This annual local art gallery tour/fundraiser for Nashville CARES celebrates its 15th year with a French theme borrowed from the musical film Moulin Rouge. If you’re new in town, the event works like this: Tour the 10 participating galleries in whatever order you wish from 6-9 p.m. Eye the art, mingle with an always-interesting crowd and enjoy free wine and munchies catered by some of the city’s top restaurants at each gallery along the way. Then head downtown to the Gaylord Entertainment Center for the grand finale party, where the famous Paris nightclub and all things Moulin Rouge will be celebrated 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
This week’s picks written by Martin Brady, Chris Davis, Steve Erickson, Jonathan Flax, Heather Johnson, Noel Murray, Margaret Renkl, Jim Ridley, Jack Silverman, Angela Wibking and Ron Wynn.
Dieselboy Sometimes described as America’s top drum ’n’ bass DJhe once shared global honors with British pioneer LTJ Bukemthe former Damian Higgins came out of the same Philadelphia dance scene that housed famed DJ Nigel Richards (who played Nashville just a few weeks ago). Touring in support of projectHUMAN, an ambitious two-CD set of mixes linked by an amusing sci-fi framework, Dieselboy spins at Excess/Orbit with Joey Gootee, Ben Blue, Foohay, DJ DART, Ben Ben, DJ Justin Samples, Matthew Kelly and Chris Smotherman. It’s another notch in the groove for promoter Electric Lounge, which has brought a steady stream of top-flight dance-music artists to Nashville in recent months.
Dressed In Black CD Release Party The yearlong celebration of Johnny Cash’s 70th birthday has been marked by many great releases, including a live Madison Square Garden date that was previously languishing in Columbia’s vaults. Among the tributes being issued is Dressed in Black, which features Raul Malo, Chuck Mead, Billy Burnette, Mandy Barnett, Hank Williams III and others offering their versions of classic Cash numbers. The formal CD release party, which will include performances by a host of artists, including those listed above, will be at 12th & Porter.
Up With The Joneses The Chattanooga music scene has been heating up the past couple of years, and perhaps the most noteworthy act to emerge is this eclectic quartet, who veer from funk to power-pop to roots-rock to metal on their polished, energetic debut album Numbers and Vultures. Their why-not-try-this genre-bending sometimes produces an indistinct (and overproduced) muddle, but consistently well-wrought rhythmics, strong vocals, serviceable hooks and a general spirit of sincerity and passion mark them as minor-leaguers to watch. You’ll have two chances to see them this week, the first when they open for the Led Zeppelin tribute act Communication Breakdown at 3rd & Lindsley, the second on Saturday when they play with the del giovanni clique at Windows on the Cumberland.
The Young Dubliners This next generation Irish band by way of L.A. play it rough and rootsy, their cover of The Faces’ “Ooh La La” showing their pub rock roots. They play at Jillian’s.
Will Kimbrough Having watched Nashville rock rise and fall and rise again, stalwart Kimbrough applies lessons learned the past 15 years on his marvelous new album Home Away. Similar to recent lived-in pop-rock records by international music scene veterans Ken Stringfellow and Neil Finn, Kimbrough’s latest emphasizes spiffy melodies and linear lyrics, presented in casual arrangements where the instrumentation seems to have been determined by the number of musician pals he had hanging around the studio. Kimbrough also focuses keenly on atmosphericsa result, perhaps, of his associations with new-school locals Matthew Ryan and Josh Rouse. When the mood enhancements hit warm, winning tunes like “The Crackup” and “War of Words,” the outcome is head-shakingly wonderful. Celebrate alongside one of Nashville’s best when he plays 12th & Porter.
Michael Acree By turns delicate and sinewy, elegiac and ravaged, the new CD by this rough-hewn Murfreesboro singer-songwriter is further proof of the ’Boro music scene’s renewed vigor. On Hymns for the Heartbroken, Acree is joined by a ragtag horde that includes Glossary’s Bingham Barnes and Joey Kneiser and Lambchop’s Paul Niehaus on gorgeous pedal steel; the resulting music has some of that beat-of-defeat shuffle that brought to life The Band’s daguerrotypes of bygone days. Except that Acree sounds like he’s singing about stuff that happened on the way to the studio, whether it’s a bum romance or some epic skinny-dipping. Acree performs a CD release party at the Red Rose Coffee House with American Minor and Ole Mossy Face.
