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The Herbalist — Notes From the Underground

The Herbalist — Notes From the Underground
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Did you know that Sweet Honey in the Rock is playing a free show at Discovery Green on Friday? Did you know that Koomah, Houston’s “Happy Hermaphrodite,” debuts their “History of a happy hermaphrodite: part 1” at Super Happy Fun Land as part of the Houston Fringe Festival with shows on Friday and Sunday? Well good for you! but I’m concerned that not enough people know about these things so I’m starting a new events-list here on Free Press Houston. Welcome to the Herbalist — the editor’s picks. Let’s keep this short and sweet, for those with discriminating tastes. I hope to avoid too much overlap with David Garrick’s weekly events listing.


Just go to Sewell Hall at Rice University from 5 - 10 pm. There’s four art shows opening — Anila Quayyam Agha’s “Intersections” opens at 5 in the Rice Gallery, Paul Krainak’s “Rural Phase” opens with a talk at 7, and audiences will have a rare opportunity to see original comic book art by masters such as Jack Kirby in the CATS Workshop beginning at 8, and local artist Chris Henry’s show in the Matchbox Gallery opens at 8, as well. All in Sewell Hall! With free beer!

Or if you’re into the kind of Americana you’re likely to hear at the Continental Club or on KPFT, i.e. middle-aged white people music, check out Discovery Green’s Thursday concert series, where Dale Watson and The Lonestars will be headlining with Rosie Flores opening. While you’re there, be sure to stop by the MKT Bar at Phoenicia Specialty Foods nearby, where concert photographer Trish Badger — whose work often graces the pages of Free Press Houston — is exhibiting a show of her photos.

Jhon R. Stronks’s performance Contain(h)er/ Sparkle Noir sounds pretty cool, too. “An evening that combines dance, song and text with audio/visual elements to reveal an inner world influenced by the lives, work and deaths of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt and Whitney Houston.” There’s performances on both Thursday and Friday.



Go see Sweet Honey in the Rock! It’s FREE. At Discovery Green. THERE IS NOTHING GOING ON IN ALL OF HOUSTON AT THIS TIME MORE WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION THAN THIS AMAZING, ALL-FEMALE, ACAPELLA GOSPEL GROUP. Here’s one of their songs, in which it sounds like they’re saying my name. Get ready for some goosebumps.


The ONLY viable excuse for missing SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK is that you just had to see Koomah’s “History of a happy hermaphrodite: part 1” at Super Happy Fun Land, though you’ll have a chance to see that again on Sunday, looser [sic].

What’s that? You didn’t get enough art on Thursday so you want more on Friday? And you can’t just go to the exhibition some time later — you have to go to the opening? Fine — if Sweet Honey in the Rock wasn’t playin a free show on Friday, I might recommend stopping by Fresh Arts for local artist/prankster Philip Pyle’s show “Black Panther Party Power,” and the Blaffer Museum at UH, which has two shows opening: a group show called “Time/Image” as well as Nigerian artist Zina Saro Wiwa (yes, daughter of activist Ken Saro Wiwa)’s show “Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?” Art League Houston will be hosting the opening of their Texas Artist of the Year show, featuring Amy Blakemore.

Catastrophic Theater’s “The Danube” opens Friday and runs through October 17.




Four shows are opening at Box 13, including one of my favorite local scribblers, Sarah Welch. 7-9 pm.

Bold Asian American Images at the Aurora Picture Show, “this program showcases an eclectic mix of short films curated by writer Melissa Hung, the founding editor of Hyphen magazine.” 7 pm.

Sasha Braverman and Henry Chow’s monthly Black Magic party at the Flat. Techno on vinyl. Free for 21+.

Cirque Noir presents Bazaar Noir — This is a truly underground event and you should seek out information on your own if you’d like to go. :-) Should be out of this world.



Sleep in or get your heathen butt to church or go to the park or hang out with your mom, I don’t know. Or do what David Garrick says, jeez!

Why does the River Oaks Theater have not one but two seemingly awful films about Indians? (Meet the Patels and Learning to Drive). If you get that bored, go check them out and tell me if they’re worth my time — thanks.



They, Who Sound at Avant Garden, 7:30-9:30 pm. “They, Who Sound is a weekly series in Houston for experimental sound-making, improvised music, free jazz, noise, noises, electro-acoustics, psychedelia, field recordings, the recitation of words, the reading of words, the projection of light, ?, improvised dance, performed behavior, the performance of art, and the recitation of phonemes.”

Monday Night Jazz Jam — It’s not at Phil and Derek’s anymore. And it’s long since gone from Smitty’s (which doesn’t even exist, itself, anymore). I’m not telling where it’s at, because that’s my little private retreat, but if you can figure out where it is feel free to buy me a beer. Cheers!



I know I told you to skip Zina Saro Wiwa’s opening at the Blaffer Museum on Friday, but make sure to swing by to see it before Tuesday, because that’s when Saro Wiwa will join Project Row Houses’ public art director Ryan Dennis in conversation at the El Dorado Ballroom. Yup — I drew this calendar out past the weekend just so I could promote this event — it’s going to be that good. NOT TO MISS. And do yourself a favor and stop by to see the art, first.



The boys who put on everybody’s favorite monthly classic soul dance party, A Fistful of Soul, are hosting a film screening (unrelated to South Asians) at the River Oaks Theater. Well, IF they can get enough people to sign up. Looks like a cool movie — Northern Soul — expect dancing in the aisles.


See you next week — cheers!