Our Critics Picks 

APSCI * Monday, 19th

APSCI * Monday, 19th
San Francisco-based Quannum Projects has released some of the smartest, most inventive and enlightened hip-hop of the last half-decade, including milestones by Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious) and a resurgent De La Soul. The intercontinental husband-and-wife team Apsci (their nom de mic is short for “applied science”) is Quannum’s latest bombshell, a boho unit who earn their comparisons to Digable Planets easily enough but whose laptop hip-hop ranges well beyond soul and jazz to embrace everything from Kraftwerk to math-rock. On Thanks for Asking, the duo’s just-out debut, Bronx-born producer/MC Ra quotes the Minutemen, rhymes with a cerebral, inexorable flow and quilts bleeping, pulsating beats with a scintillating array of international swirls and textures. Live instrumentation abounds as well, plus guest vocals by everyone from Mr. Lif to members of Lifesavas, Antibalas and TV on the Radio. Galvanizing the proceedings, though, is Ra’s wife and sometime co-producer Dana Diaz-Tutaan. A singer of Filipino and Australian extraction, her mesmerizing vocals—dissonant siren wails here, coquettish swing-era phrasing there—call to mind those of Martina Topley-Bird on the epochal Maxinquaye. She means business, too. When, over the imperious beats of “Never Give Up,” she spits, “You can say what you want, you can say what you can / We will never give up, we will never disband,” she’s talking about both her marriage and her band. Apsci open for Blackalicious. (See the pick on them under Monday, 19th.) Cannery Ballroom —BILL FRISKICS-WARREN San Francisco-based Quannum Projects has released some of the smartest, most inventive and enlightened hip-hop of the last half-decade, including milestones by Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious) and a resurgent De La Soul. The intercontinental husband-and-wife team Apsci (their nom de mic is short for “applied science”) is Quannum’s latest bombshell, a boho unit who earn their comparisons to Digable Planets easily enough but whose laptop hip-hop ranges well beyond soul and jazz to embrace everything from Kraftwerk to math-rock. On Thanks for Asking, the duo’s just-out debut, Bronx-born producer/MC Ra quotes the Minutemen, rhymes with a cerebral, inexorable flow and quilts bleeping, pulsating beats with a scintillating array of international swirls and textures. Live instrumentation abounds as well, plus guest vocals by everyone from Mr. Lif to members of Lifesavas, Antibalas and TV on the Radio. Galvanizing the proceedings, though, is Ra’s wife and sometime co-producer Dana Diaz-Tutaan. A singer of Filipino and Australian extraction, her mesmerizing vocals—dissonant siren wails here, coquettish swing-era phrasing there—call to mind those of Martina Topley-Bird on the epochal Maxinquaye. She means business, too. When, over the imperious beats of “Never Give Up,” she spits, “You can say what you want, you can say what you can / We will never give up, we will never disband,” she’s talking about both her marriage and her band. Apsci open for Blackalicious. (See the pick on them under Monday, 19th.) Cannery Ballroom —BILL FRISKICS-WARREN MUSIC Saturday, 17th MACK STARKS This veteran Nashville singer-songwriter returns with an album called Blind Spot that puts a more layered rock sound behind his poetic, angst-driven monologues. Working with producer Neilson Hubbard, and with longtime collaborator Richard McLaurin adding a second guitar in spots, Starks brings a fuller sound to his second solo record, giving a musical depth to match lyrics packed with question marks and philosophical musings. Even the lone cover, of Neil Young’s “Depression Blues,” poses queries for listeners while using private moments to examine larger truths. That Starks’ originals line up well with Young’s tune tells you a bit about his talent and his direction. The Basement —MICHAEL McCALL Sunday, 18th JOHN HIATT This veteran songwriter just finished a few months goading a trio half his age to keep up with his groove-based folk-rock, and his current album, Master of Disaster, is a reminder of how distinctively his songs probe modern life, from its pleasures and problems to its excesses. For this show, Hiatt will offer a more relaxed performance as part of a fundraiser for the Harpeth River Watershed