It's just too damn bad major record labels haven't figured out a way to bottle live energy and the hundreds of bodies that figure into that force and package it. If they could, the work of ska giants Los Skarnales would be worth more than a Los Alamos hard drive. With catsuit-tight horn lines, which are always inventive and never redundant, start-stop rhythms and punk attitude, Los Skarnales sticks it to "rock A.E." (after Elvis). Stacks of suitcase-size amplifiers and secondhand blues licks do not a "rock" band make. So long as ska remains popular -- and in light of the postmodern thought that says there's a genre for every music lover out there -- Los Skarnales will be under one of the big five labels' distribution wings soon. The band already belongs to local independent powerhouse Pinche Flojo Records.
It's just too damn bad major record labels haven't figured out a way to bottle live energy and the hundreds of bodies that figure into that force and package it. If they could, the work of ska giants Los Skarnales would be worth more than a Los Alamos hard drive. With catsuit-tight horn lines, which are always inventive and never redundant, start-stop rhythms and punk attitude, Los Skarnales sticks it to "rock A.E." (after Elvis). Stacks of suitcase-size amplifiers and secondhand blues licks do not a "rock" band make. So long as ska remains popular -- and in light of the postmodern thought that says there's a genre for every music lover out there -- Los Skarnales will be under one of the big five labels' distribution wings soon. The band already belongs to local independent powerhouse Pinche Flojo Records.

Best New Effort to Inject Culture into Houston

Brazos Projects

Last year Brazos Bookstore, the most civilized shop in town, gave birth to a nonprofit arm, Brazos Projects, which sponsors the kind of artistic and literary events that make thinking people swoon. So far it has brought to town Robert Pinsky, the U.S. poet laureate, and has shown furniture (furniture?!) by sculptor Donald Judd and architect Frank Gehry. This fall Brazos Projects offers "Cy Twombly Photographs," which includes pictures the painter snapped of culture-hero pals such as Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Franz Kline. The show was curated by more names worth dropping: by Twombly himself, and by Paul Winkler, of the Menil Collection. Yes, the Menil's "Cy Twombly: The Sculpture" show will be bigger and more important than this little companion piece, but these rarely exhibited photos show another, more intimate side of the artist, a side that Houston will be lucky to see.

Best New Effort to Inject Culture into Houston

Brazos Projects

Last year Brazos Bookstore, the most civilized shop in town, gave birth to a nonprofit arm, Brazos Projects, which sponsors the kind of artistic and literary events that make thinking people swoon. So far it has brought to town Robert Pinsky, the U.S. poet laureate, and has shown furniture (furniture?!) by sculptor Donald Judd and architect Frank Gehry. This fall Brazos Projects offers "Cy Twombly Photographs," which includes pictures the painter snapped of culture-hero pals such as Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Franz Kline. The show was curated by more names worth dropping: by Twombly himself, and by Paul Winkler, of the Menil Collection. Yes, the Menil's "Cy Twombly: The Sculpture" show will be bigger and more important than this little companion piece, but these rarely exhibited photos show another, more intimate side of the artist, a side that Houston will be lucky to see.

Best Movie Theater That Will Never Show Gladiator

Aurora Picture Show

Sure, there are other places in town that show cool stuff, but it's hard to compete with a video kaleidoscope for a marquis, a converted church for a venue and a quirky Sandy Duncan look-alike running the place. But don't expect big reclining seats and a tub of $5 popcorn when you go. The Aurora Picture Show is not that kind of place. You sit in pews. Your drinks come in cans. Filmmakers with a lot of money and big names behind their projects should seek distribution elsewhere, because this place isn't interested. The only flicks shown here are of the handmade variety, with nothing going for them except a little vision and a lot of determination to be seen. Tickets are $5.

Best Movie Theater That Will Never Show Gladiator

Aurora Picture Show

Sure, there are other places in town that show cool stuff, but it's hard to compete with a video kaleidoscope for a marquis, a converted church for a venue and a quirky Sandy Duncan look-alike running the place. But don't expect big reclining seats and a tub of $5 popcorn when you go. The Aurora Picture Show is not that kind of place. You sit in pews. Your drinks come in cans. Filmmakers with a lot of money and big names behind their projects should seek distribution elsewhere, because this place isn't interested. The only flicks shown here are of the handmade variety, with nothing going for them except a little vision and a lot of determination to be seen. Tickets are $5.
With his partner, John Granado, Zierlien is co-host of The Bench, heard on KILT from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. each weekday. When it comes to a sports background, Zierlien was raised right. His dad was offensive line coach for years with Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston. But in addition to his insights, Zierlien is at his radio best when he takes on the voices and personae of others in the world of sports. On any particular morning, Zierlien may transform into Rudy T, Van Chancellor or -- best of all -- South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz. Word has it Zierlien even takes his microphone in hand and paces about the room like the annoying Holtz. Says program director Mike Edmonds, "I told him he could do anybody but me."
With his partner, John Granado, Zierlien is co-host of The Bench, heard on KILT from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. each weekday. When it comes to a sports background, Zierlien was raised right. His dad was offensive line coach for years with Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston. But in addition to his insights, Zierlien is at his radio best when he takes on the voices and personae of others in the world of sports. On any particular morning, Zierlien may transform into Rudy T, Van Chancellor or -- best of all -- South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz. Word has it Zierlien even takes his microphone in hand and paces about the room like the annoying Holtz. Says program director Mike Edmonds, "I told him he could do anybody but me."
You gotta give some much-deserved credit to the man they call Jay Mack. How many brothas out there you know who are as suave as a Julio Iglesias song and can still not take themselves too seriously? There seems to be a shortage these days. Thankfully, the cat who co-commands the mike every weekday afternoon on the city's most widely listened to urban radio station is one of them. Every day during drive-time hours, this chrome-domed gentleman co-pilots the popular program and serves as the show's prime source of comic material. And not just in the goofy-ass way you get from other FM radio shifts. The unintentional humor that pops up on this show is smooth, charismatic and effortlessly funny, with Mack himself on the receiving end of many of the one-liners top dog Madd Hatta and other contributing crew members hurl at him. But Mack can take it because he knows this: 1) they're just jokes; and 2) no matter what, he'll still be able to get laid at the end of the day. The lucky sum-bitch.
You gotta give some much-deserved credit to the man they call Jay Mack. How many brothas out there you know who are as suave as a Julio Iglesias song and can still not take themselves too seriously? There seems to be a shortage these days. Thankfully, the cat who co-commands the mike every weekday afternoon on the city's most widely listened to urban radio station is one of them. Every day during drive-time hours, this chrome-domed gentleman co-pilots the popular program and serves as the show's prime source of comic material. And not just in the goofy-ass way you get from other FM radio shifts. The unintentional humor that pops up on this show is smooth, charismatic and effortlessly funny, with Mack himself on the receiving end of many of the one-liners top dog Madd Hatta and other contributing crew members hurl at him. But Mack can take it because he knows this: 1) they're just jokes; and 2) no matter what, he'll still be able to get laid at the end of the day. The lucky sum-bitch.

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