Intended as “an alternative from the corporate-owned entertainment/news industry,” a multimedia cross-section of anarchists, mystics, activists, and environmentalists convenes for a noon-to-midnight festival of music, art, and film at the Belcourt Theatre. From jam bands to worldbeat, the musical acts include the Eastern-influenced ensemble Perfumed Garden, Transcendental Crayon Ensemble, Stoik Oak, Limestone and Joy, the Harveys, Head Czech, Leo Johnson, and Chris Durai. In addition, there’ll be belly dancing, drum circle performances, an art show, and booths of information on grass-roots causes. The day is rounded out at 5 p.m. by the first local screening of A Year in the Streets: WTO Seattle to the Bush Administration, a documentary on street-level activism by Eugene, Ore.’s Cascadia Media Collective, and a screening of Big Noise Films’ documentary Zapatista. The event is sponsored by Planetary Restoration Organization, a Nashville group that opposes globalization and promotes “[restoring] the planet to a healthy and harmonious state of being.” Tickets are $13 at the theater; proceeds benefit the Belcourt Theatre in its own evolution as an alternative entertainment venue. For more information, www.planetaryrestoration.com.
The Blood Oranges/Tim Carroll Boston’s Blood Oranges were ahead of the alt-country curve even when they broke up in 1995; in some circles, they’re better known for launching the solo career of singer-songwriter Cheri Knightwho put out 1998’s fine The Northeast Kingdom on the E-Squared labelthan for their own ahead-of-its-time bluegrass for indie-rock hipsters. The reunited team of Knight, Jim Ryan, and Mark Spencer brings its reunion tour to The Sutlerbut unluckily for them, they have to follow opening act Tim Carroll, one of Music City’s least appreciated and hardest rocking guitarist/songwriters. The name of his new LP is Free Again, which tells where Carroll’s head is these days after his ill-fated tenure with Sire Records: At least the experience didn’t hurt his ability to craft wry country tunes and scorching Stones-y stompers. Expect Carroll to let his freedom ring loud and true live.
Spot Lite Nashville’s spoken-word and hip-hop communities have restarted their series of live performance gigs. The most recent one occurred at the now defunct Abstract Cafe, but the organizers have found a new location. Spot Lite will be held at 3rd & Lindsey, and once again it brings to the mic many of the city's finest hip-hop combines and spoken-word artists. The cast includes Utopia State, No Sleep Productionz, Iayaalis, J. Ivy & Taney Torae, spoken-word artist Keisha D. Rucker, Stephanie Rankin, and many others. Things get under way at 9:30 p.m.
Antarctica One might expect a band that has a name like Antarctica and titles all of its records by their total playing time to create vast epics of swirling monochromatic soundaural documents of glacial change. And while there is an element of My Bloody Valentine-esque wash in Antarctica’s music, it is often in the bubbly context of ’80s dance-pop like that of New Order. They bring their pop minimalism to The End with Otherness and Metropolis (see below).
Otherness/Metropolis Opening for spacey synth-drone band Antarctica at The End are two next-wave techno-poppers from right here in Nashville. Otherness lean toward surging epics that recall vintage New Order, Depeche Mode, and OMD, while Metropolis tend toward morose, guitar-spiked ballads with Christian overtones. Both play music that is intensely personal, with electronic trappings that are surprisingly warm.
Nada Surf Nada Surf’s one hit, “Popular,” disappeared off the mainstream radar so fast that it’s easy to wonder if they were simply a product of our collective imagination. The band got caught in the typical struggles that too many young bands on major labels find themselves in. Their 1998 album, The Proximity Effect, was finally wrested away from Elektra and released domestically last year on the band’s own imprint, MarDev Records. The newer material took a gigantic leap forward in terms of songwriting, and thematically it reflected the maturity of a band that clearly still loved its indie-rock but had grown up considerably. Quietly confident and soberly emotional, The Proximity Effect was one of the year’s best. Reason enough to catch Nada Surf when they play the Dancin’ in the District’s Mello Yello Stage along with The Sheila Divine and Linger.
Patty Griffin Don’t hold your breath waiting for Silver Bell, the Jay Joyce-produced third album from this torchy folkie turned electric siren. Thanks to industry consolidation and the numb nuts of her ex-label, Interscope, the long-awaited follow-up to 1998’s Flaming Red languishes in record-company limbo and isn’t likely to surfaceat least not anytime soon. Help her say a big ol’ screw you when she headlines Dancin’ in the District at Riverfront Park with special guests Atticus Fault, Kathleen LaGue, and Uncle Sideshow.
