'Crickets for Solo and Ensemble'
In a 2013 article about the SITE Santa Fe exhibition “Time, People, Money, Crickets,” the weekly Pasatiempo wrote, “Just try to stereotype Mungo Thomson. You really can’t do it, because his artistic goals and mediums are so wide-ranging.” As true as that may be of the Los Angeles-based artist (who works with everything from film and photography to mirrors and reframed TIME magazine covers), field recordings of animal sounds are a recurring motif. In 2008, Thomson collaborated with composer Michael Webster on b/w—a bird song (slowed down to resemble a whale song) and a whale song (sped up to resemble a bird song) recorded on opposite sides of a 12” vinyl LP. An extension of that partnership, the 2012 project Crickets (a symphony of cricket chirps from around the world transcribed and performed by a 17-piece orchestra) forms the groundwork for Thomson’s “Crickets for Solo and Ensemble.” Installed throughout Artpace (including the Hudson (Show)Room and the Window Works gallery), the exhibition employs “sculptures of cricket cages,” iPods, mini speakers and blind debossed letterpress prints to explore the distinct sounds of a creature the artist deems “a standard for silence.” Free, 6-9pm (exhibition walk-through with Thomson at 7pm) Thu, Artpace, 445 N Main, (210) 212-4900, artpace.org. —Bryan Rindfuss
Thu 1/16 – Sun 1/19
San Antonio Cocktail Conference
Into cocktails but an all-access pass isn’t in the cards for you? Here are five events for budget-conscious boozers.
Opening Night at the Majestic Theatre
When do you ever get the chance to dress up and sample more than 20 cocktails in the same building? The Opening Night Gala at the Majestic Theatre allows attendees access to three levels of the theater, food stations, live music and a chance to taste plenty of spirits. At one-third the price of an all-access pass, this evening is worth every penny. $100, 7-11pm Thu, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston.
Making Cocktails For Your Home Cocktail Party
Respected pro? Check. The know-how to impress your friends by making cocktails at home? Check. Boozing while you learn? Obviously. Conference veteran Sasha Petraske demonstrates techniques for saving time and creating batch cocktails and punches for your next soiree during this Making Cocktails For Your Home Cocktail Party class. $30, 11:00am Fri, Sheraton Gunter Hotel-Baker Room, 205 E Houston.
Stroll on Houston Street
There isn’t a better backdrop to showcase downtown than Houston Street. The night includes cocktails, two anchor parties at Bohanan’s and Lüke Riverwalk, music from respected jazz band leader Brent Watkins (pulling double duty between the two venues), tasty snacks via Lüke chef John Russ and more. $75, 6-10pm Sat, Houston Street.
Keep the party going in a dark and mostly quiet room (to better nurse that three-day hangover) as you take in a screening of Hey Bartender. The documentary, a 2013 SXSW Special Selection, follows the rebirth of craft cocktails and the people behind them. Hey Bartender features commentary by writer Graydon Carter, NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer and legendary club owner Amy Sacco. $10, 2pm Sun, Aztec Theatre, 104 N St. Mary’s.
Original Cocktail Competition
William Grant & Sons hosts the Original Cocktail Competition–contestants will have 10 minutes to prepare a cocktail using an original recipe. The crème de la crème of tenders will compete for a chance at $2,000. Anything can happen during this high stakes cocktail-off. $10, 5pm Sun, Aztec Theatre, 104 N St. Mary’s.
For tickets and the full schedule, visit sanantoniococktailconference.com.
— Jessica Elizarraras
Initially a pop-punk outfit, Canadian EDM duo Adventure Club (Christian Srigley and Leighton James) somehow parlayed a string of remixes—including a ubiquitous one for the Flight Facilities track “Crave You”—into a spot alongside Tiësto and Swedish House Mafia at 2013’s Ultra Music Festival. After following the UMF tour to Korea and partnering with kindred spirits Krewella on the melodic dubstep single “Rise & Fall,” the boys took a break from bouncing behind the decks to release Calling All Heroes. Featuring collaborations with Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna and Australia’s Kite String Tangle, the EP earned solid reviews from AllMusic and Vibe and an odd comparison to the Alan Parsons Project courtesy of The Washington Post. Disco Donnie brings the dynamic duo to Club Rio. $20-$40, 9pm-2am Fri, Club Rio, 13307-A San Pedro, (210) 403-2582, nightculture.com. —BR
Fri 1/17 + Sun 1/19
Set on April 3, 1968 in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., young American playwright Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop presents a fictional account of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on earth. While this format is similarly employed in Craig Alan Edwards’ one-man show The Man in Room 306, Hall’s play introduces a second character—a cute maid named Camae who lingers long after delivering room service. Following its London premiere in 2009 (when Hall was still in her 20s), The Mountaintop won an Olivier Award (for Best New Play) and debuted on Broadway in 2011 starring Samuel L. Jackson opposite Angela Bassett. Although it explores a haunting time (just after King delivered his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in support of a sanitation workers’ strike), Hall’s play uses giggly Camae as a disarming spirit to lure the imperfect human out of the legend—smoking habit, stinky feet and all. Bill Lewis directs Kevin Majors and Jessica Mitchell in the Renaissance Guild’s production, which contains “strong language and adult themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.” $26, 8pm Fri, 4pm Sun, Little Carver Civic Center, 226 N Hackberry, (210) 207-2234, therenaissanceguild.org. —BR
Photo by Ron Abrams
Fri 1/17 – Sun 1/20
