Hog Heaven

THU 9/23

What has 250,000 wheels, wears black and drinks a shitload of beer? This weekend, it'll be the hordes of bikers heading to Galveston for the 2004 Lone Star Rally -- the thundering, heavy-metal monster that now rivals Mardi Gras in attendance. Some 125,000 bikers are expected to rumble around the island this weekend and fork over piles of green to vendors selling everything from chrome exhaust systems to leather jackets to Hummers (not to mention shitloads of beer). When they're not buying chopper gear, they can check out a custom bike show and 40 bands at outdoor concert stages and local bars, including hair-metal icons Great White. But the superstars of this year's event undoubtedly will be Vinny, Cody, Keith and trash-boy Mikey, the bike-building dudes from the wildly successful Discovery Channel show American Chopper. They'll be showing off their cool rides, signing autographs and hobnobbing with biker folks, even ones who don't drive Harleys. On Saturday, hit the "Jack Daniel's Experience," a traveling exhibition featuring a distillery museum and a Coyote Ugly-style bar with hotties pouring shots. And on Sunday, if you feel the need to wash away the previous night's sins, there's an outdoor biker church service. Even if you're not into the biker thing, it's cool to walk the length of the Strand -- open only to motorcycles that weekend -- taking in the throaty throttle-revving of chromed-out choppers and watching the sea of leather-clad riders talk shop over a brew. 10 a.m. Thursday, September 23, through Sunday, September 26. The Strand, 21st Street off Broadway in Galveston. For a full schedule and list of locations, visit www.lonestarrally.com. Free. -- Greg Barr

Party On, Druid

SAT 9/25

Often associated with Dungeon & Dragons or spooky witchcraft types, local pagans want everyone to know they're normal folks who cherish Mother Earth and just about everyone in it. "We're all about acceptance and opening ourselves to the community," says Slinky Engelking, who's coordinating this Saturday's Pagan Pride Day party. The shindig pays homage to something the rest of us just glazed over in science class: the autumnal equinox. "It's actually a global fall harvest celebration," says Engelking, "where pagans everywhere celebrate the new season." You can take in chanting, drum circles, a ceile (an Irish open-mike song or poetry performance) and even Mexican food (seems pagans really are a worldly bunch) at Last Concert Cafe at noon on Saturday, September 25. 1403 Nance. For information, call 281-286-3707. $5 or donation of food or other items for animals. -- Steven Devadanam

Sing Us a Ballot

FRI 9/24

P. Diddy's done it. Ben Affleck's done it. And we're not talking about Jennifer Lopez here. Both stars are registered to vote, and you can emulate them this weekend at Rice University, where several students are hosting a Rice Voter Registration Concert. Potential voters -- the event is open to students and the public -- can enjoy free food and free tunes: Austin's Woozy Helmet and Bring Back the Guns will jam alongside Rice's jazz ensemble and some campus bands. Guests can register to vote at any time during the night. Texas ain't a swing state, sure, but you might as well exercise your constitutional rights while you can. Registration runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, September 24, at Rice Memorial Center, entrance No. 13 off Rice Boulevard. For information, e-mail [email protected]. Free. -- Julia Ramey

Striptease Not Included
Joe Leydon screens three classic films at the MFAH

For a couple of years a long, long time ago (actually, it was the mid-'90s), Joe Leydon was The Houston Post's movie man. This weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the longtime H-town reviewer will host his own film series to promote his new book, Joe Leydon's Guide to Essential Movies You Must See: If You Read, Write About--Or Make Movies. He'll be introducing The 400 Blows, The Maltese Falcon and The Public Enemy. Catch these classic movies, and afterward, you can ask him what made him give that thumbs-up to Striptease back in '96. 1001 Bissonnet. The 400 Blows: 7 p.m. Saturday, September 25. The Public Enemy: 7 p.m. Sunday, September 26. The Maltese Falcon: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, September 26. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $6. -- Craig D. Lindsey

Depeche Mold

SAT 9/25

Since you likely haven't thought about ceramics since third-grade summer camp, you may not realize that the craft hardly stops at pots and bowls. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft proves it with "Bill Dennard: A Retrospective," a survey of the works of the late head of the ceramics department at the Glassell School of Art. The Texas-born and -educated artist produced a few pots, but most of his work is mostly sculpture, ranging from the streamlined and architectural to the colorful and narrative. The exhibit shows both his work and his influence: The creations of several of his students will be on display in an adjacent gallery. Opens Saturday, September 25. Through November 14. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main. For information, call 713-529-4848 or visit www.crafthouston.org. Free. -- Julia Ramey

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