Among the tragedies Hurricane Katrina has visited upon New Orleans: The city's thriving music scene may be forever altered. And this weekend, local and Louisiana musicians and entertainers are doing something about it. Steered by a phalanx of local sponsors including the Astros, the Aeros and the Houston Art Car Klub, "Bringing Back the Big Easy" is Houston's biggest entertainment benefit yet for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans' own Dirty Dozen Brass Band will headline the event, which includes performances by fellow Crescent City acts Rockin' Dopsie, Ya Ya Sol and Gang of Creeps. Chinatown's Meridian is hosting the festival and offering two music stages. Outdoors, you'll find more family-friendly acts, including Houston's own Lady D, while the indoor stage is reserved for edgier rock outfits like New York's Electric Frankenstein and local punk band Gun Crazy. Folks are encouraged to come in outrageous costumes and show their love for an arts community in crisis from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, October 8. 1503 Chartres. For tickets and lineup information, call 713-225-1717 or visit www.meridianhouston.com. $10. -- Troy Schulze
"Images of Texas" showcases far-fetched depictions of our hometown
There's only one way to adequately describe Houston: an oasis nestled in majestic purple mountains rising from the cool, lapping waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Okay, so it's actually a mosquito-ridden plain of death with a heaping side of humidity. As Houstonians, we know this. Hell, we embrace it. But European speculators lured to Houston in its early days were baited by these glamorous images, which promised cheap land by the acre. They were also attracted by dramatic wood-cut depictions of Davy Crockett's death at the Alamo (RIP, Dave), which promised plenty of adventure. "Images of Texas" at the Museum of Printing History offers these and other renderings from the days when Sam Houston was knee-high to an armadillo. Opens Monday, October 10, and runs through March 31. 1324 West Clay. For information, call 713-522-4652 or visit www .printingmuseum.org. $2 to $5. -- Mary Templeton
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Need something for that blank wall? (Note: Fifteen-year-old Pink Floyd posters don't qualify as "art.") At this weekend's Bayou City Art Festival, 300 artists will display their paintings, photographs, sculpture, glasswork, jewelry and whatever else their creative minds can conjure among downtown's skyscrapers. The biannual juried event (which hits Memorial Park in the spring) also will feature a Creative Zone for the littlest artists and performances from the likes of Several Dancers Core and Theatre Under the Stars. Expand your collection from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9. Sam Houston Park, Hermann Square, Walker, Bagby and McKinney streets. For information, call 713-521-0133 or visit www.bayoucityartfestival.com. $8. -- Julia Ramey
It may have been a sweeping generalization, but comedian Eddie Izzard sure painted a picture when he said most people in Italy are "always on scooters going, 'Ciao!' " This weekend, Vespa scooters and motorbikes will be on display with vintage Ferraris and other Italian wheels at the 27th annual Festa Italiana. There'll also be plenty of Italian food and wine, a grape-stomping contest, dance and live music performances all weekend. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, October 8, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, October 9. Houston Farm and Ranch Club, I-10 West at Highway 6. For information, visit www.houstonitalianfestival.com. $5 for adults; free for kids 12 and under. -- Steven Devadanam