Discovering the local/underground art and music scene in Houston
October 8, 2008 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Discovering the local/underground art and music scene in Houston

I am a 20-something going to Houston for a few days between October 10th - 13th and I am looking for things to do. I have already read threads like this and this and basically all other ones, but they're not quite what I need.

I am looking for any art shows, gallery events, readings, small social artsy events, music live shows (small ones are okay), cool lectures on nerdy things, indie movie screenings and any other hip things that are happening then. I am basically looking to get a feel for the young art and music scene in Houston. Any help will be appreciated.
posted by shamble to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Try the Houston Press events calendar. The Rice Cinema and the Aurora Picture Show screen funky, independent and local movies.
As far as bars and unusual shows go, check out Notsuohin downtown Houston. It used to be fairly cool and definitely "underground", as in you had to know someone to get in, but it seems that they have a website now, so they're probably open to the public.
posted by halogen at 7:25 PM on October 8, 2008

Oh, I take back my Notsuoh recommendation. I haven't been there in many years (they used to serve alcohol to underage kids), and a friend I just called up says to definitely stay away from that place now.

As far as local music, my favorite venue in Houston is the Continental Club, if you're into rockabilly/honky-tonk music. I've always had a fantastically good time, and all visitors I take there enjoy it, even if they're not really into the "alt-country" scene (I aren't either, but if you're in Texas, you might as well check it out).
posted by halogen at 7:37 PM on October 8, 2008

Going is a great site for finding stuff to do in cities. It's pretty simple for people to post their events so there's lots of "underground" events posted. Some aren't always posted, so try finding people on there who are into the same things as you and start asking around. Word of mouth is the best way sometimes.
posted by axltea at 10:22 PM on October 8, 2008

Screwed Up Records and Tapes.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:57 AM on October 9, 2008

Music/Bar: Etta's Lounge (blues); cool event on 10/10: Laurie Anderson at the Wortham Center (this is a bigger venue -- she's doing a very cool small private event tonight where the arty-farties should be in force, but that's too soon). Places I take visiting artists: The Menil (don't miss the Byzantine Chapel, Dan Flavin, and Cy Twombly galleries in separate buildings), Project Row Houses, and the Live Oak Meeting House.

For listings of gallery openings, events, lectures, you might also try or

Future ideas (because they're not having events while you're in H-Town, but they're some of the best of the small arts): Catastrophic Theatre, Suchu Dance, Aurora Picture Show (you could stop by the library across from the Menil if they're open, but no screenings this weekend), DiverseWorks, Commerce Street Art Warehouse.

Getting a Screw tape through bullet-proof glass is not for everyone, but it's its own flavor of awesome.
posted by *s at 9:12 AM on October 9, 2008

I'll second the Continental Club that halogen suggests. That corner is fun too: Taco's-a-GoGo (yummy) and Sig's Lagoon (fun music store), and the Big Top (fun little bar in former toy store) are all right there.

Rudyard's is another nice pub to hang out. The Next Door, another relaxed bar, is next door. All of the above are small with live music on occasion (except the taco place).

Brazos Bookstore is having a reading on October 10 with students from the UH Creative Writing Program - these are often really really good. The writing program is one of the top in the country and typically has some really amazing young writers reading their work.

Also on Friday, Discovery Green Park downtown has a free dance performance and music by the Neptones, sponsored by the Fresh Arts Coalition. Could be fun. And free! The Fresh Arts Coalition is a good way to find out about arts here.

I don't know why I can't find any more info about it at the moment but Project Row Houses is supposed to have an opening on Oct. 11: Round 29: Thunderking Express. There is no place on earth like this place. If you're interested in the collaboration of art, community, architecture and social change this is a place to learn about. Ike changed a lot of scheduling around so that may be why I can't confirm this. The place is worth looking into either way. The people that run it are very cool and friendly and love to let people know what their all about.

This could be a good art opening to attend: Scott Gordon at Hooks-Epstein, fun collage stuff.

Saturday Winter Street Studios is having open studios where you can visit the artists and see their work spaces from 1PM until 8PM. Free.

Also Saturday, the Westheimer Block Party, free live music and hippy art booths.

Sunday Caroline Collective is having a screen printing event that could be fun and a good way to meet locals.

Monday Domy Books is showing the movie Demons on the outdoor patio for free. You can order drinks and food from Brazil next door. Walk over to Poison Girl after that, for beer and pinball and a nice patio. There's also a cool Greek Coffee shop across the street that I can't remember the name of that fun to hang out. Oh yeah - Agora.

Enjoy your stay. It's a fun town you just have to know where to look.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:21 AM on October 9, 2008

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