Outside the Box
On Saturday, Barbara and Matt Mooney will put a twist on the traditional housewarming party when they host the 2014 Blue Plate Special at their new 3,700-square-foot residence partially built out of fourteen shipping containers. The fundraiser will benefit the Creative Arts Center of Dallas, which since 1966 has offered visual arts classes to students of all skill levels and ages. More than one hundred ceramic plates designed by about 75 artists will be auctioned, but the pièce de résistance is the structure itself. The inimitable dwelling, at one of the highest elevations in Dallas, is a mix of high concept and affordability, with sealed-concrete floors, steel-rebar handrails, and light fixtures built of various pieces found exclusively at big-box home improvement stores. See the house now—and its incredible view of White Rock Lake and downtown—or wait until the crowds in November, when it will be featured in the American Institute of Architects Dallas Tour of Homes. “As a youngster, I read a lot of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and developed a love of well-designed, large, purpose-built machines,” said Matt Mooney, a managing principal at a Dallas architectural firm. “Think the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Saturn V rocket, and the Apollo lunar module and lunar rover. Our house is a small salute to those ideas that are perhaps a bit out of the mainstream but are executed with skill and clever problem solving.”
422 Peavy Rd., Sept. 27, 7 p.m., creativeartscenter.org


Pickin’ Party
Many people’s perception of bluegrass is based on the dueling banjos scene in the movie Deliverance, which unfairly stereotypes the music as something practiced only by folks deeply entrenched in Appalachia. But a number of popular musicians have dipped into the genre, including Jerry Garcia, Steve Martin, and the Texas stalwart Robert Earl Keen, who announced plans to put out a bluegrass album in February. Whiskey Shivers, an Austin band, is somewhere in the middle, favoring a backwoods, barefoot look with an updated, pop-punk sensibility. Their new, self-titled album was produced by Robert Ellis, a Houston singer-songwriter who earlier this year released the acclaimed album “The Lights From the Chemical Plant.” The band will play a free show in Arlington on Saturday, and their instruments—fiddle, banjo, upright bass, washboard, and acoustic guitar—will probably still be warm from the wildly energetic sets they performed at Americanafest, in Nashville, last week.
Levitt Pavilion, Sept. 27, 8 p.m., whiskeyshivers.com


The members of Blue Lapis Light, the site-specific aerial dance company in Austin, glide across the faces of tall buildings with the death-defying grace of Spiderman. For their new production, “In Light,” sixteen performers will “ballet-rappel” off the thirteen-story IBC Bank on West Fifth Street, sometimes employing Chinese poles and scaffolding. They will take on roles like the Beatific Angel and the Seeker in a performance that, according to the artistic director Sally Jacques, addresses perhaps our most timeless question: Why are we here on Earth at this time? “‘In Light’ explores a journey of transformation,” Jacques said. “Our hope is to inspire compassion and kindness in these times of chaos and change.”
IBC Bank, Sept. 26-28, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., bluelapislight.org


The Big Shrimp
About four hundred pounds of shrimp will be used to make around one thousand pounds of gumbo at the Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival. Buy a gumbo sampling cup for $8, and try more than sixty varieties. That is just one of the many ways shrimp will be prepared at this annual bonanza, which draws more than 15,000 people to the Strand Historic District. There are also shrimp burger and shrimp bisque competitions, as well as an open shrimp contest, usually showcasing an array of shrimp pastas, stuffed shrimp, shrimp cakes, and shrimp kebabs. Even the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company will be there.
The Strand, Sept. 26-28, yagaspresents.com


Fine Swine
Set down the delectable beef brisket for a moment and dig into some savory pork at the Cochon Heritage BBQ Tour. A nose-to-tail competition involving five Texas chefs, each of whom has to convert a two-hundred-pound pig into six dishes, will set the tone for other offerings, including a pop-up butcher shop, three dozen international barbecue dishes, and cocktail pairings in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month.
W Austin Hotel, Sept. 28, 4 p.m., cochon555.com


Pay Dirt
The Japanese artist Yusuke Asai has turned dirt into art with his mural at the site-specific Rice Gallery. The opening of his installation, a “stylized, fantastical landscape” painted with muddy soil from local bayous, will mark the start of the gallery’s yearlong twentieth anniversary celebration.
Rice Gallery, Oct. 2-Nov. 23, ricegallery.org