Pick Five (Plus)

Your weekly guide to Houston: Starry Mozart, Italian pop, Galveston beer fest & Bollywood blast

Your weekly guide to Houston: Starry Mozart, Italian pop, Galveston beer fest & Bollywood blast

Looking at art is one thing. Walking through a gallery with the artist on hand is another. At Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Dario Robleto presented his pieces on display at The Spectacular of the Vernacular, an exhibition celebrating the creative of the everyday. 

Meaning and purpose is found in even the most minute details — in the process and in the product. Some can be observed, some just emerges with purposeful dialogue — between the piece and viewer. Robleto finds that conversation and manifests it honestly in his work. 

Quirky venue, tons of fun. That was the spirit at Camp For All young professionals "No Barriers Bash" Friday night at SPJST Lodge #88. While guests were busy striking a pose for the photo booth to music by Emory Quinn, committee members Tim Neuhaus, Jason Bernhardt, Patrick Samuels and Kimberly Koppenhaver raised an impressive $38,000 for the nonprofit.

Young professional groups have been accused of all play, no work. You won't find any members like that at Camp For All.

Walking into Rothko Chapel is like stepping through a vortex portal into a world where time pauses, if only for a little while. Losing oneself in the impressive panels, the vibrant acoustics and the cool interiors only get better with music inspired by that which makes the space sui generis. 

MURAL, a trip of avant-garde musicians — Jim Denley on wind instruments, Ingar Zach on percussion and Kim Kyhr on guitars, zithers and percussion — recreated the concert they played back in March 2010, giving a nod to previous composers who found the space their muse.

Challenging the boundaries of their respective instruments, the musicians resorted to extended techniques to create an astral soundscape, carrying to audience to a virtual aural and visual trance. Imagine playing a guitar with a violin bow. The sound of Tibetan singing bowls vibrating against a grand cassa. Beyond music. An experience.

Also this week, Houston Ballet's Ballet Barre kicked off its season, Emily Sloan installed ShadeCloud at Art League Houston and Spacetaker opened one of its most unorthodox performance art exhibitions: Continuum's iPerform

Now for this week:

Houston Premiere Screenings: Page One: Inside the New York Times at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Since the spontaneous disintegration of the Angelika downtown, what would we do about indie films if it weren't for organizations like Southwest Alternative Media Project, Aurora Picture Show, Rice Cinema and MFAH Films? We would be relegated to watch the Smurfs in 3D and some senseless adventures of tripping chimp.

This talkie is about the media, and since I work for media, I am fascinated by the topic of shifting trends within the industry. Page One infiltrates the New York Times newsroom and documents its transformation — from mainly a print publication to one where digital is important.

Curious? Watch the trailer here. The film screens at MFAH from Thursday - Monday

Opening of Finding Balance: Print and Photography Show at Museum of Printing History

We know Christine Jelson West as the always-smiling fearless leader behind Lawndale Art Center's ascent to inventive artsy domination. As executive director, she's the visible matriarch of a nonprofit that helps so many artists and art forms get exposure. 

But in this show, she plays a different role, as juror. Finding Balance is Women in the Visual and Literary Arts 2011 Annual membership exhibition, cataloging printmaking techniques, including photography and computer generated art. Thursday at 6 p.m.

Houston Symphony presents Poperazzi

Opera is as Italian as prosciutto, parmigiano-reggiano and marinara, but alas, I know of no piece of music that uses that as its inspiration. Thus, we have to "settle" for The Godfather, Jersey Boys and The Barber of Seville

Conductor Michael Krajewski kicks off the 2011-12 POPS series mingling pop and opera with Poperazzi, a dazzling vocal trio straight out of Vegas singing all things Italian, including one of Puccini's most famous arias, "Nessum Dorma."Thursday 8 p.m. at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Friday through Sunday at Jones Hall. 

"Mozart Under the Stars" with Mercury Baroque at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Rain or no rain, I plan on heading out to Miller Outdoor Theatre to catch a little night music — aka Eine Kleine Nacht Musik — with Mercury Baroque. Listening to the music of yesteryear — Mozart to be exact — on original instruments changes the push, pull and emotional content of classical melodies we've all come to know and love.

