Hushing Up

It's been slyly hyped for weeks now. Flyers have circulated. Word-of-mouth has spread. You might have spotted the ad in our music pages, consisting of just one word in bold-ass letters: Hush. But what exactly are we supposed to be quiet about? This Thursday, you can finally find out. If you're guessing Hush is a brand new nightclub extravaganza, you get -- well, you get nothing, but at least you have a new weekend nightspot. "When you look at this nightclub, this is something that Houston has never seen," says director of marketing Kelli Linne. "In order for you to experience Hush, you would have to fly to Vegas, South Beach or overseas."

Fortunately, club owners Dan Deschamps and Kevin Johnson have saved us the trip. Hush gives Houstonians some of that foreign extravagance -- a dirty little secret somewhere between downtown and Richmond-Westheimer. "They wanted to create, more or less, a superclub," says Linne. It looks like they have: 25,000 square feet (1,700 of which is the dance floor), three levels with balconies, 76 TV monitors. And some top musical draws will soon add luster to Hush's quiet shine. Faith Evans plays at the club's coming-out party on Thursday. In weeks to come, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Rap and Ashanti will stop by.

So, there's no need for Hush to be quiet anymore. In fact, don't be surprised if it makes the loudest noise in Houston's nightlife scene.

Hush opens Thursday, August 14. 15625 Katy Fwy. For information, call 713-330-HUSH or visit -- Craig D. Lindsey

  Stirred and Shaken
The Dog House Tavern's Red Snapper
I was sitting alone in the Dog House Tavern (2517 Bagby, 713-520-1118) counting my lucky stars. The man I had accidentally hit in the head with a newspaper was returning home from the hospital, and my attorney called to tell me they weren't going to be pressing charges. Still, you should always look before heaving anything out of the car window! It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I noticed more than half the bar's clientele slugging back cosmopolitans. Turns out they're the drink special on hump day, so I tried one, but my nerves needed something a wee bit stronger. Jason the bartender suggested a Red Snapper, a slippery, slightly sweet combination of Crown, Amaretto and cranberry juice. The first one went down without effort, and while classic rock cranked out of the jukebox, the place suddenly filled up with an extremely thirsty after work crowd. The cocktail waitress had her running shoes on and the drink shakers never sat idle. I struck up a conversation with someone who used to work for the Houston Chronicle (of all places) and decided to keep my tale to myself.

1 ounce Crown Royal
1 ounce Amaretto di Sorono
Splash of Cranberry Juice

In a rocks glass filled with ice, pour in a jigger each of Crown and Amaretto. Top off with splash of cranberry juice. Cocktail stirrer optional. -- J.W. Crooker

FRI 8/15
Grass Strains
Take a look at the South Austin Jug Band, and you'll find a glaring omission. No jug. Not even a banjo player. It leads one to believe that SAJB is merely a jug band in spirit, marrying a bluegrass mentality to the group's roadhouse-ready look. Fans of "newgrass" will be satiated -- SAJB travels the same territory as bluegrass cover bands like Hayseed Dixie (AC/DC), performing white-trash ditties like "The Ballad of Eddie Mullet" and "The Ramen Noodle Rag" to bluegrass covers of Jimi Hendrix songs. Pedigree: In 2000, SAJB won the Best New Artist award at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. 9 p.m., Friday, August 15. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk. For information, call 713-528-5999. $10. -- Troy Schulze

THU 8/14
First Looks
Would you feel more comfortable at an art museum where talking and laughing is encouraged and not shushed? Then try out the Museum of Fine Arts informal "Artful Thursdays" -- monthly previews of upcoming exhibitions.

This week catch sneak peeks of First Down Houston: The Birth of an NFL Franchise and The Heroic Century: The Museum of Modern Art Masterpieces. Texans fans should enjoy photographer Robert Clark's images of Houston's home team, and highbrow sympathizers will appreciate classics from the MOMA exhibit. 6 pm, Thursday, August 14. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit Free. -- Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc

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