Local artist Chris Sauter's work will be taking over the city in a multi-venue set of exhibits for the next three months. First up in the series of interrelated shows is "Doubt," which employs a wide variety of media (including digital stills, video, furniture, sculpture and sound) to explore the false dichotomies between science and religion. Additional shows will open at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum (Dec 5), Fl!ght (Dec 14) and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (Jan 4). According to Sauter, "Viewers are asked to pilgrimage from site to site to see all of the work." Check out artist Gary Sweeney's "Questions for Chris Sauter" by clicking here. Free, 6-8pm Thursday, Southwest School of Art - Navarro Campus, 300 Augusta, (210) 224-1848, swschool.org. Thu 11/21
With a reputation for embodying the emotional turmoil and dissociative angst of a generation born into the digital age, Mayday Parade are no strangers to fans of their style of pop-punk–typically referred to by the loaded term “emo.” In fact, the band has made it part of their mission to rock as many stages as possible, regularly playing more than 150 bookings per year since their formation in 2005. That work ethic has paid dividends in the raw energetic momentum of the group’s live show and studio albums, with a sound as perfectly distilled as ever on their recent Monsters in the Closet release. Thursday at Backstage Live, the quintet will perform as headliners of this year’s well-stacked Glamour Kills Tour. Also performing are Man Overboard–whose sound is equal parts early Blink 182 and ’90s emo–and pop-leaning alt outfit Cartel, among others. $20-$22, 6pm Thursday, Backstage Live, 1305 E Houston, (210) 229-1988, frontgatetickets.com.—James CourtneyFri 11/22
In Daniel P. Mannix’s 1999 book Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others, it wasn’t hard to make a strong case for using that F-word (instead of the official medical term “monster”) to describe those with physical abnormalities. The book changed my view on yesteryear’s freak shows, routinely condemned as a way to exploit “those who are not as others.” But freak shows have often been the only way the different (little people included) have been able to earn a living, find love and even become stars. Little Mania! should be viewed as any another wrestling spectacle, only performed by wrestlers who happen to be smaller, not goofy things to make fun of. So be real and enjoy an opening set by SA’s legendary Gay Sportscasters at 7 p.m., followed by four hours of wrestling in a ring occupied by little guys who can kick your ass. $15-$20, 9pm Friday, Nightrocker Live, 605 San Pedro, (210) 265-3573, nightrockerlive.ticketleap.com. —Enrique LopeteguiFri 11/22
The question of whether or not women are funny should’ve been buried when Lucille Ball debuted her sitcom. However, the debate still persists, but thankfully seems to be on its last legs as comedian Whitney Cummings’ schedule can attest. She’s clearly too busy succeeding at being funny to bother with the argument at all. Having muscled her way through the LA stand-up scene, this magna cum laude Penn grad earned her laughs through hard work and talent. Writing and gaining national notice with her appearances on Comedy Central roasts, Cummings went on to develop not one, but two major network sitcoms as well as a talk show on E!. While only one of her shows (Two Broke Girls) survived the cutthroat world of ratings, Cummings is as busy as ever. $38.50, 8pm Friday, Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N St. Mary’s, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.—Jay WhitecottonFri 11/22
“I am an open wound/In need of time and room/With the space to heal,” sings singer-songwriter/actor Dwight Yoakam in the Beck-produced “Missing Heart” from his excellent 3 Pears (2012). Well, Yoakam’s got his time and he’s now healed of whatever ailment he may have been talking about. The mostly self-produced 3 Pears is his highest-charting album ever, confirming that his status as one of the sanest and coolest songsmiths is intact. Too rock for country and too country for rock, he nevertheless managed to both go toe-to-toe with the nascent LA punk scene in the ’80s and to once be described as “my favorite country singer” by some dude named Johnny Cash. Yoakam isn’t yesterday’s news—he’s as hot and relevant as he ever was. With William Clark Green, the “She Likes the Beatles” guy. $35-$125, 9pm Friday, Floore’s Country Store, 14492 Old Bandera (Helotes), (210) 695-8827, liveatfloores.com.—ELRadio's Dead: A Tribute to Thom Yorke
In anticipation of the Radio’s Dead: A Tribute to Thom Yorke, happening Friday at 502 Bar, the Current spoke with some of the bands on the bill about their love of all things Yorke, as well as their own plans for covering his music. The full lineup is: Phonolux, Last Nighters, Lonely Horse, At War With Dust, Chris Maddin, The Offbeats, Bright Like the Sun.
What was the first Radiohead song you heard?Nick Long (Lonely Horse singer/guitarist): “There There” was the first. It was a big deal for me when I was going through my divorce. I’d just go in my music room and listen to that record in the dark.
Chris Maddin (Blowing Trees singer/guitarist): I saw the music video for “Paranoid Android” and I begged my mom to take me to Blockbuster Music on Huebner and buy me OK Computer. It changed my life forever.
Miguel Romero (Phonolux guitarist): I’m sure it was in the mid-’90s with “Creep.” But, frankly, it was after listening to OK Computer several years later when I took notice. I remember being like, “Whoa, nobody is doing anything like this right now. This is the next thing.”
