Texas®

Tired of the red meat are you? What’s that, you say? You’ve never tried meat? Interesting. Perhaps you, like English crooner Morrissey believe that Meat is Murder (Aside from naming one of his albums from his days with the Smiths Meat is Murder, he has famously stormed off of stages mid-set upon simply smelling some form of meat being grilled in the vicinity of his performance).

Well, if you find yourself looking for food that never had a face, then Texas isn’t really that bad of a spot, even with it’s reputation for all things butchered. So, for all of the vegetarian’s and vegans out there, who might be new to the state, or new to the meatless movement, below are a few highlights from some of our major cities in case you find yourself wondering where you can get a killer stack of vegan flapjacks…

DALLAS –

HOUSTON –

AUSTIN -

  • Counter Culture - Food trailer with a conscience.
  • Veggie Heaven - A plain-jane spot, lacking any pretense near the campus, it’s seemingly been around forever.
  • Conscious Cravings - Another trailer that shows how Austin just gets it. you know what I mean. They just do.
  • 

 

SAN ANTONIO –

Recently, we’ve chit-chatted about heading for a day of fun on the Guadalupe, a stroll through some museums and even the possibility of slinging a few rounds of disc golf. Here’s another simple, but still great non-the-less idea: Catch a play!

Not that we claim to be experts in the world of theatre, but it seems to us that Texas probably doesn’t get it’s due when it comes to the theatrical offerings it provides it residents and visitors. Below are a few current and upcoming offerings from some of our favorite stages…

  • Zach Theatre – Austin: All kinds of great things go down here on a regular basis. A key upcoming attraction however is the buzzed-about, Tony winning Spring Awakening. Starting in September, this rocking production will likely be packed. Of course, there’s plenty going on between now and then, too. Be sure to catch The Book of Grace, a play by Pulitzer Prize-winning Suzan Lori Parks about south Texas family that weaves themse of familial bonds ond geographical bord.

 

  • Dallas Summer Musicals: A tradition for many North Texans, the DSM series is known for bringing in the most stories titles (West Side Story) while mixing in a few fun favorites (Stomp!), and adding some productions that have gained recent notoriety on the Tony stage, even (Monty Python’s Spamalot). In fact, the legendary British comedy style is currently on display now for another few days.

 

  • Alley Theatre – Houston: Ready for a bit of mystery? It’s hard to top Agatha Christie in that regard, now isn’t it? Head to Houston’s long-standing thatre to catch the latest installment in their “Summer Chills” series, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

 

  • Water Tower Theatre – Addison: Now, for a suburban locale (don’t let that fool you into thinking that the quality is any less however), Addison knows how to put on the large, spectacular city events, and that extends to the stages of the Water Tower Theatre’s complex. While they have Little Shop of Horrors on the horizon, do not miss their current offering. Shooting Star is a widely acclaimed two-person production that has amde its way around the country and has been loved at aeach stop. Now, it’s Addison’s turn.
  • 

In the Open: Bahamas – Already Yours from In the Open on Vimeo.

Making its way through Texas, starting tonight in Austin, is the musical project of Canada’s Afie Jurvanen. Better known as Bahamas, the self-taught guitar player is opening a string of shows for English darlings Noah & The Whale.

A recent signee to Brushfire Records, the label owned by Jack Johnson, Bahamas manages to showcase some similarities in the easy-breezy style without simply copy-catting the reigning laid-back surfer king of rock. The understated whimsy that Jurvanen produces will never go out of style and will always make showing up early for the opening act worthwhile.

Be sure to check out the sweet Daytrotter Session for Bahamas, and chcek out the video below for a taste of what’s to come this week as Bahamas plays in Austin on the 8th and 9th (The Parish), in Dallas on the 10th (Dada in Deep Ellum) and Houston on the 11th (Fitzgerald’s).

