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Tin Pan South * Thursday 30th-Saturday 1st

This annual festival of performing songwriters has scaled back its ambitions over the years. There’s no longer a legend-stacked Ryman Auditorium show or as many big-name, out-of-town stars.
This annual festival of performing songwriters has scaled back its ambitions over the years. There’s no longer a legend-stacked Ryman Auditorium show or as many big-name, out-of-town stars. Still, Tin Pan South remains an attractive celebration of those who write the songs that much of the world sings, as well as an opportunity to catch wealthy hit-makers and struggling up-and-comers sharing old favorites and new tunes in club settings. Strong shows this year include Thursday’s rock-oriented night at The Basement, where buzzworthy Canadian Jessica Maros joins locals Cortney Tidwell, Daniel Tashian and Kyle Andrews in an early show leading into a set featuring roots-rock vets Rodney Crowell, Will Kimbrough and Pat Buchanan. Also on Thursday (at Mercy Lounge), Mindy Smith premieres new material in a strong lineup that includes Kate York and intriguing newcomer Betsy Roo, followed by well-traveled writers Cindy Bullens, Bill Lloyd, Marcus Hummon and Pure Prairie League’s Craig Fuller. On Saturday at 3rd & Lindsley, in a show of female rockers from California, onetime punk-pop queen Bonnie Hayes shows she’s still writing deceptively simple, catchy songs two decades after Good Clean Fun. She’ll be joined by Animal Logic’s Deborah Holland, Jenny Yates and the always witty and wonderful Wendy Waldman. The same night at Douglas Corner, Cowboy Jack Clement convenes a large roundup that includes former stars Lynn Anderson and Dobie Gray. (www.tinpansouth.com) —MICHAEL McCALL MUSIC THURSDAY, 30TH MIKE HENDERSON & THE STEEL DRIVERS When an arguably jaded sideman like banjo player Richard Bailey can’t stop talking about a new group he’s involved in, sensible folks listen. This isn’t quite a debut for the Steel Drivers—Bailey, Mike Henderson (mandolin), Chris Stapleton (guitar), Tammy Rogers (fiddle) and bassist Mike Fleming—but it’s pretty close. So while Henderson, Stapleton and Rogers are familiar to country and Americana observers, their take on bluegrass (and all of them have serious ’grass roots) will be a refreshing surprise to most. One expects the songwriting to be more than a cut above the usual, and it is—as are the instrumental chops and the sandpaper-to-silk vocals. But though the band’s approach is broad, it includes a dark, Stanley-sounding edge that’s rare in Nashville. Most importantly, and perhaps most surprisingly, the Steel Drivers sound not like a collection of good musicians, but like a band—distinctive, tight and all pulling in the same direction. Station Inn —JON WEISBERGER GALACTIC Produced by Dan the Automator, Galactic’s last studio album, Ruckus, was their most pop-leaning record to date, featuring vocal tunes, catchy hooks and a tighter approach. But with the departure of singer Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet, the band have headed back in the direction of their New Orleans roots, focusing on the funky instrumentals that have made them a huge draw on the festival circuit. They’ve always been one of the more undeniable jam bands, probably a result of being raised on étouffée and pralines instead of alfalfa sprouts and yerba mate. And like their hometown peers, they know the value of a groove—particularly drummer Stanton Moore (“The Drumming Whore”), who understands the secret of a good second-line strut. ( www.galacticfunk.com ) City Hall —JACK SILVERMAN FRIDAY, 31ST R. KELLY Kelly must love it when media outlets poke fun at him. Lord knows I’ve reveled in the comedy afforded by both an alleged underage sexual encounter and an episodic soap-opera single, as have most people utterly baffled by how the Chicago native stays on top after so much insanity. But the answer’s simple: on CD, Kelly does it right. Who else could turn lovemakin’ with vegetables in the kitchen into one of the smoothest jams on last year’s TP.3 Reloaded? If anything, the attention only attracts great beat makers and inspires Kelly to sing his heart out, and his blazin’ live performances ensure that his stay at the top of the R&B world won’t be burdened