Mary Chapin carpenter/Shawn Colvin/Steve Earle ♦ Saturday, 8/4 

Music

Music

Carpenter and Colvin have new albums; Earle just released his story collection Doghouse Roses (see Books below). On a good night, any one of these performers armed with an acoustic guitar can make everyone in a 5,000-seat hall feel like the only person in the room. Put the three of them together, in one sterling bill, and they’ll probably shrink AmSouth Amphitheatre to the size of the Bluebird. Cynics tend to lump them these days into a kind of Latte Brigade of coffeehouse country-folk, but cynics aren’t the types to listen closely for nuance—and these folks reward close listening. Besides, how often do you get to hear the woman who plays Ned Flanders’ love interest on The Simpsons?

—J.R.

Thursday, 2nd

Maggie & Terre Roche There’s never been anyone like the Roches’ arty (often to the point of being arch) DIYers whose harmonies can break your heart and whose sardonic wit can crack you up nine times outta 10. And keep you thinking. Maggie, the one whose deep rumble resonates from down in the basement, writes more of their material than sister Terre, whose soprano rains down from on high. The rap is they’re not for everyone, which just goes to show they’ve got their own. The Roches, minus kid-sister Suzzy, join George Gerdes and Mark Johnson in the round at the Bluebird at 9 p.m.

—B.F.W.

Sixpence None The Richer/SparkleDrive A Nashville pop band who have had mainstream success headlines Dancin’ in the District, preceded by a Nashville pop band who should be having mainstream success. Unfortunately, SparkleDrive were released from Aware/Columbia a couple of weeks back, before their fine debut LP received a proper “brick ’n’ mortar” release. (The label has sold the disc solely via the Internet for the past six months.) But the band are still out on the road winning fans, so until such time as the album has the opportunity to enter the hands of non-Web-savvy consumers, check out the record’s energetic, melodic rock songs in a live setting.

—N.M.

Kami Lyle This local jazz-pop chanteuse has been expanding her repertoire by mixing up covers and originals in her semi-regular appearances at the Slow Bar. Four years after the pleasures of her MCA debut Blue Cinderella (part Rickie Lee Jones, part Eddi Reader, part Nanci Griffith), Lyle keeps discovering new things to do with her lovely voice and her sonorous trumpet.

—N.M.

Friday, 3rd

Dale Watson Singers are always yammering on about how their latest record is the most personal of their career. Yeah, well, that’s the last thing Austin-based honky-tonker Dale Watson wanted to be saying about his new album, Every Song I Write Is for You. Inspired by the tragic death, in an auto accident, of his fiancée Terri Herbert, the record—sawdust and steel cut with aching horns and strings—takes listeners through the wrenching stages of denial, grief, and acceptance that Watson has been through in the 10 months since Herbert’s passing. Watson and his crack band will be featured with Marc Corey Lee at the Opry Plaza Party, 6:30 to 11:00 p.m.

—B.F.W.

The Luxury Stars A night of local modern rock acts at the Exit/In is highlighted by this hooky quartet, who bash out happy-making power-pop with new wave overtones and heavy rock undertones. What’s most appealing about The Luxury Stars is that their well-integrated synthesis of styles has a natural, personable feel; they’re not just trying out formulas, they’re living this stuff. And you have to give props to any band with lyrics as amusing as “She’s a lady times three / She’s a Lionel Richie love song”—a clever line, but also a declaration of generational sensibility.

—N.M.

Bobby “Blue” Bland Bland was unquestionably the finest and most evocative pure vocalist in the blues/R&B world throughout the ’50s, ’60s, and much of the ’70s. He’s not at those levels anymore, but he’s still capable of performances that remind you of just how amazing and dominant a singer he was in his prime. As the joint celebrations of Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar’s anniversary and Congo Square’s formal opening continue, there’s no better way to punctuate the occasion than to see Bland at Bourbon Street. There are a host of additional surprises planned, but get there early; Bland appearances draw hardcore fans from throughout the region, and they arrive in full force.

—R.W.

