The 12 Bars of Christmas and Then Some

"I'm too pretty to look like a devil!"

-- the gentleman in the photo above

Christmas is only two days away. Another year full of laughs and cries and cheers and tears. A year spent with family and friends is never a bad one. And when the time for visiting family is done, once the dishes are in the sink, and the Christmas tree is lit, that's the best time to party.

The holiday weekend before Christmas is always full of ugly sweaters, events named with a cute holiday pun, and winter spice flavored everything. For those who live out of town and come home to Houston for the week, these few days after landing but before the family obligations is like a "Get Out of Jail Free" pass. As the great American poet A$AP Rocky states: "Go wild for the night, fuck being polite!"

Rocks Off ventured around town this weekend to find out where the party at, and we were not disappointed.

SATURDAY, 9 p.m. There's no better place to begin a long night of socializing than the 400 Block of Main downtown. With Goro & Gun, Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar, The Pastry War and Notsuoh all lined up like a flank of toy soldiers, there is something to fulfill all of your heart, stomach, and liver's desires. We caught up with the two dudes who keep a watchful eye on this hood, Goro's Joshua Martinez and our buddy Jay (@GunsAndTacos), who mans the door at Pasty War.

REWIND: A Round of Serious Drinking at the New Kids On Market Square

We decided to check out the newest bar on the block first. Little Dipper is a cool mix of naughty and nice, with a homey quality and friendly bartenders. On this night I ran into one very tall snowman, a gingerbread gal drinking Lone Star, and a dude wearing his "Jingle Bells" for the whole world to see. It just so happened they were all a part of a pub crawl called "The 12 Bars of Christmas." Sounds intoxicating, and everyone seemed to be having a blast. We ordered a Jack & Coke, took a few flicks, and moved along.

SATURDAY, 10 p.m. A quick stop at Notsuoh's annual Christmas party, and the band Folly Collage was playing. We accidentally knocked down the Santa Claus piñata hanging from the ceiling. Lone Star, shoot, and get outta there. Sorry, guys!

SATURDAY, 11 p.m. Headed over to Pear Lounge on Washington (formerly Pearl Bar) for the album-release party of singer-songwriter Karina Nistal's kaRAGEous. The former Houston Press Music Award Winner moved to Los Angeles in 2011, so it was a treat to catch up with her and hear some of her new music. The night was hosted by BBC Craig, who lined up DJs Nimbus, Joe B, and Delsur as openers, followed by Nistal's special homecoming performance. Red Bull & blueberry Stoli, and move along.

SUNDAY, 12 a.m.. Two more stops before heading home. The Flat on Commonwealth has always been a great low-key spot to chill, but ever since DJ Sun and his crew took over management and bookings recently, the entertainment and ambiance has been elevated to an unrivaled excellence. DJ Rich Medina was spinning tonight for a packed house.

His bio reads that the Lakewood, N.J. native has been entertaining "multiethnic crowds on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul, unearthing one musical gem after another, for almost 20 years." Indeed, classic hip-hop mixed with salsa mixed with dance music is as cool to experience as it sounds. Medina commanded his vinyl with purpose and perfection, rocking the crowd into a cool holiday groove. Just one flick, a frozen mojito, and on to the next one.

SUNDAY, 1 a.m. Boondocks for the Trashed! Ho Ho Ho Down! featuring DJ Gracie Chavez (Bombón), Dayta (Krackernuttz), and Grrrl Parts (DanceMofoDance). Nice way to end the night, with the usual hot and sweaty dance party. Stay for a bit, have a PBR, then head home. Gotta be up in a few for the Texans game.

Cumbia Nena (KTRU live mix) - Gracie Chavez (Bombon/DIRB!)

Woke up late, then the line at the taco shop was way too long, then there was a shortage of parking in the media lot, but we finally made it to Reliant Stadium in time for kickoff. Of course the Texans lost again, but we got to see the great Peyton Manning set a touchdown record in the process, which is cool, we guess. Doesn't matter; the Texans Cheerleaders were wearing their Santa Baby outfits!

SUNDAY, 10 p.m. Local musician and all-around good guy Nosaprise was hosting the 9th Annual Trills The Season Holiday Party & Toy Drive in Warehouse Live's Greenroom. Fat Tony mixed an eclectic playlist including everything from Destiny's Child to booty music as Kam Franklin of the Suffers partied along with Grandfather Child's Lucas Gorham, and everyone in the room rejoiced. Its nice to see so many friends and wish all of them a Merry Christmas. Ordered up a Ralph (Jameson shot and a Shiner), and took our leave.

SUNDAY, 11 p.m. Headed next door for LE$'s album-release show for his new offering, Gran Turismo. The Studio at Warehouse Live is packed. The young Boss Hogg Outlaw has an impressive fanbase. He arrives and preps for his time in the spotlight. His charisma and rhymes are flawless. Dude will be eating Steak & Shrimp for a very long time to come. I capture one image, and I'm out.

MONDAY, 12 a.m. Lunaface did it again, bringing classic hip-hop acts to Houston and allowing them to shine. The hard-hitting 8Ball & MJG team from Memphis were as authentically Southern rap as you will ever find at this celebration of their debut album Coming Out Hard's 20th anniversary.

They did just that for a large Club Empire crowd at, showcasing their hits "Don't Flex," "Lay It Down," "Just Like Candy," and "Mr. Big." It was like driving a drop-top Cadillac on '84s with the subwoofers on full blast in the summer. We may have been freezing outside, but the stage was hot and bumpin'. Scratch this one off the bucket list.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone out there in the land of Rocks Off. If there's a party, we'll get to it eventually.


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