Critics' Picks 



In just over 70 years, we've seen Batman transform from a comic-book character to a campy crusader to a brooding vigilante, and he's not even a hero of the flesh-and-blood variety. The modern concept of the hero can include a pantheon of personalities that range from Ronald Reagan to Steve McNair to Captain Sully to Susan Sarandon — the original Greek notion is now morphed and molded in a culture shaped by money, celebrity and politics as well as by bravery, sacrifice and concern for the common good. With "Heroes Ancient and Modern: Toward a History of an Idea," Timothy F. Winters, professor of classics at Austin Peay State University, explores the evolution of the heroic ideal in Western culture and language from its origins in ancient Greece. 6:30 p.m. in the Frist Center Auditorium as part of the Off the Wall lecture series JOE NOLAN


Nashville burlesque performer Miss Kitty Von Purr has been beset with unfortunate medical expenses in her ongoing fight with breast cancer. This is a terrible illness that demands frank, forthright discussion — which is too bad, because you're stuck with us! So leave the "emo" out of "chemo" as Music City's most protuberant princesses fight dire disease with wicked curves! Give vivacious host Miss Lolly Pop a CAT scan with your tongue! Let Panty Raid show you a mammogram by the kilogram! Watch Miss Leela Sophina, the queen-a the scene-a, suspend her vageena from a high trapezina! And to off it all top, the hoop-twirling honeys of Spinderella will put the "log" in "oncology!" Helping the ladies strategically place all those pink ribbons will be Webb Wilder (better polish up those spectacles, son), garage-grinders The Vindicators, Knoxville's Tim Lee 3, honky-tonk sweetheart Jen Jones, magician to the stars Big Daddy Cool, blues rocker Big Mike Griffen and Sideshow Bennie, the man who doesn't know the meaning of the phrase, "Hey, zip that up!" A minimum $10 donation is requested, or tonight's door prize is a barium enema! 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge JIM RIDLEY


Metal fans and wine snobs have reputations as self-important, humorless demographics. So when a documentary follows Tool / A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan on his Arizona winemaking venture, you might expect a perfect storm of self-indulgent hubris. On the contrary: The trailer for Blood into Wine makes it look like the Spinal Tap of chardonnay. Directed by Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke, it makes good use of Keenan's friends in the comedy world by casting them as absurd fictional characters — Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (of Awesome Show, Great Job fame), and Keenan's sometime Puscifer bandmate Milla Jovovich. The trailer is hilarious, but Wine also has a real story to tell about Keenan's decision to abandon his music career in order to play head winemaker, and his struggle to get some respect for his small desert vineyard. Recommended even if you don't like Tool, the movie's paired tonight with a sampling of wines from Village Wines and snacks from Whole Foods, all for just $25 — but be warned that these events have sold out regularly. See to buy tickets. 7 p.m. at The Belcourt EMILY BARTLETT HINES


Hank Willis Thomas works in a variety of media, but the presence of a bright and biting satirical edge brings unity to his disparate imagery: muscled, athletic bodies decorated with Nike swoosh-shaped scars, a photo of an "African-American Express" card or an Absolut vodka poster with the well-known bottle-silhouette designed to look like the hold of a slave ship. Jessica Ingram is a photographer who works along with Thomas in the Cause Collective, a team of artists, designers and ethnographers involved in creating dynamic projects in public spaces. TSU is currently hosting the collective's work in their Space for New Media, and this dynamic duo is sure to deliver a lively talk. 6 p.m. in TSU's Poag Auditorium JOE NOLAN


LaRue is an artist who offers more than the sum of his parts. His twangy baritone isn't particularly powerful, though it's crisp and clean. He won't wow you with his playing or overwhelm you with his insight, but there's a genial warmth and down-home honesty to his songs. He wanders the expanse between rock, country and pop — like many of his Texas Red Dirt brethren — and has a penchant for balladry that plays nicely into his emotional forthrightness. The whole package comes together live, where his decade-plus on the road and his charismatic personality really shine through. LaRue's been in Nashville a lot lately, recording his third studio album with producer Frank Liddell (Chris Knight, Miranda Lambert), the follow-up to 2005's The Red Dirt Album. LaRue was a guest on one of ambling country-rocker TJ McFarland's albums; McFarland returns the favor by opening tonight with his new combo The White Owls, featuring a pair of Ryan Adams' Cardinals. 8 p.m. at Exit/In CHRIS PARKER