Association. The $75 ticket includes dinner and a silent auction. More information available at www.harpethriver.org. Riverview Farm in Franklin —MICHAEL McCALL Sunday, 18th COLDPLAY The last show these modern rockers played in Nashville was at the Ryman, where they earned a Music City ghetto pass with renditions of “Ring of Fire” and “Lost Highway” that suggested there was some country hiding in the DNA of their sweeping, soaring rock. They’ll be at the shed this time, and the move from auditoriums to amphitheatres only makes sense—this is music that aims for the heavens, so why let a roof get in the way? In a nearly ambition-less rock world, Coldplay are one of the frustratingly few modern bands with the chutzpah even to attempt the grandiosity of role models like U2 and Radiohead; like Bono, frontman Chris Martin is unapologetic about wanting his band to be acknowledged as the world’s greatest. They don’t always reach that goal on record: the new X&Y, so hotly anticipated that a delay in its release was blamed for record label EMI’s financial woes, is a disappointingly damp retread of their 2002 breakthrough, A Rush of Blood to the Head. But this band’s natural milieu is the stage, where they’re free to shoot for the moon—and the stars, while they’re at it. Starwood Amphitheatre —CHRIS NEAL RILO KILEY Granted, the principals in this band of indie darlings-turned-pop contenders are former child actors—or “showbiz kids,” as clip after clip glibly pegs them. But enough with the backstory already; however they came by their self-possession, they’ve got it. The writing on 2004’s More Adventurous is too incisive, the hooks too inexorable, the rhythms too tricked out and ready for radio to be denied. This is a band that not only has what it takes to be great, but embraces that generativity and revels in it. And no one more than singer Jenny Lewis, who uses her subtle yet voluptuous voice to method-act and then some, warning us not to believe her lies, most of which turn out to be true. Lewis and fellow songwriter/Hollywood evacuee Blake Stennett care too much about sin and grace—about fucking things up and fixing them, as Lewis doubtless would say—not to be taken seriously. They ultimately take a tragic view of life, but like any prophets worth their salt, they put plenty of stock in the human element, even to the point of humanizing the fear that makes our “chimp” of a president sanction inhuman policies and practices. Starwood Amphitheatre —BILL FRISKICS-WARREN LUCE Neverending, this Northern California band’s second album, sports a detailed, biology-class drawing of the human heart, an appropriate image for bandleader Tom Luce’s up-close examination of a relationship from its first joyous bursts to the usual emotional chasms. With a rhythm section that includes former members of Counting Crows and Train, Luce focus on melodic, mid-tempo rock with a rapturous bent that depends on soul-rich keyboards and trumpet as much as on guitars. This is indie rock that’s polished enough for the radio (they’re getting airplay here on WRLT) and smart enough to pull in a bookish crowd that prefers to sway rather than stomp. 3rd & Lindsley —MICHAEL McCALL Monday, 19th Tuesday, 20th BLACKALICIOUS Save the “nerd-hop” label for actual nerds: as recording artists and founding members of the unstoppable Quannum Projects label, MC Gift of Gab and DJ/producer Chief Xcel have been producing some of the most true-school hip-hop of the last decade. The pair’s 1999 album Nia showcased Gab’s limber, socially conscious rhymes and Xcel’s taste for obscure R&B samples while hinting at the direction their music would take. Their new album, The Craft, hovers between Hank Shocklee’s wall of sound and the pop-rap of Black Eyed Peas, at once ambitious and accessible. Xcel left the turntables untouched on The Craft, letting live musicians lay down the groove—jazz that provides the eclectic beats for Gab’s less preachy, but still wily, battle rapping. Rap purists may take Blackalicious to task for “Powers,” a new wave song that pales in the face of Andre 3000’s “Hey Ya”; “Side to Side” might even cause cats to tag the pair as sellouts because of the track’s dance-friendly groove and lighthearted rap. But no need for alarm: Gab’s rhyming acrobatics on “My Pen and Pad” keep the crew’s status as West Coast heavyweights alive. Cannery Ballroom —MARK