Saturday, 4th

The Gathering of the Lions Madmonk Productions is one of several local factions trying to boost and unify Nashville’s electronic dance-music scene, and its latest effort is a multimedia happening that brings fine art to the dance floor—or at least to its surrounding walls. Billed as Nashville’s first annual arts and electronic music showcase, the Gathering exhibits painting and photography to the trance-inducing beats of some of Madmonk’s hottest DJs, including Aja & Jung, New York’s The Underboss, and Mindub from 91 Rock’s Wednesday-morning Underground Alarm Clock show. The special guest is producer/mixmaster Miles Maeda, who honed his chops in dance-music heat zones from Chicago to the West Coast; the centerpiece of the evening will be his vocal/theatrical extravaganza the Traveling Love Show. The party lasts until 3 a.m. at the Exit/In.

—J.R.

Neko Case & Her Boyfriends Virginia-born, Vancouver-nurtured, Tacoma, Wash.-based Neko Case is the de rigeur guest vocalist for alt-country artists, and lately has been traveling in different genres as the secondary singer for noise-pop wonders The New Pornographers. When this jane-of-all-trades isn’t making the scene, she gets her pals to back her on her own full-throttle rockabilly records. Now she finally gets to play the Opry—or at least the Opry Plaza.

—N.M.

Trailer Bride This Chicago creep-folk quartet—part of the Bloodshot Records alt-country empire—are led by Melissa Swingle, who writes the band’s unsettling, atmospheric roots numbers and tops them with her affectless vocals and the occasional singing saw. Like a less rock-oriented Geraldine Fibbers, Trailer Bride reach toward the dank and dispiriting side of Americana, evoking rusting carnival attractions and long-forgotten vaudeville stars. They won’t just be putting on a show at The End, they’ll be providing an experience.

—N.M.

Kristi Rose & Pulp Country/Phil Lee Later this year, the voluptuous chanteuse will become Nashville’s ambassador of pulp country to Europe, where she intends to record a live album. For tonight, though, she’s all yours at East Nashville’s Radio Cafe, where she’ll be backed by hubby Fats Kaplin, Lorne Rall, Maxwell Schauf, and Jack Silverman—as well as her lovely sister Erin Rose, in town briefly from her home in Ankara, Turkey. Get there early for a twilight set by Phil Lee, former truck driver and future legend, whose new Richard Bennett-produced CD You Should Have Known Me Then should be out on Shanachie in September.

—J.R.

TODD SHARP Boasting a résumé that includes stints as lead guitarist for Rod Stewart and Hall & Oates, and currently finessing the frets with Delbert McClinton, Sharp is a soulful, stinging guitarist who chooses his notes and tones thoughtfully and purposefully. But he is also a fine vocalist, writer, and bandleader in his own right, as his new album Walking All the Way attests. This is not a guitar-whiz-showing-his-stuff album by any stretch—the songs are sincere explorations of the struggles and joys of discovering one’s true identity while stumbling, falling, and picking oneself back up. And Sharp’s voice has a balance of maturity and vulnerability that suggests a man who has learned his share of hard lessons. Catch him in a rare local appearance at Jazz@Bellevue Center at 1 p.m.

—J.S.

Spoofer & His Friends What originated eight years ago as the summer party of a suburban Chicago school principal, his Nashville songwriter wife, and a local hotel executive has become a yearly reunion of friends and talents—all in the service of a good cause. Hosted by Avi “Spoofer” Poster and Suzanne Tinsley, the sixth annual Celebration of Music and Friendship brings pals from the local songwriting community together with a contingent of Spoofer’s Windy City buddies. The entertainment this year includes Spoofer’s wife Joie Scott, along with Marc-Alan Barnette, Alex Harvey, Paul Craft, Jimbeau Hinson, Ray Herndon, John Ford Coley, and many more. Douglas Corner owner Mervin Louque has turned over his joint for the evening, and the proceeds benefit Outlook Nashville, the nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of developmentally challenged adults and children. For more information, call 298-1688.

—J.R.

Sunday, 5th

Jill Scott Scott’s dazzling debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. I, placed her firmly in the upper echelon of the neo-soul movement, even though her lyrics are hardly the usual stuff found in urban hits, and her singing style reflects just as much jazz and theatrical influence as straight soul. She has enjoyed a banner year, helped tremendously by a wonderful performance at the Grammys and a host of interviews in which she refused to play the role of uninformed diva and let unprepared journalists know that her music was part of a continuing African American pop tradition—not something concocted off the cuff. Check out Scott’s complete show at the Ryman.

—R.W.

