At Club Tropicana, the tables may seem empty, but that doesn't mean you can sit down at them. Die-hard dancers get there early and claim their seats with napkin- covered cocktails. Of course, you probably won't even think about sitting once you get to shaking your ass on the dance floor. On typical weekends, Latin bands with lots of members play a nice mix of bachatas, merengues and salsas. Feel free to stare in amazement at the effortless twirls and fleet feet of the regular patrons.
Tropicana Nite Club
At Club Tropicana, the tables may seem empty, but that doesn't mean you can sit down at them. Die-hard dancers get there early and claim their seats with napkin- covered cocktails. Of course, you probably won't even think about sitting once you get to shaking your ass on the dance floor. On typical weekends, Latin bands with lots of members play a nice mix of bachatas, merengues and salsas. Feel free to stare in amazement at the effortless twirls and fleet feet of the regular patrons.
Sadly, this is a posthumous award -- Miss Ann's shut its doors early this summer. But, boy, was it fun while it lasted. We remember being asked to sit in with Sherman Robertson and politely declining because, well, we can't play a lick. We remember seeing I.J. Gosey tear the roof off the place back in 2000. We remember the $1-in-a-paper-bag lotteries and the free soul food buffets. We remember the obscure but talented locals blowing our minds from the stage. We remember the sterling house band. We remember seeing Joe "Guitar" Hughes give what was perhaps his last local performance there this spring. We remember owner Bobby Lewis singing "Old Time Rock and Roll" at the end of every Blue Monday. So long, Miss Ann's, and thanks for the memories. No one else could soothe our soul quite the way you could.
Sadly, this is a posthumous award -- Miss Ann's shut its doors early this summer. But, boy, was it fun while it lasted. We remember being asked to sit in with Sherman Robertson and politely declining because, well, we can't play a lick. We remember seeing I.J. Gosey tear the roof off the place back in 2000. We remember the $1-in-a-paper-bag lotteries and the free soul food buffets. We remember the obscure but talented locals blowing our minds from the stage. We remember the sterling house band. We remember seeing Joe "Guitar" Hughes give what was perhaps his last local performance there this spring. We remember owner Bobby Lewis singing "Old Time Rock and Roll" at the end of every Blue Monday. So long, Miss Ann's, and thanks for the memories. No one else could soothe our soul quite the way you could.
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.

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