Rock Star Fashion Designer Tod Waters Scouting a Houston Home for Junker Designs

Categories: Fashion

Photo by Tas Limur
Tod Waters - Photo by Tas Limur

The name Tod Waters is a familiar one to nearly everyone who had any involvement in Houston's explosive and legendary music scene in the '80s and '90s. Popular for his notorious, insane, and sometimes dangerous theatrical antics with area punk bands such as Spunk - infamous for their over-the-top theatrics, pyrotechnics, explosions and gore, gained Tod both notoriety and local fame as he dominated the Houston music scene along with many of H-town's hardest-hitting bands of the era.

Passionate and influential, Tod also left his mark on almost every aspect of Houston's underground creative community at that time. Working as a visual artist and fabricator, including modifying, designing, and enhancing his own clothes and for many years living among a small and exclusive group of working artists; Tod was easily identifiable as a member of Houston's creative class - always active doing something unique and interesting.

Houston is a cultural patchwork of a city, a huge metropolis where many different types of people make their homes, where beauty is sometimes found in unexpected places. It's also a city where the twisted metal and cast off debris of construction and industry are sometimes the palette that creative individuals have used to fulfill their artistic vision. Tod Waters is one such artist, a person who sees potential in many different materials, and who has mastered many techniques in his quest to create interesting things. At heart he is a talented collage artist - Taking often abandoned materials and discarded junk and shaping them into new forms. That philosophy of regeneration and reuse has been a long running theme in Tod's work, and it seems right at home in Houston.

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100 Creatives 2014: Jera Rose Petal Lodge, Metalsmith and Jewelrymaker

Categories: 100 Creatives

Photo by Amanda Shackleford
Jera Rose Petal Lodge, one of five artists currently in residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, has been making things her whole life, she says. "I was always really into sewing and would make jewelry with whatever I could get my hands on, but I didn't think making jewelry could be a career until I was in my early twenties. I took a couple of years off after high school and saw a friend taking a metalsmithing class, and when I saw what she was making, I knew that's what I wanted to do."

Lodge graduated from college in 2012 and has been working independently for only two years. In that time, she's decided that metalsmithing and jewelry design is how she wants to make her living, but she isn't sure if that's a good plan.

"Right now, I say this looks like it's going to be my work, but at the same time I never take days off so that doesn't look sustainable. In the three months I've been in Houston, I've never taken one day off. Can I really not take any time off for the next ten years? I have to think about that."

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Samurai Warriors, François Truffaut and More

Categories: Top 5

Courtesy of the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Seven hundred years of Japanese history and tradition goes on display when the "Samurai: The Way of the Warrior" exhibit opens at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Friday. Composed of pieces from one of the most important private Samurai collections outside of Japan, "Warrior" includes rare and elegant examples of the samurai's complex armor and advanced weaponry, along with cavalry equipment and personal items. "The swords that they carried were exquisite works of art and incredibly technologically advanced," says Dr. David Temple, an anthropological curator for the museum. "The elaborate armor that they wore, the weaponry that they used, all of that communicated not only the traditions of the samurai but also the power of [the Japanese state they served]."

As heavy and bulky as some of the armor is, it would seem the samurai would find it difficult to walk, much less fight. Temple tells us much of what's on display is ceremonial regalia, rather than everyday outfitting. "You didn't use all of these [items] on the battlefield, but they were certainly adapted from the battlefield. The swords seen in the exhibit, for example, were extremely effective weapons, but they were more often used in ceremonial [functions] or as badges of honor for the elite. Bows would certainly be used more often on the battlefield."

The exhibit also includes ink wells, correspondence boxes and writing tools "You think, samurais writing? But it made perfect sense. In order to administer the government, they had to write decrees and keep records. They were administrating an empire and writing was important."

See "Samurai: The Way of the Warrior" 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Through September 7, 2015. 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713‑639‑4629 or visit $25.

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American Horror Story: Freak Show: The Metaphor Hammer

Categories: Film and TV

I can honestly say that "Test of Strength" is the first episode of this season of American Horror Story to honestly and completely bore me.

The show has struggled since the death of Twisty the Clown and the brilliance of Edward Mordrake's ghostly quest. Left without one of the show's prime sources of horror, it's devoted the second act to the story aspect of the title. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but unfortunately it is showing off some of the problems that derailed Coven last year.

First off, it was predictable. Really, really predictable. The cast members who are not going to make it out alive this season might as well be wearing red shirts. I understand it's because it's easy to make the audience fall in love with the small and the harmless, and therefore it makes more of an impact when they die but it somehow feels very cheap.