The reward for being a Saturday Night Live cast member, according to Finesse Mitchell—a not-yet-ready-for-primetime player from 2003-2006 best known for donning drag as Starkeisha and impersonating a handful of black celebrities—is becoming “snap famous.” As in, people recognize him, but snap their fingers as they try to recall who the hell he is. His sketch comedy abilities may still be woefully under-tested, but as a standup, Mitchell is undeniably talented, using self-deprecating anecdotes as a launchpad for targeting serious issues such as the failings of the public school system and the effects of institutionalized racism, and he’s not afraid to let the room get quiet or make white audience members look around to make sure it’s OK to laugh. $18, 8pm & 10:15pm Fri-Sat, 8pm Sun, Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, 618 NW Loop 410, (210) 541-8805, lolsanantonio.com. —Jeremy Martin
1,005 Faces Mixer
When the inaugural DreamWeek wrapped up last year, DreamVoice president Shokare Nakpodia told photographer Sarah Brooke Lyons she probably had 1,000 faces in her pictures that would make for an incredibly diverse look at San Antonio. That conversation helped inspire Lyons’ 1,005 Faces, an ambitious project designed to showcase the Alamo City as a multicultural epicenter via black-and-white portraits of a broad range of locals holding handwritten signs. Introduced to the masses as a wheat-pasted installation on the Texas Highway Patrol Museum, the project earned Lyons a $1,000 Awesome SA grant. On Saturday, Lyons—who recently auctioned off the 1,005th portrait slot with proceeds benefiting a Boerne youth with leukemia—will present the series in its entirety. Free, 6-9pm Sat, Southwest School of Art - Navarro Campus, 300 Augusta, (210) 224-1848, dreamweek.org. —BR
Brazil has a long, illustrious list of superb female singers, but São Paulo-born Luciana Souza is the complete package: In addition to her amazing voice (she’s “arguably the greatest [Antonio Carlos] Jobim interpreter of her generation”), she’s a Berklee-graduate composer equally comfortable in the worlds of popular, jazz and classical music. In 2008, she won a Grammy as part of Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters (on which she sang Hancock’s version of “Amelia,” originally included in Joni Mitchell’s 1976 classic Hejira), and was nominated six times on her own. She will be joined onstage by two alumni of Hancock’s band: West African guitarist Lionel Loueke (praised by Hancock as “a musical painter”) and Swiss harmonica genius Grégoire Maret, who has played with Pete Seeger, George Benson and Stevie Wonder, among others, and is often referred to as the heir to Toots Thielemans. I only hope she doesn’t just stick to her English-language repertoire—when she sings in Portuguese, her warm voice sounds even brighter. $35, 8pm, Sat Jo Long Theatre, 226 N Hackberry, (210) 207-2234, ticketmaster.com. —Enrique Lopetegui
Celebrate the Villain
Don’t let their laid-back, zany look fool you—independent San Antonio/Austin hip-hop duo Celebrate the Villain is serious about making music with substance and the rappers are seriously good at it. But then, you readers would never judge a book by its cover, would you? That is the hope that this pair, comprised of Brad Kleinfelder (Truth) and Sean Knox (Choice), thrives on—namely, the hope that the message will precede and take precedent over all the misperceptions and misconceptions that surround the fact that they are two young white rappers from Texas.
Celebrate the Villain, officially a group for three years and now two albums, belongs to a motivational, politically minded, postmodern angst- and fear-ridden branch of hip-hop popularized by folks like Jedi Mind Tricks, Immortal Technique and Mos Def. Though the slow-flowing, darkened neon thump of the music (produced by UK collective Anno Domini Productions) provides a luxurious setting, it’s clear that, for these two, it’s all about the lyrics and forcing people to think.
The new record, I Guess Our Definition of Success is Just a Little Different, which CTV will release in San Antonio Saturday, upholds—perhaps even more than their 2012 debut—the duo’s stated edict of challenging people. Songs like “My Write to Survive” and “Organic by Nature” express longing for a freed sense of self, while “Lost” and “God Bless America” seek to hold up a mirror to our ubiquitous postmodern corruption. $5-$8, 9pm Sat, Fitzgerald’s Bar & Live Music, 437 McCarty, (210) 629-5141, fitzgeraldsbar.com. —James Courtney
For the full story, click here.
A unique variety tribute show, Elvis Lives is part fan-fiction, part cover show, part crazy, part sweet and all Elvis. Equally embracing The King and the myth he’s become, Elvis Lives celebrates timeless music, an iconic persona and the way in which a transcendent performer can live on in the minds of the public. This engaging and family-friendly show, which features finalists from The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest as well as images released from the Graceland archives, is a multimedia and live music journey through the phases and stages of Presley’s storied life and career. The expansive event will also feature dancers, an Ann-Margret tribute artist and life-size images of The King’s various costumes. A total Elvis experience? Thank you. Thank you very much. $40-$70, 7pm Sun, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. —JC
Mormons love Brian Regan. In 2012, he had a record setting 10-night run in Salt Lake City, reportedly based on the popularity he gained from LDS missionaries passing around his albums. Your grandma who complains that Jack Benny never had to work blue to be funny would also love Regan, but decidedly dirtier comics such as Marc Maron, Pete Holmes and Bill Burr routinely name Regan as one of the best in the business. That may be because unlike most modern comics, Regan sells out theaters based on the strength of his standup alone. He doesn’t have a podcast and almost every credit on his IMDB page lists him as “self.” If it wasn’t for every article ever written about Regan calling attention to his G-rated, family-friendly material (sorry), you and Grandma would both probably be laughing too hard to notice. $42.50-$52.50, 7pm Sun, Lila Cockrell Theater, 200 E Market, (210) 207-8500, ticketmaster.com. —Jeremy Martin
Check out the Current’s Q&A with Regan here.