Thursday, November 10
Um, your bare walls are showing. But you can cover them -- and help the Avenue Community Development Corporation revitalize programs in Houston communities -- by attending the ninth annual Art on the Avenue. The two-night benefit and art auction, which kicks off with a preview party honoring Bob and Elyse Lanier, features food, cocktails and live music, plus the work of more than 180 local artists. The auction begins today with a special preview soiree at 6 p.m. The auction and festivities continue from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, November 12. Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street. For tickets and information, call 713-864-8099 or visit www.avenuecdc.org. $50 for preview party; $20 for auction.

Friday, November 11
Juxtaposition, when done well, is a beautiful thing: fried chicken and waffles, coffee bars and Laundromats, Heidi Klum and Seal -- to name a few. The opening of landscape painter Eric Gibbons's "Cut Your Damn Hair, Hippie"at Gallery 1724's salon offers haircuts and art. The painter's works ain't your grandma's bud vases and bluebonnets, unless your grandma was big into chemical-induced vacations (if you know what we mean). Gibbons's colorful, almost psychedelic canvases, which cleverly infuse written narrative, are to dye (and chop) for. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.) Opening reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. Exhibit runs through December 23. 1724 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-2547 or visit www.gallery1724.com. Free.

If you're more the bookish type, head down the street to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Notoriously reclusive author Harper Lee won't be out signing autographs anytime soon, but there's fun to be had, yet. Mary Badham, who lives in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, and played Scout Finch in the story's classic movie incarnation, is making an appearance and signing special hardcover editions of the book. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Hollywood Frame Gallery, 2427 Bissonnet. For information or to reserve a copy, call 713-942-8885 or visit www.hollywoodframegallery.com. Free; book purchase required for signing.

Saturday, November 12
Today, you can meet up with all creatures great and slobbery for A Dog Day Park Bark. Pooches can frolic in the sunshine and find some fetching company of their own. And when every tongue is lolling, the waggin' train heads to Annabelle's Diner for a dish of cold water and owner treats, too. (And watch the butt-sniffin' -- this is a nice place.) 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Buffalo Bayou Park, 2700 Allen Parkway. Annabelle's Diner, 905 Taft. For information or to RSVP, call 713-524-3578 or visit www.bayoucityoutdoors.com. Free.

The country scene in Nashville has gotten so polished, it's hard to tell a backwoods boy from a Backstreet Boy. But Houston's keepin' it real, thanks in part to local badass made good Hayes Carll. Although the gritty 28-year-old singer-songwriter has garnered plenty of attention from the major labels, he instead chose to release his new album, Little Rock, on his own. "I didn't want to be stuck in the same deal till I'm 40," says Carll of the decision to stay indie. (Amen, pardner.) Carll, who's already been compared to greats like Steve Earle and Ray Wylie Hubbard, is stopping by his hometown this week. He performs with James McMurtry at 9:30 p.m. today. Continental Club, 3700 Main. For tickets, call 713-529-9899 or visit www.continentalclub.com. $15. And he performs with Lisa Morales and John Evans at 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 15. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk. For tickets, call 713-528-5999 or visit www.mcgonigels.com. $15.

Sunday, November 13
Friends and Enemies features the works of Johannes Brahms, his close friend Robert Schumann and his notorious enemy Hugo Wolf. The concert of classical works is meant to offer a peek into the conflict, passion and insanity that engulfed their lives. (Kudos to you if you can get insanity and conflict from pianos and strings.) It's part of the Mukuru Art for AIDS Performance Series, which raises money for HIV prevention and education. 7 p.m. Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Boulevard. For tickets or information, call 713-623-6796 or visit www.mukuru.org. $20; $10 for students.

Monday, November 14
Before The Jazz Singer rocked the cinematic world by adding sound (zounds!), avant-garde filmmakers were still creating a buzz with their silent masterpieces, many of which have been collected and released in the new DVD Unseen Cinema: Experimental Treasures from the World's Leading Archives. In celebration of these silver-screen gems, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is holding a special viewing of 24 of these short films with live accompaniment by Two Star Symphony string quartet. 7 p.m. Brown Auditorium Theater, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.www.mfah.org/films. $10.

Tuesday, November 15
Alluring red satin meets the land of white picket fences -- all under a blanketing midnight-blue sky -- when a carnival comes to the quiet town of Wamego, Kansas, in the film Firecracker. But that's where the fun ends. In this tale of suffering, abuse and murder, emotionally tormented Jimmy forges an unlikely friendship with carnival sideshow act Sandra, while the disappearance of Jimmy's brother, David, unleashes the secrets buried within the sleepy hamlet. Firecracker, which also stars a host of real-life carnival freaks such as Lobster Girl and George the Giant, has been generating serious buzz among the indie crowd. Dare we say it's been blowing up? 7 p.m. Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For tickets, call 713-866-8881 or visit www.dikenga.com/films. $10.

Wednesday, November 16
Even if you only grudgingly acknowledge soccer as "the other football," there'll be lots of other things to do at the Mexico vs. Bulgaria soccer match. Before the game, catch live music from Pablo Montero, the "Tu Música, Tu Cerveza" artists and the True Music Roadhouse. The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the Bud Dance Team and the Bud Percussion Group also will be appearing. (Man, add some other "bud," and this'll be a real party.) Kick-off is at 8 p.m. Reliant Stadium, 1 Reliant Park. For tickets and information, call 866-468-3926 or visit www.texasinternationalsoccerseries.com. $20 to $50.

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