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Little Steven’s Underground Garage Rock Tour

It’s a bit unclear when Steven Van Zandt—a.k.a. Little Steven, a.k.a. Silvio Dante—appointed himself poster boy for the garage-rock movement, but it’s apparent he takes the title seriously.
It’s a bit unclear when Steven Van Zandt—a.k.a. Little Steven, a.k.a. Silvio Dante—appointed himself poster boy for the garage-rock movement, but it’s apparent he takes the title seriously. On his awesome “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” show on Sirius, he celebrates the wonder of three grungy chords, fuzzed-out amps and a whole lotta attitude, whether it’s coming from Joan Jett, Bo Diddley or up-and-comers like the Gore Gore Girls. Now, following a momentous festival in New York that witnessed the reunion of the New York Dolls as well as a search-and-destroy set by Iggy & the Stooges, Van Zandt has taken his cause on the road, sponsoring the kind of package tour seldom seen since the Beau Brummells and the Standells were barnstorming the country. Celebrating the continuum of rip-kneed rave-up rock and psychedelic pop from their ’60s heyday to the present and beyond, the tour links headliners The Zombies—or rather Zombies members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent—with Georgia’s legendary garage warriors The Woggles and bash-pop dandies The Mooney Suzuki to represent four decades of hooky noise. If that weren’t enough tiger in your tank, Atlanta’s single-minded Forty-Fives provide support, and for this show only the bill features The Shazam, a band of East and Middle Tennesseans whose anthemic pop might’ve fought off the British Invasion back in the day. Add Van Zandt’s signature go-go girls, and you get a night that proves there’s plenty of combustible material still left in the old garage. City Hall —EMILY ZEMLER MUSIC THURSDAY, 28TH BUTTERFLY BOUCHER Scary Fragile is the working title of Butterfly Boucher’s upcoming CD, but it could also describe her status in the music industry. Like many other promising acts, she’s orbiting in major-label limbo—after A&M/Geffen released her debut Flutterby in 2004, Butterfly and producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes) got busy on Scary Fragile and turned in a fully mixed album in January, but the label is dragging its feet and won’t release it until sometime next year, possibly on the Polydor’s UK imprint. In the meantime Butterfly’s getting restless, so she’ll take the stage this week to debut songs from the new record. Standouts include the new-wavish “Just One Tear” (in which she coos, “I could be the girl who kisses everyone at the party”), the spooky “Gun for a Tongue” (whose verse channels The Zombies’ “She’s Not There”) and the lovely, brooding title track. She’s an engaging performer, coy yet in control, and she’ll be backed by a stellar band, including David Mead, The Bees’ Daniel Tashian, John Deaderick and Keith Brogden. Dawson Wells & Some Hot Chicks and KS Rhoads open. 3rd & Lindsley —JACK SILVERMAN ASCENT OF EVEREST Murfreesboro’s Ascent of Everest could write a master’s thesis on the art of restraint. Their shimmering brand of atmospheric rock commands attention, cock-teasing the listener with a gradual swelling of sound until they indulge with cathartic release. The mesmerizing pull and richly layered instrumentation on songs such as “Molotov” and “As the City Burned” serve as a reminder that mature pathos and raw ambition can turn a good local band into something bordering on greatness. ( www.ascentofeverest.com ) The End —JOEY HOOD CITIZEN COPE A former member of Maryland indie-rap outfit Basehead, Citizen Cope (a.k.a. Clarence Greenwood) has made a handful of modestly appealing folk-hop records that suggest that not everyone in the jam-band scene (which has embraced Cope as a grittier version of G. Love) is allergic to tunes. Every Waking Moment, Cope’s latest, sports some of his prettiest, most casually funky material yet. ( www.citizencope.com ) City Hall —MIKAEL WOOD K-ROB A clubbing motif runs strong throughout Nashville R&B singer K-Rob’s forthcoming self-titled album. And when it comes to poppin’ bottles, it used to be all about Moet—now Cristal’s the thing, at least since 1996. K-Rob is still throwing back both those bubblies in “Lovers.” But by the time we get to “2nite”—where K-Rob tells his lady friend, “Put your body in this limousine, ‘cause I got plans for you”—somehow we’ve downgraded to Alizé on ice. “The Velvet Room,” where ladies are “showing their navels and their tattoos,” has a dancehall feel, and some lucky lady is getting her lower back tongued, her body candle-waxed and her feet kissed in the bump-and-grinding “Slow and Sexy.” The fresh surprise here, though, is a thoughtful cover of the oft-overlooked Stevie Wonder standard “Golden Lady.” BB King’s (Downstairs) —MAKKADA B. SELAH BACKWARDS BATTLE W/ ANTITHESIS MC Spoken Nerd, the “cheap-skatin’ Mr. Rogers (mountain-man version),” is nothing if not novel conceptually. That he’s headlining a Backwards Battle, where MCs battle each other by dissing themselves, should be a surprise to none of his fans. He’ll be performing with Kapsole as the rap duo Antithesis, who released Perpetual Emotion this year. Though these kids claim a Def Jux/Rhymesayers influence, their stream-of-unconsciousness rhyme flow suggests they learned how to rap from listening to Kool Keith’s Dr. Octagon. They often can’t seem to land a verse on the lo-fi beats they rhyme over, and the lyrics are cryptic and rife with non-sequiturs. However, Antithesis fashion this apparent recipe for disaster into infectious, accessible underground rap. MCs with low self-esteem should arrive early to sign up for the battle. ( www.myspace.com/antithesisrmd ) Springwater —MARK MAYS ALICE SMITH As often as Prince warned against it, we continue to categorize artists, segregating them by the color of their skin as much as the style of their music. Too often this segmenting allows fine performers to slide by unnoticed. Considering Alice Smith’s window-shaking yet melodious four-octave voice and talent for picking smart pop songs, it would be a shame if she slipped past as well. Her debut record For Lovers, Dreamers, and Me evokes ’70s Haight-Ashbury and both Brit-pop invasions in a way that’s vintage rather than retro. However, despite the psych-rock signifiers, Smith’s bluesy wail and the contributions of Imani Coppola give the record a contemporary funk edge. Each time you think one of her songs will lapse into a Beatles caricature, Smith surprises with a quirky turn—or reminds us that we’re listening to a potential soul diva. Opens for Citizen Cope. City Hall —MARK MAYS BRANFORD MARSALIS Marsalis’ virtuosity as a classical musician is thoroughly noted; his classical recordings have been well received. He’s limited himself to modern pieces written specifically for the saxophone, which makes the high-wire act for an improvisational jazz musician playing classical less daunting—or interesting. However, Marsalis manages to bend the compositions he plays towards his strengths, like slowing the tempo to allow greater freedom in playing over the classical music structures. Marsalis will play a similar set as the last of his three shows at Nashville’s new symphony hall, taking on works from Ravel and Milhaud and adding a song by Jacques Ibert to the card. Schermerhorn Symphony Center —MARK MAYS FRIDAY, 29TH-SATURDAY, 30TH GRAND MASTER FIDDLER CHAMPIONSHIP These days, the devil would not go down to Georgia if he wanted to challenge the best fiddlers in North America. Instead, ol’ Beezelbub would resin up his bow at the Grand Master Fiddler Championship, held in association with the International Bluegrass Music Association’s convention. Perhaps the most prestigious of all national fiddle contests, the Grand Master attracts all ages of hotshots who show off their technique and ingenuity in a series of entertaining showdowns. Friday’s two preliminary rounds lead to Saturday’s semi-finals and finals, and both days are dotted with performances by top performers from bluegrass and acoustic music circles. Friday’s headliners The Grascals will be preceded by the great young fiddler Michael Cleveland, the Mike Snider Band and flatpickers Robert Shafer and Adam Wright. Closing night, the stellar Nashville Bluegrass Band will be preceded by The Whites and the Opry Square Dancers. ( www.grandmasterfiddler.com ) Nashville Convention Center —MICHAEL MCCALL FRIDAY, 29TH MOGLAH It takes some kind of obsession to record a cover of not just a song, but an entire album. It takes something bordering on insanity to do so with one of the most revered albums ever—and to do it 11 times. Over the past seven years, Hideki Inoue, a.k.a. Moglah, has been rerecording, remixing and remaking his remake of The Beatles’ Revolver, and—with a little help from his friends in The Squibs—he will be performing the entire album for Nashville, which he called home for a time. The recorded artifact, Revolvah, opens with a halting, dirge-like “Taxman,” followed by a hyperactive, synth-laden “Eleanor Rigby” that sounds like collaboration between Cornelius and a whacked-out Wendy Carlos. It only gets weirder after that. Blasphemy? Genius? You decide. Inoue will also play solo with backing tracks at Grimey’s the next day. ( www.myspace.com/moglah ) The Basement —STEVE HARUCH COLOUR REVOLT Mississippi bad-asses Colour Revolt are masters of the mellow scream—think Faith No More’s “King for a Day,” where vocal tension balances on smooth, crunchy sound and just floats on by. Their arrangements are languid and loose, yet snap into remarkably intricate guitar counterpoint seemingly with no effort. Though they may be college students, the moniker “college rock” is far too limiting when it comes to encompassing the brainy, sensual rock of this quintet’s sound, where the listener becomes subsumed by the spacious, visceral charge and eddies of noise. ( www.myspace.com/colourrevolt ) The Basement —JASON SHAWHAN GRAN BEL FISHER Too bad rock radio as a ladder to stardom doesn’t exist anymore. Ohio native Gran Bel Fisher—now living in L.A.