Houston's Top 5 Alternative Venues
Numbers fell off. Numbers ain't what it used to be. No one goes there anymore. Blah, blah, blah. Sure, the venue may be a far cry from what it was during its heyday, when the likes of Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins were stomping through town and nearly tearing its walls down.
But Houston, as a whole, looks a lot different than it did back then, and Numbers still has some charm to it. These days, Numbers is much more of a dive with cheap drinks, a relaxed atmosphere, decent tunes and an assorted audience ranging from people wearing skinny jeans and lens-less glasses to black boots over black leather pants and black T-shirts covered in chains and piercings. Oh, and there are lasers, and always Wes Wallace's "Classic Numbers" Friday nights.
300 Westheimer 77006, 713-526-6551, www.numbersnightclub.com
Driving down Westheimer, as drivers come to a stop at the light at Taft, they'll likely hear heavy thumping coming from inside Mango's, as punk, metal or, well... really whatever the artists inside the confines of this Vegan eatery feel like playing.
Music blares through the cracks under the doors, as musicians and fans inside hang from the rafters, munch on PB&Js and sip cheap wells. Thumb through the venue's calendar, and you'll see that it has an allure all its own, thanks to an openness to any and all genres.
403 Westheimer, 713-522-8903, www.mangoscafehouston.com
3. LAST CONCERT CAFE
In 2005, Playboy named Last Concert Café the best place in Houston for people watching. We haven't kept up with Playboy (not the articles anyway), but LCC is arguably still the best Houston establishment in which to do just that. Tejano, jazz, indie and even electronica are all welcome genres inside this little gem's doors... If you can find it, that is.
Two years ago, the venue got shut down on a Friday night for being over its official capacity, which, at the time, was just 49. The capacity has been increased during some recent renovations that also have been pulling in some pretty big jam-band and R&B/funk names, but if you've ever been to LCC, you know the party was never tiny.
1403 Nance, 713-226-8563, www.lastconcert.com/