Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from the Meat Loaf performing in Austin and ZZ Top in New Braunfels to celebrating the birthday of Austin icon Leslie. Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
[June 22–29]



Hell Bound
“I get so locked into a song that when the song ends, it takes me fifteen, twenty seconds to figure out where the hell I am,” said Meat Loaf, whose new album, Hell in a Handbasket arrives on the thirty-fifth anniversary of his seminal album, Bat Out of Hell. The incendiary singer, actor and Celebrity Apprentice contestant will begin the tour for his new album in his new hometown of Austin. He grew up in Dallas and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School at fifteen. “My mother was a teacher, so she pulled some strings,” he said. A failed attempt as a “walk-on” for the Texas Tech football team led him to North Texas, where he quit school during his junior year and moved to California when the dean told him he had to retake freshman English. His new album—featuring collaborations with the rappers Chuck D and Lil Jon and the country singer Trace Adkins—is billed as his most personal. “Every other record, I’ve used a character,” he said, “and this one is really coming from my heart and is really sung as Meat Loaf and how I feel about life and the world.”
ACL Live, June 22, 8 p.m.,


Tough Lies
The pros make playing golf look easy. It is actually very difficult to effectively and consistently strike the tiny, motionless ball. But hide your excuse for your mediocre game and enter the Cow Pasture Golf Classic, where the course’s unforgiving ranch land will force you to admit defeat and surrender to the fun. The four-player scramble, in its third year, was conceived as a fund-raiser for the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin, which opened in January and celebrates the accomplishments of the legendary golfer who grew up there. There are no proper golf courses in the area, so the organizers plotted a course on the old Dublin-DeLeon Country Club golf course, defunct now for about seventy years but still memorable as the site of one of Hogan’s earliest victories. Expect a lot of errant balls that will require search missions. It is your choice whether to do that on an ATV or horseback, since golf carts aren’t equipped for this terrain.
Highway 6, June 23, 7:30 a.m.,


Pay Day
Earlier this month, the Houston rock band ZZ Top released Texicali, the four-song teaser EP for a coming album with no title and no release date. One of the songs, “I Gotsta Get Paid,” is like a modern-day “Walk This Way,” Aerosmith and Run-DMC’s rap-rock breakout. The ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons became enamored with the Houston hip-hop scene and conceived the song, which is featured in a new TV commercial for Jeremiah Weed alcoholic drinks, as a reinterpretation of “25 Lighters,” the ghetto hustler anthem by the Houston rappers DJ DMD, Lil Keke, and Fat Pat. (Rick Rubin, the producer who brought together Aerosmith and Run-DMC, also produced Texicali.) Search online for the commercial to get a taste for how ZZ Top will sound when the group returns to Texas for the last time before its tour ends.
Whitewater Amphitheater, June 23, 7:30 p.m.,


Spice It Up
There is a mad science to making curry, the Western catchall term for the various sauces in dishes served in Thailand, India, and other Southeast Asian countries. It all hinges on the combination of spices, some of which are family secrets that go back generations. The first annual Curry Crawl will bring the best that ten Houston-area restaurants have to offer. Even if you are an experienced curry consumer, there are some things to keep in mind. For one, it is in your best interest to sample each curry before diving in. A heaping spoonful of the wrong curry could turn you off to curry forever. Also, bring napkins, because eating curry produces an unbecoming glaze of sweat on your forehead. If you are still foiled, drink plenty of the Grey Goose cocktails being served as part of the admission price, and you won’t know what hit you in the first place.
Straits, June 24, 4 p.m.,


Lost and Found
There are too many parking lots in downtown Dallas that used to be the sites of majestic buildings, but for just one day you can have the structures recreated in your mind by the author and historic preservationist Mark Doty as part of the Lost Dallas Walking Tour.
Main Street Garden, June 23, 10 a.m.,


The People’s Mayor
It’s hard for Austinites to make it any weirder than Leslie Fest, a celebration of the long strange trip of Leslie Cochran, the cross-dressing street jester with a penchant for thongs, who died in March of complications from a head injury.
Lipstick 24, June 24, 4 p.m.,