Kim Richey A first-rate singer-bandleader and genuinely great songwriter, Richey has to be the most unhypedand unassumingmajor talent in town. Witness her presence on the inaugural roster of the would-be hipster imprint Lost Highway Records. While there’ve been reams of copy cranked out about labelmates Lucinda Williams, ex-Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams, and Robert Earl Keen, you almost have to read the fine print to know Richey is signed to Lost Highway, even though she’s as good as the lot of themand has the goods on both Adams and Keen. Richey plays with Bill Deasy at 12th & Porter.
Al & Emily Cantrell The Cantrells, new Nashville residents and public-radio favorites who were picked by director Robert Redford to appear in his A River Runs Through It, perform their mellifluous acoustic folk in an early show at the Radio Cafe. Stay for a late set by Suzi Ragsdale and native Mississippi brother/sister duo Joshua & Shi-Anne Ragsdaleyes, apparently Suzi and the siblings are related, although they’ve supposedly never met.
Hue/Silent Friction/Dreaming In English/Fair Verona The Exit/In dedicates a prized Friday-night slot to four promising local bands, ranging from heavy modern rock to snarky indie-pop.
Friday, 8th-Saturday, 9th
The Byrds Celebration In 1995, Terry Jones Rogers and Michael Curtis (co-writer of “Southern Cross” and former member of Crazy Horse) formedin concert with the wishes of the late, original Byrd Michael ClarkThe Byrds Celebration to honor the band’s genre-melding music. Abetted by prime-era Byrd Skip Battin and a solid roster of industry pros, The Byrds Celebration pay a weekend’s worth of tribute at Planet Hollywood.
TAG Magazine Party As Nashville’s guide to the virtues of vice lubricates its way back into the city’s racks, the mag celebrates with a 12th & Porter sleazefest featuring luvjOi, Gravel, and the Hoptown Tigers. And no, the evening wouldn’t be complete without SideShow Bennie and his extreme new partner, the Magnificent Miss Greta, who’ll drive nails and screwdrivers into any orifice Bennie provides. The family fun starts at 9 p.m.
John Kay Former Steppenwolf frontman John Kay has of late been applying his throaty voice to deep-down bluesy swamp-rock. His latest album, Heretics & Privateers, is built on acoustic slide guitar and harmonica, and gains its strength from Kay’s sly, engaging vocal performance. He’ll be entering his fifth decade of live performing at 3rd & Lindsley.
“Battle of the Saxes” During the ’50s, sax battles were so commonplace that duos like Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt or Eddie Davis and Johnny Griffin recorded and toured regularly, invoking spirited rivalries on a nightly basis. The Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society is revisiting those days with its own “Battle of the Saxes.” The combatants include both Don Aliquo Jr. and Sr. as well as Jeff Coffin and Denis Solee. With this roster of hard-blowing, inventive soloists, the sparks should fly with the opening melodies of the first song. The contest begins at 6 p.m. at Belle Meade Plantation. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Asylum Street Spankers Austin’s loud but unamplified 10-piece ensemble, part jug band and part vaudeville hootenanny, leads the fight against demon electricity in an evening show at 12th & Porter.
Rock♦A♦Teens Cabbagetown, Ga.’s Rock♦A♦Teens play here pretty oftena sure sign that their cathartic live shows are garnering repeat customers. Over the course of five albums and some personnel changes, The R♦A♦Ts have continually made music that threatens to break apart. And although the precious voice of Kelly Hogan and the drums of now-famous-N.Y.-photographer Chris Verene are no longer present, the band as is wields an incredible control over its material, nicely complementing Chris Lopez’s unpretentious, intelligent lyrics. Indeed Ballard Lesemann, Verene’s replacement, plays with the assured control of a big band drummer and the unhinged rock ’n’ roll urgency of Keith Moon. Group mainstay and songwriter Justin Davis Hughes and William Joiner will, with the other R♦A♦Ts, support their latest Merge release, Sweet Bird of Youth, at The Boro.
X-Noise Tour Beneath the city’s radar, the promoters at Voight-Kampff Music are making Nashville a regular stop for some of the world’s innovators in experimental, electronic, and avant-garde music. V-K’s latest production brings together Australia’s Lux Mammoth, which consists of bassists Cat Hope and Dr. Alien Smith augmented by anything from power tools to oscillating electronic noise, with Germany’s Perlonex, a trio comprised of former Don Cherry sideman Ignaz Shick on alto-sax; Joerg Maria Zager, a guitarist whose knowledge of indigenous Sumatran music informs a punk-influenced guitar aggression; and Burkhard Beins, a drummer and composer who has worked with New Music gurus Fred Frith, Keith Rowe, and Cornelius Cardew. And don’t be dissuaded by the somewhat pejorative term “noise.” Not simply racket, it is an inclusive and expansive umbrella under which industrial and jazz-based artists and others can simply enjoy and organize sound. The music starts 7 p.m. at ruby green, 514 5th Ave. S.; for more information, call 244-7179 or check out www.rubygreen.org.
