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Tonight: The Sand Rubies at Rudyard's

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The Sand Rubies are one of those hard-luck bands ideally suited for a VH-1 special. Formed in 1985 by sometime Houstonian Rich Hopkins and guitarist David Slutes, the Tuscon-based band was originally known as the Sidewinders. They scored a major-label deal and actually cracked into the public consciousness with a couple of minor radio hits and some MTV vids. But legal troubles - business tip: never name your band the same as some shitty cover band from North Carolina - eventually sapped the Sidewinders' momentum and energy.

Hopkins, who has always had a knack for that desert-rock sound, continues to record and play today with his band Luminarios, and more recently he's worked with local writer/vocalist Lisa Novak, releasing the CD Loveland last year. We're not quite certain who will make up Sand Rubies tonight - hopefully Slutes will be on board - but Hopkins is always a sure entertainment bet, so the potential downside is minimal.

9 p.m. tonight at Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh, 713-521-0521.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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