Meat has a lot of detractors, among them health professionals, who say it does more bad than good, and animal-rights advocates, who criticize the industry as unethical. Nonetheless, “there’s a natural, inevitable, universal, ubiquitous, elemental love of meat embedded in the human heart,” said Josh Ozersky, the James Beard Award-winning food writer whose Meatopia event will take place this weekend, the festival’s first time to be held in Texas. “No one wants to give up one of the primary sources of pleasure in life,” he said. Meatopia, which has been held in London and New York, sets out to serve as many parts of as many animals as possible. This weekend in San Antonio, the Houston chef Chris Shepherd will cook a boar over a spit, and the Austin chefs Jesse Griffiths and Paul Qui will prepare a brace of doves and sizzling sisig, which Ozersky described as a “homey, late-night, greasy Filipino pork dish.”
On the same weekend, Texas Monthly will hold its TMBBQ Fest in Austin. That event will focus on the holy trinity of barbecue—brisket, sausage and pork ribs—which Ozersky considers limiting. “I love barbecue, but you tend to get palate fatigue when you eat a lot of it,” he said. “There’s no redundancy at Meatopia.”
Pearl Brewery, November 2, 6 p.m. and November 3, 1 p.m., meatopia.org
The NBA center Dwight Howard is expected to step up his game. After a hyped yet lackluster single season last year with the Los Angeles Lakers, several teams courted Howard in the off-season. The Houston Rockets ultimately got him, thanks, in part, to the Houston rappers Bun B and Slim Thug’s advocacy on Twitter.
The combination of Howard and the swingman James Harden makes the Rockets an immediate contender for a championship. But first they have to win the Western Conference. That starts with beating their in-state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, who will get a healthy Dirk Nowitzki back for the start of the season. The Mavericks also made a play for Howard, and his decision not to sign with them may up the conflict between the two teams when tip off Friday for their second game of the season.
Toyota Center, November 1, 7 p.m., nba.com
50 Years After
In 1987, the Austin writer Lawrence Wright published his memoir In the New World: Growing Up With America From the Sixties to the Eighties. The book is largely about living in Dallas in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Wright has since won a Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for The Looming Tower and a National Magazine Award for his article on the filmmaker Paul Haggis’s engagement with Scientology, which appeared in the New Yorker. It makes sense, then, as the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s death approaches, that Wright’s In the New World would be republished.
Wright’s discussion of the book with Jim Lehrer of PBS and Thomas Huang of the Dallas Morning News will take up the lunch hour at “J.F.K.: A Symposium for Dallas,” a daylong conference. Speakers will include the law professor Stephen Carter, named by Time magazine as one of the 50 leaders of the century ahead.
Southside Ballroom, November 2, 10 a.m., dallasinstitute.org
Music isn’t the only thing Joe Ely, the Lubbock singer-songwriter, does well. In 2007 he published a memoir, Bonfire of Roadmaps. And on Tuesday he is opening his own art exhibition, “Lostbound Memory,” which pairs his works with works by Marie Ely, his daughter.
The showis composed of about forty mixed-media pieces—sculpture, photography and drawings, including Joe Ely’s image of the Ford truck on the cover of “Bonfire of Roadmaps”—and will “explore the narrative of two generations of Gypsies and their parallel yet distinct interpretations of a world based on the nomadic principles of rock ’n’ roll culture.”
The Den, November 5-January 5, 11 a.m., denpg.com
We’ll Always Have Paris
The Houston Cinema Arts Festival, which focuses on films that underscore the artistic process, will get meta with its screenings of Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders’s 1984 drama set in Texas; Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, Sophie Huber’s documentary about Stanton, who stars in the Wenders film; and Shepard & Dark, Treva Wurmfeld’s documentary about Sam Shepard, co-writer of Paris, Texas.
Various locations, November 6-10, cinemartsociety.org
As if The Rocky Horror Picture Show couldn’t get any campier, the Dallas choral pop group the Polyphonic Spree will reimagine that cult classic for its Halloween Hootenanny show, with the frontman Tim DeLaughter, dressed as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, performing “Sweet Transvestite” and other songs from the movie.
Lakewood Theater, November 2, 8:30 p.m., thepolyphonicspree.com.