Picks

Tuesday
January 25
Brave New World: African-Americans in Science and Space

Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., NASA astronaut and UH alum, is the featured speaker for this particular celebration of the UH African-American Studies program. Harris knows a bit about the African-American experience in science and in space. After graduating from UH, Harris received a degree in medicine from Texas Tech, then completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic. At NASA's Ames Research Center he did a fellowship and then trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine. A genuine astronaut, Harris flew on board the space shuttle Columbia from April 26 to May 6, 1993. He also had a hand in Spacelab D-2, and if you don't think this man has something to say, I don't know what it would take to impress you. 1-2:30 p.m. University of Houston, University Center, Atlantic Room. 743-2816. Free. (E.S.)

Rom Ryan Record Release Ryan, if you don't know, is a local proponent of the heavily treated acoustic guitar, and the new disk to be celebrated this evening, Another World, fleshes out Ryan's intricate, multi-ethnic sound with doumbek, trumpet, congas, rainstick, flute, tablas, sitar, saxophone, and a longer list of exotic instruments you've never heard of, let alone heard. The album offers six instrumentals in addition to four with voice, and while I'll save further comment for an upcoming review, I can tell you that you're in for a low-key evening of harmonic-laden atmospherics. Don't show up expecting foot-stomping excitement, but if you've got a hankering to sit back, light a candle, and let the soothing sound wash over you like an alpha wave, there's probably no place in Houston you'd rather be. 8 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington, 861-9365. $7.50. (B.T.)

Wednesday
January 26

Rush I don't care if guitarist Alex Lifeson dresses like a renegade banker. I don't care if drummer Neil Peart, for all his drum-kit virtuosity, is the most pompous Ayn Rand-reading ass ever to walk Canadian soil. I don't even care if singer Geddy Lee bears an uncanny resemblance to death sucking on a lemon. I don't care. Recent misguided forays into rap don't bother me. Crappy songs that'll still be spinning on classic-rock radio when cockroaches rule the earth can't deter me. This is the first band my sorry fourth-grade self ever really wanted to see, and when last I had the chance (Summit, in what? 1986?), the original nerd-rock trio didn't disappoint. I'll be back. 7:30 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $24.25, $28.25 and $35.25. (

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