Jim Hoke Nonet Saxophonist Hoke’s compositions and gifts as a soloist and bandleader are getting more local attention, thanks in part to his wonderful new LP. Hoke’s nonet has been conducting rehearsals at Bean Central the past few weeks, and now will be featured in concert at Cafe 123. They’re among the city’s most unusual, unpredictable and sterling ensembles, particularly when doing original material.
Skip Litz’s Birthday Party The Radio Café’s social director celebrates his birthday with The Slow Beats, Marna Taylor, The Swindlers, Annie Mosher, Warren Pash and several special guests, some of whom may or may not leap out of a cake. Proceeds benefit Walden’s Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center; you can bring wish-list items such as liquid bleach, paper towels, liquid laundry detergent, welders gloves, walnuts, pecans, unsalted peanuts, flannel baby blankets or bath towels.
Friday, 27th -Saturday, 28th
Will Hoge Expect a live preview at the Belcourt of Hoge’s forthcoming Blackbird on a Lonely Wire LP, his follow-up to last year’s punchy major label debut, Carousel. The songs Hoge and his road-tested bandmates have put together since that first record show a marked progression in pop craft. Not that these newer tunes come without Hoge’s characteristic vocal swagger and chunky guitar patterns; it’s just that the soul and R&B rootsas much an influence on the young singer as the more obvious traces of Van Morrison or Elvis Costelloare starting to show.
The Contenders Music collectors get to be like junkies seeking highs as big and blue-sky wide as the ones that got them hooked; the sad truth is that they get harder and harder to find. This record, though, is close to pharmaceutical-grade. It’s the will and testament of The Contenders, a Nashville country-rock group who recorded this gem in the late 1970s before its members (including cult heroes Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood) moved on to other projects. In their music, country meets the beach-party soul of their Carolina roots, and their sweet, manly harmonies add a river-silt depth that’s redolent of tent-revival gospel. The group’s CD-reissue party at The Basement will be a bittersweet affair: original members Hood and Steve Runkle succumbed to cancer recently, and Hyatt died in the 1995 ValuJet crash in Florida. But guitarist/ songwriter Tommy Goldsmith and drummer Jimbeau Walsh will salute the band with help from David Olney (who was briefly backed by some of the band early in his career) and fiddler Mark Wingate. For more information, seek out the Web site www.mightycontenders.com.
Michael McDonald & Wynonna McDonald’s been a first-rate rock and soul singer for everyone from Steely Dan to the Doobie Brothers, but has been on his own since 1982. He’ll be demonstrating his vocal proficiency in a special concert to benefit Grace Chapel’s Building Fund. This is quite a bill, as country and pop star Wynonna is also scheduled to perform. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.
Lisa Aschmann Vocalist Aschmann is an excellent singer and an experienced composer who has worked folk, pop, rock and jazz dates with a host of Nashville notables. She’s also published articles and books that explore the principles of successful songwriting. Aschmann will be performing as the featured artist in the weekly local musicians series at Jazz (on White Bridge Road).
Lucero Showing their local pride, Lucero have named their fifth and latest album Tennessee. Their brand of alt-country is relatively aggressive, even punkish. If you’d like to get a taste, check out their Web site (http://listen.to/lucero), which offers all of Tennessee in streaming audio and demos as downloadable MP3s. They play at 12th & Porter.
Submethod Local progressive metal band Submethod celebrate the release of their grandiosely titled CD, an essay on the human condition, at Tommy Smith’s recently reopened venue The Church. Colson, Look What I Did, as well as World Tribal Bellydance from the Awalim Dance Co., help to underscore the somberness of the occasion.
