Bill Wyman ♦ Saturday, 9/1 at Davis-Kidd 

Music

Music

If you haven’t lived down South for more than a decade, read Faulkner, or been sure which mall your musician friends are talking about when they mention “Crossroads,” you may want to do a little homework before Bill Wyman’s appearance at Davis-Kidd Booksellers, 1 p.m. Sept. 1. Wyman will not only sign copies of his eponymously titled Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey, but also talk about the birth of the blues in “the troubled South.” Those of us who grew up in the region will doubtless be more interested in hearing Wyman talk about the thoroughly unique and authentic experience of what it’s like to be a working class English kid, fall in love with the blues, start playing bass with some guys named Keith and Mick and Charlie and Brian, and then re-experience the blues while crisscrossing the South with the world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band from 1964 until 1989, when Wyman retired. You can’t go home again, but no matter where your origins lie, you can journey in the direction of downhome with Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey, whose eye-catching layout and lavish illustrations will go well with whatever personal soundtrack you wish—in the best blues fashion—to improvise.

—D.B.

Thursday, 30th

Junk Buddha These Murfreesboro instrumentalists play a unique brand of electronica fusion that they’ve dubbed “jungle jazz.” It’s intriguing stuff—a collision of frenzied dance beats and improvisatory melodic stacking. At the least, it makes for a more eclectic live experience than most techno-based bands provide. They’ll get feet moving and spirits soaring at The End.

—N.M.

Friday, 31st

Facing East feat. John Wubbenhorst, Subash Chandran, Ganesh Kumar, Steve Zerlin, & Jeff Coffin Jazz is a living language, and as this language was introduced into Asia, so were Eastern concepts of harmony and rhythm integrated, and adapted, into the overall fabric of the music. Sri Ganesha Temple presents a rare local opportunity to see some of India’s most esteemed musicians play with world-class American jazzers in the group Facing East. John Wubbenhorst, group leader and flautist/keyboardist, studied bansuri in India for two years under the master Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. Steve Zerlin is noted for his integration and application of Indian concepts to jazz bass. That experience should come in handy, as his rhythm section cohorts are the esteemed duo of Subash Chandran on ghatam (an Indian clay drum) and konnakol (vocal percussion), and Ganesh Kumar playing kanjira, a lizard-skin, tambourine-like instrument. It will also be a palatable context in which to hear the modal honks and estimable soul gush of local sax colossus Jeff Coffin. The collision of ideas should bear heady musical fruit as the players improvise on Eastern themes and anchor lengthy improvisations with a bedrock of drones and overtones. The performance begins at 7:30 pm at Sri Ganesha Temple, 521 Old Hickory Blvd. For information, call 356-7207.

—C.D.

Gil Scott-Heron Thirty-one years ago, the novelist, poet, and pioneering proto-rapper warned that “the revolution will not be televised,” advising pundits to watch the street to find the swelling pride and power of black America. Scott-Heron continues to question authority and power, even in the form of the gangsta MCs whose multi-platinum pulpit is part of his legacy. The man sometimes called the “God-Pop of Hip-Hop” is headlining a concert at Riverfront Park; he’ll be joined by Aashid Himons, performing an acoustic set; the Huntsville jazz/reggae group Ridicule; Afro-Cuban pop performer Cody McKethian; and Philadelphia wordsmith Napalm, among other acts. The free 6 p.m. show kicks off the first annual Big Blue Village Festival, a family celebration held in conjunction with TSU’s John Merritt Classic; it’s designed to counteract the noticeable lack of programming downtown for African American audiences. The riverfront festival will also include fashion shows, marching bands, dance, drama, and performance poetry—and it’s all free and open to the public.

—J.R.

Friday, 31st-Sunday, 2nd

The Floating Men Last Labor Day weekend, when bandmates Jeff Bishop, Scot Evans, and Jeff Holmes celebrated their 10th anniversary as The Floating Men, they sold out two solid days at the Belcourt and probably could’ve filled another. This year they’ve moved to 12th & Porter and added a third show—along with a hint of mystery. Where is drummer Bishop disappearing to for the next year? The band are keeping tight-lipped about his plans, but he’ll be on hand to play fan favorites like “Long Gone Tomorrow” and “Swallowed by the Night,” along with songs from the trio’s latest CD Heroes, Felons, and Fiends. Longtime buddy Jeff Black opens each show.

