Stoot Session

FRI 12/19

They call him "Funkafangez." Actually, his name is Corey Stoot, but when a guy has a nickname like that (given to him by Houston rap favorite Devin the Dude, no less), it's silly not to mention it.It's a nickname that suits the 33-year-old Houstonian very well. Stoot has became one of the best-known jazz/session guitarists in the city, playing at such spots as the Red Cat Jazz Café and working alongside an eclectic array of artists, from Kelly Rowland to Big Moe.

For a weekly taste of Stoot, people can head over to the Red Room (formerly Evening Shadows) and see him perform an all-night set with his four-piece backup band, the Groove Ensemble. Originally called in by the club as an entertainment consultant, Stoot soon found the venue to be an ideal spot for offering up his talents. "One of the owners, a good friend that I knew, had asked me to assist him in the entertainment," says Stoot. "I didn't know what to think at first, but music is needed everywhere -- good music, at that."

As Stoot will attest, he's got good intentions. "People today have forgotten the important essence of live music," he says, "and it needs to be brought back and brought to attention." 10 p.m. Friday, December 19. 3936 Old Spanish Trail. For information, call 713-747-0014. $5. -- Craig D. Lindsey


Stirred and Shaken

Dinner, drinks and a few games of pool were the agenda on a recent Sunday night, and boy was I glad that dinner was over. I wasn't in the mood to talk over candlelight anyway. We ambled into Cecil's Tavern (600 West Gray, 713-527-9101) for a nightcap or six, partly because I'd heard she was a bit of a pool shark. I ordered up a salty dog without thinking, and after taking a huge first gulp I damn near doubled over when a mouthful of bar salt went crashing down my throat. "Skip the salt, my friend," I said as I pushed the drink back across the bar. "I meant a mistake." Scott the bartender obliged, and I settled back into my bar stool. I rambled on for a few more minutes, waiting for a pool table to open up. I wanted to see if the shark could handle her bank shots. She ran the table two or three games, and I could tell that the more she drank, the deadlier her short shots were. But I had her on the long ball; she couldn't hit a ball halfway across the table to save her life! The night was looking promising -- that is, except for the fact that every time I returned from the men's room she was on her cell phone. I decided to call a spade a spade. "Look," I said, "it's almost midnight. Why don't we just finish this game, and I'll let you meet up with your boyfriend before closing time." She agreed.

2 ounces Heaven Hill vodka
3/4 ounce Bluebird grapefruit juice

Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and measure out ingredients. After the initial three or four, skip the grapefruit juice altogether. Perfect for pool tournaments, lunch with your lawyer or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. -- J.W. Crooker

Breathe In, Breathe Out

The Richmond/Westheimer club scene can be a clogged-up hell, where tension and frustration loom just as large as the clouds of cigarette smoke. But there's a sanctuary amid the clubs where you can inhale flavored oxygen and listen to ambient relaxation music that would numb even Philip Glass. At Oxygen Bar, for $10, you can sit back for 25 minutes, wearing one of those plastic nose hoses and taking in pure O2 in a bevy of flavors, including peppermint, vanilla and fresh-baked cookies. Okay, so that last one isn't on the list, but wouldn't that be an intoxicating scent for a Saturday night? 6423 Richmond, suite T. 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily. For information, call 713-266-7926, 713-952-8311 or visit -- Craig D. Lindsey


Carry On Key

With happy hour specials all night long on Sundays, the karaoke at Sherlock's Pub is guaranteed to get a little raucous. So we'd like to offer up a few tips to all you would-be troubadours: Ladies, it doesn't matter if you were the star of the high school choir. No one wants to hear your interpretation of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." And gentlemen, your raspy renditions of heavy metal songs are guaranteed not to get you laid. Either stick to the free pool tables, or try singing something a little funkier, like Prince's "Kiss" or, if you've got the balls, "Pussy Control." 9:45 p.m. Sundays. 10001 Westheimer. For information, call 713-977-1857 or visit Free. -- Keith Plocek

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.