MAYS THE WALKMEN With nods to Television as much as War-era U2, The Walkmen brandish an echoey nostalgia that manages to sound lo-fi and voluminous at the same time. The title track of 2004’s Bows and Arrows is jangly and offbeat. Lines like, “Goodbye to all your plans / You can listen to me now / Your head is bent out of shape / But your feet are on the ground / But all in all, the ceiling’s coming down,” are delivered like a weary, gravel-flecked indictment. Elsewhere, The Walkmen offer steadily frantic eruptions with numbers like “The Rat,” tugging and pulling at a lightning pace. But it’s the organs that add a smoldering beauty, soaking songs like “Thinking of a Dream” in the mire of uneasiness and longing. Exit/In —TRACY MOORE Tuesday, 20th DEERHOOF This Bay Area band reconcile a restless experimental spirit with the conventional things rock has always thrived on: straightforward melodies, incisive guitars and a lively pulse. Throughout their 10-year career, they’ve explored soft-loud, stop-start dynamics, but on earlier recordings, the music often sounded dirty and grimy—garage-punk that couldn’t quite figure out how to reach past its limitations. More recently, their songs have bloomed into more realized compositions, bringing out all of the hallmarks of the band’s distinctiveness: Satomi Matsuzaki’s beguiling vocals and elliptical lyrics; drummer Greg Saunier’s uniquely phrased thrumming; John Deiterich and Chris Cohen’s two-guitar interplay, which allows room for the two musicians to double up, converse and counterpoint. Though Deerhoof have always embellished their songs with simple keyboard melodies, their last couple of records have found them working in samples and electronic touches that extend their reach that much farther. Their most recent release, Green Cosmos, is a Japanese-language EP that makes room for full-bore rock, funky rhythms and dreamier, more delicately unfolding moments, but a new record, The Runners Four, is due in less than a month. In the past, Deerhoof have always found room to explore a whole range of sounds and moods in the space of a half-hour running time, so the news that this one is nearly twice as long bodes for something even grander. They’re already on tour, and they’ll bring plenty of new material—including the catchy, driving “Scream Team”—to what is always a dynamic, captivating live show. The End —JONATHAN MARX CHARLIE PEACOCK Peacock’s latest solo album explores what only seems like a different side of the person who wrote Amy Grant’s “Every Heartbeat.” Though he’s been one of contemporary Christian music’s most successful songwriters and producers for more than two decades, his interest in free jazz and fusion currents of the ’60s and ’70s is far from a relapse into the devil’s music. Even in his most successful CCM work, Peacock has repeatedly stood outside the pack, forgoing the straightforward pop settings and praise-and-worship modes of more conventional productions. Given that many of the dares that Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock took more than 30 years ago trickled down into safer forms of fusion and continue to inform popular music across the board, perhaps Peacock’s status as a maverick is due only to his working within a musically conservative field. Nonetheless, his current, all-instrumental release, Love Press Ex-Curio, is the well-crafted vision of a producer with a good feel for how the free and fusion traditions he’s admired have filtered into electronica, dance music and alt-rock. 3rd & Lindsley —BILL LEVINE JIMMY THACKERY Long the guitarist for the Nighthawks, Thackery stepped out on his own in the early ’90s and led the preeminent blues-bar trio the Drivers. However limited, his growling vocals can evoke remorse, but it’s his versatile Stratocaster voicings that more often hit the mark. Steeped in the vocabulary of Muscle Shoals aces like Eddie Hinton and the Southern blues-rock explosion of the late ’60s and ’70s, Thackery can change colors like a chameleon and ride a wave of surf-rock tremolo, lay out some bopping lines to shake up the rhythm and pare down his style to travel from the Delta to Chicago. With Nashville’s Gary Nicholson producing and playing keyboards on his recent Healin’ Ground, Thackery turns to a twangy and strutting roadhouse sound. Bourbon Street —BILL LEVINE THE SPUNKS This group describes its