—J.R.

Saturday, 1st

Mates of State The San Francisco duo Mates of State play sunny boy-girl pop so immediate that it’s possible to imagine these guys writing the theme for a Saturday morning cartoon. Jason Hammel plays drums, his wife Kori plays organ, and the two sing like there’s no tomorrow—with full volume and fuller harmonies. The material on their debut album My Solo Project is some of the best stuff I’ve heard in a while, sharing the same classic male-female dynamic that makes Butterglory and Quasi so endearing. Come offer your best wishes to these newlyweds when they take the stage at Murfreesboro’s Red Rose Coffee House and Bistro, along with The Falling, Appleseed Cast, and I, Bullet.

—W.T.

Signs of Life While the Jazz@Bellevue Center series usually spotlights mainstream and straight-ahead jazz players, there have also periodically been shows featuring artists from the “smooth” arena. That’s the case this weekend as the ensemble Signs of Life, a group whose pop orientation doesn’t compromise their basic improvisational foundation and abilities, make an appearance at the Bellevue store. Things get under way Saturday at 1 p.m.

—R.W.

Saturday, 1st-Sunday 2nd

Life Like on Sting’s Penis Tour Last year’s visit from Argentinean experimentalists Reynols was much talked about; this week, two more of the bands from Reynols’ label, Freedom From, make a can’t-miss Sunday night appearance at Springwater. No Doctors do the whole disfigured garage rock bit with a little humor and a lot of dissonance—one foot in Trout Mask Replica and one foot in Twin Infinitves-era Royal Trux. Their compadres Nitrus rOxide proudly proclaim to be a “methed-out version of Sebadoh on an off night.” Nashville’s own New Faggot Cunts share the bill, along with Banjoland and Dave Cloud. Saturday’s events prove to be a sort of noise summit as well, with an outdoor barbecue at Off 12th Records/Halcyon Books featuring the Hair Police (ruined garage from Michigan), Black Stool, Suffacamotticus, the “gay rap” of Bomaclot Santa, the Edmund P. Spencer Experimental Beltsanding Troupe, and the soon-to-be-legendary-in-the-shadow-of-Vanderbilt white-boy rap of Serpico.

—W.T.

Sunday, 2nd

The Faint Like Ladytron, Barcelona, Le Tigre, and a host of other recent groups, The Faint re-explore the synth-coated terrain of the 1980s. Unlike lo-fi revisionists, The Faint are intent on bringing the timbres of drum machines and synthesizers into the present day and beyond. The Faint’s sound on their new LP, Danse Macabre, carries all the darkness of early Depeche Mode with a direct American delivery. Catchy and danceable, it’s intensely enjoyable for those of us who loved the sounds of our childhood but hate revivals of that time. The Faint play Murfreesboro’s intimate Red Rose Coffee House & Bistro.

—T.A.

Ted Nugent Despite his soft-spoken demeanor, Nugent will be in town to accept PETA’s “Friend of the Furry” award at a Democratic fundraiser, before starting his duties as next year’s honorary Swan Ball chairman. And at some point, he’ll likely play his tolerance anthem “Kiss My Ass.” Expect intensity in one city when Nugent opens for Lynyrd Skynyrd after the Warren Brothers at AmSouth Amphitheatre.

—J.R.

The Isley Brothers The Isley Brothers are down to a duo now, and only Ronald Isley is left from the original stomping frontline that made the switch from powerhouse gospel to rocking soul back in the ’50s. Yet the Isleys seem to be as popular today as they were in their ’60s and’ 70s heyday. Their latest LP, which also features guitarist/drummer and co-vocalist Ernie Isley in a co-starring role, is enjoying widespread urban contemporary airplay. They’ve managed to be a part of every movement in black popular music since doo-wop, never pandering to trends yet still staying current. You can catch the 2001 edition of The Isley Brothers at the Gentry Center on the TSU campus.

—R.W.

