This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Monday, February 21

It just cannot be helped that every time we think of bartender competitions involving the showy tosses and other "flair," we immediately put the needle down on our mental record of the Beach Boys' "Kokomo." The problem is quite widespread, has been given the unofficial title of Cocktail Syndrome and is the result of a combination of lack of exposure to real bartenders and overexposure to Brian Brown and Tom Cruise. We think almost everyone would agree that they'd like that song to stay out of mind forever. There just might be a solution. Sure, you can watch a rerun of it on the Food Network, but why not catch the finals for the Ultimate Bartender Challenge at Kismet Lounge on Monday instead? Associate the stunts, the perfect pours and the swill with the superheroes of local bartending instead of bad acting...and do it while you still can. In fact, before heading out to 3707 Greenville Ave. for the Service Industry Night showstopper, we recommend destroying that VHS copy of Cocktail you still have stored under the bed. You know, just so there's no temptation to resurrect the fake flair and bad hair. The cover is free, and wells and drafts are $3. Overcoming Cocktail Syndrome, however, is priceless. Call 214-823-8883.

Tuesday, February 22

Listen to big band jazz and you can almost hear the fun the musicians are having. It's a genre that engages both player and audience in a physical reaction to the music, an undeniable and sort of involuntary release of rhythm that immediately overwhelms feet with tapping and incites the slapping of one or both knees. In the world of jazz, it's the fun kind. It doesn't aim over any heads, doesn't put anyone to sleep and would never be caught on the Oasis radio station. The students of the Meadows Jazz Orchestra celebrate that energy and accessibility (which by no means says that big band is any easier to play) with a free concert on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The 18-piece ensemble will perform classics including Duke Ellington's "Ko-Ko," the Count Basie Orchestra's "I Thought About You" and Thelonius Monk's "Ask Me Now." The orchestra will also perform an original piece by director Akira Sato. The Bob Hope Theatre of the Owen Arts Center is located at 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the Southern Methodist University campus. Call 214-768-1951.

Wednesday, February 23

The ancient Chinese believed that jade preserved the body after death. The durable stone (ranging from deep green to pale celery colors) has long been used in Chinese and other societies with the belief that it held magical powers. As durable as jade is, however, it takes amazing talent to shape it and even more talent to carve designs into it. The Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St., welcomes the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service's Magic, Myths and Minerals: Chinese Jades From the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The exhibition features 37 pieces, from ancient times through 1911, just centimeters across that were carved by artisans mostly for private collection. The animal figures are significant in Chinese myth and fable and the detailing of them obviously painstaking. The pieces are beautiful, but Magic, Myths and Minerals also tells the symbolism of the small jade carvings as well as the importance and meaning they had for the original owners. The combination of craftsmanship and belief is breathtaking. The exhibit closes May 1. Admission is free. Call 214-979-6430.

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