Texas Monthly: Mardi Gras and Musicians Remembered

February 1st, 2013

Our quirky, discerning picks for the most interesting things to do around the state this week.

HOUSTON

Warred Out

Recent gun violence in the United States has distracted from the drug war in Mexico and on the border. But in “Crónicas,” the new exhibition at FotoFest, seven photographers, filmmakers and printmakers whose families deal with the violence on a daily basis take the public eye back to that brutal landscape.

“It’s an alternative to what the mass media is putting out there,” said Jennifer Ward, the show’s curator. “There was recently a story about 12 bodies being found in a car. And that’s all we heard about. There were no names to the bodies, no families, nothing behind it. With this show, we are adding some humanity to it.”

Edgardo Aragón, from Oaxaca, has made a series of 13 short films, “Family Effects,” in which his young nephews and nieces re-enact stories about his family’s real-life involvement with the drug cartel.

Pedro Reyes, from Culiacán, will display shovels he shaped out of the melted metal in the 1,500 guns he collected through a buyback program and uses for planting trees. (He will plant one in Guadalupe Plaza Park on March 23.)

And Miguel Aragón, from Ciudad Juárez, has a piece called “Retrato No. 4,” a newspaper photo of a decapitated head that he treated to create a “ghostly, ashy” look.

“You don’t turn away,” Ms. Ward said. “You look deeper into the photograph.”

FotoFest, Feb. 1-March 9,

fotofest.org

LUBBOCK

Hey, Buddy

The day Buddy Holly died in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (J. P. Richardson, from Sabine Pass) is, per Don McLean’s song “American Pie,” the day the music died. But really it had the opposite effect.

In response to the loss of those rock ’n’ roll pioneers on Feb. 3, 1959, scores of teenagers picked up guitars. Countless events commemorate this date, including Winter Dance Party revivals that trace Holly and his musical colleagues’ fateful tour.

But a pilgrimage to the Buddy Holly Center for its 54th-anniversary celebration, which consists of three exhibitions and a guitar workshop, offers the deepest look at Holly’s legacy.

He honed his craft alongside Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley and like Bob Dylan, once had a girlfriend named Echo. You can read about her in one of Holly’s journals, which is on display.

Buddy Holly Center, Feb. 3, 1 p.m., buddyhollycenter.org

AUSTIN

The Sound of Saveur

A problem with the popular concept of pairing music with food to create a multisensory experience is that the music tends to be largely unfamiliar, often classical. A solution is L’Oca d’Oro, the new Austin supper club started by Fiore Tedesco III, the former musician who now works at Franklin Barbecue.

For his first series of suppers, “Dinners to Rock To,” Mr. Tedesco is preparing four five-course meals paired with albums by the Pixies, Metallica, Fleetwood Mac and the Stooges.

Mr. Tedesco, though secretive about the menus, revealed that for opening night with the Pixies, the cuisine would be South and Central American fare with a Spanish twist, perhaps a reference to the time Black Francis, the Pixies’ frontman, spent in Puerto Rico, which comes through in his many Spanish lyrics.

Mr. Tedesco also said there would be octopus.

Franklin Barbecue, Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., locadoroaustin .com

FREDERICKSBURG

Ashes to Ashes

The pre-Lenten gorge that we call Mardi Gras has many names. Cities all over the world celebrate Roman Catholicism with similar Fat Tuesday decadence before Ash Wednesday temperance.

Fasching Fredericksburg is the Hill Country’s take on the German version, offering three opportunities to lose your religion before finding it again.

The first is at Fest Nacht, a B.Y.O.B. rock ’n’ roll costume party. The next is the Fasching Ball, a masquerade recreating Berlin in the Roaring Twenties, complete with vodka fountain. And then there is the one everyone knows about, Fat Tuesday, with live zydeco music and a crawfish and shrimp boil.

Various locations, Feb. 2 & 9 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 12 at 4 p.m.,

GALVESTON

Shake It All About

Mardi Gras Galveston is arguably second only to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but where Galveston is No. 1 is in its umbrella dance, the second-line dancing to the hokeypokey with raised umbrellas, and this year the city is trying to beat its Guinness record of 1,516 participants.

Downtown, Feb. 1-12,

HOUSTON

Body and Soul

Most of the jazz and blues musicians who made the Eldorado Ballroom famous are gone, but you can still see some of them in all their sweaty glory at the Eldorado, the Third Ward black social club known for its dance-floor action during its mid-20th-century heyday, at Soul Nite, with vintage film from shows by the likes of Ray Charles and Etta James.

Eldorado Ballroom, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., aurorapictureshow.org

mhoinski@texasmonthly.com

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