November 22nd, 2010

The Week That Was 11.21.10

I-10 East is glorious. After being shut down this weekend, creating a very Houston-specific hell for drivers, it was open this morning for my commute to work. Let me tell you… It’s like driving on a cloud of puppies. Surely there will be a reason to bitch and moan about the bottle-necking in the near future at this very same pass through downtown, but this morning I was proud to work out in La Porte just to get the opportunity to drive on this feat of engineering.

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We Saw You at the Record Shop
There’s a new champion in town, people. When it comes to lines you tell the band to get their attention, my friend crowned the new king. “We just saw you guys play at Cactus Music,” my friend told Russel, the lead singer of Everest after they played their opening set for Matt Costa at the Bronze Peacock Room. Ears perked. Eyes lit. Attention gained. We ended up discussing topics ranging from Marfa to unknown indie projects for about a half hour with the lead singer. I warned you that I was going to find a reason to walk away from the Matt Costa concert more impressed with the opener, Everest, than the headliner. Done and done.

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The Costa Living
Matt Costa weaved his way through the crowd, strumming his guitar and hissing through a harmonica, to begin his set on Friday night. He entered from the door behind the bar, donned in a Wyatt Earp straight brimmed hat, a mop of LA surfer hair unable to be wrangled in completely as he played through most of the entirety of Miss Magnolia before being able to take the stage. The sing-along had begun and it would last until just before midnight. The acoustics in the Bronze Peacock Room are no comparison to those in the House of Blues’ main hall, but they still manage to charge you $5 a pop for Lone Star. I’m not sure why this bugs me so much. Changes need to be made.

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A Houston Home Companion
KUHF is celebrating its 60th year of existence on the radio. As part of this mile stone they brought A Prairie Home Companion®, a little show from the Midwest, to the Wortham this past Saturday. Garrison Keillor descended on Houston with his usual cohorts in Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, as well as special guests Susan Graham originally out of Midland, and the Quebe Sisters out of Fort Worth. The Brown Auditorium was packed for a night of storytelling, bluegrass and western swing, the kind of entertainment thought of as having been relevant half a century ago. I was surprised by the eclectic nature of the crowd, I suppose I was expecting 50 something college professors with their knit square ties and double lense-glasses, and instead found people from every walk imaginable singing and clapping in time with the music.

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Walk with the Animals… But Don’t Talk to Them
In my infinite wisdom I made it a long night on Friday knowing full well that I would have to be up for a charity walk on Saturday morning. When the alarm crashed through the silence of 6:30AM I almost sent my phone crashing into the street. I made it up to the Houston Zoo for the “Give Thanks Walk” benefiting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with enough time to wander around Hermann Park for a bit hoping that coffee wouldn’t be too important to my recovery. We made our four laps around the Zoo between the meerkats, lions and hyenas to finally rest under the tents with tables teeming with bagels, donuts and bananas. Ok, ok… I’ll admit it… I only made three of the four laps around the zoo. You happy now? I needed coffee, ok?

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Light Rail to the Rescue
On Saturday a friend-of-a-friend put together a “light rail pub crawl” for a night’s worth of fun. Now, it might seem that the title of the event is a bit of a contradiction, and you would be right. But because of some snafus in the venues (not to mention the train schedule being mysterious) we did our fair of crawling. Our first destination was Warren’s Inn for their famous martinis. We detoured to Dean’s Credit Clothing before hoping on the rail only to find out that our next stop, Leon’s Lounge, still hasn’t re-opened. So, we supplemented our crawl with the trifecta of The Mink, Big Top and an eventual stop at Tacos a Go-Go. Though the final minutes of the night were contentious at best, the whole experience is going to have to be something The Loop Scoop re-imagines and organizes. Who’s with me?

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Some Other Stuff Too
There was a bunch of other stuff too… But I think I’m done writing for now. I think I’ll just insert the other photos that I edited for the column and let you fill lin the blanks. How’s that sound? Just kidding, you don’t get a say. Feel free to use the below photos as sort of a “choose your own adventure,” TLS-style.

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And…

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And…

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— Paul

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