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“I Can’t Stop Loving You: Ray Charles and Country Music” * Saturday, 11th

Making one of the most popular crossover moves of all time with 1962’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Brother Ray paid tribute to his youthful memories of hearing Opry broadcasts on Saturday nights.
Making one of the most popular crossover moves of all time with 1962’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Brother Ray paid tribute to his youthful memories of hearing Opry broadcasts on Saturday nights. While he claimed only to be testing the waters, the album proved to be a watershed that made country music hip for a broader public, expanded Charles’ fan base by crossing the racial divide of two often segregated genres, and opened up new markets for Music Row. Charles’ career-long romance with country music can be traced from some of his first pickup gigs with “hillbilly” bands in 1940s through “Seven Spanish Angels,” his 1984 No. 1 country duet with Willie Nelson. Following on the heels of the “Night Train to Nashville” exhibit, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s tribute will rely on a similar combination of photo documentation, interactive displays, historical performance clips and artifacts. The exhibit opens March 9 and will run through December 2007. To kick off its opening weekend, a 1:30 p.m. program on Saturday will feature a panel discussion with Charles’ longtime musical director Gerald Wilson, his manager Joe Adams, alto great Hank Crawford (whom Ray recruited straight from TSU) and Vince Gill. Crawford will perform a jazz set with a local combo at 3:30 p.m. —BILL LEVINE MUSIC FRIDAY, 10TH MOGWAI Back in the early days of this Scottish band’s career, an album titled Mr. Beast would have matched their category-five noise hurricanes perfectly. But as Mogwai refined their sound, moments of levity and clarity—airy synths, eerie silences—made their maelstroms more compelling. In fact, Mr. Beast feels like a sequel to 2003’s sublime Happy Music for Happy People, the latter’s peaks and valleys presaging the end of the world and Beast tracking the lonely fallout. A repeating piano melody coils around ominous guitars that build from silence to beehive-angry quivers on “Auto Rock”; “Acid Food” asks “What happened after the storm?” atop a Vicodin-induced twang haze; and the almost baroque “Team Handed” sighs with resignation and more desolate ivory tickling. Even the album’s moments of pummeling noise attack like a smart-bomb homing in on its target. That’s the beauty of the Beast: its turmoil and sadness intertwine in such a meticulous, human way, the reactions it provokes are that much more intense—whether it’s silent tears or a poignant sense of peace. ( www.matadorrecords.com/mogwai ) Mercy Lounge —ANNIE ZALESKI MOGWAI Back in the early days of this Scottish band’s career, an album titled Mr. Beast would have matched their category-five noise hurricanes perfectly. But as Mogwai refined their sound, moments of levity and clarity—airy synths, eerie silences—made their maelstroms more compelling. In fact, Mr. Beast feels like a sequel to 2003’s sublime Happy Music for Happy People, the latter’s peaks and valleys presaging the end of the world and Beast tracking the lonely fallout. A repeating piano melody coils around ominous guitars that build from silence to beehive-angry quivers on “Auto Rock”; “Acid Food” asks “What happened after the storm?” atop a Vicodin-induced twang haze; and the almost baroque “Team Handed” sighs with resignation and more desolate ivory tickling. Even the album’s moments of pummeling noise attack like a smart-bomb homing in on its target. That’s the beauty of the Beast: its turmoil and sadness intertwine in such a meticulous, human way, the reactions it provokes are that much more intense—whether it’s silent tears or a poignant sense of peace. ( www.matadorrecords.com/mogwai ) Mercy Lounge —ANNIE ZALESKI SARAH HARMER The folk/bluegrass flavor of this Canadian’s latest album, The Mountain, is a departure from the programmed beats and electric guitar that propped up its underrated predecessor, All of Our Names. On that record, Harmer, who possesses a fluttery but bold alto, sang of preempted affairs (“Silver Road”) and of lovers who lacked the nerve to phone each other (“Almost”). For The Mountain, which is so quaint and quiet at times that it threatens to disappear, Harmer fronts sturdy songs that deal with the vagaries of love and, on “Escarpment Blues,” the shortsighted folly of our development-mad