Press Picks

Austin Lounge Lizards They look more like bar bums, but these guys are likely to be found slouching sullenly on barstools and cracking wise, in a cracker way; and a more accurate name, like "The Austin Old Hippie Beer-slurping Yahoos" would not sound so nice, or fit neatly on CD spines. Moreover, one of their brave warblings is entitled "Old Blevins," a tribute to rummy geezers in every bar. That song shows up on CD number five with Terry Allen's "Truckload of Art" and Emily Kaitz's "Shallow End of the Gene Pool." Obviously, they're continuing with the irreverence their fans have come to know and love. Many otherwise normal people are big Lizard fans because of their frequent shows around our parts, and early CDs such as Paint Me On Velvet, Lizard Vision, Highway Cafe of the Damned and Creature from the Black Saloon. Their musical mastery is such that they could probably make you weep with a straight playing of a genuine, spooky Appalachian folk song. 8 p.m. & 10:15 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. $10.

august 21
Distant Relations: The Relationship Between Arabs and Jews in Israel David Wells' photographs are his attempt to show the crux of the troubled relations in the Middle East and were taken during a year-long stay in Jerusalem. The New Jersey photographer was in the Holy Land with his wife, Rabbi Ellen Greenspan. "The relationship between Arabs and Jews," Wells says, "is more complex than that of occupied and occupier. The two people share many aspects of their culture, physical appearance and love of the land, but world attention is usually captured only by their alienation, jealousy and rage." Thru Oct. 15. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. & Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Deutser Gallery, Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, 729-3200, ext. 3231.

Fabian Worsham poetry reading Friends and former students of the Houston poet and UH-Downtown professor present a tribute. Worsham is the author of The Vulture Woman, The Green Kangaroo, Aunt Erma's Country Kitchen and Bordello and other slender volumes of serious-minded and sincere poetry. Lorenzo Thomas will host the event. All fans of poetry, teaching and meta-feminism are urged to attend. The Harlot's Child, a recent book of Worsham's verse, will be available. Worsham herself may read if she is well enough and she hopes very much to attend this special evening. 5 p.m. River Cafe, 3615 Montrose. No charge.

august 22
The Astro Wives Planet Astros Channel 2 sportscaster Lisa Malosky hosts this fourth annual party to raise money for the Houston Area Women's Center. Long before Nicole was knifed, these sports-wives were worried about women's issues -- the Astros' Wives benefit is traditionally the single largest private donor to HAWC. The Astros' Wives have raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for HAWC in the last three years. Planet Astros has music from Duck Soup, much better food than the Dome and a live and silent auction of sports memorabilia, jewelry and trips. The wives promise this féte will go on, strike or shine. 6:30 p.m. Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 W. Alabama, 799-9877. $250 per couple, $150 per person.

august 23
Vegetarian Society of Houston dinner This doesn't happen every day -- a buffet of Indian vegan specialties. Dishes of dal, puri, eggplant supji, a special savory, and an impressive spread of spicy and mild dishes will be laid out for all to enjoy, with tamarind tea. Krishna Kripa Das is tonight's speaker. "Palatable Purification" is his topic. There is one cost for the entire evening; beverages, tax and tip are all included. Hare Krishna Temple, 1320 W. 34th, 880-1055 for reservations. $11.

Off Limits A PBS documentary about being expected to pee in a cup filled with fun facts like this: "In the 1920s, Henry Ford routinely sent inspectors to his employees' homes to investigate their cleanliness, drinking habits and domestic stability." Did you know Ted Turner flat-out prohibits smoking by Turner employees on Turner time (and even on their own time)? Yep. And if you want some real fun, call AVERT claiming you want a job applicant researched. AVERT has access to motor vehicle records and worker compensation claims. Probably third-grade report cards, too. Where do we draw the line between employers' need-to-know and employees' rights to privacy? 9 p.m. PBS. You see it free, right on your own TV.

august 24
Twenty-five years of Houston Ballet Photographs of our finest dancers in fabulous, fantastic costumes will be displayed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company. Scenes from classics such as Giselle, which premiered in 1979, and the sumptuous 1989 Cinderella will hang next to wild pictures from Prince Igor. Thru Sept. 2 during normal business hours. Pennzoil Building, 711 Louisiana.

From the People Who Brought You Paranoia The Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe celebrates its fifth anniversary of speaking words with a special show at the River Cafe. This show was not announced as a farewell, and I have no reason to believe it is, but really, what is left for them to do? The troupe has staged individual and group readings at every possible alternative venue, done high-brow gigs at Cezanne and the MFA Sculpture Garden, orchestrated a '93 series at Bookstop Galleria featuring 32 writers in 16 readings, and last February their "Caffeine Crawl" tour of coffeehouses ended up with a SRO crowd that drove in a caravan through the rain until every java joint had been hit. What other stunts can they pull? 7:30-10 p.m. River Cafe, 3615 Montrose. For information call 529-0198 or 523-2649. Free.

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