Night Life

Last Call

Some people get their kicks jumping out airplanes. Others by injecting potentially lethal substances between their toes. And yet others from living vicariously through others.

For adventurous white boys who have always wanted to re-enact the much-loved scene from Weird Science in which Anthony Michael Hall's character gets sloshed with a bunch of brothas at a blues club and talks about his "crazy little eighth-grade bitch," southeast Houston is the place.

Just a few weeks ago a couple of Caucasian men visited the Super Star Club (8128 Scott), trying to check out local bluesman Oscar O'Bear's scheduled performance. They didn't know how they would be welcomed -- if at all, considering the place was black. Yet by the end of the evening, these two very white dudes had gotten in touch with their inner mack daddies, and were dancing with the sistas, getting blotto off the house specials and slipping into that old-playa vibe little Anthony inhabited in said teen flick. "It was fun," recalls one of the pale-skinned thrillseekers. "We just had a blast. The music was right. The attitude was right. We didn't know what to expect, and it just kinda went over the top, you know?"

The thought of venturing into a predominantly African-American part of town on a weekend night might scare the hell out of some whites. Yet doing so might be just the perfect antidote to NoDo's superficial spunk. Down-home dives like the Super Star also give the locals an opportunity to club-hop closer to home, making trips to such far-out urban joints like Club Phoenix (9600 Westheimer) or Coco Loco (3700 Hillcroft) seem senseless.

Many of these clubs, like Super Star as well as King Leo's (4546 Griggs), Turning Point (3352 Old Spanish Trail), Lila Speak Easy (5826 Conley) and Club Reminisce (6556 Peerless), are tailored to fit their clientele's habits. Instead of waiting till 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. to open their doors, these watering holes are accessible in the early afternoon, around 3 p.m. There's no cover charge and barely a dress code.

There are also certain accouterments you won't find at an upscale hangout -- like a buffet or an enormous barbecue pit in the parking lot. Archie Cooper, owner of the 25-year-old Super Star Club, says these unique accents are what locals desire in a place like his. "People wanna feel comfortable, and they feel comfortable here," says Cooper, who offers a buffet three times a week. "We don't have a rowdy crowd, we have a settled crowd. They get real, real comfortable coming here, you know? They don't mind coming in by themselves. Once they come the first time, they always come back."

Says one of the adventurous white men: "All I would say is everyone out there who likes this kind of music and this kind of scene should definitely make the effort to get introduced to the scene."

Just think, spending a Saturday night with old-school pimps in their liquor-store hats, three-piece cattin' suits and spit-polished gators. You ain't lived till you've shuffled with one of these brothas.

Contrary to what you might have heard elsewhere, raves are still very much above ground. They are part of the Houston nightlife spectrum. The rave of the week is "Chapter 1," scheduled to go down Saturday, August 26, at the Big House, 7115 West Fuqua. Local DJ and PA talent, including Sistah Stroke, Kung Fu Pimp, Movement and Jonathan Youmans, will be performing along with L.A.'s Reza, Baltimore's DJ Who and Detroit's Juan Atkins. There'll be ice sculptures, lasers, glow sticks and a hundred cool people for every asshole lothario who pretends to be from an exotic locale so he can push up on 16-year-old girls. For more information, call (281)991-1749.

Folks who like their house music in a more discreet setting should head over to Hyperia (2001 Commerce) on that same night. Along with the top-notch troika of Michael DeGrace, DJ Sun and DJ Unity, special guest DJ, famed UK remixer and all-around swell chap John Digweed will be present to give Houston house purists a reason to crawl out from under their piles of Urb magazines and check out some definitive dance. For more information, call (713)224-HYPE.

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Craig D. Lindsey
Contact: Craig D. Lindsey