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Culture / Entertainment

The Best Non Marathon Things to do on Houston Marathon Weekend

Houston's Top 5 Events — the Weekend Guru's Fearless Picks

BY // 01.18.19

Houston weekends are packed full of events, but how many of them are truly worthy of your time? PaperCity’s Weekend Guru Matthew Ramirez cuts through the clutter to give you the best options in this regular series.

It’s Houston Marathon weekend, but if you’re not racing in the cold or carbo loading in sympathy, there are plenty of other options for non-frigid fun. As long as you dodge the various closures and traffic disruptions that the Marathon requires.

Movies Iran Doesn’t Want You to See

The 26th-annual Iranian Film Festival once again takes place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  This is the MFAH’s longest-running film series. The festival runs through next Sunday, January 27, and features Jafar Panahi’s latest film, 3 Faces, in which he steps in front of the camera as well to tell the story of three fictional actresses across three generations.

It opened to standing ovations at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Panahi is perhaps best known for his essential 2011 documentary, This is Not a Film, which won widespread acclaim, as it documented Panahi’s disillusionment with the Iranian government that led to his 2010 arrest and ultimately led to the country banning Panahi from filmmaking.

He’s released two movies since, with 3 Faces most recently vying for the prestigious Palme d’Or.

For much more about the festival, including the film fest’s full lineup, click here.

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Defying Labels

Amen Dunes defies labels and expectations; not exactly a “singer-songwriter,” and not exactly a standard “indie” rocker, Amen Dunes is the stage name for Damon McMahon, whose project has evolved from crackling, DIY, loosely folky material into a genre-bending mash that recalls Syd Barrett at his most mystical, Kurt Vile’s soothing stoner-isms, and even adult contemporary-leaning rock like David Gray and Van Morrison.

McMahon is touring behind 2018’s Freedom, one of the very best records of last year, a contemplative, mournful piece that wrestles with modern masculinity (“Miki Dora”) and well, living in a politically tumultuous present (the title track, “L.A.”). This is going to be a fantastic way to open the concert-going year in Houston.

Ramshackle and catchy Philly pop-rockers Arthur open Friday, January 18, at the beautiful Rockefellers venue on Washington. Tickets are $17; doors open at 8 pm.

Miz Horn

Jazzmeia Horn Septet is the name of the band led by Miz Horn, a Texas-born jazz vocalist whose birth-name is no accident. Winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition in 2015, Horn has true crossover appeal, which isn’t to downplay her bona-fides as a first-rate scatter and stylist that have drawn comparisons to Gregory Porter and Jamison Ross.

Horn tours behind her 2017 record A Social Call and arrives in town courtesy Da Camera.

Saturday, January 19, at Cullen Theater in the Wortham Center. Tickets start at $37.50; performance is at 8 pm, with a pre-show conversation with former HSPVA teacher and full-time jazz enthusiast Dr. Robert Morgan convening at 7:15 pm.

The Peace Man

It’s always a little frustrating when an artist hits town immediately after, or even before a new record drops, but luckily, Toro y Moi, who just released Outer Peace, his most stunning record since 2013’s Anything in Return, today, has been slowly dripping out advance singles for months now.

Indie-rocker Toro y Moi comes to the downstairs stage at White Oak Music Hall Wednesday, January 23

Toro y Moi is the stage name of Chaz Bundick, who, in 2009, along with Neon Indian, Washed Out and Memory Tapes, defined the late-aughts/early-teens phenomenon chillwave, which united bedroom-indie sounds with ’80s VHS and videogame aesthetics. Bundick has always been the most gifted at melody however, and his early days of echo-drenched, nostalgic pop evolved into multi-layered, organic funk that recall hip-hop producers like J Dilla and now, with Outer Peace, disco and ’90s-inspired techno.

Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, Wednesday, January 23. Tickets start at $27.50; doors open at 7 pm.

Music Art

Robert Hodge, Project Row House alum, musician, and artist, who’s helmed a solo show at the rarefied CAMH air as well as many other galleries around town, is one of Houston’s most acclaimed talents who deserves a place in every serious collector’s home and art appreciator’s mind. His new show, The Low End Theory, debuted last weekend at David Shelton Gallery.

It contains some of Hodge’s best work to date: while his art has always been overtly influenced by American music such as hip-hop and jazz (in case it needs to be said, the name of his show is a callback to A Tribe Called Quest’s seminal album), now, the references are vital, informing Hodge’s work with allusions that flesh out his stunning sculptures of bookshelves and a darker palette of colors that has infiltrated Hodge’s work lately, perhaps a nod to the fever-dream hell politics of contemporary America.

At David Shelton Gallery, 4411 Montrose. On view through Saturday, February 9.

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