world. ( www.sarahharmer.com ) Exit/In —WERNER TRIESCHMANN SATURDAY, 11TH THE HIGH DIALS Critics have hailed War of the Wakening Phantoms as a triumph, evidence that this group from Montreal are moving beyond the ’60s-centric peppermint explosion of their debut album, A New Devotion. Here’s hoping they don’t move too far beyond it. There’s nothing wrong with the ’60s anyway, especially when the High Dials’ reanimation of the era’s psychedelia is so refreshingly Beach- and Fab-free. Many locals praised their last show in Nashville as one of 2005’s best, and the band are gearing up for a five-gig blitzkrieg at SXSW, so the adrenaline should be abundant. Also on the bill are the Fab-derived Dr. Dog, Philadelphians who’ve also been known drink a little punch, and Hey Negrita, a British band who sound American. ( www.myspace.com/thehighdials ) The Basement —JACK SILVERMAN SUNDAY, 12TH TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS Leo has just the right disposition to make modern protest music—each new horror cooked up in his adopted hometown of Washington, D.C., just seems to provoke him to greater levels of determination and optimism. Shake the Sheets, his most recent album with his tight, nimble backup band, the Pharmacists, offers an almost impossibly simple prescription for dealing with the nation’s complex troubles: “If you believe in something beautiful, then get up and be it.” Such sentiments would seem naive if they weren’t surrounded by such fierce poetry and delivered with such delirious energy. Expect to hear some new songs at this show as Leo and company road-test material for their first album for Chicago’s Touch & Go label. The Duke Spirit open the show; see the pick below. ( www.tedleo.com ) Exit/In —CHRIS NEAL THE DUKE SPIRIT At first blush, Duke Spirit lead singer Liela Moss appears to be the sort of gal for whom the term “pixieish” was coined, but when the garage-rock roar of her band cranks up, there’s nothing cutesy about her. Whether beating a tambourine into submission, manhandling a mic stand or just letting loose her deep, husky wail, Moss commands the stage like a born rock star. The English quintet mark the U.S. release of their debut album, Cuts Across the Land, by warming up for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. ( www.dukespirit.com ) Exit/In —CHRIS NEAL MARISSA NADLER Music is but one creative outlet for this contemporary “freak”-folksinger, whose website displays, among other things, delicate paintings, woodworking and photography. A gauzy quality also is evident in Nadler’s demure but potent voice, which breathes ghosts back into Civil War-era hymns and old murder ballads. Often delivered in a diaphanous whisper, her words are striking on their own, but they also dovetail with those of Edgar Allan Poe and Pablo Neruda, whose work she set to music on 2004’s Ballads of Living and Dying. Nadler’s recent Saga of Mayflower May stripped the music way down, her voice framed by 12-string guitar and brief flits of ukulele and organ. ( www.marissanadler.com ) Primitive Baptist Church —ANDY BETA K.T. TUNSTALL As others have before her, this Scottish-Chinese phenom proves that a singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar doesn’t have to stick to convention. Employing tribal rhythms and chanted harmonies on her left-field hit “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” Tunstall creates modern pop that’s instantly engaging despite being stripped to its essentials. The rest of her U.S. debut, Eye to the Telescope, suggests she’s that rare talent who can please critics and consumers alike. Not afraid of dark material or catchy melodies, Tunstall is poised to be one of the breakout stars of 2006 after several years of failing to get support for a stateside record release. She likely won’t be playing clubs for long—as indicated by how fast this show sold out. 3rd & Lindsley —MICHAEL McCALL THE BLACK WATCH When this venerable ensemble comes to town, those whose roots lay in Scotland will line up to hear the voices of the past call out to them through pipes and drums playing their ancestral music. For over 200 years, the skirl of the Black Watch’s bagpipes has stirred the souls of men and women with regimental marches and melodies recalling battles fought, heroes made and lives lost. They will be joined by the Band of Welsh Guards, who play the music of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. TPAC —DAVE RUDOLPH GLEN PHILLIPS The former Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman continues to perfect the balance of angst and