Whether you pick blues on a six-string or spin dance records on the decks, Helios will give you a place to perform. The rambling converted three-story house on lower Westheimer has a total of three performance areas: There are stages upstairs, downstairs and one outdoors for special occasions. On any given night you might find erotic poets, belly dancers, hip-hoppers, rockers, mods, hippies, punks and goths, or any combination thereof. Best of all, virtually every band there is local. Owner Marianna Lemesoff knows that talent seldom arrives fully formed, and it's places like hers where legends are brought into the world kicking and screaming.

Whether you pick blues on a six-string or spin dance records on the decks, Helios will give you a place to perform. The rambling converted three-story house on lower Westheimer has a total of three performance areas: There are stages upstairs, downstairs and one outdoors for special occasions. On any given night you might find erotic poets, belly dancers, hip-hoppers, rockers, mods, hippies, punks and goths, or any combination thereof. Best of all, virtually every band there is local. Owner Marianna Lemesoff knows that talent seldom arrives fully formed, and it's places like hers where legends are brought into the world kicking and screaming.

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.
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.

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