by a scandal anytime soon. Ryman Auditorium —SAM MACHKOVECH LUCERO The documentary Dreaming in America follows this Memphis band as they tour the country, find themselves without a label and record their 2005 album Nobody’s Darlings with producer Jim Dickinson. That record embodies all those days on the road and all those nights onstage as Lucero veered from their alt-country roots to create a rampaging rock record. Last time they were in town they played so long and hard that lead singer Ben Nichols was finally forced to admit, “This is the last song we remember.” ( www.luceromusic.com) Mercy Lounge —LEE STABERT SUNDAY, 2ND MATES OF STATE/MARIA TAYLOR On their debut, My Solo Project, Mates of State—the wife-and-husband duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel—sounded like a couple of teenagers trying to re-create early Rainer Maria without using guitars. Since then, they’ve gone on making a joyous noise together, she with her now twinkling, now growling organ, he with his heavy, agile drumming. At their romantic and unguarded best, Gardner and Hammel sing with high, interlocking voices that crash into each other’s lines over big major chords. It’s heady stuff, and pop magic. Maria Taylor may be better known as a member of Azure Ray, but her solo album 11:11 was, rather than doubly loud, as its title might suggest, a lovely collection of hushed, understated pop. (www.matesofstate.com) The End —STEVE HARUCH THE GRIS GRIS These psych-rockers bring a kind of disorienting instrumental wash that sometimes threatens to obliterate whatever conversation the more straightforward sections of their songs begin. The Olivia Tremor Control similarly sought to re-create a certain era of psychedelia, but where OTC were always reminding their listeners how much they worshipped the acid-tripping Beatles, Gris Gris seem less concerned with homage (though they certainly nod in many familiar directions) than with a charming oddball craft. Though they meander, their songs are enjoyably weird, occasionally upsetting and variously brilliant. ( www.birdmanrecords.com/grisgris.html ) Springwater —STEVE HARUCH TUESDAY, 4TH NEIL ROSENGARDEN This guy made his TV debut in 1961 at age 9 on an NBC Thanksgiving special, performing a duet with trumpeter Al Hirt. In the intervening years, he’s amassed an eclectic résumé, even in a town as saturated with studio rats as Nashville. Though known mostly for his work on trumpet, flugelhorn and French horn, Rosengarden sings and plays just about every instrument imaginable, and has worked with everyone from Aretha Franklin, Ethel Merman and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to Doug Sahm, Jill Sobule and Guster. He’s also a prolific composer and arranger. His most recent disc, Insurgency, Insurgency! Everybody to Get From Street!, is an encyclopedia of sophisticated pop styles, echoing strains of Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson and Steely Dan. (www.myspace.com/neilrosengarden) Playing 9 p.m. at The Basement’s New Faces Nite —JACK SILVERMAN WEDNESDAY, 5TH JOHNNY HILAND Lately, Hiland mainly stuns guitar fans during conventions hosted by instrument-makers; that’s when other guitarists bow to the amazingly talented blind musician, who, in the words of another sharp picker, Ricky Skaggs, “is the most versatile guitar player I’ve ever heard.” Hiland recently had a Paul Smith Reed guitar named in his honor, so he’s been traveling and showing off the new instrument’s capabilities. A native of Maine, he first drew attention performing for tips on Lower Broad, but before long was playing on the albums of country stars and trading licks onstage with guitar heroes like Steve Vai and Vernon Reid. As guitar heroes go, Hiland’s modest only in personality, not in expressing his talent. Live, his trio will blow you away no matter your musical tastes. (www.johnnyhiland.com) 3rd & Lindsley —MICHAEL McCALL TUPPER SAUSSY “Classical musicians duking it out with Nashville cats and Tijuana brass, with a harpsichord-wielding composer serving as ringmaster and referee? What on Earth were they thinking?” Andy Zax’s liner notes for Rhino’s two-disc collection of The Neon Philharmonic’s complete Warner Bros. recordings give some idea of the eclectic musical madness to expect when Neon mastermind