This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, June 17

Despite all their hippified feel-good intentions (or maybe because of them), jam bands really polarize the public. Either you love 'em or you hate 'em. Fans cite the sheer musicality and free-form grooves as selling points, while critics just don't think jammers know how to write a real song. Those of the first camp will definitely be out in droves at Edwards Cinema today for the simulcast of the first concert of Phish's summer tour-- which, by the way, will be the band's last. After that, the members of Phish are swimming off in different directions. Post-simulcast, jam-heads can head over to the Improv, where the Little Brother Project is slated to groove until closing. Simulcast at 6:30 p.m. Edwards Cinema, 7620 Katy Freeway, 713-263-0808. $12.50. After-party immediately afterward at the Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway, 713-333-8800. $5 with ticket stub from simulcast; $10 otherwise.

Friday, June 18

You've had that Jimi Hendrix poster in your apartment for far too long. It's time to get some real art to deck your walls. Scope out the homegrown talent today at the Art League of Houston's Texas Art Sale. The show features works by Donna Villarreal, Jacquie Dodes-Walter, Patrick Medrano, Katy Anderson and Betsy Odom, to name a few. Jimi was more about the music than the image anyway, man. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 19. 1953 Montrose. For information, call 713-523-9530 or visit www.artleaguehouston.org. Free.

Saturday, June 19

This Juneteenth, experience a Harlem Renaissance at "Harlem Nights," an evening of music, art, spoken word and casino play. The mood of the event harks back to days gone by, but the DJs, art and spoken word are up to date. The entrance fee, which benefits local schools, will also get you a starter bag of casino chips. Don't count your money when you're sitting at the table from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Edwin Hornberger Conference Center, 2151 West Holcombe. For information, call 713-962-7836. $40.

And today is your last chance to see Psycho Beach Party, a farcical update of surfing movies from the '60s. Written by Charles Busch, the play features the requisite beach bums doing the Kahuna thing, as well as a surf bunny with multiple personalities. Hit the waves of neurosis at 8 p.m. today and Friday, June 18. Country Playhouse, 12802 Queensbury. For information, call 713-467-4497 or visit www.countryplayhouse.org. $10.

Sunday, June 20

It's Father's Day, so show the big guy you care by taking him to an Astros game. As you sit in the stands watching the 'Stros face off against the Anaheim Angels, be prepared to hear your old man bitching about how great the game used to be, back before million-dollar prima donnas and $5 hot dogs spoiled it all. And don't even think about bringing up the designated hitter. 1:05 p.m. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. For tickets, call 877-927-8767 or visit www.astros.com. $5 to $40.

Or, if your dad lives in Wisconsin, just give him a happy hello over the telephone and get ready to party like you don't have to work tomorrow. The folks at Ragazza Grill have hired former La Strada DJs Yogi and Alx to spin on Sundays, so you can expect a little bit of overflow from you-know-where. Party hardy, but be sure not to get too drunk and flirtatious off the cheap pitchers of bellinis and mimosas -- otherwise you might be celebrating Father's Day next year with a three-month-old baby of your own. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. 902 Studemont. For information, call 713-864-3700. Free.

Monday, June 21

Happy hours are a dangerous thing. "A drink or two" can turn into quite a few in no time at all. And you can bet most waiters aren't going to tell you when the hour isn't happy anymore. At least you know where you stand at Onion Creek, where there's an extended happy hour on Mondays until 11 p.m. Granted, showing up today is admitting that you're going to be drinking until bedtime, but let's be realistic: That's probably going to happen no matter where you go. 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays. 3106 White Oak Drive. For information, call 713-880-0706 or visit www.onioncreekcafe.com. Free.

Tuesday, June 22

With a book called Nesting: It's a Chick Thing, authors Ame Mahler Beanland and Emily Miles Terry have to expect a few groans from the feminists out there. But don't be so quick to judge these two women. In the book, the authors describe how they became part of a loose network of women who were handy around the house: "We'd become a posse of postfeminist domestic 'experts,' proving that what we lacked in time, experience, money, you name it, we could make up for with attitude and ingenuity." You, too, can become a handywoman when you pick up their book at the signing today at 7 p.m. Books-A-Million, 5000 Katy Mills. For information, call 281-644-2665 or visit www.booksamillion.com. Free.

Wednesday, June 23

Two out-of-town producers are rolling into our burg today to audition talent for, um, we're not quite sure what. Basically, if you fancy yourself a musician, then today's your chance to let a couple of reputed bigwigs hear your chops. But there's a catch: It'll cost ya $100 if you're a solo artist and $175 if you're part of a band. Ouch! That's a lot of dough, for sure, but wait till you hear who the two producers are -- and no, one of them is not Trent Steele. It's Robert Metzgar and Charles E. Fach Jr.! (Cue the sound of crickets chirping.) Okay, most of us have no idea who these guys are, but apparently Metzgar did a lot of stuff for the O Brother, Where Art Thou?soundtrack and Fach did some work for Jerry Lee Lewis and Kool & the Gang. Show 'em what ya got from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. today through Sunday, June 27. SRO Sports Bar & Cafe, 444 Northwest Mall. To schedule an appointment, call 800-767-4984. $10 for spectators.

 
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