Figuring out which live act to check out can be like trying to decide what to do for dinner. Do you go Latin? New American? Maybe Caribbean? In the end, what really works is a good buffet, cooked up to satisfy a wide variety of tastes. The H-Town Throw Down at Industry Cafe is a big wide showcase of different musical styles and sounds in one package -- it's kind of like the buffet at Caesars Palace, but for hungry local music fans. Tonight marks the third Throw Down and features Chango Jackson, four bilingual brothers who, um, puree punk, cumbia and rock into one delicious smoothie. (Chango was recently named Best Rock en Español at the Houston Press Music Awards.)
Hardcore fans can check out the acts Still Dry and Naked Content. Meanwhile, between sets DJ Steve Swift will spin reggae, dancehall and lovage rock along with fellow DJs Vitamin A, BMC and Ceff. "This brings out different people and it opens up their eyes and ears," says Swift, a five-year veteran of the scene. He may be on to something. After all, you wouldn't want to hit the same place for dinner every night, right? 9 p.m. Saturday, January 15. 2110 Rusk. For information, call 713-222-2233 or visit www.htownthrowdown.com. $5. - Travis Ritter
Dance with the Devil
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We're not sure about you, but nothing quite gets our groove goin' like zombies, demons and aliens. If horror films turn you on, then we suggest you check out the Horror Dance Film Festival. Local production company deVil Films will screen more than a dozen of the year's best small-time horror shorts and feature films, one at a time on two overhead screens. Then it's time to present awards for Best Overall Film, Best Short Film, Best Special Effects and more. And after that, the whole place will rock out, courtesy of Zombilly and DJ James. Who knows? You may meet your very own Scream Queen at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 15. Numbers, 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.horrordance.org. $12 per couple. -- Julia Ramey
Back in the day, there were things called DJ battles, in which prospective DJs would show up with a pair of scratch needles and their records to challenge -- or taunt -- the competition with a barrage of clever samples. New York eventually became the hub for dueling DJs who would later become famous. This ain't New York, but Bartini is trying to change that, so it's hosting a DJ battle every Wednesday night. Budding DJs, take note: Tonight's your chance -- if you've got skills -- to become the next Grandmaster Flash of the South. (That is, if resident DJ Marquee Marc doesn't do it first.) 9 p.m. Wednesdays. 1318 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-2271. Free. - Travis Ritter