BLAH-BLAH, BLUH-BLUH, BUH-BUH, BAH-BUM (kick) PAH, BOOM (no crash cymbal): So goes the most famous drum fill in the history of pop music. As the longtime live drummer for both Phil Collins and Genesis, Chester Thompson has gotten to double everyone's favorite easy lover on the epic tom-tom explosion that defines the classic "In the Air Tonight," countless times in front of countless concert-goers. But seriously ... his extensive list of session and touring credits includes musical heavyweights the likes of Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Tower of Power, Santana and Wayne Shorter, to name but just a few. When he's not busy with all that, you can find him teaching drum lessons at Nashville's mom and pop mecca for the percussively inclined, Fork's Drum Closet, or directing the student jazz ensemble at Belmont University. Thompson's versatile playing style infuses a breadth of chops, ranging from nuanced jazz flourishes to thunderous stadium-sized bombast. He'll showcase the former, with a mix of Latin and Caribbean grooves, when he visits the Nashville Jazz Workshop, as part of their Snap on 2&4 series. Appearing alongside Thompson will be such lauded musicians as Lori Mechem (piano), Roger Spencer (bass), Rod McGaha (trumpet) and Todd London (percussion and steel drum). 8 p.m. at The Nashville Jazz Workshop ADAM GOLD


Church-sponsored community theater usually means familiar — and possibly redundant — stage fare for the supportive local audience. But the Bethlehem Players of Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Franklin's Grassland community are mounting their first world-premiere comedy, written by noted Nashville playwrights Dietz Osborne and Nate Eppler. Osborne and Eppler are probably most familiar to Music City theatergoers through their work as performers at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre. Eppler, however, has demonstrated particularly creative skills with his original works for children and adults, including the recent, well-received Filthy Rich. Here the co-authors follow the template provided by popular Southern comedies in the vein of Steel Magnolias or Dearly Beloved. Osborne directs, and the cast includes Kandace Christian, Debbie Robinson and Lisha Pope. Through March 20 at Bethlehem United Methodist Church's Bethlehem Performing Arts Center, 2419 Bethlehem Loop Road, Franklin MARTIN BRADY


If the Third Reich had won World War II, pop entertainment would look a lot like Paul Verhoeven's gleefully sardonic send-up of Gulf War-era jingoism — a poker-faced paean to the citizen soldier as propaganda-snowed meathead. Representing the forces of good, in a futuristic war for the fate of man, are human Velveeta sculpture Casper Van Dien, his bud Neil Patrick Harris (in a Casablanca Nazi get-up) and dozens of the most clean-scrubbed, square-jawed, expendable recruits you've ever seen. The baddies — brain-hungry insects so loathsome you may miss the minor detail that they're not the aggressors — set about beheading, spearing, quartering, disemboweling and skull-sucking anyone within reach of their mandibles. (This was easily the goriest big-budget major-studio picture to date in 1996.) In much the spirit of their sci-fi satire Robocop, Verhoeven and screenwriter Ed Neumeier (adapting a Robert A. Heinlein book) adopt the flag-waving tone of a 1940s rally-the-troops tubthumper, only to subvert the jollity with buckets of blood, pervasive kink and lip-smacking sadism. The movie wasn't a hit when released, but Verhoeven's berserk irony, coupled with all that ultraviolence, has made it a late-night favorite — and subsequent years of saber-rattling have only made it look better. Midnight March 19-20 at The Belcourt JIM RIDLEY


Edward Albee's award-winning play remains a classic with bite and contemporary meaning, and as is often the case, whatever a daring cast brings to his bitterly cynical scenario becomes the gauge for a successful production. Veteran actor Michael Roark has a considerable directorial challenge here, and his cast intrigues, with Melissa Bedinger-Hade and Ed Amatrudo as Martha and George, denizens of academia who represent the epitome of dysfunctional middle-aged wedded, uh, bliss. Matthew Scott Baxter and Starina Johnson are Nick and Honey, the young married couple who become pawns in their hosts' parlor games. Brace yourself for strong language and an even stronger emotional thrust. March 19-April 3 at Darkhorse Theater MARTIN BRADY



