Take It to the Grave
Alejandro Rose-Garcia, the one-man band called Shakey Graves, appears to be the next musical alumnus of Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin to be headed for stardom. A fellow alumnus, Gary Clark Jr., the blues-playing guitar phenomenon, has found renown all over the world in the last year. In October, Rose-Garcia is expected to garner national attention when he releases his debut album on Dualtone, And the War Came, the record label that is home to the Lumineers and the Texan stalwart Guy Clark. Thursday’s show at the Stubb’s BBQ inside stage is the only Texas date on the Shakey Graves itinerary before the album’s release. It is a benefit for the Hill Country Conservancy. For $25, supporters of music and nature can witness Rose-Garcia—who is also an occasional actor who appeared on the Friday Night Lights television show and has worked with Robert Rodriguez, the filmmaker—offer up a mix of blues, rock, and folk. Imagine music influenced by Beck, Elliott Smith, and Townes Van Zandt and filtered through a fingerpicked archtop guitar and a kick drum embedded in a suitcase.
Stubb’s BBQ, July 17, 8 p.m., shakeygraves.com
The theme for the third of five summer Blanket Bingo games at Historic Market Square Park is “Xmas in July,” and the organizer, the Houston Downtown Management District, is imploring bingo players to wear their “tackiest” holiday sweaters. Of course, the weather will be unbearably hot and sunny but to be uncomfortably out of fashion—literally and figuratively—is to show you do not take yourself too seriously. Participation will also be a testament to generosity: All of the proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the steward of the ten-mile stretch of the bayou between Shepherd Drive and the Port of Houston Turning Basin. All 375 bingo packets have sold out at previous sessions, so those interested are encouraged to get there when the packets go on sale, at 6 p.m., in advance of the competition, which starts at 7 p.m. and features a D.J., food, and alcoholic beverages.
Market Square Park, July 17, 6 p.m., marketsquarepark.com
The French Connection
Stereotyping is usually considered a bad thing, but it is a form of flattery at “Bastille on Bishop,” a celebration of France’s national day in the Bishop Arts District. Now in its fifth year, the street party—regarded as the largest French festival in North Texas—offers all that the French supposedly adore. Revelers can enjoy rosé wine with crepes, baguettes, mussels, duck confit and parfaits. They can participate in a game of pétanque or join in a Vespa rally. It is a good excuse to don a beret and play an expatriate for a day while commemorating the 200 mostly French settlers who, in 1855, established a community based on Charles Fourier’s utopian principles in what is now North Oak Cliff.
Bishop Arts District, July 14, 6 p.m., bastilleonbishop.com
The Flat-Screen Era
The concept of the earth being round has held true since 1522, when Ferdinand Magellan, the Spanish explorer, and his expedition became the first to circumnavigate the globe. Now the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is playfully debunking that notion with its “Flatland” exhibit, which looks to the cultural interconnectivity brought about, in part, by the digital revolution. Ten local and international artists—including Ricardo Rendon of Mexico City, Xochi Solis of Austin, and Leigh Anne Lester of San Antonio—will present 34 works in varying mediums that Patty Ortiz, the center’s director and the show’s curator, said reflect their transcultural experience and utilize computer technology to create a “flat” vocabulary.
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, July 11-Oct. 11, guadalupeculturalarts.org
The “When Austin Got Weird” exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum localizes the counterculture movement with artifacts of the city’s psychedelia from the sixties and seventies, mainly in the form of concert posters and podcasts of musician interviews. On opening day, the displays will be punctuated with live music from Shiva’s Headband and Roky Erickson, a double-bill not seen since the days of the legendary Vulcan Gas Company.
Bullock Texas State History Museum, July 11-Sept. 14, thestoryoftexas.com
The theatrical production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by the Texas writer Larry L. King, has toured the world and earned multiple Tony Awards on Broadway. Now the risqué comedy has returned home to Theater Under the Stars.
Miller Outdoor Theater, July 15-20, tuts.com