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Named for a skin flick from autofellatio champ Ron Jeremy, the long-running and legendary To Live and Shave in L.A. are regarded as one of the more essential noise party bands in American history.

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A.FRIDAY 27th

Named for a skin flick from autofellatio champ Ron Jeremy, the long-running and legendary To Live and Shave in L.A. are regarded as one of the more essential noise party bands in American history. The free-form build of their multiple squalls and climaxes means each TLASILA set falls somewhere between sacred and sexual, its energy consuming, converting and capitalizing on everything in sight. The band formed in 1990, though the last decade has meant lineup shifts and hiatuses too complex to matter. In the meantime, they’ve developed hundreds of disciples—Thurston Moore is a collaborator, though not for this show, and the band’s screeching exuberance can be heard in Lightning Bolt’s more tightly wound coils—and half a dozen offshoots (including TLASLA 2 and 3). And while Music City rumors that party animal Andrew W.K. (who joined the band in 2003) will be playing drums on this tour aren’t true, the unremitting Rat Bastard—whose own Laundry Room Squelchers raised the brutal party mentality in the TLASILA interim—will be on hand with founder Tom Smith and at least four others. Gather around, and get your ears split. Springwater —GRAYSON CURRIN

MUSIC

THURSDAY, 26TH

NORAH JONES Not Too Late, Norah Jones’ third album, is a bit of a departure. Every song is written or co-written by Jones, and the record also contains political material in the form of thinly veiled shots at President Bush (“Sinkin’ Soon”). Even so, it still sounds like her first two albums—jazz-flavored, slow and gorgeous. So perhaps the most astonishing thing about Jones is that she sometimes stirs up white-hot resentment. For proof, check out the message boards, which are full of snipes from people who don’t understand how she could be so popular. Still, even after a mega-selling debut, Jones has never pretended to be a jazz icon, nor is there much evidence that she’s turned into a spiteful diva. But in addition to her arresting voice, she also exhibits good taste: opening the show is M. Ward, whose expansive, literate and tuneful Post-War is only going to increase his already fierce cult. Ryman Auditorium —WERNER TRIESCHMANN

MAURA O’CONNELL: AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL BENEFIT Her voice is as green as springtime and as lush with possibility as new love, but to stop at the Irish chanteuse’s tone is to miss the great heart and truth she brings to the emotional centers of her songs. Maura O’Connell also brings her commitment and creativity to a deeply human cause: affordable health care for everyone, specifically through the Tennessee Health Care Campaign. Following Julie Winokur’s film Collateral Damage: Bad Medicine in Tennessee, a documentary about the crisis in state health care, there will be a discussion addressing the issues facing 800,000 uninsured Tennessee men, women and children. The Grammy-nominated O’Connell will then take the stage. 6:30 p.m., Belcourt —HOLLY GLEASON

TURBO FRUITS Part of the endless Be Your Own Pet side-project circus, Turbo Fruits mine the punk rock spirit of the late ’70s for their sound, a spastic mix of spunky MC5 giddy-up and glammy, feel-good guitar mayhem. Although the scenes they invoke were long dead before any of Turbo Fruits were even born, their frantic interpretations are irrepressibly fun, like a T. Rex record skipping. Of course, BYOP members Jonas Stein and John Eatherly’s boogie-punk outfit actually predates their Thurston Moore-endorsed main gig, but that won’t stop them from putting as much into it as they do anything else. It’s hard to fathom a band with so much dope-smoking innuendo in their lexicon being as busy as they are, much less as fierce and, hell, lively as they sound on their recordings. If the collective BYOP track record is anything to go by, their live show promises reckless energy, flurries of arms and drumsticks and perhaps the odd horizontal drum kit. Springwater —ANDREW J. SMITHSON

FRIDAY, 27TH

IRIS DeMENT Fifteen years ago, DeMent opened her debut album with a song about religion and the afterlife titled, “Let the Mystery Be.” For the last decade, her fans have had to apply that philosophy to DeMent’s career. From 1992 to 1996, the Arkansas singer-songwriter released three albums of bold acoustic songs that portrayed her as a sensitive soul quietly trying to come to grips with what mattered most in a dizzying, fast-paced world. Since then, she’s released an album of spiritual cover songs and participated in a few duets, including joining John Prine on the hilarious title song of his album In Spite of Ourselves. In 2003, DeMent announced she could no longer in good conscience perform while her country remained involved in the Iraq war. But she’s back onstage, performing songs largely from her early albums and hinting at more to come. With her plaintive voice and one-of-a-kind outlook, she is a rare American treasure—let’s hope this tour suggests she’ll be a little less mysterious in the coming years. Belcourt —MICHAEL McCALL

