So, you taught yourself the “Possum Kingdom” chords as a kid, tracked the Toadies through their subsequent seven-plus years in record label hell, caught lead singer Vaden Todd Lewis performing with his next group, The Burden Brothers, and finally exalted in the Toadies’ 2008 reunion, one of the most deserved turnarounds from one-hit wonders to elder statesmen of rock—complete with two blistering albums and their own music festival, Dia de los Toadies. But you can’t call yourself a true Toadies follower until you check out Lewis’ self-described “weird-ass experiment” as a solo acoustic performer during this limited tour. Lewis will play unplugged versions of Toadies tracks in the yarn-spinning singer-songwriter tradition—and trust us, having interviewed the man, we can vouch that he’s a helluva storyteller. With Austin’s Alpha Rev. $15-$60, 8:30pm Thursday, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E Grayson, (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com.
2. Artists Looking at Art: Cathy Cunningham-Little + Ken Little and Rodeo Ho Ho
The loss of sight propels Cathy Cunningham-Little’s visual artwork. Initially inspired by her father’s descriptions of hallucinations he experienced after losing his vision due to a genetic disorder, Cunningham-Little’s own declining eyesight has also lent a conceptual framework to her practice. But it’s no joke that Cunningham-Little’s participating in the McNay’s quarterly Artists Looking at Art series, which invites area artists to discuss current work and studio practice. Her work captivates viewers by manipulating light, the very thing that allows humans to see, in a variety of ways using shadow, color and glowing materials. The resulting geometric works play with visual perception by seeming to pulse, grow, float and change colors. For an added treat, Cunningham-Little’s husband Ken Little, himself a very visible member of the SA art community and soon to be the 2014 Texas State Visual Artist 3D, will bring his country-fried band Rodeo Ho Ho to the McNay as well for a Second Thursday party on the terrace with K Hill BBQ Co. and complimentary beverages. Free, wine reception at 6pm, talk at 6:30pm, music 6-9pm Thursday, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N New Braunfels, (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org.
3. Laura Mijangos: “Awake My Soul”
Painter Laura Mijangos uses something her father and teacher—the late local artist Alberto Mijangos—called “the third language” to convey thoughts and ideas that “cannot be expressed in words.” But words, strung together in imaginative titles, place her often-abstract works in a more tangible context. Referencing a phrase her father once used to address the concept of death, Mijangos’ piece On the Other Side of the Veil stands out in a series born from “bitter-sweet inspiration” following the loss of her parents and husband. “Ruminations,” a slightly more figurative group of paintings muted by a whitewashing effect, conjures ethereal dreamscapes befitting such poetic titles as Floating in the Silent Thoughts and Like the Sound of the Sun Going Down. Exploring both abstract expressionism and spiritual awareness, Mijangos’ new solo show “Awake My Soul” sees the artist rising above the “the daily minutiae of life” to find the presence of God within herself and “every human being.” Free, 6-8pm (art talk at 7pm) Thursday, AnArte Gallery, 7959 Broadway, (210) 826-5674, anartegallery09.com
4. All Stars Tour
Summer is festival season, and festival season is metal season. Sure, you could pay double the money to see a bunch of indie-rock bands named after woodland creatures be sad at you, but nothing fits the spirit of the season more than getting your sweat on in the middle of a deafeningly loud mosh pit full of surly, beer-fueled stompers. On Friday, slip out of work early and wear your finest black T-shirt: for a little more than 20 bucks, some of the country’s most aggressive, adrenaline-charged bands will serenade you into the wee small hours until your earplugs fall out. Here’s our picks for the finest of the dozen bands on display at Backstage Live. Terror: The vanilla of metalcore. Or the white bread. Or the Honda Civic. Or
well, supply your own metaphor, but the point is—if you’re looking for pure, catchy, throwback punk-metal, Terror isn’t flashy or spectacular or dressed up in whatever the flavor of the moment is. But they’re reliable. If you catch them on the All Stars tour, you’ll be seeing a group that’s toured almost continually since it was founded 10 years ago. Their music is never going to set the world on fire, but it’s a perfectly predictable blending of anthemic metal and pit-worthy punk—like a grilled cheese sandwich, it’s a delicious treat made from two utterly ordinary ingredients. Veil of Maya: If you can judge a band by the company they keep, Veil of Maya are very good indeed. Named after a song by the legendary Florida death metal outfit Cynic, VoM is another band whose rep rests on a punishingly constant tour schedule, which has included gigs opening national tours with the likes of Arsis and fellow Chicago tech-death maestros Born of Osiris. Name-checking aside, they’re worth seeing on the strength of their mind-blowing technical prowess alone—just in terms of musical chops, they’re probably the best band on the tour, and their guitar pyrotechnics, impressive enough on record, are absolutely stunning on stage. These are the folks not to miss. Every Time I Die (above): This five-piece out of Buffalo, N.Y. has gone through its share of internal turmoil, membership turnovers and a bit of an identity crisis about who they wanted to be as a band, but in recent years they’ve left all the chaos behind. As they’ve grown in popularity, their style has settled down some, incorporating southern sludge into their sound and lending some low-bottom dirtiness to heavy up their metalcore origins. If you’ve been a fan of the band for a while, this tour is a good time to reward yourself for sticking around. If you’re new, congratulate yourself for getting into them at exactly the right time. $23-$25, 2pm Friday, Backstage Live, 1305 E Houston, frontgatetickets.com.
