Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Influx

    New Orleans musicians

    We've heard plenty about the problems Katrina washed onto our shores, but we can't forget those magical months right after the storm when our city was flooded (yeah, we said it) with the sounds of the Big Easy. Kermit Ruffins, Lil' Wayne, Glen David Andrews, Corey Henry, Dr. Michael White and several members of the Rebirth Brass Band were but… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Cafe Adobe - CLOSED

    If years and years of practice have taught us anything, it's that happy hours end pretty badly unless you get some food in your stomach before things really get going. Otherwise, you forget to eat altogether (and we all know how that turns out) or you end up snacking later in the evening and get a severe case of the… More >>
  • Best Artist

    Francesca Fuchs

    We love Francesca Fuchs's breasts. We especially love that she had the balls (so to speak) to devote an entire show, "MOM," to them at Texas Gallery. All six paintings were different shots of a breast-feeding baby, seen from above, through the mother's eyes. But this wasn't a foray into maternal sentimentality: The works were clean, muted, formal. Of course,… More >>
  • Best Artistic Collaboration

    I Love You Baby

    Last year was a paint-splattered banner for I Love You Baby. The collective -- consisting primarily of Will Bentsen, Andrea Chin, Rodney Elliott, Mark Flood, Paul Kremer, Chris Olivier and Dale Stewart, but involving whoever the hell shows up on any given Wednesday night -- showed pieces at DiverseWorks and the gallery formerly known as Mixture. But what really got… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Bubba's Sports Bar & Grill

    A stone's throw from Memorial Park sits a ramshackle house with a roof that appears to be caving in under the weight of two enormous satellite dishes. Inside Bubba's Sports Bar & Grill, flat-screen TVs fill every corner. With its worn wood floors and stone fireplace, this neighborhood favorite has retained its homey atmosphere since being converted from a residence… More >>
  • Best Icehouse

    Shady Tavern

    The bartender, a whip-smart kid with a shaved head, is about to enter the police academy. He's excited about it, even counting down the days. "Cops are like flies," spits a shaggy-haired patron, pausing to make sure the kid is listening. He adds, triumphantly, "They eat shit and pester people." The Shady Tavern, in the Heights, is a neighborhood joint… More >>
  • Best Patio

    Ernie's on Banks

    Christopher Columbus stands at the south end of Bell Park pointing an index finger toward some trees as if he has made some big discovery. The six-foot sculpture ought to be rotated 90 degrees so Chris can point the way to a place that's really worth discovering, if you haven't already: Ernie's on Banks, which boasts the city's best patio.… More >>
  • Best Hotel Bar

    Four Seasons Hotel

    The bar located just off the lobby at the Four Seasons Hotel is a throwback to an earlier era, when love-struck couples donned their best duds for a night on the town. Spare in its details -- cushy chairs, a few framed artworks and lamp-lit tables that emit a hazy orange glow -- the room springs to life every evening… More >>
  • Best Mural

    Sand Dollar Thrift Store

    The "Sky's the Limit" mural on the side of the Sand Dollar Thrift Store isn't there just to beautify the shop's exterior -- it's also there to remind the hundreds of kids who walk past it every day on their way to school that there's no limit to their potential. Coordinated by Reginald Adams, co founder of ArtworkZ, and sponsored… More >>
  • Best Art-Opening Cocktails

    Art Car Museum

    The Press conducted a lot of research for this category (see "Free Booze," December 1), and we've got to hand it to the freewheelin' spirits at the Art Car Museum for running away with the prize. Of course, they don't really serve up cocktails per se; rather, a couple of kegs are tapped and bottles of wine are just left… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Angelika Film Center - CLOSED

    Maybe it's because the Angelika seems to be the only Houston theater where there aren't any assholes answering cell-phone calls throughout the entire movie. Maybe it's the cinematic selection, a mixture of art-house indie and mainstream indulgence. Whatever the reason, the Angelika provides a downright pleasant moviegoing experience, while the megaplexes leave you wishing you'd stayed home, gotten a root… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KTRU/91.7 FM

    Somewhere on the dial, among the Blue October and Laura Ingraham, there's a little college radio station pumping out 50,000 watts of pure uncommercialized goodness. From the excellent MK Ultra DJ sets every Friday night to the generally upbeat morning drive, Rice University's KTRU gives Houston the very thing most other radio stations lack: quality. The kids cutting their teeth… More >>
  • Best Radio News

