City Slickers

Only in Houston

I have a love-hate relationship with my suburban lifestyle. For instance, I love sitting in my backyard, drinking cold beer and tending to something sizzling on the smoker. I hate getting threatening letters from the hypercritical HOA doofuses who apparently have nothing better to do than measure how high the grass is growing at my place.

This is a good place to wear slippers, watch TV and keep a dog. It's pretty horrible if you want to hear a live band and revel in any of the nightlife fun that accompanies that exercise. For that, you need to go into town. That's where you'll see these 23 things you won't see in the suburbs:

• Skanking. No one skanks in the suburbs.

• Taco trucks.

• Two attractive females full-mouth kissing in the middle of the dance floor. Awesome? Awful? Not for me to say. Just reporting what I saw.

• Suburban lifestyle wear: yoga pants. Shorts and flip-flops. The occasional muumuu. No studded jackets.

• Those little cartoon booklets passed out by the holy rollers as you're exiting the black-metal show. However, the Jehovah's Witnesses do stop by every other Saturday morning.

• People drinking outside the convenience store. Note: Can actually be found in some Houston-area suburbs.

• Set lists. No, a honey-do list is not a set list.

• Dudes urinating in public outdoors.

• Photographers. Nobody questions them shooting bands or show audiences. It would be brilliant to see them snapping high-speed photos of shoppers selecting toilet paper at the neighborhood Kroger.

• Middle-agers openly embracing their alcoholism. In the suburbs, it's a dirty secret. In town, it gives us a smashed couple waiting to purchase a bottle of wine at the store next to Rudz discussing their "poop chutes" at the sales counter.

• Show flyers. All that's posted on the neighborhood bulletin board are garage-sale notices.

• Japanese punk rockers standing around watching punk rockers from Japan perform.

• Stage-diving. In my 14 years in the 'burbs, no one's ever done a stage-dive off the backyard deck.

• Homes that transform into venues for paying customers to attend shows featuring traveling bands. We did once have a brothel in our neighborhood, though.

• Penises drawn on restroom walls.

• People bumming cigarettes.

• A dearth of law enforcement. In my neighborhood, the po-po is always strolling by. They're nowhere to be found at venues where teens are pregaming in the street before a show.

• The all-ages "X" on the back of a hand.

• Fire twirlers.

• One handsome guy telling another, "I'm not gay...but he was so good I had to kiss him." Awesome? Awful? Not for me to say. Just reporting what I heard.

• The older people who look out of place. Older people never look out of place in the suburbs; that's our domain. At shows, I am one of the older people who look out of place.

• Spontaneity.

• Hipsters. Grew up in the suburbs. Moved to Montrose.

Screwston, Texas

Hit the Bricks
You won't believe this Bushwick Bill story...but it's all true. (Allegedly.)

Nathan Smith

Later this month, the men who put Houston on the hip-hop map will be headlining 93.7 The Beat's "Welcome the Houston" concert at Arena Theatre. While Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D alone would be enough to get us down 59 South, the show is also set to feature Z-Ro, Paul Wall, Slim Thug and Lil' Keke, so go ahead and pencil it in as the biggest H-Town rap concert of the year.

Not a bad way to introduce yourselves, The Beat. Not only are you getting the Geto Boys together in Houston for the first time since July 4 of last year, giving local hip-hop heads another chance to experience their musical birthright, but you're pairing them up with four more of the city's most beloved stars. If you could now play them on the radio as well, we'd really have to hand it to you.

As it happens, the Geto Boys were already on our minds, as this was also the week that we were introduced to a recent episode of the podcast The Champs with Neal Brennan + Moshe Kasher, which included one of the funniest and most harrowing Bushwick Bill stories to surface in years.

Neal Brennan, as many may recall, was the white guy who co-created Chappelle's Show with Dave Chappelle, and was probably as least partly to blame for the show being so fucking funny that Chappelle now can't go anywhere without people screaming "I'm Rick James, bitch!" at him. Moshe Kasher is a nice Jewish comedian from motherfucking Oakland, so you know he's pretty tough to kill. The pair has their own podcast, and ­earlier this month hosted MC Serch from ­early-'90s rap group 3rd Bass.

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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.