Old 97's -- For the last couple of years it has been normal to belly up to the bar at the Fabulous Satellite Lounge, order a beer, light a smoke and casually wait for Old 97's to take the stage. And for as much as you've grown used to readying for the performance, the Texas-bred band has grown used to setting its Shiners and Lone Stars by its instruments and taking the stage amid your familiar faces. The quartet has been doing it, as the saying goes, pretty much forever.
But all this local-boy atmosphere may change soon. Larger stages and bigger crowds are a-calling.
In 1994 Old 97's released Too Far to Care, an exploration of the lonely travels of a career troubadour, on bigwig Elektra records. Suddenly these everyday country-rocking poets found themselves the center of attention in a fast-growing Texas music scene. The band toured the world, started making money and realized its name was recognized by most everybody.
Now Elektra is burning truckloads of the band's new CD, Fight Songs. So the regular (and inexpensive) shows at comfortable little places like the Satellite could soon be a thing of the past. When that happens, all those regulars singing along with all those favorite songs will mutate into a flock of faceless strangers, wise at last to one well-kept Texas secret.
-- Brandon Cullum
Old 97's performs Friday, April 30, at 8 p.m. at the Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Avenue. Tickets are $ 10. Call (713)869-2665.
Mandy Patinkin -- It's inevitable that Mandy Patinkin's vast Broadway and screen credits will find their way into a Trivial Pursuit game or Jeopardy's Broadway category. You can almost hear Alex Trebek now: "He made his Broadway debut as Che, the revolutionary in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. He starred in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. As a scholar, he made Barbra Streisand swoon in Yentl. He played Madonna's piano man in Dick Tracy." The answers will likely elicit, "Who is Mandy ... ughh, I forget his name," from most, especially Gen-Xers, until they're given this answer, "He played Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on TV's Chicago Hope." "Who is Mandy, Mandy ... PATINKIN!"
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How predictably droll that film and TV turned Mandy Patinkin, theatrical giant and Tony Award-winner, into a poor excuse for a household word. He's back in Houston after performing in Mamaloshen, his latest Broadway smash. Accompanied by Paul Ford on piano, this singing icon will be able to really show his substance. He'll perform a wide range of numbers, from Rodgers and Hart, Sondheim and Harry Chapin to Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. If you liked him as Inigo Montoya, the dueling Spanish mercenary out to avenge his father's murder by the six-fingered villain in The Princess Bride, you'll love his rugged, swarthy swagger on the concert stage. Mandy Patinkin performs at Jones Hall, May 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16-$51. Call (713)227-ARTS. (Cynthia Greenwood)
Juvenile -- It looks like bounce music has found its new prince, and the dude's name is Juvenile. But before we get into him, a brief background on bounce for all you who've never moved your body up and down to a bass drum before.
Bounce music is a segmented (and mostly Southern) brand of rap whose infectious, 808-drum-machine beats and rambunctious, extroverted lyrics keep the average party jumping while maintaining rap music's ghetto integrity (i.e., keeping it "real"). Although bounce enthusiasts say its roots are in the East Coast, citing influence in the works of obscure '80s rap artists such as The Showboys, from Hollis, Queens, the usual suspects of bounce often hail from the land of cotillion balls, rodeo shows and Anna Nicole Smith. (Guess which one of those we're not proud of.)
This is where Juvenile comes in. The 24-year-old kid from New Orleans, the mecca of bounce, has been serving up rhymes ever since he penned and performed what many believe to be the definitive Southern bounce song, curiously titled "Bounce (for the Juvenile)," on DJ Jimi's 1993 album, It's Jimi. Last year audiences got the full-length Juvenile treatment with the release of his debut, 400 Degreez, which has since gone gold thanks mainly to the radio success of the album's bounciest single, the incomprehensible but utterly catchy "Ha." All this newfound notoriety has made the guys who run Juvenile's label, the New Orleans-based Cash Money Records, very happy homies. They're bouncing all the way to the bank. Juvenile performs with Destiny's Child, Pressha and JT Money on Sunday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. at University of Houston's Hofheinz Pavilion, 3875 Holman. Call (713) 629-3700. (Craig D. Lindsey)