April 5th, 2010

The Saturday That Was: A Continuation

By now you’ve read the first part of The Week That Was 4.4.10 (hopefully), but Saturday on its own was a adventure to be reckoned with. The problem with long weekends is that you try to cram every possible event into 72 short hours. What would be the fun in just sitting at home doing a bit of house cleaning over the weekend? Oh, I did that too? I stand contradicted.

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Don’t Let the Man Hold You Down, Publish Yourself
The “Independent Cause” is something that we hold very closely to our hearts. It’s our affinity for the “Independent Cause” that led to the creation of The Loop Scoop, which, in our biased opinion, is a good thing. So, when an old confidant from the University of Houston sent me a message telling me about the Third Annual Indie Book Fest, I scoffed, but only because it meant she didn’t read The Regular Scoop on Wednesday. When my old roommate, on vacation from New York, texted me that I was missing the goings on at the Menil Collection, I scoffed a little harder. In either case, I made it an early morning (note: anything before 11AM on the weekend is considered “early”) and struck out a course for the Indie Book Fest. The one dominant thought while walking through the corridor of independently published books was “man, these guys are hardcore.” I’m surprised there wasn’t a bullhorn-led chant of “Random House sucks.” Maybe there was, but I didn’t stick around long enough to hear it. There was reading under the trees at the West side of the Menil, as a couple dozen fans gathered, listening peacefully. Books! They still matter! As I was leaving, I texted a friend of mine to tell him that he might be interested in the goings on. Hours later, I got a message back that summed up the Fest rather well: “Dude, those guys are intense. They would consider my favorites sell-outs and hacks.” Indeed.

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First Saturday Arts Market, Last Saturday of Lent
This past weekend was made for outdoor gatherings. The weather was beautiful, if not a tad too hot for the beginning of Spring. If you’re going to complain about the heat, you may as well start now. I’ll be a professional bitcher by the time August comes around. After having the talent at Penguin and Random House trashed, I made my way out to the Heights, thinking that I would get the free Iced Coffee that Mitch Cohen promised me. Thoughts turned to food as I turned on 19th from Shepherd and drove right passed Pie in the Sky. I still need to try that place and gorge myself on some sweet cherry pie. I ignored the pangs of hunger and the promise of pie for free coffee and maybe a cupcake from What’s Up Cupcake. With only ten dollars in my wallet, I made a quick course through the tents displaying a variety of oil paintings, photography, soaps and jewelry. I didn’t want to get the artists’ hopes up that I was a potential buyer. Instead, the Classical Theatre Company’s booth distracted me from all of the stuff with price tags. Their newest production is set to start on April 8th. Tartuffe will make its run from this Thursday through the 18th of April. It’s a short run, so make sure to get your butt into one of the seats at the Barnevelder Arts Complex while you can. As far as the booths of art, check out LetterScapes.com. By far the most intriguing and easily digestible of any display of the afternoon.

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Adventures in Grilled Cheesing
With Mitch nowhere to be found, I abandoned the tent city on 19th and made my way down the street in search of a bite to eat. After being dissuaded from trying Carter & Cooley Co., I kept rambling down 19th and happened upon Crickets Cafe and Creamery. The menu looked good (breakfast all day), though it leaned a bit to the left with the mostly vegetarian choices. Seeing that they’re dog-friendly and since a dog was part of our posse for the afternoon, we decided that Crickets was a perfect choice. Seamus and his owner took refuge under the awning of the building as I ventured inside with the rest of my friends to order some food. The choice was difficult. An open-face Tomato and Mozzarella sandwich? Goat Cheese? Grilled cheese? Avocado lover’s delight? I eventually convinced myself that I was too hungry for just one dish and that it was too hot for soup. The house salad (lettuce, avocado, shaved carrots, green peppers and dried cranberries) seemed like the most refreshing choice and I paired it with the grilled cheese (American with diced tomatoes and mustard vinaigrette). Just two days earlier I was teasing a friend about asking for tomatoes in their grilled cheese sandwich at Paulie’s. Color me ignorant. It was a delicious addition to a classic. Do you know what the best part is? Indulging in the Italian classic, gelato, after you’re all said and done with lunch. Perfecto!

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You Make Me Wanna Walk Like a Camel
Having been shut out of tickets for the Black Joe Lewis concert at Walter’s on Friday, I decided that the only way to make up for that slight was treat myself to a different show on Saturday. Mike Stinson opening for Southern Culture on the Skids up at the Continental Club seemed like an obvious choice. I got word from my friend that he was headed to the show, so I discarded my empties at WAIH and made my way to the show after picking up some cash. Five bucks for parking and twenty for the show didn’t seem like a bad deal at all, especially when the music first hit the ears. Stinson and his band, with a couple of additions to the band (and possibly new members,) played their usual strong set. As they finished up their time on stage, our group made our way for the door.

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Stamps on our hands from the bouncer at the Continental Club ensured us reentry after we quelled our hunger. We made way for the answer to Where’s Pauldo (ep. 5), Tacos a Go Go. A barbacoa taco and a beef fajita taco were the perfect mid-drinking/mid-live-music snack. Add some killer queso to that order and you’re in for a huge treat.

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After finishing up, we made our way next door for the headliner of the night and walked into a venue that was four times as full as we left it. Southern Culture on the Skids always draws a robust and eclectic crowd, to say the least. My observant friend, and one-time writer, Sean says to me, “there’s going to be a bar fight tonight.” I cross my fingers and prepare myself for the onslaught of music. About halfway through the show, a commotion stirs behind us. We turn around and Sean gives me the “I told you so” look. A man, seventeen shades of drunk (and one shade of green), is desperately trying to escape the clutches of his girlfriend and leaning precariously in an attempt to bullrush another, not quite as drunk, bearded fellow. He almost breaks free from his girlfriends clutches, as drunks typically do, because alcohol has a way of making the body act like jello. All ends well and everything calms down without any punches thrown and we turn our attention back to the band, just in time to see fried chicken being tossed into the crowd from the stage. Oh, Southern Culture on the Skids, never change, ever.

— Paul

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