Billy Block’s Western Beat Roots Revival Lee Roy Parnell headlines a pre-Fan Fair edition of the Exit/In’s weekly Tuesday-night hoedown. Joining the bluesy singer/guitarist are Pat Green, The Cory Morrow Band, The Walt Wilkins Band, Great Divide, and the Fan Fair Texas Music Show featuring Cindy Kalmenson, Roseanne Drucker, and Dusty Rhodes.
Michelle Malone In a career well into its second decade, veteran singer-songwriter and bandleader Malone has persisted despite an inauspicious 1990 major-label debut and recent surgeries that depleted her finances. She’s rebounded with Hello Out There, a new self-released LP of crystal-clear rockers and lulling ballads that should delight fans of her sometime bandmates the Indigo Girls. Malone performs with Mindy Smith at 12th & Porter.
Leslie Satcher/Jim Lauderdale/Rory Lee/Mark Collie Satcher, one of Music Row’s brightest hopefuls, performs “Love Letters From Old Mexico” and other tunes on a bill with honky-tonker Collie and ace songwriters Lauderdale (“Halfway Down”) and Lee (“Someone I Used to Know”) at the Bluebird Cafe. Get there early for a 6:30 p.m. show featuring Swan Dive.
Moods for Moderns/Lovelight Shine Part of the neo-power-pop movement (if it is a movement), Detroit’s Moods for Moderns drive their muscled-up melodies with vocal harmonies and the ever-present buzz of an electric organ. The resultant sugary kick is reminiscent of Material Issue, but not as in touch with the real world outside retro-land. MFM’s throwback sound is fun, but a little limiting. Similarif more garage-yare Boston’s Lovelight Shine, who make their second Nashville visit in as many months. Both acts will be rocking and rattling at Indienet Record Shop.
Jim Lauderdale Lauderdale sings like George Jones and writes like Harlan Howard, and has collaborated with both men, as well as with Ralph Stanley, Melba Montgomery, and Lucinda Williams. He has also made any number of terrific albums over the years, but remains, inexplicably, one of this town’s best kept secrets rather than one of its brightest stars. Will the fact that his latest album, The Other Sessions, is probably his best yet change any of that? Not likely. But if you’re into sawdust-and-steel honky-tonk and hard-driving Outlaws-style twang, you won’t want to miss it, or Lauderdale’s record release gig at 12th & Porter.
Nashville Independent Film Festival Although it’s showing fewer films this year, Nashville’s 32nd annual showcase for features, animation, experimental film, and documentaries has its strongest and most consistent lineup in recent memory. For tips about what to see, consult last week’s festival guide on the Scene Web site at www.nashvillescene.com (and use the search engine to call up the article); for a list of films and ticket information, check the NIFF’s own Web site at www.nashvillefilmfestival.org. See our Film Listings for more information.
The Center of the World The latest movie nobody thought would come to Nashville is hereheralded by a red-hot Web site (www.center-of-the-world.com) that flirts with the boundaries of interactive porn. (Already notorious, thanks to write-ups in EW and elsewhere, it may be the hottest promotional site for a film since the legendary Blair Witch Project page.) In Wayne Wang’s unrated arthouse hit, a sort of digital-domain Last Tango in Paris, a dot-com millionaire (Peter Sarsgaard) offers a stripper (Molly Parker) $10,000 for a weekend of carefully negotiated, voyeuristic sex in Las Vegasa deal that will cost both parties more than they bargained. The controversial shot-on-digital feature opens Friday at the Belcourt.
Swordfish Super-spy John Travolta enlists hacker Hugh Jackman for a seemingly impossible mission: Operation Forget About Battlefield Earth. No, no, it’s some billion-dollar rip-off thingie, which sounds pretty interesting now that we know Halle Berry gets nekkid. Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) directed this over-the-top actioner, which opens Friday at local theaters.
Evolution Alien goo threatens the world, and it’s up to David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Julianne Moore, and Seann William Scott to stop it in this effects-laden comedy from Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. It starts Friday at local theaters.
