Steve Earle's "Telephone Road" is an early favorite for Cactus Music's "community-curated playlist."
Steve Earle's "Telephone Road" is an early favorite for Cactus Music's "community-curated playlist."
Jason Wolter

The Sounds of H-Town

Only in Houston

The song must be either inspired by Houston or written and performed by a Houston-based artist, and be no longer than five minutes.

All nominations must be submitted to ­Cactus via a link that can be found at One entry will be chosen at random for a $100 Cactus gift card. Deadline is 9 p.m. Monday, February 18.

The songs with the most votes will be compiled into a one-hour playlist, to be revealed at the store during a listening party from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 21. Houston acts whose songs make the playlist may be tapped to perform live during the party.

Off the top of our head, Rocks Off would choose Steve Earle's "Ft. Worth Blues," both because Earle has been such a friend to Cactus over the years and because it contains the line "Houston really ain't that bad a town." We think so, and we know a lot of other folks do, too.

Since this article was posted February 6, more than a dozen reader chimed in, including the following comments:

Sarah Hirsch: "Weird... I sent a video of 'Telephone Road' to my friend in Nashville just yesterday, citing it as my favorite song about Houston."

Adam Castaneda: "I wish we could vote more than once. My vote went to 'Tops Drop,' [I] wish I could add Leadbelly's 'Midnight Special.'"

Roberto Quintero: "'June 27,' DJ Screw"

Jason Barron: "5th Ward Boys, 'Pussy, Weed & Alcohol'"

Chris Wright: "Steve Earle track has to be 'Telephone Road'"

Lore Guilmartin: "Also Rodney Crowell's 'Telephone Road' and Lyle Lovett's 'Wallisville Road'"

WTF Island

Who should play the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show?

Craig Hlavaty

Earlier this month, I was honored to cover the Super Bowl XLVII festivities and game in New Orleans for the Houston Press and local TV outlet KIAH (Channel 39). Great fun, if not for locals in NOLA, who were ravaged by drunken football fanatics puking onto their 49ers and Ravens jerseys in the streets.

Obviously Beyoncé's halftime show, along with the commercials, was big news leading up to the game. As for the game, well, the Ravens' resident reverend Ray Lewis got to end his career with a second Super Bowl ring.

Next year the big game comes to the New York area on February 2, 2014, at the new MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New ­Jersey. We won't know who is playing the halftime show until at least early fall, so we have plenty of time to speculate.

Why not just have Louis C.K. do 15 minutes of stand-up? He's an NYC local, after all, and his stage would just be a stool and a microphone. What company has the balls to sponsor that?

The big conversation, though, is how weather will affect the game, since MetLife is open air. Jersey in late January/early February isn't exactly historically sunny and warm, and that will be factored in when the halftime entertainment is booked.

There could be a torrential snowstorm, zero-degree winds, you name it. You can bundle up and heat a stage, but what if the Super Bowl committee books Lady Gaga, a New York City native?

I know I know, I am just supposing...

Being a Jersey Super Bowl, the first logical choice is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, who also played halftime in 2009. I still get chills thinking about how awesome those 12 minutes played out; the Bruce crotch shot was just the cherry on top. Playing "Working on a Dream"? Not so much.

But bands do not normally play in detrimental weather. Imagine Beyoncé doing what she did during a blizzard. Not so sexy, unless you love head-to-toe fur and boots.

Bon Jovi also is a Jersey act. They would be a no-brainer for most people holding massive bags of money, and their popularity isn't waning any time soon. And your mom digs them.

The Strokes are from Manhattan. But the Strokes are boring live. And the Strokes haven't released a decent album since the first Dubya administration.

Could Jay-Z pass muster for the NFL? Is middle America ready for him and Kanye on such a stage? The seven-second delay would be a given.

Here's hoping that Taylor Swift doesn't begin dating a pro football player anytime soon. In the span of time it took me to type that sentence, she probably already did.

Screwston, Texas

Where to party with rappers during NBA All-Star Weekend.



Slim Thug, 5th Amendment (2900 Travis): Hometown boy Slim Thug with DJ Mr. Rogers at 5th, which already is Houston's best spot for a Thursday night. $40 tickets can't be beaten.

Trinidad James, Jas Prince & Andre Johnson @ The Drake (1902 Washington): Trinidad might be taking up residency in the city throughout the weekend, so here's the first part of it. $30 at The Drake with Rap-a-Lot heir Jas Prince and Andre Johnson.

Bun B & Kirko Bangz, Bambou (2540 University): Bun said, "See you in February for the All-Star Game" back in 2006 and it stuck. Now here he is hosting with Houston's most visible new artist, and the fun thing about the package here is that you could buy tickets for 2 Chainz & Future's show at Venue PLUS tickets to DJ Drama's day party at Avenue (4500 Washington).

Love and Basketball with Kenny Smith, Rich's (2401 San Jacinto): This could be considered the Kenny Smith Package, given that Kenny is the one throwing the party, but for Valentine's Day, it's $80 and Biz Markie. Nobody beats the Biz.


