Picks

Thursday
December 2
John Mooney Testimoney is Mooney's latest effort on Viceroy Records, and it's the final nail in the coffin of anyone who claims there's a more distinctive white blues player anywhere. Mooney studied with Son House in his hometown of Rochester, New York (Mooney says that sitting at the master's feet was more like a party than an apprenticeship, but he obviously learned something), and he percolates that rhythmic Delta stamp through the syncopated funk of his present digs in Nawlins for a greasy, R&B-tinged swamp blues without equal. 9 p.m. Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Ave., 869-COOL. $7. (B.T.)

White Zombie/Nudeswirl I love to see a good band crack the big time, but I'm none too comfortable with how it happened here. White Zombie's blazing cartoon-metal debut for Geffen, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. I, has been putzing around the underground for almost two years now, while the band has eaten pavement opening for Danzig, Megadeth, Testament, Pantera, Anthraz, etc. Then along come this generation's newest critical avatars -- Beavis and Butt-head, fer Chrissakes -- to pronounce Zombie huhuh, huhuh, cool, and La Sexorcisto goes gold. Whatever puts the kids in a buying mood. The album is twisted, aggressive schlock-metal genius, and the live show takes its cue from Kiss-style overload and overloads that. Alt-rocking Nudeswirl opens. 7 p.m. Rockefeller's West, 6400 Richmond, 629-3700. $17.50. (B.T.)

An Evening in the Museum District Houston has a bustling art scene, full of up-and-coming artists and a veritable wealth of galleries. In one evening (not too much of a sacrifice) you can experience the Museum District -- five Montrose-area galleries. Check out several exhibitions, including the opening of Kelli Scott Kelley's "Full Circle" at the Lanning Gallery, a holiday photography exhibition, and small works by Andrew Bennett, Carolyn Prescott, Karen Sanders and Tom Sime. Galleries on the evening's program include Lanning (223 Westheimer, 524-5670); Benteler-Morgan (4100 Montrose, 522-8228); Inman Gallery (1114 Barkdull, 529-9676); Harris Gallery (1100 Bissonnet, 522-9116); and the Lawndale Art and Performance Center (4912 Main St., 528-5858). 5-8 p.m. (open houses); 7-9 p.m. (holiday party at Lawndale Art and Performance Center). Free.

A Christmas Carol/Christmas is Comin' Uptown What else is there to say about these perennial crowd-pleasers, except that that's what they are? The Alley's adaptation, by Michael Wilson, has spectacular London sets, a great cast led by James Black as Scrooge, and the inimitable Dickens tale -- spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist on the ghosts past present and future. The Ensemble's soul-musical adaptation has a quirky Harlem setting, a slew of upbeat comic tunes and a refreshing irreverence for literary antiquity. In short, the theaters have been packing them in each year, so they'll continue to schedule Dickens until the mistletoe fails. Carol: Opens tonight. Tue.-Sun., 7:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 24, 2:30 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave., 228-8421. Thru Dec. 26. $15-$35. Uptown: Opens tonight. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 3 p.m. The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main, 520-0055. Thru Jan. 2. $10-$15. (M.K.)

Friday
December 3
Dave Hole Night number two of state-of-the-art slide guitar at the Satellite. Australian Dave Hole's Working Overtime CD, out on Alligator Records, has been raising jaded eyebrows and leaving shrugged shoulders in its wake as it makes the rounds of the blues community, and with damn good reason. Hole plays electric slide without the slightest hint of subtlety, screeching piercing notes over the top at the high-octane pace of a man being chased down the road by something much bigger -- and much meaner -- than himself. This is the sort of sound every adolescent air guitarist would aim for, if only he knew his history and had the chops. If Hole doesn't restrain himself much, he delivers all the balls-out, razor-edged adrenaline you'll be able to stand up to. Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Ave., 869-COOL. $TK.

Brian Weil: The AIDS Photographs Weil has spent seven years traveling to Liverpool, New York and Haiti to get as close as possible to the devastating AIDS plague. This exhibit of 40 black-and-white photos shows the effect of AIDS in a more emotional and personal manner by focusing on the people, not the disease. Milby High School, 1601 Broadway. Exhibit closes today. For viewing arrangements, 840-9711. Free. (C.K.)

Saturday
December 4
Possum Dixon Never seen the live show, but any band with a stand-up bass has got a built-in edge. The eponymously titled new album on Interscope offers all sorts of evidence of an impending good time: catchy party rock music with nerdy vocals telling funny stories about girls and other nervous habits. Two of our town's better bands with names beginning with the letter M -- Manhole and the Mike Gunn -- open the show. 10 p.m. Catal Huyuk, 2524 McKinney, 237-1018. $7. (B.T.)

Fantasies and Fairy Tales It's easy-listening night for Da Camera shutter-bugs. D.C. goes light with a collection of loosely structured "fantasy pieces" that provide a pleasant example of 19th-century parlor (read: not elevator) music. These whimsical ditties helped our great-great grandparents survive a cultural void of life without Beavis and Butt-head. Charles Neidich, the Michael Jordan of clarinetists, joins viola player Sergiu Luca and pianist Ronald Brautigam for five low-cal compositions by Schumann, Beethoven and Brahms. 6 & 8 p.m. Wortham Center, 524-5050. $13-$27.50. (C.K.)

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