‘New Works 13.3’
Handpicked by Paola Morsiani, director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y., Micol Assaël (Rome), Ivor Shearer (Houston) and Erin Shirreff (New York) represent the final chapter in Artpace’s 2013 International Artist-In-Residence cycle. While past projects can offer clues about what to expect, the program’s goal is to “give artists a space in which to imagine new ways to work.” In 2007, Assaël shocked the art world with an installation named after a Russian scientist who explored correlations between solar activity and historical upheavals. Consisting of a cascade generator, a transformer and suspended copper plates, her Chizhevsky Lessons filled high-profile spaces with negatively charged ions and pumped visitors full of static electricity. Based on Paul Auster’s dystopian novel In the Country of Last Things, Shearer’s experimental film Last Things is set in a post-Katrina New Orleans shut off from the rest of the country by the government. Trained as a sculptor but working in a range of media, Shirreff has drawn inspiration from celestial matter, James Turrell’s Roden Crater and beyond. Billed as an “ephemeral digital shadow,” her application Shadow, Glare functions as a “visual intervention” that’s available as a free download. Free, 6-9pm (artist dialogue begins at 7pm) Thursday, Artpace, 445 N Main, (210) 212-4900, artpace.org. —Bryan Rindfuss
Topping charts since Britney and Christina’s reign, Pink (born Alecia Beth Moore) is known for her hardheaded attitude, color-changing hairstyles and crass (yet totally relatable) lyrical stylings. Hailing from the outskirts of Philadelphia, the feisty pop-rock princess swings through SA in support of her sixth studio album The Truth About Love, featuring the radio hits “Try,” “Beam Me Up,” and “Just Give Me a Reason” along with 16 other songs. A trained gymnast, Pink has revived the aerial antics she debuted on her 2009 Australian Funhouse tour for this year’s fall fan fix. The now 34 year-old artist combines composure, strength and edginess to serenade the crowd from the stage and in the air—sometimes even singing notes upside-down one could only dream of hitting in the shower. $39.50-$99.50, 7:30pm Thursday, AT&T Center, One AT&T Center, (210) 444-5000, attcenter.com. —Katherine Sotelo
Harry Connick Jr.
What to make of Harry Connick Jr.? Sure, there’s the handsome crooner that first rose to fame with his defining soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally. But there’s also the piano virtuoso who grew up and trained alongside the Marsalis brothers, the arranger and composer who has shown himself capable of adopting big band, funk and folk styles. Oh, and he acts occasionally as well. So which Connick should we expect to roll in to the Majestic this Thursday? The smart money is on the New Orleans revivalist, best reflected on his slew of recent albums paying tribute to the rich musical tradition of his hometown. Reviews of his current tour speak to a crack backing band and an all-over-the-map program rooted in NOLA jazz, flourished with touches of gospel, Broadway and funk. He’s also shown himself to be something of a multi-instrumentalist, so expect Connick to show off chops beyond that golden voice of his. $59.50-$89.50, 8pm Thursday, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.
‘Re-Enchant the Moment’
Houston’s Mark Ponder curates this group show of visiting artists in which “car parts become mirages, golf clubs are fetishized, and a home become a funhouse.” Ponder coordinates exhibits at the artist-run Box 13 ArtSpace in Houston and also creates his own “brutally honest” yet “cute” work. He’s selected Philadelphia’s Jonathan Armistead, Houston’s Debra Barrera and Dallas’ Chuck and George for a show that promises to be both clever and insightful. Armistead creates sculpture from everyday objects and participatory performance art; Barrera uses sports cars as metaphor; and Chuck and George (the name for the 20+ year collaboration between artists Brian Jones and Brian Scott) will present Tablescrappin’, a mini-room installation that leaves an impression viewers have favorably compared to being on drugs. Free, 6:30-10:30pm Friday, Unit B, 500 Stieren (Gallery), (312) 375-1871, unitbgallery.com. By appointment through Jan 4. —Callie Enlow
Frida, Un Retablo
Formed in 1985 by Jose Eduardo González and Dañel Malán, Miracle Theatre Group provides “an oasis of Latino culture” in its home of Portland, Ore. Beyond bringing the work of Hispanic playwrights to Northwestern audiences, the nonprofit tours with original productions like Frida, Un Retablo. Written by Malán and performed in front of a mural by Tomás Rivero, the play explores the near-mythic life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, “from the streetcar accident that left her crippled, to her torrid relationship with muralist Diego Rivera.” Employing three actors (including one male) to portray the icon, the bilingual show offers a crash course in Kahlo that, perplexing to at least one reviewer, steers clear of her bisexual affairs. Frida, Un Retablo lands in SA for one night only under the wing of José Rubén De León’s Teatro Farolito. $5-$10, 8pm Friday, Thiry Auditorium, Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th, (210) 219-4639, milagro.org. —BR
Temptation of the Muses