Remember a guy with a guitar, jumping and executing mid-air kicks in front of an Ohio flag on the Exit/In stage a couple years ago? Kind of a skinny dude with a wild tangle of curly brown hair, playing songs about living low and getting high with an almost martial intensity? Yeah, that was Dave Doughman of Swearing at Motorists, and he's back from Berlin to rock out and test drive some new songs at a series of intimate house shows, where he'll be joined by former Guided by Voices drummer Don Thrasher. The Dayton, Ohio, show is sold out, but Nashville: You're in luck. Tickets — which include free beer (!) and a recording of the show — will be limited to 40 and are available online at Chris Crofton and The Carter Administration open. 7:30 p.m. at The Peach Pit, 829 W. McKennie, East Nashville STEVE HARUCH


Watkins guest curator Patrick DeGuira has pinned his first show in the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Gallery to the notion of the end of the world, but we're hoping the Apocalypse will hold off long enough for us to see a few more of his exhibits come together. You know, before the near-earth asteroid crashes into the nuclear war during the last judgment. Assembling a who's who roster of local creators and out-of-towners, Aftermath boasts a deep bench, including filmmakers Harmony Korine and Brent Stewart, photographer/painter Chris Scarborough, artist/musician Angela Messina and Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner, whose portrait of Louis Farrakhan is one of the show's highlights. Eugene, Ore.-based artist Rob Smith's recent photos utilize Plexiglas mirrors and colored lights in organic settings, turning simple, floral photographs into something more supernatural than natural. Through March 26 at Watkins College of Art and Design JOE NOLAN


You could say Jeff Mangum is the J.D. Salinger of indie rock. Or perhaps he's a bit more like Thomas Pynchon, barring Pynchon's penchant for remaining eternally unphotographed. Point is, Mangum's now-legendary '90s outfit Neutral Milk Hotel produced a frustratingly minuscule amount of material — just two studio full-lengths, an EP and a handful of hard-to-come-by demo cassettes, really — all of which ranks among the most influential and critically acclaimed experimental rock of its time. Without overstating it, I can comfortably say that NMH's ramshackle, Sonic Youth-goes-folk instrumentation, gut-wrenching vocals and powerfully intimate lyrics more adequately depict the human experience than any of Mangum's Elephant 6 counterparts ever managed to (from The Apples in Stereo to Of Montreal and Olivia Tremor Control). Mangum's notorious abhorrence for the spotlight has limited his output and public appearances in the past decade, making him the stuff of rock 'n' roll legend. Replicating songs like "Two-Headed Boy," "Oh Comely" and "Holland, 1945" is a tall, tall order, and one that true indie-rock audiophiles would never take lightly. James Wallace and the Naked Light, The Blue Steel Tacks, Fairmount Revival and Dusty Lightswitch perform. 9:30 at The 5 Spot D. PATRICK RODGERS


With a newish (and excellent) fiddle player in Tyler Beckett and a new record on a new label, Missouri bluegrassers The Chapmans roll into town on a high note. They put together Grown Up (A Revisionist History) on their own last year. Then they cooked up a deal with Compass Records that should get the album some well-earned attention, thanks to a nifty concept that finds them revisiting songs from the group's first decade — which, startlingly enough for such a young bunch, ended a decade ago. A few guests pop up, including Noam Pikelny, Stuart Duncan and Rob Ickes, but the focus here is on how far the three brothers and their dad have come, and the music says it's a long, long way. This is a group that doesn't get to Nashville as often as they ought. They arguably don't get the acclaim they deserve, either — at least, not yet. 1 p.m. during the Bluegrass Underground taping at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tenn. JON WEISBERGER


