Houston's Top 10 Unsung Music Venues
7. SCOUT BAR
Already legendary in local-music circles from its days as the beloved Helios, AvantGarden is an appropriately eclectic venue for one of the country's most comopolitan cities (and neighborhoods). Right now live music is restricted to Mondays -- with the avant-garde Free Radicals and even more avant Nameless Sound players -- and most Fridays, usually some sort of jazz-rootsy group like the Beans or Kelly Doyle Trio. Other times it could be hosting belly dance, comedy, a sketching class or good old-fashioned socializing, which ought to give you some idea of what a crossroads of bohemian ideas AvantGarden really is. 411 Westheimer, www.avantgardenhouston.com.
5. WHITE SWAN
It's a little difficult to find out what's going on at the White Swan at any given moment -- they never call, they never write, but both the owners and bands who play there update the Swan's Facebook page often enough that it seems like things are going OK. Now the preserve of intimitading metalcore bands like Slut Puppie and Smells Like Someone Died, the decades-old venue near the Houston Ship Channel's Turning Basin could well outlast the cockroaches. 4419 Navigation Blvd., that Facebook page.