Chris Picks

Each week Chris brings you the best in music, dance, arts and entertainment opportunities in Austin and surrounding areas.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The world comes to Austin this week

May 24-30

What a week it's been! I spent two hours in the dentist's chair on Tuesday, tripping on nitrous oxide (she sets it on 'rock star' for me because she knows I'm such a wuss when it comes to having her drill into the nerves she so callously exposes). Anyway, there I was, listening to KMFA on the headset, enjoying the nitrous (as much as anyone can enjoy anything when those nerves get hit -- I require industrial doses of anesthetic, too, did I mention? My knees involuntarily jerk up to my chest and the dentist says, 'oh, that's not good' and then shoots me up again). Anyway, there I was listening to some lovely classical music and I suddenly had this trippy thought: "And the Oscar for best use of a major scale goes to Ludwig van Beethoven for Symphony No. 3, first movement." And then I thought: no, that should be Tchaikovsky for the pas de deux in Nutcracker. Then I started imagining this friendly rivalry between the two of them, trading off the Oscar year after year and no one ever else getting a chance. Not even me, though I don't recall ever using a major scale in a particularly creative or artistic way.

I always feel tremendously sorry for myself after a trip to the dentist. Is it because I've been made to be vulnerable? Is it because it HURTS (even with the maximum anesthetic and the maximum laughing gas)? Or is it because I remember when I was a kid how my dentist would always prescribe an ice cream cone at the drugstore soda fountain after every appointment (thus assuring the next one, right?) and this one doesn't? At any rate, I took myself out for frozen yogurt afterwards to try to make it all better.

Then after getting home and licking my wounds (or in this case my frozen yogurt), I got an email saying that I had made it to the next round in the
Balkan Beat Box remix contest, woo hoo! Life was worth living, after all! I may not be particularly clever with a major scale, but I can remix with the best of them, by gum! And this brings me one step closer to immortality, don't you know. If you haven't heard BBB, you really should get to know them. And if you haven't listened to my remix (Habibi min Zaman), you can, simply by clicking here.

But enough blather. It's shaping up to be a very memorable Memorial Day weekend: Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys at The Oaks on Friday night and Mingo Saldivar at the Moose on Sunday. Not to mention the Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival and the Cajun Food & Music event at Anhalt Hall. AND, it is an incredible weekend for world music and dance. Holy moly!
(Speaking of ethnic dance -- and just for the sheer pleasure of it -- here is an abolutely breathtaking Chinese dance video done by a troupe of 21 beautiful young women who also happen to be deaf. Prepare to be blown away!)

Thursday, May 24

Cornell Hurd
Jovita’s / 1619 S. 1st; 447-7825 / 8 pm (family)

Lambert’s / 401 W. 2nd; 494-1500 / 6:30 pm

DJd Swing Dance
The Fed / 24th at San Gabriel / 8 pm Read all about the
Austin Swing Syndicate and their activities.

Broken Spoke / 3201 S. Lamar; 442-6189

The Brew
Copa / 217 Congress Ave. / Austin, TX / 479-5002 / 10 pm

Marc Devine & Denia Ridley
Reed's Jazz Club / 9901 Cap of TX Hwy; 342-7977 / 8:00 pm

Two Hoots and a Holler
Ego’s / 510 S. Congress; 474-7091 / 11 pm

Friday, May 25

Threadgill’s / 301 W. Riverside; 472-9304 / 10 pm; $10

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys
The Oaks / 10206 FM 973 N, Manor; 278-8788 / 8 pm; $15
FINALLY!!!!! When's the last time this fabulous band came to town? It's been way, way, waaaaaaaaaaay too long! They will put a smile on your face for sure, for sure. Not to be missed!

Texas Swing Kings
Patsy’s Cowgirl Café / 5501 E. Ben White; 444-2020 / 7:30 pm
I have it on good authority that 91 year old Jimmy Cuviello (Bob Wills’ former drummer) and guitar virtuoso Rick McRae will be sitting in. Should be good, eh?

Polka Freak Outs; Red Elvises
Continental Club / 1315 S. Congress; 441-2444 / 10 pm & midnight, respectively
Oh, this should be really, really, really fun.

Friday & Saturday, May 25 & 26

Will Taylor & Strings Attached: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heartsclub Band
Friday: St. David's Church / 304 E. 7th; 866-235-0270 / 7:30 & 10 pm; $20
Nutty Brown / 12225 Highway 290 West; 301-4648 / 7:30 pm; $20 Click for tix.

