The Music Man
Those who consider Spotify the scourge of the music business won’t get sympathy at Gary Powell’s talk “Can Music Survive the Music Business?” “The business of music has been failing ever since some prehistoric herdsman improvised a song to his favorite yak,” Powell, a senior lecturer at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, is quoted as saying on the event site. Powell is more than just a professorial type waxing philosophic. He draws on his experiences as a performer (he started out in 1969 as a Texas A&M Singing Cadet), a composer for Disney (“A Bug’s Life Sing-Along” earned a Grammy nomination) and a songwriter (he has written for the Russian-American comedian Yakov Smirnoff) to give an insider’s perspective on the business of intellectual property rights. The talk should appeal to the large pool of music professionals in Austin and inspire a thoughtful dialogue on striking a balance between income and artistic freedom in an industry facing challenges brought on by rapidly changing technology and desperation.
AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, September 5, 11:30 a.m., texasenterprise.utexas.edu
State of Art
Hundreds of independent galleries across Texas support the state’s thriving arts scene by showcasing work by local artists. Unfortunately—or fortunately—there is too much good work to exhibit, and a lot of deserving stuff goes unseen. The Texas Biennial, an independent survey of the state’s contemporary art, rectifies that by creating a grand exhibition of work chosen by top curators, artists and critics who sift through submissions gathered from an open call. In its first three incarnations, the biennial showed work at multiple sites in Austin, and in 2011, the show expanded to include sites in Houston and San Antonio. This year, for the first time, all the new chosen work will be presented under one roof, starting Thursday at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. But art enthusiasts who can’t travel to San Antonio can still enjoy the state’s abundant creativity: the biennial will also include a fifth anniversary exhibition of past artists occurring simultaneously at the Lawndale Art Center, in Houston, and at Big Medium, in Austin, and there will be supplementary programming in Dallas and Marfa.
Various locations, August 30-November 9, texasbiennial.org
The Big Build
There is probably no one in Texas who is more obsessed with architecture than Gerald Moorhead, the Rice University lecturer in architecture and the architect laureate of Kazakhstan. Mr. Moorhead has been in the business of buildings for 40 years, as an architect and as an architectural journalist, writing about and taking photographs of the structures dotting the state’s landscape. For the “Authors in Architecture” series at Architecture Center Houston, Moorhead will present his new book, the 608-page “Buildings of Texas: Central, South and Gulf Coast,” the first in a two-volume set covering all of Texas. Learn specifically about Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio, with more than 1,000 entries, among them Spanish missions, log cabins, German stone houses, modern skyscrapers, and postmodern retail strips. Before Moorhead’s discussion, attendees can get in the right frame of mind with a guided tour of the host site, the Oak Forest Neighborhood Library, which recently received an award-winning midcentury makeover.
Oak Forest Neighborhood Library, September 5, 5:30 p.m., aiahouston.org
Fireworks, live music and the 242 lush acres at Moody Gardens help make for an intoxicating weekend at the BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival—and that doesn’t even count the 400 fine beers available. Among the high points are some of California’s finest brewers, like Ballast Point, Lagunitas, and Stone, as well as Dogfish, the offbeat Delaware brewer that promises to serve both 120, regarded as the ultimate in India pale ales and Red and White, an unusual blend of Belgian-style wheat beer and pinot noir. But the holy grail might be an offering from Real Ale, based in Blanco: the 2011 fifteenth anniversary collector’s edition of Devil’s Backbone, a beer held up as the finest made in Texas.
Moody Gardens, August 30-September 1, brewmastersbeerfest.com
All in the Family
The Dallas gospel-rock band the Relatives formed more than forty years ago, but it wasn’t until February that the band released its first proper CD, The Electric Word, produced by Jim Eno and featuring songs the band will perform at the Long Center’s “So Long Summer” series.
Long Center, August 31, 8 p.m., therelativesgospel.com
Together in Sound
The critically acclaimed Mexican-American rock band the Krayolas broke up in the eighties and reunited in 2007 to record the song “Little Fox” with the Tex-Mex organist Augie Meyers, who will join the band for a hometown show in support of its new album, Tormenta.
Sam’s Burger Joint, September 1, 7 p.m., thekrayolas.com