Jeff Balke

Just because it's 2 a.m. doesn't mean you have to head back to the house. Nothing quite caps off a night out of dancing/drinking/singing/(choose your own adventure) than a bite to eat with the people you love. When it's too early to go home but too late to stay at the club, House of Pies is there with warm food and a tasty selection of pies and coffee to keep your eyes open for a few more hours. It's a Houston institution, one that attracts all sorts, so not only can you get something delicious in your system, you can also do some prime people-watching.

READERS' CHOICE: House of Pies

Houston is currently without an FM station that plays Texas country and Red Dirt music, apart from one of KILT's HD feeds, but Badlands Radio is more than just the next best thing; it's probably better. The only commercials are brief spots for Firehouse Saloon's open-mike night or musical happenings like Hitchcock's Rowdy Day Music Festival, which hardly count as annoying ads. Badlands's variety is easily comparable to anything on the airwaves or satellite radio, stretching from Americana acts like Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real to dyed-in-the-wool hellraisers like Kevin Fowler and Randy Rogers Band; it leaves plenty of room for locals, too. Available for desktop and all manner of mobile platforms, the Friendswood-based app is basically a lot like Apple Music, except a lot closer to home.

Cezanne is such a self-contained little island within the Houston music scene that it's sometimes easy to forget it's not a private club. But there it is, sitting atop ivy-covered Montrose pub the Black Labrador, open to all every weekend. Besides its movie-worthy aesthetic surroundings — a better date-night spot cannot be had in Houston — Cezanne has such spectacular acoustics that the musicians who play here hardly even need to plug their instruments in. Besides a rotating cast of top local jazz talents (including Woody Witt, Tianna Hall, Mike Wheeler, Sebastian Whittaker, Henry Darragh and more), the club hosts special events like this summer's tribute to the late, great Ornette Coleman and 80th birthday party for wonderful Houston vocalist Horace Grigsby. Every so often it even brings in artists from far, far away, like Brazilian trombonist Silvio Giannetti. Jazz may not be the common currency of popular music anymore, but at Cezanne, people who appreciate the timeless art it has become have a home sweet home indeed.


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