Every Chango Jackson show is different. Sometimes they wear pimp clothes and other times chemical suits. Lately, they've taken to hurling out free tamales from the stage while they roar a tribute to the pre-Columbian snack. Musically they are like no other band on earth: a jazzy, post-punk blend of metal and classic rock, with almost exclusively Spanish lyrics. On their upcoming self-released CD, their sound is even more diverse, as various guests drop in to step up the jazz leanings here, the other stuff there. Already, Chango Jackson is winning fans on both sides of the border, and we expect that trend to continue for many years to come.
Plenty of Houston bands get signed. They just rarely get famous. J.W. Americana wants fame. And while unsigned, the band (Rodney Elliott, Shane Lauder, Doug Kosmo and Arthur Moreno) has promise. Wickedly named after a controversial American expat, the band's music is just as uncompromising, bold and rooted as a suicide bomber's conviction. But we'd be missing the point if we didn't stress that J.W. Americana puts on a seriously fun show. A recent performance at Helios was easily the best rock show Houston has seen in half a decade. And, we understand, the group's song "I Fucking Love It" is huge in Milwaukee. A couple of national tours, and it's Ed Sullivan Theater.

Plenty of Houston bands get signed. They just rarely get famous. J.W. Americana wants fame. And while unsigned, the band (Rodney Elliott, Shane Lauder, Doug Kosmo and Arthur Moreno) has promise. Wickedly named after a controversial American expat, the band's music is just as uncompromising, bold and rooted as a suicide bomber's conviction. But we'd be missing the point if we didn't stress that J.W. Americana puts on a seriously fun show. A recent performance at Helios was easily the best rock show Houston has seen in half a decade. And, we understand, the group's song "I Fucking Love It" is huge in Milwaukee. A couple of national tours, and it's Ed Sullivan Theater.

We put this excellent rap-rock band on the cover last summer with a kiss-of-death "next big thing" headline. We thought they were going straight to the top. Well, they played about five more gigs and then broke up. Like Billy Joel said, and the continuing career of Ezra Charles confirms, only the good die young. Happily, there are rumors that Simpleton may reunite long enough to make a third album, and when they do, we'll be there to jinx 'em again.

We put this excellent rap-rock band on the cover last summer with a kiss-of-death "next big thing" headline. We thought they were going straight to the top. Well, they played about five more gigs and then broke up. Like Billy Joel said, and the continuing career of Ezra Charles confirms, only the good die young. Happily, there are rumors that Simpleton may reunite long enough to make a third album, and when they do, we'll be there to jinx 'em again.

This is the perfect bar. It has good local and touring bands playing upstairs for those interested in checking out something new; and it has well-worn stools downstairs for the fat-bottomed dudes who show up for every happy hour. There's a full menu of greasy food to absorb the oceans of beer and liquor you will invariably accept from the friendly-but-not-too-friendly bar staff. And there are darts, video games and a kick-ass jukebox to entertain you when you're just tired of talking. But what makes Rudyard's the perfect neighborhood bar is the fact that it takes only about ten trips before you begin to recognize faces and feel like one of the gang. But don't worry, we don't mean that in a dorky Cheers way.
This is the perfect bar. It has good local and touring bands playing upstairs for those interested in checking out something new; and it has well-worn stools downstairs for the fat-bottomed dudes who show up for every happy hour. There's a full menu of greasy food to absorb the oceans of beer and liquor you will invariably accept from the friendly-but-not-too-friendly bar staff. And there are darts, video games and a kick-ass jukebox to entertain you when you're just tired of talking. But what makes Rudyard's the perfect neighborhood bar is the fact that it takes only about ten trips before you begin to recognize faces and feel like one of the gang. But don't worry, we don't mean that in a dorky Cheers way.
Who hasn't been dosed by a bearded guy in a black hat at some point in their lives? Amish Acid Dealer's got all a band name needs: a drug reference, a humorously unlikely concept, even a little assonance, not to mention a nice flowing rhythm. Their song titles are clunkier if no less warped, as attested to by their debut MP3, "Fragile Beauty of Young Anal Lesbians, The." What, did they steal that from a card catalog or something?
Who hasn't been dosed by a bearded guy in a black hat at some point in their lives? Amish Acid Dealer's got all a band name needs: a drug reference, a humorously unlikely concept, even a little assonance, not to mention a nice flowing rhythm. Their song titles are clunkier if no less warped, as attested to by their debut MP3, "Fragile Beauty of Young Anal Lesbians, The." What, did they steal that from a card catalog or something?
Sometimes you have to wonder if people fail to pay attention on purpose. How else could they not notice this great local singer? You don't have to look hard to find her. She's performed alongside the rock-funk outfit Snowshoe 'N Lewis at the Gatsby, DJ Sun at his Monday-night stint at Brasil, and DJ Joe B at Azteca's. Michelle Thibeaux is one of those soulful, New Age songbirds -- in the same vein as boho-soul goddesses Amel Larrieux, Julie Dexter and Goapele -- with a stirring voice and an unrelenting optimism. Here's hoping that in the coming year Thibeaux gets all the success she deserves -- or at least some airplay on a cool public-radio show.

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