Last year, drag promoter Rey Lopez celebrated his birthday by importing 12 RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants to entertain 1,200 fans at the Bonham. According to Lopez, he was the first in the U.S. to squeeze that many alums from the Logo series into one room. Lopez smartly rounds out his lineups with local talent. Hosted by Kelly Kline and recent Current cover girl Tencha La Jefa, Lopez’s 2013 birthday bash ups his own ante with performances by 15 Drag Racers: Jade Jolie, Tammie Brown, Delta Work, Alexis Mateo, India Ferrah, Mimi Imfurst, Pandora Boxx, Yara Sofia, Jessica Wild, Alyssa Edwards, Shangela Laquifa, Jiggly Caliente, Phi Phi O’Hara, The Princess and the one and only Alaska Thunderfuck—a “highly radioactive and severely disfigured” alien from the planet Glamtron. $20-$35, 9:30pm Thursday, Bonham Exchange, 411 Bonham, (210) 271-3811, facebook.com/reylopezentertainment.
2. GET REEL: Lords of Dogtown
David Winters’ 1986 classic Thrashin’ and Stacy Peralta’s 2001 doc Dogtown and Z-Boys form building blocks for Lords of Dogtown, screening as part of GET REEL’s curated look at summer love, loss and adventure. Written by Peralta and directed by Catherine Hardwick, the 2005 film rewinds to the mid-’70s to revisit a pivotal period in skateboarding history. Serendipitously, a drought emptied L.A.’s swimming pools just as Skip Engblom’s surfboard shop started selling urethane skateboard wheels ideal for quick turns on concrete surfaces. Following the Z-Boys team started by Engblom (Heath Ledger) and led by Peralta (John Robinson), Lords of Dogtown captures a rebellious sense of freedom that’s reflected in a soundtrack spanning from Bowie and Cher to Black Sabbath and Social Distortion. Free, 6:30pm Thursday, Chiego Lecture Hall, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N New Braunfels, (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org.
How many times does an Austin band with a brand-new album launch its tour in SA? Zero? Zorch’s nine-track Zzoorrcchh (Sargent House) came out on July 23 (you can stream it on SoundCloud), and Zorch, the self-described “raw as fuck” experimental Austin duo behind it (Shmu and Zac Traeger), is already plugging it at VHS 1138, a San Antonio video store that operates on a library format and shares the COLLECTIVE space with RAD Vintage & Thrift and the Cycle Pit. Thursday’s event kicks off Zorch’s 10-day string of house parties at DIY venues. At the SA stop, there will be complimentary drinks by Bone Spirits, but the Facebook event page warns: “Results may vary per consumer.” Also on the bill: rapper B L A C K I E and The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. $5, 8pm Thursday, VHS 1138, 1432 S St. Mary’s, (210) 957-0975, facebook.com/zzoorrcchh.
4. COCKTAIL: The Event
Join friends from the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Barriba Cantina, Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood, the Brooklynite, Blue Box, the Esquire Tavern, Green Lantern, NAO | New World Flavors, Social House, the Local Bar, Soho Wine & Martini Lounge, and the San Antonio Current for a Prohibition-inspired evening of food, live music and cocktails. Watch eleven of the city’s most celebrated bartenders compete to create the most delicious concoctions using locally-sourced ingredients from the Pearl Farmers Market mixed with Bulleit Bourbon, Johnnie Walker Scotch, Ketel One Vodka, Crown Royal, Cîroc Vodka and more. Expect bites from Arcade, Bakery Lorraine, Bar Salona, Bird Bakery, Bohanan’s, Jason Dady Restaurant Group, Esquire, Nao, Stella Public House and Halcyon plus beer from Batch 19, Real Ale Brewing, Alaskan Brewing Company, Ace Cider and Franziskaner. Featuring music by the Brent Watkins Trio, Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin and the Bad Breath, and DJ MV with a special performance by Stars and Garters Burlesque, the event will benefit local media and journalism scholarships via the San Antonio Area Foundation. $40, 7-11pm Friday, Casa Rosa, 101 S Santa Rosa, (210) 227-0044, cocktail.sacurrent.com.
5. Eric Johnson
You might not know who Eric Johnson is, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your ass to Sam’s on Friday. The guitar virtuoso, songwriter, Grammy winner, and American music stalwart has proven his chops again and again since forming his ill-fated psychedelic rock group Mariani back in the late ’60s. As a sought-after session musician, he has recorded with legends like Carole King and Cat Stevens. As a solo musician and performer, he has wowed audiences and won fans since the mid-’70s, most notably on the G3 tour and live album with fellow guitar luminaries Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. History aside, you can expect Johnson and his band to fill Sam’s with expertly played instrumental blues, jazz, rock and country sounds both from his catalog and from the great American songbook. $20-$25, 8:30pm Friday, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E Grayson, (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com.
6. Friday Night Films in the Park: The Sugarland Express
While certain cinephiles are quick to remind that 1971’s Duel (an ABC Movie of the Week starring Gunsmoke’s Dennis Weaver as an electronics salesman stalked by a maniacal trucker) is Steven Spielberg’s first film, the iconic director made his feature film debut with 1974’s The Sugarland Express. Filmed between San Antonio, Floresville, Pleasanton, Converse and Del Rio, the film is based on the true story of Robert and Ila Fae Dent—two fugitives who posed as hitchhikers, called the police for a ride, kidnapped Public Safety trooper Kenneth Crone, and set out for Sugarland in his patrol car to retrieve a child held in foster care. Renamed Clovis Michael Poplin (William Atherton) and Lou Jean Poplin (Goldie Hawn) in the movie, the real-life duo’s reckless road trip entailed stops for gas, snacks and bathroom breaks despite a caravan of cops, news vans, helicopters and an ambulance in “close but restrained pursuit.” Though it had nothing of the box office draw of Spielberg’s following film (1975’s Jaws), The Sugarland Express took home Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974 and immortalized miles of Texas countryside. Alamo Drafthouse screens the sleeper classic as part of “The Great American Road” series at the Pearl. Free, 8pm Friday, Pearl Brewery, 303 Pearl Pkwy, (210) 212-7260, atpearl.com.
