Oh, Won't You Stay

SAT 11/22

It's fitting that just before the place is turned into a church, the final rock concert at The Summit -- damn, we've always hated that corporate Compaq Center moniker -- will be put on by ZZ Top, Houston's high priests of fuzzy dice, Ford T-34s and three-chord blues.Of course, the trio may turn up again very soon at Reliant Stadium for the rodeo. The boogie-rockers, with their instantly recognizable facial hair and 20-gallon hats, will play their final concert of this year in the arena that many folks would describe as the house that Dusty, Billy and Frank built.

With a just-released boxed set (Chrome, Smoke & BBQ) and a two-month-old, partially decent, partially boring studio album (Mescalero) on store shelves -- plus a cover story in the latest Texas Music magazine -- ZZ Top has, like Australian rockers AC/DC, managed to retool its larger-than-life image while recycling the same chugging bar-band riffs again and again. But that's a good thing.

Indeed, for more than 30 years, ZZ Top has survived all of music's trends -- not to mention the time bassist Dusty Hill accidentally shot himself in the stomach -- by staying true to its strange blend of predictability and mysteriousness. Not surprisingly, those sharp-dressed, grizzled guitar slingers are poised on the edge of rock history. They're on the 2004 ballot for likely induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- just like AC/DC last year. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 22. 10 East Greenway Plaza. For tickets, call 713-829-3700 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. $45 to $65. -- Greg Barr


It all started with two perfectly poured Mount Gay rum and tonics at La Griglia (2002 West Gray, 713-526-4700). The restaurant's doors were wide open, letting in the warm Houston air. A few regulars sprinkled about the bar were talking about the Halloween bash of the week before. Rolls and rolls of pictures from last year were on display beneath the bar's glass top, and someone joked that Halloween should be celebrated once a month, not once a year. In one picture, Batman was taking a fist to the stomach from the Joker. Several others featured your mandatory pimps and ho's. I paid my tab and went outside to wait for my taxi. A group of four stunning Puerto Rican fortysomethings were waiting for their car, and faster than I could say Carmen Miranda, I was persuaded to forget the cab and join them for drinks and dancing. We piled into a four-door sedan and roared off into the night. I was just getting into a fantasy about dirty-dancing on a throbbing dance floor when two blocks later, a sharp right turn caused a handbag to spill into my lap, leaving a gold five-point badge resting on my crotch. My excitement quickly faded, and I felt a sudden urge to tell the ladies, however hot they were, that I had a headache.

1-3/4 ounces Mount Gay rum
3 ounces tonic water

Lime wedge

Fill a soda glass with ice. Measure out rum and tonic water. Garnish with lime. Consume cautiously -- and refrain from talking to strangers. -- J.W. Crooker

Let It Out on the Floor

WED 11/26

It's always fun when the joyful DJ Irene comes down to Houston from L.A., bringing some tasty dance music our way. On Thanksgiving Eve, she'll be feeding audiences pre-Turkey Day goodies at Barcode. Joining her are local boy DJ Bizz, who will grace H-town house-heads with his patented house mixes, and the Press's favorite gas-mask-wearing beatnut, Mister Spacely. Consider this evening an opportunity to dance out all the aggression you have toward your family, so you can enjoy a proper Thanksgiving with them -- and not worry about going to jail for aggravated assault like you did last year around this time. 10 p.m. Wednesday, November 26. 902 Capitol, 713-229-0400. $15. -- Craig D. Lindsey

The Frying Dutchman

THU 11/20

Forget the highfalutin atmosphere at Houston's upscale eateries and head to Galveston's "Great Taste of the Gulf," one of the best-kept epicurean secrets around. For only $25, you can stuff yourself with snack-sized delicacies from Galveston's seafood restaurants and toss back sample after sample of wines and liquors, all the while mingling with Galveston's well-heeled cognoscenti. Here's a tip: Skip past the familiar names like Landry's and head straight for the good stuff: Rudy & Paco's, Saltwater Grill, Sky Bar and DiBella's. 6 p.m. Thursday, November 20. Moody Gardens Convention Center, One Hope Boulevard. For information, call 409-763-8676, extension 213. $25. -- Greg Barr

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