Tuesday, 4th

Greta Lee Lee is an Atlanta-based neo-honky-tonker who gigs around Music City almost as often as many of the alt-country club regulars who live here. Yet that’s bound to change once critics get wind of the hard-driving, Bakersfield-inspired twang on her new album, You Must Be Present to Win, and start touting Lee as “a female Dwight Yoakam,” much as they did Heather Myles before her. Indeed, one suspects that when ol’ Dwight himself hears the catch in Lee’s heartbreak alto, he’ll want her to open his next tour for him. Lee and her band, their Telecasters in full effect, play Billy Block’s Western Beat Roots Revival. Catch ’em while you can.

—B.F.W.

Burning Airlines When Jawbox broke up, fans wondered how J. Robbins et al. would ever again be able to capture the spirit of their former indispensable post-punk band. Robbins answered by producing some of the most incredible records in the burgeoning “emo” genre (Jets to Brazil, The Promise Ring, Hey Mercedes, Actionslacks, etc.) and hitting the road with his own combo, Burning Airlines. While not yet able to appease all Jawbox fans, Burning Airlines make an impressive stab at indispensability with their second record, Identikit. Tracks like “A Song With No Words” and “Outside the Aviary” follow in Jawbox’s angular but memorable style. Burning Airlines hit 328 Performance Hall on their current tour.

—T.A.

The Crüxshadows/Bella Morte For Nashville’s goth/darkwave/synth-punk scene, spotlighted every Thursday night on 91 Rock’s “Out of the Coffin” by DJ Ichabod, this may be the year’s biggest event—big enough, at least, to draw fans from surrounding states. Influenced by Bauhaus’ brand of gloomy vampire rock, Tallahassee, Fla.’s Crüxshadows exemplify the genre with their throbbing dance beats, horror-movie synths, and droned dispatches from an underworld of darkness and imperiled innocence. Formed in 1996, Charlottesville’s Bella Morte have only been around about half as long as the Crüxshadows, but the percolating synths of “The Rain Within Her Hands” and their cover of Berlin’s “The Metro” have made them dance-floor darklords. The bands join Nashville’s Otherness and DJs Ichabod and Rick for an 18-and-over show at Club Voodoo at the corner of 18th Avenue and West End. Doors open at 8 p.m.

—J.R.

Wednesday, 5th

EARTH, WIND, & FIRE/Rufus & Chaka Khan Although founding member Maurice White no longer tours with Earth, Wind, and Fire, the nucleus of the ensemble that helped to propel ’70s funk is helping to spur renewed interest in the group’s great music. Philip Bailey’s glorious falsetto and White’s classic arrangements are attracting both old-school soul fans and hip-hop lovers interested in hearing the source material that rappers have sampled. Funk fans in attendance can also enjoy a wonderful reunion between Rufus and Chaka Khan, who was the featured vocalist for the exceptional group. Their roster of hits included “You’ve Got the Love,” “Tell Me Something Good,” and “Once You Get Started,” and there are many who will argue that Khan’s solo works weren’t any better than what she did with Rufus. This double attraction assembles at the AmSouth Amphitheatre.

—R.W.

John Mayall Mayall’s voice has never bowled anyone over, but his role and influence in the early ’60s British blues scene cannot be minimized. Mayall’s groups, particularly the Bluesbreakers (which featured Eric Clapton), helped introduce gritty Chicago-style music to the masses. Mayall’s also an underrated harmonica player, though he’s spent more time singing in recent years. He’s been wailing the blues since 1965, and his shows provide a fine overview of the British scene. He’ll be appearing as part of this week’s Uptown Mix lineup, which also features Trent Summar and Ron LaSalle.

—R.W.

Impotent Sea Snakes This Atlanta techno-glam outfit charge into the Exit/In in support of their debut album, Everything in Excess—a simmering collection of sensuous, textured hard rock, distinguished by a resounding guitar sound that is more inviting and less grating than most bands of this ilk. Even more surprising is to hear such a commitment to musicianship in a band that is notorious for its sexually charged carnival sideshow of a live act. Expect cross-dressing, pyrotechnics, and dildos, dildos, dildos.

—N.M.