SATURDAY, 28TH

KEVIN MAHOGANY Kevin Mahogany, one of the country’s best traditional jazz singers, proves that big-band singing isn’t dead. Mahogany’s a Joe Williams for the aughties, though with a nod to ’40s balladeer Johnny Hartman. When Mahogany sings the blues, it isn’t quite as raspy or ugly as Williams, but it’s as smooth as Hartman’s “Lush Life.” It’s blues for people who, as the song goes, can afford a week in Paris to ease the bite of it. Or even for those who would just like to “get the feel of life from jazz and cocktails,” though in this case, it’ll cost you 500 bucks a seat for this black-tie event that benefits the cultural and educational programs at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. With The Lori Mechem Trio and special guest Jeff Hall. 7 p.m., War Memorial Auditorium MAKKADA B. SELAH

SARA EVANS Like most country stars, Evans has followed the way the marketplace winds have blown. She started out as a trad-country queen, but quickly realized that country pop was where the action was headed. Like most Music Row stars, her bold and beautiful voice is at the mercy of the material written for her. Her 2003 album Restless is an excellent collection of country-pop tunes, including the punchy “Rockin’ Horse” and the irresistible “Backseat of a Greyhound Bus.” 2005’s Real Fine Place was a step back, with too many songs that strained (“Coalmine” and “Momma’s Night Out”) instead of surprised. The exception is the indelible “Bible Song,” a heart-tugging tale about running away that, in the end, feels like a real escape. Over the course of her career, she’s piled up enough solid songs to make her live shows worth the time to check them out. Nashville Arena —WERNER TRIESCHMANN

SUNDAY, 29TH

CHUCKI BURKE BENEFIT One of Nashville’s finest drummers, Chucki Burke has lent his talents to recordings and live performances by Little Milton, Willie Dixon, Isaac Hayes and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, and he’s played with the MC5’s Wayne Kramer. His résumé is impressive, but in February, the 55-year-old West Virginia native suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left arm. And like far too many musicians, he lacks health insurance. This benefit is set to feature an impressive array of performers that includes Tracy Nelson and Clifford Curry. In addition, there will be a Cajun buffet and a silent auction of items ranging from free studio time to copies of the Night Train to Nashville CDs. It’s a worthy cause, and the music promises to be terrific. There is a minimum $10 donation requested. (musiccityblues.org) 3-10 p.m. at The Place EDD HURT

TUESDAY, 1ST – WEDNESDAY, 2ND

PATTY GRIFFIN Some artists burst from the womb fully formed and spend their career falling off by degrees; others, such as Patty Griffin, gain momentum aspiring upward in tightening circles until they hit their apex. Griffin began playing Boston coffeehouses in the early ’90s, and made her debut with the gutsy, bare-boned Living With Ghosts in 1996. During the intervening decade and three albums, she’s explored richer arrangements, rock ’n’ roll backing and cultivated the Nashville twang lurking in the back of her folk-blues songs. However, her fifth and latest, Children Running Through, far outdistances anything she’s done, consolidating her sultry soulful vocals, evocative songs and confident playing into a defining coming-out album. From the wistful, wispy “Railroad Wings” and the slow-gathering piano pop of “Burgundy Shoes” to the horn-abetted soul-blues of “Stay on the Road” and the country “Trapeze” (with Emmylou Harris), Griffin’s arresting alto takes center stage, stealing the show. It’s a tour de force showcasing her many facets, a flawless performance and one of the best albums so far this year. It’s highlighted by Griffin’s aching, gospel-inflected “Heavenly Day,” which Solomon Burke covered on last year’s Nashville. Ryman Auditorium CHRIS PARKER

