The Drop Everything List

The Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Terlingua International Chili Championship, Stephan Pyles, and Asleep at the Wheel . . .

November 2010By Comments

Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from the opera in Houston and Friday night lights in Odessa to surfing along the coast and hiking in the mountains. Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
[NOV 5–NOV 11]

•••••

AUSTIN

A Fest for the Rest
The downside to Austin’s marquee music events—South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival—is that everybody goes to them. Fun Fun Fun Fest is the less-crowded alternative. It’s like SXSW in that it features a lot of “it” bands, but it isn’t full of badge-brandishing industry types gabbing about the next big thing. Like ACL, it’s outside in a park, but it’s late enough in the year that there’s no sweltering heat. “Our fest is for the people who are left out of these festivals,” says promoter Graham Williams. At Fun Fun Fun’s fifth anniversary this weekend, you’ll want to check out bands as random as a dealt hand: sci-fi rockers Gwar, punk rockers the Descendents (playing their first show in eight years), funnyman rapper Slick Rick, who will perform his landmark 1988 album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, in its entirety, and even “Weird Al” Yankovic, who opens the fest with his catchy if groan-inducing parodies.
Waterloo Park, November 5, 6 & 7, various times.
funfunfunfest.com

TERLINGUA

A Food Score Settled
A publicity stunt is to blame for the no-man’s-land location of the Terlingua International Chili Championship. The first competition, in 1967, was something of a lark, pitting a hotel cook from Dallas, Wick Fowler, against a humorist from New York, H. Allen Smith; organizers simply wanted to see how far away from civilization they could attract people. But the national press came running, praising what became a gathering of cosmic cowboys, chili-heads, and desert rats. They were soon joined by weekend warriors with high-dollar cooking set-ups and a different set of ingredients, including—gasp!—beans. The annual contest of meat and spice that we know today comes down to this: Who makes a better bowl of red, the purists in the Fowler camp, or the revisionists in the Chili Appreciation Society International?
Multiple locations, November 5 & 6, various times.
abowlofred.com

DALLAS–FORT WORTH

Pyles and Pyles of Texas
Stephan Pyles is the golden child of Southwestern cuisine: Among his accolades is a James Beard Award for Best Chef—sort of the toque-and-apron equivalent of a Best Director Oscar. So when the fifth-generation Texan asks you to cook at his annual celebrity chef dinner, you know you’ve made it. The gathering is principally a vehicle to raise money for Pyles’ scholarship program for up-and-coming chefs, but it’s also a chance for foodies to sample the best of the burgeoning culinary scene in Dallas and Fort Worth. This year’s roster includes hotshots Tim Byres of Smoke and Blaine Staniford of Grace; Jeff Harris and Matt Raso of the celebrity chef chains Craft and Nobu, respectively; Pyles disciple Matt McCallister; and chocolatier Katherine Clapner (who will be making pudding). Pyles will be there to assist in the preparations and to offer insight on the wines up for auction following dinner.
Stephan Pyles Restaurant, November 7, 6 p.m.
winefoodfoundation.org

SAN ANTONIO

A Woman of the Borderlands
Maria Berriozabal’s memoir, Maria: Daughter of Immigrants, tells the story of the 69-year-old’s unlikely ascent to the near-top of San Antonio’s political hierarchy. Elected in 1981, she was the first Mexican-American woman to win a city council seat in a major U.S. city. Her book doesn’t come out until next summer, but Berriozabal is giving a preview reading and performance tomorrow to mark a special occasion: the one hundredth anniversary of the day her paternal grandparents and father crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S. “I call myself a woman of the borderlands,” Berriozabal says. “I’ve lived in two places, which are one.” The book, which honors the contributions of Latinos in the U.S., recounts her years of service through the prism of the civil rights movement. The reading will be augmented by videos, photos, and music, including a group sing-along of Joan Baez’s “No Nos Moveran.”
Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, November 6, 7 p.m.
esperanzacenter.org

