Houston’s weekends are packed full of events, but how many of them are truly worthy of your time? PaperCity’s own Weekend Guru Matthew Ramirez cuts through the clutter to give you the best options in this weekly series for a very packed weekend.
#Rare Bird Alert at Rice
Houston’s cherished college radio station, Rice University‘s KTRU (although shout out to Texas Southern University’s KTSU) is celebrating 50 years of offering left-of-the-dial selections for the city’s most adventurous listeners. Part of that celebration involves welcoming Houston’s own Jandek, the elusive musician/artist, responsible for at least 100 self-released albums, who never performed live until 2009.
Jandek’s Twin Peaks-esque mystique has made him a cult favorite. A true outsider artist, Jandek has never sought publicity or followed any musical trends since his debut in 1978. Most people don’t even know he’s from Houston. But the past few years he’s ventured out more and more, including stops at Rudyard’s, The Menil Collection, and now a free concert at Rice’s Hamman Hall.
Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts promptly at 8 pm. Although the event is free, priority is given to Rice students and alumni. Fret not, however, because if you show up, you’ll probably have the chance to experience something worth telling your grandchildren about.
Catch Me Outside
Continuing KTRU’s golden anniversary festivities is their 26th Annual Outdoor Show, always one of the most anticipated music events of the year for the underground-inclined (yours truly has been to more than a few going back to my high school years). This year’s headliners are a doozy: dual forces of Chicago’s bustling music scene, Jamila Woods and Saba, both close affiliates of megastar Chance the Rapper.
Jamila Woods is fresh off her HEAVN mixtape, a beautiful collage of R&B, hip-hop, rock, and folk, that tackled issues like police brutality and misogyny. Saba is no rookie either: 2016 saw the The Bucket List Project, his most polished and consistent release to date.
Bayonne, Free Radicals, Rose Ette, Mayapuris, Steve Cox’s Beard, and David Morgan & Charles Moon round out the bill. As always, the Outdoor Show is free. The festival runs from 2 pm to 9 pm Saturday at Rice University.
Keep On Truckin’
Houston is in the middle of its second-annual Black Restaurant Week, which you can catch up on by reading PaperCity restaurant guru Jailyn Marcel‘s feature here. Black Restaurant Week’s first annual Soundbites Food Truck Fest kicks off Saturday at 2 pm until 9 pm in the Historic Third Ward’s Peggy Park. Nosh on bites from Cool Runnings Jamaican Bar & Grill, the popular Grandma’s Boy Lemonade, and the widely loved Gumbo Xpress. Taste everything from wings to organic foods, soundtracked by DJ Motivation, DJ Big Reeks, DJ Silent Killa, Ash., and one of my personal faves Delorean.
Early bird tickets run a mere $7 with day-of tickets setting you back only $10.
Belly of the Beast
Consistently ranked atop any Best Restaurants in Houston list (save a few here and there), Chris Shepherd‘s Underbelly on Westheimer is celebrating five years with a street food carnival on Sunday, from 1 to 4 pm. Featuring five different types of “street” food — Southern, Mexican, Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese — a $45 adult price tag gets you five food tickets and three game tickets, and lets you try brisket, discada tacos, veggie vindaloo pani puri, Korean-style whole hog ssam, and shrimp and rice-paper salad.
There will also be games, including a dunk tank, ring toss, balloons and darts — and of course lots of prizes come with that. Free popcorn, cotton candy, and sno-cones will be available, as well as a cash bar. Kids 12 and under get in free.
That’s a Good Meatball
Houston saw a mac and cheese fest last week, keep scrolling for a macaron fest, and now there’s a meatball fest. The Meatball Brawl chef competition pits chefs against each other to see who has the best meatballs in Houston. Damian’s Cucina Italiana hosts, with owners Johnny Mandola and Bubba Butera setting the scene.
Participating chefs include Alex Padilla of Antone’s, Martin Weaver of Brennan’s, Nash D’Amico of D’Amico’s, Mark Holley of Holley’s, plus toques from Nobie’s, Pi Pizza, Weights & Measures, Brooklyn’s Meatball Company, Emmaline, and Sud Italia. Sunday, 1 pm through 4 pm.
Tickets are $55 featuring meatballs, a wine tasting, and more. Awards for most traditional, most creative, and a people’s choice will be handed out as well.
Last but not least, the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts hosts this year’s Macaron Festival Sunday at the Houston Design Center. Guests in “Provence summer chic attire” will receive a “Macaron Passport” upon arrival. The idea is to collect a macaron from each station, from local faves such as Artisans Restaurant, Flo Paris and Paper Flour Ink, and more. There will be non-macaron French cuisine as well.
A portion of the proceeds benefits TFAA”s programs such as From a Space to a Place, OPEN THE DOOR, and Be the Peace – Be the Hope, which help at-risk youth and pediatric patients.
Sunday from 4 pm to 7 pm. Tickets $75 for adults, $35 for kids.