WEDNESDAY, 2ND

FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS, PARACHUTE MUSICAL, SCRATCH TRACK The blue-eyed soul of St. Louis’ Fundamental Elements headlines an eclectic lineup. Heavily indebted to Soul Coughing and G. Love, there’s a skittering hip-hop undercurrent to the quartet’s jazzy funk vibe, highlighted by the limber R&B delivery of singer Russ Mohr. Locals Parachute Musical trace their history back to Maryland, but with the new year, a new lineup (with old members) reconvened in Nashville. The piano-pop quartet veers closer to Duncan Sheik’s dramatic style than Ben Folds’ breeziness, but they’re not without their own bouncy moments. The evening’s real highlight, though, is at the bottom of the bill (if the lineup schedule holds). Kansas City’s Scratch Track combine DJ Lee’s beatboxing, limber flows and lyrical salvos with Jason Hamlin’s dazzling acoustic guitar work. Originally a trio, they met at Union University in 2000 but pared to duo two years ago. (The loss of fellow founding member Will Gray was tough, but they pushed on.) Lee’s versatile vocals definitely key the proceedings, but it’s all the little things—nice harmonies, supple, winding arrangements, insistent hooks—that put Scratch Track over the top. Steady touring has honed their chops and earned them plaudits for their energetic shows. Mercy Lounge —CHRIS PARKER

DANCE

SWAN LAKE With the staging of this giant of the repertoire, Nashville Ballet wraps up what has so far been a highly successful season. Artistic director Paul Vasterling will put the company through the rigorous pace of pure classical dance, which demands high physical achievement. Tchaikovsky’s enduringly famous score will be played by the Nashville Symphony, returning to TPAC’s Jackson Hall. Performances are April 27-29. Phone 255-2787. —MARTIN BRADY

MU LAN Under the direction of Jen-Jen Lin, the Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville consistently offers diverse theatrical fare. Their latest is this amalgam of dance and poetry, both ancient and modern, featuring more than 30 performers (including musicians and martial artists). The dance piece “Qu Yuan” is set to the music of renowned Taiwanese composer Shueh-Shuan Liu and will be performed live by the Blakemore Trio (pianist Amy Dorfman, violinist Carolyn Huebl and cellist Felix Wang). MTSU professor Guan Ping Zheng provides digitally designed backdrops for some of the dances. Performed at 7:30 p.m. April 28 and May 5 at Vanderbilt’s Ingram Hall. For information, phone 292-6204. —MARTIN BRADY

THEATER

THE CONSTANT WIFE ACT I has successfully mounted the plays of Somerset Maugham in the past, and once again Melissa Bedinger-Hade is at the directorial helm of one of the British writer’s sophisticated works. In this1926 play, an intelligent woman confronts her doctor husband’s philandering. Meanwhile, her friends and relations scurry about in an attempt to defuse the situation. There’s a strong, experienced cast on board, including Kay Ayers-Sowell, Chris Basso, Martha Manning and Bob Young. Performances are April 27-May 5 at the Darkhorse Theater. For tickets, phone 726-2281. —MARTIN BRADY

THE PIED PIPER Olde Worlde Theatre Company, Nashville’s favorite community-based children’s theater, returns for three successive Saturdays with their distinctively wry brand of programming, which means infusing fairy tales with contemporary glee. Shows are April 28, May 5 and May 12 at the Belcourt Theatre. For more information, phone 846-3150. —MARTIN BRADY

ART

GAL OGLANDER The abstract paintings of Gal Oglander are kicking off things at Project A, a new gallery in The Gulch. Many of her compositions have an implied grid that sets up a loose structure underneath. She also uses effusive brushstrokes and marks laced with sweet colors. There is an artist’s reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. The exhibit runs through May 14. Project A Gallery is located at 501 12th Ave. S., adjacent to Bar Twenty3. —DAVID MADDOX

RICHARD PAINTER Fresh from a solo exhibit at the Huntsville Museum of Art, Richard Painter returns to Nashville with a show of new work. A regular on the Zeitgeist Gallery’s roster, Painter burns images into wood using a welding torch and flame retardant and is well known in the local art community. Embracing elements of drawing, sculpture and etching, Painter is always full of surprises. This exhibit, called “Ensemble,” features Painter’s signature techniques applied to sculptures made from pieces of musical instruments. The show opens with a reception on Saturday, April 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs through May 26. —JOE NOLAN

FILM

2007 NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL The city’s 38th annual showcase for features, shorts and animation saves some goodies for its final days, including Craig Zobel’s Great World of Sound, the award-winning doc The Clinton 12, the Tennessee Film Night programs, the Sundance hit The Devil Came on Horseback, the tango reverie El Ultimo Bandoneon and a repeat of one of the fest’s most buzzed-about titles, Robert Archer Lynn and David Alford’s Nashville-shot thriller Adrenaline. The fest ends Thursday night at Green Hills with the Egyptian doc These Girls and the closing-night gala Americanizing Shelley, with live appearances by stars Namrata Singh Gujral and Beau Bridges, soundtrack contributors Rascal Flatts and Steve Azar, and more. See nashvillefilmfestival.org for more information. —JIM RIDLEY