Tupper Saussy debuts The Chocolate Orchid Piano Bar this week. Surely his music is no more eclectic than his life: Saussy retired from advertising at age 32 after setting aside a tidy sum, devoted himself to music and art, co-founded The Neon Philharmonic, authored several books (and edited one by James Earl Ray), spent a decade as a fugitive from the IRS for his willful refusal to pay income tax (during which time he lived incognito in California, playing piano in a mall), then served 14 months in federal custody. According to the press release, The Chocolate Orchid Piano Bar is “where lonely hearts and hopeful souls convene”; part narrative song cycle, part theatrical cabaret, the work covers a broad range of styles, from jazz to pop to country ballads. The Basement —JACK SILVERMAN THEATER ENCHANTED APRIL Elizabeth Von Arnim’s 1921 best seller has made it to the screen twice, in 1925 and 1991. More recently, Matthew Barber worked the tale into a play script that eventually made its way to Broadway in 2003, starring Molly Ringwald and Elizabeth Ashley. It’s an old-fashioned romantic comedy, set in post-World War I England, in which four dissimilar women depart for a holiday at a secluded castle in Italy. The desired ends here are poignancy, high comedy and some insight into the human spirit, all delivered with unapologetic optimism. Score it as one for the Room With a View crowd. The new GroundWorks Theatre production has an excellent cast of eight, including Lisa Gillespie, Charles Howard, Megan Murphy and Pat Rulon. Performed March 31-April 8 at the Darkhorse Theater. For reservations, call 262-5485. —MARTIN BRADY WISECRACK Aubrey Derryberry is a performance artist—or, more broadly, a magical realist who considers herself a purveyor of wonder. The Nashville native desires to meld music, the visual arts and improvisational acting into a mélange of audience-interactive expression. Derryberry will achieve this 8 p.m. March 31 at the Anchor, 629 Third Ave S., where she’ll oversee a collection of comedians, mimes and other entertainers in what she says is “kind of like a family-style drag show, only there’s no nudity, no swearing and no violence.” Louisville band Cabin will also be on hand to join in with the dance, the storytelling, the poetry...and the bubbles. This is an all-ages event, and children are admitted free. For further information, e-mail wisecrack_aubrey@yahoo.com. —MARTIN BRADY TAKE ME OUT Richard Greenberg’s play, centered around a Major League baseball player who announces that he is gay, debuted off-Broadway in 2002 and later moved to Broadway in 2003, where it ran at the Walter Kerr Theatre for a year and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. All the lightning-rod elements of contemporary social conflict are here: self-acceptance, prejudice, taboos, racism and hate crimes. The script is noted for its humor, its rawness and its honesty, and there are significant episodes of locker-room nudity, all of which should sufficiently challenge director Deborah Anderson and her cast for this production at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre, March 31-April 8. For reservations, phone 494-8810. —MARTIN BRADY BABY WITH THE BATHWATER Christopher Durang writes strangely satirical comedies that are often just wild enough to deter community theater groups from mounting them. That’s not stopping the ambitious student members of the University School of Nashville Theatre Guild from presenting Durang’s adult-themed 1984 farce about an unstable Mom and Dad who scramble their son’s gender identity and pair him up with a nymphomaniacal nanny. John Early directs the cast of eight. Presented at the Belcourt Theatre, March 31-April 2. For reservations, call 403-6119. —MARTIN BRADY “A WOMAN AIN’T I?” Kathryn Woods is a Boston-based actress who’s clocked in a lot of miles touring this one-woman show to colleges and community groups nationwide. She portrays slave-activist Sojourner Truth, relating the story of her subject’s early life in bondage and her later battle with the federal government to secure land for distribution to ex-slaves. Woods performs 6-9 p.m. March 30 in the Morgan University Center Ballroom at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. For more information, phone (931) 221-7120. —MARTIN