BAHAMAS – Hockey Teeth from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

This is very exciting, and as usual with our other Video Gold postings, this one doesn’t require much explanantion. After Centro-matic’s last offering, the doubly ambitious Dual Hawks (a double album of Centro-matic songs combined with tunes from the bands ambient-country alter-ego, South San Gabriel), the band took a lengthy break, or so it seemed to those of us who have eagerly awaited a new album, at least. Now, the band who is split between Denton and Austin are back with a new album in June. “Only in My Double Mind” (see video above) is the lead single off of the upcoming disc, entitled Candidate Waltz, and we can’t wait! Make sure to catch the guys when they hit a few different Texas stops, including Denton, Houston and Austin, later this summer.

Perhaps you’re not as familiar with this stellar band as you would like to be (or should be)? On their site, they are giving away a free and legal 24 song sampler consisting of selections from their previous albums. DO IT!!!!

Man, we love a good museum. Even better, we love a good museum that has a top-notch, special traveling exhibit on display for a limited time. If you’re like us, give these choices a look-see and get to the exhibition nearest you as soon as possible, before its packed up and shipped away!

Dallas Museum of Art - Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection ~ According to the exhibit’s description, this collection “explores the extraordinarily diverse forms of visual expression in Native North America. Organized by geographic culture areas, the works of art in this exhibition date from well before first European contact to the present, and celebrate the continuing vitality of American Indian art.”

Museum of Fine Arts Houston - Titian & The Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Scotland ~ This museum is perhaps the crown jewel of Houston’s bustling museum district. This is but one of the many exhibits currently on display. Several notable, upcoming exhibits include the famous King Tut exhibit, among several others starting in the fall.

Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas – Austin)Becoming Tennessee Williams ~ This center has always given special items a special home. In recent years, the original manuscript rolls of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road were hosted here. Now, another literary legend gets to spend some time with the literate hippies of our state’s capital: Tennessee Williams. For our money, Williams is the greatest of American playwrights and this birth-celebrating exhibit will surely help those who may not feel the same as we do enough reason to start changing their minds.

Kimball Art Museum (Ft. Worth)Picasso & Braque: The Cubist Experiment ~ This legendary Arts District art stop has hosted other Picasso-intensive exhibits, most notably the breathtaking Picasso and Matisse exhibit of over a decade ago. Ultimately, this exhibit highlights a complete different area of the multi-talented master craftsmen. Besides, you can basically pick any weekend to head to the Kimball and you’ll be satisfied, regardless of what’s on display.

The term Alt-Rock has been beaten to death, and for the most part, much of what makes up Alt-Rock isn’t much of an “alt” to anything. Such isn’t the case with Manchester Orchestra. The Andy Hull-led five-peice is an Atlanta based outfit that doesn’t aim for the banal formula that helps trendier bands end up on “rock radio.” Instead, as evidenced in their excellent new album, Simple Math, they take chances and never provide a predictable expereince that leaves you feeling as though you’ve heard it already.

Together since 2005, they have put out only 3 official albums, but a handful of EPs, also. It’s been reported that Simple Math is a concept album, where Hull (who is the band’s writer) uses a first-person perpspective to “question everything.” A more sonically cohesive effort than their previous two efforts, there isn’t any doubt as to why this band is packing large clubs around the country. Of course, it doesnt exactly hurt to be sharing a bill with another band that has garnered more than their share of media-buzz in the last year or two: Cage the Elephant (their “Aint No Rest for the Wicked” is one of the best rock tunes of teh last 5 years, easy).

These two acts, which have given Alt-Rock fans actual alternatives, will be hitting Texas in the next week or so. May 27th will see the double bill hit Houston, then Stubb’s in Austin on the 28th for a sold-out show. The tour will see its Texas-leg end in Dallas at the Palladium Ballroom on May 29th.

Manchester Orchestra – “Simple Math” from DANIELS on Vimeo.

On Saturday, the 14th, the city of Plano got straight-up sudsy, thanks to the North Texas Beer Festival, hosted at the Plano Centre. Tons of beer vendors from all over the country sharing samples of their latest and greatest brews.

