The Top 5 Things to Do in Houston this Weekend: QFest 2013, H-Town Sneaker Summit and More
The wide splash of venues for Friday's films speaks to the growth of QFest 2013, Houston's LGBT film festival, since its establishment 17 years ago. No fewer than 30 events and screenings focusing on the queer experience take place in nine venues as far-flung as Galveston and Katy. One must-see film is Friday's Lose Your Head, by co-directors Stefan Westerwelle and Patrick Schuckmann. Fernando Tielve plays Luis, a young Spaniard who just broke up with his boyfriend. Luis is looking for a little fun in Germany's popular club scene and finds it in a Russian (Marko Mandic). But what starts off as a good time quickly becomes a nightmare as Luis realizes his new lover may be responsible for the disappearance of a missing Greek student - a young man that bears an incredible resemblance to Luis.
Lose Your Head
Also on Friday, the festival screens All in the Family: A Showcase of Queer African American Shorts at first-time participant the Houston Museum of African American Culture, curated by Indiewire senior editor Peter Knegt, with more
screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Alamo Draft House - Vintage Park; and Aurora Picture Show.
QFest tends to be less about showing all the latest releases "but instead more about identifying and highlighting evolving trends," says QFest Executive Director Kristian Salinas, who adds that documentaries are big this year. "Younger filmmakers are less concerned with coming out and more interested in portraying being gay as simply a given." The festival closes Sunday with several revivals of queer classics, including the film version of Gore Vidal's scandalous (for the 1960s) novel Myra Breckinridge; William Friedkin's Cruising and an accompanying doc Portrait of Jason.
See Lose Your Head at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 532 South Mason Rd. Screenings continue through July 29. Various locations. For information,call 281-889-3345 or visit the QFest website. $5 to $85.
As far as Houston music goes, what do people know? The rap scene is nationally recognized, of course. We've shipped out more and more country and indie rock acts over the years, but what about the more esoteric and bizarre selections? They're here as well, and the Station Museum is showing them off with its Summer Sound Series on Saturday. Mainstream need not even apply, and check all your expectations at the door because they're meaningless. "Houston has always had a very strong and consistent underground music scene far outside the mainstream and has been brazenly unyielding to its trends," said curator Lia Blyth. "Houston has relentlessly generated artists and music that has inspired major musical change and has influenced the rest of the country and the world." Acts in the current series include T.E.F., who've been a major player in Houston's noise scene for years, crafting bizarre and harsh soundscapes that unnerve and destroy everyone they touch. Alimanas will also be adding their extreme Spanish punk explosion to the mix. Also on the bill are Corporate Park, Future Blondes and Werewolf Jerusalem.
3 p.m. Saturday. 1502 Alabama. For information, call 713‑529‑6900 or visit the museum's website. Free.
With the jukebox musical of the Four Seasons story, Jersey Boys, a runaway success, interest has been renewed in the vocal group who delivered a bevy of hits in the '60s such as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man." Now 79, the sweet lead falsetto behind those tunes, Frankie Valli (with some much younger Seasons), will team up with the Houston Symphony for a bit of nostalgia on Saturday night. And for Valli's music director, Robby Robinson, it's a natural fit. "A lot of the original Four Seasons recordings incorporated strings, horns, woodwinds, harps and other instruments. And [Valli's] music covers pop, R&B, jazz and doo-wop," he says. "And with other songs, we've had fun [tinkering] with, like adding bassoons and pizzicato to 'Walk Like a Man.'" Robinson also notes that the Houston Symphony is a "brilliant orchestra," since Valli and the Seasons have performed with them in the past. He also sees the more-and-more-frequent pairing of pop and rock acts from the '60s and '70s with orchestras as a natural development. And who knows? They may even tackle the theme from Grease.
7:30 p.m. Saturday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713‑224‑7575 or visit the Houston Symphony website. $35 to $149.
Houston's Museum District is home to a whopping 19 institutions running the gamut from collections dedicated to art and animals to Czech culture and psychiatrist Carl Jung. For The Museum Experience, several of those grouped closely together will be open free and with special programming. "In our previous program, Museum District Day, all of the museums were open at once. This will provide a more intimate and educational experience," says Laurette Canizares, executive director of the Houston Museum Association. "We also wanted to highlight some of the institutions that people are less familiar with in an interesting way." Museums taking part in this day's Experience are The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (which will feature a program on printmaking), The Jung Center of Houston (with a workshop on Zentangle "doodling") and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (with films, art activities and gallery talks). And you don't need to worry about finding three parking spaces. "We are doing the Experiences in [geographical] zones to emphasize the walkability of the area," Canizares sums up. "And it will make for a more engaging experience." Attendees will also receive special offers at area bars and restaurants, in case you need some human fuel for traveling on foot.
10 a.m. Saturday. Various locations. For information, call 713-715-1939 or visit the district's website. Prices vary.
Nike and Reebok and Adidas, oh my! The 2013 summer edition of the H-Town Sneaker Summit returns to Reliant Center for an event that Complex magazine calls one of the "50 moments that changed sneaker culture forever." Attracting avid sneakerheads from all over the country, this twice-yearly showcase of footwear, urban fashion and hip-hop music is the largest convention of its kind in the world. Popular lifestyle brands such as Crooks & Castles, Diamond Supply and Two in the Shirt bring in the best selling and most exclusive items in their arsenals to satisfy the crowd's hunger for the next must-have fashion item. Entertainment is provided by an all-star lineup of the best DJs in the city, including collectives such as The Kracker Nuttz and Booth Pimps. Rap legends Bun B and Slim Thug are known to frequent the event, and an impromptu concert is always a strong possibility. Individual collectors bring boxes upon boxes of limited-edition and classic Jordans, Nike Airs, Foamposites, and more to sell or trade.
3 to 8 p.m. Sunday. One Reliant Park. For information, call 832-745-3000 or visit the expo's website. $20.
Bob Ruggiero, Marco Torres, Nancy Ford and Jef with One F contributed to this post.