Houston's Top 5 Alternative Venues
Fitz's has made nearly every "best-of" list that I've written this year, but can you really argue against its validity? This place has become a hub for music lovers of all breeds, and it continues to grow. Thirty years since its inception, and under new(ish) management, Fitz's is thriving like never before.
National acts make their way through the venue's doors on a regular basis, but cheap drinks, local acts, up and comers on open-mike night and an overall atmosphere of cool keep the regulars coming back week after week.
2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838, fitzlivemusic.com
Google Maps Yep, that's Walters.
Best of Houston winner, 2012:
At this point Walters seems almost invulnerable. Pam Robinson's club spent the last half of 2011 in limbo as Robinson had difficulty moving into her new quarters near UH-Downtown. But now that it's all smoothed over, the newly rechristened Walters Houston (no more apostrophe) is even more of a melting pot of music that's beloved but not popular, an array of subgenres from thrash and hardcore to shoegaze and emo.
The former auto showroom is bigger, but with the same open-door booking policy and endearing "don't be a dick" attitude. Walters broke out both a new Web site and parking lot this summer, and updates its Facebook page often enough to keep up with what's going on. One of the most fun events is turning out to be Walters Bazaar, a combination concert/swap meet on the last Sunday of the month, where people are welcome to bring old records, clothes and anything else they want to sell for a sort of flea market while enjoying some late-afternoon live music.
1120 Naylor, 713-222-2679, waltersdowntown.com