It is last call for 2016, time to leave behind the Harambe memorials and any other sad animal headlines. Leave behind the ordeal of an emotionally scarring election year, and let your Vine account finally rest in peace — you weren't using it anyway. Party, prep and repeat for the new year coming with this week's lineup. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and seven of them are free! Check out the Houston Press Calendar for even more things to do.
Gallery Sonja Roesch
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Free
The chic gallery that was founded by Sonja Roesch in 1991 maintains its minimalist aesthetic while hosting five artists presenting original works. The clean gallery works as a large-scale canvas that the glowing luminescent lights flood with layers of color. Wear your favorite monochromatic ensemble so that you too become part of the modest light show and ambience.
Margaret Ann Withers: Adrift Wine Reception and Artist Talk
Gspot Contemporary Art Space
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Free
Every person is curious to know where artists find their inspiration: where Dr. Seuss came up with a thneed, where J.K. Rowling thought up the word muggle or how Picasso thought up cubism (his inspiration may have come from the bottom of a bottle, however). At last we have the opportunity to pick the brain of an artist whose whimsical pieces tell more than one story at a time. Put yourself in the sophisticated setting at the Gspot, have a glass of wine and feel free to have artistic conversation with Margaret Ann Withers.
Beetle (Beatles Tribute)
7 p.m. Thursday, Free
The Continental Club is the self-described "granddaddy of live music events." The club has several venues throughout Texas, each as good as the next. Their lineup covers a wide range from Texas soul to urban and hip, but this Friday the band Beetle is on the ticket to do their duty onstage by giving us a live taste of the Beatles. John Lennon won't be there, but maybe his ghostly blessing will be upon them while they perform your favorite Beatles hits.
An Author, A Poet
9 p.m. Friday, $7
Rock and roll clearly is not dead. Not for An Author, A Poet; they make for an argument that our younger generation may be on the brink of bringing an old sound back to real rock. Not the soft beach rock of The Neighborhood, but hard, loud, pounding rock and roll that you whip your head forwards and backwards to. Rock and roll ain't easy or gentle, so make sure you put the ice pack in the freezer before checking out this performance and grabbing one of Scout Bar's $6 pitchers.
New Year's Eve with D. Kosmo
9 p.m. Saturday, $8
Aside from the mouthwatering burger that Rudyard's is known for, it's also the low-key venue for top local performers. This New Year's Eve, use your Uber to get you to and from Rudyard's while D. Kosmo soundtracks your night. Make your last night in 2016 a memorable one, bring your date, but don't forget your mints.
New Year's - Sinatra on the Square
The Square at Memorial City
9:30 to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Free
Ol' Blue Eyes has had his fair share of tributes, but his first one at the Square at Memorial City will be this Saturday on New Year's Eve. There will be Sinatra-themed activities for everyone, including the "Come Fly with Me" bungee cord, a "The Way You Look Tonight" photo booth and a live band performing your favorite hits from the Sultan of Swoon.
New Year's Eve Family Celebration
10 p.m. Saturday, Free
New Year's is the time to conquer that fear of roller coasters and dive feet first into a harness. Entry at the Kemah boardwalk, along with the countdown and firework show, is free of charge for you to enjoy by the water. Pack a few extra dollars and grab a hot dog to beat the countdown jitters while you're there too.
Bach Society Houston
Christ the King Lutheran Church
6 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Free
Never mind brunch, you can miss out on this weekend's dose of avocado toast and do something good for your mind instead. Go to church as one should do on a Sunday and take in the free organ concert at Christ the King Lutheran Church. Bach Society Houston is known for its skilled performances on classical instruments, making this fiscally friendly concert that much easier for all to enjoy.
The Surface of Things
Houston Center for Photography
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Free
A person gets used to looking at an object at a glance, only looking at a bigger but simplified image, not really taking note of the entirety of any object or scene. A quick look at the items you see every day and not fully noticing the chips, the dents and the scratches that weren't always there. The Surface of Things takes your vision to another place by making you look at the curves in a baby's chubby foot and the texture in a mourned father's ashes. By enhancing the silhouettes through photograms, the Houston Center for Photography will open the natural magnifying glass your eyes can truly be.
7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, $5
Community write-ins are the modest way of doing improv for the shy at heart. Put your thinking cap on and tap into your inner novelist, journalist, columnist or reporter. Reintroduce yourself to the skill of writing and see where the words can take you. Pre-registration is required, and a plus one is encouraged.