—has a bag full of slick tunes on his debut Full Moon Cigarette on Hollywood Records, and a powerful baritone that probably sounds great blaring from a car. His better songs, “Bound by Love” and “Edible,” lean on piano and strings to add a little extra fuel to his sing-along choruses. Fisher is rather serious and irony-deficient, which makes it fitting that his “Bound by Love” can be found on the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. He’s a throwback for sure, but we bet he finds a few fans—radio or not—who will embrace his sturdier tunes. ( www.granbelfisher.com ) Exit/In the 29th; Borders in-store the 30th —WERNER TRIESCHMANN SATURDAY, 30TH PARAMORE With firebrand frontwoman Agent M’s Tsunami Bomb having gone the way of Juliette Lewis’ singing career, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O remaining in orbit around her own private Space Mountain, Hayley Williams might very well emerge as the YouTube generation’s kinder, gentler version of Joan Jett. Though her straightforward interpersonal screeds and to-the-rafters choruses evoke more gradual emotional awakening than girl-powered gut-punch, it was Williams’ range, power, and plain ole vocal chutzpah that sent Warped Tour ticket-holders’ jaws a-dropping this summer. The emo-ternative, straight-outta-Franklin fivepiece combined furious, churning guitars with pop-friendly rhythms on 2005’s upbeat, anthemic and impossibly confident debut All We Know Is Falling; their early-2007 follow-up should finally settle the next-big-thing debate: is Paramore banking solely on aw-look-at-the-cute-little-feminist gimmickry? Or is the 17-year-old with the flaming red hair and ability to go from coo to shriek in nothing flat picking up precisely where the Blackhearts left off? ( www.paramore.net ) RCKTWN —JULIE SEABAUGH ALICE COOPER At a recent high-school football game, the marching band from Portland—that’s rural Portland, Tenn.—blasted out a brassy “School’s Out” that, besides showing a hip sense of humor, proved how tuneful Alice Cooper’s ’70s hits remain. Once written off as a masterful self-promoter and musical clown, time has shown that Cooper’s classic rock holds up better than most of the punk rock and nearly all of the hair metal he helped spawn. The boa constrictors, guillotines, mock self-hangings and other theatrics have faded, but the punchy cheekiness of power-chord teen anthems “I’m Eighteen,” “Be My Lover,” “Under My Wheels,” “Elected” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” stand as definitive rock masterpieces. Cooper’s latest, 2005’s Dirty Diamonds, returns to the stripped-down swagger of his early years. But even as he sings about getting busted in Texas in his sister’s wedding dress, we now know he’s a sober, sweet-natured guy who plays golf and attends PTA meetings. Nonetheless, the voice still drips with delicious poison, and he always knew how to put on a show. ( www.alicecooper.com ) Ryman Auditorium —MICHAEL MCCALL SUNDAY, 1ST THE SADIES It’s been a good 2006 for Toronto roots-rock stalwarts The Sadies. The year started with bandleader brothers Dallas and Travis Good backing Neko Case on her watershed album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, and it ends with a wild twang-and-roll instrumental soundtrack for Ron Mann’s upcoming documentary about Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Tales of the Rat Fink. Oh, and in between, The Sadies squeezed in their defining musical statement to date: In Concert Volume One, a double-disc document of a career-spanning concert that featured guest appearances by Case, Kelly Hogan, Gary Louris, Jon Spencer and, most tellingly, The Band’s Garth Hudson and The Mekons’ Jon Langford. Because if any rock act can bridge the gap between The Band and The Mekons, it’s The Sadies, who’ve spent over a decade applying their surf guitars and breezy rhythms to a kind of kaleidoscopic Americana. With Heavy Trash featuring Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray. The Mercy Lounge —NOEL MURRAY MONDAY, 2ND ELECTRIC SIX W/ ABERDEEN CITY The best-dressed electro-rock act in Detroit, Electric Six peaked early with “Danger! High Voltage,” the stoopid-genius dance-punk single that revealed their hometown pal Jack White’s well-disguised disco jones. But if they haven’t scaled the same heights of