Dave Stringer Band 12South Yoga hosts a night of kirtan chanting led by the Dave Stringer Band. Trained in this call-and-response form of Sanskrit singing by Swami Chidvilasananda, Stringer will lead participatory chants which work much like yoga to empty the mind and focus on sound and breath. Stringer’s music doesn’t achieve a consistent meditative energy; instead, it grafts his admittedly authentic Easternisms onto an acoustic yuppie rock stencil.
Andy Zabinski When not earning his keep as an in-demand classically trained violinist, Zabinski writes understated original songs inspired by Zuma-era Neil Young. He writes great songs that stand on their own merit with no need to align themselves to a “hip” neo-movement.
Geoff Reacher/Jason Morphew If this great double bill is any indication of the taste of the Sutler’s new booker, then open-eared fans of alt-country have reason to celebrate. Geoff Reacher and Jason Morphew feel the guilt in hitching their wagons to traditions of which they are not a partlike, say, jug band music. Which is why their respective takes on Americana feel more honest than the Gram Parsons wannabes clogging the brainpans of “clued-in” A&R reps down on the Row. Reacher uses ambient electronics to create settings for his accordion-tinged songs, which otherwise are rooted in homespun acoustic traditions. Fans of Oxford American’s annual music issue may remember Morphew, whose simply great songs and synthesis of electronics into folk settings are a sly and welcome admission that he’s comfortable living in his own time.
Teri Reid & Girltalk Shocking as it might sound, the world of jazz, assumed to be a sphere of freedom and exploration, is still a stronghold of sexism. While there are surely a few high-profile female jazz vocalists making waves, when it comes to instrumental abilities, women are given short shrift; many have to struggle to break past the “she’s pretty good for a girl” dismissal. That makes it all the more refreshing to have in our midst an all-female jazz trio, Girltalk, who have just released an eponymous live CD. Pianist and main vocalist Teri Reid has been working the Nashville’s jazz lounges for years, and her experience and confidence are evident in her at times delicate, at times audacious delivery. Saxophonist Dana Robbins contributes some fiery solos and tasteful fills, in addition to handling background vocal duties, and drummer Jennie Hoeft keeps an admirable groove rolling through the group’s take on jazz, pop and R&B standards, as well as their own original compositions. They play at F. Scott’s.
Asteroid #4 In 1998, when Rhino’s first Nuggets box seeded the underground for the current garage revival we’re “enjoying,” Philly band (and The Shazam labelmates) Asteroid #4 were two years into their inspired shoegazing take on Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Revolver. Check them out at the Slow Bar and pick up a copy of their latest album King Richard’s Collectibles, which was co-produced by The Lilys’ Kurt Heasley.
The Sights/The Letdowns As Detroit neo-garage bands go, The Sights qualify as second tier, not as exciting as The White Stripes, The Detroit Cobras, The Dirtbombs or The Paybacks, but able to hold their own with The Go, The Come Ons and The Soledad Brothers. (And that it’s possible to distinguish these retro fetishists at all is a tribute to the vitality of the new Motown scene.) The Sights’ fundamental flaw derives from their attempt to replicate the heavy, trippy-to-the-point-of-soggy “freakbeat” sound of mid-’60s Great Britain, which tends to put sound over tunes. More often than not, though, The Sights break through their self-imposed barriers and lay into some deliriously rocked-up psycho-grooves. They’ll be appearing at Slow Bar with Asteroid #4 and The Letdowns, the latter applying restless punk energy and off-kilter, studio-aided arrangements to a set of otherwise genteel pop songs.
Gibson/Baldwin All Star Music Bash Here’s one show that lives up to its billing, with an A-list of pop, country, rock and soul stars. The soft rock and pop side is represented by Richard Marx, with Clint Black and Keith Urban holding up the contemporary country banner, Steve Cropper headlining for the soul stars and Emerson Drive and Nick Lachey also holding court. Proceeds from the 5:30 show at the Opryland Resort & Convention Center will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Doug Hoekstra Despite having produced not one but two strong albums last yearAround the Margins and the odds-and-sods comp The Past Is Never PastHoekstra has played more in Europe this year than he has in Nashville. Catch him at Billy Block’s weekly showcase at the Blue Sky Court on a lineup with Jill Block, Lauren Ellis, Nick Pelligrino, Miranda Lambert, Valerie Smith, Tommy Overstreet and the Shakin’ Apostles.
