The World According to GYBE!

WED 3/12
When was the last time your mind was blown? Well, that's too long. Get thee to the Engine Room to see Godspeed You Black Emperor!, a Canadian post-rock/experimental music collective. The group mixes tape snippets, field recordings, film clips and some of the most menacing and beautiful instrumental music recorded since the shoegazer rock of the early '90s. GYBE! utilizes two guitarists, two drummers, two bassists, a violinist, a cellist and horn players to send its message: Things have gone horribly wrong. Sometimes depressing, sometimes achingly hopeful, the music oozes frustration with a world that seems hell-bent on destroying itself. But GYBE!'s songs aren't all doom and gloom; some recognize fleeting moments of beauty (even the beauty of fighting the inevitable). On the band's 2002 release, Yanqui U.X.O., many tracks start off quietly and then slowly swell, adding sonic layer upon layer before gushing with intensity and finally grinding back to a dissonant drone. Yes, there's a sexual correlation here, but GYBE! puts it in a context that's sublime. A rock act that successfully eroticizes fear and alienation? Been done maybe, but not like this. Doors open at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12. 1515 Pease. For information, call 713-654-7846. $12. -- Troy Schulze

FRI 3/7
Big Daddy Comes Home
Rumor has it that comic Ralph May is out in Los Angeles shooting a top-secret reality show, but that won't keep him from visiting his hometown this weekend. May is performing at The Comedy Showcase, the club where he first took the stage as an 18-year-old wannabe. Since then, May has grown into that rare breed of comic: a big guy who rarely makes cheap jokes about his size, besides calling himself Big Daddy, that is. Take this opportunity to see his shtick live, before he comes to a small screen near you. May performs at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 7 through 15, and at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 9 and 16. 12547 Gulf Freeway. For information, call 281-481-1188 or visit $12. -- Cathy Matusow

THU 3/6
Harlem Nights
Break out your flapper gear: On the heels of the movie Chicago comes a world premiere musical about the jazz age. The literary and musical explosion known as the Harlem Renaissance springs to life in Harlem After Hours. The musical, conceived by Audrey H. Lawson and written by Celeste Bedford Walker, presents the jazz musicians and writers of 1920s-1940s New York in a kind of live historical snapshot. The fictional Club Harlem becomes the venue for a series of "real" happenings. The show is a collaboration between the Ensemble Theatre and the Downtown Houston Theater District, and organizers insist you don your flapper finest (please). 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue. For tickets, call 713-629-3700. $30 to $50. The show also runs March 20 through April 13 at the Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main, 713-520-0055. -- Troy Schulze

WED 3/12
The Hippest Flutist
You might imagine an Irish flutist to be a pretty stuffy dude. Okay, Sir James Galway is a little stuffy: He was knighted in 2001 and has performed at the White House several times. But he's also collaborated with Elton John, and he played Pink Floyd's legendary The Wall concert in Berlin in 1991. Newsday has written that Galway is "more than a mere flute player, he is the world's only flute personality." You can find out just what that means on Wednesday, March 12. His wife, flutist Lady Jeanne Galway, joins him on the last song. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713- 227-4SPA or visit $15 to $60. -- Cathy Matusow

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