Who needs the hassle of traveling to Austin, buying a wristband and then waiting in line with hundreds of other saps outside shows you can't get into? Houston will have its own version of a certain well-known conference at the second annual South By Due East Music Festival, which will feature two days of music and poetry. It's the brainchild of "guerrilla marketer" MArlo Blue and her boyfriend, local musician Guy Schwartz. "Everybody that's on the bill is playing music because they love it, but they also like a little attention," Schwartz says. "It's another way to get exposure for bands who maybe weren't accepted to perform up in Austin." Acts of all genres, including Zwee, Sonny Boy Terry, Drop Trio, the Hightailers, Opie Hendrix, Chango Jackson, Little Brother Project, Last Soul Descendants and the Rosta Jazz Avengers, will be featured along with Schwartz's own New Jack Hippies, on two stages. A lot of the shows will be filmed; last year's flick can be viewed at www.hippies.tv. Oh, and the whole thing is free.
Schwartz certainly has a background in musical diversity -- not only did his mother have jazz great Lionel Hampton over to dinner, but when she did, she played country records by Eddy Arnold. Schwartz's latest project is a four-disc set on which he plays four different musical genres. And he didn't have a problem finding diverse acts for this homegrown festival. "Most of us kept that week open anyway in case we were playing South By Southwest," he notes. "And hey, now we don't have to go there!" 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 20 and 21. Super Happy Fun Land, 2610 Ashland. For information, call 713-880-2100 or visit www.superhappyfunland.com. Free. - Bob Ruggiero
A New Face
Been missing Tony Montana's "leetle friend"? Don't worry, you can see him again at this weekend's showing of a digitally remastered print of Scarface, the Brian De Palma flick that has become a cult classic for gangsta rappers the world over. This rags-to-riches-and-bitches tale of a Florida crime lord -- think of him as the Godfather's evil twin, portrayed frenetically by Al Pacino -- and his cokehead mistress, Elvira, features bullets and blood galore, as well as numerous chunks of cheesy dialogue that have become pop-culture T-shirt slogans: "I'm Tony Montana. You fuck with me, you fuckin' with the best." Fuckin'-A, Tony. 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 19. Brown Auditorium Theater at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6. - Greg Barr
Tear Some Tail
"We will sell crawfish plates and bowls of gumbo for this worthwhile fund-raiser," says Susan Landwer. At this point you have no idea what kind of fund-raiser she's talking about, but do you really care? For lots of folks, the mere mention of gumbo and mudbugs conjures only one question: "Where do I show up?" Luckily, you won't be sucking heads at a Bush rally. The Seabrook Crawfish Festival benefits the good folks at the Seabrook Merchants and Tourism Association, and its goal is preserving the rich Cajun culture of the Louisiana and southeast Texas area. Zydeco bands will be on hand for a weekend festival that includes cook-offs, a "Miss Mudbug" contest and a crawfish-eating contest. And on Saturday, weird sports enthusiasts can compete in a greased-pole climb. Bring an appetite and some grip tape. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 20 and 21. Seabrook Beach Club, 3345 NASA Road 1. For information, call 281-326-5819. $5. - Troy Schulze
It's getting haute in herre
Billed as the world's largest traveling fashion show, the Ebony Fashion Fair celebrates 46 years of existence with "Color Splash," a Broadway-scale fashion-and-entertainment event. This year's show includes designs by Bob Mackie, Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Hanae Mori and Christian Lacroix, as well as black designers Antonio Wingfield, Beulah Cooley, L'Amour, Stephen Burrows and Fushá. Expect a freewheeling and fun atmosphere -- the Ebony Fashion Fair isn't afraid to inject haute couture with a little attitude (and a few curves). The event, which has raised more than $49 million for charity since its inception in 1958, approaches fashion from a showbiz perspective. And it's charmingly provocative, reminding us that "voluptuous" still has its place in the fashion lexicon. Word. 8 p.m. Saturday, March 20. Granville Sawyer Auditorium at Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne. For information, call 713-529-0130. $30 to $35. - Troy Schulze
For photographer Sally Gall, cave exploration is about more than dangling from a rope and dodging flying rats. "Inside the earth I have found correlatives for the human inner scape of emotion and experience," she says. Her latest exhibition of photographs, "Subterranea," explores the depths of Big Mama (that's Mother Earth, y'all) with intriguing results. In Pause, a series of steps leads the viewer from a chthonic world up to the heights of enlightenment. In Thirst, tree roots dangle down a hole, craving the dark unknown. And in Orifice -- well, we'll let you figure out what that one means on your own. Opening reception: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 20. Through Saturday, April 17. Parkerson Gallery, 3510 Lake. For information, call 713-524-4945. Free. - Keith Plocek
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly guide to events in Houston, and never be bored again. With suggestions for every day of the week, our recommendations will keep you busy on any budget.