Press Picks

Millbend Coffeehouse Millbend is having its regular quaint coffeehouse in The Woodlands tonight. The Harry Fish String Band is set to play, and we can only hope they won't get too rowdy. This band, although well versed in bluegrass and similar ilk, has on occasion been less than polite to ladies in their audience. (In fairness, we should note that ladies who resorted to unlady-like refusals were let alone and that some women enjoy being dragged up on stage and made fun off.) The coffeehouse is a non-profit, smoke-free venue in a Unitarian Universalist building. The goal is to promote local acoustic artists and poets. A portion of each night's proceeds are always given to charity, and that charity is decided on by audience vote. As always, coffees, teas, juices and desserts will be available, and an artist and a poet will be part of the evening's entertainment. 7 p.m. Millbend Coffeehouse, 1370 N. Millbend Dr., two blocks west of I-45 and one block south of The Woodlands Parkway. $6 recommended donation.

Omar and the Howlers Heavy-duty hard-core blues from local favorites at the best possible spot -- a club with outdoor seating and barbecue. Omar and The Howlers have sort of a national rep these days, but you can forget about all that and enjoy them as a blues band. Brazos Bottom Bar & Grill, 7010 FM 762, Richmond, 341-5210. $10. (If you have to park on the road, and you probably will, be sure that no tires are on the pavement and your parking lights are on. Last time we were at the Brazos, officers of the law kept taking the stage to explain that this is what it takes to avoid being towed.)

august 14
History of Black Baseball "Before You Can Say Jackie Robinson! Black Baseball Leagues in the Era of the Color Line, 1885-1950" opens today at the Galveston County Historical Museum. Everything from actual bleacher seats from Jersey City's Roosevelt Stadium to baseball cards of almost-forgotten heroes will be on display. The photographs and memorabilia for this exhibit were gathered by Larry Hogan, a professor of history at Union County College in Cranford, N.J. Dr. Hogan will give a program at 3 p.m. Baseball and history fans who can't make the program will still have plenty of time throughout the summer to see this exciting, and enlightening exhibit. Until Time/Life comes out with a book series about black baseball, this is a rare opportunity. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. 2219 Market Street, Galveston, (409) 765-7834. Free admission.

Orange Show Eyeopeners Tour Take a bus trip to see kooky stuff all over town. Hundreds have, so why not you? Folk art, funkiness and the just plain weird are all celebrated. The whole purpose of this four-hour tour is to see what your fellow Houstonians have done with their homes, how they've made them worlds of pure imagination. We suggest that tour takers check their deed restrictions before acting on their inspiration, however. Not every neighborhood is kind to artistic vision. 3-7 p.m. Departing from The Orange Show, 2401 Munger, 926-6368. $20.

Help Nancy Ford Celebrate Her First Mid-Life Crisis "Old age is no place for sissies." That quote from Tallulah Bankhead sets the tone for this fortysomething theme party. Special guest Julia Sweeney (a.k.a. Pat) will be on hand to help the comedian deal with this mid-life crisis ominously identified as a first. The talented and charitable Ms. Ford has set this whole shebang up as a benefit for AIDS Foundation-Houston. Along with all the entertainment, there is a raffle and a silent auction of goodies donated by a wide variety of generous merchants -- the grand prize is a trip for two to New Orleans. 6-10 p.m. Plaza 9200, 9200 Buffalo Speedway, 666-3464. $10.

agust 15
Munchies The Houstonian Big Band plays first, around 8 or 9, and an open-mike follows at 10:30 p.m. That big band is real dang big -- an 18-piece band squawunched up on the smallish stage. Watching them set up without knocking each other over has a certain entertainment value, which is not to say that they're not entertaining as musicians. The open mike is free form. No sign-up, just show up and wait in the wings until your time comes. Do comedy, sing folk music, play a harp... whatever. Probably, they'd let a dog do tricks. Food (it is 'Munchies") is served until 11 p.m., but they tell us, "We're pretty flexible. If youÕre really nice, or it's slow, someone might go back and fix you something after that." The music can be heard from the outside tables, too. Munchies, by the way, has one of those long, long, long lists of fancy beers at not bad prices. Munchies, 1617 Richmond, 528-3545. No cover.

august 16
Houston City Council Should City Council make the CIA leave Joseph Charles' internal organs alone? Does Bob Lanier have someone's backpack? Can Geneva Brooks convince our leaders that it is a mortal sin to be naked under your clothes? Questions like these are raised at every meeting of the Houston City Council. If you go every week, then you're either a pain freak or a reporter. If you don't ever go, you deserve what you get. City Hall Annex. 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays; 2 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday; 8:30 a.m. Wednesday if Tuesday is a holiday. Free, but parking can be tricky.

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