music as “kamikaze rock ’n’ roll from Tokyo, Japan,” but it’s hard to imagine any group of kamikaze possessing such an abiding sense of silliness. The Spunks certainly do play rock ’n’ roll—sweaty, spitting, crooked-lipped rock ’n’ roll—but they also play with it like a 2-year-old playing with his food, managing, for example, to quote both “China Girl” and “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” in the first minute of a song and then to lead a group of sloppy, shouting collaborators in a hilariously mispronounced chorus. As opposed to your average suicide pilot, the Spunks remind us that music is supposed to be fun. All-female Japanese punkers GitoGito Hustler share the bill. The Muse —STEVE HARUCH Wednesday, 21st THE LONG WINTERS The new single by this Seattle band is called “Ultimatum,” a number that is as haunting as it is presumptuous, as beautiful as it is condescending. “Student,” the song begins, “why do you dream of me? It was agreed I came to burn leaves. It’s all I ever claimed to do.” It takes a kind of audacity to refer to an affair with a lover whom you so neatly and summarily define as “burning leaves,” yet it is this audacity that has made The Long Winters’ last two albums so compelling. When frontman John Roderick sang “I’m gonna miss you so much” on “Unsalted Butter” (from 2002’s The Worst You Can Do Is Harm), everyone, except maybe the person being sung to, knew it was a lie. On “Ultimatum,” he sings, “My arms miss you, my hands miss you.” The implication, of course, is that I don’t miss you. Guys like me never do. Unsympathetic characters, take heart. The Long Winters continue to take up your cause. Ryman Auditorium —STEVE HARUCH Theater JOHN BUTLER TRIO These Australians are enjoying a big American summer. They’ve toured with the Dave Matthews Band, had a song featured daily on HBO and performed at festivals from Bonnaroo to the Austin Music Festival, where they head after this stop in Nashville. A former street busker, the dreadlocked Butler forges the band’s distinctive sound with his unusual guitar playing, in which he uses his abnormally long fingernails to play with a percussive technique reminiscent of Michael Hedges. Backed by a complex modern rhythm section, he sings with a hiss and plays blues-influenced folk runs on long, dynamic tunes. He sings of political idealism and environmental activism, but as with most jam bands, the words take a backseat to the musical arrangements. Mercy Lounge —MICHAEL McCALL Classical NASHVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is the classic example of music producing an explosive cultural impact—audiences at its 1913 premiere in Paris were supposedly shocked to the point of rioting. The piece itself has a remarkable ability to sound new and raw, like the jazz music of Charles Mingus, which can share a similar insistent pulse. From a technical point of view, Stravinsky’s use of rhythmic patterns that extend and contract arithmetically and his use of quick cuts between distinct bodies of sound prefigured the construction principles of much else that followed in music, all the way up to hip-hop. The Symphony’s program Friday and Saturday at TPAC’s Jackson Hall also includes Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a virtuoso vehicle, and a work by Nicholas Maw, “Spring Music.” Maw is a British composer living in the United States and an avowed traditionalist, sounding a bit like a successor to Richard Strauss. —DAVID MADDOX Theater GIRL WITH A PEARL NECKLACE: AN ACT OF LOVE The Church Street nightspot PLAY looks beyond the local drag-queen royalty to present a one-night-only performance by the high-profile Varla Jean Merman (a.k.a. comedian-actor Jeffery Roberson). Merman’s concert career has gone international of late, but she’s also successfully mined the domestic frontiers of Broadway (Chicago), television (including an appearance on All My Children) and cinema, where she co-starred in 2003’s campy Girls Will Be Girls. Add to that a forthcoming CD, The White Swallow and Other Delights, which includes a rendition of the Faith Hill hit “Breathe.” In the end, Roberson’s Varla Jean alter ego is really no different than the rest of us: she’s worried about her biological clock, travels on the edge of sanity and appreciates good, ahem, jewelry. The up-close-and-personal Merman shtick is enhanced by video