What are you planning to cover for the show?
Rob Fernández (vocals/guitar for Last Nighters): We’re going to be doing “Airbag” and “Paranoid Android,” just because they run together so great. And we’ll also be doing “The National Anthem.” Niem (Harris, keyboardist/vocalist) and I play the trombone, and Kendell (Merryman, guitarist) plays the saxophone, so we thought it’d be badass if we could do the horn part.
Romero: We’re playing “Bones,” “Morning Mr. Magpie,” “Bodysnatchers” and “There There.” We realized very quickly that we had to get two other guitarists for this. There’s just so much going on, that you have to have extra help.
Maddin: I’ve done a lot of Radiohead covers on guitar or with a band, but I wanted to switch it up for this show. So I’m planning on doing more the electronic Thom Yorke solo stuff, and some of the electronic Radiohead material.
Christian Miranda (guitar, Bright Like the Sun): Both Chris (Etheredge, guitar, keyboards) and I can sing, so we’re looking forward to getting some songs with challenging vocal parts to show everyone that we’re not just straight instrumentalists.
Long: I wanted to do “Lotus Flower” because I wanted people to wonder
how we’d pull it off with guitar and drums. I wanted the challenge of the later,
Have you ever had a dream with Thom Yorke in it?Long: It was based on that one music video, I think it’s “Lotus Flower,” where he’s just dancing the whole time. Except it was me who was dancing in front of a mirror as Thom Yorke. And [Lonely Horse drummer] Travis [Hild] was also Thom Yorke, and a few other people in it were Thom Yorke. It was a weird-ass dream.
Maddin: I dreamed that I went to see them in The Woodlands (which is true), but that they knew me, and we were all hanging out. But it was kind of apocalyptic. I think it involved flying, too. Maybe Thom Yorke and I were holding hands and flying.
Fernández: Mine’s more of a daydream, but after I saw them live, I had dreams that I would get pulled backstage and end up talking with Thom and Jonny about [our] philosophies of life.
What's the toughest thing about performing these songs?
Maddin: The hardest thing for me is getting some of the notes that are in between notes. Jonny Greenwood is such a fan of the atonal, where you listen to something and [are] like, “What key was that in?” And Thom’s just got one of my favorite voices. Probably my favorite voice. The best voice for sure.
Miranda: Being an instrumental post-rock band, we play with a lot of fermata and crescendo. So does Radiohead to an extent, but they also have verse-chorus-verse, which is different for us.
Long: It’s going to be more exciting than ... a challenge. When you cover a song, you should make it your own depending on how the song makes you feel. I think his lyrics are very important, and my approach is going to be to emphasize those lyrics, and sing them with a little bit of my own soul in it.
If you could form a super-band with Thom Yorke and anyone else, who'd be in it?
Miranda: I’d definitely want Jim Ward (Sparta, At the Drive-In), Tony Allen (drummer for Fela Kuti), and [John Stirratt], bassist from Wilco.
Long: It’d be me, Thom, the singer from Alabama Shakes [Brittany Howard], Travis on drums, Mikey Carrillo (Deer Vibes) and Jimmy Page.
Romero: This electronic artist called Emancipator and Kanye West, just to see a fight.
Fernández: Jaco Pastorius on bass, Derek Trucks on guitar and Carter Beauford on drums.
Maddin: Chuck Kerr, Marcus Rubio, Miles Davis (Bitches Brew-era) and Yo-Yo Ma.
Free, 8pm Friday, 502 Bar, 502 Embassy Oaks, (210) 257-8125, 502bar.com.—J.D. SwerzenskiSat 11/23 - Sun 11/24
Fall Fall Fall Fest III
Two days, four stages (two upstairs, one downstairs, an acoustic one outside), vendors and food trucks is how San Antonio responds to Fun Fun Fun Fest. The third edition of Fall Fall Fall Fest had New Orleans’ punk/reggae/ska Dead Legends headlining, but they canceled due to “circumstances out of our control” (as I’m writing this, Austin’s metalheads Pack of Wolves are still on for Sunday). Other illustrious out-of-town guests scheduled to perform are Young Costello (pictured), Destructive Guerrilla Force (both from ATX) and The Grizzly Band (Houston), but the locals (Crown, Phantomatics, Espira, Violet Sphinx, Lonely Horse, the Zukinis and many more) are solid and have something to say, like rapper LaJIT, who just released the Blue Sun EP (Creekside Sounds), produced by Seattle’s Keyboard Kid and a continuation of last year’s Black Sun. $10 per day, $16 for both, 5pm-2am Saturday-Sunday, The Korova, 107 E Martin, (210) 995-7229, ticketfly.com.—ELSat 11/23
Hecho a Mano Tienda Grand Opening
Shiny devices and impersonal gift cards may have replaced the “visions of sugar-plums” that once danced in heads this time of year, but some of us would rather wrap (or unwrap) something with a tad more character. While it’s not the only local market of its kind, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Hecho a Mano has been championing creative holiday gifting for more than a quarter century. Historically encompassing a single weekend, the nonprofit’s “unique arts and crafts shopping experience” expands into a full-time operation this year. Opening Saturday in conjunction with “Ay Corona” (a holiday party featuring “free tamales, fideo, Kiolbassa sausage and Mexican-style wedding cookies” along with an auction of wreaths created by local artists Arturo Almeida, Kathy Sosa and Ethel Shipton), the GCAC’s new year-round Hecho a Mano Tienda is set to pack “the little purple house” across from the Guadalupe Theater with an eclectic array of “best-sellers” and “never-been-seen items.” Among the giftable goodies, look for jewelry from Mexico-based Fioka, moleskin notebooks by Erica Williams (pictured) and Escama Studio clutches fashioned from recycled aluminum soda tabs in Brazil. Free, 6-10pm Saturday, Hecho a Mano Tienda, 855 S Brazos, (210) 271-3151; for store hours, visit guadalupeculturalarts.org/hecho-a-mano.—Bryan RindfussSun 11/24
