We're not big fans of overly formatted radio, and that's why we love KEYH. Neither a Tejano nor a strictly regional Mexican station, KEYH plays the music of the Caribbean islands and the east coasts of Central and South America, from Matamoros down to Colombia. Salsa, cumbia, sonidero and merengue are just some of the genres you'll hear every hour, making the station as much of a treat for the ears as a trip to the Gulfton Fiesta is for all the other senses.

When you walk into this bar, it feels like you're stepping onto a set for Sex and the City. The furniture is funky and the people are pretty. The Social helps them stay pretty, too -- even in hot, hot Houston. The outdoor patio is outfitted with pose-worthy sofas and sweat-stopping fans. And the fruity mixed drinks have enough juice in them to keep you from getting sloppy drunk. You could sit and sip and pretend you're Carrie Bradshaw for hours.

The Social
When you walk into this bar, it feels like you're stepping onto a set for Sex and the City. The furniture is funky and the people are pretty. The Social helps them stay pretty, too -- even in hot, hot Houston. The outdoor patio is outfitted with pose-worthy sofas and sweat-stopping fans. And the fruity mixed drinks have enough juice in them to keep you from getting sloppy drunk. You could sit and sip and pretend you're Carrie Bradshaw for hours.

Dennis Lee's radio show, which broadcasts every Tuesday night out of the student center at Rice University, is three hours of unadulterated hip-hop ecstasy. Lee scours the earth looking for undiscovered hip-hop finds, and it's amazing how he can fill a three-hour show with nothing but unsuckable music. We're serious -- the man's tracks never blow. On any given installment, the steady stream of bullshit-free sounds can range from the cream of the crop (De La, Mos Def, OutKast) to the fringe of the underground (Madlib, Afrobatik, Styles of Beyond) to some commercial stuff here and there (a Neptunes-produced heater has been known to make an appearance). Lee will graduate from Rice soon, but thankfully he's planning to stick around a little longer at Vinyl Frontier.

Dennis Lee's radio show, which broadcasts every Tuesday night out of the student center at Rice University, is three hours of unadulterated hip-hop ecstasy. Lee scours the earth looking for undiscovered hip-hop finds, and it's amazing how he can fill a three-hour show with nothing but unsuckable music. We're serious -- the man's tracks never blow. On any given installment, the steady stream of bullshit-free sounds can range from the cream of the crop (De La, Mos Def, OutKast) to the fringe of the underground (Madlib, Afrobatik, Styles of Beyond) to some commercial stuff here and there (a Neptunes-produced heater has been known to make an appearance). Lee will graduate from Rice soon, but thankfully he's planning to stick around a little longer at Vinyl Frontier.

In 1950, 19-year-old Paul Berlin came to Houston and became an immediate success as a DJ. Back then, he promoted concerts and dances with the likes of Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and the Platters. Today he takes the knowledge he's gained over the course of his life and applies it to his midday gig at KBME. From 10:30 a.m. till 2 p.m. weekdays, you can swing to the sounds of yesteryear -- from Sinatra to Patsy Cline to Sonny & Cher -- and brush up on your music trivia at the same time. Paul drops facts about pretty much every cut he plays, and generally adds a personal anecdote for good measure. He's also a jokester with miles of personality who has the ability to take his listeners back to a better day for radio, before all the computers took over. Berlin has been honored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and is also a nominee for the Marconi Award and the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. In October 2002, Berlin was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. After 50-some-odd years, he remains a distinctive voice on our local airwaves.

In 1950, 19-year-old Paul Berlin came to Houston and became an immediate success as a DJ. Back then, he promoted concerts and dances with the likes of Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and the Platters. Today he takes the knowledge he's gained over the course of his life and applies it to his midday gig at KBME. From 10:30 a.m. till 2 p.m. weekdays, you can swing to the sounds of yesteryear -- from Sinatra to Patsy Cline to Sonny & Cher -- and brush up on your music trivia at the same time. Paul drops facts about pretty much every cut he plays, and generally adds a personal anecdote for good measure. He's also a jokester with miles of personality who has the ability to take his listeners back to a better day for radio, before all the computers took over. Berlin has been honored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and is also a nominee for the Marconi Award and the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. In October 2002, Berlin was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. After 50-some-odd years, he remains a distinctive voice on our local airwaves.

There's not enough written on Houston's thriving independent rap scene. A few local magazines and newspapers have come and gone, and the major hip-hop rags haven't given up much ink on anyone from H-town but the Geto Boys. So it's about time that someone local stepped up to document the happenings within one of the world's biggest rap markets. Rap Illustrated is Houston-centric, but it also delves into other regions in the South. It doesn't worry about the major labels -- this magazine's focus is independence. Billed as "the First Mix-Tape Magazine," each issue comes with a CD with at least 15 new songs from some of the hottest names in underground hip-hop, mostly from Houston. The mag itself is printed on heavy glossy paper, and the photography and layouts are outstanding.

There's not enough written on Houston's thriving independent rap scene. A few local magazines and newspapers have come and gone, and the major hip-hop rags haven't given up much ink on anyone from H-town but the Geto Boys. So it's about time that someone local stepped up to document the happenings within one of the world's biggest rap markets. Rap Illustrated is Houston-centric, but it also delves into other regions in the South. It doesn't worry about the major labels -- this magazine's focus is independence. Billed as "the First Mix-Tape Magazine," each issue comes with a CD with at least 15 new songs from some of the hottest names in underground hip-hop, mostly from Houston. The mag itself is printed on heavy glossy paper, and the photography and layouts are outstanding.

It comes as some surprise that an increasing number of just-turned-bar-legal adults are turning to night-time cycling rather than partying. You can see them, thrift-store-outfitted, cruising the Montrose in intimate packs, looking like defiant, asexual Morrisseys on sparkly retro two-wheelers. Riders usually alert folks of their intentions on public Internet message boards, like www.handsuphouston.com. And after stocking a portable CD/MP3 player with Belle & Sebastian songs, they meet at the arranged supermarket parking lot and proceed to get their ride on. It's unknown what happens afterward. For the sake of youth, it better be a drunken orgy.

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