Film

West Side Story As the countdown begins to the highly touted Tennessee Rep/Nashville Symphony production, which starts next week, the Belcourt pays tribute by showing a 35mm print of Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise’s Oscar-winning 1961 movie version. Folks, we’ve heard the print is absolutely eye-popping—which makes this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans who’ve only seen it on TV or in scratched, faded 16mm. The movie shows for one week only starting Friday; for more information, see our Film Listings and Movie Clock.

—J.R.

Ghost World Thora Birch and Scarlet Johannson play the jaded high-school heroines of Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel, adapted by Clowes and Crumb director Terry Zwigoff. The acclaimed comedy-drama opens Friday at Green Hills; see the review on p. 35.

—J.R.

O Othello goes postal in this prep-school updating of Shakespeare, with Mekhi Phifer as a basketball hero who gets expertly manipulated by his devious teammate Hugo (Josh Hartnett). Julia Stiles is a teen-queen Desdemona; Tim Blake Nelson, the sweet-tempered Delmer from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, was the director. Shelved for more than a year, and discarded by its original distributor after the Columbine shootings, the movie opens Friday at area theaters. See the review in our Film Listings on p. 51, along with new reviews of The Deep End, Ghosts of Mars, Bubble Boy, American Outlaws, and more.

—J.R.

To Have and Have Not A hell of a lot of fun. This is the 1944 vehicle that introduced Lauren Bacall to Humphrey Bogart: a racy reworking of Casablanca that crackles with sex and snappy dialogue. William Faulkner was one of the screenwriters; Howard Hawks gave it his usual zippy pacing and brawny zest. It kicks off the Belcourt’s new month of Saturday and Sunday matinees devoted to “Silver Screen Divas.”

—J.R.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell reprises his off-Broadway success as Hedwig, the embittered Berlin transsexual who leads her glam band on a tour of Midwestern strip malls while shadowing the rock god who ripped her off. The rock musical opens Friday at Green Hills; see the review on p. 35.

—J.R.

Dogme 95 Double Bill The cinematic movement of the decade, or the emperor’s new camcorder? Judge for yourself when the Belcourt runs a back-to-back double feature of films made under the Dogme 95 vow of cinematic chastity: The King Is Alive, a reworking of King Lear with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Songcatcher’s Janet McTeer; and the film that started it all, Thomas Vinterberg’s harrowing and hugely entertaining The Celebration, about the ultimate in disastrous family reunions. See our Movie Clock for show times.

—J.R.

Himalaya In this Oscar-nominated drama, a clash over the leadership of a Tibetan tribe leads to danger during a journey by yak through treacherous mountain passageways. Directed by National Geographic photographer Eric Valli, the drama opens Friday at Green Hills.

—J.R.

Jeepers Creepers A man-eating monster in a church basement decides to picnic on terrorized teens Justin Long and Gina Phillips, in this gory shocker from writer-director Victor Salva (Powder). Francis Ford Coppola was an executive producer; the movie starts Friday at a crypt near you.

—J.R.

Theater

Assassins Only Stephen Sondheim could attempt this and have half a chance of pulling it off: a musical exploring presidential assassinations in American history. The show, with a book by John Weidman, originally opened off-Broadway in 1990 and played for 73 performances, featuring such esoteric numbers as “The Ballad of Booth,” “Gun Song,” and “November 22, 1963.” In a way, it sounds pretty cool, especially for theatergoers who like some serious thought with their 11 o’clock spots. Circle Players, Nashville’s oldest community theater organization, will open their 52nd season with this darkly humorous and irreverent piece, Fri., Aug. 31, in TPAC’s Johnson Theater.

—M.B.

Rumors Neil Simon is generally considered a cut above dinner-theater fare, but that doesn’t mean his plays can’t go well with a rib-sticking buffet. To that end, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre presents the modern comic master’s farce involving four couples and a wedding-anniversary party gone awry. Eric Tichenor directs a cast that includes Barn favorites Kim Nygren, Joseph Collins (fresh off his performance as Daddy Warbucks in Annie), Lydia Bushfield-Yeats, Juli Ragsdale, and Bobby Wyckoff. It opens Sept. 4 for a five-week run.

—M.B.

