In the past few months, the Dallas area has hosted several fine photography exhibits spotlighting Mexico and its citizens. The Bath House Cultural Center's latest pair of exhibits, El Trabajo De La Mujer and En La Casa, may be two of the best yet. Both exhibits look at the harshness of rural Mexican life, one focusing on it, the other ignoring it. El Trabajo De La Mujer features stark photographs--taken by Lupita Murillo in South Texas and Mexico--of Mexican women and their environments. Murillo blurs the backgrounds until the only thing that really matters in each shot are the women's proud faces. As good as El Trabajo is, En La Casa is even better. Cyndi Long takes ordinary objects from the interiors of homes in Uriangata, Guanajuato--a keyhole, a broom, a crucifix on a wall--and shoots them in a way that removes the objects from their context. The exhibits show at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, through July 3. Call (214) 670-8749.
Last week, almost every Dallas Observer staff member received a vaguely threatening phone call from someone who identified himself only as "Rock, a biker poet from California." Rock was irritated at our paper's coverage of the local poetry scene, an irritation that was only made worse by Keven McAlester's recent review of Jewel's new book of poetry ("Pieces of crap," June 11). To make a long story short, the "biker poet" at various times promised that asses would be kicked, apartments would be broken into, cars would be dented, and lead pipes would be brandished, and we're pretty sure he quoted Led Zeppelin lyrics at some point. He finished by saying that he and his biker-poet gang buddies (how tough does that sound?) would stay in town until the job was finished. On a completely unrelated note, local poet Clebo Rainey headlines a weekly slam poetry contest at Club Clearview, 2806 Elm. Admission is $1. Call (214) 939-0077. We always knew it was you, Clebo. You broke our heart.
The 4th of July always seems to bring out the jingoistic side in Americans, a side that usually stays in check unless the country is at war, or somebody starts one of those "U-S-A, U-S-A" chants. It's not really appropriate (or condoned) the rest of the time, so it doesn't hurt to let your xenophobia show once a year. There's no better place to let your pride in the stars-and-stripes show than a good, old-fashioned 4th of July parade. Arlington's 33rd Annual 4th of July Parade is one of the biggest parades in the state, featuring more than 130 entries from all over the metroplex, all five Arlington High School bands, and more than 4,000 participants. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and lasts about two hours, traveling over a two-mile route that winds through downtown Arlington. Call (817) 275-3796.
The Good/Bad Art Collective is probably the most appropriate place to host a performance by one-man band Mr. Quintron. Making insane blues-based music on a variety of old and homemade keyboard devices while occasionally setting off explosives, Mr. Quintron's performances are reminiscent of a Vegas lounge act gone horribly wrong. His set will follow a frenzied puppet show by his sidekick Ms. Pussycat, and a reunion performance by Denton art-rock faves Electric Freestyle Fantasy. Past EFF shows at Good/Bad included U-Hauls, trampolines, and a 20-foot hollow cow. This time, there are promises of searchlights. Sounds like an average night at Good/Bad. Mr. Quintron, Ms. Pussycat, and Electric Freestyle Fantasy perform at the Good/Bad Art Collective, located at 120 Exposition in Denton, on Sunday, July 5. The show starts at 9 p.m. DJ Tracheotomy and Partners for Apartments also will perform. Admission is $3. Call (940) 591-1725.
Gigi was the first Broadway musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe since the duo collaborated on My Fair Lady, and it was even more successful--especially the film adaptation, which snared nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The 1958 film starred Leslie Caron in the title role, and Louis Jordan (of Swamp Thing fame) as a rich, young man who falls in love with her. The film is best known for the Lerner-Lowe score that featured such songs as "The Night They Invented Champagne" and the Oscar-winning "I Remember It Well." The USA Film Festival screens Gigi as part of its First Monday Classics series on Monday, July 6. The screening happens at AMC Glen Lakes Theatres, located at 9450 N. Central Expressway. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $7 for general admission, $6 for USA Film Festival members. Call (214) 821-NEWS.
Our best memory of Charley Pride is a story we heard about a Merle Haggard concert in the late '60s. Pride opened up for Haggard and put on a great show that featured the countrypolitan sound he later became known for. After his set, the audience waited for Haggard to perform. And waited. And waited. Eventually, a piss-drunk Haggard made his way to the stage, struggled through one song, cursed at the crowd, and was escorted not so politely out of the building by security. Pride returned, played another set, and everyone went home happy. He hasn't had a hit in many years, but Pride continues to pack 'em in in Vegas and at his own 2,000-seat Charley Pride Theater in Branson, Missouri. Even though we're pretty sure a drunk Merle Haggard won't be in attendance, it's still worth checking out. Pride performs at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth on Tuesday, July 7 at 8 p.m. Call (817) 922-9999.