AVANTGARDEN Come visit this converted turn-of-the-20th-century house in Montrose on Monday nights starting at 7pm for "They, Who Sound," a weekly showcase where local and visiting musicians perform experimental sounds, noise, improvisational music, and pretty much whatever else they feel like. Nick Cooper's jazz ensemble, Free Radicals, are back every Monday at 10pm after a brief hiatus; the Radicals' 2012 album The Freedom Fence won the Houston Press Music Award for Local Album of the Year.
411 Westheimer, avantgardenhouston.com
THE BIG EASY SOCIAL AND PLEASURE CLUB This local music institution helps keep the blues and zydeco scene alive for Houstonians, and you should really drop in on Monday nights when solo bluesman John Egan hits the stage with his vintage Resonator guitar and delivers an expressive, mesmerizing performance. Egan's Big Easy residency, going on over two years now, is one of Houston's best weekly performances, and even better, it won't cost you one thin dime as there is never a cover.
5731 Kirby, thebigeasyblues.com
CAFE 4212 Do you like jazz? If so, head on over to the Monday Nite Jazz Jam at Cafe 4212 starting at 8pm for live music from the Straight-No-Chaser Jazz Ensemble; T.R. Reed will be your host for the evening, and in addition to the live performance, rare jazz films and videos are shown. When you visit try one of the bars signature cocktails like the Red Berry Breeze; if you're hungry, dishes include New Orleans Shrimp and Grits, Boudain Balls, and Fried Catfish and Fries, among others.
4212 Almeda, cafe4212.com
CONTINENTAL CLUB Come on out for the free Tango dance class at Continental Club starting at 7pm, then show off your new skills when Glover Gill starts at 8, playing the traditional music of Buenos Aires, Argentina on his piano, which is set down in front of the stage for a more intimate vibe. A talented musician, Gill and his group Tosca Tango Orchestra were well-received when they performed at the 5th Annual International Tango Festival in Buenos Aires and Rosario in 2000; Gill also wrote the score for Richard Linklater's 2001 film Waking Life.
3700 Main, continentalclub.com
THE FLAT If you want to hang out and dance with some cool, pretty people, while enjoying some fresh DJ-spun music, head on over to The Flat on Mondays starting with "Mixed Up Mondays" with Kona FM from 7 to 10pm, followed by "Melodic Mondays" from 10 until closing at 2am with DJ Melodic himself. Need more reasons to visit? There is never a cover, no dress code, and drinks are set at Happy Hour prices all night long.
1701 Commonwealth, theflathouston.com
MCGONIGEL'S MUCKY DUCK One of Houston's best venues for singer-songwriters, McGonigel's Mucky Duck hosts Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry, Shake Russell and other top artists on a regular basis; on Monday nights, up-and-coming performers get a chance to perform before a live audience at the Duck's weekly open-mike night. If you would like to perform, come early and sign up at 6:30pm, performances start at 7. Each performer gets to play three songs or 15 minutes; a little known fact is that comedians, poets, jugglers, etc. are also welcome to perform. Or, if you're like us, just come on out and watch.
2425 Norfolk, mcgonigels.com
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NEIL'S BAHR Neil's Bahr is the place to go when you want to get your geek on; racks of free comics to read, video games to play, and classic Sci-Fi movies on the bar's TV are just some of the delights that await you. On Monday nights, patrons have the added bonus of participating in "Geeks Who Drink" trivia starting at 8pm and the competition is pretty fierce, since, as we all know from watching The Big Bang Theory, geeks are smart. If you would like to join in, just show up; team sizes are limited to 6 people or you can play by yourself but what fun would that be?
2006 Walker, neilsbahr.com
RUDYARD'S Rudyard's calls itself "the living room of Houston's Montrose since 1978," and since you're not likely to invite a bunch of comedians over to your own living room for the evening, head on over to Rudz for Open-Mike Comedy Night on Mondays at 7:30 pm. There are a lot of funny people in Houston and this free weekly show is a good place to discover them. While you're enjoying the comedy, you might as well try some of the many craft beers in stock, local and national, as well as one of Rudyard's famous cheeseburgers or other above-average bar food.
2010 Waugh, rudyardspub.com
SHAKESPEARE PUB Houston has its fair share of cool blues bars; if you live outside the loop, more specifically in the Memorial-area on the West Side, checking out the Shakespeare Pub is a must. Currently on Monday nights, the James Wilhite Band is holding down the fort with their own special brand of blues, rock, and fusion. Wilhite takes a break on some Mondays, like on the 26th of this month when Mike Stinson plays a solo gig. Play a game or two of pool when you drop in and ask for the beer of the month, always 20 ounces, and always only four dollars.
14129 Memorial, shakespearepub.net
WESTWIND CLUB Do you ever feel like living out an Urban Cowboy fantasy in real life? If so, visit WestWind Club starting at 4pm when you get off of your blue collar (or white collar) job, and drink some ridiculously cheap domestic long necks; it is happy hour all night long on Mondays. Housed in a traditional Texas country dancehall-style building in Northwest Houston, Westwind is now the oldest running honky-tonk in Houston after Blanco's in River Oaks closed in 2013. Truth be told, it is not super crowded on Monday nights, but a fair amount of people turn out and the friendly bar staff and regulars will make this trip worth your while.
5905 Guhn, westwindclub.com
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