Thursday, June 24
These days, anyone can be an artist. All it takes is the nerve to create something, whatever it might be, and then call it art. A monochrome canvas, a rusty hammer, even an ashtray full of cigarette butts -- all of these things can be art. It's all about perception. Find something cool in your home today and head over to the Art Car Museum, where the folks from Lawndale Art Center (which is closed for renovations) will be accepting entries for "The Big Show." This annual exhibition of works from the Houston area is a melting pot of artistic sensibilities. Anyone can submit just about anything, so start cracking -- you never know what Michael Ray Charles, the show's juror, will end up accepting. And, hey, if you happen to have a real painting lying around, more power to you. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 140 Heights Boulevard. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. $15 entry fee (includes membership to Lawndale).
Now that you're a big-shot artist, you should stay up to date with what your peers are doing. Head over to the Contemporary Arts Museum for the opening of "Perspectives 142: Boys Behaving Badly." The show features works of art that examine male adolescent behavior. And we know what that means: wrestling, making homemade weapons, insert testosterone-driven act here. Revel in a false sense of invincibility at the opening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. Through September 12. 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713-284-8250 or visit www.camh.org. Free.
Friday, June 25
Calling all Klingons. Slap that ass-crack on your head and get your ugly self over to the ApolloCon Science Fiction Convention. You can expect the usual fantasy fare at this event, including role-playing games and board/card games. On the ApolloCon Web site, the organizers encourage participants to come dressed as their favorite sci-fi or fantasy characters, but they also make clear that this is happening at a hotel, "so do not bring any weapons as part of your outfit." Leave your phaser at home and start gaming at 4 p.m. today. The convention continues through 6 a.m. on Sunday morning at Embassy Suites, 9090 Southwest Freeway. For information, call 713-995-0123 or visit www.apollocon.org. $30.
Or, if you'd rather dance, leave your friends behind and shake your rump at the Supersonic Slapback Summer Social Dance Party. This shindig features spinning stylings from several notable crews, including Danseparc and the Sugar Beats. You might recognize the name of the latter from graffitied advertisements in finer bathrooms around town. See what all the fuss is about at 9 p.m. Union, 202 Tuam. For information, call 713-529-5296. Free before 10 p.m.; $5 thereafter.
Saturday, June 26
Straight out of an Archie comic comes a battle of the bands at the Engine Room. Tonight eight bands will fight for the title of "The Greatest Band in Town That Can't Get a Real Gig." Seriously, though, this event is a great chance to catch some up-and-coming acts before, well, before they either make it big or fade away. Rock on in uncertainty at 5 p.m. 1515 Pease. For information, call 713-654-7846 or visit www.engineroomhouston.net. $10.
Sunday, June 27
Gay Pride ain't over yet. Grab your Stetson and head over to Opus for Urban Cowboyz, an official Pride after-party. The event features beats from decknicians Dawna Montel and Chris Sill. The whole shebang (or hebang, if you prefer) starts in the wee hours of Sunday morning and ends just in time for you to start hitting the brunches around town. Yes, we realize that doesn't leave any time for sleep, but you'll be so pumped up on stimulants (we're talking about Red Bull here) that you won't give a damn. 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. 412 Main. For information, call 713-529-6979 or visit www.spoiledparties.com. $15 to $20.
Monday, June 28
Okay, you've been practicing those power chords alone in your bedroom long enough. It's time to show the world what you got at open-mike night at McGonigel's Mucky Duck. The crowd here is friendly, so don't worry too much about missing a high C or two. But be forewarned: No one, and we mean no one, wants to hear you strum away at some played-out cover of an '80s rock ballad. Keep the Queensrÿche and Poison covers to yourself. Sign-up at 7 p.m.; music at 8 p.m. 2425 Norfolk. For information, call 713-528-5999 or visit www.mcgonigels.com. Free.
Tuesday, June 29
Coming every four years, the Blaffer Gallery's "Houston Area Exhibition" is a top-notch showcase of what's going down in H-town. This year, the folks at the Blaffer have broken with tradition by having a single out-of-towner make the selections. Now, before you get all xenophobic on us, listen to what the Blaffer's director, Terrie Sultan, has to say: "We opted for a single juror, selecting Bill Arning from the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, someone who had never been to Houston and had no preconceived notions about the visual arts community here." Well, that kind of makes sense. Arning made his selections without rubbing elbows with the artists, hence making the process of judging art as objective as it can be. Stop by the Blaffer today and see what the Cambridge boy thinks of us. Opening reception for exhibition: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 25. Works on view through August 29. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. University of Houston, 120 Fine Arts Building. For information, call 713-743-9530 or visit www.blaffergallery.org. Free.