Six Must-Attend Events: May 24-29
The state's top offerings from seeing some of the top street artists' work to hearing the Sixth Floor Museum's founders talk about the importance of the institution to Dallas and JFK's memory.
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The Chosen One
Stephen Fagin is perfect for telling the story of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the former book depository from where it is believed Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shot that killed President John K. Kennedy. As a fourth grader, Fagin, who is from Dallas, visited the museum—where he is now the associate curator—the first week it opened, in 1989. This stoked an obsession about conspiracy theories fueled by his mother’s many books on the assassination. “The reason I’m at this museum is really the result of my mother’s lifelong interest in the story,” Fagin said. “She grew up here in Dallas, and like so many other local school kids, she was traumatized by the events of that weekend, and felt personally threatened—her whole world shifted.” Fagin recently transformed his graduate thesis into his own Kennedy book, Assassination and Commemoration: JFK, Dallas, and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the first institutional history of the museum. On Wednesday, Kennedy’s birthday, Fagin will present the book in conversation with Conover Hunt and Lindalyn Adams, the museum’s two key founders, who are speaking publicly at the museum for the first time. The saga of preserving this reminder of one of Dallas’s darkest moments, fifty years later, will reveal various prior efforts to burn it down or raze it. “If the building were torn down,” said Fagin, paraphrasing the Dallas County official Judson Shook, an early advocate of the building, “that would make it look like Dallas was guilty and trying to hide its secrets.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, May 29, 2 p.m., jfk.org
The death of one breathed a lot of life back into others. True Believers, the disbanded eighties Austin rock group fronted by the singer-songwriters Alejandro Escovedo, Jon Dee Graham, and Javier Escovedo (Alejandro’s brother), reunited for a set last fall in honor of Brent Grulke, the deceased, longtime champion of the Austin music scene, who back in the day drove the band’s van. The show went so well that the True Believers decided to keep it going. Next up was a South by Southwest appearance earlier this year, which David Fricke of Rolling Stone, who likens the five-piece’s sound to “a dream combination of the ‘Exile’-era Rolling Stones, early R.E.M., and Moby Grape,” qualified as “sustained resurrection.” Two new singles, “Dedication” and “Gipsy Son,” have followed, along with a series of shows, including tonight’s hometown gig, where fans will perhaps have the chance to hear other new songs that might be destined for a new album.
Antone’s, May 24, 8 p.m., thetroobs.com
The Station Museum of Contemporary Art has organized “Call It Street Art, Call It Fine Art, Call It What You Know” in part to dispel the notion that street art is glorified graffiti. Works by 21 artists who have made exemplary pieces in Houston will be featured, the majority of whom will be working directly on the walls of the museum, while a pair of artists, Wiley Robertson and Bryan Cope, will be working together on a mural on a building across the street. It’s important to recognize these artists’ outpouring of imagination, even if some consider it misplaced. “Their work is fundamental to the creative power that is manifesting in this city,” Jordan Poole, the show’s curator, wrote in an email.
Station Museum of Contemporary Art, May 25, 7 p.m., stationmuseum.com
Busting It Up
Alvaro Del Norte, the accordionist and lead singer for the San Antonio band Piñata Protest, doesn’t play his father’s conjunto music. He and his three band mates perform an updated version that appeals to a new generation, as was shown when their new album, “El Valiente,” was recently streamed in advance on NPR’s Web site. In just under twenty minutes, nine songs—including two classics, the ranchera “Volver, Volver” and the corrido “La Cucaracha—are dispatched with such punk-rock intensity that a mosh pit is likely to break out at their hometown CD release show.
The White Rabbit, May 24, 7 p.m., pinataprotestband.com
Some Assembly Required
At the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair—the state’s official fair of its kind, founded in 1972, in tandem with the Kerrville Folk Festival—the many objects of style and substance created by more than 125 artisans are not just made in the USA, but also exclusively in Texas.
River Star Arts & Event Park, May 24 at 5 p.m. and May 25-26 at 9 a.m., tacef.org
Two for One
The exhibition “Picasso Black and White” will reveal Pablo Picasso’s techniques via many never-before-seen paintings, sculptures and works on paper, including the piece “Woman Ironing,” the painting celebrated for the painting found underneath it.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, May 24-27, mfah.org