Pop

fun.

Courtesy of fun.

The band fun. is full of paradoxes. Their songs are about heartbreak, regret, and despair—subjects not typically associated with the concept of fun. They won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist earlier this year even though they recorded their first album in 2009. Their breakthrough song was "We Are Young," but, as lead singer Nat Ruess put it in his acceptance speech for Song of the Year, "if this is in HD, everyone can see our faces, and we are not very young." As one fellow Grammy Award winner once intoned, "Isn't it ironic?" 

Oct 6 at 8. $39.50. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands. 281-363-3300. woodlandscenter.org

Franz Ferdinand

Cheekily named for the archduke whose assassination precipitated WWI, Franz Ferdinand exploded out of the Glasgow underground art scene in 2004 with their self-titled debut album, a masterpiece of latter-day post-punk. The Scottish rockers come to town in support of their latest album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Oct 4 at 9. $31.50–48.50. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St. 888-402-5837. houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/houston

Theater

The Pine

Image: Aaron Asher

Two years ago, the Catastrophic Theatre won a $23,000 award from the Multi-Arts Production Fund to commission a new play by Mickle Maher. That play is finally here, and it’s a doozy. The characters include a nine-foot-tall green bellhop who tends to lose his head, à la Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; a book club that discusses a book that nobody has ever read; a man whose only friend is a housefly; and Steve, a.k.a. the Grim Reaper. But what else would you expect from the man who wrote an entire play—There is a Happiness That Morning Is, produced by the Catastrophic Theatre last season—in rhymed couplets? 

Oct 2–19. Thu–Sat at 8. $25 (suggested). 1119 East Fwy. 713-522-2723. catastrophictheatre.com

Visual Art

Sprawl

This exhibition features work by 16 artists that deals with the issue of urban expansion, from Kathryn Clark’s quilts that depict recession-stricken areas of American cities to a brooch and necklace in the shape of highway interchanges by jeweler Andrea Zeuner. Accompanying the show is a lecture series featuring Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, artist Carrie Schneider, and U.H. architecture professors Susan Rogers and Thomas Colbert.

Oct 4–Jan 19. Tue–Sat 10–5; Sun 12–5. Free. 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848. crafthouston.org

Reading

Lester Brown

In the 1960s, Brown began publishing studies warning of world food shortages, quickly establishing a reputation as one of the world’s foremost environmentalists. He will read from his new autobiography, Breaking New Ground: A Personal History.  

Oct 6 at 7:30. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-664-0020. progressiveforum.org