excerpts filmed by Vidkid Timo and Michael Schiralli, who also directs. Performances are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 16. For reservations, phone 322-9627. —MARTIN BRADY STOMP What began as a street-theater performance a decade ago in the U.K. has become an unbridled international phenomenon, winning major awards in London and New York and touring some 35 countries. This is the second time through Nashville for creators Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas’ percussion-fest, in which the players use everything but conventional musical instruments—e.g., Zippo lighters, trashcans, hubcaps, broom handles—to detonate their rhythmic explosions. The show is Sept. 20-25 at TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall. TPAC Education’s InsideOut program also offers two opportunities, on Sept. 21 and 23, for local theatergoers to participate in discussion and rhythmic activities with Stomp cast members. For information on these free events, call 687-4291. —MARTIN BRADY Art THE SECRET GARDEN Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman’s musical version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved children’s novel opened on Broadway in 1991, played over 700 performances and won a couple of Tony Awards. It’s a heartwarming story, concerning lonely orphan Mary Lennox, who leaves India (where her parents died in a cholera epidemic) and takes up residence with her emotionally tormented British uncle and his bedridden son. The young girl finds restorative magic for all in her late aunt’s garden. The new Boiler Room Theatre production, under the direction of Corbin Green, features youthful newcomer Ara Vito as Mary. Performances are Sept. 16-Oct. 15 at The Factory at Franklin. —MARTIN BRADY GHOST STORY Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre owner John Chaffin occasionally uses his venue as a launch point for his own original scripts. This comic tale, which first debuted several years ago, concerns a playboy who seemingly encounters more personal travails in the afterlife than he had experienced before his untimely demise in a golf-cart accident. Martha Wilkinson directs the revival, which opens Sept. 20 and runs through Oct. 15. For reservations, phone 646-9977. —MARTIN BRADY COULD IT BE LOVE This encore presentation of Kaine Riggan’s original musical comedy represents the nexus where community theater, country music history and doing good for others converge. Gaylord Entertainment sponsors the production, which stars veteran Music City singers Jeannie Seely and Helen Cornelius in a fable about some feisty senior citizens who attempt to mount their own version of Grease. Could It Be Love started life in 2004 at the Donelson Senior Center for the Arts; all proceeds from this one-night-only performance Sept. 15 at the Ryman Auditorium will benefit that organization, as well as the Hospital Hospitality House of Nashville, which provides meals and lodging for low-income families whose relatives are bedridden at local medical facilities. Show time is 7:30 p.m.; for tickets, phone 883-8375 or visit www.rymanshow.com. —MARTIN BRADY A DATE TO REMEMBER The newly formed Renaissance Guild of the Hadley Park Senior Center presents this amalgam of poetry, music and dance Sept. 16 at the McGruder Family Resource Center, 2013 25th Ave. N. The guest artist is actress/syndicated columnist Gwendolyn Baines, who will perform excerpts from her one-woman Off-Broadway show, Sassy, Secure and Over Sixty. For information, phone 248-2272. —MARTIN BRADY Art NEW FIGURATIVE ARTISTS SHOW On Sept. 17, LeQuire Gallery presents new work by a group of artists who have a single purpose in mind. According to the gallery’s press release, “These artists reject the current notions of avant-garde in favor of the time-honored arts of painting and sculpture.” Although contemporary art’s avant-garde actually includes a number of painters and sculptors, the artists in this show break from the pack by focusing on academic technique, exploring traditional themes in portraits and still lifes. Houston painter Ron A. Cheek has practiced architecture and graduated from the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. Seattle’s Juliette Aristides was born in Cape Town, South Africa, studied at the Jacob Collins Studio and the National Academy of Design in New York City, and