self-parodying greatness since, it hasn’t been for lack of trying. On Switzerland, the outfit’s new one, frontman Dick Valentine and his bandmates sound more convinced than ever of the world’s need for synth-stoked party tunes that aren’t quite as dumb as they seem. What’s more, E6’s live show remains a thing of Will Ferrell-like beauty. Aberdeen City, from Boston, likely envy Interpol’s cachet with big-city hipsters. ( www.myspace.com/electricsixmusic ; www.aberdeenmusic.com ) Exit/In —MIKAEL WOOD KT TUNSTALL W/ KEVIN DEVINE Thanks to a flood of competing Next Norah Joneses, Scottish-born singer-songwriter Tunstall didn’t seem like she’d make much of a splash here when her hit-at-home 2005 debut landed in Stateside stores earlier this year. But then Katharine McPhee sang “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” on American Idol, which made lots of Americans realize that they had room on their iPods for one more batch of catchy acoustic folk-pop ditties. “Suddenly I See,” Tunstall’s current single (and a fave of the folks at So You Think You Can Dance?), is one of the freshest things on the radio right now. Brooklyn-based opener Devine plays earnest emo (but I repeat myself) and has opened for both Sleater-Kinney and Cassandra Wilson, an accomplishment which very few people can boast. ( www.kttunstall.com ; www.myspace.com/kevindevine ) City Hall —MIKAEL WOOD TUESDAY, 3RD BOB SCHNEIDER Austin’s Bob Schneider is endlessly perplexing: his albums contain songs that share so little musical ground it’s a wonder that they don’t cannibalize each other. His most recent album, I’m Good Now, jumps from the jaunty, glossy MOR pop of “The Way Life is Supposed to Be” to the bubbling, guitar-heavy “C’mon Baby.” The latter is a dynamic rock ‘n’ roll tune full of vintage Schneider lines like, “She tripped and fell and broke her heart / Now the only thing she does well is fall apart,” delivered in his nimble voice. It’s hard to tell which is the real Schneider. One might be less commercially palatable but is infinitely more interesting, and this road warrior, who used to do time in hip-hop and funk bands, continues to create enough moments of delicious cleverness and genuine surprise—like the almost indie-hit “Big Blue Sea,” with its sassy little organ part and quick-fire delivery—that his transgressions can be forgiven. ( www.bobschneidermusic.com ) Mercy Lounge —LEE STABERT DAN BERN Delivering his charmingly over-elaborated lyrics in a flat Midwestern voice, Dan Bern avoids the excesses that can hobble singer-songwriters. On his new Breathe, Bern and producer Chuck Plotkin keep things moving, and there’s a nice pop veneer to Bern’s tales of clownish despair. The title track finds Bern masquerading as the Messiah; when he sings, “Turned wine into whiskey and drank, drank, drank,” he follows it up with some wordless howls that say as much as the words themselves. “Rain” rocks along like vintage Graham Parker, and the record is full of interesting musical touches, like the slide guitar that powers “Tongue-Tied.” On “Feel Like a Man.” Bern wishes he could be Marlon Brando but decides to go to the movies instead. He’s a sharp, funny performer with an ear for good old American excess. ( www.danbern.com ) Bluebird Café —EDD HURT NEWTON The morning of his first show on the Right Lung Tour, Southampton, Penn., noise artist Matt Rademan made the debut post on his nebulous tour blog (newtontour.blogspot.com): “More soon. Promise.” It’s been more than 20 days since Rademan alleged an update, and he still hasn’t delivered. But no one is worried. After all, Rademan—the solo force behind Newton—is busy: He runs Breath Mint Records, a bedroom-and-basement label that has released material from Thurston Moore, Monotract, Hair Police, Burning Star Core and all four of his bands since 1995. It’s the epitome of a boutique label, with discs hand-burned and hand-labeled and pressed in one-run batches of 20. Likewise, Rademan’s hyper-static noise does best in a micro-marketplace: His ultra-clipped waves sound like they’re sucking oxygen through primordial goop, struggling for life—or at least for a glimpse of sunshine. ( www.myspace.com/breathmintrecords ) Ruby Green —GRAYSON CURRIN INDIGO GIRLS The title of the duo’s latest, Despite Our Differences, works on several levels. It describes the granola-meets-leather contrast between the duo of Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, the former a more traditional acoustic singer-songwriter, the latter more influenced by boot-stompers like Chrissie Hynde and Patti Smith. The title also encompasses their worldview, which, while decidedly liberal, calls for uniting and understanding, going against the divisive tenor of current affairs. But that’s not the only way the duo depart from modern ways: with a career and partnership