The musical duo known as Quote is hardworking and ambitious. But when it comes to creating their multimedia events and publications, it's clearly a family affair, and this home-turf show at Rymer Gallery will find the band sharing the spotlight with familiar company. Jamie Bennett and Justin Tam's last Quote project, The Pace of Our Feet, was a full-length CD accompanied by a 150-page book of poems, prose and art. It was promoted with a cross-country tour of live shows and gallery events that constituted a movable feast of poets, fiction writers, musicians and visual artists. The band will premier its new EP A Deeper Green at Rymer Gallery tonight, accompanied by the work of longtime local collaborating artists Casey Pierce and L.A. Bachman. 7-10 p.m. at Rymer Gallery JOE NOLAN


Tennessee Repertory Theatre concludes its 25th anniversary season with this Tony -winning musical featuring a score written by pop music iconoclast and Nashville legend Roger Miller. The production also serves to help celebrate the centennial of the death of Mark Twain, who passed away April 21, 1910.  The last time the Rep presented a musical, they moved the earth with Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, and a few key players return from that endeavor, including director Rene Copeland, plus Patrick Waller in the lead role as the irrepressible Huck Finn, experiencing water-borne adventures with his slave friend Jim (portrayed by Bakari King). The cast also features a mix of local veterans and some faces new to the Rep stage, including Jeff Boyet, Rona Carter, Henry Haggard, Aleta Myles, Carrie Tillis, Larry Tobias, Peter Vann, Samuel Whited and Bobby Wyckoff. The show's broad scope further offers an opportunity for the Rep's amazing resident set designer Gary Hoff to work his magic. March 20–April 10 at TPAC's Johnson Theater MARTIN BRADY


We're sure that they're tired of hearing this by now, but The New Boyz are definitely the major label, teeny-bopper answer to Chicago hipster-hop duo The Cool Kids. That's not to say that they're not cool on they're own, but we have the feeling that once they get out of high school and move out of their folks' house, The New Boyz are gonna be a hell of a lot cooler. Until then, we're more than happy to bump minimal dance numbers like last summer's "You're a Jerk" — and for all the olds in the audience, it's not related to the Cool Jerk or anything Steve Martin may have done in the late '70s, but it's still pretty dope. And "dope" means good, in case you happen to be really old; kids and their hip jive these days! Make sure to arrive early to catch local openers N.O.B.O.T.S., and make sure to grab a copy of Japanese Lunchbox, N.O.B.O.T. Chance Warhol's new solo record. 8 p.m. at Limelight SEAN L. MALONEY

[Dirt: Your Porous Friend] DIRT! THE MOVIE / BE PART OF OUR STORY

Elsewhere in this issue, City Paper editor Stephen George sets to blowing the tops off the blockheads who insist, all evidence to the contrary, that mountaintop removal is somehow no big threat to Tennessee's environment (see p. 5). The documentary Dirt! The Movie takes a wider look at the hazards facing what author William Bryant Logan calls "the ecstatic skin of the earth" — industrial farming, mining and urban sprawl, all of which present disease and disasters either at hand or in the offing. NPT-Channel 8 and ITVS co-sponsor a free reception and screening as part of the monthly Community Cinema series at the downtown public library. Show up early at 1 p.m. for the launch of the library's "Be Part of Our Story" documentary project, which encourages patrons to use a variety of media to tell what the library means to them. Reception 2:30 p.m., movie 3 p.m. at Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St. JIM RIDLEY



Harry Allard and James Marshall's 1977 children's story is one of the most delightful read-alouds of the latter era in children's book publishing. It was the first in a series of three works featuring the kindly and clever schoolteacher Miss Nelson, noted for its whimsical drawings and engagingly ironic storytelling. Its dramatic potential is also self-evident — as any parent familiar with the book might know — and hence the Nashville Children's Theatre presentation of a musical adaptation by Joan Cushing should be cause for celebration. Director Julie Brooks' production is led by Lisa Kimmey Winans in the title role, with a stout supporting cast that includes Ross Brooks, Shawn Knight, Jamie Farmer-Oneida, Brian Webb Russell and Holly Wooten. Saturdays and Sundays through March 28 at Nashville Children's Theatre MARTIN BRADY  


