Pick Five (Plus)
Your weekly guide to Houston: Texas film legends, Rothko music and rodeobarbecue
Next week is March. Shoot me.
I couldn't help laugh at this tweet by Fayza Elmostehi, our sassy social media editor, but also gulped at how quickly almost two months has gone by. Next week, I will have celebrated two full months as listings editor at CultureMap, reaping the benefits of being out and about and reporting on my adventures.
Am I picking things you like? Tell me. Seriously.
"New" is this week's theme du jour. Now that January is in a far-off land of yesteryear, many projects are getting started, which means events, receptions and parties.
Here is what's new in Houston.
Shrimp, oysters and hot sauce were plentiful at the launch party of the Shrimp Boats Project. A multi-year residence sponsored by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts — not to be confused with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands — creatives Eric Leshinsky and Zach Moser officially began using a shrimp boat as a departure point to understand Houston, Galveston and the culture that connects them. Yes, we will be going shrimping. That should be fun and funny.
Smither Park broke ground by breaking pottery. Wearing funny orange construction hats decorated with quirky recycled stuff, Smither family and friends led the charge in collaboration with the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art to create an art park like no other. The vision of folk artist Dan Phillips is clear: a community park by the people, for the people, built with stuff previously owned by the people.
Spacetaker's Cultured Cocktails allowed the creatively inquisitive (me) an opportunity to get to know Ian Garrett, Fresh Arts Coalition new executive director, while sipping on Boheme's refreshing frozen mojitos. Garrett has big ideas and hopes to expand the organization's member services. I meant to converse with him more, but Mandy Graessle's Waylon Godzilla's dramatic entrance diverted my attention. Talking puppy is a major weakness.
Also about four-legged creatures, Life+Dog magazine also had its launch fete. Urban living and high end pups, this new mag is everything upscale dog and their owners.
This week's picks:
Cabinet of Curiosities REDUX at Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
The music of Karim Al-Zand, composition faculty at Shepherd, is eclectic and a treat to the ear, mind and spirit. He manages to expand the boundaries of classical music vocabulary while keeping his sonorities accessible to hard core classical music fans and casual listeners. This concert showcases his diverse style, from works by solo violinists to larger ensembles.
He tends to hang around after concerts, so if you feel chatty, Karim is a great person to get to know. Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Screening of Texas Legends...Before They Were Legends at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Deep in the heart of Texas is a long tradition of cutting-edge filmmaking. This collection of rare shorts traces important contributions to the states' film identity. Films by Wes Anderson, Jan Krawitz, Richard Linklater, Brian Hansen, Tobe Hooper and Robert Rodriguez give a rare insight into defining this cultural tradition. Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Rothko Chapel's 40th Anniversary Concert: Music for Rothko
A place for contemplation and interfaith dialogue, Rothko Chapel is an important landmark in Houston. Presented in collaboration with the Houston Chamber Choir and Da Camera of Houston, the concert has been carefully programmed to include pieces that resonate well in the space. It will include a piece by Rothko's close friend, Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel for soprano, alto, mixed choir and instruments, a piece inspired by a visit a year after the artist's death.
Although the concerts are now sold out, if you can get on the waiting list, do it. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Second Annual Texas Yoga Conference at the University of St. Thomas University
Limber up and get ready to expand your yoga diction passed downward facing dog, warrior poses and savasana (corpse pose). Get your lazy-asana to the University of St. Thomas and participate in one of the 70 workshops in more than 20 different styles of yoga. Or go for the music, both local and imported. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, pretty much all day.
Houston Arts Alliance's Sacred Songs, Sacred Sites "OnSite/InSight"
Houston is diverse. But do you know how diverse is it? As part of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Initiative head by Pat Jasper, this two-day event will open your eyes to the songs, stories, architecture and food traditions that currently thrive in our city. You'll have to drive to the different participating congregations including Chinmaya Prabha Mission, Vietnam Buddhist Center, Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center, and Congregation Brith Shalom. Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
My colleague's picks:
Assistant editor and bar expert Caroline Gallay's pick: Cocktails for a Cause at Cha Champagne Bar
Caroline says: "As we know, Planned Parenthood is facing serious budget cuts. This is the perfect two birds with one stone evening, in my book — donate to a cause that needs and deserves it while taking the edge off the sorry state of this country!" Wednesday at 6 p.m
Editor-at-Large Shelby Hodge's pick: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2011 World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest
Shelby says: "Last year, the three-day World Championship Bar-B-Que contest, which really launches the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo action, drew more than 220,000 grazers. The sweet aroma of barbecue starts drifting across the Reliant Center parking lot, which looks more like a barbecue joint/saloon village at this time of year, around noon on Thursday but the gates don't open until 5.
"There's live entertainment on the Miller Lite Stage all three days, booths selling barbecue and other carnival fare. Now don't expect to get into the big party tents without an invitation. Those are private affairs. Nevertheless, it's a rocking scene Thursday evening through Saturday night. It's a great way to get that rodeo fever heated up." Thursday through Saturday.
Art columnist and Dancehunter Nancy Wozny's pick: Society for the Performing Arts' Compagnie La Baraka
Nancy says: "The Lyon, France based troupe, directed by Abou Lagraa, fuses hip hop and contemporary dance so expect some North African influences. They will be Performing A World in Itself, set to music of John Cage and Anton Webern performed live, on stage, by the Debussy Quartet. Check out the Master class schedule too." Saturday at 8 p.m.