still going strong after 20 years, and a new album that stands up well against the best of their past work, the Indigo Girls battle our culture’s trend toward quickly disposing of (and wearing out) its music stars. From their early acceptance as part of the late ’80s acoustic wave, to their surviving all the critical barbs they faced in the ’90s, these two Georgians have stayed the course by staying true to themselves. Ryman Auditorium —MICHAEL MCCALL WEDNESDAY, 4TH EX MODELS If they played a bit slower, this Brooklyn group—two drummers, one bassist, one guitarist—could be one of the heaviest bands you’d ever hear. But they’re extremely light on their feet—agile, quick and punchy in an in-and-out sort of way, with rhythmic shifts that count something like 1-2, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3. They’re like prizefighters doing speed before big bouts. Take the rules of hardcore, recast them as the most elemental components of clatter and rhythm and tonality, and throw them against the highest concepts of Neubauten, minimalism and math you can find in books. That’s Ex Models, and they’ll spit in your eyeballs and puncture your eardrums. Sign up now. ( www.exmodels.org ) Ruby Green —GRAYSON CURRIN FRANK BLACK You could argue that Frank Black repeats himself, and that this year’s Fast Man RaiderMan stands as another two-CD set that could have been boiled down to a nifty single. And you wouldn’t be wrong, except that Black is a fascinating, prolific artist whose post-Pixies work is rife with hidden gems. Recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles with musicians like Carol Kaye and Reggie Young, Fast Man and 2005’s Honeycomb might not be Americana—some of Fast Man sounds like outtakes from an album English pub-rockers Brinsley Schwarz never made—but they have plenty of inspired moments, from the Doug Sahm cover to his tribute to L.A. pop, “In the Time of My Ruin.” On this leg of his tour, he’ll be joined by bassist Eric Drew Feldman, guitarist Duane Jarvis and drummer Billy Block, who should move things along nicely. ( www.backporchrecords.com ) Mercy Lounge —EDD HURT WAX FANG Led by guitarist Scott Carney (who recently released an album under the moniker “Scott Carney and Heavy Friends” on which he played all the instruments himself), Wax Fang are a Louisville, Ky., trio with a pretty influential friend in their corner. My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James gave his hometown’s Carney a shout-out in his New York Times “playlist,” and is bringing Wax Fang on tour with his band next month (including their November 13th gig at The Ryman). It’s not hard to see why James has become so enamored of this band, who are breathtakingly dynamic, heavy yet achingly melodic—sound familiar? Carney’s songs build in careful waves, with a sense of momentum, and are achieved with a musical prowess few can match. When those waves crash, it produces the kind of intense physical satisfaction only the best rock ’n’ roll can create. ( www.myspace.com/waxfang ) The Basement —LEE STABERT DANCE NASHVILLE BALLET LOOK-IN TPAC sponsors this behind-the-scenes peek into the Nashville Ballet’s staging of Lizzie, the featured dance in the company’s season-opening program debuting Oct. 6. Artistic director Paul Vasterling choreographed the tale of the infamous Lizzie Borden, as set to music by noted modern composer Morton Gould. Attendees are treated to a performance preview; afterward, ballet personnel will share insights into the rehearsal process. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided, beginning 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28. For information, email khorsley@tpac.org or call 687-4291. Admission is free. —MARTIN BRADY THEATER MEN, MONEY & GOLD DIGGERS This original play by Je’Caryous Johnson is making a national tour under the auspices of I’m Ready Productions. In the marketing style that made writer/actor Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman) a household name, this urban entertainment plays nationwide venues somewhat under the mainstream radar, using word of mouth and the Internet to reach its African American target audience. Johnson’s seriocomic story trades on contemporary battle-of-the-sexes issues—specifically, how a man with money finds a woman he can love and trust and, alternatively, how a woman who wants security can find happiness with a man whether he’s got money or not. Platinum-selling R&B vocalist Ginuwine and A Rage in Harlem star Robin Givens highlight a cast that features Carl Payne, Terri J. Vaughn, Tank, Chico Benymon and Miguel Nuñez. There are three performances Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall; tickets are available at the TPAC box office or through Ticketmaster. —MARTIN BRADY COMEDY REAL MEN OF COMEDY Maxim and Bud Light