    KTRH/740 AM

    There's really no competition in this category. While many other radio stations have "news departments" or an assortment of programs, KTRH remains the gold standard. With a mixture of original local reports, locally based talk show hosts (Sam Malone, Deborah Duncan, Chris Baker) and selected national programs, KTRH's coverage of Houston is deep and well rounded. KTRH is the first… More >>
  • Best Blues Club

    Monroe's Gallant Knight Club

    Whether Cynthia's dishing out some delicious Malibu punch or it's Big Bass serving up some funk-dafied bass thump, we're in love with the Gallant Knight. A gem in the middle of Medical Center dullness, the Gallant Knight has been helping kids and doctors get their blues on for more than 35 years. Go there on a Saturday night, and even… More >>
  • Best Place for Cocktails

    Houston Magnolia Hotel

    If you work downtown, you should already know that the best place to unwind is the Magnolia Hotel. After a long, tedious day of playing office politics and staring out the window at the beautiful array of ozone and carbon monoxide that makes up Houston's daytime sky, you deserve a little piano jazz and some milk and cookies at a… More >>
  • Best Bar Games

    The Tipsy Clover

    The Tipsy Clover is the kind of beautifully schizophrenic neighborhood bar that serves a dual purpose: It can be the place to go to meet up with friends after work, grab a pizza and play a casual game of pool. Or it can be an all-out frenzy of Golden Tee competitiveness and dart-board mayhem, depending on your timing. The relaxed… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar - Midtown

    Leon's Lounge

    There's no other bar in Midtown -- or in Houston, for that matter -- like Leon's Lounge. Not only does it boast an existence spanning nearly six decades -- quite a feat, considering the blink-and-you-missed-it nature of Houston businesses -- it's also the most interesting place you can find any night of the week in Midtown. If you happen to… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar - Montrose

    Poison Girl

    Though a number of other worthy watering holes crowd the field, Poison Girl strong-arms the competition with its outstanding service, noteworthy patio and, most of all, its compulsion to give back. Despite being all but concealed in shadows, Poison Girl has become popular through word of mouth. Why? It's a bar for adults who want to drink: There's no food… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar - Downtown

    Warren's Inn

    Warren's is a bar. You drink at Warren's. You don't watch the game, you don't pick up chicks. You have them pour you a stiff cocktail and you put John Lee Hooker on the juke and you smoke a cigarette. You look at the inevitable old drunk guy, and you make a toast to his liver. He belongs here, in… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar - Heights

    Onion Creek Coffee House/Bar/Lounge

    Onion Creek, with its decidedly Austin-esque vibe, is a great place to grab a drink and catch up with friends. Half coffee shop, half wine bar, it's the perfect combination of casual cool and laid-back hip. Go on a Saturday night and you're likely to see a few local celebrities/Onion Creek regulars hanging out on the patio. As if that… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse


    Dear Agora: You have us spellbound. So much so that we will risk breaking our neck on your steep staircase and pay a little more than we should for that Greek coffee whatchamacallit or that Shiner Bock. But we will do this because you kick ass. We love your warm, woody interior. We love your belly dancers on Wednesday nights.… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    South Beach

    Probably the most popular gay bar among straights and hags, South Beach is the hub of the Pacific Street district, the sparkling gem of Montrose. True, most of the men there are gorgeous. Sure, the go-go boys are divine. Yes, the drinks are stronger than the love of those two cowgays from Brokeback Mountain. But what sets SoBe apart is… More >>
  • Best Comedian

    Paul Oddo

    Paul Oddo (pronounced "OH-doe") isn't a giant on the city's professional comedy scene, but he's sparked some humorous fires at alternative venues such Rudyard's and The Proletariat. It's likely his native Houston isn't ready to embrace his long-winded, introspective style: His approach to stand-up is more thought-provoking and anecdotal than the mainstream style this city is typically spoon-fed. He's more… More >>
  • Best Party

    Starbucks Music Series, The Beats of Basquiat

    We usually rail on hipster types who begin sentences with "Oh, you mean you've never...," but if you missed these parties, well, it sucks to be you. From the understaffed, expectation-blowing explosion that was the first event to the overcrowded, throbbing mélange that was the last, the Beats of Basquiat were the best all-around parties this town has seen in… More >>
  • Best Art Show

