On Tuesday, Natalie Maines released her solo album, Mother, rising like a phoenix from the ashes to which she accidentally reduced herself ten years ago, when as frontwoman for the Dixie Chicks, the Texas roots trio, she told a London crowd she was ashamed of President George W. Bush. The remark incensed the Chicks’ country music fans, who largely abandoned the band, all but breaking up the act. The KLRU All-Star Celebration benefit concert on Thursday will be a rare opportunity to see Maines and her fellow Chicks, Emily Erwin Robison and Martie Maguire, playing together, and it is unlikely to be a long set. Several other musicians are playing, including the Court Yard Hounds, Robison and Maguire’s side project; Bruce Robison, who wrote the Chicks’ hit song “Travelin’ Soldier”; and Lloyd Maines, Natalie’s father, to whom the night is dedicated. But this is sadly the only American date currently on the Chicks’ calendar. Ultimately, this is the release show for Mother, so expect a lot of Maines, with Ben Harper, who co-produced and plays on the roots-rock album of mostly cover songs, including Pink Floyd’s “Mother,” Eddie Vedder’s “Without You,” and Patty Griffin’s “Silver Bell.” What will she say this time?
ACL Live, May 16, 7 p.m., acl-live.com
Get Your Goat
The Electra Goat Barbecue and Craft Show is celebrating its thirtieth year, but its origins are even earlier. Dennis Teaff, an Electra resident, often hunted near Brady, a town 235 miles due south and famous for its annual World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off.He would always return talking about the tasty meat he had eaten there. He couldn’t easily prove his point because no one in town readily sold goat. So in 1977, he stole a goat from a pipe yard and cooked it up with his buddies. After a few years, what had started as a party for friends grew to a competition sponsored by the town. In 2011, 68 teams entered the Electra competition, while the remaining twelve spaces were bought by barbecue fanatics who wanted to be closer to the action. In addition to goat, there will be brisket, pork rib and chicken categories in the main competition, and steak, salsa and beans in the jackpot contests. But on this day of overeating, goat, a lean meat that has about 31 calories per ounce, could be the way to go.
Electra Fairgrounds, May 10-11, electratexas.org
Universal Pictures once commissioned Philip Glass, the heralded contemporary composer, to write an updated score for the classic 1931 film Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. The Kronos Quartet performed Glass’s interpretation, and it appears on a 1999 DVD release of the movie. The reviews were mixed. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “The Glass score is effective in the way it suggests not just moody creepiness, but the urgency and need behind Dracula’s vampirism.” Allan Kozinn of the New York Times had a different opinion: “Heard alone on CD it is harmless enough, but coupled with the film it does more harm than good.” Glass has since taken on the piece with his own ensemble and will perform it during a screening of the film in Houston to demonstrate the music’s full potential.
Jones Hall, May 10, 8 p.m., spahouston.org
In “The Day Coffee Stoppped Working,” a humor essay posted last month on the New Yorker’s Web site, President Obama tells his Cabinet: “‘In the near future, coffee is going to lose its characteristic effects. It’ll still be around; it just won’t work on us.’ Two people committed suicide right then and there,” John Bailey Owen joked. The idea of becoming immune to coffee as we evolve is far-fetched, but we can prepare—just in case—by attending “Caffeinated Plants,” a program at the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in which the guide will teach attendees the process for brewing alternative pick-me-ups, like tea out of yaupon holly and dandelion.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, May 11, 9:30 a.m., shangrilagardens.org
Jennifer Sherburn’s “Rhododendron Descent,” a dance number inspired by Mount Everest climbing expeditions, allows the audience to join—in spirit, at least—the exclusive club of 3,000 people who have reached the peak since 1953.
St. Elmo Soundstage, May 10-11 at 8 p.m. and May 12 at 2 p.m., rhododendrondescent.com
Visitors to Culinaria, a five-day food festival, may disagree on the merits and characteristics of certain complex dishes and wines served at local restaurants, but it’s hard to argue aginst the delectability of the stars of the final event, “Burgers, BBQ & Beer.”
Various locations, May 15-19, culinariasa.org