Present: Real Men of Comedy! (Reeeal Men of Cooomedy!) Today we salute you, Mr. Joe Rogan. (Mr. Joe Rogan!) From Fear Factor to The Man Show: The Unfunny Years, you’ve done your darnedest to subvert your edgy, confrontational stand-up chops in favor of some quick TV cash. (Gotta pay them bills, man!) And we salute you, Mr. John Heffron. (Mr. John Heffron!) You won a TV reality show with your boyish charm, manic physicality and relationship absurdism, then did a lot of diddly squat. (Nada nada nada!) And here’s to you, Mr. Charlie Murphy. (Mr. Charlie Murphy!) You first shadowed your brother Eddie, then rode Dave Chappelle’s coattails all the way to the bank. (A comedic Kevin Federline!) You’ve all got something to prove Sept. 29 at Andrew Jackson Hall, and we’re just the crowd to fold our arms and defy you to make us laugh, you bunch of no-name chuckleheads. (Mr. Joe Rogan and John Heffron and Chaaarlie Muuurphyyy!) —JULIE SEABAUGH MITCH FATEL No joke, the Late Show With Jay Leno correspondent likes him some sex. Oh, sure, as per the title of his 2004 CD Miniskirts and Muffins, he enjoys other earthly pleasures as well. As far as his stand-up goes, though, it’s all “breasts” this and “clitorises” that. But a braggart he’s not: bashful, stuttering and even a bit—as his latest effort, Super Retardo, suggests—slow on the uptake, Fatel’s monotone delivery and unassuming crowd-work are miles away from tiresome in-your-face “highbrow” comics who insist on shouting to up the funny quotient. If you prefer your comedy quieter, more engaging, and above all (un)comfortably human, Fatel’s one night stand (no pun intended) at Zanies Oct. 2 will get your juices flowing (pun intended). —JULIE SEABAUGH ART THE CLEAR BOX PROJECT As a nonprofit organization rather than a commercial gallery, Ruby Green puts together the money to keep its doors open from several sources, one of which has to be the general public. To that end, they are holding a fundraising auction of works created by 50 artists, each of whom was given a clear plastic box and told to create a work of art with it. The participants include many of the area’s best artists (like Marilyn Murphy, Sam Dunson, Greg Pond, Barbara Yontz, Lain York and Terry Glispin) and people around the country who have exhibited at Ruby Green (such as Tara Bullington, Leslie Kniesel, Donna Stack, Andrew Kaufman, Donte’ K. Hayes and Mariah Johnson). In addition to being an opportunity to support Ruby Green, the work submitted is very fine. In some cases, the box format fits the artist’s methods very naturally, as in Patrick DeGuira’s clever construction of mirrors and text (“I Eat Zombies”) or Emily Holt’s diorama of found and constructed figures and objects. Other pieces give new insights into an artist’s work—like Nicole Pietrantoni’s contribution, which explodes the images found in her prints into three dimensions. Since this is a fundraiser, Ruby Green is charging $25 admission to the reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, with the auction itself starting at 9. Even if you can’t afford to attend the reception, stop by the gallery before Friday and take a look at what the artists came up with. —DAVID MADDOX PLATE TONE PRINTMAKERS A community studio that provides access to space, equipment and instruction for fine-art printmaking, Plate Tone cooperative has joined forces with Plowhaus for a show by some of Nashville’s best printmakers. Plate Tone co-founder Lesley Patterson-Marx is a cofounder (with Franne Lee and J.D. Wilkes) of Plowhaus, making for a natural fit between the two projects. Artists featured in the show include Marleen De Waele-De Bock, Lee Ann Hawkins, Patricia Jordan, Marlynda Augelli, Heather Barrie, Lydia Wilkes Kennedy, Reesha Leone, Eve Peach and Nicole Pietrantoni, whose fairytale-like narratives explore states of becoming and feature the use of stitching in addition to her iconic imagery. Patterson-Marx’s recent work is an ongoing expression of maternal imagery, connected to her experiences as a new mother. An artist reception will be held at Plowhaus 7 p.m. Sept. 29. The show will run for one weekend only. —JOE NOLAN FINER THINGS‘ ONE-OF-A-KIND FURNITURE SHOW Now in its 7th edition, this biennial exhibit features unique contemporary furnishings that blur the boundaries between sculptural form and mundane function. The show includes work by craftspeople like Michael Albanese, Stephan Blouin, Graham Campbell, Peter Harrison and Jacob Marks. Craig Nutt’s work, which has been shown at the Frist Center, combines craft with humor to produce objects such as a seven-foot cabinet shaped like an upright banana pepper. And don’t miss the show’s highlight: Michael Bauermeister’s conical, tall (nearly five feet) wooden vessels, which push the form/function tension to a new high. Finer Things hosts an