The acronym TED stands for "technology, entertainment, design" — the three-pronged focus of an organization devoted to "ideas worth spreading." Since 1984, the annual TED conference has gathered the best and brightest for intensive talks on the leading edge of those fronts, whether the speaker is Bill Gates, Temple Grandin, David Byrne or fractal pioneer Benoit Mandelbrot. The only caveat is that they can't use the forum to promote anything, other than ideas. This independently organized auxiliary event is Nashville's first step into the TEDiverse, organized around the loose theme "Art + Science: The Future of Health." How loose is it? The speakers' list thus far includes musicians Big Kenny and Jill Sobule; performance poet / mental-health professional Minton Sparks; former Titan Eddie George; Meharry researcher Dr. James Hildreth; TSU President Melvin N. Johnson; Vanderbilt diabetes researcher Maureen Gannon; 101st Airborne brigade surgeon Maj. Scott Harrington; and activist / filmmaker / cancer survivor Molly Secours. (A full list is available at Public speaking may give some people the jitters, even as fearless a man as Eddie George — but as the former NFL great says, "The one thing I can hang my hat on is I'm going to tell the truth." Tickets are $20 and limited to 350 participants. Doors open noon, event 1-6 p.m. at Montgomery Bell Academy Theater, 4001 Harding Rd. JIM RIDLEY

[Cape of No Hope] WEEKEND CLASSICS: CAPE FEAR (1962)

A shot of tawdry rotgut on arrival in 1962, J. Lee Thompson's sleazy thriller is much less explicit and baroque than Martin Scorsese's repellent remake (my candidate for that great director's worst film). It's also much, much scarier — thanks entirely to Robert Mitchum's bare-chested, insolent aura of sexual menace. Mitchum, carnal lust personified, plays the brutal rapist who gets out of prison and makes a beeline for prosecutor Gregory Peck and his defenseless womenfolk (Polly Bergen and Lori Martin). In the Scorsese version, Robert De Niro's Max Cady was a braying sideshow barker, a cigar-puffing cartoon; Mitchum is all coiled, sinewy, transfixing threat — a copperhead in no hurry to wolf down his prey. It's a terrifying performance, and a great one. Adapted from a John D. MacDonald novel, it plays The Belcourt's "Weekend Classics" series for three days only (including a Monday-night show). March 20-22 at The Belcourt JIM RIDLEY



With Conan O'Brien recently announced as the Roo's comedy headliner, this year's lineup is looking more and more promising as the weeks go by. Despite strong showings from a diverse stable of artists at last month's local Road to Bonnaroo competition — not to mention some impressively engineered laser-robot suits sported by Moon Taxi — local new wave/dancy indie-pop outfit The Non-Commissioned Officers took home the gold, meaning they're the first of four local bands to be offered a spot at Manchester, Tenn.'s most swingin' event of 2010. Well, round two of BMI's notoriously competitive Road to Bonnaroo series at Mercy Lounge is upon us, meaning we're about to throw one more local act into the mix. This week's bill includes frontrunners and heralded synth-pop masterminds How I Became the Bomb, fellow Holly House Collective members Shoot the Mountain and Tristen — an indie-rock power trio and an idiosyncratic folk-pop songstress, respectively — frantic rockabilly troupe Hillbilly Casino, pop rockers Brenn and Modoc (a la Kings of Leon) and relative newcomers The Kicks and Tessla Rossa. As always, the 8 off 8th is free, but last month's show reached capacity pretty swiftly. Show up early. 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge D. PATRICK RODGERS



You don't have to know anything about Title IX to see proof of one aspect of its benefits: If you know or can name a female athlete in this country under age 50, she's undoubtedly benefited from the 1972 amendment that effectively barred any educational entity receiving federal funding from discriminating based on gender. Ironically, though female participation in high school and college athletics has soared in the last three decades as women's sports have become more esteemed, the coaching and athletic director positions over said sports are now increasingly given to men, not women. Still, since it requires funding to mirror enrollment, critics argue that Title IX now unfairly limits men's athletics as campus enrollment rosters show ladies steadily outnumbering dudes nationwide. So what's a stubbornly Friday Night Lights kinda nation to do? Citing its athleticism and competition, some say the slam-dunk is making competitive cheerleading a sport. Opponents counter that re-labeling an activity that exists mainly in a supporting role is an unethical dismount, not to mention lazy. Watch the experts hash this, among other facets, out — the bonus is that among the panelists is former Sen. Birch Bayh, who helped author the original bill. 6 p.m. at Vanderbilt Law School's Flynn Auditorium TRACY MOORE


