Scar Wars

SAT 7/5
There are plenty of bands that use the line "We're better live than on the CD" as an excuse for their shitty studio work. But not Austin's Vallejo, the five-piece Latino rock band that can write and produce decent albums and then take the songs to a new level of intensity at a gig. And the members have the scars to prove it. Percussionist Diego Simmons sustained a five-staple gash to the head after a gig in Victoria, and AJ Vallejo (one of three brothers in the band) tore a bloody chunk out of his butt cheek when he fell off a speaker and landed on a broken bottle at a gig in San Marcos. The group offers fans the chance to experience its live shows, minus the bodily fluids, with the release of two new albums at the end of July. The first is Live Steamboat '97, a seven-song set featuring an extended jam on James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing." The other album, tentatively titled The Best Live Band from Texas You Never Heard, will feature a mix of live tracks, acoustic tidbits and rarities. Vallejo appears at Whiskey Blues on Saturday, July 5. Opening act Jagger comes on at 9:30 p.m. 502 25th Street, Galveston. For information, call 409-766-1600. $5. -- Greg Barr

FRI 7/5
Who Moved My Cheese?
The Alley Theatre takes on The Mousetrap
It may be the Vegas revue of ensemble theater -- predictably comfortable and hardly extraordinary -- but for mystery buffs, The Mousetrap is Wayne Newton, Celine Dion and Siegfried & Roy all rolled into one. What began as a 30-minute BBC radio play has become a worldwide franchise. Staged for the past 51 years in London and the past 26 years in Toronto, Agatha Christie's whirlwind whodunit is North America's longest-running play. You know the drill: Quirky guests are snowbound at a country inn, and a dead body turns up. Guessing the identity of the killer (or is it killers?) becomes the game for not only the cast but also the amateur sleuths who plunk down their hard-earned cash for the experience. We're sworn to secrecy, but we can say for sure that The Mousetrap is no Colonel Mustard, lead-pipe-in-the-library sort of caper. The play runs from Friday, July 4, through July 20. For showtimes and tickets, call 713-228-8421 or visit Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue. $17. -- Greg Barr


SUN 7/6
Truly Unbelievable
The Sound of Music would seem preposterous if it weren't entirely true. After all, the show tells the story of a widowed naval officer with seven children who must decide between a baroness and a singing nun before sneaking out of Austria to escape the Nazis. In Theatre Under the Stars' production of the musical, brawny Burke Moses, best known for originating the role of Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, plays the role of Captain Von Trapp. 8:15 p.m. Sunday, July 6, through Friday, July 11. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 713-558-2600 or visit Free. -- Margaret Winchell Miller


SAT 7/5
Caribbean Trip
The new 610 Arena opens this weekend with a bang. Saturday's Houston CaribFest concert features artists Rupee, Slingshot, Tulpree, Denise Belfon, Gillo, P.I.K., Socalystics, Caribbean Rhythms and the Essenz Dancers. Doors open at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 5. 610 Arena, 5515 South Loop East. For tickets, call 713-734-SHOW or visit For information, visit $30. -- Cathy Matusow

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