has shown her charcoal drawings widely in San Francisco. Other participants include Chicago’s Preston Jackson, Brody Vincent of Graham, Ky., Jonathan Bowers and Nashville artists Alan LeQuire and Greg Decker. Although this show may seem out-of-place next to other exhibits in Nashville’s arts community—including a couple at the Frist Center spotlighting contemporary work—that, in a sense, is the point. “New Figurative Artists Show” will appeal to those with an interest in traditional expressions of conventional subjects. The gallery, located at 4304 Charlotte Ave., hosts a reception 6-8 p.m. Saturday. —JOE NOLAN “CARVING • BRONZE • CANVAS • BRUSH” The Arts Company presents its monthly Salon Saturday opening for its latest show, featuring the works of several sculptors working in a realist vein, alongside Southern artist Charles Keiger, whose quirky paintings are the highlight of this exhibition. Keiger creates illustrative works with oils on paper; darkly humorous but whimsical, his art features ordinary characters such as solitary businessmen, lonesome women or carnival folks in surreal surroundings. In scenes awash with somber palettes and fairy-tale elements such as stylized flora and fauna, Keiger creates borders and surreal surroundings for his peculiar and often isolated characters. The other featured artists, Bill Starke, Teena Stern, Don Haugen and Joe King, essentially fashion realist bronze sculpture, in each case demonstrating his or her interpretation of the human figure. The opening takes place 2-6 p.m. Sept. 17, and the exhibition is open through Oct. 7. —NICOLE PIETRANTONI “BEAUTIFUL AND GROTESQUE” Secret Show Series presents a solo exhibit featuring Nashville native Erin Hewgley through Sept. 29 at its recently inaugurated space at 310 Chestnut St. Hewgley has been a studio manager at Watkins College of Art & Design and has shown her work in numerous group shows around Nashville. She has three pieces in the “Fragile Species” exhibit at the Frist Center for Visual Arts and has most recently been awarded a graduate fellowship at Ohio State University, where she will earn her master’s degree in studio art. In her statement, Hewgley says, “We have found ourselves perceiving our individual experiences in such an insular way, when we’re all sharing the same experiences.” With her art, she seeks to create community through an exposition of the wise, ignorant, wounded and hurtful identities we all share in our secret lives. Employing teeth, hair, cosmetics and latex sculptures of the human form, she tells our collective stories using, literally, the stuff our lives are made of. By revealing her own humanity, she reveals ours as well, and in the process we are ennobled. Check out Secret Show Series’ new digs and see Erin Hewgley’s final Nashville show before she heads for Buckeye country. Gallery hours are noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, or by appointment. For info, call 481-2488. —JOE NOLAN Events CELEBRATION OF MID-AUTUMN MOON FESTIVAL The Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville (CAAN), under the creative leadership of Jen-Jen Lin, has recently mounted some enriching ethnic dance and cultural arts programs. On Sept. 18, from 3-5:30 p.m., the organization collaborates with the Belcourt Theatre to present this inaugural event celebrating an ages-old Chinese legend. A filmed dance theater production relates the story of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, with further discussion led by Josephine Yeh, Ying-Fen Weng Swagler and Jen-Jen Lin. A live dance performance is also on the bill. Admission is free. Chinese refreshments, available for a minimal charge, include moon cakes and pearl tea. For information, phone 385-9341. —MARTIN BRADY Film JEFFRY JOHN STEIN In the midst of Hollywood’s ongoing box-office slump, the obvious question is being asked: are the movies as satisfying as they used to be? To answer, you have to define satisfaction—and in his new book Life, Myth and the American Family Unreeling, Jeff Stein suggests that people go to the movies for mythic characters, archetypal journeys and spiritual connection. A screenwriter, producer and former executive who helped develop films such as Dead Ringers and The Beastmaster, Watkins instructor Stein labels and peels away the filters that influence the ways people watch movies, focusing