HOUSTON

At the International Quilt Festival, quilting’s premier tradeshow, you’ll find exhibitors, classes, and competitions, along with enough cutting-edge new designs to finally send great grandma’s friendship quilt to the foot locker.
George R. Brown Convention Center, November 5–7.
quilts.com

AUSTIN

Western swing masters Asleep at the Wheel celebrate their 40th anniversary by performing with Willie Nelson and channeling, as usual, the spirit of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.
Long Center, November 5.
asleepatthewheel.com

• • • • •

[PLUS]
Eight more gotta-see, gotta-do events that you can’t afford to miss. 
By Melanie Gasmen

AUSTIN

Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival
Since grabbing cuisine from a trailer is so in now, why not add “best food trailers” to Austin’s list of city feats. At this inaugural event, foodies can sample goods from more than thirty trailers, ranging from Gourdough’s eclectic donuts and Bananarchy’s banana on stick to Kronic Krave’s arepas and Kate’s Southern Comfort’s Cajun fried pies. Live music keeps it weird.
Auditorium Shores, Nov 6, 11–8.
gypsypicnic.com

DALLAS

Revelation: The Art of James Magee
Browse relief sculptures in the artist’s first major museum exhibition in eighteen years. Magee, who was born in Michigan but now hails from El Paso, has been known to rummage through landfills in his hometown and across the border in Juárez for ingredients for his sculptures. His contemporary works go beyond industrial materials and have included car parts and even paprika and honey, creating “poetic paradoxes.”
Nasher Sculpture Center, Nov 5–11, various times.
nashersculpturecenter.org

EL PASO

Toy Run Parade
See more than one thousand motorcyclists roar by for this event that benefits local underprivileged children. Live music and door prizes.
The ten-mile parade will start at the International Truck Driving School (141 Quinella) and end at the El Paso County Coliseum (4100 Paisano), Nov 7, 9–5.
lightningcustoms.com/events/event_20749.html

FORT WORTH

Mario Batali Asphalt Chef
Three teams battle it out using one secret ingredient. Food Network stars Mario Batali and Guy Fieri and local celebrity chef Tim Love team up with Nascar’s Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, and Carl Edwards for a grilling showdown benefiting the Speedway Children’s Charities and the Mario Batali Foundation.
Lone Star Clubhouse at the Speedway at Texas Motor Speedway, Nov 6, 6 p.m.
texas.speedwaycharities.org

GALVESTON

Lone Star Motorcycle Rally
Ride your hog in honor of the U.S. military during this four-day rally. The event includes live music from more than thirty bands on two stages, a tattoo lounge featuring some of the nation’s top tattoo artists, and a bike show. The Follow the Ground Zero Flag ride travels along the Strand and pays respect to fallen heroes.
Along the Strand, Nov 5–7, 10–11.
lonestarrally.com

HOUSTON

Die Fledermaus
Catch Opera in the Height’s English adaptation of the original German operetta by Johann Strauss. The story takes place in nineteenth-century Vienna, where a prince’s waltz turns into a night filled with disguises, champagne, and a lover’s revenge.
Lambert Hall, Nov 5–11, various times.
operaintheheights.org

SAN ANTONIO

Going Green Gala & Rising Star Fashion Industry Awards
This posh celebration honors both the leaders and the up-and-comers of San Antonio’s fashion industry. The Going Green runway show features avant-garde designs made from recyclable materials.
The Historic Sunset Station, Nov 5, 7–11.
fashionweeksa.com

SMITHVILLE

Smithville Music Festival
Jimmie Vaughan headlines this second-annual event that features an eclectic mix of more than twenty Texas musicians (think blues, Southern rock, country, and gospel) and much more, including an art show, a chili cook-off, and a dominoes tournament. Proceeds will benefit the establishment of a community center in one of Smithville’s historic buildings.
Vernon Richards Riverbend Park, Nov 6, 11–midnight.
smithvillemusicfestival.org

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