Ray Wylie Hubbard Soft-spoken songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard has many claims to fame -- he wrote the bar classic "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," his between-songs stage patter is unequaled and some say he is responsible for the three-name tradition of Texas-based singer/songwriters such as Allen Wayne Damron, Willis Allan Ramsay and Billy Joe Shaver. Want to know something else about Hubbard? He has long, spiky, polished nails on his right hand. Recently, he started taking serious guitar lessons. And rather than stick metal picks on his picking hand, he just grew his nails. Except for that one hand, he's still the same old grizzled Texan. The gleaming nails, though, create quite an impression. The effect, should you shake his paw, is gothic; however, the effect, listening to his music, is that the sound is better than ever. The Sand Mountain Guitar House Concert Series presents Ray Wylie Hubbard at Kaldi Cafe. 8 p.m. 250 West 19th Street. For tickets, call 864-9770. $8.
Cinco Ranch Triathlon More than 600 triathletes and a half-hundred corporate relay teams are getting set for Houston's biggest triathlon -- a 500-meter swim, 15-mile bike race and three-mile run. To prepare for this, the triathletes train for months and shave their whole bodies. Or maybe they just enter these things so they'll have an excuse to shave their rippling flesh. Who knows? People can be kinky these days. At any rate, all this muscle- and cardio-stressing work is to benefit the Mayde Creek High School college fund. The competition begins at 7 a.m. Party after. Cinco Ranch Beach Club. For more information, call Dave Rainey, 463-4326. Registration up to August 19, although this is not the sort of athletic event one should enter on a lark. $32 individual entry fee; $95 corporate relay teams; $85 per group. Free to spectators.
Again, with the Miss Saigon cast Last week, the traveling cast of this road show spectacular treated us to a staged reading of a classic comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. This week, the kids present a special show, From Saigon, with Love. The multi-talented Miss Saigon crew will eschew their peasant clothes and fatigues to dress up for song-and-dance numbers, thrilling the crowd with Broadway tunes and pop classics. The festivities, all to benefit the Loving Arms Foundation children's AIDS charity, include a silent auction, with some auction items being "Let's Do Lunch" lunch dates with cast members, signed memorabilia from Saigon and other Broadway shows, and film collectibles. 8 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington Avenue, 869-8427. $20.
Art Works: the PaineWebber Collection of Contemporary Masters A somber fact of life, and one well worth noting in this time of diminishing funding for the arts, is that huge corporate entities pay for plenty of art -- we've all heard the "PBS means petroleum broadcasting system" jokes. A single soul, Donald B. Marron, chairman and CEO of the PaineWebber Group, is responsible for the PaineWebber collection. Whether Marron was moved by a love of art, a desire to see his name in a positive light or in print, or simply trying to impress a chick is not known or, really, important. The important thing is that major works by 20th-century artists such as Jasper Johns, Louis Bourgeous, Robert Rauschenberg, Lucian Freud, Philip Guston, Gerhard Richter, Susan Rothberg and Houston favorite Cy Twombly are currently on public display, and you can gawk at these works from ten to five weekdays. The show is up through September 24. Regular museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 12:15-6 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 526-1361. $3; $1.50 students, children six-18 and seniors; free to children under five and everyone on Thursdays.
Animal party They have a cougar among the hundreds of homeless animals at the SPCA, a cougar who eats. They all eat, all those hundreds of animals, and they need medical care and run up the electric bill and, all in all, the operating costs of the SPCA are high, and getting higher. In the long run, we could all save the SPCA money, maybe even put it out of business, by being responsible pet owners. In theory, having all pets spayed or neutered, properly vaccinated and kept off the streets is easy enough. In practice, we have thousands of diseased animals roaming our fair metropolis. Some of these creatures end up at the SPCA, and cost the SPCA money. Like any normal nonprofit in need of money, the SPCA is having a fundraiser, a fun one, because people often don't think to be charitable unless there's something in it for them. So what's in it for you? Live music by Milkweed and the Surrealtors in the open-air, long neck party atmosphere of the Fabulous Satellite Lounge. 9 p.m. Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Avenue, 869-