on the family dynamics in films ranging from the 1940 Our Town to American Beauty. Part screenwriter’s structural tool, part self-help book—too much so, for this reader’s taste—it’s still a bold attempt to determine what draws movie lovers back to the theaters Stein calls “dark tabernacles,” even if they’re going in fewer numbers. Stein will host a book signing, a screening of his short film “Mr. Flood’s Walk,” and a talk called “Revelation in the Movies: Where Mythology and History Intersect,” 7:30 p.m. Friday in Watkins’ Room 500. For more info, see www.heros-path.com. —JIM RIDLEY FINDING HOME Lawrence D. Foldes produced one of the sleaze classics of late-’70s exploitation, a gnarly teen-hitwoman saga called Malibu High; his first feature as writer-director was the rape-revenge shocker Young Warriors, featuring Ernest Borgnine, two Van Pattens and the one and only Dick Shawn. Regrettably, he’s gone respectable, but the result won the top prize at last year’s Nashville Film Festival and is now getting a theatrical release. In his earnest drama, a rising corporate star (Lisa Brenner) returns to her family’s coastal homestead for her grandmother’s burial, only to uncover a closet full of family skeletons. Co-starring Louise Fletcher and Genevieve Bujold, the movie has been held over for a second week at Green Hills. —JIM RIDLEY LORD OF WAR The Constant Gardener arrived last week in theaters; how did two socially conscious dramas about current events sneak into the marketplace in a single month? In this satirical thriller from writer-director Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show), Nicolas Cage plays a huckster salesman whose overseas business is booming—since he’s hawking weapons to the globe’s hot spots. Already the recipient of some of the year’s strongest buzz, the movie co-stars Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto and Ian Holm; it opens Friday, everywhere. —JIM RIDLEY KILOWATT OURS The recent panic over gas prices in the wake of Hurricane Katrina underscores yet again how desperately America needs to get serious about alternative fuel sources. What’s more, connections can be drawn between this catastrophe and the problem of global warming—which is, by almost every account, a result of our dependency on gas and coal. Think about it long enough, and it’s downright infuriating, but environmental documentarian Jeff Barrie has taken a much kinder, more helpful approach. In his film Kilowatt Ours, he travels across the Southeast showing precisely how coal is extracted from the earth to feed our seemingly insatiable hunger for electricity. But he also shows us alternative energy sources—naturally occurring ones, like wind and sun—and offers still more pragmatic approaches to saving energy, which in turn save the consumer money. The way he presents it, the answers are so easy, and within reach, it makes you wonder why you never thought of it before. At 7 p.m. this Tuesday, with the sponsorship of Sierra Club and the Southern Energy Conservation Initiative, Barrie presents a screening of his film at the Belcourt Theatre. Admission is a $5 requested donation and includes a reception catered by Wild Oats. For more information, visit www.KilowattOurs.org. —JONATHAN MARX SIN CITY If you missed Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s pulverizing pulp fantasy in theaters earlier this year, don’t be a chump and watch the DVD. See it on the big screen as intended, in all its black-and-white, blood-spattered sicko glory, at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Cinema Thursday through Saturday. Check out Sarratt’s fall schedule at www.vanderbilt.edu/sarratt/cinema/. —JIM RIDLEY BEING CARIBOU Call it March of the Caribou. In their true-life adventure, documentarian Leanne Allison and her naturalist husband Karsten Heuer travel the treacherous path of the porcupine caribou, a 123,000-member herd that makes a 1,500-kilometer trek every year to and from its calving grounds in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (You know, the place that our current administration eyes like a starving carnivore looking at a pork chop.) Featuring rare footage of newborn caribou calves, the documentary screens 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Belcourt, sponsored by Team Green. —JIM RIDLEY

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