Chuck Prophet After giving a standout performance as Lucinda Williams’ opening act at Uptown Mix this summer, San Francisco’s Prophet brings his tripped-out roots music to the stage of the somewhat more listener-friendly 12th & Porter. On his latest solo album, No Other Love, the former Green On Red guitarist weaves an amalgam of rock, country-folk and vintage R&B with hip-hop samples and drum loopsand groovy Farfisa and vocal harmonies courtesy of his wife Stephanie Finch. Opening for Prophet is singer-songwriter Angelo’s Rag Man Son Revue, a super-sized ensemble featuring a horn section and backup singers that play a keep-you-on-your-feet mix of old-school soul, funk and rock.
Films by Claude Lanzmann The arrival of documentarian Claude Lanzmann at Vanderbilt Oct. 3 is heralded by a Sarratt retrospective next Wednesday of his major worksincluding Shoah, his monumental 8-hour examination of the Holocaust, which will screen on video throughout the day. Also screening: A Visitor From the Living, which stemmed from a 65-minute interview originally conducted for Shoah; and Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 p.m., an eyewitness account of the only death-camp uprising of World War II. For showtimes and more information, call 343-6666 and consult our Movie Listings on p. 87.
I’m Going Home This may be the first film by Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira ever to play Nashville theaters in his 71-year career. Hailed as one of the 93-year-old director’s crowning achievements, his prize-winning film concerns an aging actor (Michel Piccoli) who faces tragedy and mortality while grappling with the demands of a filmed Ulysses (Joyce, not Homer). John Malkovich and Catherine Deneuve co-star in the film, one of the week’s must-sees; it opens Friday at the Belcourt for one week only. See the review on p. 51.
Sweet Home Alabama Reese Witherspoon (we hear she’s from Nashville) makes her bid for superstardom with this romantic comedy about a New York fashion designer forced to return to her squirrelly Alabama homestead. Yeah, yeah, that’s finebut does she sing the title tune? The movie opens Friday in Nashville, where everybody loves the governor (boo, boo, boo).
Two by Joel and Ethan Coen Sarratt offers the Coen Brothers’ first film, the twisty neo-noir Blood Simple, paired with their underrated 1998 shaggy-dog farce The Big Lebowskia movie that gets funnier with every repeat viewing. The movies alternate nights Friday through Sunday, with midnight shows Friday and Saturday. The Dude abides.
White Heat Top of the world, Ma! James Cagney, a migraine-afflicted cutthroat with a mother fixation, fights to keep control of his gang in this 1949 crime-drama classic, directed for maximum excitement by Raoul Walsh. It screens on projected DVD 7 p.m. Friday at the new Watkins Film School auditorium at Fountain Square; it’s free and open to the public.
The General Damn, could this week at the movies get any better? Buster Keaton’s 1927 masterpiece kicks off a new Sunday-night series of silent classics screened on 8mm. The screening begins 8 p.m. at the Rule of Thirds art gallery, 1507 Bernard Ave., near Bongo Java. Upcoming selections include “The Great Train Robbery” and The Gold Rush; for more info, call James Wilson at 298-3515.
Pink FloydThe Wall Either an art-rock milestone or the nadir of pompous rock-star solipsism, depending on your point of view, Alan Parker’s 1982 film whips the Pink Floyd concept album into a cinematic assault of meat grinders, animated hammers and rock-as-fascism imagery. It’s every 14-year-old male’s favorite movie at some point, at least until he turns 15. The Belcourt screens the film as part of its ongoing salute to rock ’n’ roll movies.