It's standard practice to introduce bands by drawing parallels to better known acts. But in the case of Detroit punks Tyvek, it makes more sense to compare them to more obscure bands, like the late-'70s DIY groups — The Homosexuals, The Desperate Bicycles, Television Personalities, The Midnight Circus — that you'd hear on a Hyped to Death compilation. Like them, Tyvek layers yelped, gleefully imperfect vocals (about such mundane topics as air conditioners and sidewalks) over lo-fi, squealing guitars and flat, pounding drums. At their best, they're compellingly catchy and terrifyingly primitive; they've built up a massive cult following since forming five years ago. They'll be joined by fellow Michiganders Awesome Color, praised by Rolling Stone as "a grittier version of Sonic Youth." 8 p.m. at Little Hamilton Art Collective EMILY BARTLETT HINES


Taking their cues from hipster-chic Aughts staples like The Strokes, The Killers, MGMT and Of Montreal, Portland, Ore.'s Hockey are definitely a band of their time. Their 2009 debut Mind Chaos plays like a sonic summation of the last decade's most fashionable music trends — from aping yearning vocals that peak out your speakers, a la The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, to milking the ubiquitous-in-2004 electro-clash disco-beat. So what do they bring to the table? They trim the fat. Pop-savvy and meticulously crafty, the band cherry-pick the catchiest elements of their influences — infectious rhythms, heaping helpings of new-wave-inspired synth lines, electro gloss and smooth melodies — and rave them up with a healthy dose of neo-soul. The result is a tight and shiny package that sounds like a coke party on arrival. Having honed their stage show across the European festival circuit, one might assume that Hockey are even more festive live then they are on wax. 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge ADAM GOLD


The national touring company of the big musical based on Alice Walker's noted feminist manifesto finally arrives in Nashville. Thanks to Oprah Winfrey's original $10 million investment, the play had a healthy New York run and has been traveling now for nearly three years, its cast sometimes including American Idol's Fantasia Barrino. She starred as the character Celie on Broadway, a role she will reprise in the forthcoming film adaptation. The show has been recast, however, for this newer non-Equity version, which perhaps only testifies really to the wealth of untapped talent all over the country. Dayna Jarae Dantzler will be Music City's Celie, supported by other relatively little-knowns such as Pam Trotter, Taprena Augustine and Edward C. Smith. Acclaimed playwright Marsha Norman adapted Walker's novel, and the pop-, R&B- and gospel-influenced score is the handiwork of three collaborators, Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. (If you're not moved to tears, you will certainly feel empowered.) March 23-28 at TPAC's Jackson Hall MARTIN BRADY


While the soul and funk revival has lost a little bit of ground in the mainstream world since Amy Winehouse went from chart-busting singer to fake-busted tabloid train wreck, there's still a ton of kids recycling the sounds of the '60s and '70s into something new and wonderful. Take, for instance, Stones Throw Records' Mayer Hawthorne, an Ann Arbor, Mich., native and one of the most naturalistic purveyors of the style. This kid's veins pump with the sounds of Holland-Dozier-Holland's classic R&B — he breathes in oxygen and exhales sweet Motown soul on his debut album A Strange Arrangement without ever getting too caught up in the "authentic" details that can distract from the songs. Hawthorne is joined by singer Nikki Jean, whom you might remember as one of the best parts of Lupe Fiasco's overwrought sophomore concept album The Cool. 8 p.m. at Exit/In SEAN L. MALONEY