    "Andrea Zittel: Critical Space"

    Andrea Zittel's work is literally life-changing. Her sculptures and installations reflect the media-driven desire to tweak all aspects of our day-to-day travails, and the solutions she presents -- portable chamber pots, modular living spaces, bizarre escape pods -- often come off as claustrophobic and paradoxical, just like our options in real life. For the show at the CAMH, co-curators Paola… More >>
  • Best Installation

    Tom Burckhardt: Full Stop

    Tom Burckhardt's cardboard atelier blew us away. Using brown cardboard and black paint, the artist took over DiverseWorks's project space and re-created an entire studio, complete with a vintage storefront entrance decked out in graffiti. Inside, we felt like Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit: utterly confused in a cartoon world both real and surreal. And then the artistic… More >>
  • Best Dive

    Alice's Tall Texan Drive Inn

    Call it a semantic paradox: Once a place gets labeled a dive bar, it ceases to be one. Regular drunks don't use the term "dive bar" -- only hipsters do. And once the hipsters show up, well, you know where we're going with this. But Alice's Tall Texan somehow has managed to buck the trend, keeping true to its dive-bar… More >>
  • Best Bathroom Graffiti

    Rudyard's British Pub

    No one can beat the ne'er-do-wells at Rudz when it comes to scatological cleverness. The normal bathroom taggers are well represented: Chicken Boy, I Love You Baby, Consumer, GY and DTS. But it's the literary odes that get us chuckling when going about our business. Take the mullet haiku, for example: "O squirrel, my brother / Your tail, my hair,… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    Under the Volcano

    Many bar owners are content to let jukebox vending companies stock their boxes for 'em. That's why you so often see the same Otis Redding, Patsy Cline and Eagles discs everywhere you go. And while there's nothing wrong with those, it's cool when you see and hear something different. Under the Volcano owner Pete Mitchell is all about the difference.… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Trains and Drink Beer

    Little Woodrow's

    Like beer? This little ice-house-style tavern's got plenty -- about six dozen varieties, bottled or canned, and a couple dozen on tap. And they have an airy patio out in front. But hell, so do a lot of places, including Little Woodrow's other locations. What sets this location apart is the fact that the front patio sits about 30 feet… More >>
  • Best Ballet

    Houston Ballet's Swan Lake

    A streamlined classic with touches of pre-Raphaelite dressing by the late Kristian Fredrikson, Stanton Welch's new $1.6 million Swan Lake was the high point of the dance season this year. Beautiful to look at and swift of foot, this version of one of ballet's most beloved tales of love and loss showcased the Houston Ballet corps at its finest. Who… More >>
  • Best Dancer

    Houston Ballet's
    Mireille Hassenboehler

    And once again the award goes to...Mireille Hassenboehler, Houston Ballet's rising star. This long-limbed creature -- who looks and dances like the best and brightest of the Balanchine glory days -- proved her classic chops again this year as Odette/Odille in the new Swan Lake. Not only has this muse triumphed in almost all of the great classical roles, she… More >>
  • Best Modern Dance Company

    Dominic Walsh Dance Theater

    Dominic Walsh is a triple threat: He dances, he choreographs and he has better business acumen than Jeff Skilling. Who knew a former Houston Ballet dancer could put together a company that was not only artistically vibrant but also financially healthy? Walsh has done it. Last season he mounted the most expensive contemporary dance performance ever in Houston, and he… More >>
  • Best Bar Food


    Rudyard's is the self-described "living room of Montrose," and considering that quesadillas, pizza and other tasty treats (the ones most likely to stain your sofa) are in no short supply here, this is a fair assessment. Many drinking establishments are really restaurants that also sell alcohol, but Rudyard's is a bar first, with its live music venue and restaurant vying… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    The Squishees

    Lead guitarist Erik Westfall, whose band was formerly known as the Slurpees, once said that he knew the band would make it big if they were ever sued by 7-Eleven. Well, they came close: After a write-up in the Chron, the group received a cease-and-desist letter from the home of the frozen treat. And so Westfall and Co. changed the… More >>
  • Best Bar Atmosphere/Decor


    The people at Helios have always maintained that the joint is an art space, not a bar, but once you've kicked back a few well drinks and/or Lone Stars, it's hard to tell the difference. Owner Mariana Lemesoff and other local artists created most of the tables, chairs and decor from scrap metal. Molds of Lemesoff's arms, legs, face and… More >>
  • Best Bar