BRADY ART RODNEY WHITE AND DAN BYNUM TAG Art Gallery presents a new show by two artists who explore humor and storytelling in their vibrant, colorful work. Rodney White’s love of vintage signs is evident in his bold, graphic paintings on cracked, pitted wood. Evoking advertising from a bygone era, he replaces the coercive copy of Madison Avenue with messages that offer smarmy, ironic advice. His “Self Service” paintings imbed numerological references into service-station signage, and his most effective messages come through in his most indirect work. In Dan Bynum’s paintings, layers of unrelated images interact, implying humorous, satirical narratives. This idea is reiterated in the artist’s salon-style installations that create connections between disparate works. The gallery holds an artists’ reception Saturday, April 1, 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs through April 29. —JOE NOLAN SHER FICK, RYAN LEWIS, JACQUELINE MEEKS, AIMEE MILLSPAUGH, BROOKE MINTON: “FLUX” Presented in the Todd Gallery, MTSU’s Bachelor of Fine Art Studio Department opens its senior show on Monday, April 3. The exhibit, entitled “FLUX,” features painting/sculpture by Sher Fick, sculpture/book arts by Ryan Lewis, sculpture by Jacqueline Meeks, ceramics by Aimee Millspaugh and printmaking/sculpture by Brooke Minton. In her video “Suck,” Meeks explores the intersection of lust and reason by graphing lines onto a man’s back and applying hickeys within the resulting squares. Ryan Lewis’ untitled, pamphlet-bound, graphic comic is a diaristic chronicle of one month of his life. The public is invited to attend an artists’ reception on Monday, April 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m. For directions, contact the gallery at 898-5653. —JOE NOLAN BLAYNE CLEMENTS AND MIRANDA HERRICK, “WHAT ANOTHER MAN SPILLS” Monica Herrick is a young artist building up a track record running a series of galleries in Clarksville. Her latest space, which she runs with three collaborators, is Alter Gallery. The gallery’s new show, borrowing its title from a line in a Grateful Dead song, features Herrick’s own work, a collaboration with Blayne Clements on an installation made from “repurposed” materials—junk to some, cheap art supplies to others. The show opens with a reception 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, April 1; after that, it will be on view 2-4 p.m. Sunday afternoons through April 16, and on Thursday, April 6, as part of Clarksville’s Downtown Art Walk. The gallery is at 124B Legion St., Clarksville. —DAVID MADDOX “ART WORK BY HARRY” Plowhaus Artists Co-op member Harry started showing his work only five years ago, and already he has carved a niche for himself in the local art community. His flat, almost panel-like scenes of daily activities epitomize a slow, Southern lifestyle most of us have already forgotten, and his choice of colors would complement your mother’s olive-green kitchen or a peach taffeta prom dress from 1965. Harry shows regularly around the Southeast, most recently in Birmingham, Atlanta and a few Untitled Artist Group shows here in Nashville. His solo show at Plowhaus opens this Saturday, with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. —CLAIRE SUDDATH TEMPLE ARTS FESTIVAL It’s not often that Nashville audiences have the opportunity to purchase pieces from such internationally known artists as Dale Chihuly, perhaps the world’s leading maker of large-scale glass sculptures. Chihuly will be joined by 150 other local and national artists in the annual Temple Arts Festival, held at Congregation Ohabai Sholom April 1-2. Other participating artists include top-notch glass sculptors David Huchthausen and Marvin Lipofsky. Limited-edition lithographs of Marc Chagall’s “Windows” masterpieces will also be on view; the original stained-glass works in this series reside at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The festival kicks off with a Connoisseur’s Champagne Preview on Saturday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., followed by the Collector’s Preview starting at 5:30. After that, public admission is $15 beginning at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the festival runs 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with free admission all day. For