Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from a séance the Menard House in Galveston to Roky Erickson in Austin. Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
[October 27–November 1]
See Dead People
Galveston is prime haunting territory. From the Karankawa Indians to the Spanish and French explorers and the imported slaves, you have fertile environs for long-buried but still wayward souls. You can try to communicate with the dead at the “Victorian Séance at Menard House,” the homage to the séances routinely held there in the mid-1800s by John Sidney Thrasher, the husband of Rebecca Mary Bass Menard, who was the widow of Michel Menard, the founder of Galveston. “Victorians were obsessed with what was waiting for them on the other side,” said Jami Durham of the Galveston Historical Foundation. “Tarot cards were a popular parlor game, and the Ouija board was patented at the time.” It will be the first public séance in 130 years at the 1838 Menard House, the oldest residence in Galveston and formerly a hospital for Civil War soldiers. Durham said she interviewed four mediums and chose Sandra Logan because she was the only one who did not want to know about the history of the house. Gather in the opulent double parlors, have some champagne and then take a tour of the house before the séance. Logan’s ability to channel spirits will probably determine whether you stick around for the sleepover.
Menard House, October 27, 7:30 p.m., galvestonhistory.org
Hoop It Up
It was obvious early in the last NBA season that the Mavericks were not going to repeat as champions. This turned the spotlight to their in-state rivals, the Spurs, who played stellar basketball until the Western Conference Finals, when they ran into the high-flying and high-scoring Oklahoma City Thunder. Led by the rising superstar Kevin Durant, who played at the University of Texas, the Thunder exposed the Spurs’s big stars—Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker—as aging players. When the teams tip off the new season with a rematch, it will be time for the Spurs to show the Thunder that experience trumps youth in the end. It will also begin the long farewell to Duncan, the thirteen-time All-Star who led the Spurs to four championships but is most likely in his last season with the team.
AT&T Center, November 1, 8:30 p.m., nba.com/spurs
Although the Austin musician Roky Erickson is synonymous with psychedelic rock, “horror rock” might be a more apt description for his burly mix of howling electric guitar and delusional lyrics. Take his classic “Bloody Hammer,” in which he sings, “Demon is up in the attic to the left/ My eye turns to the left to say no.” Brutalizing songs like this are not calculated scare tactics but rather the fallout of the drug use and electro-shock therapy Erickson had in the sixties and seventies. For years, Erickson did not play live, but he resurfaced in 2010 with the Austin band Okkervil River for the album True Love Cast Out All Evil, which earned a Grammy nomination and endeared Erickson to a new generation of fans who would not miss the rare chance this tour presents.
The Parish, October 27, 9 p.m., rokyerickson.net
Avid cyclists know that it is all about the frame. They want something that supports a quick and comfortable ride and that is also going to stand the test of time. At the Texas Custom Bicycle Show, riders ranging from racers to cruisers will have direct access to the manufacturers of high-quality frames for a reasonable price. “Our bikes are hand-made by small shops—usually just one guy—in a slow, arduous, artisan process, and almost with all United States steel,” said Glenn Thompson, the event’s organizer. “It’s the viewpoint of it’s not made in China at a sweatshop with plastic or carbon or any of that stuff that breaks.” Attend and help forge the burgeoning biking movement in car-congested Dallas and avoid making the common mistake at retail stores of buying more bike than you need. “You need the proper horse for the proper course,” Thompson said.
Club Dada, October 27-28, 10 a.m., texascustombicycleshow.com
A Look Ahead
Find out from the experts if we are on track to realizing the idea of a sleek, glossy future during “Visions of the Future: The Tenth Biennial Fleur Cowles Flair Symposium,” a three-day forum supplementing the exhibition “I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America.”
Harry Ransom Center, November 1-3, various times, hrc.utexas.edu
Hit the Shower
What makes Psycho one of the scariest movies of all time is that you can watch the shower scene over and over and still get scared, which means you shouldn’t feel embarrassed when you squeal like a child in the company of strangers at this Halloween screening.
Miller Outdoor Theatre, October 31, 8 p.m., milleroutdoortheatre.com