yearning his songs strived for during his ’90s heyday. Mr. Lemons, a solo album scheduled for May release, matches chamber pop with modern electronics to provide fitting settings for lyrics about the inner struggle for peace in a world fraught with mayhem. Mercy Lounge —MICHAEL McCALL LEELA JAMES “It’s been a long time since you’ve heard it like this… / Ain’t nobody bringing it quite like this,” contends this neo-soul belter on “Long Time Coming,” the closing track on her 2005 debut, A Change Is Gonna Come. And while these claims might smack of hyperbole, James’ album sounds awfully fresh for a record that’s so thoroughly nurtured in the well-plowed funk and soul of Mavis Staples, Betty Wright and Chaka Khan. James describes her husky vocals and gritty music as “back porch soul,” a style that harks back to a time when “folks sat around on those hot, sticky days on their porches singing and playing the blues.” But what keeps her album from slipping into the old-school formalism of, say, Joss Stone are the imaginative samples (e.g., Gwen McRae’s “Funky Sensation”) and of-the-moment production by the likes of Kanye West, Wyclef Jean and Raphael Saadiq. Simmering keyboard sustains, serpentine guitar lines and wet, bumping beats abound, as well as loose, lively shouts, hand claps and rimshots. From the reggae-powered cover of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” to her soul-on-ice reading of Sam Cooke’s title track, James sells it all and never misses a beat. Also on the bill are the thoughtful Motown singer-songwriter KEM and the up-and-coming R&B singer Suai. Ryman Auditorium —BILL FRISKICS-WARREN GLEN PHILLIPS The former Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman continues to perfect the balance of angst and yearning his songs strived for during his ’90s heyday. Mr. Lemons, a solo album scheduled for May release, matches chamber pop with modern electronics to provide fitting settings for lyrics about the inner struggle for peace in a world fraught with mayhem. Mercy Lounge —MICHAEL McCALL MONDAY, 13TH TONY CONRAD/RHYS CHATHAM/JONATHAN KANE A phenomenal bill featuring pioneering NYC avant-garde musicians who’ve had a direct impact on musicians ranging from the Velvet Underground to Sonic Youth. —JONATHAN MARX MENDOZA LINE Full of Light and Full of Fire, the luminous 2005 album by this New York group, serves as bracing testimony to how to stay human in a world assailed by bigotry and bad faith. “Accept no imitations, baby, catch a collapsing star / It’s your limitations that make you what you are,” goes the tagline of the record’s exhortatory second cut. A tuneful, if desperate clutch at redemption in a world that holds out little hope of any, the track could be an outtake from the Mekons’ Fear and Whiskey, right down to the headlong-into-the-breach yelping that galvanizes the break. Much of Full of Light rings with the noisy, swinging-in-spite-of-itself authority of the Mekons’ epochal dispatch from the front. “Golden Boy (Torture in the Sand)” is a surreal evocation of persistence in the face of cruelty, the sinister “Mysterious in Black” a pulsating tale of obsession and intrigue. “Pipe Stories,” a thinly veiled burlesque, lampoons a head of state whose blind faith and greed breed global intolerance and aggression. Graced with a pair of terrific singer-songwriters in Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle (he exhausted and on-edge, she lyrical and unwavering), the Mendozas plumb everything from lethal temptations to morbid cravings with a mix of outrage and empathy that never gets preachy or gives way to resignation. ( www.mendozaline.com ) 3rd & Lindsley —BILL FRISKICS-WARREN THE FEVER The music on In the City of Sleep, this New York band’s latest CD, sounds like a flu-induced hallucination. This isn’t surprising given the material’s origins; according to the band’s website, singer Geremy Jasper dreamed up most of it during late-night, insomnia-induced excursions through his industrial Brooklyn neighborhood. Achilles Tzoulafis’ junkyard percussion and Keith Stapleton’s skewed guitar work are sufficiently off-kilter, lending the music a decadent, unhinged quality that might even show you the way to the next whisky bar. Oh, don’t ask why. ( www.myspace.com/thefever ) The End —JACK SILVERMAN TUESDAY, 14TH MENDOZA LINE Full of Light and Full of Fire, the luminous 2005 album by this New York group, serves as bracing testimony to how to stay human in a world assailed by bigotry and bad faith. “Accept no imitations, baby, catch a collapsing star / It’s your limitations that