opening reception 6 p.m. Sept. 30. —JOE NOLAN TENNESSEE ART CENTER @ MADISON ANNIVERSARY GALA Hyped as the “most artsy party of the season,” this event will feature live performances by the cast of the center’s upcoming musical I Shall Not Be Moved and a silent auction. The action starts 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at 403 Gallatin Road South. Refreshments are included in the ticket price: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For reservations, call 868-8000. —JOE NOLAN PAUL LANCASTER Lancaster, a self-trained painter from Nashville, worked for years as a framer at Lyzon Gallery. He paints meticulously detailed, colorful fantasy scenes populated with figures that often echo those in Renoir and Gauguin. A show of his recent work opens at Palette Gallery ‘n’ Café in Hillsboro Village with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29. —DAVID MADDOX KEITH CARTER: “A CERTAIN ALCHEMY” This exhibit at MTSU’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery includes 47 of Keith Carter’s medium-format, silver-gelatin, black-and-white prints compiled from over 30 years of work. A renowned photographer whose work is in numerous permanent collections—The Smithsonian, the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and The George Eastman House—Carter holds the endowed Walles Chair of Art at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. His work has a reflective quality, imbuing scenes of Zen-like simplicity with an otherworldly aura. In “Fireflies,” two boys are standing in a pond, catching bugs in a jar. Though the reflection on the water is clear, the boys’ silhouettes are blurred, giving them an almost spectral presence. “Atlas” features a man holding up a large reflective globe that obscures his head; the image seems to resist interpretation, instead beckoning to be perceived simply for what it is—a visual record of a moment in time. “A Certain Alchemy” runs through Oct. 19. Carter will give a slide lecture at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in Room 221 of MTSU’s Learning Resource Center; a reception and book signing follow in the gallery. —JACK SILVERMAN

BOOKS

HEATHER SELLERS Adolescence remains the wilderness into which each of us ventures alone. It redefines our identity, shoves us into categories for which we did not volunteer, daily remakes our body and our emotions. No wonder this period of life remains one of the great preoccupations of artists. In 2001, a Florida writer named Heather Sellers mapped these stormy seas as if they had never been sailed before. The narrator of her strong and original story cycle Georgia Under Water is funny, sad and instantly convincing. (Always Georgia looks at the world with the imaginative, frightened eye of a clever child. At age 11, she hides in a credenza while her parents fight and looks up through the glass dining table: “I could see the face of my mother through the glass, crying, squashed, like a sea creature in a too-small tank at the aquarium.” Later: “On my way up to the highway, I saw a baby alligator in the water in the ditch with my car, sunning on a stick . . . . I wanted to slip into his mud with him, stay small and soft and have little bright teeth like that.”) The book could serve other writers as a primer of how to quickly establish a character’s voice and emotional identity. Not surprisingly, Sellers has written such a writing guide, Page after Page, and will soon publish a follow-up, Chapter after Chapter. She’s a busy woman. Besides being a professor of English and an award-winning poet, she has also written an acclaimed memoir, Face First, about her experience with face blindness, a neurological affliction that erodes the brain’s ability to recognize faces. Her reading at 8 p.m. Sept. 28, in Room 102 of Buttrick Hall at Vanderbilt, is free. –MICHAEL SIMS

EVENTS WALK NASHVILLE WEEK Let’s face it: we’re lazy. We don’t get enough exercise. We eat unhealthy foods. We drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive home and then sit at home at night. But what if we changed? Nashville’s 8th annual Walk Nashville Week takes place Oct. 1-8 and features a citywide effort to promote walking as the first step toward a healthy lifestyle. Sponsored by Music City Moves! and the Nashville Community Health & Wellness Team, the weeklong series features a different walking destination each day, such as Walk to Titans Game Day (Sunday), Walk to Work Day (Monday) and Walk to Lunch Day (Friday). This year’s event ends with Sunday’s Walk to Worship Day, in which congregations all over the city will provide parking one mile away from their services. For a complete list of scheduled events and walking destinations, call 340-0401 or see www.musiccitymoves.org/walkweek. —CLAIRE SUDDATH FILM LOOSE CHANGE Did the twin towers of