St. Patrick's Day Parades: The Irish have been famous down through the centuries for their tempers, but don't worry, you're safe as far as having to decide between the two big St. Patrick's Day parades in Dallas. There's no rivalry going on between the organizers of these separate events, at least none that can be discerned from the schedule--one on Saturday, the other on Sunday. The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade is the smaller of the two, but also the homier. Howard Stern's own Gary "Baba Booey" Deli-Abate is the Grand Marshal, heading a crowd of Stern look-alikes and conducting a contest for floats and costumes in a number of categories. The Downtown Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade attracted over 25,000 people last year, and the crowd is expected to be bigger this year, because 1994's event was televised locally on Channel 21--and people make pains to appear places where there's a TV camera. The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off March 11 at 11 am and travels north to south from Greenville at Blackwell to Greenville at Yale. For info call 368-6722. The Downtown Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade starts March 12 at 2 pm on Main Street east of Pegasus Plaza, turning into the West End. For more information call 991-6677.
West End 5 Mile Run: For nine years now, The West End Five Mile Run has been staged for a steadily increasing number of participants. But the organizers have finally noticed a trend--every year, half the entrants have chosen to walk rather than run--and adjusted their program accordingly. This year, they offer a separate 5K walk for those who wish to take life at a slower pace. More than $4,000 in prize money is to be given away, with the top prize $500 each for the male and female record-breakers in the run-only and wheelchair divisions. Last year, some 7,000 people took part. The West End 5 Mile Run takes place at 9 am at the corner of Record and Ross. Entry fee is $10 for kids, $17 for adults, with all proceeds benefiting Texas Special Olympics. For more information call 943-9984.
Paul K and the Weathermen: When a musician's press biography lists "junkie" among his many accomplishments, it's tempting to roll your eyes and guess that here's another middling talent trying to get as much glamor mileage as he can out of his personal demons. That would be a mistake in the case of Paul K, a Michigan-born, Kentucky-based singer-songwriter-guitarist whose original songs speak a sometimes funny, sometimes chilling well of experience. Simply put, his music pulses with an authenticity that no amount of tragic hipster marketing could ever dilute, although there are probably major labels out there who'd love to try. Mr. K and his Weathermen, a motley back-up band who've changed names and personnel numerous times over the last 10 years, create the kind of lurching, squalid rock 'n' roll that provides a catharsis similar to the cry-in-your-beer twang-balladry of Hank Williams and George Jones. But beer may not be quite enough to shake the regret, frustration, and sadness that permeate the ensemble's latest album, Garden of Forking Paths. Paul's ragged voice, often self-assured enough to make his lyrics sound wise rather than self-pitying, sails over ringing guitars and a mid-tempo beat. It's not what you'd call an uplifting experience, but when this crew brings you through the hailstorm of romantic despair, you'll know you've visited somewhere profound and even ennobling. Paul K and the Weathermen perform at 7 pm at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave at Bowen, as part of the MAC's "True Songs of the Highway Patrol" series. Tickets are $8. Call 953-1MAC.