Free Radicals' Aerial Bombardment This jazzy, funky, hip-hoppity, experimental and dub-centric Houston collective never stays within the boundaries of a particular genre, and that's only one of the things that make them so special. Their third CD, Aerial Bombardment, is a unique masterwork helmed by percussionist Nick Cooper and featuring 50 different musicians and vocalists, mostly from H-tizzle. Though the album is largely instrumental, blues singer Gloria Edwards pops in, as do rappers Zin and Perseph1 and members of the Blackout Poets Collective. Free Radicals introduce some new forms on this one, including capoeira angola-meets-dub remixes and beat collages. With its pulsing angst, it plays like a soundtrack to the revolution.

Free Radicals' Aerial Bombardment This jazzy, funky, hip-hoppity, experimental and dub-centric Houston collective never stays within the boundaries of a particular genre, and that's only one of the things that make them so special. Their third CD, Aerial Bombardment, is a unique masterwork helmed by percussionist Nick Cooper and featuring 50 different musicians and vocalists, mostly from H-tizzle. Though the album is largely instrumental, blues singer Gloria Edwards pops in, as do rappers Zin and Perseph1 and members of the Blackout Poets Collective. Free Radicals introduce some new forms on this one, including capoeira angola-meets-dub remixes and beat collages. With its pulsing angst, it plays like a soundtrack to the revolution.

Dominic Walsh Dance Theater The adorable and talented Nicky Walsh bids ballet adieu as he bows out of Houston Ballet after a 15-year career. But that's great news for his two-year-old company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, which was named one of the top 25 companies to watch in Dance Magazine last year. Walsh's dancing days are not quite over (he still performs with his company), but he may soon be better known for his modern choreography. The initial season, which brought Katharsis, piqued our interest, and last year's narrative, The Miller's Daughter, was a delight. Right now Walsh is working on a commission for American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company. And with him present full-time now, DWDT could grow into the kind of modern dance institution Houston lacks.

Dominic Walsh Dance Theater Studio
Dominic Walsh Dance Theater The adorable and talented Nicky Walsh bids ballet adieu as he bows out of Houston Ballet after a 15-year career. But that's great news for his two-year-old company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, which was named one of the top 25 companies to watch in Dance Magazine last year. Walsh's dancing days are not quite over (he still performs with his company), but he may soon be better known for his modern choreography. The initial season, which brought Katharsis, piqued our interest, and last year's narrative, The Miller's Daughter, was a delight. Right now Walsh is working on a commission for American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company. And with him present full-time now, DWDT could grow into the kind of modern dance institution Houston lacks.

Landmark River Oaks If you want stadium-style seating, 24 screens and convenient parking, this is not your movie theater. But if you care about the movies -- if you actually go to watch the show, not to swivel back in your seat while the special effects whiz by -- then your best bet is the Landmark River Oaks theater. Built in 1939, it has a seedy elegance you won't find in the too-bright, mallish cineplexes that line the interstate. There are only three screens here, but they're usually showing something smart.

Landmark River Oaks Theatre
Landmark River Oaks If you want stadium-style seating, 24 screens and convenient parking, this is not your movie theater. But if you care about the movies -- if you actually go to watch the show, not to swivel back in your seat while the special effects whiz by -- then your best bet is the Landmark River Oaks theater. Built in 1939, it has a seedy elegance you won't find in the too-bright, mallish cineplexes that line the interstate. There are only three screens here, but they're usually showing something smart.

The Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club We tip our feathered felt hats to the dearly departed Miss Ann's Playpen, which closed last summer. The sweaty Third Ward mecca of all things blues was the kind of eternally legit joint that a real blues town like ours needs. But there's a blues club still keepin' it real, and it ain't in one of the wards. Nestled on the outskirts of Rice Village, of all places, the Big Easy welcomes blues hounds, college kids, yuppies in khakis and just about everyone in between. Ditch the pretension percolating at other spots and nurse a brew on Mondays for Jukebox Appreciation Night, or check out regular giggers Luther & the Healers on Wednesdays. And on Sundays you can get your Cajun on with a dose of live zydeco.

The Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club We tip our feathered felt hats to the dearly departed Miss Ann's Playpen, which closed last summer. The sweaty Third Ward mecca of all things blues was the kind of eternally legit joint that a real blues town like ours needs. But there's a blues club still keepin' it real, and it ain't in one of the wards. Nestled on the outskirts of Rice Village, of all places, the Big Easy welcomes blues hounds, college kids, yuppies in khakis and just about everyone in between. Ditch the pretension percolating at other spots and nurse a brew on Mondays for Jukebox Appreciation Night, or check out regular giggers Luther & the Healers on Wednesdays. And on Sundays you can get your Cajun on with a dose of live zydeco.

South Beach Call it "DJs' choice," because this Montrose hot spot garners rave reviews from the high priests of Houston clubbing. Now in its third year of existence, the venue (known in its previous life as Heaven) has more than 10,000 square feet of room to work with -- and a dance floor that fits hundreds. Decknicians drool over its EAW Avalon Series sound system, and the sweaty ladies and gents under their spell love the liquid-nitrogen ice vents that can cool the room by 20 degrees in ten seconds. Perhaps that's why South Beach has been attracting gay and straight crowds alike -- for the boogie-bound, this is the local gold standard.

South Beach
South Beach Call it "DJs' choice," because this Montrose hot spot garners rave reviews from the high priests of Houston clubbing. Now in its third year of existence, the venue (known in its previous life as Heaven) has more than 10,000 square feet of room to work with -- and a dance floor that fits hundreds. Decknicians drool over its EAW Avalon Series sound system, and the sweaty ladies and gents under their spell love the liquid-nitrogen ice vents that can cool the room by 20 degrees in ten seconds. Perhaps that's why South Beach has been attracting gay and straight crowds alike -- for the boogie-bound, this is the local gold standard.

Best Of Houston®

Best Of