Press Picks

Don Henley Has Risen from His Grave Don Henley, well-known singer, environmental activist and Mojo Nixon foil, will be honored at Moody Gardens' fourth annual Environmental Leadership Awards luncheon. That luncheon, the Texas premiere of a new IMAX film and the grand opening of Palm Beach are all part of Moody's Earth Fair. The fair also features workshops, educational family activities and a new Kids Tent -- not to mention a new exotic insect exhibit, complete with hissing cockroaches. Here's the rundown of special events: 11:30 a.m., 16 fourth-grade kids are given scholastic awards for quality essay writing; 11:45 a.m. Across the Sea of Time premieres in the IMAX theater ($6); noon, the Don Henley luncheon ($17.50, reservations required); 2 p.m., Henley autographs Walden Woods merchandise; and all day long, sand sculptor Greg Glenn makes a masterpiece with the white sands of Palm Beach ($6). Moody Gardens, take I-45 to Galveston, exit 61st Street, turn right on Seawall Boulevard, then right on 81st Street and left on Hope Boulevard (800) 582-4673, extension 200. No admission charge to come in and walk around the gardens.

Pan African Festival The S.H.A.P.E. Community Center has organized a three-day party, running right through Memorial Day, to celebrate Africa and African-American heritage, a heritage spreading "from the rhythm beat of South America to the warm breeze of the Caribbean Islands to the barbecue pits of Texas to the Creole tastes and zydeco sounds of Louisiana to the rhythm and blues of Detroit." This 17th annual festival, presented with special thanks to the community, celebrates the gains African-Americans and many Africans have made (African women filmmakers, for instance, and everybody in Sierra Leone), and honors the current struggles of some Africans (for instance, Nigerians and Liberians). The festival is set up for families, and in addition to refreshments and vendors, this year's event will again have the popular do-it-yourself craft booths. On Sunday evening, local and national entertainers will drum, dance and sing on the Miller Theatre stage. The festival begins at 11 a.m. today, Sunday and Monday. 100 Concert Drive, Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.

Killer B in Southwest Houston Sweet-faced second baseman Craig Biggio and faithful Orbit will meet and greet in the middle of Sharpstown mall for a full hour today. Fans will be treated to free popcorn and Cokes, and will have the chance to win game tickets. The grand prize winner in this free-for-all drawing will take three friends to the game tonight, in a limo, and will, from the comfort of a Dome suite, watch Biggio receive his Silver Slugger award. Take Me Out To the Mallgame pep rally, 11 a.m.noon. Sharpstown Center, 7500 Bellaire, 777-1111. Free.

may 26
Modernday Folklore and Something Obnoxious Beloved, low-key Texan blues-rock boy Ian Moore will play selections from his old records and from his latest recording, Modernday Folklore, at the KLOL Rocquafest. Something Obnoxious is the opening act, but the KLOL people suggest that Ian Moore fans who'd rather have no truck with Something arrive at this free concert early, anyway: Between 8,000 and 10,000 people are expected to storm the beach. The KLOL fun starts at 2; Grego's band (Something Obnoxious), 5; Ian Moore, 6:30 p.m. East Beach, Galveston.

may 27
Blood, Sweat and Tears When David Clayton-Thomas replaced Al Kooper as the frontman for Blood, Sweat and Tears, it's unlikely that he knew the group would come to this: symphony performances. But then again, maybe this was what he had planned all along -- at one point during the group's heyday, Clayton-Thomas said, "There are only 20 U.S. cities with concert halls big enough for us." In any case, after three decades and 50 million albums sold, the band has Clayton-Thomas back and is appearing with the Houston Symphony. Imagine -- woodwinds and strings sprucing up radio hits such as "And When I Die," "Spinning Wheel" and "You Made Me So Very Happy." 8 p.m. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, 629-3700. $10$30.

may 28
The Last of the Savages Most people cast a wary eye at Bret Easton Ellis, Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney because, like the brat pack actors, these authors' reputations suffered from early early, and in some cases barely deserved, fame. McInerney, at least, has outlasted Bright Lights, Big City, not to mention the heavy burden of being proclaimed the voice of his generation. About his latest, Time magazine says, "His acuteness as a social critic remains intact, as does his occasional tart way with language ... surprising modesty." Be the first on your block to note the book's obvious parallels to Gatsby, not to mention the story of the Erteguns, Turkish founders of Atlantic Records. McInerney reads from and signs The Last of the Savages. 7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, 523-0701.

may 29
Svetlana Portnyanskaya The Russian-born woman cantor was a hit at the 1990 Soviet Union Festival of Pop and Rock Music, winning over non-Jewish pop-music judges with a selection of Yiddish songs. Since 1991, she's been in the States, singing and being favorably compared to Streisand. This week, she'll sing in Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish at the JCC. 7:30 p.m. Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood, 729-3200, extension 3231. $10.

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