One of the least appreciated (legitimate) musical subcultures in Nashville is the group that flocks to old-time music. Keepers of the form that gave birth to bluegrass and country, they gather in East Nashville backyards or at the 5 Spot's time-honored Wednesday-night Old Time Jam to rehash the acoustic folk tunes of yesteryear ... but really, who are these people? Does that guy playing the PBR-stained washboard compose his own ... washboard music? How does one come to master the mouth harp or washtub bass? And who are The Skillet Lickers? These are fine questions, and no doubt ones that require some legwork to answer. A step in the right direction is attending a showcase for one of these old-time music sentinels — for instance, Bailey Cooke, who will soon release a Beau Stapleton-produced album that features the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show's Gill Landry. Cooke's authentic approach to this genre has a staggering ability to tug at your heartstrings. So venture on into Nashville's old-time milieu and don't forget to bring your spoons. 9 p.m. at The Basement KYLE WILLIAMS


A decade ago, Melissa Swingle led the droll post-country band Trailer Bride, whose depressive lyrics and impressionistic music made living in the South sound more bizarre than it actually is. These days, Swingle makes noise with The Moaners, a guitar-and-drums duo with blues leanings and feminist overtones. Her Mississippi roots showed on 2005's Dark Snack, a debut that paid tribute to such rock-and-rollers as Elizabeth Cotten and Flannery O'Connor. With Laura King's drums nervously lagging behind the beat and Swingle's overdriven junk-rock chords coalescing into very occasional hooks, Dark Snack made neurosis sound inevitable and alluring. Since then, King and Swingle have released the fine 2007 Blackwing Yalobusha and toured extensively from their Chapel Hill, N.C., home. Whatever you want to call their music — blues seems as inadequate a label as indie — it's chewy, idiosyncratic and very sexy. 9 p.m. at The End EDD HURT


Women's studies prof Dr. Lisa Marie Hogeland asks if/why men and women are still resistant to feminism in this Belmont-sponsored lecture. But wait, lemme get this straight — the feminist arc, oversimplified, is this: Women used to only grow babies, raise them, clean house, cook meals and fold undies, all the while stroking the male ego, leaving all that pesky political stuff to them, and telling them what major beefcakes they were while we beamed over our doilies. Now we still do all that stuff by still taking on the majority of the responsibility for child-rearing and household maintenance, yet we also go to school, work jobs, contribute to the household income and the public domain, play sports, fight in wars, run companies and have creative fulfillment and stuff — and somehow manage to slap on a coat of mascara every morning. And this is a bad thing? People are afraid to associate with this bad-assery? Someone out there is unsure if this is awesome? Is it that we can complete roughly seven tasks in the time it takes a man to send a fax, or is it that more of us are getting degrees? Is it our greater tolerance for pain or our shockingly adaptive biology? Could it be our more highly evolved grasp on language, or is it just that we live longer? Doesn't make sense to me, honey. 10 a.m. in Belmont's Massey Boardroom TRACY MOORE


Talent counts for a lot, but perseverance arguably counts for at least as much, and NewFound Road's lone remaining founding member, Tim Shelton, has plenty of both. A native of and still resident in southwest Ohio — arguably the buckle of the bluegrass belt — he's done a stellar job of piloting the group from its origins as a strictly gospel outfit to one that can tackle material ranging from Ray Charles to The Stanley Brothers, thanks in large part to a nice blend of muscular voice and quiet charm. Brothers Joe (mandolin) and Jamey (bass) Booher bring an unsurprising musical closeness to the table, while banjo man Josh Miller supplies plenty of drive. And with nearly a year's worth of extensive touring under their collective belt, the quartet has the kinks ironed out and is well settled into delivering some powerful and nicely distinctive contemporary bluegrass. 9 p.m. at Station Inn JON WEISBERGER


Almost as if to balance out the sun-baked, surfy, melodic indie-pop originating from the Eastern seaboard via the likes of Surfer Blood, L.A.-by-way-of-San-Diego quartet The Soft Pack represent the lonesome crowded West with their self-titled album of sun-baked, surfy, melodic indie-pop. Ironically, The Soft Pack are both harder than Surfer Blood — the bracing "Pull Out" ends with a turbine blast of guitar — and more surfy. (Let's just say they've probably listened to The Ventures some.) Singer/guitarist Matt Lampkin says the goal he and his bandmates, who played under the name The Muslims until they got sick of people reacting ignorantly to it, set out to achieve was writing "simple, catchy, smart rock songs." They've certainly hit their mark. 9 p.m. at Exit/In STEVE HARUCH


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