The Dome’s Destiny
A November 5 bond vote in Houston could determine the fate of the Astrodome. If the bond passes, the Astrodome, once heralded as the eighth wonder of the world, is likely to be converted into a convention hall, the memories forged there since the Astros’ opening day, in 1965, still somewhat intact. If the bond is defeated, the Astrodome is likely to feel the fury of a wrecking ball.
Voters may want to keep in mind that the Astrodome is more than just a shrine to Houston sports. It has hosted an Evel Knievel jump, the Battle of the Sexes tennis match and many musicians, including Selena, the Tejano superstar from Corpus Christi, whose concerts there consistently broke attendance records.
The Astrodome has also appeared in some great films, including Robert Altman’s “Brewster McCloud,” which 14 Pews, the Houston microcinema, will screen Wednesday as part of “Dome Sweet Dome,” a program created to draw attention to the Astrodome situation. There will also be a talk by Dene Hofheinz, whose father, Roy Hofheinz, built the place.
14 Pews, October 23, 7 p.m., 14pews.org
The release of Okkervil River’s new album, The Silver Gymnasium, gave the band’s frontman, Will Sheff, a chance to prove Thomas Wolfe’s maxim—you can’t go home again—wrong.
The album, the rock band’s seventh, is Sheff’s homage to his boyhood stomping grounds in Meriden, New Hampshire, where he returned recently for the first time in fifteen years. “I was walking through those woods that I remember so well, but the overwhelming feeling I got was that the woods remembered me,” Sheff told the Austin Chronicle.
The album comes with an artfully drawn map charting the influential spots in Sheff’s childhood and, adding to the nostalgia factor, it is available in cassette format as well as vinyl and CD.
Sheff lives in New York but made his bones as a musician in Austin, in a group of singer-songwriters including Bill Callahan and Jonathan Meiburg (of Shearwater). Sheff also resurrected the career of the Texas psych-rocker Roky Erickson, producing the Grammy Award-nominated 2010 album True Love Cast Out All Evil.
So it was no surprise that Okkervil River played two rousing sets at the Austin City Limits Music Festival earlier this month—a groove they will probably carry over to the last show in Texas on this tour, Friday night in El Paso.
Tricky Falls, October 18, 8 p.m., okkervilriver.com
The South Side area on Lamar Street, in downtown Dallas, is seeing new life. And the 103-year-old Sears Roebuck & Company’s catalog merchandise center is at the heart of it all.
In 2000, this building, a National Historic Landmark, was converted into lofts, commerce and all-purpose space. “If a sort of 21st-century black renaissance were going to happen in Dallas, the setting couldn’t be more perfect,” D Magazine wrote in 2010, adding that visitors to the neighborhood were likely to run into a wide range of local celebrities, from John Wiley Price, the Dallas County commissioner, to various Dallas Mavericks players.
The Lamar Street Festival, held Saturday, will draw out many of the reasons someone might consider moving there. The event includes food trucks, art, a film competition and musical performances from the likes of the local gospel-rockers the Relatives and the local funk-soul diva Erykah Badu.
Lamar St., October 19, noon, lamarstreetfestival.com
Eat, Drink, Repeat
The Austin chef Jesse Griffiths hit the national scene last year with the release of Afield, his James Beard Award-nominated cookbook on how to take wild game all the way from the kill to the plate.
For Oktoberfest!, at Real Ale Brewing Company, he will show craft-beer drinkers his skills with four German-style plates featuring a beef hot dog, beef knackwurst, venison sausage and pork belly. (Fear not, vegetarians, there will be options for you too.) The dishes are sure to pair well with live music and Real Ale’s exceptional selections, like the small-batch Mysterium Verum.
Real Ale Brewing Company, October 20, 2 p.m., oktofest2013.eventbrite.com
Nasher XChange, the Nasher Sculpture Center’s tenth-anniversary show, is an opportunity to discover both a three-dimensional art form and the three-dimensional landscape of Dallas, with ten commissioned pieces by ten artists on display at ten places throughout the city.
Various locations, October 19-February 16, nashersculpturecenter.org
The fiddler Louis Michot and the accordionist Andre Michot, brothers who front the Cajun rock band Lost Bayou Ramblers, may be from Louisiana, but their drummer and their guitarist live in Austin, which makes Saturday’s show at the Continental Club a rare hometown gig.
Continental Club, October 19, midnight, lostbayouramblers.com