    Catbirds doesn't have the town's best parking situation, especially on a busy night, but once you're inside and the vocals by greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Nat "King" Cole kick in, you forget about the perilous journey you made to get there. The atmosphere is always laid-back, regardless of the head count, and the staff never seems too rushed… More >>
  • Best DJ


    Witnes's skills on the ones and twos, plus his ability to keep a steady scene at The Proletariat's "Rockbox" every Thursday, are what make him worthy of Best DJ honors. (And his radio show, Late Nite Snax with The Grinch on KPFT/90.1 FM, brought Houston the latest in local, independent and vintage hip-hop until it was given the ax by… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Moody Gallery

    Moody Gallery, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, is a well-respected fixture on the Houston art scene. Founder and director Betty Moody focuses on work that has what she feels is a personal vision; she doesn't care about courting art stars and avoids flash-in-the-pan trendiness. The gallery's focus on contemporary American art comes with a heavy emphasis on Texas,… More >>
  • Best Curator

    Paola Morsiani

    Italian-born Paola Morsiani brings a broad range of art to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. In the past year, she organized an exhibition of work by an international art star, an installation from a little-known Albanian artist and a group show of emerging Houston artists. She also co-curated a fascinating survey of works by Andrea Zittel, an artist whose pieces… More >>
  • Best Microcinema

    Aurora Picture Show

    Aurora Picture Show operates like an innovative art gallery and is based on the theory that each film -- and each artist -- is a piece of a bigger picture. Now in its ninth year, Aurora presents curated film shows during its 11-month season, occasionally peppering its lineup with treasure hunts, art contests, guest speakers and rowdy, homespun celebrations. Although… More >>
  • Best Alternative Club

    The Proletariat

    Alternative in just about every sense -- except maybe sexual preference -- this unashamedly divey hangout is peerlessly grungy and eclectic, with a great jukebox, pool, cheap drinks, handy parking at the bank next door and an entertaining weekly lineup of DJs and local bands. In the past year, the Prole attained added distinction by handling the overflow of shows… More >>
  • Best Museum

    The Menil Collection

    Picking Houston's best museum wasn't easy: Lawndale Art Center is the herald of the local scene. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston thinks outside the box, bringing in Colombian artifacts and quilts from Alabama. Even the Orange Show has an underdog charm. But, in the end, we had to give it up for the Menil Collection. Yes, it's uncool to… More >>
  • Best Performance Space

    The Axiom

    Old punkers fondly recall The Axiom, the semi-decrepit club in the Warehouse District east of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Since 2001, though, the facility has been best known as the home of Infernal Bridegroom Productions. Even though IBP has added the luxury of working bathrooms, the club still maintains its raffish, low-rent charm. It's a remarkably flexible place,… More >>
  • Best Chorus

    The Gay Men's Chorus of Houston

    The Gay Men's Chorus of Houston (formerly the Montrose Singers) was founded in 1979, and over the past 25 years it has flourished and grown into one of the finest choirs -- and assemblages of talent -- in town. And through all of its political ups and downs, the chorus has been a constant source of pride for Houston's gay… More >>
  • Best Meeting of Art and Music

    The Menil Collection and
    Da Camera of Houston

    The Menil Collection is admired not only for its outstanding assemblage of art but also for its impressive building; the Renzo Piano design inspires a sense of awe and serenity. Da Camera of Houston has helped the Menil make the most of that intimate setting with its series of live concerts. This year's lineup includes the Brentano String Quartet, the… More >>
  • Best Club for Local Acts

    Javajazz Coffeehouse/
    The Rockville

    Although Javajazz sounds like it might be a cozy, bohemian hangout, it's anything but. The spacious Spring-area venue has two full-size stages (the Javajazz stage and the Rockville stage) where they throw two shows a night, four days a week. And we're talking six to seven bands per concert -- more than a dozen bands a night! Many of the… More >>
  • Best Concert Venue

    Warehouse Live

    When Warehouse Live opened earlier this year, we were skeptical. Live music in a midsize club usually means shitty sound, long bar lines, smokiness and an aesthetic that can only be described as filthy. But after dozens of shows, we can think of just one word to describe the club: perfect. From Bun B to Arctic Monkeys and DJ Diplo,… More >>
  • Best Public Arts Project
    (in Progress)

