Most hip-hop MCs spit rhymes while their DJs spin vinyl -- and that's about it. Not so at a Bavu Blakes show. For the past five years, he's performed his brand of hip-hop with a live band in tow. The Austin-based MC, who's known around those parts for his Hip-Hop Humpdays, and who's been hailed as "one of Texas's brightest new stars," will drop by the Rhythm Room this week, along with an eight-piece band led by madman musico D-Madness. "We got the craziest musical director ever," says Blakes of D-Madness. "It's hard to describe him." A walking one-piece band, D-Madness plays drums, bass and keyboards, and he even serves as a backing vocalist. But he does have some support, namely a guitarist, two horn players and two backup singers. The band fuses rhythmic splashes of funk, soul and jazz with Bavu's smooth delivery. Blakes says his show will include tunes from his recent Blazing Saddles mixtape with DJ Baby G, as well as cuts from his debut album, Create and Hustle, and his latest, Too Selfish.
Blakes's Blazing Saddles showcase also will bring San Antonio hip-hop band Mojoe, Deloach, DJ Cozmos, DJ Chill, Element7D and Steve Austin (the latter two are featured on Blazing Saddles). The Texas posse rustles up the beats at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 14. 1815 Washington Avenue. For tickets, call 713-864-6962 or visit www.rhythmroomhouston.com. $7. -- Travis Ritter
The Darkhorse Tavern's Woo Woo
My friend Fuzzy and I stroll into the Darkhorse Tavern (2207 Washington Avenue, 713-426-2442) and sit at the bar. A few seats away, two aging bikers are talking to a couple of tattooed, pierced young girls. I order a Bass ale and a Scotch -- also known as a Boobscotch -- the combo made famous by blues legend Bob Logg III. Meanwhile, Fuzzy overhears one of the bikers say, "Iraq is like a rich bitch we got pregnant. Now she hates us and we have to kill her, but not before we get her daddy's money." Huh? We move to the back of the tavern to start up a nonpolitical game of darts. But before long, a group of guys fills up the small game area. In the time it takes Fuzzy to sink a dart in a triple 16, we notice some of them glaring at us. There's only two boards, and they've brought their own darts in special cases. "Those guys have dart purses," I say loudly to Fuzzy as we pass them on our way back to the bar, where the bartender's busy mixing up some drinks called woo woos. I request one but have to wait around while he finishes the 20 he's pouring. Then I notice the woo woos are for the dart tourney in the back. And as it turns out, the dart nerds are celebrating a bachelor party. Suddenly, I'm embarrassed by my order. Should've stuck with the Boobscotch.
2 ounces DeKuyper peach schnapps
2 ounces Absolut vodka
4 ounces cranberry juice
Shake above ingredients in shaker, then strain over highball or rocks glass filled with ice. Great for cheesy bachelor parties. -- Jason Kerr
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Though it's highly unlikely Veronica Lipgloss will ever have an endorsement deal with Cover Girl, the hot San Francisco rocker has some crazy makeup skills. This week, she and her band the Evil Eyes are stopping by the Bill Hicks Resurrection Laboratory as part of their nationwide tour promoting their debut album, Witch's Dagger. The album concocts a feverish potion of synthesized and caterwauling postpunk, bringing to mind the music of the Birthday Party and the voice of Siouxsie Sioux. They'll be supported by locals the Wiggins, Rua Minx, A Pink Cloud and Cockroach Cockroach. 9 p.m. Thursday, July 14. 2915 Delafield. For more information call, 713-921-1924. $5. -- Travis Ritter
How fresh is your flow? Seriously, is it funky fresh? Aspiring microphone masters had best make sure all those bill-paying skills are on point for the Freestyle Contest at Mango's Cantina. That's freestyle, yo, so leave the prepared material at home. This is strictly spur-of-the-moment, seat-of-your-pants, improvised rhyme-busting. Two-buck Coronas will stanch any stage fright, so just bring all the science that's fit to drop and get ready to make the music with your mouth (or is that beat-boxing?). Either way, sucka MCs need not apply. 9 p.m. Thursday, July 14. 403 Westheimer. For tickets and information, call 713-416-3036. $5; free for ladies until 10:30 p.m. -- Scott Faingold