You never know what you'll get when you're front-row at your favorite show. This past summer, an unsuspecting crowd at the Vans Warped Tour watching the punk-prog-rocky, Houston-based Heist at Hand got doused with front woman Bianca Montalvo's warm, beer-reeking puke. "It was crazy-hot outside and we had smuggled in all this Lone Star," says Montalvo. Somewhere in the middle of their set, the alcohol in Montalvo's stomach pulled a 180 and she hurled -- right on the largest audience she'd ever played for. "They were like, 'What the fuck?' but they were going crazy for it," she says with a laugh. After the show, the same people who had been regurgitated upon came up and gave her a hug -- in their vomit-ridden clothing. "That tops the list for crazy things I've done."
Hurling aside, the vivacious singer has come a long way since Heist at Hand formed in 2001. "We went through a lot of lineup changes and didn't even start playing shows till last year," she says. People have been drawn to Montalvo's sexy image, and the band has quickly gained lots of fans nationally through the popular Myspace.com. But not everyone likes a female lead. "We got an e-mail from this guy that said, 'Rock and roll isn't for girls,' " she says. "I think it's refreshing being a girl going crazy on stage. Plus, the ladies like it, and I think the guys don't seem to have a problem with it." 9 p.m. Wednesday, September 14. The Proletariat, 903 Richmond. For tickets, call 713-523-1199 or visit www.theproletariathouston.com. $3. -- Travis Ritter
Helios's Night Helios
Harold and I enter Helios (411 Westheimer, 713-526-4648) on a warm summer night. The bar is packed with performance artists, writers and poets, and they all seem to know one another. I order a Night Helios cocktail off the menu. As the bartender's mixing up my request, I notice Harold is ordering beers three at a time. This is a good sign. The bar area is noisy, so I set out for the upstairs, where there's a balcony and couches. Right away, I notice nobody's up here and the bar is open and fully stocked, complete with a full tip jar. Strange. We head back down for another cocktail. Just as we arrive, the high-strung bartender yells last call, which doesn't seem to startle anyone but Harold, who demands three more Buds. He's getting out of control, so I take us back upstairs, where there are no witnesses. But apparently, even though the upstairs is open, it's not patrolled. Sitting on the balcony, we lose track of time. After a while I happen to look outside and notice the bartender heading toward her car. Harold and I hurry down and start banging the gate, trying to get out. Finally, the woman opens the gate and screams, "Get the fuck out of here! If I ever see you here again I am calling the cops." I guess we didn't tip her? We get out of there before bad turns to worse.
2 ounces Bacardi Dark rum
2 ounces Bacardi 151 rum
4 ounces triple sec
Splash of lemon juice
Shake all the ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass and serve. -- Jason Kerr
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Ten years after Ol' Dirty Bastard shimmy-shimmy ya-ed, shimmy yam-ed and shimmy yay-ed into our Wu-Tang-lovin' hearts, DJ Ceeplus and the House of Bad Knives is bringing the shimmy back with a new monthly party, "Shimmy Shimmy," at the G.R.A.B. The event features dance-friendly beats and a mixed bag of DJs, including DJ Ish, Wes Alloy and Baltimore-based DJ What Now?, who plays club, crunk and funk, three distinct genres of music that defined the sound and personality of the late Mr. Bastard. 9 p.m. Friday, September 9. 809 Pierce. For information, call 713-655-0707 or visit www.reprogrammusic.com. Free. -- Travis Ritter
Watch the Spill
Who knows how the screaming bobbysoxers of yesteryear would have reacted if Sinatra had hit 'em with a lyric like "I want you staple-gunned right to my side all of the time." But hey, in these post-emo times, that's high romance. The line is by ever-so-sensitive poppy punkers the Spill Canvas, who hit Mary Jane's this week. Another sweet nothing from these modern-day Romeos: "My brain is pumping an unusual secretion of lust / your chin, it drips a bloody color of rust." Well, ain't that a kick in the head? 9 p.m. Monday, September 12. Mary Jane's Fat Cat, 4216 Washington Avenue. For tickets, call 713-869-5263 or visit www.clubfatcat.com. $8. -- Scott Faingold