make you what you are,” goes the tagline of the record’s exhortatory second cut. A tuneful, if desperate clutch at redemption in a world that holds out little hope of any, the track could be an outtake from the Mekons’ Fear and Whiskey, right down to the headlong-into-the-breach yelping that galvanizes the break. Much of Full of Light rings with the noisy, swinging-in-spite-of-itself authority of the Mekons’ epochal dispatch from the front. “Golden Boy (Torture in the Sand)” is a surreal evocation of persistence in the face of cruelty, the sinister “Mysterious in Black” a pulsating tale of obsession and intrigue. “Pipe Stories,” a thinly veiled burlesque, lampoons a head of state whose blind faith and greed breed global intolerance and aggression. Graced with a pair of terrific singer-songwriters in Tim Bracy and Shannon McArdle (he exhausted and on-edge, she lyrical and unwavering), the Mendozas plumb everything from lethal temptations to morbid cravings with a mix of outrage and empathy that never gets preachy or gives way to resignation. ( www.mendozaline.com ) 3rd & Lindsley —BILL FRISKICS-WARREN ELLIOTT BROOD This “death country” trio are from Toronto, but they really live in what critic Greil Marcus calls “the old, weird America”—an alternate-universe version of the antediluvian South where every motive is suspect, every psyche is fevered and the threat of murder hangs in the air. Raspy-voiced singer Mark Sasso, guitarist Casey LaForet and drummer Stephen Pitkin—who often limits his percussion options to snare drum and suitcase—just released their full-length debut, Ambassador. The record carries enough grave-dancing energy to suggest that such Gothic preoccupations don’t necessarily lead to mopiness. ( www.elliottbrood.ca ) 3rd & Lindsley —CHRIS NEAL WEDNESDAY, 15TH PLUMB If you’ve been to the movies lately, you’ve probably heard a sample of Plumb’s work—her amped-up pop has recently been a popular choice for trailers and soundtracks. And it’s hardly surprising, given that the brash multilayered arrangements she creates with the help of longtime production partner Matt Bronleewe have a cinematic quality. A Nashville singer-songwriter who’s created hits-on-demand for Mandy Moore and Michelle Branch, Plumb tends to push the pop-rock boundaries further in her own music, crowding keyboards, strings, horns and thumping guitars into the accompaniment until it feels ready to burst. On her latest album, Chaotic Resolve, she delves into topics ranging from toxic friends to newlywed bliss to create an album that’s dramatic, but also plenty relatable. ( www.plumbinfo.com ) 12th & Porter —KATIE DODD LUNASA This Irish quintet’s intricate, groove-driven acoustic sound makes them one of Celtic music’s most highly regarded modern instrumental groups. Revered like rock stars back home, Lúnasa take traditional Irish instruments—fiddle, pipes, flute and guitar—and shift them into rhythmic overdrive with intricate arrangements. At the center of their sound is the playing of double bassist Trevor Hutchinson, whose time signatures lead the group toward the innovative turf of acoustic music leaders like Bela Fleck and Darol Anger. Lúnasa’s new album, Sé, came out last month on Nashville’s Compass Records; seeing the group in a venue this intimate should be amazing. ( www.lunasa.ie ) Gibson Musical Showcase —MICHAEL McCALL CLASSICAL NASHVILLE SYMPHONY: “ISLAND AND SEA” The major selections in this weekend’s NSO program at TPAC’s Jackson Hall are interlinked by genre and nationality. The program’s title pairs two evocative works, Debussy’s La Mer and contemporary Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara’s “Isle of Bliss.” Debussy revolutionized 20th century classical music by introducing a wide range of modal and tonal exploration that took its lead from French Impressionist painting; in this work, his symphonic sketches capture the images of the sea at peace, at play and in strife with the winds. Rautavaara’s mystical contemplation of an island paradise features atmospheric hints of his compatriot Aleksis Kivi’s poetry, which names this Edenic place “Lintukoto,” or “bird haven.” Though he wrote “Isle of Bliss” in 1995, Rautavaara’s piece is uncharacteristically neo-Romantic, echoing the techniques of the first great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, whose Violin Concerto in D Major will also be performed in the first half of this program. Here, Sibelius’ austere manner of writing vies with the late-Romantic tradition of exuberantly virtuosic violin soloists. Rising star Sarah Chang will perform