The Tuxedo Jackie Chan kicks ass (but only after six!) as a chauffeur who winds up in a custom-designed tux outfitted with a secret agent’s treasure trove of gadgets. Chan, of course, would be just as lethal in a leisure suit. Jennifer Love Hewitt co-stars in this action comedy, sporting a cummerbund in theaters Friday.
Addicted: A Comedy of Substance Mark Lundholm used to be a slave to his addictions. Now he’s slavishly dedicated to the proposition that not only can you live without drugs and alcohol, but you can find humor in all the negative aspects of the substance abuse experience. Since 1988, in 49 states and 5 foreign countries, Lundholm has played the comedy club circuit, colleges, as well as many drug treatment and rehab centers, offering audiences an inside look at his own strugglesdivorce, homelessness, prison, etc.and his painfully honest view of the horrors and peculiarities of addiction and the drug culture. Lundholm recently performed a comedy special on Showtime and also signed a contract with the William Morris Agency. He performed his unique brand of stand-up in Nashville this past April; with his star apparently on the ascent, TPAC is bringing him back for three evenings, Sept. 26-28, to the Polk Theater. For more information on the man and his material, visit www.marklundholm.com. For tickets, go to www.tpac.org or call 255-ARTS.
A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline Lisa Layen is the star of this tribute to the late, great country music doyenne, the latest offering by the newly formed Looking Glass Dinner Theatre, performing at Nashville Nightlife near Opryland. Like the Cline-inspired show Always, Patsy Cline, this musical bio has been presented successfully all over the country. It’s been 40 years since Patsy died in that damned plane crash, yet people haven’t forgotten and her legend only grows. If nothing else, it makes good sense that folks can catch this production, which opens Sept. 27 for an extended run through Nov., in the shadow of the Grand Ole Opry. Phone 885-5201 or 851-4965 for reservations and information.
My Own Brother, Vincent Two years ago, actor Brian Niece launched his People’s Branch Theatre with this fascinating one-man show dramatizing the relationship between tortured genius painter Vincent van Gogh and his devoted brother, Theo. This reprise performance is set in the same intimate, atmospherically appropriate space as the original, the hip Zeitgeist gallery in Hillsboro Village. Projections of van Gogh’s timeless artwork inform and enhance Niece’s impassioned portrayal of the principals in one of the art world’s most famous and inspiring true stories. Runs Oct. 2-5, with a special opening night fundraiser. Call 254-0008 for details.
PG-13 Players Premiere: Helping Teens Tackle Tough Issues This group of teenage actors, under the sponsorship of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, is now in its 15th season, making community appearances throughout the area in a series of original sketches dramatizing contemporary issuespeer pressure, drug abuse, relationships, suicide, etc.and teen responses to them. Audience feedback is also elicited in a post-performance discussion. The company kicks off its 2002 season with a premiere at the Belcourt Theatre, 7 p.m. on Oct. 1. For further information, phone 345-0952.
Three Plays About Adultery It’s not a bad thing that little theater companies keep springing up on the local scene. In fact, regardless of quality, it’s a sign of grassroots interest in the art form. The Rinehart Company is Nashville’s latest indigenous theatrical enterprise, promising “theater that is provoking and discomforting.” Well, whatever it is, the topic hereadulteryis a guaranteed grabber. Under the direction of founder Matthew Bond, a cast of four explore fertile subject matter in three plays: Joe Orton’s The Ruffian on the Stair; Samuel Beckett’s Play; and an adaptation of John Updike’s short story Problems. Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 26 through Oct. 5 at Bongo After Hours Theatre. For reservations and information, call 269-3905.
Art & Soul To most Nashvillians, the outback means a chain steakhouse restaurant. For a glimpse of the real outbackthe vast and often forbidding interior of the continent of Australiatake a trip to the 12 South neighborhood, where Art & Soul is hosting an exhibit of contemporary paintings by Aboriginal artists from Australia Sept. 27-28. The oldest continuing culture on earth, the Aboriginal people have an intricate spiritual belief system that’s tied to the land and the living creatures who inhabit it. Many of their beliefs find expression in a graphic style of art that employs complex patterns of dots and lines to create forms. The art on view at Art & Soul comes from Mbantua Gallery in Alice Springs, the Australian outback town near the famous red monolith once known as Ayers Rock and now called by its ancient Aboriginal name Uluru. There’s an opening reception 5-8 p.m. Sept. 27 that features live music on the Aboriginal instrument called the didgeridoo, plus a slide show about the artists presented by a representative of the Mbantua Gallery.
