If someone had asked us just a few days ago what "throatsinging" was, we'd have claimed it was when someone can say the entire alphabet while belching. While we still don't know how it's done, we do know that throatsinging originated in the tiny Autonomous Republic of Tuva, sandwiched between Siberia and Mongolia. It sounds like make-believe, we know, but we heard about it in a documentary, so it has to be true, right? Judge for yourself when the Video Association of Dallas' quarterly Documentary Tour features Genghis Blues, Adrian Belic's film about blind blues man Paul Pena and his self-taught throatsinging. The winner of the Audience Award in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, Genghis Blues explains how Pena discovered Tuvan throatsinging on Russian shortwave radio and learned the multi-harmonic art and the native language, which he used to serenade some Tuvan throatsingers during their 1993 American concert tour. As they say, the rest is history. Genghis Blues will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center and Café, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Admission is $10 for general admission or $8 for VAD members. Call 214-428-8700 for recommended reservations.
Friday, October 17
The cliché goes that if something is "just like riding a bike," then it's a thing one can't forget. Well, Cyclecide isn't just like riding a bike, but it does sound unforgettable. When the San Francisco group presents the Cyclecide Bike Rodeo at the XPO Lounge, the "competitors" won't be riding Huffys with baskets and bells. This is the monster truck rally of bike shows. There's a Ferris wheel bike that's 17 feet high, a spanking bike that does just what the name suggests, a bike carousel and even a flame-throwing bike called Chupacabra. In addition, the event features Cyclecide Rodeo Klowns, jousting while riding bikes and Los Banos, the official band of the bike rodeo. Injuries (to the riders, not the viewers) are promised as well. The show starts at 10 p.m. at the XPO Lounge, 408 Exposition Ave. Admission is $10. Call 214-823-2329 or visit www.cyclecide.com.
Saturday, October 18
In Texas, we do have seasons. They're just not weather-related. The leaves won't turn much and the breezes won't get much colder, but fall does mean that it's time to start poking around in other people's houses as the season of home tours starts. Among them is the 11th annual White Rock Lake Artists Studio Tour during which participants grab a map and guide themselves through three art centers and 41 artists' private studios. But the self-guided bit stops at the door. Then the artists take over, offering some snacks, maybe some beverages, and laying on the charm. Sure, there will be "works in progress" and "raw materials" to show the creative process, but there will also be finished art ready for the buying. And the media here range from raku and ceramics to wood and metal sculpture to paintings in oils and acrylics. But these aren't just backyard dabblers. More than a few are gallery regulars, including Kaleta Doolin, Becky Romanek Johnson, T. Stone and Dahlia Woods. The tour is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Pick up maps at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, or the Creative Arts Center, 2360 Laughlin. Visit www.dallasartsrevue.com for a list of addresses and online maps.
Sunday, October 19
Performance art is like dating. We still haven't met the right match, but we're determined to keep trying. And here's one that looks worth shaving our legs for. The University of Texas at Dallas' new program Performance Innovations debuts with Beta Test, a three-part performance art extravaganza. The first feature is Cholos y Chulas, short pieces about "family and neighborhood" produced in conjunction with Cara Mia Theatre. Part two is a duo of 10-minute plays with Alaskan playwright Jason Hodges called 10 Minute Love Affair and 10 Minute Play about a man with 10 minutes to live. The final and longest section is the Neo-Futurist 30 Plays in 60 Minutes, which requires the audience's suggestions to determine the order in which the plays are performed. Beta Test will be performed 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through October 26 in the University Theatre. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and free for UTD students. Call 972-883-2982.
Monday, October 20
Despite what his TV commercial endorsements might suggest, Tony Hawk didn't become the most recognizable and best skateboarder by playing video games and eating chips. He probably built ramps out of plywood, waxed up some curbs and got kicked off government property for sliding down the handrails. But aspiring Tony Hawks don't have to do any of that, at least not one day a week. They just have to drive to McKinney where the Cyclone Skatepark is offering free skateboarding and in-line skating every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for beginners. (More advanced skaters can pay $15 for sessions Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) Instructors include the likes of Aaron Dupree, who was ranked No. 1 in the 2001 VANS Amateur World Championship, and the sessions begin with the basics and move into more complicated moves later. Cyclone will also offer a lock-in for kids on Halloween. The skate park is located at 975 S. Central Expressway in McKinney. Call 972-562-2752 or visit www.cycloneskatepark.com.
Tuesday, October 21
We have a conspiracy theory. There's one reason that Arnold Schwarzenegger was voted to be governor of California, and her name is Barbara Bush. Despite the chunky pearls, the tailored blue dress suits and well-kempt silver ringlets, we think Babs is a mastermind. It's always the quiet ones. Our proof: As long as Ahnuld is the punch line of the week, her li'l Georgie gets a rest from the late-night talk-show hosts and political cartoonists. It's just her maternal instinct in high gear. Next week: Vin Diesel for Congress. Meanwhile, the former first lady and current first grandmother will sign copies of her second memoir, Reflections: Life After the White House. Those eager to get a signed copy of her tome (proceeds of book sales benefit Reach Out and Read) and maybe make a few nutty accusations can do so at the event at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Highway. The 350 wristbands will be distributed beginning at 9 a.m. Monday. Wristband holders may begin lining up at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Those without wristbands may line up behind them. Call 214-739-1124.
Wednesday, October 22
Henri Matisse has been referred to as the father of Modernism, but that doesn't tell us much about what he did, so we'll put it this way. He drew people who looked like real people except sometimes they were blue or lumpy in the wrong places. We could talk about the elegant lines or how his exaggerations gave his pieces a caricature-ish quality, but we suggest you go see for yourself when the Gerald Peters Gallery presents Henri Matisse: Three Decades of Drawings From the Pierre and Maria Gaetana Matisse Foundation from Friday through November 22. Nothing makes an artist more real than seeing his original pencil lines and finger smudges in person. The gallery, located at 2913 Fairmount St., is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Call 214-969-9410.