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Fun? This Weekend? In Austin, Texas?

Even without live music: metal, Faires, hot sauce, and Philip K. Dick
Wayne Alan Brenner, 2:13pm, Fri. Aug. 24, 2012
WHICH WAY TO THE PALM TREE GARDEN?
Not necessarily in that order.

And, OK, there will be plenty of live music at this Sunday's 23rd Annual Hot Sauce Festival, because god forbid there should be a festival anywhere in the ATX without a bunch of live music to go along with it, right? Repeat: There will be live music at the Hot Sauce Festival – where there will also be so many different kinds of hot sauce that your mind will be even more boggled than your tongue is devastated.

But.

There will be no live music at Saturday evening's wine-fueled reception (6-7pm) for "Retrospective," the solo show of visual art by the Chronicle's arts editor, Robert Faires, which is currently improving the walls of Salvage Vanguard Theatre's lobby gallery. You, what? You didn't realize that the man whom American Theatre magazine lauds as "one of the 12 most influential theatre critics in America" is also a terrific illustrator? That his pen-and-ink glories have been gracing the pages of your favorite altweekly for decades now? Well, now's your chance to see much of that work in one place, while making with the small-talk among fellow aficionados and quaffing down the Chardonnay.

Or maybe – because we don't want to be just tooting our own horn, here, and because this town is brimming with opportunities to see good art – you want to, in addition to or instead of, catch the beautiful craftsmanship-raised-to-the-level-of-art that's exemplified by the 19 different artists showing their creations in ceramics, metal, and glass for Fire Works at Pump Project. Far as we know, there's no live music for that Saturday-night (7-10pm) reception, either, although you're likely to hear a symphony of oooohs and aaaaaahs from people checking out the displayed wares.

Either of those shows are recommended, especially as easier aesthetic rewards if you've enjoyed the camaraderie and civic exuberance of gathering at the Capitol earlier that afternoon to join Kaci Beeler and hundreds of other women and men in a silent protest against the decimating of Planned Parenthood. This is your state, people, these are your bodies: Illegitimi non carborundum!

And, still working backward – going athwart the timestream, so to speak – we'd like to also recommend an improv show called False Matters that's being performed tonight and Saturday night at 8pm. Because 1) it's narrative improv inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick, and 2) it's also at SVT – so you could scope the abovementioned Faires' artshow at the same time, hey?

And the best of the weekend to you, friend – with live music or not.



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