Rocks Off has been so busy this week cramming his fool head full of Creed and blink-182 research ahead of this week's shows that he nearly forgot about pitting people in imaginary cage matches. It's seriously hard work listening to "Higher" and "My Own Prison" while looking for clues as to why the world bought 35 million copies of their albums. We kind of feel like some sort of butt-rock paleontologist cum sociologist.
These two men helm the respective bars at Walter's On Washington and Boondocks, and are also in two of Houston's loudest bands. Mata plays guitar in Black Congress, and Black is the axeman for Whorehound. Both are burly dudes with scowls that can peel paint off the bow of battleship, making bullshittery and shitpursery around their bars a stupid enterprise. Black looks like a super villain, with his bald pate, that would melt your skull with the power of mind brain. He has played in a variety of bands around town in his time on Earth, including Dinosaur Salad. Plus, he drives a kick-ass motorcycle and lets you bum smokes whenever you need one. Mata moves quickly behind the bar and could beat probably eff your business up with the array of bar tools he carries on him. All the other douchebag bars on Washington and all their shaved-arm pretty boy part-time fitness instructor bartenders should erect a plaque in his honor after Walter's moves off near I-10. But they won't because they will be too busy trying in vain to wipe their own asses with their gigantic arms. Winner: As much as we would love these two to open up a bar together and offer ritual on-the-hour beatings of ass-hats in a cage a la Ocean's Cabaret off I-45 , someone has to win. The winner would have to Black, who owns the motorcycle. Mata drives a bicycle, making escape not easy from trouble. Besides, Black may know Hell's Angels or something.
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The area around Shepherd is rife with vinyl collector paradises. Hell, we could call it Xanadu or some shit. One has their pick of Cactus Music or Black Dog, with Sound Exchange just down Richmond a spell. Invariably, Cactus is the big daddy here in terms of scope and size. We can't really think of who can fight free St. Arnold's at those sweet in-store shows. We have to pit Black Dog versus Sound Exchange out of desperation. Both stores have their own innate charm and a small staff that wants to melt your face off, be it with dirty Nuggets slabs at Black Dog or the "evil" room at Sound Ex. It's too metal in the latter for us some days, so we dart to the dollar record bin and we have to fan ourselves off with a Boz Scaggs maxi-single. The only thing scary at Black Dog is that random fluke customer, some mound of man in a Cream shirt, who watches you browse and tries to tell you that he saw every single band in your hand at some dive bar gig in town. Funny, we didn't know that Kraftwerk played The Summit in 1977 with Taco. Nerd FAIL. Winner: Black Dog may have an actual black Labrador in the backroom chilling on the floor next to box of Rolling Stones bootlegs, but Sound Ex has a bear. Yes, we mean Beau Beasley. Too easy, we know.