Press Picks

sunday
may 22
Pre-Memorial Day Pool Party Houston is a slack town full of boozy losers, and nothing could be more conclusive proof of it than this desperately contrived excuse for a celebration. The pool in question is the well-maintained billiards table at Ernie's, but beach attire is preferred anyway, board-certified lifeguards will be on duty and the management emphasizes that all pool rules must be observed.

Non-pool players can enjoy darts, pinball, that old favorite foosball or what may well be the city's most popular interactive trivia game -- your quarters allow you to compete nationwide. If your nerves can't take the sounds of real live balls being racked and sunk in pockets, or the electronic sounds of games and televisions, retire to the upstairs bar and open-air balcony overlooking Bell Park.

And if the non-stop gaming leaves you feeling peckish, not to worry -- this friendly neighborhood tavern stocks more than stale chips to restore your strength. Revive yourself with crawfish (all you can eat for $5), traditional hot dogs and burgers, pizza and more. Wash it all down with dollar draft or $2.50 'ritas. Ernie's will have Pre-Memorial Day Crawfish Boil and Pool Party drink special all week long. The party starts at noon. Ernie's on Banks, 1010 Banks at Montrose, 526-4565. No cover.

monday
may 23
"All Good Things" See the last-ever episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation on a humongous projection TV with SurroundSound. Starbase Houston, a proud part of fandom since 1976, is throwing a heck of a wake. In a strange way, the European Tavern and Gardens' Tudor hall is the perfect venue -- there's plenty of cross-pollination between Trekkies and the Society for Creative Anachronism. There will be a costume contest prior to the final episode. (They're trying to get as many weird-looking people as possible -- that's part of the plan to, as organizers say, "make this thing look like a Star Trek event.") "All Good Things," by the way, will feature Q (John DeLancy, who is weirdly sexy in the Roddy McDowall mold) and Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby, Bing's spawn and former Playboy model, who bailed after the first season). This could be the last chance to find out if anyone, anywhere ever liked Riker. There will be also be live Trek personalities such as Grace Lee Whitney, from the first series, and Mark Shepherd, Morn from Deep Space Nine. Plus a writer -- and where would TV be without writers? David Gerrold, author of The Trouble With Tribbles, will be on hand to talk about his new job with Babylon 5. 6 p.m. European Tavern and Garden, 3926 Feagan, 868-1084. (For an excruciatingly detailed recording, call 527-WARP.) $4 admission, standard menu and bar prices.

Dalia Golubich When Dalia Golubich sits down at her Steinway, she will likely bring a blast of emotion to her performance. That won't be news to anyone who has seen her play at Rice's Shepherd School of Music, where she is working on her Ph.D. in performance, and where she has drawn steadily larger audiences for her solo recitals. Golubich always plays as if her life depended on both the passion and the physicality of her performance.

In a sense, Golubich's life has depended on her hunger to make great art, and for this one night, the lives of others will be affected as well. She is Croatian, from the part of the former Yugoslavia that we now unhappily know as Bosnia-Herzegovina; the aim of this concert is to raise funds for both art supplies and the stuff of everyday life for artists in Sarajevo, with the hope that an exhibit of the resulting art can be mounted first in Sarajevo (one art gallery remains open there), then in Houston and elsewhere.

At 16, Golubich (now 24) was the sole Yugoslav to be accepted into the Moscow Conservatory, where she was rigorously schooled in the Romantic tradition. She has never strayed too far from the Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Schubert she will perform tonight. 7:30 p.m. Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose, 526-0773. $35.

tuesday
may 24
Acoustic jam Tonight, the music at Hoi Polloi matches the mood of the dandy wooden deck outside, in back of the club where a willow tree grows and one can enjoy one of the finest views of the city's skyline. The club's outward appearance offers no clues, but the backyard of this garish dive is a fine place to be. The roses and urban wildflowers are blooming, and Johnny Ray, one of the Hoi Polloi landscapers, has set up a washer-toss game. It's like horseshoes, except that players don't risk getting clunked in the head with a heavy hunk of shaped steel. Many of those who come to play in the acoustic jam want to remain anonymous -- whether they play six nights a week around town, or have their own time at the Kerrville Folk Festival.

Some of the foil has been taken down to make room for a new installation, "KRE8ivDrIve," of art made from or about cars, or maybe just delivered in one. Manager Crimmins also hung a couple of his pieces on the wall and has some art tables made from engine parts -- and the Volkswagen chair is back! Mark Castator made another car-part table for the club. For your further viewing pleasure, a retrospective of the club's better fliers and posters has been put up. They've also got a CD jukebox filled with local titles.

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