    David Adickes Sculptorworx Studio

    Some hoity-toity critics contend that David Adickes's sculptures -- which include the enormous statue of Sam Houston set along Interstate 45 -- are more roadside kitsch than art. Love him or loathe him, the parking lot to his studio represents the city's best, and most surreal, public arts project (in progress). Amid warehouses and rail lines, with the downtown skyline… More >>
  • Best Radio
    Talk Show

    Ray Hill's The Prison Show

    A little girl sings to her father "You Are My Sunshine." A mother pleads for her son to drink plenty of water after laboring in the fields. A wife chokes on her tears, promising her husband, "My sweet love, I love you, I'll try to see you soon." The forum for all this pathos could only be The Prison Show,… More >>
  • Best Nightlife Trend

    Party paparazzi photographers

    You don't need to lug a camera around anymore to capture moments from your nightly escapades, thanks to the recent rash of photographers who've been canvassing the hottest nightlife spots and snapping shots of regular folks as if they were celebrities. Many of these photographers, including's Matthew Marand, put the photos online, while other photogs' pics can be found… More >>
  • Best Pool Hall

    Cue & Cushion

    Pool is the drinking man's game of choice, for good reason: The more you drink, the better you play. And there's no better place to get a rack-chalk-and-break game on than Cue & Cushion. Though it's smaller than some pool halls around town, it boasts 16 pristine pro-size Brunswick tables, cue sticks of all lengths and weights, chalk for your… More >>
  • Best Midtown Club


    Many clubs open and close within a matter of a few years, but Rich's has been going strong for two decades. Despite being located, for many years, in a desolate area of town between downtown, Montrose and the Third Ward -- long before Midtown became a nightlife hotspot -- the two-story, warehouselike club has consistently drawn huge weekend crowds. Not… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    The Mink/The Backroom - CLOSED

    When The Mink and its neighboring Backroom opened last summer, Montrosian hipsters finally had a good reason to hit up the burgeoning Main Street strip in between Wilbern and West Alabama. The Mink is housed in what once was Drink Bar, but owner/nightlife entrepreneur Tim Murrah gave the slender space a face-lift, bringing in a touch of class with lipstick-pink… More >>
  • Best Bar Mom

    Kim Weatherbee

    Before setting foot in Rowdy's Roadhouse, all we knew was it had a mechanical bull. We had to assume that its patrons were rednecks and/or refinery workers. We didn't know just how rural the surrounding area is (you can actually see the stars in the big Texas sky), and we didn't know that we'd meet the coolest bar owner around… More >>
  • Best New Club


    Clubs in Midtown and downtown are so predictable: They usually have asinine rules and regulations, and there's almost always a queue of suburban dwellers paying upward of 15 bucks to get inside a club playing Top 40 hits, '80s throwbacks or hip-hop. Booooring. But a38 is changing the way we view Midtown nightlife, and it should have the competition worried.… More >>
  • Best Original Show

    Speeding Motorcycle

    Leave it to Jason Nodler, the long-absent founding artistic director of Infernal Bridegroom Productions, to return with a bang. After spending time working around the country, Nodler visited the Bayou City just long enough to create his best original show to date. Speeding Motorcycle, a surprisingly sweet rock opera, which Nodler adapted from songs by Daniel Johnston, told the story… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Shannon Emerick

    Given her bookishly shy demeanor and a willingness to step back and let others shine under the spotlight, Shannon Emerick hardly seems like much of a star. Yet when she moves across a stage, something in her deeply intelligent gaze takes over. It's difficult to take one's eyes away from her face, as it's so full of contradictions and subtle… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Jeffrey Bean

    Jeffrey Bean is one of Houston's most valuable theatrical treasures. A character actor with all the charismatic glow of a leading man, Bean makes just about every show he's in better. But last season's production of Martin McDonough's much-lauded The Pillowman gave Bean a chance to show us the depth and breadth of his talent. The plot focused on a… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company

    Five years ago, Mildred's Umbrella started out in a cavernous, cold room, putting on original shows with virtually no set, no lights and no money. It's come a long way. The company is still putting on new work by resident playwright John Harvey, but MU has also added some terrific nationally known writers to its season. Marina Carr, Melissa James… More >>
  • Best Musical