info, contact www.templeartsfestival.com. —JESSICA FRIEDMAN HEATH BARTEL, “21ST CENTURY LANDSCAPES” Bartel is a versatile artist from outside Buffalo, N.Y., whose work ranges from paintings and drawings in series to elaborate mixed-media sculptures. His show at Ruby Green will contain paintings from a series that takes images from microscopes and telescopes, then turns them into colorful abstract paintings that explore the structural analogies between these landscapes and the ones we see in everyday life. There will be a reception for the artist 6-9 p.m. Saturday, April 1. —DAVID MADDOX FILM NASHVILLE INTERNATIONAL BLACK FILM FESTIVAL Now in its sixth year, Fisk University’s annual film festival steps up in scale and ambition, offering guests including actor Sy Richardson (Repo Man), longtime Academy Awards choreographer Debbie Allen and veteran cinematographer John Simmons, along with screenings of foreign and independent features. The festival begins Sunday at venues including Fisk and the Belcourt. —JIM RIDLEY DEVIL MUSIC ENSEMBLE: “SYMPHONY OF HORROR” WITH NOSFERATU In the tradition of groups as otherwise disparate as the Alloy Orchestra and the Asylum Street Spankers, Boston’s Devil Music Ensemble perform live scores for silent films—not the rinky-dink piano accompaniment of yore, but an orchestral weave of strings, synthesizer, guitar, vibraphone and percussion. Not that it should be all that difficult to provide atmosphere for F.W. Murnau’s 1922 classic Nosferatu, with its expressionistic shadows and the long talons of rodentlike horror icon Max Schreck. The trio of Brendon Wood, Jonah Rapino and Tim Nylander perform one show only 8 p.m. Monday at the Belcourt; bring your own wolfsbane. —JIM RIDLEY MANDERLAY A perfect complement to The Confederate States of America, Lars von Trier’s follow-up to his stylized political allegory Dogville takes place on a Southern plantation where slavery has survived the Depression. As a well-meaning white liberator (Bryce Dallas Howard, taking over the Nicole Kidman role) sets free the black residents, the director poses a provocative question: is self-determined slavery preferable to imposed democracy? The fine cast includes Danny Glover, Isaach de Bankolé, Lauren Bacall, Chloë Sevigny and Willem Dafoe; the movie opens Saturday at the Belcourt. —JIM RIDLEY BEING THERE In 1979, Peter Sellers had his last great role as a sweet-natured simpleton who rises to the nation’s highest echelons of power, just by uttering TV-derived banalities that sound profound out of context. The implausibility of Hal Ashby’s satire was proved the next year, when Ronald Reagan was elected president. Ashby’s film version of the Jerzy Kosinski novel screens 6:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the “Silence of God” Lenten Film Series at the Downtown Presbyterian Church—presumably as a warning of the dangers of misconstruing a one-sided conversation. The film is free, as is the dinner preceding at 5:30. —JIM RIDLEY BASIC INSTINCT 2 Sharon Stone returns as Catherine Tramell, the cinema’s reigning EBP—Evil Bisexual Predator—in this divalicious sequel to the Paul Verhoeven kinkfest. If you’re the kind of perv who goes in for gratuitous nudity, gore and mayhem, save me a seat. It starts Friday, along with Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; don’t get the two confused. —JIM RIDLEY SLITHER In the drive-in of our dreams, this is already playing in a double feature with next fall’s too-cool-for-an-Oscar shocker Snakes on a Plane. In James Gunn’s serpentine B-movie, space slugs wreak slimy havoc on a small town, leaving Serenity’s Nathan Fillion to fend off the squishy horrors. Opening Friday. —JIM RIDLEY THE CELESTINE PROPHECY There wouldn’t be The DaVinci Code without James Redfield’s runaway best seller—so now you know whom to blame. A sacred manuscript that holds the key to human enlightenment sets off an adventurous quest in the movie version of Redfield’s novel, which stars Thomas Kretschmann, Hector Elizondo and Jurgen Prochnow. Religious Science of Nashville will host two preview screenings 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the sanctuary on 6709 Charlotte Pike; tickets may be reserved by contacting www.rsn.org. —JIM RIDLEY

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