Art Partners

FRI 9/12

Behold Houston's latest artistic couple: Microcinema International and Infernal Bridegroom Productions. "When Fire Station [No. 3] decided to close, we wanted to continue working in Houston," says Microcinema curator Patrick Kwiatkowski. "Our goal was to find an underground or independent art venue that wasn't catering to the film crowd -- at least not yet. We were also looking for a place that wasn't a classic theater…a place where you can have a drink and sit down in a non-theater-type chair, have casual conversation with your neighbor and watch film." The Microcinema folks approached the folks at The Axiom, home of IBP, and -- voilà! -- a new couple is now holding hands, walking down the high school hallways. The first Microcinema endeavor under its new roof is this weekend's "Sizzling Summer Edition," a bill of 14 short films, some with themes having to do with heat -- though Kwiatkowski says that's partly accidental. "We're typically not a thematic curating group," he says. "We shy away from overcurating. Our unwritten motto is, You're gonna love some films and hate some films, and if you walk away feeling that way we've done our job." In Niels Post's Dreams California, animated cigarettes sing about smoking in California. In Joel Sadilek's The Summer House, a novelist escapes the city to spend the summer in a rural home, only to be bothered by its former tenant. And in Stefan Weinert's Always Sergej, a man has a gaze so fiery it entraps not one but two women. 8 p.m. Friday, September 12. The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. For information, call 713-527-8412 or visit $5; 21 and older. -- Cathy Matusow

THU 9/11

Songs of Praise

September 11 reminded us all to appreciate the folks whose jobs involve risking their lives on a daily basis. To pay tribute to the victims of that day, the Katy Performing Arts Society has organized a benefit concert for the everyday heroes of the Katy Volunteer Fire Department. "Now Come the Names: A Tribute to the Victims of September 11" includes performances by members of the Katy Wind Symphony, the Katy Symphony Orchestra and the West Houston-Katy Children's Chorus. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 11. First United Methodist Church, 5601 Fifth Street in historic downtown Katy. For information, call 281-829-0947 or visit Free, but reservations are required. -- Keith Plocek

FRI 9/12

Nature vs. Nurture

It is one of the fundamental questions about humans: nature or nurture? You can wax existential at Mixture Gallery, where two artists have tackled both sides of this quandary in deliciously colorful ways. Dannielle Tegeder takes the side of nurture, using diagrams and flowcharts as a launching pad for subterranean paintings rife with pop motifs. On the side of nature is Jane Callister, who lets candy-colored paint flow, drip and splotch all over her canvases, creating lava-lamp skies and floating landscapes. The colorful cocktail that results from mixing the two artists together serves up an intoxicating concoction of complement and contrast. The show opens at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 12, and runs through Saturday, October 18. Mixture Contemporary Art, 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-520-6809 or visit Free. -- Keith Plocek


Alligator Dundee
See dead alligators at the Texas Gatorfest

'Tis the season for killin' gators. If you've shot yourself a big boy, don't head straight to the tanner's. Your new boots can wait. Instead, stop at this weekend's Texas Gatorfest in Anahuac. Hunters will be dragging their spoils to the fest in hopes of winning prize money based on gator length; one year brought in a 13-and-a-half-footer. The event also features airboat and carnival rides, arts and crafts and baby alligators for kids to terrify. And musical guests include Cross Canadian Ragweed, Cooder Graw, Kevin Fowler, Aaron Watson, Wayne Toups, Hannah's Reef, Al White & Chaparral and Carl Manchaca. 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, September 12; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, September 13; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, September 14. Fort Anahuac Park, 1704 South Main. For information, call 409-267-4190 or visit $5 to $8. -- Cathy Matusow


SUN 9/14

The Woman of Steel

Forget everything you think you know about the pedal steel guitar. Susan Alcorn has rescued the instrument from the back of the honky-tonk and placed it center stage in her funky mix of free-form jazz and avant-garde classical music. Her eerie melodies might echo the whining and pining of typical country-and-western fare, but her virtuosity and abstract improvisations quickly drown out such comparisons, instead evoking jazz greats John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. Maybe Alcorn is so revered because she's elevated a background instrument to a new level of experimentation, or maybe she's just that damn good. 8 p.m. Sunday, September 14. Super Happy Funland, 2610 Ashland. For information, call 713-880-2100 or visit $5. -- Keith Plocek

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