Press Picks

january 25
Yuri Naumov It's hard to learn to play guitar when all you have as a teacher are bootlegged Beatles and Led Zeppelin tapes. Harassment by the KGB doesn't make matters any easier. But Siberian pop star Yuri Naumov vaulted those and other hurdles to become an accomplished instrumentalist and singer who packs cafes and concert halls from Moscow to Soho. Naumov's intricate picking shows more dexterity than a champion typist, and his use of reverb and other effects puts a decidedly electric edge on his acoustic stylings. The former medical student (who was booted from school for performing "imperialist propaganda") sings a few songs in English, but it's his bluesy Russian drawl that really makes the ears perk up. 7:30 p.m., Kaplan Theater, Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood, 664-3587. $8-$10.

Battle of the Big Bands -- Round 2 If recent television reruns of The Benny Goodman Story and The Glenn Miller Story have whetted your appetite for hot swing, then prove you're not a cold turkey and catch Round 2 of this big band fest. The hits of Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Kay Kyser and Gene Krupa are on the bill. And though we're disappointed they left out Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw, not to mention Woody Herman, we're excited about the inclusion of Krupa, a man who preferred a flashy style and wasn't content simply to keep time for Goodman. Thus he invented the stick-flying drum solo and led his own band. Does that make him responsible for Buddy Rich? Whatever, maybe it's time somebody made a good movie about him. 2 and 8 p.m. today; 2 p.m. Sunday. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston, (800) 821-1894. $14.50-$22.

Margaret Mee: Return to the Amazon Eighty-five of Mee's spectacular watercolors are included in this exhibition organized by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. A passionate conservationist, Mee journeyed through Brazilian Amazonia for more than three decades, capturing on canvas the beauty she saw and being among the first to raise holy hell about the destruction of the rain forest; her scientific documentation of plant life there remains unequaled. Opens today and continues through September 21. Houston Museum of Natural Science, 1 Hermann Circle Drive, 639-4629. $3; $2, children three11.

january 26
Super Bowl Sunday It's Super Bowl Sunday, and that means the best thing on TV today is TBS's Andy Griffith Show marathon countdown; will "Man in a Hurry" rank as the viewers' favorite this year? If this debate doesn't interest you, perhaps you'd better tune in to the second best program, Super Bowl XXXI -- Green Bay versus New England. Hunker down with a few friends, put the Cheez Whiz in the microwave, draw numbers for your squares game and pop a top on a tallboy of Coors: Now you're ready. The Packers and Pats battle it out at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans at 5:18 p.m.; you can catch it on Fox Channel 26 or on KTRH/ 740 AM. Among the halftime highlights: three-year-old Andrew Thompson of Nashville, Tennessee, will sing his award-winning rendition of Oscar Meyer's b-o-l-o-g-n-a song.

january 27
TxDOT and the Katy Freeway The Texas Department of Transportation has been looking at a 40-mile stretch of I-10, from downtown to the Brazos River, and is ready to present to the public plans for improving the roadway. The main part that's out of control, as I see it, is between the Loop and the Beltway; too many people are driving on it too often. My solution? Get everyone out of my way. If you'd like to review the plans your ownself and offer a little feedback or possibly work up a gripe session with fellow motorists, you can do so at any of four TxDOT public meetings. The first is 4-8 p.m. today at the West End Multiservice Center, 170 Heights Boulevard. Each session will be held in an open-house format so that participants can come and go whenever they please.

january 28
The Fine Art of Seduction Dr. Louis Markos, professor of literature and film history at Houston Baptist University, presents this lecture, subtitled "The Rules for Courtship in Hollywood's Golden Age." Though it's not always elevated to such a level, there can be an art to this business of seduction -- sadly, this art seemed to have reached its pinnacle in the '30s and '40s, when men were men, women were women and nobody ever thought of calling movies "films." Markos will review this period of history, complete with clips, and perhaps offer insight into the proper strategies a la Gable or Bogart or Veronica Lake for winning over the object of your heart's desire. 7 p.m. Museum of Printing History, 1324 West Clay, 522-4652. $10.

january 29
Ann and Cecile Richards honored Former governor Ann Richards possesses the sort of grit required of living legends and progenitors of change; what's more, her daughter Cecile seems to have inherited a bit of that do-right-with-an-attitude spunk. The Houston chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women honors the mother/daughter team tonight with its Hannah G. Solomon Award for the Richards women's ability to enact social change in a far-reaching and recognizable way. 7:30 p.m. J.W. Marriott, 5150 Westheimer (at Sage), 667-5694. $35, dinner only; $75, dinner and private reception.

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