Blink-182 As processed as Spam, yet just as universal, the anthemic moron-punk espoused by Blink-182 is, let’s face it, completely lovable. It’s nothing that the Descendents, Green Day—hell just about anybody in the last 20 years—haven’t done already, but when placed in the bullshit, mallrat, corporate-cartoon context of MTV, these guys sound like The Who—as in, they are a real rock band, ya know? So yeah, it’s stupid, it’s predictable, it’s safe, but can you avoid singing along? The baggy-pants boys share the stage with New Found Glory, Midtown, and Mest at the AmSouth Amphitheatre.

—W.T.

Monday, 6th

Joy Lynn White & Amy Rigby Good God, people, if this double bill were booked in any music-starved town in America, there’d likely be fistfights at the door after the last ticket sold. Just because they live here doesn’t mean you should skip a chance to see country’s most unheralded vocalist paired with pop’s poet laureate of single-mom survival and modern romance. They perform at Guido’s New York Pizzeria.

—J.R.

Arco Flute Foundation Hailing from Pennsylvania, the Arco Flute Foundation play lethargic, vaguely psychedelic instrumental music that veers between hypnotic sound collage and minimal melodic structure. Much like Godspeed You Black Emperor!, these guys build on simple frameworks, swelling the sound from a whisper to a thunder, except without the orchestral bombast. Sharing the bill are sonic journeymen the New Faggot Cunts with John Cosmos, and Banjoland, the improv noise orchestra led by Chuck Hatcher and John Allingham. The show takes place at the Springwater.

—W.T.

Wednesday, 8th

TONI CATLIN Equal parts rootsy folk-rock and country with integrity, singer-songwriter Catlin weaves tales of heartache, acceptance, and redemption and delivers them in a soulful, mellifluous voice that suggests she’s lived more than a few of her lyrics. Her debut album Heartache on the Run features many of Nashville’s top session musicians, but Preston Sullivan’s production avoids the studio-sterile pitfalls and conjures more of a band vibe. Come see why Catlin won the prestigious 2001 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest when she plays a 7:30 p.m. show at Radio Cafe with Kimberly Dahme. Or catch one of her prior performances, 1 p.m. Saturday at the new Country Music Hall of Fame, and Tuesday at Billy Block’s Western Beat show at the Exit/In.

—J.S.

CARTER WOOD George Strait recorded singer-songwriter Wood’s cut “Don’t Make Me Come Over There and Love You” and the single made Billboard’s Top 20. But she is a commanding performer in her own right, as evidenced by her performance on her self-titled debut—as well as two self-penned cuts she recorded for the soundtrack for an HBO film, Nice Guys Sleep Alone. She cites Lucinda Williams as an influence, and though Wood clearly has her own distinct voice, she shares Williams’ daughter-of-the-South mind-set and penchant for rendering sultry phrases that sound like they’re being whispered in your ear. She performs at the Radio Cafe at 9:30 p.m.

—J.S.

The Ohio Players These Dayton funkateers—best known for the S&M covers of early ’70s albums like Pain and Pleasure and for mid-’70s funk/disco hits like “Fire” and “Love Roller Coaster”—have been at it for more than 40 years now. But lest you mistake them for an R&B oldies outfit, it’s worth noting that the current lineup includes lead singer/guitarist Sugar Bonner and drummer Diamond Williams, both from the ensemble’s ’70s heyday. You gotta figure they can still get down ’n’ dirty enough to do the “Funky Worm” when they play Uptown Mix with Venus Hum this week.

—B.F.W.

Jennifer Nettles Georgia native Jennifer Nettles is following in the footsteps of fellow Atlantan and fellow bluesy shouter Michelle Malone, only Nettles’ palette also includes strong doses of soul and funk. Still in her mid-20s, she’s earned a reputation as a dynamic performer, and she’s sure to work up a sweat at 12th & Porter.

—N.M.

Film

Antonio Gaudi/Village of Dreams The excellent Milestone Films 10th anniversary series continues at the Belcourt, starting with Antonio Gaudi, in which Woman in the Dunes director Hiroshi Teshigahara provides stunning views of the Catalan architect’s sensual, fanciful monuments in Barcelona. Consider it a six-dollar vacation. And Village of Dreams, by Japanese director Higashi Yoichi, is a magic-realist vision of childhood centering on the curiosity of two 8-year-old twins.

—J.R.