Saturday, May 26

Shimmering Sounds of Santoor: A Concert by Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya
Jones Auditorium, Ragsdale Center, St. Edward’s University, 3001 S. Congress Avenue / 8 pm; $20 (door); $15 (advance); $12 (students, seniors, artists)
And guess what – I have two spots on the guest list to give you, woo hoo! Just be the first to answer a rather simple question. Sangeet Millennium is one of the sponsors, and Amie Maciszewski is the founder of that organization. Be the first to tell me what instrument she plays, and the guest passes are yours! E-mail me at If you don't win the passes, you can click here or here for tix.

Калинка; Лєтяще Братья Балалайшники; Узори
Kalinka; The Flying Balalaika Brothers; Uzori (dance ensemble)
First Unitarian Universalist Church / 4700 Grover Ave; 459-1449 / 7:00 pm; $25 (family)
The Russian Spring Fest, presented by Russian Speakers Society, will feature three outstanding Russian groups: Kalinka, Flying Balalaika Brothers, and Russian Folk Dance Ensemble – “Uzori”. A sumptuous array of Russian cuisine will be provided by Sasha’s Gourmet Russian Market and Café.

Central Market / 4001 N. Lamar; 206-1000 / 6:30 pm (family)
See what I mean about all the amazing world music this weekend? And this one is FREE!

The Red Elvises
Jovita’s / 1619 S. 1st, 447-7825
Does this count as 'international' music? I think it sort of does.

Marshall Ford Swing Band
Lambert’s / 401 W. 2nd; 494-1500 / 6:30 pm

Mr. Fabulous & Casino Royale
Reed’s Jazz Club / 9901 Cap of TX Hwy; 342-7977 / 8:30 pm

Will Taylor & Strings Attached: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heartsclub Band
Nutty Brown / 12225 Highway 290 West; 301-4648 / 7:30 pm; $20
Click for tix.

Sunday, May 27

Gulf Coast Playboys; Mingo Saldivar
Moose Lodge / 2103 EM Franklin / 6 pm; $10 ($5 for members)

IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THIS EVENT: Mingo Saldivar had to cancel due to being hospitalized for a back problem. The BBQ is cooked, so the Moose will proceed with the BBQ sale, and the Gulf Coast Playboys will play a free dance.

Dance Around the World
Dougherty Arts Center / 1110 Barton Springs Road; 397-1468 / noon-7 pm; $10 ($5 students)Here’s the official blurb: ‘Ethnic dancing in Austin gets a showcase with performances by 10 local groups, introductory-level workshops, live international folk music, and audience participation on the stage. Sample dancing from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and points between.’ Doesn’t that sound like fun?

The Brew
The Oasis / 6550 Comanche Trail; 266-2442

Continental Club / 1315 S. Congress; 441-2444 / 10 pm; $6

Monday, May 28

It's a quiet Monday this week. Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 29

DJd Swing Dance
The Fed / 24th at San Gabriel / 9:45 / no cover Free dance after
Four on the Floor’s classes.

Erik Hokkanen's Laboratory
Flipnotics / 1601 Barton Springs; 322-9750 / 8:00 pm 0

Dr. Zog
Alligator Grill / 3003 South Lamar; 444-6117 / 6 pm
A little Tuesday evening zydeco.

Jitterbug Vipers
Lambert’s / 401 W. 2nd; 494-1500 / 6:30 pm
I believe this is an every-Tuesday event, but you might want to call just to make sure.

The Lucky Strikes
Belmont / 305 W. 6th; 457-0300 / 6 pm
This will be an every-Tuesday-in-May event.

Wednesday, May 23

The Brew
Speakeasy / 412 Congress; 476-8017

Seth Walker
Momo’s / 618 W. 6th; 479-8848 / 9:30 pm

Combo Mahalo
Lambert’s / 401 W. 2nd; 494-1500 / 6:30 pm

Mr. Fabulous & Casino Royale
The Belmont / 305 W. 6th; 457-0300 / 6 pm
This is an every Wednesday happy hour.


Gruene, TX
Sunday, May 27
Stop the Truck; Gary P. Nunn

Gruene Hall / 1281 Gruene; 830-606-1281 / 7:30 pm

Gruene, TX
Tuesday, May 29

Two Tons of Steel

Gruene Hall / 1281 Gruene; 830-606-1281 / 7:30 pm' $4
Two Ton Tuesdays have returned.


Friday, June 15
Norah Jones
The Backyard / 13101 Highway 71 West / 8 pm
Click for tix.

Saturday, June 30
The Fabulous Polkasonics; Brave Combo

Moose Lodge / 2103 EM Franklin / 9 pm; $10 ($5 for members)
Mark your calendars now. Even Brave Combo has been enlisted to help save the Moose, so you know it's important!

see ya on the dance floor,


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