Thursday, February 10
It may piss off politicos, chamber of commerce types and local constables, but graffiti art is the bomb, and it's here to stay. If you're a champion of the spray-can aesthetic, check out what the Hill Country homies are doing in Clogged Caps 3: The Movie. The documentary takes a retrospective look at San Antonio's annual international graffiti festival, once described as a "graffiti playground." Clogged follows live mural sessions by some of the best graffiti/aerosol artists from Texas, other parts of the United States and even countries like Mexico and Singapore. (You'd think the whole caning thing would deter the Singapore crews, but whatev.) There are also break-dance battles, live DJ and hip-hop performances and a killer soundtrack. See why the cool kids like to spray it, not say it, at 8 p.m. Rice University campus, entrance No. 8 (off University Boulevard). For information, call 713-348-3138 or visit www.ricecinema.rice.edu. $6.
Friday, February 11
Admittedly, the last time we viewed a battle of the sexes, it was on late-night cable. So we're guessing that ComedySportz's Battle of the Sexes is a tad different. In honor of Valentine's Day, the frenetic comedy troupe plans to pit ladies against dudes in kooky improv comedy games. And just to ensure that you're laughing with them, not at them, they'll be involving the audience in the high jinks. The troupe promises a "boys-versus-girls version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?" -- definitely not the plot line of last week's pay-per-view flick. 8 p.m. ComedySportz Arena, 901 Town & Country Boulevard. For tickets and information, call 713-868-1444 or visit www.comedysportzhouston.com. $12.
Or, if you're looking for laughs with a live soundtrack, check out the strumming mariachis magníficos at Viva El Amor 2005, MECA's annual mariachi concert. Look for a variety of songs, ranging from romantic to silly to heart-wrenching. Ladies, picture the big sombreros, the tasseled black suits, the pimpin' mustaches -- sexy, huh? Okay, maybe mariachi isn't as hot some of the other genres of sultry, guitar-based music. But we ask you, would Salma Hayek have gotten naked for Antonio Banderas if he was known as El Flamenco? 8 p.m. 1900 Kane. For tickets, call 866-468-7621 or visit www.ticketweb.com. $5 in advance; $7.50 at the door.
Saturday, February 12
We know the feeling, guys. You're sitting in the salon, watching your lady get a 40-minute trim as she gossips with her friendly, nodding hairdresser. As you flip through giant dog-eared hairstyle books, you realize you'd shave your head for a cocktail. But hold onto your locks, stud. This evening at Mio Mio Salon, you can get your drink on as she gets her do done at the Pajama Jammy Jam. Start off the night with half-priced "happy hour haircuts," then watch models shake it in a fashion show featuring Vanity vs. Sanity threads. The party kicks into full gear when DJ Bobby from the Boys and Girls Club and Mai from the Spinning Kitties take the tables. The kicker: free alcohol -- be sure to tip your bartenders -- and free admission. All you have to do is show up in some sexy red or pink PJs, nighties or lingerie. Cut loose at this Valentine's happening at 7 p.m. 2419 South Shepherd. For information, call 713-529-9090.
Sunday, February 13
You've woken up today to find that after getting all crunked at last night's hair show and your impromptu house party, your pad is totally trashed. Time to spruce up the joint. Get some ideas at this weekend's Texas Home and Garden Show, where you'll find things like air filters (bah!) and the world's fastest lawn mower (hell, yeah!). You'll also meet former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek, as well as home design TV studs like Steve Watson of Monster House and Lee Snijders, who hosts HGTV's Design on a Dime. Today, know-it-all Snijders -- who, as a non-gay designer, considers himself an anomaly -- will share decorating tips. A sample: " 'Sponge faux' finishing is out. Pull furniture into a room, don't put it on the edges. Take the square out of a square: Angle your furniture when you place it. Less is less; more is more." Umm, okay. Where was that lawn mower again? 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today; 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, February 11, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, February 12. Reliant Center, 8400 Kirby. For information, call 713-529-1616 or visit texashomeandgarden.com. $6.50 to $8.50; free for children 12 and under.
Monday, February 14
If you're tired of the same old candlelit dinner, movie and subsequent, well, you know, on Valentine's Day, we suggest visiting Urban Aphrodite and then doing, well, you know. Oh, there'll be eats -- namely edible aphrodisiacs like sugary ginger and chocolate -- but we're thinking the live Kama Sutra dances, sexy shadow puppetry and erotic readings from Sappho, Ana#&239;s Nin and Anne Rice should satisfy your hunger. "The poems go from raunchy to sensual -- some of it's downright shocking," says co-organizer Livia Bornigia, who'll be reading poetry while wearing a burqa. ("It's about freeing yourself," she says of the getup.) Singles and couples, both straight and gay, will be catching the boy-girl, boy-boy, girl-girl, puppet-poet action starting at 7:30 p.m. Twelve Spot, 218 Travis. For tickets and information, call 713-426-3531. $10 to $15.
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Tuesday, February 15
Wanting to free himself from the rather stiff pack of contemporary classical acts, violinist Tom Chiu founded FLUX Quartet. Chiu was inspired by the 1960s Fluxus movement in visual art, which promoted artistic experimentation and social and political activism. Now Chiu, violinist Conrad Harris (violin), Max Mandel (viola) and Dave Eggar (cello) travel the globe playing a music designed for "people with an embracing 'anything goes' spirit." The group has drawn major kudos for its performance of the dizzying String Quartet No. 3 by American composer Conlon Nancarrow. A little classical and a lot avant-garde, the foursome promises to at the very least keep things flowing. 7:30 p.m. The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. For tickets and information, call 713-524-5050 or visit www.dacamera.com. $30.
Wednesday, February 16
At school, she's a young face in the crowd. But Vendetta Taylor is a local artist who already boasts a showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and a mailing list of well over 3,000 names (in local artists' terms, that's huge). A student of the Art Institute of Houston, Taylor uses natural resources like grass, wood and twine -- all indigenous to Africa -- to create multidimensional shadowboxes. Her paintings, sculptures and boxes will be on view this month at "Women of Art & Soul." The show features drawings, paintings, multimedia pieces and sculptures by female members of the Community Artists' Collective. Stop by today's opening reception for jazz by crooner Jawad, light refreshments and a chance to meet Taylor. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Exhibit runs through February 28. Steve R. Gregg Gallery, 1900 Yorktown, 713-353-4166, www.aih.aii.edu. Free.