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February was furiously fast and keeping up might have been impossible had we not simply shifted gears into neutral and go with the flow - Lots of readers were out and about making things happen and Wow, did you give us a ride! <a good thing>. Before we shift gears into Spring Fever, crawfish season and March Madness, let's run through the Frolicking of February....

EARLY EASTER - Means early Mardi Gras and early Mardi Gras meant massive fun going waaaaay over the top. Participation was way up this year with more Krewes popping up around the area and the axiom of "The More, the Merrier" played out true. In our cozy corner of the universe, Bakkhus Taverna was the kickoff site for the Krewes Into Kemah kickoff party with a PACKED dinner crowd, complimentary shots, and Simone and the Superstars zinging up the air the gathering. The next morning, we enjoyed a trot around the Lighthouse district with kids of all ages at the Galloway Fun Run. Gotta say the best truth tellers are the faces of the little people 4 foot tall and shorter and it was clear that this was the start of a great day. This year's Kemah Parade nailed it on the most beautiful day of the month. Parade organizers gathered perhaps the largest armada of floats and participants. The streets of Kemah could have easily hosted more spectators which legitimizes the notion that the lighthouse district is capable of fun in addition to food. T-Bone Tom's easily handled the post parade party with the Zydeco Dots performing on stage. Lots of new parade participants from all over the area were there and probably never enjoyed the post parade party experience before - Odds are good they'll be back. Zone 504 with Jabo was the sight of the post parade Masquerade Party which by our accounting, makes for a solid 24 hours of Lighthouse District celebration. Not bad, eh?

Heading south, we joined the Krewe du Lac's march into Galveston and in-between parades, caught up with Soul Pride making our NEW BAND ALERT LIST at Crow's Cantina. Soul Pride is a six piece, power-house party band celebrating Texas Funk, Soul, Rock and Blues. If you're a local music follower, you'll probably recognize the names of Geoff Fish, Jimmy Ray, Chris Bergeron & Stephen Randall. We were delighted taking in a set with Patricia Fish on the kit and considering the situation, pretty positive the Great Jim Shortt would have scored it a hearty "Bravo, Babe!" This band simply makes incredible sense and on our SCENE Party Ready list. Put them on yours too!.

NEW STOP ON THE BEAT - And that would be The Cock & Bull. Last month's report in The SCENE was our clue with their craft brew lineup. That this was the site of the former music hangout, Emily's, grabbed our intrigue, and an evening show featuring Cerebelus (Rachel Naomi Walker & Armando Vazquez) with free forming jazz guitarist, Dalton Wheeler, grabbed our muse. Music presentations were crisp & clever reinterpretations of turn-of-the-century classics livened with a sassy upbeat flair that played well with Chef Brent's sweet chili rib appetizers - An atmosphere suitable for intelligent conversations was a plus. The only irony of the evening was the pint of "Grumpy Monk" ale which was actually very uplifting! Speaking of places for intelligent conversations....

THE PATIO AT SCOUT BAR - Is an interesting gathering place to mingle with physicists, mechanics, medical professionals, artists, Bohemians, and Alt-Indie/Rock music lovers. Pretty cool, eh? Scout Bar's Open Mic hosted by Saturate runs a crisp turn around of area musicians on the Scout Bar stage where pretty much everybody gets to play and when dialed in right, the unplugged sound is down right awesome. Chatting with the musicians on the patio uncovers incredible insight on their diverse musical backgrounds ranging from classical, marching band, bluegrass, gospel, orchestra, spare bedroom and garage. Many of the musicians here were born after the rise and fall of 8-Track tapes yet there's no doubt the musical influences from prior generations successfully passed along and rooted, making for some *really* good home spun creations! Needing more of the patio, we stopped by Scout Bar's 94.5FM Buzz Night catching local acts - Fighting Gemini & Downfall Rising opening for Otherwise hailing from Las Vegas. With the Buzz Awards out of the way A.D. Rowntree and Thomas aren't wasting any time pondering next year's winners.

AROUND THE BEAT - Towards the end of the month, we stopped in at Katie's to recalibrate our ears to the tasteful guitar playing of Bert Wills. The Bacliff neighborhood bar was packed to hear this area musical icon - Makes sense as Katie's never charges a cover, has a great service staff, and always brings in good shows. Moreno's has opened a restaurant in Clear Lake with an authentic south of the border menu. We enjoyed musical sets from Vicente Castenada, a Spanish guitarist from Oaxaca, Mexico which was very agreeable. We caught an afternoon of Wood & Wind overlooking the water at the new Pod Zu's. The food here is awesome and their service staff getting their stride nicely. Perhaps they'll be ready for an April Music Festival? Congratulations to Fatty's for pulling off their first charity event for the Owen Daniels Dream Chaser Foundation. Jeremy Kilgore made a brief appearance and Richard Ruiz rolled out an acoustic set (first time for these ears) before Cisco and Joanne sealed the deal cooking up a storm. Book 'em.... Double gold stars to Jackie's Brickhouse for not only providing the *well appreciated* food at the benefit but for also sponsoring all sorts of cool and clever events in the area. And not to forget the music, we took in a return performance by Tantrum and jammed packed show by The Nailers, a fun dance band we had never seen before. If all this weren't enough, crawfish season is around the corner and we've a hunch Jackie's will smash total tons served in 2013. You think?

IT'S A WRAP - February gave us our money's worth. We look forward to saying good by to Snow Bird Season and welcoming in Spring Fever. Around the corner, we'll be dropping in on the Cockeyed Seagull and their annual 60's Hippie Party on April 6th and before then, may you pick a bracket full of winners, chow on the area's fine eats, quench your thirst with good spirits and fill your ears with great live music!