Little Shop of Horrors Back to big-screen musicals and monster movies, Frank Oz’s 1986 comedy unleashes a mean green mother from outer space—the man-eating plant Audrey II, a diabolical dandelion bent on world conquest—in the flower shop of nerdy Rick Moranis. With a delightful score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast) and dynamite cameos, this makes a fine introduction to the Belcourt’s month-long weekend-matinee salute to offbeat musicals. And if you go Friday night, the theater’s new Belcourt Film Society has a special treat: Little Shop’s rarely seen original ending, a Godzilla-style romp that’s at once darker and crazier than the regular version.

—J.R.

The Wild Bunch The best action movie you’ll see on screen all summer is more than 30 years old. We don’t know who booked Sam Peckinpah’s blood-soaked epic last weekend at the Belcourt—on the same day as an anti-violence rally in the other theater. But we appreciate their sense of irony. Peckinpah’s 1969 Western has been held over for a second weekend in a fine 35mm print—the only way to see this big-screen marvel.

—J.R.

Original Sin Antonio Banderas plays a wealthy coffee merchant in 1800s Cuba who gets an unexpected dose of mystery from mail-order bride Angelina Jolie. The steamy romantic thriller, adapted from the same source material as Truffaut’s The Mississippi Mermaid, opens Friday. Also opening: The Princess Diaries, in which a graceless Beverly Hills teen (Anne Hathaway) discovers that she’s descended from obscure royalty—and must learn to act the part.

—J.R.

Rush Hour 2 Jackie Chan reteams with Chris Tucker for a foot-and-mouth vehicle that veers from the far East to the Wild West. This time, the reluctant partners battle Triad gangsters—including the lethal Zhang Ziyi from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon—from Hong Kong to Las Vegas. The action starts Friday, but only in Carmike theaters: Distributor New Line is engaged in a dispute with Regal Cinemas.

—J.R.

DVD/Video

Akira Anime fans rejoice: Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark 1988 animated feature has been restored, enhancing its mind-blowing vision of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo under psychic assault. The Pioneer DVD special edition comes with a flotilla of goodies, including a making-of documentary, a glimpse of the restoration process, storyboards, and character designs.

—J.R.

Grey Gardens The Maysles Brothers’ 1976 documentary about two elderly society dames and their crumbling estate joins The Criterion Collection of DVDs. Lone surviving brother Albert Maysles provides a commentary track, and the disc also contains new interviews with fashion designers about the impact that the film had on New York trendsetters, and a period interview with one of the picture’s subjects, Jackie O.’s cousin “Little” Edie Beale.

—N.M.

The Stepford Wives This creepy big-screen adaptation of Ira Levin’s zeitgeist-capturing novel makes its debut on DVD in a feature-free edition—pretty disappointing, given how the premise of The Stepford Wives still penetrates. Essentially a riff on Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the movie stars Katharine Ross as a new arrival to an idyllic suburb where the women have been replaced by “perfect” robots. The book and the film both captured the anxieties of the post-feminist mid-’70s in ways that might’ve been well explored in a comprehensive DVD.

—N.M.

Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey The early electronic instrument called the theremin—staple of 1950s sci-fi soundtracks, the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion—is the subject of Steven Martin’s 1993 documentary, which has just been released by MGM on DVD. The film explores inventor Leon Theremin’s strange life, including his abduction by the KGB and subsequent disappearance, and his relationship with Clara Rockmore, the theremin virtuoso who brought glory to the instrument on the concert circuit.

—J.R.

Theater

Jump, Jive, & Swing Created by Nashvillian John Pyka, this Las Vegas-style variety show grooves on hit swing music from the first half of the 20th century, as performed by Big Daddy Cool & The Swing Cats, and features the singing and dancing talents of Tasha Boyte. There’s also a presentation of the one-act play Return of the Blue Phantom, a spoof of mid-century pop culture that pays homage to the era’s superhero comic books, movie serials, and radio dramas. Well-known Nashville actress and comedienne Carla Coble narrates the performance, utilizing her improvisational skills along the way. Opens for a two-weekend run Aug. 3 at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro.

—M.B.

Sweet Charity Bob Fosse’s brainchild musical was based on Federico Fellini’s Academy Award-winning film Le Notti di Cabiria. It was a Broadway hit in 1966 and starred Gwen Verdon (the then-Mrs. Fosse), who sang and danced to a jazzy, sexy score crafted by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields. No one could quite figure out if Charity was a hooker or not, but that’s what gave the show a deliciously naughty kind of reputation. High schools don’t do it, but the Roxy Regional Theatre in Clarksville doesn’t mind. The production runs Aug. 3-25.