YojimboYojimbo poster courtesy of The-Loiterer
Rare is the film that both pays homage to influential genres and is itself a cultural milestone. Yojimbo, directed by the famed Akira Kurosawa, is a samurai story indebted to film noir and Westerns that in turn became the basis for Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars Spaghetti Western starring Clint Eastwood. A lone samurai without a master or name rolls up on a seemingly deserted town. The samurai soon learns the town is indeed inhabited, but the townsfolk are in hiding from a raging war between two gangs. Like so many noir films, no character can be trusted and, as Roger Ebert noted in his review, “the bad guys are not attacking the good guys because there are no good guys.” The samurai decides to play both sides against each other in this exquisitely shot, darkly humorous masterpiece of Japanese cinema. Free with museum admission, 3-5pm Sunday, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W Jones, (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org.—Callie Enlow
The idea of a Q&A interview with Kathy Griffin seems kind of disingenuous, because Griffin, former reality star (Bravo’s My Life on the D-List) and current reigning queen of celebrity shit-talking, has made a living answering questions you never asked but wished you thought of: what’s Barbara Walters’ favorite brand of lubricant, for example. She definitely sets her own agenda in a conversation, but—as her autobiography (2009’s Official Book Club Selection), which chronicles her battles with an eating disorder, her suspicions that her older brother molested children, and the horrific aftermath of a liposuction procedure, just to mention three chapters, clearly indicates—Griffin will offer up the juiciest info unprompted if you just keep your damn mouth shut. Griffin will be recording her Guinness Book of World Records-setting 20th comedy special at the Majestic Theatre this week. We talked to her on the phone about it, but to be honest, we mostly just tried to stay the hell out of her way.
How do you generate enough material to have 20 stand-up specials?
Well, first of all, I have what I call Stand-Up Comedy Disorder which is I cannot stop doing stand-up, I love it so much. My mind works 24/7 about what could be funny for the audience; what they’re into. I just feel like this environment that we’re living in is the gift that keeps on giving. When I started doing stand-up I would talk about my family and horrible dates I’d had
Now everything is so out there—from Justin Bieber showing himself doing ridiculous things and CNN’s 24-hour news—[and] you can find 24-hour celebrity trash pretty much anywhere
We’re all so aware of what these people are doing, and I think the more access we’ve got, celebrities start behaving even worse
I can’t get to the microphone fast enough. I always have the same problem when I do these specials. I do an hour and a half to two hours and they have to somehow cut it down to an hour. So I actually have the opposite problem that I should, I have too much material and then the buyer, in this case Bravo, they have finally [got] to draw the line and say “OK, we can’t leave this in, even you have gone too far.”
Is there a common theme of material that a network will cut?
I’ve had a couple jokes cut by Bravo because they were too offensive, but I still do them live. Thank God for live entertainment, no matter what’s happening in the changing landscape of television and how we view media and all those conversations, nothing can replace the live experience. So, let me tell you, if you come see me on November 24th, you will see the no-holds-barred, politically incorrect, inappropriate material that any network will say “that’s too far.” That’s my goal, my goal is to go too far.
Does the internet change how you do comedy—like with Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance that has been done to death?
I’m always thinking, “what can I say that hasn’t been said?” What I bring to the table is my take, that is, telling it through the perspective of my mom, halfway through a box of wine. That’s a take we haven’t heard yet. I always have to keep abreast of what has legs, what’s a story that’s going to fade overnight and once again, I will infuse that story with my own run-in with Miley: the last time I saw her, our last conversation. That way it’s something no one else can comment on because it’s an experience that happened just between the two of us. But I will be honest and say, I’m checking my iPad or my phone up to the minute I go on stage to make sure no one I’m talking about has died between 6 and 8 o’clock.
Do you find famous people changing their behavior around you?
Yes! I ran in to John Mayer recently at this tribute to Don Rickles and I felt that he kept distancing himself from me. I have had other celebrities make the sign of the cross with their forefingers in order to try to exorcise me, like I’m Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Yes, I am used to celebrities coming up to me saying “don’t put me in your act,” and I don’t make those kind of deals. I just can’t do it because they’re not the boss, the audience is.
$45-$65, 7pm & 9:30pm Sunday, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.—Jeremy Martin