Last Call: Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Roof is on Fire?

Consuming mass amounts of alcohol with art all around and while on the roof of a building is normally something I advise against — novices and other college students are liable to get tipsy and, in their delirium, spill their fresh drinks on the artwork. But this week, I’m going against better judgment and common sense and full-heartedly endorsing Electro Shock Therapy, a hybrid rock-concert-and-art-opening that will take place on Friday downtown at the Electric Building (410 W. 7th, at Taylor St.). On the roof. Which one? We’re not sure — there are three of ’em. (The building is actually a small “campus.”) There will be performances by DJs (DJ Marcosis, DJ Philter) and bands (Sleeplab, Top Secret ... Shhh, and Shuttle), plus artwork by Jesse Sierra Hernandez, Jill Foley, Sherry Star, Ray Liberio, Calvin A., Phil Helmsley, Jerry Sustaisa, and others, including party impresario Christopher Blay. For your art-appreciating pleasure, Electro Shock will also provide a bartender or bartenders, a professional sound system, and enhanced security. Admission is $8. For more info, visit Blay at — Anthony Mariani

Insane in the Membrane
Fort Worth’s new non-smoking ordinance will take effect on Jan. 1, 2008. Smoking will be banned in all restaurants, including bar areas, but will still be allowed in bars that meet “specific” criteria — or, in this case, criterion: bars where 70 percent of their overall sales are generated by alcohol, meaning that smokers will need to divine, somewhat magically, which bars meet that “special” threshold. Smoking also will be banned in bowling alleys, business offices, and 20 feet from any primary entrance or exit of a regulated facility but will still be permitted in private or semi-private rooms in nursing homes or long-term care facilities and outdoor dining areas — so make sure your nicotine-fiendin’ Grandma or Grandpa stays in a non-regulated nursing home or long-term care facility and bring a tape measure with you next time you elect to continue killing yourself slowly via tobacco smoke on an outdoor dining area. Other places where smoking will still be allowed include bingo parlors; hotel/motel rooms; private clubs, meeting rooms (?), and residences; retail tobacco stores; and, awesomest of all, stage productions. Someone said that by “stage productions,” the smoking czars mean “strip clubs,” but I’ll go with my expert interpretation of the phrase and blaze up the next time I attend the ballet (pronounced bal-ay) at Bass Performance Hall.
In other words, smokers should spend more quality time with their defense attorneys. — A.M.

Chain Club Apologia (Abbreviated)
There’s the popular notion that every suburban strip is the same, and for good reason. The same Chili’s in Fort Worth is the same Chili’s in Dallas is the same Chili’s in Des Moines. The food is the same, the décor’s the same, and the type of chatty, often overly friendly service is the same. Having recently relocated to the ‘burbs, I’m pretty much reduced to nabbing a quick drink or spending any available downtime at chain restaurants. Other than the fact that I know I’m sitting in a chain joint, I can’t say there’s much difference between hanging there or at a ma-and-pa bar or club. Now, before you call me all kinds of rude, mean names, realize that aspiring actors and rockstars have to work somewhere and that if it weren’t for the tyrannical oversight at the chain locales, many of our current and future favorite bartenders and hosts would still be dragging their knuckles and their feet. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. — A.M.

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