There were some nagging issues through the course of the afternoon, however. Long lines that ran up and and down the trade-show style rows of beer booths made it impossible to simply grab a cup from a specific brewer that might be in the middle of the aisle. So, rather than being able to easily sample something from Mendocino Brewing, one had to head to the back of a long line that forced you to spend time in-front of vendors and brewers that you may or may not want to get to know better. Also, while there were great craft-brew stars – both regionally and nationally - represented, there weren’t many lesser known breweries there, ready to surprise the throngs that arrived looking for a buzz. Maybe that wasn’t the goal, and perhaps that’s all relative – who knows. Southern Star Brewery, out of Conroe, TX isn’t exactly a household name, but thanks to their stellar Buried Hatchet Stout and Bombshell Blonde, the brewery that makes the finest canned Texas beer is well-known to us around here. In fact, Southern Star’s ProAm Smoked Porter was my favorite brew of the afternoon, with Austin’s Jester King Black Metal Stout ranking a close second.

So, there were a couple of issues, but overall, this was a very cool event and I can only imagine that it went about as well as anyone could expect from a first year’s offering.

As I’ve hinted already, Texas beer lovers were in heaven. St. Arnold had their excellent beers on hand, and Franconia, out of McKinney, wowed with their authentic, German-style lagers. Even Shiner Bock managed to bring something that was surely a surprise to most. Their new Shiner Ruby Redbird blended the classic bock taste with bright hints of ginger and grapefruit to make a refreshing and surprisingly even drink. It was easy to expect something that came off as way too fruity and sweet, but the ginger evened things out pretty well.

For the drinkers looking for out-of-state goodness, there were several options, perhaps most notably was New Belgium Brewery. Offering their brand-new Somersault seasonal (in stores very soon, we were told), Colorado’s hippest brewery is clearly continuing their streak of offering perhaps the country’s best beers for the sunny seasons.

Hey, what else is there to say, but that we’re already looking forward to next year’s fest!

I know that we still might technically be still in the midst of Spring, but the temps are beginning to suggest otherwise. Each year, as our energy bills rise, so to does the list of concerts we all circle on our repsective calendars. Below are a few of the top tours and festivals hitting the state. Some you may know all about by now, and others on this list may be hitting your radar for the first time, perhaps. Regardless, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something for almost any taste in the list below…

Austin Psych Fest (April 29 – May 1) - As much of an oddball grouping as your likely to find all year. This intense, all-weekend bill will be filling the Seaholm Power Plant with all sorts of industrial noise and racous bad/good times. Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez Lopez group, along with A Place to Bury Strangers, No Joy and even Texan-goup This Will Destroy You, lead a sonic assult that will likely leave any attendees few questions as to why their ears are bleeding.

Wilco (Houston May 6, Denton May 7) – Not much to add to the simple fact that Wilco will be hitting a couple of places in our state. Word has it that some sort of release is nearing completion, but even if Jeff Tweedy and crew dont play new tunes, their classics are just that – classic.

Editor’s Pick! Homegrown Festival (Dallas May 14): What began last year as a relatively humble gathering of local bands, some of which had outgrown the city limits a tad, has become a full-fledged destination festival, this year. the name of the all-day shindig rings true, still though. Headliners such as Slobberbone, Neon Indian, Astronautalis, and School of Seven Bells are widely known around the country, but all started here in North Texas. The still-new and beautiful Main St Garden is an ideal location that soon might be too small for this budding festival.

Editor’s Pick! Mogwai (Dallas May 15, Austin May 16, Houston May 17) – Perhaps the band that gave real wings to what so many term as “post-rock”. The Scottish outfit has now been together for over a decade and a half, and after three years, they’ve just released an insanely anthemic studio album album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, which is their best effort since their debut record, 1997′s Young Team. Similar to a band like Austin’s Explosions in the Sky, who clearly adore Stewart Braithwaite and his crew, Mogwai has always looked to create moving soundscapes that escape simple categorization. The former Matador stars, now working with Sub Pop have had this American tour planned for a while, actually. The Granada Theater in Dallas announced this show back in November, giving fans plenty of time to brush up on their air-guitar and shoegazing skills. A Pitchfork review of the new record, while not glowing, summed up a feeling that has seemed to evident in the band’s recent performances by suggesting, “ On Hardcore, Mogwai sound like they’re enjoying being Mogwai again.” I can only imagine that us Texans will enjoy them just fine.

