Until the Willie Nelson statue was unveiled outside of Austin City Limits Live, the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Auditorium Shores was arguably the primary music-related photo opp in Austin. That bronze sculpture, depicting Vaughan in a hat and poncho with his guitar resting by his side like a crutch, has always seemed to be missing something. Perhaps it’s the presence of Stevie’s older brother, Jimmie, who helped teach Stevie how to play and is a pretty legendary guitar-shredding blues musician in his own right, with four Grammys to his credit. But Austin’s mistake is Dallas’s opportunity and on Thursday, a week after the twenty-fifth anniversary of Stevie Ray’s death, Big D will take one more step toward seizing it with the Vaughan Brothers Art Project Fundraiser Concert. This past April (two days before Stevie was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), the Dallas Park and Recreation Board unanimously approved spending $142,000 on a statue or some other form of public art to honor both Vaughans in Oak Cliff’s Kiest Park, a block away from where the brothers grew up, at 2557 Glenfield Avenue. As the Dallas Morning News reported, the city agreed to pay $74,000 and the remaining $68,000 would be the responsibility of Kirby Warnock, former editor of Buddy music magazine and director of the recently released When Dallas Rocked documentary. Warnock proposed the idea of the artwork more than a year ago. “Dallas has the reputation as a great place to do business, but it has pretty much ignored its creative class and its music history,” Warnock said. “Consider this: there are two Dallasites in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy King—but nothing about them in their hometown. Does that sound crazy to you too?” Collecting money on behalf of Warnock is the Oak Cliff Foundation, a nonprofit neighborhood revitalization group. They will raise funds with live sets by, among others, Carolyn Wonderland, an Austin guitar slinger in the style of the Vaughan brothers, and an auction, featuring items like Fender Strats signed by Steve Miller and Eric Clapton.
The Kessler Theater, Sept. 3, 6 p.m., vaughanbrosart.com
Bill Callahan, the singer-songwriter whose intense baritone recalls Leonard Cohen, moved to Austin from Chicago ten years ago and the new setting put him in a “mode of home,” as he puts it, where he was free to shed his moniker, Smog, for his given name and start finding his own voice. “Before that I was just wanting to try everything, record every type of sound,” Callahan wrote in an email interview, which is customary for him. “Austin settled me into doing what I really wanted to do after sowing oats. I think it was the cacti, the succulents that inspired me. They don’t do anything they don’t want to do, so I followed suit.” On Sunday, in nothing intended as an anniversary of that permutation yet conveniently time-pegged to it, Callahan will perform a one-off hometown show at Oohla Bean, a new 85-acre retreat in Driftwood, in the Hill Country south of Austin. “The Oohla Bean show is special for many reasons,” he said. “The location is magical, but also there’s going to be an audience show-and-tell, where audience members can bring something to the show that they want to share with the crowd, plus a story teller and some other surprises I’m working on.” Don’t expect Callahan to exclusively promote songs from his latest album, Dream River, whose opening tune, “The Sing,” finds him intoning, “The only words I’ve said today are beer and thank you / Beer / Thank you / Beer / Thank you / Beer.” That album came out in 2013, ages ago for a musician who has put out a new album every two years for the last decade. Callahan said he’s working on new material but described it only as “being one big soup in one big pot.” Long perceived as an introvert, Callahan has opened up in recent years, allowing journalists to profile him in-depth and consenting to be filmed for a documentary, Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film. The filmmaker behind the movie, Hanly Banks, is now Hanly Banks Callahan, which may have something to do with his flowering. Another contributing factor may be the recent birth of their first child. “It is making me the man I always wanted to be,” Callahan said. “Rising early, working like a mule, laughing about it all at the end of the night and retiring to my bed like a journeyman fighter between rounds.”
Oohla Bean, August 30, 5 p.m., dragcity.com
Texas is where one of Orson Welles’s dreams came true. In late October 1940, just weeks after finishing Citizen Kane, Welles diverted a lecture series he was on from its designated stop in Arizona to Texas so that he could meet H.G. Wells, whose science fiction novel The War of the Worlds Welles had famously adapted for a radio broadcast two years prior. The two met for the first time in San Antonio and taped an interview for local radio station KTSA, in which Wells ribs Welles about dropping the second “e.” Seventy-five years later, Welles is experiencing another triumph in Texas as the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth celebrates the centennial year of his birth with the Happy Birthday, Orson! Film Festival. The three-day affair includes screenings of eight films, with a reception at the beginning and a talk at the midway point. Leading things off is Citizen Kane, considered the number one film of all time by the American Film Institute, and closing things out is Macbeth, which Welles had previously done as a national theater production, staged for two weeks at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, September 3–6, themodern.org
The forecast is fairly predictable this time of year: hot and sunny. The only relief in sight might be “Storm Front: Experience the Elements,” a suite of dances inspired by weather patterns and environmental factors. The show is produced by Noble Motion, a Houston company whose aggressive style will come through in pieces like “Tower,” in which 33 dancers depict a rising storm; “Flash Burn,” a re-imagination of the ashen Hiroshima landscape left behind by the atomic bomb; and “KinkyKool Fan Blowing Hard,” wherein dancers face off against three industrial fans. Noble Motion is a participant in the Houston Arts Alliance’s Resident Incubator Program, a three-year stint for emerging organizations with small budgets, and this weekend’s performances are a direct result of that experience.
The Hobby Center, August 28 and 29, 7:30 p.m., noblemotiondance.com
When the final album you recorded before you died in 2003 was The Influence, and the songs on it featured you paired with the likes of Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and George Jones, a strong case can be made that you should be immortalized in some fashion. That’s exactly the aim of the fundraiser this Sunday at the Dan Pogue Gallery, in which support will be drummed up for a life-size statue of Floyd Tillman, the Hill Country musician who helped pioneer Western swing and honky-tonk.
Dan Pogue Gallery, August 30, 2 p.m., gofundme.com/tillmanbronze
Fans of Marfa Public Radio’s “Far West Texas Surf Report,” a sort of stream-of-consciousness broadcast that considers desert life like a beach, can continue riding its epic swell at Ballroom Marfa’s “Desert Surf Films” event this weekend, a two-day screening of surfing films, including the 1973 cult classic Crystal Voyager, featuring slow-motion footage inside the barrel of a wave set to Pink Floyd’s 23-minute song “Echoes.”
Ballroom Marfa, August 28 and 29, 8:30 p.m., ballroommarfa.org