Press Picks

december 18
104 KRBE Live Session with Aerosmith Though it's too late to win a chance to rub elbows with these geriatric rockers, you can still listen to all the weirdness that's bound to happen when the five original members of Aerosmith join the morning crew of KRBE. (A note to those of you too young to know that lead singer Steven Tyler is one of the nastiest dressers in rock: He's also Liv Tyler's dad.) 8:30-10 a.m., 104.1 on your FM dial. Call 266-1000 for information.

december 19
Space Shuttle Crew Briefing Want to know what it's really like up there on the shuttle? Take advantage of a rare NASA event today. After the space shuttle astronauts explain their mission, the press gets a shot at questioning astronauts such as Kevin Kregel and Steve Lindsey; then the public (read: you) will get a chance to ask questions. Find out what space food is like, whether or not they'd do it again and how it felt to sleep in a bed again, after they got home. 10:15-11:15 a.m., Space Center Houston, Mission Status Center, 1601 NASA, (281) 244-2105. $12.95; $8.95, kids four-11.

Tito & Tarantula You might not remember Tito Larriva, but you may well have seen him. Director Robert Rodriguez put the singer/actor in From Dusk Till Dawn, and in Rodriguez's Desperado, Larriva got to kill Quentin Tarantino. Not surprisingly, he and his band think of themselves cinematically, casting themselves as "musicians with a gunslinger mentality: No motion wasted ... and [they] play to kill." Playing in styles ranging from haunting, barrelhouse boogie to revved-up border music, they've come all the way from the madhouse streets of L.A. 9:30 p.m., Velvet Elvis, 3303 Richmond, 520-0434. $8.

Fort Bend Boys Choir Only at Christmas could you get 180 prepubescent boys in suits and ties -- their hair combed straight -- to sing together so sweetly that they seem like angels dispatched from heaven. Tonight, the Fort Bend Boys Choir presents its Christmas musical. Hear both classical and traditional holiday favorites sung in some of the dearest voices you'll ever hear, and see a pack of wiggly little boys behave themselves. 7 p.m., St. Laurence Parish, 3100 Sweetwater Blvd., Sugar Land. For information or advance tickets, call (281) 240-3800. $10; $2.50, kids under 12.

Stuff-a-Bus Food Drive Last year, radio station KRBE collected 7,500 pounds of food for the Houston Food Bank by asking people to stuff a bus with nonperishables. This year, they've added two more buses at two new locations -- making it even easier for you to take a generous moment to hand over a can of carrots, a box of Cheerios or a tin of tuna. 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Randalls, 11041 Westheimer; 2323 Clear Lake City Blvd.; and 5219 West FM 1960. For information, call 266-1000.

december 20
Wholistic Health Expo and Psychic Fair You've shopped, you've baked, you've idled in traffic, you've dealt with your broken furnace, you've sat through your niece's Christmas pageant and you've been kind to the mail carrier. Everybody thinks you've got it together as a happening, holiday kind of guy/gal; but inside, deep in the Grinchy bowels of your secretly dark heart, you know you're just one rude comment away from going postal. One day, you keep telling yourself, is all you need. One day to yourself. Well, my holiday-hating friend, today is that day. Go get yourself some acupressure, some reflexology, some aromatherapy; see a chiropractor or a psychic healer. Nibble some herbs. Get a massage. All this and more is waiting to help you get through the horrors of the holidays -- and maybe even get you de-stressed enough to enjoy them. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., CenterPoint Project, 7621 Westview, 688-7224. $1 admission; services extra.

Debbie Friedman In her teens, Friedman picked up a guitar at a youth-group retreat and began playing, by ear, folk tunes by the likes of Judy Collins and Peter, Paul and Mary. But after learning Hebrew on a kibbutz in Israel, she began writing music for the words of her favorite Jewish prayers. Since then, she's been compared to Joan Baez. Last year, 2,000 people fought their way through a New York blizzard to see her play her Carnegie Hall debut. Tonight's your chance to see her -- and without the blizzard. 8 p.m., Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Boulevard, 529-5771. $36; $18, kids 18 and under.

The Villains and the Toy Shop Imagine A Christmas Carol and Babes in Toyland and Toy Story all rolled into one, then made hip by a young theater troupe. That's the story of this Christmas tale that comes to us via the Renaissance Performing Arts Center. See the toys come to life and fight the villain Slim Coup de Ville. 3 and 8 p.m. The Renaissance Performing Arts Center, 400 Northline Mall, Suite 308, 695-7469. $10; $7 seniors and students.

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Lee Williams