Editor’s Pick! Twilight Singers (May 30 Dallas, May 31 Austin, June 1 Houston) – Another Sub Pop act that has been around for a while will be making their long-awaited way through Texas. This project is a bit differnt, however. Greg Dulli, formerly the leader of Afghan Wigs, made this his secondary group, therefore output from this act was scarce until his main act disbanded in 2001. After that, releases havent exactly been prolific, but they have at least bore the mark of a real band and not merely a one-off side project. Case in point: Twilight Singers latest album, Dynamite Steps. An all-out alt-rock album that features agressive rock, with agresive melodies and a real sense for drama. Afghan who?

Houston Free Press Summerfest (June 4-5) - Talk about a line-up that doesn’t need much further explanation? The annual festival, held in Eleanor Tinsley Park, has really topped their already impressive acts from previous years. Weezer, Big Boi, Cut Copy, Yeasayer, Jason Isbell, and Beirut headline a line-up that has really strong support from Lower Dens, Hayes Carll, The Black Angels and Those Darlins, among many others.

Adele w/ Wanda Jackson (Austin June 12, Dallas June 15) – Hello, Girl Power! The current darling of the UK and the US album charts pairs herself with the Queen of Rock and Roll? Yes please! That’s a serious amount of soul to put onto one stage in one night.

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One sunny, late fall day a few years ago, I had the pleasure of skipping the afternoon session of a trade show while in our state’s largest city. Knowing I needed to back in the Galleria area later that evening for a function or two related to the trade-show, I discarded a couple of ideas that would’ve had myself taking a serious day-trip, well out of the city limits. As it turned out, it was silly to even think of exiting the congested confines of what is an underrated artistic gem. Well, at least it’s underrated to many of us outside of the Gulf Coast.

Given the fact that Houston’s Museum District is as rife with time-killing goodness as it is, I highly doubt that it’s flying under the radar of any art or history-loving Houstonian. Growing up in the Ft. Worth area, as I did, it’s easy to think that everyone else in the state gazes enviously upon the historic and renowned Arts District (home to The Kimball Art Museum, among many others).

In one afternoon, I was treated to eclectic and edgy installations at the Contemporary Arts Museum, just after experiencing a more traditional, yet highly awe-inspiring visit to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. In fact, the Fine Arts collection is showcasing a highly-praised grouping of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work from The National Gallery, at this very time. Clearly, I focused on the art which the neighborhood offered, but the history is as prevalent and important as the collections of the museums I managed to visit. Perhaps on another trip, I’ll make it to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, or possibly to Houston’s Holocaust Museum, which is different than the one in Dallas.

There’s also something for the kiddos, too. The Children’s Museum of Houston is a colorful blast of interactive fun for both parent and child. And there’s the Houston Museum of Natural Science - which, as is the case in Ft. Worth, has an IMAX Theater.

So, next time you’re sitting in a convention in Houston, and the rest of the day’s docket looks pretty dull, act like you have to take a call in the hallway and hop in your rental and point it to the museum district!

Aerosol Warfare Gallery will be filled with fashion, live music, art, and good people! Kitchen Incubator will be in the house serving up some delicious graffiti art themed chocolates and other goodies.  Fashion Show by Richard Saenz.  Musical entertainment by SATIN HOOKS and NIKKHOO.

A limited run of Aerosol Warfare 2010 Designed Posters and AW Christmas Cards will also be for sale.

Art Crawl Houston has represented over one hundred eighty artists and art organizations each year! Maps of participating galleries, studios and places can be found via www.artcrawlhouston.com or at Aerosol Warfare Gallery.

Since 1992, the tradition of the artists “open studios/galleries ect” takes place on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Visitors have the opportunity to pARTicipate in the live/work/show spaces of these neighborhood” urban pioneers”. The mission of the ARTCRAWL is to assist the public in understanding contemporary art by directly involving the visitors in a dialogue with local artists in the Artist Warehouse District and surrounding areas of Downtown Houston.

Saturday Nov. 20th 2010
Tour the Warehouse, Downtown and EaDO District ALL DAY EVENT!
A FREE  Come-and-Go Event!

10am to 9pm
2110 Jefferson, Suite 113
Houston, Texas 77003
832-748-8369
aerosol@aerosolwarfare.com
RSVP on FACEBOOK