Unless you've stayed locked in a closet for years, most of the tunes programmed for "Mozart Under the Stars" are ones you will gleefully recognize. Trust me. You don't need to be a classical music dork like me to appreciate the witty character of Amadeus' music. It's ok to air conduct, sway and tap along. Just not too loud. Saturday at 8 p.m.

Bollywood Blast at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Two Miller events in one weekend? Why not. I have had a love for all things Indian — food, music, movies and naughty exotic rhythms — since So You Think You Can Dance introduced the popularized dance form to the reality show. Katie and Joshua did me in, and now, every time I get the opportunity to see a throng of colorful Bollywood dancers on one single stage, I am there. Jai ho!

Picture varicolored fabrics, narrative and descriptive hand movements, driving rhythms — so groovy your tush will wiggle — and a jolly crowd. The outlandish fun is on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Arts contributor and Dancehunter Nancy Wozny's pick: Working in the Abstract: Rethinking the Literal at Glassell School of Art

Nancy says: "My brain needs a heavy dose of the abstract to function. Yours probably does too. Can I suggest a visit to the Glassell School of Art to see Working in the Abstract: Rethinking the Literal, through Nov. 28. Curated by Patrick Palmer, the exhibit features such outstanding Houston artists as David Aylsworth, Pat Colville, Terrell James, Michael Kennaugh, Susie Rosmarin and Brooke Stroud. It's a wonderful show. I plan several visits." 

Associated editor and resident gourmand Sarah Rufca's pick: A Food and Wine Experience at Spec's

Sarah says: "Adhere to every liberal stereotype by heading to Spec's in Bellaire for trendy global bites and a wine tasting from six premium vendors, all to support HoustonPBS at "A Food and Wine Experience.' Peter Garcia from El Meson will roast a pig Caja China-style and make a paella, and the guys from The Modular will be serving up small bites in between bottles from Prestige Wine Cellars, World's End Wines and more. Discussing Bill Maher and education reform are optional." Thursday at 6 p.m.

Photo editor and design junkie Barbara Kuntz's pick: Grupo Fantasma Concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Barbara says: "I'm kicking off Labor Day weekend with some sexy salsa, funkadelic funk and rhythmic reggae from Grupo Fantasma, an Austin-based, Grammy Award-winning band. The energetic show takes place at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, with ticketed seats in the covered area and, of course, the hill is always open." Friday at 8 p.m.

Assistant editor and nightlife expert Caroline Gallay's pick: Brewmasters International Beer Festival

Caroline says: "Get to Galveston this weekend for Brewmasters International Beer Festival. Whether you're a craft beer lover already or just getting into Texas brews, there's plenty to learn and lap up. Taste more than 400 international beers and explore what our state has to offer by meeting local vendors including Beaumont's Cornel's, Conroe's Southern Star and Houston's own Karbach, among others." Friday through Monday at Moody Gardens

Lifestyle contributor and all-around-good-guy William James Gerlich's pick: Active Child at Fitzgerald's

William says: After downloading the free single, "Hanging On,"from iTunes a few months ago, Active Child became my summer obsession. Lead singer Pat Grossi's haunting vocals, clean soundscapes and angelic harp takes electronica-pop to a new level. If you like James Blake or Bon Iver, Active Child is a must see act." Saturday at 8 p.m.

Bollywood Blast
In the mood for a little exoticism? Try Bollywood Blast at Miller Outdoor Theater.
New York Times headquarters
With the changes in media, I can't help being drawn to a film and shows and tells about the nation's most highly regarded paper.  Courtesy photo
Mercury Baroque
Also at Miller this week is Mecury Baroque's "Mozart Under ths Stars." Rain or shine, you should be there. Photo by George Hixson
News_Pick 5_David Aylsworth_Watching Little Things Grow
David Aylsworth, "Watching Little Things Grow," 2010. The artist is featured at the Glassell School exhibit. © David Aylsworth
Mingling pop and opera, Poperazzi opens the 2011-12 Houston Symphony POPS season.