the World Trade Center actually collapse from within because of igniting jet fuel, or was the collapse a planned demolition set in advance? In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, the question was brushed off as lunacy or nut-job paranoia; it took an 80-minute film made for $5,000 by three New York filmmakers in their early 20s to force serious consideration. A true underground phenomenon, this oft-emailed documentary has become a lightning rod for a growing number of Americans who suspect the U.S. government of involvement in the events of 9/11. According to a recent profile in Vanity Fair, the film has been watched online more than 10 million times, and additional sites have sprung up to rebut or rally around its charges. A group called 9/11 Truth has rented the Belcourt for a screening 7 p.m. Tuesday; producer Korey Rowe and researcher Jason Mermas will host what should be a lively post-film Q&A. —JIM RIDLEY SWING TIME “No one could teach you to dance in a million years. Take my advice and save your money.” So says dance teacher Ginger Rogers to her would-be pupil—Fred Astaire—in the 1936 film that practically puts the “light” in light entertainment. The negligible plot has gambler Astaire trying to earn $25,000 to marry his fiancée (future TV host Betty Furness), only to get sidetracked by new partner Rogers. But who cares about story when you’ve got dance as seduction, as sex, as romance and regret; as conversation, banter and whispered intimacy; as an expression of human exaltation that only looks effortless. (For the magnificent “Never Gonna Dance” number, Rogers did 47 takes and kept going even though her feet bled—not that you could ever tell.) If you want to leave a theater walking on clouds, with a spring in your step and an insuppressible desire to tap-dance down the street, there’s no place else you should be this weekend than the Belcourt, where this plays 11:30 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the Weekend Classic Matinee. Also showing this week: the mind-blowing thriller 13 (Tzameti), recommended to fans of Battle Royale and Death Race 2000. —JIM RIDLEY SLY IRIS CINEMA: CINEMANIA With their monthly movie club at Edgehill Studios Café, Stephen and Suzie Lackey want to create a place where local filmmakers can watch each other’s work and show their own: so far, they’ve had lots of people show up for the latter, only to bail out on the former. This month they’re trying something slightly different, hosting the first local showing of Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak’s 2002 documentary about five iron-assed New York movie fanatics—the sort who deliberately constipate themselves so they won’t have to miss a minute of screen time. Shown on DVD, the movie starts 8 p.m. at 1201 Villa Place just off Music Row; for more information, contact editor@cinegeek.com. —JIM RIDLEY THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP The fanciful visuals of writer-director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)—including a patchwork pony adrift in a toy boat on a cellophane sea—highlight this inventive comedy-drama about an artist (Gael Garcia Bernal) who slips in and out of a dream state so vivid he can’t distinguish it from reality. Charlotte Gainsbourg plays the neighbor who piques his imagination; watch for French actress Miou-Miou from Bertrand Blier’s Going Places as the hero’s mother. Friday at Green Hills. —JIM RIDLEY COLOR OF THE CROSS Fox Entertainment made headlines last week with the announcement of FoxFaith, a new division that will market low-budget “family-friendly” films to Christian audiences. Among the new division’s first releases is this drama by writer-director Jean-Claude La Marre, sure to raise attention for its casting of a black actor (star La Marre) as Jesus Christ and its speculation of racist motivation behind the Crucifixion. Scheduled to receive limited theatrical release next month, the film screens 7 p.m. Sept. 28 and 29 at Looby Center, 2301 MetroCenter Blvd., as a special presentation of the Fisk-based International Black Film Festival of Nashville. Tickets are $5 at the door. —JIM RIDLEY I TRUST YOU TO KILL ME Back in town after its world premiere last June at the Nashville Film Festival—where producer/co-star Kiefer Sutherland’s appearance filled two auditoriums to capacity—this documentary about the first European tour of rockers Rocco DeLuca & the Burden just can’t let Nashville go. Not only does the film screen Monday night at Green Hills in a special event for members of the NaFF’s Nashville Film Circle, the band will perform a benefit for the festival 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Cannery Ballroom. For more information, see www.nashvillefilmfestival.org. —JIM RIDLEY

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