In the Gallery/Zeitgeist This is a big art weekend, what with the annual Artrageous gallery tour unfolding Saturday night (see Events). If you’d like a peek at two galleries on the Artrageous roster early, you can stop by In the Gallery and see Gordon James’ impressionistic oil paintings at an opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sept. 27 and catch new works by Buddy Jackson and Lain York at Zeitgeist’s opening reception 6-8 p.m. the same evening.
Halcyon Books Closing Day Sad news: After two and a half years struggling to keep her indie bookstore afloat in a shark tank of chains and e-tailers, Halcyon Books owner Angela Messina is closing her 12 South bookshop this Friday. Much of her stock will relocate to the new Murfreesboro record store Pressure Drop; here’s hoping the ’Boro has a larger audience for Fantagraphics comics, JT Leroy short-story collections and Joel-Peter Witkin photo books. Stop by and wish her well.
Film Buff Opening Remember all those times you complained that Nashville didn’t have a cool cult-video rental store, like Vulcan Video in Austin or Kim’s in New York? We now have a contender: the Film Buff, opening this weekend on happening Louise Avenue around the corner from Friday’s on Elliston. Linked to Anna Lundy’s great new record shop Spun next door, the rental store will offer foreign, indie, classic and cult films on DVD for $3 a pop. Titles range from Herschell Gordon Lewis’ biker opus She-Devils on Wheels to anime; owner Chuck Cinelli, who also runs Cafe Coco across the street, says the initially small stock will be beefed up regularly with customer requests and new releases. Best of all, it’ll stay open well into the early-morning hours. Call 321-0056 for more info. J.R.
KateFest It’s about time Kate Batts, better known as the Bell Witch, got what’s coming to hera festival in her honor, Sept. 27-29. The event unfolds on the grounds of the Bell School in Adams, the little town about 30 miles northwest of Nashville where the ghost of Kate Batts is said to have bedeviled the family of John Bell in the early 1800s. Activities include lectures and discussions on the Bell Witch and other psychic phenomena, plus crafts booths, food vendors, music and costumed storytellers.
TACA Fall Crafts Fair There’s a nip of fall in the air and members of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA) are back in Centennial Park Sept. 27-29. Browse through booth after booth of blown glass, pottery, toys, jewelry, furniture, baskets, photography, wearable art and other works by over 190 artists. Artisans will be on hand demonstrating their crafts; there also will be live folk music plus an array of food and drink for sale.
Freedom Farm Pet Celebration This Sept. 28 fundraiser in White House, Tenn., has something for the animal lover in everyone. Guest speakers include handlers of police K-9 and search and rescue dogs, plus representatives of several breed rescue organizations. The Kidz Korner offers games and activities and a chance to enter your dog in “Best Trick” or “Patriotic Pooch” contests. There’s also a dog agility course demonstration, door prizes and a silent auction. Dogs and cats will be available for adoption on site, as well. All proceeds benefit Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit, no-kill group dedicated to rescuing abused, stray and neglected animals in Middle Tennessee.
Reading & Writing
Rob Simbeck Award-winning journalist and Scene contributor Rob Simbeck is back with another book about his home state. Like Daughter of the Air, Simbeck’s fascinating retelling of the life of Cornelia Fort, Tennessee State Symbols offers a look at history that’s both engaging and carefully researched. The new book, just out from University of Tennessee Press, explains the stories behind the mockingbird, the iris and other state emblems. Good for anyone with idle curiosity about such matters or a kid who’ll be destined to research-paper purgatory without it. Simbeck reads at Davis-Kidd Booksellers 6 p.m. on Sept. 26.
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