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January 3
CAM Talks Another nifty lunch-time cultural opportunity here in cowtown, this from the Contemporary Arts Museum. Noontime on Thursdays, a staff member takes art fans on a loosely structured tour. The current exhibit is "Texas/Between Two Worlds," and the guide adjusts the speed and intensity of the tour to the needs and wants of those who've elected to have an informative art experience instead of a three-martini lunch. Go, see, and ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. The museum staff is on a mission -- they want us to understand and appreciate, as in enjoy, art. CAM Talks are free, and everyone is welcome. (This is not a brown-bag event -- no food or drink is allowed inside the museum.) Curator Peter Doroshenko will be giving today's CAM Talk. Noon. Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose, 526-0773. (E.S.)

January 14
Bitch goddesses are passe Ru Paul picked the wrong drag -- the new face of sexuality is friendly, eager and earnest, with a "please like me" attitude barely removed from needy. This according to self-proclaimed sex goddess Annie Sprinkle, porn star cum performance artist and opening act for DiverseWorks's All the Rage: Solo Women's Voices series. Sprinkle's one-woman autobiographical show celebrates sex and, although her props include showgirl-style headdresses and clinical scopes, her delivery is pure Pollyanna. No matter how nominally lewd her posture, Sprinkle delivers information such as her "Public Cervix Announcement" guilelessly -- she's not even arch. Sprinkle effectively demystifies sexual equipment and leaves us with the frightening possibility that sex is all in the mind. No one under 18 admitted. 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 E. Freeway, 223-8346. $12; $10 members. (E.S.)

Royal Trux Early last week, I walked into Blockbuster Videos at Westheimer and Montrose to pick up a copy of Song of the Thin Man. But before I reached the mystery section, some slug at the counter screamed across the room: "Hey, man, your top-ten list sucked!" This was, aside from unwelcome harassment, a reference to my recent round-up of the year's best albums. Said slug's biggest problem seemed to be that I'd left off the Trux's Cats and Dogs, and as uncivilly as the correction was offered, the slug was probably right. The Trux make scum rock, NYC lower East Side-style, with heavy, meandering references to blues rock a la Rolling Stones, back when the Stones remembered to leave lots of meandering holes in the dissipated fabric. Last time I recommended their show at Emo's, the Trux no-showed, but the Shimmy Shack folks promise that this time around is a sure thing. 9 p.m. Shimmy Shack, 4216 Washington, 863-7383. 21-and-up $5; minors $7. (B.T.)

January 15
Texas Arbor Day Two parks have planned free woodsy celebrations because Arbor Day is about more than planting trees. Inside the Loop, the Arboretum's free Urban Nature Series: Texas Arbor Day program features games, tours, demonstrations and free seedlings. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive, 681-8433. Outside the Loop, the Jesse H. Jones Park is serving pioneer tea while forester Carmine Stahl and horticulturist Darlene Floyd explain pruning, transplanting, tree care and the use of wood. Free seedlings, of course. Pioneer teas -- concoctions made from native plants -- will be brewed and served at the park's Redbud Hill Pioneer Homestead from 1 to 3 p.m.; other activities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick Drive, Humble, 466-8588. Free. (E.S.)

Art 2 Auction The local art community is planning to go into the writing biz with a new monthly publication called Art 2. Planned to debut in mid-February at 16 pages and with a circulation of 5,000, the publication will contain reviews written by a variety of local artists and art-affiliated folks. To raise seed money, the Art 2 instigators are auctioning works by Dan Allison, Wade Chandler, the Art Giyes, Billy Hassell, Joe Havel, Benito Huerta, Giles Lyon, Mike Mazell and Rachel Ranta, among others. (A little lean on the women there, folks.) Prices are projected in the $500-to-$1,500 range. Entertainment and food will be supplied to loosen up your auction-waving hand. The event will take place in Dan Allison's studio, 1107 E. Freeway (just down the row to the left from DiverseWorks, in the same warehouse). Call 523-6529 for info. Bidding starts at 7 p.m.; live auction at 9:30 p.m. (A.W.S.)

Nik Turner's Hawkwind Space Ritual '94 Ahhh, to be a tripped-out, silver-faced rocker in 1972... I, of course, was five at the time, and have little to no idea what the original Hawkwind was all about, except that it provides the excuse for this reformed reunion, which has all the makings of something strange. Turner was the frontman way back when, on Hawkwind's first seven albums, recorded between '70 and '76. Shortly after bassist Lemmy left to form Motorhead, Turner cut the ties and went solo as well. Now he's got a new CD on the racks under the band name Prophets of Time, featuring the talents of guitarist Helios Creed (ex-Chrome), Genesis P. Orridge (Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle), violinist Simon House (ex-Bowie, Japan, Hawkwind) and members of Pressurehed. The live lineup is uncertain, but Creed, at least, is slated to appear. There's gonna be a light show. There's gonna be psychedelic slides. And there will quite likely be a bunch of old freaks standing around in the corners telling you how cool Turner was when they saw him play the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. Ignore them. 9 p.m. Shimmy Shack, 4216 Washington, 863-7383. 21-and-up $5; minors $7. (B.T.)

