Charity Baptist Church, this building was once the home of Duke-Peacock records. Bobby Blue Bland, Gatemouth Brown, Big Mama Thornton, Little Richard, James Booker, Roy Head and Little Junior Parker were all based here.

3. Corner of West Dallas and I-45. Jelly Roll Morton once lived about a hundred yards north of here in a house that likely stood where I-45 is now. While there is a historical marker memorializing Freedmen's Town, it does not mention the jazz patriarch.

4. 4500 Spencer Highway, Pasadena. Site of the original Gilley's of Urban Cowboy fame. The club burned down long ago, and the property now belongs to the Pasadena Independent School District through a tax lien.

5. 3717 Crane (Silver Slipper) and 3101 Collingsworth (Continental Zydeco Ballroom). At these two clubs, zydeco was nurtured and codified into what it is today. Lightnin' Hopkins used to jam with Clifton Chenier at the Silver Slipper, and the Continental was for decades the city's zydeco mother church and the Saturday-night focal point for the Frenchtown neighborhood.

6. Approximately 1210 Richmond. This parking lot was once the site of Sand Mountain Coffeehouse, where Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, K.T. Oslin and Janis Joplin all got their starts.

7. 2310 Elgin. The Eldorado Ballroom, which still stands here, was the city's prime blues/jazz/R&B venue in the 1960s.

8. Unknown Address. Somewhere in Houston, in 1949, Fifth Ward guitarist-singer Goree Carter and His Hepcats recorded "Rock Awhile," a proto-Chuck Berry-style song later claimed by New York Times music critic Robert Palmer to have been the first rock and roll record. "Rock Awhile" was made for Solomon Kahal's Freedom label, but right now, I don't know where it was recorded.

john.lomax@houstonpress.com

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