Deborah Harry: What an excellent way to start your new year--by returning to the (now unperoxided) roots of so much of what is called "alternative" music. Deborah Harry along with ex-lover/musical collaborator Chris Stein and, to a lesser extent, the other members of Blondie, did it first, did it slicker, and best of all, did it with a sense of humor that's sorely lacking in contemporary alt-rock. Everybody knows that Harry is Madonna's wicked stepmother--although Ms. Ciccone is barely fit to gyrate in Harry's shadow--but it's the combination of studio slickness and driving, thrusting songs you can dance to and enjoy the lyrics of that's the real inheritance Harry and Company left behind. The fact that she's being honored by performing with canned music in tiny clubs seems a little sad--where's the Blondie tribute album, anyway?--but any chance to see the sly Deb should not be missed. Doors open at 8 p.m. at Eden 2000, 5500 Greenville. For ticket information, call 373-8000.
New Year's Day Psychic Fair: It comes around as regular as the lunar orbit every couple of months in Dallas, but this is a very special time of year, one that demands you become proactive and prepare for the challenges ahead in 1996. We're talking, of course, about Dallas' oldest and largest Psychic Fair, which features over 40 different professional readers. Forget stuffed-shirt institutions like the A.M.A. and the Catholic Church; these are the real time-tested disciplines--tarot cards, astrology, palmistry, crystal balls, channelers, past-life clairvoyants, and more. A vendor's area serves as a kind of head shop for your psychic needs, with tons of "lifestyle" accessories--crystals, candles, angels, jewelry, etc. The New Year's Day Psychic Fair happens noon to 7 p.m. at the Dallas Park Central Hotel, LBJ and Coit. Admission is $7, but each reading costs $10. For more information, call 241-4876.
Pretty Baby: As part of its First Monday Classics series, the USA Film Festival revives a movie that's perhaps riper for controversy today than when it was released almost 17 years ago. The fact that the French writer-director Louis Malle, one of the world cinema's great character portraitists, died just a few weeks ago is even more reason to check out his postcard-pretty, black-hearted period drama Pretty Baby. Needless to say, most of the publicity that surrounded the film's release focussed on the screen debut of Brooke Shields as the bee-stung-lipped daughter of an alcoholic prostitute (Susan Sarandon) who is saved from a life in The Biz by a kind-hearted if slightly creepy photographer (Keith Carradine), who makes Shields his bride. While the film hardly condones the exploitation of children, Malle was enough of a provocateur to photograph Shields as he might any other sexy ingénue. Screenwriter Polly Platt, who co-wrote the film, discusses her memories of Malle at the Dallas screening. Pretty Baby screens Jan. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes, 9450 North Central, and Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the AMC Sundance 11, 304 Houston in downtown Fort Worth. Tickets are $6.50. 821-NEWS.
Gay 101: A Texas Congressman recently committed an "outrage of the week," duly noted by the bruising, brawling CNN political discussion show "Capital Gang." He wants to spend a few million to investigate the 50-year-old Kinsey report on human sexuality because, among other problems with it, he thinks the study is gay propaganda. Politicians are forever making asses of themselves over sex, whether it be an act they've committed or one they don't want others to commit, but to be fair, most doctors don't fare much better, including Kinsey and the researchers behind this year's Chicago Institute Report. From Freudian theories of arrested development to Simon LeVay's sliced-up hypothalami, the question is always the same--what "causes" homosexuality? The Gay & Lesbian Community Center sponsors one of its three-hour discussion-information sessions, "Gay 101: The Basic Facts About Homosexuality," which provides all the latest info on biological, legal, cultural, political, and religious issues surrounding homosexuality. Come with an open mind and strong opinions. It's free and gets under way at 6:30 p.m. at 2701 Reagan at Brown. For information, call 528-9254.