Yi Yi (A One and a Two) This funny, engrossing, and deeply moving family drama by Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang concerns a Taipei businessman in the midst of a mid-life crisis that blinds him to the problems of those around himincluding an ailing grandmother, a teenage daughter in the midst of a love triangle, and an inquisitive young son who incurs the wrath of his schoolteacher. The movie plays June 13-16 at Sarratt Cinema.
Big Deal on Madonna Street Criterion’s latest offering is this no-frills edition of the classic Italian caper comedy, which has been remade in English a couple of times, most recently as the very funny indie Palookaville.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon One of last year’s best filmsa kung-fu epic with heart and depth, worthy to enter the pantheon next to Once Upon a Time in China and Swordsman IIcomes to home video in both dubbed and subtitled versions. And before purists get up in arms about the “travesty” of an English dub, be aware that Asian cinema purists weren’t too happy about the Hong Kong-born cast’s attempts at Mandarin in the original audio track. If an English dub wins this lovely, exciting picture more fans, then all the better. Anyway, the best option is to buy the DVD, which contains a choice of language tracks, as well as a commentary by director Ang Lee and screenwriter James Schamus, and an interview with star Michelle Yeoh.
The Muppet Movie It’s disappointing that the long-awaited DVD of this classic family film arrives with only a few brief behind-the-scenes features, but the disc is still a must-have for the movie it containsa warm, sophisticated, very funny comedy full of visual ingenuity and verbal wit. Time for a new generation to discover it.
NEW SOUTHERN THEATRE FESTIVAL (NeST) For the third consecutive year, Mockingbird Theatre presents a week of staged readings of three previously unproduced and unpublished plays. Submissions must have a Southern identity to qualify for consideration, then each selection is cast with professional actors, rehearsed with a professional director, and presented twice over the course of the week. Audiences are invited for post-performance feedback sessions, and anyone seeing all three plays may participate in voting for the winning entry. This year’s NeST finalists include Ronald Kidd’s Still Life, Gaylord Brewer’s Dog My Cats; or, The Stalker Play, and Peter Hardy’s Sally and Glen at the Palace. The directors are Denice Hicks, David Alford, and René Copeland. The festival will kick off 7:30 p.m. June 12, with a special presentation of the critically acclaimed hit indie movie Existo, written by Bruce Arntson and Coke Sams, and starring a bevy of Nashville-based actors who will be immediately familiar to local theatergoers. The showing of the film will be followed by a discussion with the moviemakers about the process of developing this avant-garde comedy into a theater piece. There will be an encore showing at 10:30 p.m. June 15. All events are at the Belcourt Theatre, June 12-16. Call 242-6704 for the play schedule.
RIVERDANCETHE SHOW The final show of TPAC’s 2000-2001 Broadway series is Nashville’s second coming for this popular music and dance extravaganza celebrating Celtic culture. Millions have seen Riverdance worldwide, and millions more have bought the video and CD, the music from which won a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. But it’s the energetic and dramatic dancing that sold out the 1999 TPAC engagement, and it’s a solid bet that local audiences will respond yet again during the June 12-17 run at TPAC’s Jackson Hall.
RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL Fresh off the recent success of the well-received I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Franklin’s Boiler Room Theatre launches another musical. This one’s a zany spoof of things theatrical, featuring wacky characters and offbeat musical numbers. There’s some adult language too: Rate the show PG. The cast includes Cela Scott and Boiler Room favorites Lisa Gillespie and Lewis Kempfer. Opens June 8 for a month-long run.
Leu Gallery The “Central South Art Exhibit” is always a mixed art bag, with dozens of works by artists from Tennessee and the surrounding states. Styles, media, techniques, and quality run a wide gamut, but there’s always something interestingand sometimes even excitingto look at in this annual show, now in its 36th year. The opening reception is 2:30-4:30 p.m. June 10.
Ruby Green Contemporary Art Center Memphis artist Sara Good’s latest installation piece is an art environment composed of organic material that explores themes of growth, consumption, and decay in the context of a single human life. One of the most intriguing pieces is an Oriental carpet constructed entirely of plant material, which like the rest of the art installation will decompose over the course of the exhibition. Giving new meaning to the term “organic art,” Good presents a talk about her work during the opening reception, 6-9 p.m. June 9.
The Wild Iris/The Yellow Porch Talent runs in the LeQuire family as this group show at two area restaurants proves. The exhibition features over 50 works in a variety of media by Louise LeQuire, Alan LeQuire, Andrée LeQuire, and Andrew Rozario. Many of the drawings and paintings are the result of recent travels by the artists to Europe, New Mexico, and South Carolina, while the human figure serves as the inspiration for several small sculptures and watercolors. Meet the family and view the art at opening receptions at both eateries, 2-4 p.m. June 10.
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