Press Picks

august 18
Dixie City Jam Edgar Allen Poe Award winner James Lee Burke will be signing his latest, Dixie City Jam. This is another in the distinguished line of mysteries featuring Dave Robicheaux of New Iberia, Louisiana. The Cajun police lieutenant has been the star of The Neon Rain, Heaven's Prisoners, Black Cherry Blues, A Morning for Flamingos, A Stained White Radiance and In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. The goal of these author appearances is to sell new books, but Burke is not likely to mind slapping his John Hancock on old, treasured volumes of his sleuth-stuff. 6-8 p.m. Murder By The Book, 2342 Bissonnet, 524-8597. Dixie City Jam is $22.95.

Contemporary Handweavers of Houston See how they weave. This membership show is an opportunity to learn what separates the warp from the woof or, for those who can already thread a loom, find out about exotic handspun yarns. Everyone is welcome to ask questions and sign up for workshops and study groups. 7 p.m. Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church Farrish Hall, 6221 Main Street. Free.

august 19
Volksfest "Rain or shine!" North Houston will be party-town this weekend.The15thAnnual Volksfest has perennial favorites Pierre and the Zydeco Dots and a healthy list of country & western, polka, Cajun, Tex-Mex, conjunto and Bohemian bands slated to play in two air-conditioned dance halls. "Be sure and come hungry!" The finest examples of any ethnic food you can find across this great state of ours as well as festival faves such as funnel cakes will be sold, as will beer, wine and lemonade to wash it all down. Thru Sunday. Today from 5 p.m.-midnight. Knights of Columbus grounds, 607 E. Whitney Drive, 694-2341. 15 and older $4 for one day, or weekend passes available for $5. Children 14 and under free.

Reynaldo Rey "That old man?" Yes, indeed. The photo and press materials from the Hip-Hop Comedy Stop were delivered by a young man who wanted to know why anyone would be interested in Reynaldo Rey. "Why not Chris Tucker? or Arnez J.," he asked. Because they haven't paid dues like Rey. Why do you think Eddie Murphy always puts that old man in his movies -- so he can steal from him, that's why. Reynaldo Rey was a writer on Sanford and Son, and he'd been around before that. Reynaldo Rey comes from Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, and he's been all over the world and done Vegas and now here he is at Houston's most stylish comedy club. Opening tonight, thru Aug. 21. Fri. & Sat., 8:30 & 10:45 p.m.; Sun., 8:30 p.m. Hip-Hop Comedy Stop, 4816 Main, 437-8444. No discounts or passes. $12.

Bull riding championship Tens of thousands of dollars in prize-money for men (and women) willing to bust their asses in a sport that must have started with a dare -- whoo-ee! that's Texas entertainment. Bull riding doesn't come from the hard work of ranch life; although cattle and oxen have been used as draft animals, there is no reason to break bulls to ride. There is only one original reason for clambering up onto a ton of bucking, gleet-slinging, bellowing beef. The first bull riders did it for fun. Contemporary champs such as Ty Murray, Dennis Morris, Aussie Troy Dunn and Richard "Tuff" Hedeman are in it for kicks, and bucks. In 1986, at the tender age of 23, Hedeman set a world-record for single season bull riding winnings by earning $137,061. He's also done endorsements and been a movie star. Wild ride, eh? While MTV sports shows stick to bungee wimps and lamers who snowboard, check out some real thrills at the Summit. (The program includes Mutton Bustin' -- that's sheep riding to the uninitiated -- by kids.) Action begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight and finishes with the Terminator Round Finals on Saturday night. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza. Tickets at the Summit box office or through Ticketmaster, 629-3700. $12.50, $15, $17.50 & $25, parking included.

august 20
Indoor Skate Day Back and bigger than ever -- once again the Astrohall is wide open for in-line and roller skaters. Glide across a silky-smooth concrete floor under the fuzzy, greenish glare of indoor lighting! Feel the frigid breezes from AC units pumping out enough cold to air-condition several small New England states! Test your skating skills on the speed course, the maze course or do tricks in the ramp area! Go ahead, try something new -- they've got a "Skate Great" workshop and a first-aid station. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Astrohall, Astrodomain, Kirby at the Loop, 799-9631. $3, $1 child. (Parking $4 per auto.)

Suzy Bogguss Miss "Just Like the Weather" sings songs from her latest recording, Something Up My Sleeve, and other tunes that led to her getting a nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year from one of those groups that hand out such awards. The pop-country star happens to have a degree in metalsmithing from Illinois State University and is putting out a line of jewelry -- either Joan Rivers will have to make some space on the shopping network or Bogguss will get a talk show. Tonight, the entrepreneur sings at 8 p.m. AstroWorld, Southern Star Amphitheatre. Tickets available through Ticketmaster, 629-3700, and, on the day of the show, at the park. Tickets are $3 general admission and $5 for reserved seats plus park admission.

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