West Side Story If this is not the event of the theater season, then it’s impossible to know what is. There certainly is no question that this joint collaboration between the Tennessee Repertory Theatre and the Nashville Symphony promises big things one way or the other. If Nashville’s Sharks and Jets can find their own turf within the play’s multifaceted levels, who knows? Performances commence Sept. 4 in TPAC’s Jackson Hall. See the story on p. 29.

—M.B.

Art

Sarratt Gallery Vandy grad and artist Joseph Witt returns to his alma mater with an intriguing look at glamour—something that Witt says “drinks espresso, freebases Prozac, maintains eye contact, uses conversational grammar without a hint of an accent, and judges everything potentially cringe-worthy.” If the objects in his installation—called “Thanks, I Love You”—are half as provocative as his words, this could be one cool show. It runs Sept. 4-27. You may also want to mark you calendars for the artist’s lecture at 4 p.m. on Sept. 27 and the reception that follows from 5-7 p.m.

—A.W.

Premier Art Decor & Designs Nashville painter Marvin Posey matches his brushstrokes to the musical notes of jazz musician Steve Roper in what’s being billed as a live painting performance, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 31. While Roper makes music, Posey will make art in a collaboration that should sound as good as it looks. The performance kicks off an exhibition of Posey’s latest paintings and prints, many of them with musical themes, at the gallery.

—A.W.

Books

Bill Brown Brown, a Nashville poet and teacher, is one of the few poets writing today whose public readings yield almost as much insight and understanding as an evening spent in the company of one of his books. The straightforward language of his poems conveys meaning without sacrificing music or the subtle ambiguities that give layer and texture to a fine poem. Always considering the nature of connection—between people, between the self and the natural world, between past and present—Brown’s poems are fierce and quiet and occasionally even funny: perfect for listening to, as well as for reading. Brown reads and signs his latest poetry collection, The Gods of Little Pleasures, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Davis-Kidd Booksellers.

—M.R.

Events

Sarratt Poster Sale Original art is great, but posters are perfect for certain decorating situations. You can choose from over 2,000 images including fine-art reproductions; photography; movie, sports, and wildlife scenes; and more at the Sarratt Gallery on the Vanderbilt campus through Aug. 31. With prices starting as low as $6, you can even afford to go out and get your poster framed—that is, if you can’t find a frame to buy at the Sarratt sale, which also features frames, matted prints, and postcards. Proceeds benefit Sarratt Gallery, which offers some of the most intriguing contemporary exhibitions of any Nashville art space throughout the year.

—A.W.

Picks written by Todd Anderson, Diann Blakely, Martin Brady, Chris Davis, Bill Friskics-Warren, Noel Murray, Margaret Renkl, Jim Ridley, William Tyler, Angela Wibking, and Ron Wynn.

DVD/Video

Forrest Gump Perhaps one of the most underrated overrated movies of the ’90s, this divisive but much-beloved Best Picture winner finally comes to DVD in a two-disc set that is heavy on the technical featurettes and—as is typical for a Robert Zemeckis special edition—light on insight, even with two commentary tracks to help explain the movie’s raison d’être. Still, Forrest Gump remains a frustrating but intermittently transcendent piece of Hollywood craftsmanship, rooted in the home-and-hearth conservatism that naturally emerges during tumultuous eras. It has a unique snap that speaks to many people and drives others batty.

—N.M.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space The 1988 cult horror favorite is one of those hunks of high-concept, low-budget cheese that cleans up on home video, where it inevitably lures drunken college guys looking for something stupid to watch at 4 a.m. The DVD edition could be better stocked, given the film’s rep—where’s Anchor Bay or Something Weird when you need ’em?—but the disc does have a smattering of behind-the-scenes footage, as well as the infamous initial sketches of a clown with a gun that reportedly got the film financed.

—N.M.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory Controversy abounds over the new “30th Anniversary” DVD edition of this kid-flick classic. The set appears fairly generous at first glance, with a new behind-the-scenes doc and a commentary track by the grown-up Wonka kids as appealing extras. But Warner Brothers is offering the gloriously widescreen Wonka in a full-screen version only—no letterboxing on this DVD, not even on the flipside. The WB marketing department claims that the non-cinephile families who mainly buy their product prefer full-screen, which may be true, but hardcore home video purists are urging their compadres to boycott this release, to send a message that their dollars should be equally valued.

