Ever since the not-so-underground warehouse space known as OneTen Studios closed its doors, former director Michael Andrews has had time on his paint-stained hands to ponder the future of his craft. "I'm pretty well sure at this point that the only real art forms left -- the only things you can really express yourself with -- are conceptual art and sculpture," he muses. "Painting is a two-dimensional rendering of something using pigments. Someone already came up with it. I started thinking about painting in these terms. Why am I doing something that somebody already came up with and calling it my own? How are all these paintings in galleries allowed to have any legitimacy whatsoever? The person who painted it didn't come up with the technique."In constant battle against the two-dimensional, Andrews has big plans to unleash a public art project on the annual Warehouse ArtCrawl. He's participated in it for the last three years, but he always came away with the feeling he'd been in a zoo. "I really felt like I was on display," he says. "It's a strange feeling, like having an open house when you're not selling your house." People were more interested in seeing the artists' funky bathrooms than their actual work.
Andrews plans to set up a series of guerrilla installations along the ArtCrawl route, bringing attention to the fact that the entire event is an "Artist Zoo," a chance for us squares to see how the other, more bohemian half lives. It's kind of like painting meets conceptual art meets good-natured sarcasm. 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 22. Downtown Artists Warehouse District. For a list of participating galleries, call 713-229-9760 or visit www.theartcrawl.com. Free. -- Keith Plocek
Tariq Ali is one pissed-off intellectual. Whether he's calling Ariel Sharon a son of a bitch or railing on the hypocrisies of Dubya's wartime rhetoric, he's definitely got a problem with the powers that be. And the masses are listening. He captivates audiences with his dynamic personality and mustachioed good looks, as well as the simple reflexivity of his arguments: "The US Empire and its economic-military policies are the mother of all fundamentalisms. They have spawned the groups which they now fight." It's kind of like bombing things so you can pay yourself to fix them. Ali speaks about "War, Empire, Resistance" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 20. The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-666-9000. $5 to $20. -- Keith Plocek
No Collection Plate
All these unassuming consumers wanted was a latte at Starbucks, but they got a lot more than they'd bargained for (if a $5 latte can be considered a bargain). In walks a red-faced minister, swaggering like Swaggart. "We don't know how to stop chain stores," he bellows into a microphone. "We don't know how to stop corporate franchise imagery. We don't know how to stop the globalizing economy that makes our local economy swim in this sea of identical details, these endless repetitions, this feeling of emptiness, dullness, where we are all tourists in our own lives." But we can stop going to Starbucks, and we can watch Dietmar Post's documentary about the performances of activist Billy Talen, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. 8 p.m. Friday, November 21. Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora Street. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. $5. -- Keith Plocek
Field of Drunks
Blokes from Dallas give Mel Gibson the Monty Python treatment
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In the same way that psychedelic drugs seem to have inspired The Rocky Horror Picture Show, pints of Guinness have fueled the Strangeheart phenomenon. The no-budget Braveheart spoof boasts an RHPS-style audience-participation movement, despite its lack of cohesion (or experienced actors). "It's not exactly the most fluid story," says director Brian Hedenberg. The idea for the movie was born when Hedenberg drunkenly promised to film his pubmates re-creating the Battle of Stirling scene. "I showed up to a field with five camera crews not knowing what to expect, and there were 200 guys and a Guinness truck parked there." As Hedenberg says, they weren't out to make Dead Poets Society. "You need to know you're walking into crap," says Hedenberg, "and be prepared to enjoy crap." Midnight, Saturday, November 22, and Saturday, November 29. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1000 West Oaks Mall. For information, call 281-556-5200 or visit www.strangeheart.com. $7; $5 if in costume. -- Lisa Simon
J Majik, a.k.a. Jamie Spratling, was but a young'un when drum 'n' bass guru Goldie happened upon him in London and quickly crowned him the "Luke Skywalker of Drum and Bass." By 1992, J Majik, the youngest member of the famed Metalheadz crew, had released "6 Million Ways to Die," which would become a D&B anthem. Two years later, he started Infrared Records, where he's been producing ever since. In proper Metalheadz form, J Majik builds cantankerous, rich, moody tracks, often topping them off with diva vocals and strings. 10 p.m. Friday, November 21. Barcode, 902 Capitol. For information, call 713-229-0400 or visit www.barcodehouston.com. $12. -- Natalie Ledbetter