“BABA KING” Relocated to East Nashville after its original Harlem location shoot fell through, writer-director Ryan Jackson’s 17-minute drama “Baba KING” tells the harrowing story of a once-promising high-school athlete who faces a grim decision: whether to use his trusting little brother as a coke mule for a drug deal that’ll put him back on top. Shot with co-producer William Jenkins over two 18-hour days at the corner of Seventh and Shelby, across from the Martha O’Bryan Center, the film stars Fisk student Keith-Alan (a familiar face to viewers of MTV’s Parental Control), Ryan Bell and Nashville film actor Reegus Flenory. If you missed its recent premiere at Fisk, the Belcourt hosts a screening 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 1. —JIM RIDLEY

THE LAST CONFEDERATE: THE STORY OF ROBERT ADAMS A labor not just of love but of genealogy, this Civil War saga is the only movie I know of in which the lead actor plays his own great-great-grandfather. In this dramatic retelling of family legend, writer and co-director Julian Adams stars as Capt. Robert Adams, a South Carolina officer whose love for a Northern schoolteacher (Gwendolyn Edwards) sustains him through bloodshed and prison. Co-starring Hitchcock lead Tippi Hedren, Mickey Rooney and singer-songwriter Edwin McCain, the movie has been picked up for distribution by ThinkFilm; it gets a special preview screening 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at the Belcourt. See strongbowpictures.com for more information. —JIM RIDLEY

MORE 50 YEARS OF JANUS FILMS: ZAZIE DANS LE METRO A foulmouthed little girl running riot in Paris, a barrage of visual puns, movie takeoffs and sight gags delivered at breakneck speed—perhaps this isn’t the first thing you’d expect from the protean maker of Lacombe, Lucien and My Dinner With Andre. In a career rendered almost amorphous by its staggering diversity—from documentary (Phantom India) to fantasy (Black Moon) to Hollywood period pieces (Pretty Baby) to bold black comedy (Murmur of the Heart)—this madcap 1960 slapstick romp may be Louis Malle’s wildest detour. Amélie and Richard Lester’s manic 1960s comedies borrowed liberally from Malle’s anarchic farce about a mischievous 12-year-old (impish Catherine Demongeot) who causes trouble for the cops, a succession of flummoxed adults and her female-impersonator uncle (Philippe Noiret!) during a whirlwind two-day stay. You’ve never seen anything quite like it: in some ways, it’s like a Mad magazine demolition of the previous year’s The 400 Blows. The film screens Saturday and Sunday at the Belcourt as part of the “More 50 Years of Janus Films” series. —JIM RIDLEY

BOOKS

FRED THOMPSON No, not that Fred Thompson—but if this gluttonous son-of-a-gun were running for office, I’d heartily endorse his platform of one nation, indivisible, under the battered lid of a weather-beaten Weber grill. A food stylist, recipe developer and author of books on iced tea, hot chocolate and seafood, Thompson latches his tongs onto outdoor cooking in Barbecue Nation, the latest addition to a booming industry of barbecue books. It won’t make any backyard chef compost his copy of Steven Raichlin’s Barbecue Bible, but it’s a handsomely designed, eminently readable collection of recipes. Thompson’s compendium takes equal pleasure in culinary exploration (keep the grilled octopus salad, thanks) and the kind of homespun variation every grillmaster keeps tucked in his apron. (The hamburger section, piling on everything from Fritos to conch, is especially lively.) Barbecue Nation is a road trip between covers with a guy who makes good company the entire drive. Thompson will appear on NewsChannel 5’s Talk of the Town on April 30 at 11 a.m. —Jim Ridley

JAMES McPHERSON Watching the fight for racial equality during the 1960s, historian James McPherson was struck by the parallels between that struggle and the battle against slavery 100 years before. He focused his career on the Civil War, and his 1988 book, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, became a huge popular success and won the Pulitzer Prize. A defender of Civil War battlefields and a believer in the duty of historians to speak out on contemporary issues, he has generated controversy by criticizing, among other things, displays of the Confederate flag. McPherson brings his storytelling talents to Vanderbilt for a talk titled, “When Will This Cruel War Be Over?,” an exploration of how the entrenched positions of both North and South prolonged the fighting until a clear victor could emerge. The talk will be held 4:30 p.m. May 2 in Ingram Hall, with a book signing and reception following. –Chris Scott

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