Get Your Goat
The Mexican tradition of roasting a goat kid, or cabrito, typically involves digging a pit and lining it with bricks before even attempting to sustain a fire for upward of seven hours. But since the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off takes place in a city park, conventional smokers are used to obtain that rarefied earthy taste, one that is savored worldwide but can still be considered a delicacy in the United States. For this weekend’s forty-first annual affair, 206 teams will compete in three categories. For the big cook-off, half a goat is supplied to each contestant, who must remove the bones and prepare it without sauces and garnishes. The same rules apply in the Super Bowl competition, featuring only past winners of the main cook-off, including last year’s champion, Chivos Borrachos. And in the Mystery Meat competition, the protein of choice will be anybody’s guess until opening day. The idea of goat in the land of beef and pork barbecue may be difficult to conceive for some, but ponder this: The calorie-per-ounce ratio of cabrito is much lower than that of brisket or sausage, and cabrito is usually sweeter.
Richards Park, Aug. 29 at 12 p.m. and Aug. 30 at 6 a.m.,


Past-Due Bill
Texas fans of Bill Callahan, an Austin singer-songwriter with a baritone voice and a lyrical candor evoking Leonard Cohen, have waited patiently to see him perform in support of his fifteenth studio album, Dream River. In September he began his tour with a show aboard a riverboat on Lady Bird Lake in Austin, limited to eighty concertgoers. When he plays on Tuesday with other acts in a benefit for Austin Bat Cave, a youth writing center, it will be only his third gig in the state in the year since. Callahan is somewhat of a mystery: his music is not on Spotify; he does not have a website; and until recently, he didn’t allow journalists to interview him in person. What is known about him is that he moved to Austin from Chicago ten years ago and shed the “Smog” moniker for his given name after the first of five albums that he has recorded here, each of which has received increasing critical praise.
Holy Mountain, Sept. 2, 7 p.m.,


Celestial Bodies
This year, the Houston Arts Alliance selected the NobleMotion Dance company for its Resident Incubator Program, which provides support for groups with modest budgets and great promise. Noble Motion owes this opportunity to its progressive integration of technology into dance. This concept is prominently displayed in the production “Dark Matter: Evidence of Things Unseen,” a take on the astronomical theory that invisible mass influences gravity. The performance, with light installations highlighting the troupe of fearless and physical dancers, will be conveyed in a space that has been converted into a sort of planetarium. The first half of the show uses multiple projection screens for the dancers to interact with time-delayed versions of themselves. In the second half, the stage becomes a mirrored surface onto which light is projected, creating dizzying effects. “We also utilize fog and projection design to alter the viscosity of the air, creating the illusion of being underwater,” said Andy Noble, the executive director.
The Barn, Aug. 29-30 and Sept. 4-6, 8 p.m.,


Great Lake
Don Henley sang about a hotel in California as such a lovely place, but Caddo Lake, where Henley grew up, is truly the spot that he has never left behind. The exhibit “Caddo Lake Exposed” documents this mystical swampland on the Louisiana border, where a cypress forest emerges from the water (and Bigfoot supposedly roams), with 33 prints by six photographers. Some of the proceeds from the sales will go to the Caddo Lake Institute, founded in 1992 by Henley to preserve the natural wonder, which nonnative species, like Salvinia, have begun to threaten.
Sun to Moon Gallery, Sept. 4 to Oct. 11,


Lasting Impressions
The French artists in the exhibit “Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art” are significant—Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, and Gauguin, among others—but the roughly seventy Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings on display are generally diminutive, forcing viewers to concentrate on the interplay of color and imagination.
McNay Art Museum, Sept. 3 to Jan. 4,


The Original Skyscraper
The high point of the exhibit “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs” is the life-size re-creation of Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis, a plant-eating sauropod that roamed the earth for 140 million years. It gazes down upon spectators from the end of a neck that measures thirty feet—the length of about five giraffe necks.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1,