Tim Seibles, Carlo Pezzimenti: There is no better entertainment deal around than this free performance given by two of the North Texas area's most pleasurable artists. Tim Seibles is more Texas satellite than resident, having moved northward a few years back but still orbiting the city to remind his fervent cult members why they love this raspy-voiced, jazz-influenced poet/storyteller. Pal Pezzimenti has just released his ninth CD, Aetheria, and will perform pieces from it. We dub this former Segovia disciple "Goldfingers" in honor of his remarkable classical-guitar skills. They appear at 7:30 p.m. at Borders Books & Music at Preston and Royal. It's free, but come early for a good spot. Call 363-3226.
Beyond Vanilla: Contrary to the anti-lust town criers who have crowded our public avenues more and more during the past decade, we think there's nothing more American than (consensual adult) sex. Doubters need only take a gander at America's Teammate Michael Irvin, a man whose exceptional handiwork with a pigskin was sure evidence he wields a mean dildo even if Laura Miller had never aired the juicier details of that court hearing. In light of recent media scrutiny granted to this kind of "alternative sexuality" (the Observer prefers to call it "creative lovin'"), we think there will be all kinds of unusual suspects at "Beyond Vanilla," an S&M/fetish/leather educational forum sponsored by Race Bannon, one of the country's leading advocates of corporal punishment for fun (and, in his case, profit). The question proposed: Is the Cowboys fan who paints his face blue in public man enough to submit to orders from a dominatrix (providing, of course, she wears that adorable blue and silver cheerleader outfit)? The event happens 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, 2701 Reagan at Brown. A $10 donation is requested. Call 521-5342.
Spikefest '96: Football and basketball may hog the national spotlight as far as spectator sports go, but volleyball follows fast on their heels as a high-octane audience-pleaser. (In order to stay ahead of the boys at the net, maybe Daryl Johnson should consider playing a few games shirtless.) Spikefest '96 provides the perfect opportunity for the uninitiated to try their hands at volleyball spectatorship; it's the largest three-on-three volleyball tournament in the country, and this year the culmination of The Tour, a three-city Texas journey. The tournament begins at 8 a.m. August 3 and 4 at Greenhill School Sports Center, 14255 Midway Road in Addison. Admission for spectators is free, but the organizers request that everyone bring a canned/dried good or gently used clothing to donate to the Metrocrest Social Service Center. Call 526-8606.
Clive Barker: If anyone deserves to be the inspiration for the song "Devil Doll" by sometime X frontman John Doe, it's Clive Barker, the haunted house on two legs whose gentle, handsome face masks an imagination obsessed with the darkest side of our desires. But Barker's new tome, Sacrament, while certainly possessing a passport to The Other Side, marks somewhat of a departure that Barker has hinted may constitute a career detour. Sacrament doesn't take place in hell, but inside the heart of an environmental photographer whose personal traumas with AIDS and his parents send him on a mystical journey that will establish his place in the animal world. Barker signs copies of his book at 6:30 p.m. at Crossroads Market, 3930 Cedar Springs Road. Prepare for a hellacious line. Call 521-8595.
Blazing Saddles: Who knew that one day Mel Brooks' '70s classics would bring a tear to your eye at the same time they made you bust a gut? It's hard not to feel a little sad watching the rude comic mastery of a Blazing Saddles--being screened by the USA Film Festival as part of its First Monday Classics series--or Young Frankenstein and then trying to shake the memory of Dracula: Dead And Loving It or Robin Hood: Men In Tights--or, we should say, the memory of however long you managed to sit through it. Watching the decline of an American genius is never pretty, and probably always inevitable, but Brooks' place in the firmament of American cinema is firm. Screenings happen August 5, 7:30 p.m., at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central Expressway; and August 6, 7:30 p.m., at the AMC Sundance 11, 304 Houston Street in Fort Worth. Call 821-NEWS.
National Doll Festival: Look, they may be lovingly crafted playthings designed to light up the eyes of a child, but perusing the photos of dolls included in press material for the National Doll Festival, one fact is inescapable: These little buggers are scary-looking. While it may sound ridiculous to warn that this national-scale event featuring 300 tables of dolls, bears, toys, collectibles, and accessories is not for the faint of heart, we wouldn't want some of these creations staring at us from the bureau one sleepless night. It's a tribute to the makers: The eyes are haunting and full of life. The festival happens Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., in the Regency Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, 1717 N. Akard. Admission is $6-$8. Call 720-2020.