Last October, at the age of 18, Brian Enos presented his first major work for Houston Ballet. Tribal and techno, fast and furious, androgynous and sexy, classic and modern, large but with perfectly executed details, Landing was impossible to categorize. And it clearly overwhelmed the works of the other, more experienced choreographers on the Cullen Contemporary Series bill. Enos pushed the boundaries of ballet, making it relevant and exhilarating. He reminded us what dance can do and why we love it. Here's hoping there is much, much more to come from this young star.

Last October, at the age of 18, Brian Enos presented his first major work for Houston Ballet. Tribal and techno, fast and furious, androgynous and sexy, classic and modern, large but with perfectly executed details, Landing was impossible to categorize. And it clearly overwhelmed the works of the other, more experienced choreographers on the Cullen Contemporary Series bill. Enos pushed the boundaries of ballet, making it relevant and exhilarating. He reminded us what dance can do and why we love it. Here's hoping there is much, much more to come from this young star.

Houston's band names are in a rut. Great swaths of them fail to inspire anything at all. Not a smile, not a chuckle, not an appreciative nod -- nada. Instead, all too many bands try to be clever by spelling, capitalizing and punctuating oddly (Soular Slide, dr:op:fr:am+e, 30footFALL). Among our favorites, however, are the history-laden Jimmy Raycraft & The Roaring Calhouns and the euphonious The Fatal Flying Guilloteens. Nods go out to Jug O' Lightnin' and Pure Rubbish for evoking their respective spooky Southern and gutter-punk sounds with resorting to the literal. Which brings us to this year's winner: Lucky Boyd & The Toll Booth Violators, country rockers from down Galveston way. There's something in the mock menace of the name that really makes us smile.

Houston's band names are in a rut. Great swaths of them fail to inspire anything at all. Not a smile, not a chuckle, not an appreciative nod -- nada. Instead, all too many bands try to be clever by spelling, capitalizing and punctuating oddly (Soular Slide, dr:op:fr:am+e, 30footFALL). Among our favorites, however, are the history-laden Jimmy Raycraft & The Roaring Calhouns and the euphonious The Fatal Flying Guilloteens. Nods go out to Jug O' Lightnin' and Pure Rubbish for evoking their respective spooky Southern and gutter-punk sounds with resorting to the literal. Which brings us to this year's winner: Lucky Boyd & The Toll Booth Violators, country rockers from down Galveston way. There's something in the mock menace of the name that really makes us smile.

Salsa gets hot in Houston. Almost every club in town these days features "Salsa Night," where the scene is set and the floor is full. Some are new; others have a past. Downtown has entered the fray, with Prague on Tuesdays and Sambuca on Thursdays. The draw is big, but is it just the latest promotion to keep the drinks flowing? Saturday night on the Richmond Strip, up-and-comer Metropolis sports a long line at the door and a longer parade of rims and music awaiting the valet. Some "disco" in the mix, the dance floor is more rush-hour subway. But how do you want your salsa? For the traditional experience, Club Salsero plays the standards and doesn't encourage pretension; do your thing, and don't make a scene. Salsa deserves some show and good music with the energy of live entertainment on occasion. An escape from the dance floor either to romance or to observe is a necessity. Tropicana Nite Club offers an intimate old-world ambience, with energy both on and off the floor. Some dancers have flare, but most of all, the music is right on. That's how we like our salsa.
Salsa gets hot in Houston. Almost every club in town these days features "Salsa Night," where the scene is set and the floor is full. Some are new; others have a past. Downtown has entered the fray, with Prague on Tuesdays and Sambuca on Thursdays. The draw is big, but is it just the latest promotion to keep the drinks flowing? Saturday night on the Richmond Strip, up-and-comer Metropolis sports a long line at the door and a longer parade of rims and music awaiting the valet. Some "disco" in the mix, the dance floor is more rush-hour subway. But how do you want your salsa? For the traditional experience, Club Salsero plays the standards and doesn't encourage pretension; do your thing, and don't make a scene. Salsa deserves some show and good music with the energy of live entertainment on occasion. An escape from the dance floor either to romance or to observe is a necessity. Tropicana Nite Club offers an intimate old-world ambience, with energy both on and off the floor. Some dancers have flare, but most of all, the music is right on. That's how we like our salsa.
On Sundays, some people go to church. But who says church has to mean uncomfortable pews, a minister and communion wafers? Couldn't it also be a back room, Grady Gaines and a cold bottle of Schlitz? We say yes, it can. If you agree, then there is no better place to worship than the Third Ward institution that is Etta's Lounge. When local legends and Sunday-night regulars Grady Gaines and his Texas Upsetters take the stage for a long night of blues and soul, dancing is practically required. It only costs $3 to get in (c'mon, we know you usually have to put more than that in the collection plate), and the beer is cheap and cold. But the best thing about Etta's? The crowd. Well-dressed, older African-American regulars and young UH kids of every color mix easily together in a friendly, laid-back setting. Hey, we're not knocking kneelers and pulpits. We're just asking you to consider coming to St. Etta's this Sunday night. Now can we get an "amen"?
Etta's Lounge
On Sundays, some people go to church. But who says church has to mean uncomfortable pews, a minister and communion wafers? Couldn't it also be a back room, Grady Gaines and a cold bottle of Schlitz? We say yes, it can. If you agree, then there is no better place to worship than the Third Ward institution that is Etta's Lounge. When local legends and Sunday-night regulars Grady Gaines and his Texas Upsetters take the stage for a long night of blues and soul, dancing is practically required. It only costs $3 to get in (c'mon, we know you usually have to put more than that in the collection plate), and the beer is cheap and cold. But the best thing about Etta's? The crowd. Well-dressed, older African-American regulars and young UH kids of every color mix easily together in a friendly, laid-back setting. Hey, we're not knocking kneelers and pulpits. We're just asking you to consider coming to St. Etta's this Sunday night. Now can we get an "amen"?
This is a city that doesn't use the term "oddity" lightly. There's a pretty high hurdle you've got to jump before you can be mentioned in the same breath as the Orange Show, the Art Car Museum or the Beer Can House. So when the mind behind "scar art," Dolan Smith, had the gall to call his new project Museum of the Weird, we were a bit skeptical. Have no fear. A quick glance at the place is all you need to see that Smith's work abounds in weirdness. The "museum," in actuality, is Smith's home, which displays a lot of Smith's oft-banned artwork and strange creations. There are hair sculptures, a tire Christmas tree, an army tank and a champagne baptismal. There's even an in-service pet crematorium around back. What it doesn't have is normal hours of operation. To see it, you've got to call Smith for a personal tour.

This is a city that doesn't use the term "oddity" lightly. There's a pretty high hurdle you've got to jump before you can be mentioned in the same breath as the Orange Show, the Art Car Museum or the Beer Can House. So when the mind behind "scar art," Dolan Smith, had the gall to call his new project Museum of the Weird, we were a bit skeptical. Have no fear. A quick glance at the place is all you need to see that Smith's work abounds in weirdness. The "museum," in actuality, is Smith's home, which displays a lot of Smith's oft-banned artwork and strange creations. There are hair sculptures, a tire Christmas tree, an army tank and a champagne baptismal. There's even an in-service pet crematorium around back. What it doesn't have is normal hours of operation. To see it, you've got to call Smith for a personal tour.

Best Of Houston®

Best Of