this role under the baton of Norwegian guest conductor Arild Remmereit. —BILL LEVINE THEATER MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN Ambition is a constant at People’s Branch Theatre, which has already this season staged George Orwell’s towering 1984 and the strangely comic original musical Zombies Can’t Climb. Now PBT dives into Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, one of the epic dramas of literature, and a groundbreaking experimental piece in its own right. More than mere craftsman, the great German playwright was a theatrical reformer, concerned with making his audiences consider broader ideas beyond simple plot development. Alienation supersedes entertainment in the Brecht artistic philosophy, and Mother Courage is its prime exponent. It’s a play about war and business, about family and survival, yet its very theatricality is what counts, with Brecht giving his actors license to dissociate from their roles in service of focusing attention on political truth. Jeffrey Frace, who staged 1984, returns to Nashville to direct this production, which features PBT’s largest cast ever, an ensemble of 12 that includes Matthew Carlton, Denice Hicks, Brian Webb Russell and Josh Childs. It would be hard to think of another play that might best lend itself to PBT’s penchant for inventive, physically inspired approaches to performance. Pulling this one off means the audience will experience pathos, comedy and satire all at once, in what artistic director Matt Chiorini calls “a piece of vaudeville...and a first-rate piece of experimental theater.” The show opens March 9 at the Belcourt Theatre and runs through March 18. For information and tickets, phone 254-0008 or visit www.peoplesbranch.org. —MARTIN BRADY ART PICTURE MECHANICS/IMAGE DISTILLERY Where exactly is the line between commercial art and fine art? Would you expect to find a CD cover or an ad from The New Yorker featured in a gallery? Though there might not be easy answers to these questions, Zeitgeist Gallery hopes that its new exhibit will spur a few thoughtful debates. “Picture Mechanics” will feature paintings, collages, sculptures and photos by more than 15 illustrators whose work can be seen on everything from cereal boxes to Rolling Stone. In most cases, the quality of the art is so impressive it should transcend the fine art-vs.-commercial art debate. Picture Mechanics is an artist collective founded in 2000 to “explore new avenues for members.” The exhibit will open with a reception on March 11 from 6-8 p.m., and closes on April 15. And if you have more room for cheese and crackers, run across the street to the Hillsboro Shell, at the corner of Acklen and 21st Avenue South, for the inaugural exhibit of Nashville’s own illustrator collective, the Image Distillery. The show, “Tall Tales and Other Eccentricities,” features work by such familiar and beloved names as Dan Brawner, Bryce McCloud, Jim Sherraden and more than a dozen others, and will run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. (Also, on March 9 at 7 p.m., Image Distillery artists Bob and Val Tillery will deliver a lecture at Watkins College of Art & Design.) —JESSICA FRIEDMAN MICHAEL NICHOLS & BRENT OGLESBEE Both professors at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky., Michael Nichols and Brent Oglesbee each explore perspective and temporality in their work, which is featured in the latest exhibit at Watkins College of Art & Design’s Brownlee O. Currey Gallery. Nichols’ drawings present the idea of multiple perspectives by overlaying identical drawings of the same object from different points of view. The effect is not that of a Cubist object in a frozen moment, seen from all sides at once, but instead a representation of changing perspectives through the passage of time. At first glance, Oglesbee’s sculptures resemble functional technology. Under closer scrutiny however, temporal and spatial absurdities are revealed as the viewer discovers omissions, redundancies and general signs of material fatigue in the artist’s designs. In this play of perceptions, Oglesbee attempts to illustrate that point where material culture gives way to human grace. An artist’s reception is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 10. —JOE NOLAN “NEW BLOOD 5” The four artists being introduced in this show at Finer Things Gallery bring some surprising imagery with them. The most unusual work from the point of view of technique and materials is that of Matthew Cox, who starts with found X-ray images and embroiders detailed figures over them. Lisa