The Herbal List
Featured image: Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings # 30, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 1996. From the series Tailings. Taken from FotoFest site.
It’s Art Car weekend, the funnest weekend in all of Houston! (Except for FPSF weekend…and Day For Night weekend…but I digress.) Let’s digress a bit more, shall we? Here’s a hilarious video about a phone call from Puff Daddy to Bjork.
Now, for the events:
Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) — I love everything I’ve ever seen by the Catastrophic Theater, and their production of Will Eno’s Pullitzer Prize finalist one man show promises to continue that streak. It runs April 1 - 24, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 5. As always, tickets are pay what you can. This production takes place at 14 Pews.
CounterCurrent Festival — This festival of bold, experimental art is about the best thing to happen to Houston since the opening of the Menil Collection. Seriously. Check the website for more information. It goes on from April 12 - 17 and all events are FREE, though some do require reservations. You’ll thank me, later, trust.
School of Experimental Work (SEW) : Audio Visual Workshop Series — The School of Experimental Work: Audio-Visual series is a series of workshops, lectures, meditations and/or performances. Artists are invited to conduct sessions which highlight interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and experimentation. All sessions are open to the public, with the intended audience being emerging artists who can not afford other means of arts education. This intensive “school” will focus on exploring ideas and artistic practices surrounding the use of various forms of technology in the arts and will feature workshops on, but not limited to the following: animation, sound art, and other forms of digital art making. Workshops on April 9, 16, 23, and 30 (more info at the link), at Alabama Song, $20 materials fee.
Thursday, April 7
Earth Music — This event by and at FotoFest (Silos at Sawyer Yards) sounds like the perfect match of listening to original music in a killer space while looking at some of the most compelling contemporary photography in the world. 7:30 pm, The Silos at Sawyer Yards, FREE (but make a reservation here.)
Mid-Main’s First Thursday Block Party — Those few blocks of Main Street near Alabama make Houston look positively civilized, what with the train and street-level retail that’s not pushed back to make room for an empty strip mall parking lot, and the weather this time of year is just perfect to stroll about, window shop, have a beverage, look at art, and catch some performances — and I’m not just saying that because Boo Town is reading one of my old stories there today at 7 pm. 6 pm, Main St @ Alabama, FREE.
Houston Film Commission First Thursdays — It’s actually possible to hit up both First Thursdays events, as this one doesn’t start until later. This is one for the filmmakers and film buffs, a monthly screening of short films bearing some connection to Houston. 8 pm, Cafe Brasil, FREE.
Art Car Peek Party — Come see The art cars before the Parade. Meet the artists and enjoy their amazing wheeled wonders. 7-10 pm, Wonky Power Live, FREE.
Friday, April 8
The Legendary Art Car Ball — One of (if not) the best parties in town all year. 6-11 pm, I & II Allen Center, $30.
Don’t Blink: Robert Frank — A documentary about the photographer, presented by FotoFest. 7 pm, MFAH, $7-9.
Art Openings at Isabella Court — Katrina Moorhead and Håvard Homstvedt celebrate their opening at the Inman Gallery, Julia Brown has a multi-media show opening at the Devin Borden Gallery, and Art Palace presents Apollonian and Dionysian, an exhibition of highly-labored beadwork, ceramics, metalwork, and installation by Anthony Sonnenberg that explore the historical instability of power, and the constance of beauty and tragedy. I’m sure that the David Shelton Gallery will open its doors for their ongoing exhibition of Rodrigo Valenzuela’s work, as well. But wait…I just remembered, David Shelton isn’t at Isabelle Court anymore, they moved to 4411 Montrose. Doh! In any case, stop by Isabella Court on Friday between 6-8 pm for contemporary art and free wine, not to mention great conversation and people watching.
Saturday, April 9
FotoFest Bike Scramble — Explore the FotoFest 2024 Biennial, and enjoy the Houston spring in a whole new way. Join the rides and visit photography exhibitions at FotoFest and Participating Spaces. Ride the whole day or join us en route - the tour is modular and is designed for riders of all ages and skill levels. Starts at 10:30 am at the Silos at Sawyer Park, FREE.
29th Annual Houston Art Car Parade — Art cars are one thing Houston does better than any other place. People literally come from all over the world for this parade, so you have no excuse. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ROUTE IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF CONSTRUCTION THIS YEAR. 2-4 pm, downtown, FREE.
Trans Visibility Gathering — Houston is having its very first transgender visibility event! Join us in bringing awareness to our community and celebrating each other. This grassroots event will start with a visibility march through Hermann Park (6001 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030). Once at our destination we will have speeches from community leaders, performances by trans talent, and activities for kids. Friends and family are welcome, even the furry ones. 1-4 pm, Hermann Park near pedal boats and train station, FREE.
Racing Extinction — This documentary film “exposes the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that change the way we see the planet…a world that the oil and gas companies don’t want the rest of us to see.” Presented by FotoFest at the MFAH on Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 5 pm, $7-9.
Eyes on Texas, General Meeting — On April 4th, Texas inmates from five Texas Prisons went on strike against inhumane living conditions, good time/work time, an end to medical copay, and other demands made. On April 9th the Incarcerated Woker’s Organizing Committee (IWOC), a part of the IWW, called a National day of action/education. In Houston we are hoping to use this day to discuss these events as well as plan for future actions building toward the September 9th National Prison Shutdown that Texas will likey also be participating in. 6:30-7:30 pm, Solidarity Houston, FREE.
Sunday, April 10
Sketchbook Saloon presents SCANTILY JAZZ w/ Camille La Vie and FPH’s John Mills McCoin — Life Drawing. Photography. Inebriation. 2 pm, The Sketchbook Saloon, $10-20.
Monday, April 11
Go see Glover Gill play solo tango piano at the Continental Club for Free. Or
Go see They, Who Sound at Avant Garden for the best in local avant garde improvisational music (with Nestor’s pizza oven in action). Or
Go to the Monday Night Jazz Jam at Cafe 4212. Or
Have a pizza and a frozen mojito and shake your booty at the Flat.
Tuesday, April 12
CounterCurrent opening night celebration — Celebrate the opening of CounterCurrent 2024 with talks by Executive Director Karen Farber and Program Director Pia Agrawal, as well as the artists. 6-10 pm, MATCH, FREE with free food and drink, to boot.
Wednesday, April 13
Slavs and Tatars, 79.89.09 — In collaboration with University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, this unique lecture-performance takes on the two major geopolitical narratives of the twentieth and twenty-first century — Communism and political Islam — through the lens of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and Poland’s Solidarnośc (Solidarity) movement in the 1980s. The monobrow, modernity, citizen diplomacy, and the Beach Boys are just a few of the disparate issues at play in this lively investigation of the convergences of Poland and Iran’s economic, cultural, and political histories.