—M.B.

Art

CheekwoodA wince may be the most common reaction to “Generation II,” an installation by Kay Hwang, opening Aug. 3 in the Temporary Contemporary gallery at Cheekwood. Hwang uses 600 identical forms to convert the gallery into a distinctive—and disturbing—environment. Those forms resemble missiles, breasts, or penises, depending on the viewer’s Freudian tendencies. In any case, many of the sleek, 10-inch-long white ceramic forms that protrude from the gallery walls and ceiling are tipped with red paint, giving the installation a true cutting edge. The opening reception, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 3, features a 6:30 p.m. gallery talk by the artist.

—A.W.

Tennessee State Museum Herb Alpert lit up the charts (and a lot of female fantasies) with his sultry trumpet playing and Latin good looks in the mid-1960s. Alpert and the Tijuana Brass earned five number one hits, seven Grammy Awards, and a host of gold and platinum albums, including Whipped Cream & Other Delights with that famous album cover. It turns out album covers aren’t the only memorable visuals with which Alpert has been associated. For the past three decades, the musician has been creating abstract paintings and figurative sculptures that reflect the same sense of rhythm, harmony, and improvisation that are hallmarks of Alpert’s musical style. For a look at this other side of Alpert, check out “Music for Your Eyes,” an exhibition of 75 paintings and 40 bronze sculptures organized by the state museum and opening Aug. 3.

—A.W.

Zeitgeist The gallery pulls the old switcheroo this summer as it presents the second installment of “Switchyard/2001.” Works by 18 emerging artists from around the country that have been on view for several weeks will be replaced by new works by those same artists and unveiled during a reception, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 4.

—A.W.

Fugitive Art Center This alternative art space turns up the heat (like we needed that) with a show called “In Heat,” an erotic art exhibit with works by 21 artists. Some works, like “Dough Boys” by Tracey Williams, take a humorous look at sex—in this case, at the expense of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Others, like George Kennedy’s eight small prints based on the late 19th-century keyhole art, put the erotic in a historical context. Whether presenting eroticism realistically, symbolically, or satirically, the show’s not out to shock, but to explore how we look at sex and at ourselves. Join the discussion at the opening, 7 p.m. Aug. 4.

—A.W.

Books

Steve Earle A guy who writes what he knows and spins yarns with a cocky, yet ingratiating, flair, Earle is easily among the best, most literate songwriters of his generation. No one batted an eye when he said he had a book of short stories in the works. And that collection, Doghouse Roses, brims with taut, at times hard-hitting prose like the title story, in which we watch the life of a washed-up rocker unravel much as Earle’s did before he got things back on track seven or eight years ago. “Wheeler County” is just as wrenching and, like “Doghouse Roses,” would make one hell of a screenplay. But ultimately, Earle’s debut as an author is a mixed bag, with the likes of “Well-Tempered Heart” and “Taneytown” coming off, by turns, as hackneyed and clichéd. Earle will sign copies of Doghouse Roses 1 p.m. Saturday at Davis-Kidd.

—B.F.W.

Events

Historic Rugby Pilgrimage Back in 1880, an Englishman named Thomas Hughes envisioned a place where the younger sons of wealthy British families—the boys who were cut out of the family money due to the Victorian tradition of leaving one’s riches exclusively to the eldest son—could make their own way in the world. About 200 colonists joined Hughes and built a quaint little English village in Eastern Tennessee called Rugby. The colony didn’t exactly flourish, but its remote location ensured that its Victorian architecture survived modern development schemes. Many of the buildings and private homes aren’t open to the public, but once a year visitors can have a peek inside during this event, which also features British music, dance demonstrations, and other activities. This year’s pilgrimage is Aug. 4-5. For information, call (423) 628-2441.

—A.W.

National Night Out Against Crime Turn on your front porch light, hang out some balloons, and get to know the neighbors during this annual event promoting community awareness and crime prevention. Various Nashville neighborhoods have special events planned, including picnics and block parties, the evening of Aug. 7. Poke your head outside and see what’s happening on your street that night.

—A.W.

By Martin Brady, Bill Friskics-Warren, Noel Murray, Jim Ridley, Jack Silverman, William Tyler, Angela Wibking, and Ron Wynn.

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