    In this day and age of musicals that have little to do with artistic expression and everything to do with making buckets of dough, it's wonderfully refreshing to discover a song-filled night of theater that actually asks us to think. Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's Wicked, which ran last fall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, is that… More >>
  • Best Theater Season

    The Alley Theatre

    Any theater that can land the regional premiere of The Pillowman for its season deserves a standing ovation; producing Martin McDonagh's much-lauded sensational drama about a writer of horror tales was a true feat. But the Alley Theatre and its artistic director, Gregory Boyd, did more than grab up one of the most recent and sought-after Broadway hits. It also… More >>
  • Best Cigar Bar

    Downing Street Ltd. 2549 Kirby

    Once upon a time, Downing Street Ltd. was the hangout for local politicos, trust-funders and single yuppie guys. The crowd has changed a bit -- there are more scenesters and social climbers these days. But most folks flock to this River Oaks lounge to simply enjoy the cigars, premium Scotch, weekly jazz and elegantly casual vibe. The 400-square-foot humidor is… More >>
  • Best Strip Club

    The Men's Club of Houston

    You might think all strip clubs are the same: Naked women shaking their asses to "pay for school"; cheesy 50-year-old men paying a girl their daughter's age to spend five minutes pretending they're interested in them; and some DJ named Rick playing a ten-year-old Limp Bizkit song for Sinammon's upside-down routine. But you'd be wrong. The discerning voyeur needs to… More >>
  • Best Music Gadfly

    Rad Rich

    If you switch on the radio mid-song and hear Bun B's latest joint segue into a ferocious live attack from Irish punks Flogging Molly, you've probably tuned in to Rad Rich's Rock & Roll Revue on KPFT/90.1 FM. In a city that's far too often bound by the dictates of dozens of independent scenelets, Rich knows no such bounds, either… More >>
  • Best Band to Get Together in the Past Year

    Sharks and Sailors

    Taking listeners on a musical ride that has as many ups and downs as a voyage at sea, Sharks and Sailors combines heavy choruses with soft breakdowns. Featuring former members of Panic in Detroit, the group emerged from the Super Unison scene to deliver their sound to Houston. Reminiscent of groups such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Unwound, Drive Like… More >>
  • Best Band to Break Up in the Past Year

    Michael Haaga's Plus and Minus Show

    We've always held that there was a Houston Press Music Awards jinx. Over the years, most of the bands that win big either break up shortly thereafter, move to Austin (never to be heard from again) or even end up in prison, as was the case with South Park Mexican. But rarely has the jinx operated so swiftly as it… More >>
  • Best Band to Leave Houston in the Past Year

    Hayes Carll

    Steve Earle once wrote a song in which he called Townes Van Zandt "the last of the hardcore troubadours." But Earle hadn't yet heard Hayes Carll. While Carll isn't quite as hardcore as Van Zandt -- no epic vodka bouts or heroin binges, as far as we know -- he's very much the real deal as a troubadour. His life… More >>
  • Best Unsigned Band

    Rx Medicine Show

    Venues fill to capacity practically every time this band plays a gig. You'd think, "These guys must really know how to rock." But you'd be wrong. Nay, sir. The Reverend, Uncle Tick, Rag Tag Mac, Coach and friends really know how to jug-band. Owning the stage while playing grassroots instruments as diverse as a fiddle, a saw guitar, a kazoo… More >>
  • Best CD by Local Musicians

    This Is Where the Story Ends, Scattered Pages

    Exquisite melancholy is a difficult emotion to capture on disc -- most bands that strive for it end up sounding either whiny or pretentious. Scattered Pages is not most bands. The newest of their three EPs -- 2006's This Is Where the Story Ends -- picks up where Neil Young's Harvest left off: gently strummed acoustic guitars awash in pedal… More >>
  • Best Local CD cover

    Chango Jackson,
    Chango Jackson

    This op-art gem is crisp, it's bright, it catches the eye, and the picture of the grinning, gold-toothed chimp set in yellow-and-orange swirls references the English translation of the band's name. (Yes, yes, we know, chango means monkey, and chimps are primates, but still...) The whole thing is as bold and garishly beautiful as a box of Tide. We don't… More >>
  • Best Menagerie