Naysayers claimed it would be impossible, but playwright Terrence McNally still adapted E.L. Doctorow’s 1975 novel Ragtime as a lavish musical. First unveiled in Toronto, Ragtime pulled out all the stops on Broadway—think pyrotechnics and a running Model T—and led the 1998 Tonys with 13 nominations, winning four. Using its namesake genre to explore social justice in early 20th-century New York, the two-act play follows three ethnically diverse families whose intersecting paths also cross with vaudevillian Evelyn Nesbit, radical Emma Goldman, escape artist Harry Houdini and industry leader Henry Ford. According to McNally, Ragtime “really examines who we are as a nation, and what kind of society we want to be.” Molly Cox directs the Playhouse’s production. $10-$25, 8pm Fri-Sat, 2:30pm Sun; Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N St. Mary’s, (210) 733-7258, theplayhousesa.org.
8. Eureka the Butcher
“My mother is a very special woman with an unbelievable sense of God,” Omar Rodríguez-López (The Mars Volta, Bosnian Rainbows) told the Current on March 12 of last year, after the premiere of his film Los Chidos during South by Southwest. On March 22 of that year, days after her 65th birthday, Frances Rodríguez (née López) passed away, but her memory lives on in the names of her five children who proudly use her maiden surname and, more importantly, incorporate her teachings in the music they make. Marcel Rodríguez-López (percussionist of the now-extinct Mars Volta and drummer for Zechs Marquise) is no exception. For his latest project, the electronic/percussion/dance duo Eureka the Butcher, he used his mother’s photo on the cover of Music for Mothers, the album released in May. Hearing him speak about his mother, one wishes to have known her. “It was her who convinced me to also play piano and to think about music in different ways,” Rodríguez-López told the Current over the phone. “It was the best decision I have ever made because I don’t want to be a musician in a band that can’t contribute anything besides rhythm or percussion.” Eureka the Butcher, which includes belly/modern dancer Sadah Luna, will make its San Antonio debut Saturday at Hi-Tones, and Rodríguez-López got excited when hearing the description of the venue. “Nice
I love it like that,” he said. “I love it more when the crowd is right in front of me as opposed to a big place that is kind of detached and doesn’t have as much personality.” Unlike most electronic producers, Rodríguez-López plays mostly real instruments on the record, but in a live setting he uses a synthesizer and a controller. He does have a laptop, but he hardly ever uses it. “It’s like the way a DJ would do a set in the sense that it’s continuous and the songs are always flowing,” he said. Music for Mothers is not just a groovy, trance-like album. It has a strong melodic and rhythmic sense and an organic sound filled with unusual sweetness and humanity for the genre. “The drive and inspiration for everything I do comes from my parents, especially my mother,” said Rodríguez- López. “She always told us that nothing was impossible if we only worked hard, and for the longest time I just thought that I was superhuman and I could learn real fast and do anything. It all came from her teaching us that, and it still carries on.” Also on the bill: Chisme, Beautiful Lou, Lace Tunes, and DJ Boozwa. Be one of the first 50 people through door and get a free beer courtesy of Thump210 and Lone Star! $5, 10pm Saturday, Hi-Tones, 621 E Dewey, (210) 573-6220, thump210.wordpress.com.
9. Feuding Fathers
Why do math rockers spend their time trying to master the most complex, fastest, weirdest time signatures, always waving their dicks up high even though they know they’ll never attract any girls? Because they can, that’s fucking why. And don’t get us started in the whole “math rock” label b.s.: Robert Fripp and a million others were doing it ages ago. We prefer to use 'kick-ass' rock or simply 'good music' to describe what SA’s Mason Macías (the unrecognizable drummer for Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin & The Bad Breath) and Austin’s Dustin Coffman (if that’s your real name) are doing. Kid Tested Father Approved, their brand new EP, is one of the best local albums of the year, and the Ten Eleven is the perfect venue to be pulverized by virtuosos who play hard but also know how to write songs. $5, 9pm Saturday, the Ten Eleven, 1011 Avenue B, (210) 320-9080, theteneleven.com.
10. 'What a Wonderful Wasteful World'
Visual artists’ websites are often as dry as Wasa crackers, but Brian Phillips represents himself with one that’s both smart and fun to explore. “About me” reveals the Austinite likes pizza and movies and doesn’t read much into his artistic process: “I put paint on a brush and place it down on things to make pictures.” As for his motivation, a click on the “Obligatory artist statement” tab reveals, “I get bored, so I create things to keep from going sane.” A pivotal moment arrived when the Ohio native turned his scrap woodpile into a “canvas.” Blurring lines between carpentry and collage, his signature woodcut works conjure jigsaw puzzles and crazy quilts built with bits of upcycled trim, floorboards, rulers, paintbrush handles and—in the case of his piece Hoosiers—a gymnasium floor. Phillips takes over Hello Studio’s new digs at Blue Star with a solo show sure to echo his mantra: “One man’s junk pile is another man’s art supplies.” Free, 7-10pm Saturday, Hello Studio, 1420 S Alamo #106, Building B, (210) 291-8640, hellostudiosa.com.
Check out our full online calendar of upcoming events here: calendar.sacurrent.com.