Krivacka catalogs Middle America in paintings of scenes that are commonplace to the point of invisibility—the interiors of motels and military barracks, trailer parks, houses in real estate ads, cars in scenic vacation settings, deer hunters with their kills. Gwen Manfrin’s finely rendered graphite drawings place adolescent girls in a white background that leaves it up to the expression, dress and pose of the figures to express their psychological inner lives. Mel Rea sculpts humorous ceramic figures. The gallery will host an opening reception 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. —DAVID MADDOX “WEAPON OF CHOICE” This Saturday is proving to be a happening night, with shows all over town spotlighting an array of local artists. Add to the mix this one-night event, presented by the Off the Wall group. Participating artists Jenny Baggs, Quinn Dukes, Janet Heilbronn, Mahlea Jones, Jennifer Ramsey, Jaime Raybin and Iwonka Waskowski—most or all of them with ties to Watkins College of Art & Design—will join guest artist Colleen McCormick for a show of paintings, sculpture, installation, ceramics, silkscreen prints and drawings at Marathon Village, 1305 Clinton St. Proceeds from a silent auction will benefit Transitions: Women’s Recovery Program, and the evening will feature live music as well. The show, which runs 7-11 p.m. March 11, is the group’s fifth, and if previous outings are any indication, each one gets better than the last. For more info, visit www.offthewallartgroup.com. —JONATHAN MARX PAM LEWIS Late bloomers, take note: it’s possible to publish a really good first novel at age 60. Now in paperback, Pam Lewis’ debut, Speak Softly, She Can Hear (Simon & Schuster), is both a taut psychological thriller and a beautiful literary novel. In 1965, two prep school teenagers from New York City, Carole and Naomi, make a pact to lose their virginity during a ski trip in Vermont. Carole accomplishes her goal with Eddie, the older guy Naomi has recruited for the task, but the night ends in tragedy: a woman’s death and a burial in the snow. Carole, Naomi and Eddie are bound together by the secret of that night, and Carole’s life is changed forever. As she tries to live with the guilt, her goals and her relationships change, and she stakes out a new life for herself in Vermont. Still, the past always threatens and ultimately must be faced. Carole is a sympathetic character even when she’s doing the wrong thing. Eddie may be one of the most disturbing characters in recent fiction, always in the background, always showing up just when Carole thinks that maybe she can go on with her life. A warning: this novel is not a good companion for those dark nights when tree limbs push against the windows, and mysterious creaks sound throughout the house. Lewis reads at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on March 14 at 6 p.m. —FAYE JONES “FULL ACQUITTAL” The latest exhibit at Secret Show Series is the local artist group’s first ever national juried show, bringing in a mix of names both new and familiar. Artists with work on view at 310 Chestnut St. include Jodi Hays, Michelle Word, Jarrod Houghton, Andrew Hardin, Angela Messina, Chris Comperry, Kathryn Snell Ryan, Lori Nelson, Matt Christy and Sewanee student Kevin McCoy, winner of the show’s top honor. “Full Acquittal” opens with a reception, 7-9 p.m. Saturday night, and runs through March 31. For more info, visit www.secretshowseries.com. —JONATHAN MARX “THE MODEL ARTISTS” Conceived and curated by painter Shana Kohnstamm, this one-night-only show at Studio SoBro blurs the line between artist and subject. In early January, 22 Nashville artists drew each others’ names from a hat and each one then became the model for another, hence the concept for this show: “The Model Artists.” Kohnstamm explains that her experiment is meant to encourage an artists-for-artists sense of community. Sara La, Alesandra Bellos and Lain York are among the painters, printmakers, photographers and sculptors participating. The exhibit will be held on March 11, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Studio SoBro is located at the corner of Second Avenue South and Lea Avenue. —JOE NOLAN BOOKS PAM LEWIS Late bloomers, take note: it’s possible to publish a really good first novel at age 60. Now in paperback, Pam Lewis’ debut, Speak Softly, She Can Hear (Simon & Schuster), is both a taut psychological thriller and a beautiful literary novel. In 1965, two prep school teenagers from New York City, Carole and Naomi, make a pact to lose their virginity during a ski trip