Ten years ago in Austin, the likelihood of the moon hitting you in the eye was better than the chances of finding a great pizza pie. The options are now endless, with a group that rivals barbecue for superiority—at places like Backspace, Bufalina, East Side Pies, House Pizzeria, and Via 313. Home Slice, the purveyor of classic New York-style pizza, started the revolution and will celebrate its ninth annual Carnival O’ Pizza on Saturday. This year, the event benefits Austin Bat Cave, a writing and tutoring center for youth. The afternoon will include live music from the Minor Mishap Marching Band and psychic games from Sofia, the Seer of South Congress. There will be pizza-inspired competitions, like dough-tossing and pizza-eating, of course, but also box-folding and the Hand on an Eggplant Sub contest, in which participants keep one hand on a three-foot sandwich for as long as possible, reminiscent of the documentary Hands on a Hard Body. In 2010 the competition lasted 63 hours, giving the lunch and dinner crowds who perhaps missed the carnival a chance to enjoy the leftovers.
Home Slice Pizza, Nov. 22, noon, homeslicepizza.com
NOTE: Postponed until Dec. 13 due to rain.
Sarah Jaffe is like the cool little sister of the Denton music scene. She has played with the best to come out of the North Texas college town, among them Norah Jones, Centro-matic, and Midlake. She has taken from each to forge her own sound, which has evolved from the folk-leaning singer-songwriter fare of her 2010 debut, Suburban Nature, to the dance-oriented progressive pop of her new album, Don’t Disconnect. NPR recently praised Jaffe, calling her “a ferociously intelligent artist who never stops inventing, reinventing, exploring, and reflecting on her (and our) place in a forbidding, foreboding world.” On Sunday she will return to Denton for the last stop on her tour. Opening for her will be the Nighty Nite, a side project of John Congleton, the Grammy-nominated Dallas producer who was behind Don’t Disconnect and who has collaborated with such Texas musicians as Erykah Badu, St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, Black Joe Lewis, Explosions in the Sky, and the Polyphonic Spree.
Dan’s Silverleaf, Nov. 23, 5 p.m., sarahjaffe.com
State of Art
The Tyler Museum of Art has become a shining star of the state’s art in East Texas. In the past three years, the museum has hosted lauded shows on Billy Hassell, the Dallas environmentalist artist; Texas Impressionism, featuring more than one hundred works by more than sixty artists; and “The Wyeths Across Texas,” highlighting the set of grandfather-father-son artists. The museum’s latest exhibition, “Contemporary Texas,” culls more than two dozen works from the permanent collection. Among them are pieces not just by Texans, but also about Texas. These include “Mixmaster” and “Fresno 1,” which are landscape paintings of a highway and West Texas terrain made by Daniel and Dennis Blagg, twin brothers from Fort Worth, and “Texas Blue,” by Vernon Fisher, also of Fort Worth, a diptych with a chalkboard bearing images of an astronaut and a football player.
Tyler Museum of Art, Nov. 21-30, tylermuseum.org
Continue paying off the debt of gratitude that began on Veterans Day with an outing to the Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, on display at the University of Texas at Dallas. Trace your hand upon the 58,286 names of the Americans who lost their lives in Vietnam and reflect on their sacrifice. Also part of this traveling exhibit are letters and other memorabilia left behind at the monument in Washington. On Friday, Congressman Sam Johnson, of Texas’s Third Congressional District, will put freedom into perspective with remarks centering on his time as an Air Force fighter pilot who was shot down in North Vietnam and spent seven years as a prisoner of war.
The University of Texas at Dallas, Nov. 21-22, vvmf.org
It is sometimes hard for collectors to find just what they are looking for among the abundant offerings at the Theta Charity Antiques Show, chaired this year, its sixty-second, by the Bush twins, Barbara and Jenna. Buyers might consider the opening night talk, “Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures,” by Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, as a primer for their treasure hunt.
George R. Brown Convention Center, Nov. 20-23, thetacharityantiquesshow.com
Chihuahuas seem suited for lounging in a tote bag, but these small dogs have boundless energy, which the Chihuahua Derby will demonstrate with up to 40 competing for the fastest time in a fifty-foot race.
Retama Park, Nov. 22, 6:45 p.m., pawderosaranch.com