—N.M.

—M.B.

Art

Sarratt Gallery Vandy grad and artist Joseph Witt returns to his alma mater with an intriguing look at glamour—something that Witt says “drinks espresso, freebases Prozac, maintains eye contact, uses conversational grammar without a hint of an accent, and judges everything potentially cringe-worthy.” If the objects in his installation—called “Thanks, I Love You”—are half as provocative as his words, this could be one cool show. It runs Sept. 4-27. You may also want to mark you calendars for the artist’s lecture at 4 p.m. on Sept. 27 and the reception that follows from 5-7 p.m.

—A.W.

Premier Art Decor & Designs Nashville painter Marvin Posey matches his brushstrokes to the musical notes of jazz musician Steve Roper in what’s being billed as a live painting performance, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 31. While Roper makes music, Posey will make art in a collaboration that should sound as good as it looks. The performance kicks off an exhibition of Posey’s latest paintings and prints, many of them with musical themes, at the gallery.

—A.W.

Books

Bill Brown Brown, a Nashville poet and teacher, is one of the few poets writing today whose public readings yield almost as much insight and understanding as an evening spent in the company of one of his books. The straightforward language of his poems conveys meaning without sacrificing music or the subtle ambiguities that give layer and texture to a fine poem. Always considering the nature of connection—between people, between the self and the natural world, between past and present—Brown’s poems are fierce and quiet and occasionally even funny: perfect for listening to, as well as for reading. Brown reads and signs his latest poetry collection, The Gods of Little Pleasures, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Davis-Kidd Booksellers.

—M.R.

Events

Sarratt Poster Sale Original art is great, but posters are perfect for certain decorating situations. You can choose from over 2,000 images including fine-art reproductions; photography; movie, sports, and wildlife scenes; and more at the Sarratt Gallery on the Vanderbilt campus through Aug. 31. With prices starting as low as $6, you can even afford to go out and get your poster framed—that is, if you can’t find a frame to buy at the Sarratt sale, which also features frames, matted prints, and postcards. Proceeds benefit Sarratt Gallery, which offers some of the most intriguing contemporary exhibitions of any Nashville art space throughout the year.

—A.W.

Picks written by Todd Anderson, Diann Blakely, Martin Brady, Chris Davis, Bill Friskics-Warren, Noel Murray, Margaret Renkl, Jim Ridley, William Tyler, Angela Wibking, and Ron Wynn.

DVD/Video

Forrest Gump Perhaps one of the most underrated overrated movies of the ’90s, this divisive but much-beloved Best Picture winner finally comes to DVD in a two-disc set that is heavy on the technical featurettes and—as is typical for a Robert Zemeckis special edition—light on insight, even with two commentary tracks to help explain the movie’s raison d’être. Still, Forrest Gump remains a frustrating but intermittently transcendent piece of Hollywood craftsmanship, rooted in the home-and-hearth conservatism that naturally emerges during tumultuous eras. It has a unique snap that speaks to many people and drives others batty.

—N.M.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space The 1988 cult horror favorite is one of those hunks of high-concept, low-budget cheese that cleans up on home video, where it inevitably lures drunken college guys looking for something stupid to watch at 4 a.m. The DVD edition could be better stocked, given the film’s rep—where’s Anchor Bay or Something Weird when you need ’em?—but the disc does have a smattering of behind-the-scenes footage, as well as the infamous initial sketches of a clown with a gun that reportedly got the film financed.

—N.M.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory Controversy abounds over the new “30th Anniversary” DVD edition of this kid-flick classic. The set appears fairly generous at first glance, with a new behind-the-scenes doc and a commentary track by the grown-up Wonka kids as appealing extras. But Warner Brothers is offering the gloriously widescreen Wonka in a full-screen version only—no letterboxing on this DVD, not even on the flipside. The WB marketing department claims that the non-cinephile families who mainly buy their product prefer full-screen, which may be true, but hardcore home video purists are urging their compadres to boycott this release, to send a message that their dollars should be equally valued.

—N.M.

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