Is There a Little Life Left In Mango's After All?

Categories: All In

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Photo by Chris Gray
Ever since a big "For Lease" sign went up on the side of Montrose rock dive Mango's in December, local underground music fans have been patiently and glumly waiting for word to come down regarding the venue's official closing date. Nearly four months later, though, the place remains up and running, and at least one guy is hoping he can help keep it that way.

Juan Carlos Newton took over booking duties at Mango's late last year when former manager/booker Brandon Bowers left the country in a hurry. (Relax; he's conducting field research.) If anybody knows when the last gig at Mango's will take place, it's Newton. Right now, all he'll say is that it won't be soon.

"I'll do my best to keep it open as long as possible, and it's going pretty well," Newton says. "But I can't give you an exact date at this point. If all goes well, (Mango's) should be around for a while, which is what I'm hoping. That's why I'm doing this Save Mango's show this weekend."


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2015 FPSF Lineup Brings On Mixed Emotions

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Photo by Marco Torres
To say opinion is split over FSPF 2015 headliner R. Kelly (shown at a 2011 Toyota Center date) is the understatment of the year.
Scanning this year's FPSF lineup, my first thought was "I see they're not going out of their way to quiet those people who keep calling it a sausagefest," followed closely by, "R. Kelly...seriously?" I was thrilled to see the likes of Gary Clark Jr., St. Vincent, Charles Bradley and Riverboat Gamblers, and impressed by the names that can only help FPSF's mission to be taken seriously as a front-rank music fest: Decemberists, Mastodon, Belle & Sebastian, Skrillex, etc.

Could not care less about most of the rest, but I think the organizers chose well with this year's first-time local acts (Catch Fever, George West, Moji, Geo Chamba...) -- unless said acts happen to play hip-hop; the admittedly bonkers "Welcome to Houston" reprise notwithstanding. (Also, Lecrae!) Personally, all that doesn't quite add up to $200 worth of entertainment to me, so that's what media passes are for, I suppose. But throw a sucker-punch like Tears For Fears and it's like, well, maybe... CHRIS GRAY


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The 25 Best Songs About Houston

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Ron Riering via Flickr
Lots of songs down here...
Note: this article originally appeared on October 24, 2014. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bobby Bare, "I Can Almost See Houston From Here"
One of the great homesick songs, Bobby Bare infuses this one with downtrodden ennui as he pines for the warmness of his old hometown. Usually veteran Houstonians are forced to deal with some newbie from Portland telling us all the things that are wrong with the Bayou City, so this one is a refreshing twist; Bare pines to get back to his old hometown and leave the Denver cold behind. It also contains the drop-dead perfect honky-tonk realization: "Funny how much better I can see without my pride." WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

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The 25 Best Songs About Houston

HTownAir-1024.jpg
Ron Riering via Flickr
Lots of songs down here...
Bobby Bare, "I Can Almost See Houston From Here"
One of the great homesick songs, Bobby Bare infuses this one with downtrodden ennui as he pines for the warmness of his old hometown. Usually veteran Houstonians are forced to deal with some newbie from Portland telling us all the things that are wrong with the Bayou City, so this one is a refreshing twist; Bare pines to get back to his old hometown and leave the Denver cold behind. It also contains the drop-dead perfect honky-tonk realization: "Funny how much better I can see without my pride." WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

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Requiem for the iPod

Categories: All In, Internet

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Apple.com
Yes, they're still around -- what an iPod looks like today.
The year was 2002, and I was in the back of my mom's Chevy high-top. She was driving my brother to Sam's Club to pick up his new blue iPod 1st Generation. For months, I watched him listen to Papa Roach and moody pop-rock queen Avril Lavigne as he sat in his bedroom lifting his 8-pound dumbbells -- that is, until I got my own iPod a couple years later. Gwen Stefani, Outkast, Hoobastank, it was all on that little thing. And quite frankly, it was all I would ever need. IVAN GUZMAN


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The 15 Best Songs We Heard In July

Categories: All In, Pop Life

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"The Clarity," Sleep
After 11 years out of the game, you might wonder if stoner-metal band Sleep has lost a step. Thankfully, their new ten minute masterwork of the genre, "The Clarity," shows that they have not. Think of this like the metal version of Dr. Dre's Detox.

You never thought Sleep would emerge from their post-marijuana haze to ever record again, and when they did, you could hardly believe your ears. Yet here it is, and unlike the still as-yet-unreleased Detox, it's real and it's spectacular. COREY DIETERMAN

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pop songs

Houston's 10 Best Concerts Between Now and Labor Day

Categories: All In

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Photo by Christopher Victorio
Nine Inch Nails at New Orleans' Voodoo Fest, 2008
Note: this article has been amended to reflect the fact that Death Grips is no longer with us.

Antemasque
Fitzgerald's, August 4

After putting on some of the most exciting live shows of the last decade with their bands At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, El Paso natives Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are back with their latest band, Antemasque. Texas has the distinct pleasure of hosting their first round of shows with their new band, rounded out by former Volta and Killer Be Killed drummer Dave Elitch, which should be just as rocking as every other show the pair has hosted in Houston. COREY DEITERMAN

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The 20 Best Songs We Heard in June

Categories: All In, Pop Life

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Photo by Gregg Roth/davidolney.com
David Olney
"Big Blue Hole," David Olney
"Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all them saints are dead and gone / Amy Winehouse and Curt Cobain, they ain't comin' back here again." David Olney is like the black sheep rounder uncle the family wanted you to stay away from. A former running bud of Townes van Zandt, Olney plays and sings like he'll cut you if you don't get it.

His new album, When the Deal Goes Down, has more edge than a straight razor and cuts just as deep. If you're into music for good news, fairy tales, cotton candy or dance beats, move on. Your life is in danger here. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

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Drake Appreciation Post: Drizzy's 20 Best Songs

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Photos by Marco Torres
"Best I Ever Had"
Every dude wants to be the best his girl has ever had, and this So Far Gone track solidifies Drizzy's over-the-top confidence one hashtag-rap line at a time. It also perfectly samples the amazing Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds song "Falling In Love." MARCO TORRES


"Don't You Have a Man," feat. Little Brother
The idea of Drake as a rapper of serious intent started forming around Comeback Season, his 2007 mixtape where he seemed far more interested in rapping like Phonte of Little Brother than being his own man. The two worlds collided on "Don't You Have a Man," a track that now seems pretty humorous when it falls in line with the "Drake's a Nice Guy" narrative. There's some whimsy here. Both Phonte and Big Pooh rap with the self-awareness of being the other man and then there's Drake, more than ready to admit he's got one up on the other guy in a cute-romance sort of way. BRANDO

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The 15 Best Songs We Heard in May

Categories: All In

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Photo by Marco Torres
Schoolboy Q at Warehouse Live in March
"Collard Greens," Schoolboy Q
If you enjoy beats that conjure images of huddled, bouncing basketball teams moments before tip-off, you'll enjoy "Collard Greens." If you also enjoy raps about having game, money and weed, you'll return for a second helping. And, if you want to hear Schoolboy Q's Black Hippy mate Kendrick Lamar drop profane rhymes in Spanish, you probably like tons of pepper sauce on your greens.

Schoolboy Q's been serving this up since last year, but I got my first taste only last month; can't believe I was missing out on this soul food. But, if you were too, try it out 'cause This Is It. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

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