Leaping from East to West and classical to modern, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is the fusion-minded brainchild of Taiwan-born dancer/choreographer Nai-Ni Chen. Formed in 1988, the New Jersey-based company is celebrated for crowd-pleasing Chinese New Year performances but ventures into artier territory via collaborations with the likes of composer/vocalist Joan La Barbara, exiled Chinese poet Bei Dao and alt-classical darlings the Ahn Trio. Born in Seoul, Korea, the New York-based Ahn sisters—pianist Lucia, violinist Angella and cellist Maria—have performed in all 50 states and at The White House. Anchored by Kenji Bunch’s “Concrete Stream,” Temptation of the Muses features seven Nai-Ni Chen dancers interpreting Ahn Trio renditions of works by Pat Metheny, David Balakrishnan, Ron Yedidia and The Doors. $35, 8pm Saturday, Jo Long Theatre, 226 N Hackberry, 207-7211, thecarver.org. —BR
Spare Parts V.I.P. Fundraiser
Guided by artist Aaron Kramer’s mantra “Trash is the failure of the imagination,” nonprofit Spare Parts (a sponsored project of New York-based Fractured Atlas) collects art supplies and reusable materials throughout the year to distribute among pre-K-12 classrooms. Recently highlighted in the national documentary Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet, Spare Parts opens a new chapter this week with a V.I.P. (Very Important Party) fundraiser and silent auction. Benefiting the organization’s mission to serve the community through “environmentally smart art-making and creative reuse education,” the inaugural event features hors d’oeuvres and drinks plus music by the Central Catholic/Providence Button Band and DJ Despeinada. $40-$50, 6-8pm Saturday, Najim Campus Center at Providence Catholic School, 1215 N St. Mary’s, sparepartstudio.org. —BR
San Antonio Clay Festival
The San Antonio Potters Guild, the same folks behind SA’s amazing annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, present this celebration of all things glazed, slip-cast, hand-built and thrown. Founded in 1995, the Guild is open to potters, sculptors, clay artists and anyone else interested in “celebrating and extending humanity’s 10,000 year heritage of fired clay.” In the past, more than 30 local ceramicists, from talented hobbyists to professional artists like Diana Kersey and Jennifer Datchuk, have sold their wares at the fest, and its move to the SAMA grounds comes with another alluring attraction: a free tour of the museum’s ceramics collection. Kiddos will be kept well entertained with activities and art lovers of all ages can learn more about ceramic techniques via pottery demonstrations. Free, 10am-5pm Saturday, San Antonio Museum of Art (West Courtyard), 200 W Jones, sanantoniopottersguild.com. —CE
Fri 11/15 - Sat 11/16
10th Annual Amps & Easels Festival
Founded by Tomas Vasquez (GTV Promotions) in 2004 as an art and music festival meant to highlight local talent and their creations, the Amps & Easels Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with a two-day, mammoth meeting of more than 30 bands on two stages (indoors and out) and more than 20 local art and craft vendors. Locals like Islands & Tigers, Punk Soda, Heather Go Psycho and Langton Drive (in Ernesto Olivo’s last gig as a drummer) join Detroit’s Downtown Brown and Lubbock’s Ivory & Ash for this celebration of creativity co-produced by SATX Music. $5 (17 and under free), 7pm-2am Friday, 2pm-2am Saturday, Fitzgerald’s Bar & Live Music, 437 McCarty, ?(210) 683-5356, fitzgeraldsbar.com. —Enrique Lopetegui
Psychedelic, space-rock en español band Zoé was perfectly happy being a well-established, semi-underground act in Mexico. León Larregui’s moody vocals, the band’s solid musicianship and songwriting, and hermetic lyrics were enough to enjoy a long run since 2001, though the critical respect was bigger than the sales. The members of Zoé lived in their own bubble, under the shadow of big acts like Maná and Café Tacuba, but holding their own. From the beginning, their work with Phil Vinall (who mixed some tracks on Elastica’s 1995 debut and who has worked with Radiohead and Placebo, among others) helped the band evolve smartly, earning Zoé a devout following. ... Slowly and steadily they got by, and little by little started getting the awards. First came a Latin Grammy nomination in 2007 for Memo Rex y el Corazón de la Vía Láctea (“Memo Rex and the Heart of the Milky Way,” a Ziggy Stardust-like project), their third album. Then, an MTV Latino win in 2009 (Best Rock Group) and another Latin Grammy nomination for Reptilectric, their fourth full-length. Things were looking good, but nothing spectacular. After releasing a live album in 2008, they were working on a follow-up when an unexpected call came in: MTV Latino wanted them to record an episode of MTV Unplugged. Not only that: they needed to stop whatever they were doing and start working on it. ... Música de Fondo: MTV Unplugged (2011) became the biggest album of their career, winning two Latin Grammy awards and selling more than 400,000 copies worldwide to date. ... In spite of its cover alluding to their usual interest in sacred geometry, alchemy and space themes, Prográmaton, released October 29, is the band’s most down-to-earth album. ... “[Prográmaton] has a very existential tone but it’s also our most
terrestrial album,” Larregui told the Current. “We talk about life and death but it’s more direct, not so many metaphors. I guess we’re more mature now
” The new tour finds Zoé at their highest point and attracting new fans, but playing in San Antonio is sort of like a home away from home. “[SA] is Mexico,” Larregui said. “[In SA] we feel the same as we do in Mexico, even though we’re perfectly aware we’re not in Mexico, you understand? We’ll be in a country [United States] where all the cities look the same: the same stores, the same gas stations, everything so impersonal. But the good thing about Texas is that the people you play for are all from Mexico and a lot of people come to see us from Mexico. It’s kind of weird.” $30, 9pm Sunday, Club Rio, 3307 San Pedro, (210) 403-2582, club-rio.net. —EL
Read Enrique Lopetegui’s full story here.