There's a sticker on the fridge at Walter's on Washington (4215 Washington, 713-862-2513) that reads "Beer: It's Cheaper than Therapy!" Sure, it's semi-funny in that Spencer Gifts sort of way, but this little nugget of wisdom pretty much sums up the vibe here: For less than 20 bucks, you can catch an awesome band in a laidback atmosphere and forget all your troubles. Once a redheaded stepchild to Mary Jane's, its sister bar across the street, Walter's is now the de facto standard for almost every indie or punk band that makes a stop in Houston. I'm here on a Monday night to see a band hailing from Brooklyn, who have come promising to rock us like the proverbial hurricane. They follow up on this promise from the start, so much so that after a few songs I have to head to the bar to give my eardrums a well-deserved break. After several rounds of "WHAT DID YOU SAY" and "I CAN'T HEAR YOU," bartender Ryan deciphers my request for a specialty drink, offers up the meanest kamikaze I've ever had and dares me to drink it as fast as I possibly can. I oblige. The drink's potent enough to numb my ringing eardrums, which of course immediately makes me want to get back up to the front row and do it all over again.
4 ounces Absolut vodka
Splash sweet & sour mix
Walter's on Washington
Splash cranberry juice
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1 can or bottle of Sprite
2 lemon wedges
Combine Absolut, sweet & sour mix, cranberry juice and ice in a shaker. Squeeze in the juice from the two lemon wedges and discard. Shake until it's colder than Ann Coulter's cooch, and strain into a rocks glass. Top off with Sprite. Can also be made as a smaller shot...if you're a total wuss.