For Tobin Hill’s Second Friday Art Walk, High Wire Arts invites you to ask “What’s your trip?” of the three artists featured in this exhibition. Multimedia artist Bernice B. Appelin-Williams incorporates found objects into her paintings and collages to better plumb the depths of dreams, culture and humanity. Longtime arts educator David Anthony García relies on various mediums to create his abstract work, be it sculpture, painting or drawing. His brightly hued and intricately detailed work could indeed be described as “trippy.” Christa Dippel admittedly likes “cute things” as she professes on her Etsy webpage, and her paintings of anthromorphic ice cream scoops (above) are pretty darn delightful. Her cones seem to have a life of their own, like those charming little visions you might encounter with the aid of your diamond-skied pal, Lucy. Free, 6-10pm Friday, High Wire Arts, 326 W Josephine, (210) 827-7652, highwirearts.com.
“Let X equal the cold. It’s cold in December. The months of cold equal November through February.” So goes the dialogue between Robert (a recently deceased mathematician) and Catherine (the daughter who cared for him during his demise) in David Auburn’s Proof, produced by the Classic Theatre. Set on a back porch near the University of Chicago, the Pulitzer and Tony winner unfolds with narrative assistance from flashbacks/delusions. With Robert’s former student combing the house for overlooked bits of brilliance, Christine’s absentee sister Claire sorting out family affairs and Catherine doubting her sanity, the discovery of a groundbreaking proof spins the play into a psychological whodunit surrounding “the machinery” of the mind and the links between mathematics and madness. $10-$20, 8pm Fri-Sat, 3pm Sun, The Sterling Houston Theater at Jump-Start, 108 Blue Star, (800) 838-3006, classictheatre.org.
7. Cheech and Chong Day
Not only did San Antonio awesomely elect a mayor named John Gatti (1971-73), but he decreed Aug. 10 Cheech and Chong Day in 1972. Though his name is not quite pronounced like the notorious NY mob boss, that certainly makes Gatti some kind of a boss. To honor the day, and the iconic stoner comedy duo it was named for, Nightrocker Live is throwing a party starting in the afternoon and stretching into the wee hours. Already scheduled on the still growing line-up of musical and comedic acts are Austin indie-rockers Radio Fallout and Scarlett Effect and local comedian Larry Garza. The event, which will likely add performers up to the last minute, will also serve as a benefit for comedian Tommy “Rock On” Munoz. A good cause, a celebration of high heroes, and a day of music laced with comedy? Put that in your pipe and smoke it. $10, noon-2am Saturday, Nightrocker Live, 605 San Pedro, (210) 265-3573, nightrockerlive.net.
8. Trey Songz
Born in small-town Virginia, Tremaine Aldon Neverson, AKA Trey Songz, got into the music business directly after high school, guesting on tracks from Lil’ Kim, Trina, Snoop Dogg and, most notably, Twista. Their 2005 collaboration “Girl Tonite” reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop songs chart, catapulting the tenor singer into a successful sophomore album, Trey Day. With a smooth voice and movie star looks, Trey Songz hasn’t left the charts since, following in the footsteps of music idol R. Kelly in producing songs that are dizzying not only for their panty-dropping lyrics but for their masterful vocals as well. He’ll bring his repertoire from 2012’s No. 1 album Chapter V to SA—his first performance in the area—for a show that will in part benefit the Alliance for Lupus Research, which makes checking out the “Check Me Out” singer even sweeter. $51.42-$93.53, 7pm Sunday, Alamodome, 100 Montana, ticketmaster.com.
9. Eid ul Fitr Festival
Join in the celebration as Muslims break Ramadan, the month of spiritual fasting, with delicious Eid ul Fitr (or Eid) activities. During Ramadan, devout Muslims abstain from food, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and instead devote their time to religious reflection and charitable acts. Eid isn’t exactly hedonistic, however, and is sometimes compared to the Christian observance of Christmas for its focus on food, family and gift-giving. This free, family-friendly festival is open to the public and will feature food, music and art activities as well as vendors plying jewelry and clothing, brought to the San Antonio Museum of Art by the Muslim Cultural Heritage Society. While you’re there, check out the excellent Jameel Prize exhibition (above), which highlights Islamic-influenced contemporary art from around the world. Free, 3-8pm Sunday, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W Jones, (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org.
10. The Reverend Horton Heat, Piñata Protest and more
Fresh off a memorable opening slot for Molotov last week, SA favorite outfit Piñata Protest joins honorary San Antonians The Reverend Horton Heat for an outdoor night of conjunto/punk, psychobilly freak out, and country western swing. With Deke Dickerson and Wayne “The Train” Hancock. $20-$25, 8pm Sunday, John T. Floore Country Store, 14492 Old Bandera Road, (210) 695-8827, liveatfloores.com.