Young Jeezy, James Harden, LeBron James & Nelly, The Compound at HESS Club (5430 Westheimer): At only $50, you're sitting in the same venue as the best player on the Rockets, the best player in the league, one of the best trappers in history, and Nelly. And at a relatively new venue at that.

Maybach Music Group, Club Roxy (5351 W. Alabama): Club Roxy is legendary in its own right, and the amount of star power for this particular party will be massive. Hometown kid Rashard Lewis brings to town with him some of the best video vixens in Maliah Michel, Keyshia Dior, Kyra Chaos and Bernice Burgos. Needless to say, you might want to be here for the women.

Trinidad James & DJ Drama, Club Empire (3101San Jacinto): Here might be your cheapest "All Gold Everything" experience with T. James throughout All-Star Weekend.


Rakim, Fitzgerald's (2706 White Oak): Two things: One, you get the God MC performing in Houston for what may possibly be the first time ever. Second, as an added bonus, you get the championship round of the Space City Beat Battle, highlighting some of Houston's best producers. Can't go wrong with either of them.

Jay-Z, Rich's (2401 San Jacinto): It's one thing to party with Jay-Z. It's another when you read off the bottle service you can get here, all the way up to a rap fantasy of $100,000, where you can hang out with 250 of your friends and get your own personal bouncers, ten ­bottles of Aces of Spades, your own private bar and then some. It might be the greatest non-­Vegas moment of your life, but only if you dare.


The Crossover, Last Concert Cafe (1403 Nance): An outdoor party with DJs Clark Kent, Mick Boogie, Neil Armstrong and the sort. In other words, the most relaxed portion you might have of the weekend.

Lil Wayne, Stereo Live (6400 Richmond): Weezy F. Baby and the F stands for frugal? Well, not necessarily, but you have to realize that partying with Weezy, as opulent as he may be, might could be a good bet for an ASW close.

Chris Brown & Carmelo Anthony, The Drake (1902 Washington): You want a polarizing party? You've got Chris Brown, currently public enemy No. 1, and Carmelo Anthony, who easily could be offended if you mentioned Honey Nut Cheerios to him. Team Breezy would be in full effect here, so be prepared to deal with overzealous fans.

Future & 2 Chainz, Venue (723 Main): Since Future has come into his own, he's become the king of hooks and songs dealing with love. 2 Chainz? Well, 2 Chainz is 2 Chainz, one of rap's great paradoxes simply because he used to be someone else, changed his name and became a household name. Yup.

T.I., Young Jeezy & Trinidad James, Ayva Center (9371 Richmond): Remember earlier when I said this was going to be the tougher ticket for Trinidad? Yeah, T.I.'s with him. And if you party with the King of the South, your best bet is just to party like him.


Warehouse Live (813 St. Emanuel): Jadakiss, Scarface, Juelz Santana(Thursday); Meek Mill, Fabolous, DJ Drama (Friday); Birdman's Birthday hosted by DJ Khaled (Saturday)

Ei8ht Lounge (5102 Washington): Nas (Thursday); Lance Gross & Rocsi Diaz (Friday); Big Sean & Wale (Saturday); French Montana (­Sunday)

See individual venue Web sites for ticket ­information and availability.

Night Life

Long-running line-dancing LGBT playground Brazos River Bottom enters its last days.

Chris Gray

Last week Brazos River Bottom, the Texas-themed LGBT bar on the border of Midtown and Montrose, announced with this message on its Web site that it will close at the end of March:

"The sad news is official. The BRB will close it's [sic] doors on Saturday, March 30th. We are still looking forward to LUEY WEEKEND Feb. 14-17. We plan on having our 35 year anniversary party the second weekend in March.

"We will keep you informed on details of that party weekend. The TGRA Rodeo will be held in Pasadena, TX this year, and we will be hosting several entertainment events that weekend of March 15-17. We will continue 'business as usual' with what we are sure will be a very incredible final night on March 30th."

Known for its line-dancing lessons and "Get Hot or Get Out" attitude, BRB projected a y'all-come-back hominess in the middle of Texas's biggest city, even posting its bartenders' work schedules on its Web site. Rumors of its closure surfaced on the bar's Facebook page a few days before the announcement, and BRB co-manager Robert Harwood told CultureMap that the owners had sold the building and were looking at possible new locations, though he estimated chances of that happening at 50/50.

Following the closure of Mary's in late 2009, BRB was said to be Houston's longest-running gay bar at its original location, housed in a building that originally was constructed in 1887. Harwood cited the deteriorating condition of the building as a reason for the sale, saying needed renovations would be too expensive to complete.

BRB was a hub of LUEY weekend, a four-day series of social events staged by the Houston Council of Clubs that stands for "Let Us Entertain You." According to the LUEY Web site, the weekend was started in 1971 by motorcycle club the Texas Riders as a gesture of appreciation and means to "keep the party going" for people returning from Mardi Gras.

Such happenings helped spread BRB's reputation far and wide, and it was even named "Best Dance Club" in the Houston Press's 2009 Best of Houston® issue.


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