East meets Southwest in an unprecedented festival of Japanese culture in Dallas. Plus: Texas rock and rollers shake their Hootie; Lubbock gets down for a four-day celebration of cowboys and cool tunes; the University of Texas Longhorns host the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame—and give one of their own the Royal treatment; and Houston gets a rare peek at the splendors of ancient Egypt. Edited by Quita McMath, Erin Gromen, and Cheri Ballew


Pacific Overture

Ordinarily, an international loan with a high level of interest would hardly be considered a coup. But in the case of “Japan’s Golden Age: Momoyama,” an unprecedented exhibition of that country’s artistic treasures opening at the Dallas Museum of Art on September 8, the loan is cultural rather than commercial. The centerpiece of Sun and Star 1996, a one-hundred-day festival celebrating Japanese culture that will dominate the arts scene in the Metroplex this fall, the show is “by far the most important exhibit of Japanese art to ever come to Texas,” says its curator, Money Hickman. It presents 160 priceless pieces from Japan’s Momoyama period (1573–1615), a brief era of peace and affluence that saw a flowering of the arts. Included are objects on loan from national and private museums in Japan, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines: painted silk screens, lacquerware and ceramics, delicate textiles, samurai armor, and Noh masks (the one above depicts a hannya, or demon). Many of the pieces have never been shown before in the West and, says Hickman, they’ll “stop you in your tracks.” Cheri Ballew


America the Hootieful

If overexposure were a capital crime, we’d long ago have witnessed the members of Hootie and the Blowfish slouching toward the electric chair (“Dead Band Walking!”). But then we’d have missed out on seeing the immensely popular frat-boyish rockers in their three Texas gigs this month, and we’d have failed to learn the dirty little secret about them: They aren’t that bad. Hipsters dismiss them as middlebrow and talentless, but a few of their songs are catchy, especially their recent single “Old Man and Me.” Their latest CD, Fairweather Johnson, boasts an impressive roster of guest artists, from frequent R.E.M. collaborator Peter Holsapple to Texas’ own Nanci Griffith. Even the video for “Old Man and Me,” directed in trademark blue and sepia hues by photographer Dan Winters (a regular contributor to Texas Monthly), is among the more palatable MTV staples of recent months. So they’re not the Beatles; they’re not even Wings. But as phenomena go, they’re still worth watching. Shake your Hootie. Evan Smith


Hearts of the West

“Yeehaw” and “rave on” will be heard in the streets of Lubbock on Saturday, September 7, during a unique cultural convergence that could happen only in the Hub City of the South Plains. On the Depot District side of downtown, rock and rollers will bop to the sounds of local-boys-done-good the Crickets and Joe Ely. The Avenue H street dance will cap a four-day festival commemorating what would have been the Big Six-O birthday for Buddy Holly, the biggest hometown music hero of them all (his widow, Maria Elena, will be there). Meanwhile, cowboys, men in Mackenzie’s raiders uniforms, and an encampment of Native Americans will bivouac around the Civic Center on the other side of downtown for the Eighth Annual National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration. The largest such wingding in the country, it will kick off with the American Cowboy Culture Awards on Thursday, September 5, hosted by West Texas native Barry Corbin and honoring John Wayne (his widow, Pilar, will accept the award). This is one weekend when Lubbock will be almost too much fun. Joe Nick Patoski


Royal Treatment

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame—for returning to Austin for the first time in 44 years. On September 21 the Fighting Irish will play the Texas Longhorns in one of the biggest games of the year. Texas partisans will celebrate the occasion by waking up some echoes of their own: UT’s Memorial Stadium will be renamed for former coach Darrell Royal, who led the Longhorns from 1957 through 1976 and won eleven Southwest Conference championships (see Last Page, page 208). His most famous victory—against the Irish in the 1970 Cotton Bowl—secured the national title for the undefeated Longhorns. (Above: Royal, right, accepts congratulations from Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian for the Longhorns’ come-from-behind triumph.) The weekend festivities begin Friday night, when UT honors Royal with a $75-a-ticket bash at the Austin Convention Center (you may have to pay even more for a scalper’s ticket to the football game). The star player at the party won’t be wearing a helmet, but he might be wearing a bandanna. He’s Royal’s longtime friend and golfing buddy Willie Nelson. Paul Burka


Little Egypt

New York’s Metropolitan, Paris’ Louvre, and London’s British Museum all have fine Egyptian collections, but Hildesheim’s Pelizaeus? “All Egyptologists know about Hildesheim,” says Frances Marzio, the curator of “Splendors of Ancient Egypt,” the spectacular show opening at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts on September 22. Never before has the Pelizaeus Museum allowed so much of its collection to leave the small city in northern Germany. Fittingly, the MFA plans a blockbuster installation. More than two hundred artifacts covering five millennia of ancient Egyptian cultural history will be placed in recreated tomb and temple-courtyard settings in the museum’s Upper Brown Pavilion. Rarities range from a monumental portrait sculpture of Cheops’ nephew Hem-iunu, the overseer of the Great Pyramid at Giza (circa 2530 B.C., the Old Kingdom period), to an intimate tableau from a funerary stela depicting military leader Nemti-ui and his wife at an offering table (above, circa 2100 B.C.). “The Pelizaeus Museum has one of the finest Egyptian collections in the world,” says Marzio, “and they are loaning us their best things.” Chester Rosson