in Vermont. Carole accomplishes her goal with Eddie, the older guy Naomi has recruited for the task, but the night ends in tragedy: a woman’s death and a burial in the snow. Carole, Naomi and Eddie are bound together by the secret of that night, and Carole’s life is changed forever. As she tries to live with the guilt, her goals and her relationships change, and she stakes out a new life for herself in Vermont. Still, the past always threatens and ultimately must be faced. Carole is a sympathetic character even when she’s doing the wrong thing. Eddie may be one of the most disturbing characters in recent fiction, always in the background, always showing up just when Carole thinks that maybe she can go on with her life. A warning: this novel is not a good companion for those dark nights when tree limbs push against the windows, and mysterious creaks sound throughout the house. Lewis reads at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on March 14 at 6 p.m. —FAYE JONES FILM NASHVILLE PREMIERES FILM FESTIVAL So there’s nothing interesting at the movies, eh? Tell it to the folks at Nashville Premieres, the grass-roots organization of movie fanatics who’ve kept a vigilant eye all year on what has and hasn’t played Nashville. Their annual festival of films that fell through the cracks is becoming a viable event that brings out the city’s most adventurous moviegoers. This year’s roster is especially diverse: a pair of recently revived golden-age Westerns (1946’s Duel in the Sun and 1957’s 3:10 to Yuma); a restored Technicolor marvel by the great Jean Renoir (1951’s The River); a strong contender for the most searing and controversial of all Vietnam War documentaries (1971’s long-unseen Winter Soldier). The big news, though, is the local premiere of three items from the top of cinephiles’ wish lists—Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Innocence, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Café Lumiere and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady—that are as different from each other as they are from anything else you’ll see at the movies all year. The festival continues through March 16 at the Belcourt. —JIM RIDLEY NEIL YOUNG: HEART OF GOLD Under Jonathan Demme’s loving, attentive direction, this concert film shot last year at the Ryman Auditorium turns the songs from Neil Young’s Prairie Wind album into a celebration of community and deep roots as a balm in the face of mortality. A love letter to the Ryman, to Nashville and to country music, the film features Emmylou Harris, veteran steel player Ben Keith, the Fisk Jubilee Singers and more; it opens Friday at Green Hills, with a gala local premiere featuring Young, Demme and other guests Thursday night. —JIM RIDLEY FILMS BY TONY CONRAD In what’s shaping up as a legendary week of moviegoing choices in Nashville, the stakes have been raised yet again. To celebrate the Nashville appearance this week of seminal avant-garde musician/composer Tony Conrad, Ruby Green Contemporary Arts Center is hosting an evening of Conrad’s experimental films, which turn the processes of production and projection into striking, sometimes hallucinatory visual components. A defining work of the structural film movement of the 1960s, and one of the most famous experimental films ever made, 1966’s “The Flicker” provides a stroboscopic experience so intense that the 30-minute film is preceded by a medical warning. Also showing are 1970’s “Straight and Narrow,” which produces the illusion of color in black-and-white film, and 1974’s “Film Feedback,” in which film shot from a rear-projection screen in a dark room is immediately processed and looped back through the projector. The program will have two shows Tuesday night at the arts center, located at 514 Fifth Ave. S.; admission is $6 or free to anyone who attends Conrad’s music performance the preceding night. A big hand for promoter Chris Davis, who’s been booking world-class talents such as Conrad and jazz pianist Matthew Shipp in some of the most innovative spaces in town. —JIM RIDLEY THE HILLS HAVE EYES It’s the nuclear family vs. the post-nuclear family in this remake of Wes Craven’s grimy ’70s horror classic, in which vacationing suburbanites are set upon by a desert clan of radioactive mutants. French splatter maven Alexandre Aja (High Tension) directed. It starts Friday, along with Tim Allen as The Shaggy Dog; both movies are among the attractions this weekend as the Stardust Drive-In reopens for the season in Watertown.  —JIM RIDLEY

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