Love and Hate
Robert Franz, the associate conductor of the Houston Symphony, has never met Bernard Freeman, a.k.a. Bun B, half of the Grammy Award-nominated Houston rap group Underground Kingz, co-author of Bun B’s Rap Coloring and Activity Book and a distinguished lecturer on religion and hip-hop at Rice University. Franz does not own any of Freeman’s music—he owns no rap music at all, in fact—or know that Freeman laid down verse on Jay Z’s megahit “Big Pimpin’.” And yet on Thursday, Franz and his 89-member orchestra will team with Freeman (and the Lamar High School choir) for a rendition of the Black Eyed Peas’s “Where Is the Love?,” a song about making the world a better place for the next generation.
The Anti-Defamation League came up with the idea for the collaboration for its “Houston in Concert Against Hate,” an evening honoring Houston-area heroes who have stared down hate, intolerance and extremism. “I’m told that when the idea was brought to him, he had pretty much the same reaction that I did, which was, ‘Huh?’.” Franz said. “We didn’t want to make it cheesy. He didn’t want to dumb down the song with the symphony, and we didn’t want to do something that made us look stupid. We’re both taking big risks.”
Jones Hall, November 14, 8 p.m., houstonsymphony.org
That’s the Ticket
The Lone Star Film Festival shines brightly. In April, MovieMaker magazine ranked the event, now in its eighth year, in the top half of its annual list of “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” which is culled from about 5,000 film festivals worldwide.
Movie enthusiasts may come to Sundance Square this weekend to see anticipated national releases, including Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the Nelson Mandela biography starring Idris Elba, or Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, a road-trip film starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte (of Saturday Night Live). But chances are good that they will leave talking about the auspicious films with Texas ties.
These include Bob Birdnow’s Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self, from Eric Steele, who is a partner in the Texas Theater in Oak Cliff, and Theo Love’s Little Hope Was Arson, about the ten churches in East Texas that were burned down in January 2010.
Sundance Square, November 8-10, lonestarfilmfestival.com
A night out wandering the clubs in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas could lead an unsuspecting reveler past the Continental Gin Building, a brick warehouse with rusted metal trim, at the corner of Elm Street and Trunk Avenue. It may seem unremarkable at first, just an abandoned building, but a whirlwind of creativity is inside. About two dozen artists—painters, photographers, sculptors, and others—live and work there.
On Saturday the residents will host the Continental Gin Building Artists Open Studio, one of only two open houses each year, and celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the current community. The artists have been known to wine and dine visitors who come to their three-story home, built in 1888 as a cotton gin. It, too, is a piece of art, with original wood floors and elevator shafts.
Continental Gin Building, November 9, 2 p.m., continentalginbuilding.com
Day of the Pig
Some meat eaters will argue that the cow is king. After all, it is the source of steak and brisket—two regional favorite dishes. But the pig is no slouch. It has arguably more parts to salivate over and is the source of probably the most popular piece of meat there is: bacon.
At Wine & Swine, a yearly event hosted by the Austin Food Alliance, pork can be experienced in all of its glory with dishes from nineteen area restaurants.
Even the master of brisket, Aaron Franklin of the Austin-based Franklin Barbecue, can’t resist getting down and dirty with pig; he will be serving South Carolina-style whole hog sammies with vinegar and red chile flake mop and slaw.
Ceres Park, November 10, 1 p.m., austinfoodwinealliance.org
Coming Into Her Own
When the audience that practically reared Sarah Jarosz, the 22-year-old, Grammy-nominated roots musician from Wimberley, welcomes her home to Gruene Hall on Friday in celebration of her new album, Build Me Up From the Bones, they may not recognize the new style she forged at the New England Conservatory of Music but on the other hand they could be too entranced by her youthful virtuosity to care.
Gruene Hall, November 8, 8 p.m., sarahjarosz.com
Fun and Games
Austin’s third major yearly music festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, is now arguably the city’s best and not just because it has a taco cannon, but because it has an eclectic lineup of performers, including the comedians Rob Delaney, Patton Oswalt, and Sarah Silverman; the musicians Snoop Dogg, M.I.A. and Austin’s own Bill Callahan; and acts that fall into both categories, like Tenacious D.
Auditorium Shores, November 8-10, funfunfunfest.com