    The Eclectic Menagerie Park

    Just south of Loop 610 off State Highway 288 is the newest manifestation of Houston's inherent weirdness -- a fresh companion for other such exuberant folk-art outbursts as the Orange Show, the Beer Can House and the Flower Man House. In a huge green field just off Holmes Road, on land belonging to Texas Pipe and Supply Company, lies the… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language
    Radio Station

    Mega 101

    Mega 101 doesn't have an entirely Spanish-language lineup; they play a Spanglish mix of hip-hop, rock, salsa and reggaetón. So what makes it so popular with Houston's Latinos? It's the music, combined with the "Latino and Proud" attitude, that have earned it legions of listeners. The morning show features the Mexicanz, a crew of irreverent, opinionated, gossipy DJs. And there's… More >>
  • Best Place to Relive the '50s

    Bellaire Broiler Burger

    Step inside the Bellaire Broiler Burger dining room and you'll find yourself transported back to a time when burgers weren't fusion food, and a ten-spot could actually get you a satisfying dinner. The Happy Days malt-shop decor includes vinyl booths, knickknacks right out of Grandma's living room, faded plastic flowers and worn-down linoleum. It's all very clean, mind you, but… More >>
  • Best Place to Relive the '80s

    Friday Nights with Molly & the Ringwalds at the Continental Club

    Music -- way more so than movies, books or fashion -- has the power to put you in the Waybac Machine and plop you instantly into the past. Hearing the opening notes to "The Safety Dance," "Addicted to Love" or "Goodbye to You" will take more years off your visage than any beauty cream. For three years, Houston's premier (well...only)… More >>
  • Best Place to See
    Vintage Flicks

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

    Ever wonder what it was like to see silent films in the old days, with an orchestra providing a dramatic soundtrack? Wonder no more. The film department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston regularly includes silent films along with offerings of classic and contemporary cinema. And some of those silent-film screenings feature live orchestral accompaniment. During the 2006-2007 season,… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club


    Everyone has a front-row seat at Cezanne, since the bar holds only 150 people. Upscale without being stuffy, the club's intimate setting makes it the perfect place to take in local jazz favorites such as David Caceres and Sebastian Whittaker, as well as national acts. (Joshua Redman made his Houston debut at the club in 1993, though he's so big-time… More >>
  • Best Band Stage Show

    LoneStar PornStar

    It's not only Houston fans who are getting to see LoneStar PornStar's stage antics: The group is now making regular appearances in Austin, Corpus Christi and San Antonio, as well. And antics -- loud antics -- is the correct term for these hard rockers. Singer Greg David Stegman commands the stage, stomping from one side to the other, jumping and… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    Azteca's Margarita
    Bar & Grill - CLOSED

    People go to Azteca's for dinner, but that's not the main draw. The main draw is the live music. Oh, and the $2 margaritas. And the jamming happy hour. And the crazy DJs. Located on the edge of Montrose, Azteca's is not for the faint-hearted. When it gets crowded (which is often), the service can get slow and the parking… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Ronnie Renfrow

    Most of Houston knows Ronnie Renfrow from the Ronnie Renfrow Big Band. But bandleader Renfrow turned radio host a while back and has been spinning jazz and big-band tunes on the Swinging 650 -- Classic Cool show on 650 AM for more than a year now. He's on air seven days a week with partner Tom Richards (weekdays from 5:30… More >>
  • Best Brewpub

    Two Rows Classic Grill & Brewpub

    Rice Village is a prime place to go to forget you're in Houston or, hell, even in Texas. It's a textbook example of the glitzy hodgepodge of strip malls that's homologizing the country, but hidden amongst the Gap, Starbucks and Kinkos is Two Rows Classic Grill & Brewpub, an establishment you can find only in Texas, serving brews you can… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    The Wine Bucket Boutique
    & Bar

    Sometimes it seems as though Junico and Tracy Velarde are rubbing it in. Not only did they score the phone number 713-942-WINE, but their Wine Bucket Boutique & Bar seems designed to attest to the fact that no other couple inside the Loop knows more about wine and wine drinkers. The bar and gift shop has everything even the most… More >>
  • Best Place to Consider Ending It All

    The Rothko Chapel

    Yeah, we know it's meant to be a "peaceful sanctuary" and all, and no, we're not exactly arguing. But we must respectfully ask: What's more peaceful than death? The, shall we say, negative capacity of the black canvases on the walls is not to be underestimated as environmental design, but we find it terribly difficult to shake the knowledge that… More >>