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Farrell Dyde, Living and Dancing in Today

Categories: Dance

All photos by Andis Applewhite
Choregrapher/dancer Farrell Dyde
Dancer/choreographer Farrell Dyde celebrates more than 40 years onstage with Dat is Het: Farrell Dyde Solo Dance Concert. The program takes its title from the Dutch phrase "Dat is het," which means 'That is it.' Dyde came across the phrase in reading a Van Gogh biography.

"Vincent was very much concerned with the it-ness of his paintings," Dyde tells us. "He was trying to get to a point where it was the final absolute statement. That idea grabbed me. For me, this may be it for me as far as my solo performing is concerned. It may be the last time I perform solo...but I've said that before." (We're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll see Dyde onstage in more solo work in the future.)

The program includes three pieces which are loosely linked together but not exactly as a narrative."Each piece was created as a stand alone but because its an entire evening I began to shape it so that the pieces are both complimentary and contrasting. It's just the way the energy goes since it's just me that performs in all of them, I tried to shape it in such a way that it becomes one long pieces."
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Buildering: Misbehaving the City

Categories: Visual Arts

Photo courtesy of the artists and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
The sculpture El Barrio by Los Carpinteros dominates its surroundings
"Buildering" is a word you probably have never heard before, and the same is true of the French word "parkour", but both these describe overt acts of artistic expression with elements of rebellion against the establishment - a "flash mob" may be a contemporary example. Both have an unsanctioned, "in-your-face" attitude. More importantly, both are great fun.

This is a traveling exhibition, and the Blaffer Museum has done us a service by scheduling it. There are striking sculptures, exciting videos, and photographs of some of the coups that mischievous practitioners have pulled off in the past.

One such striking sculpture is El Barrio, consisting of a number of individual cardboard structures, like boxes, with openings for windows and doors, piled together as an exhibiting gallery sees fit. The Blafffer Art Museum has chosen to heap them together, creating an imposing edifice that necessarily brings together the vista of a favela in Rio de Janeiro, or, moving dramatically up the economic scale, of Habitat 67, the model community and housing complex created by Moshe Safdie for Montreal's Expo 1967.

El Barrio was created by "Los Carpinteros", the name used by Cuban artists and collaborators Marco Antonio Castillo Valdes and Dagoberto Rodriguez Sanchez. It simultaneously references upscale cliff-side residences, urban slums, disposable housing, and art itself, no mean feat.

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Be Better Dressed Than the Turkey This Thanksgiving: Ten Outfits for Dinner

Photos courtesy of Frances Brundage
If cartoon children are better dressed for Thanksgiving than you are, go shopping.
Unless you are glamping in Big Bend for Thanksgiving, you will probably need something fancy to wear to dinner next Thursday. Dudes have it kind of easy--a flick of the button and the pants are loose, and ready to accommodate another heaping helping of turkey and stuffing.

For the ladies, lookin' glam and dressing for a daylong feast can be more of a challenge--and some of us are just not sweatpants-at-Thanksgiving kind of gals. You can dress for dinner--and go in for a second plate--with one of these ten adorable Thanksgiving looks.

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Matthew Shipp Brings His Free Jazz to Houston, Sitting in With The Core Trio

Photo by Veronica Triplett, courtesy of The Core Trio
The Core Trio with Matthew Shipp

A lot of tinkerers want to fix Houston's jazz scene, but Matthew Shipp says there's no need to break out the toolkit for something that either isn't broken or requires a larger repair than all the city's musical handy men and women can muster.

"So many players come out of there to begin with. As far as national attention, obviously Robert Glasper and Jason Moran come to mind, and let's not forget the great Joe Sample. So, Houston is doing something right."

That's comforting to hear, particularly from someone with Shipp's jazz resume. A New Yorker and a leading figure in the current free jazz scene, Shipp isn't just turning a keen observational eye on the scene here, he'll be part of it, at least for a night, when he plays Ovations Saturday as a special guest of locals, The Core Trio.

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10 Best Action Figures Based on Houstonians

Ardfern via Wikipedia
I'm an action figure collector from way back in the day. One wall of my room was totally dedicated to various mint-in-box plastic heroes and villains hung from pushpins. It's not the sort of thing I have the cash for these days, but I recently found out that if you wanted to celebrate Houston purely based on the action figures of some of our residents you can totally do so!

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Fashion Houston Five Begins With a Bang, and Boys

Categories: Fashion

Photos by Cherise Luter
Best entrance ever courtesy of Alexis Monsanto!
We Houstonians have a myriad of festivals, shows, and performances to pick from on any given weekend, but there are a handful of events that are must sees and Fashion Houston is now one of those few.

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