January 16
Barbecue Cookoff Scarf down a variety of rich red sauces on actual beef products -- cookoff goods go to the general public for a nominal donation. Proceeds go to a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Scholarship fund for Cy-Fair students. This fifth annual Cy-Fair Go-Texas Subcommittee's Houston Metro Go-Texas HLSR Chili, Beans & Barbecue Cookoff sounds like a big to-do, but it ain't nothin' more than a couple hundred cooks and tens of thousands of eaters getting together for good food, great entertainment and some horseshoes. Winners here will go on to the world championship cookoff at the Dome. Conveniences include ATM machines, stroller and wheelchair rentals and paved parking ($2 per car). Cookoff, Traders Village, 7979 Eldridge Road, 481-9226. (E.S.)

TestosterTones The local T-Tones, led by guitarist Tim Harris, aren't exactly famous for their grueling schedule of live shows, so it's not terribly likely that you've had an easy chance to catch them in a club yet. It's slightly more likely that you've listened to their recently released Speak! tape, a testimony to the T-Tones' slash-and-burn brand of improvisational jazz that positions them as Houston's best fusion experiment. Harris's guitar, teamed with Warren Sneed's sax, David Foster's bass and Todd Harrington's drums, makes a sound that knocks the stuffing out of the dinner-party jazz you've been hearing most places around town, and it's much more closely associated with the Thursday night Necessary Tension jams at Rudz -- in attitude, if not musical style -- than with any sounds wafting off the patio at Butera's. The T-Tones belong in a dive, not a supper club, and the Satellite is the closest thing to a dive you've had a chance to see them in lately. 7 p.m. Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington, 869-2665. $5. (B.T.)

Austin Songwriters on the Road That'd be David Halley, Jo Carol Pierce, Michael Fracasso and Jimmy LaFave. This package show rolled through Houston some months ago and knocked a Mucky Duck full house on its collective butt before heading up the East Coast, where it received raves in all the right print media. LaFave seems to have stepped out ahead of the pack -- the sharp-eared folks at Rounder records picked up his Austin Skyline album for national distribution -- but there's not a dud in the bunch. LaFave's all-over-the-map roots-rock rasp, Fracasso's Austin folk, Halley's transplanted NYC sensibilities and Pierce's den-mother magnetism (and picture-perfect songs) make for one hell of a sometimes rocking, sometimes swinging fireside chat. If you missed it last time, well, who says lightning don't strike twice? 9 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. $8. (B.T.)

January 17
OASIS Registration Older Adult Service and Information System begins its fifth year of service with registration for winter/spring classes. OASIS classes are taught all over town and offer instruction in just about anything "mature adults" might want to know. (Except, possibly, how to keep Dear Abby from using the term "oldsters" for senior citizens.) You got "Home Repair Made Easy: You Can Do It," taught at the Sharpstown Home Depot; "Line Dancing" (an OASIS outreach program); and "Cooking Secrets of a Chemical Engineer," taught by Bob Pennington, chef, engineer and OASIS member. Bob says, "In the last 14 years I have cooked over 30,000 chocolate-chip cookies. This doesn't make me a great cook, but I have made every mistake you can make when making chocolate-chip cookies, thus know the mistake-proof way to make them." OASIS also offers writing classes, storytelling sessions and special out-of-town trips, and organizes group trips to the opera and ballet. Plan the next few months of your golden years now. Pre-registration required for all classes and outings; all fees must be paid at time of registration. (Fees range from under $10 to almost $200.) OASIS, lower level Foley's downtown, 1110 Main, 651-6601. (E.S.)

January 18
Hidden Hawaii Armchair travel realistic to the point of causing actual vertigo -- that's how good it gets with IMAX. Hidden Hawaii, which premiered last week at the Wortham IMAX Theater, shows a side of the islands Elvis never saw. The Pisces V, a seven-foot submersible, photographed the view 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the ocean. IMAX cameras also take you right to the edge of two live volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, so you can see molten lava flowing from the world's largest active volcano. The 34-minute film plays at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. Telephone sales by credit card only. Wortham IMAX Theater, Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive, 639-4600. $5; $3.50 seniors & under 12; $3 members. (E.S.)

January 9

Omega House Benefit and Grand Opening Using very nice pale cardstock and crisp language, the Museum Restaurant & Bar's announcement provides this information: They have dedicated their grand-opening celebration to the Omega House in recognition of the hospice's contributions to our community. Omega House is the only Houston hospice where AIDS patients can spend their final days without regard to their ability to pay. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. The Museum Restaurant & Bar grand opening will have live entertainment, recording artists Atwood and Comeaux, and an art auction. Works by Kermit Eisenhut and photographer Shawn Christopher will be sold to the highest bidder, and all proceeds will go to Omega House. Donations will be accepted at the door. Dress is "smart but casual." Museum Restaurant & Bar, 1512 West Alabama, 524-7676. (


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