Nino Batista, Mike Blattel and Ian Varley
Nino Batista, Mike Blattel and Ian Varley
Rafael Batista

Drop Everything

FRI 1/2

Unless you've got a bunch of those long-out-of-print CTI and Kudu LPs from the '70s (especially those albums that featured the funk-heavy swing of Grover Washington Jr., George Benson and Idris Muhammad), the chances of hearing a synergy of funk and jazz on a recurring basis are pretty much close to nuthin'. Luckily, the ice-cold jazz group Drop Trio is looking to put some funk in everybody's step with the debut of "Funk Jazz Fridays" over at Cafe Brasil. "We're trying to expose people to this kind of music," says Drop keyboardist Ian Varley.

Drop Trio will be the resident house band, but fusion enthusiasts such as Baton Rouge's Righteous Buddha, Austin's McLemore Avenue and Dallas's Swirve will also come down and perform in the coming weeks. Says Varley, "The people we're really trying to reach are the people who haven't heard us yet." So catch Drop Trio in action -- before they get called in by Steven Soderbergh to score his next movie. 10 p.m. Fridays. Cafe Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy. For information, call 713-528-1993 or visit Free. -- Craig D. Lindsey

Dolphin-Safe Christmas
The holidays get fishy in a fictional Texas town

Big hair, shotguns, tacky Christmas decorations and the Tastee Kreme. It just doesn't get any more Texan than the fictional rural community of Tuna, somewhere not too far from, say, Killeen or Palestine. For 21 years, actors Joe Sears and Jaston Williams have brought the 23 quirky, dysfunctional residents of the third-smallest town in Texas to life in A Tuna Christmas. There's nothing more side-splitting than the cynical trailer-park vibe of Sears's über-Baptist Bertha Bumiller, leader of the town's Smut Snatchers -- looking resplendent in her Christmas polyester pantsuit, by the way -- riffing with Williams as Bertha's mouthy daughter Charlene. And seeing it unfold in the intimate setting of Galveston's Opera House only adds to the snarky, small-town vibe. Tuesday, January 6, through Sunday, January 11. Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice in Galveston. For information and showtimes, call 800-821-1894 or visit $11 to $36. - Greg Barr

Minnesota Hats

Garrison Keillor has worn many folksy hats during his career in the public eye. He's the author of 13 books, mostly about life in small fictional Minnesota towns. He's been an agony aunt for the lovelorn under the pen name Mr. Blue at And he hosts two radio programs: the daily, five-minute Writer's Almanac and the long-running public-radio smash hit A Prairie Home Companion. Now add music critic to the list: This weekend, Keillor's witty commentary will accompany a program of light classical music conducted by Philip Brunelle. 8 p.m. Friday, January 2, and Saturday, January 3. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 4. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit $23 to $85. -- Lisa Simon


You Laughin' at Me?

One look at Joey Diaz's mug will have you thinking he'd be great on The Sopranos. And his Jersey-bred voice doesn't dispel the notion that he must be Italian. But Diaz is puro cubano, and frickin' funny to boot. Just to be on the safe side, though, don't call him a clown. 8 p.m. Thursday, January 1, through Sunday, January 4. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For information, call 713-524-2333 or visit $12 to $13.50. -- Lisa Simon


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