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When Miles Davis heard Herbie Hancock in 1962, the story goes, he just had to have him in his new band, so then-17-year-old drummer Tony Williams arranged a meeting.


When Miles Davis heard Herbie Hancock in 1962, the story goes, he just had to have him in his new band, so then-17-year-old drummer Tony Williams arranged a meeting. It was obvious even at that early juncture that Hancock was a pioneer. To get a sense of Hancock’s exploration and playfulness, listen to “Nefertiti”—six minutes into the dirge, Hancock trills two notes that send climactic shock waves through the piece, a glimpse into his foray writing film soundtracks, like 1973’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door. In addition to his significant traditional-jazz legacy, his pioneering album Head Hunters was a jazz-fusion masterpiece (yes, there is such a thing), and the forward-thinking electronica of “Rockit” helped usher in the hip-hop era. Surely he’s still got a few surprises up his piano-comping sleeve. Ryman Auditorium —MAKKADA B. SELAH



GIRLS & BOYS If you blinked at all in the past two or three years, you might have missed Girls & Boys altogether, but this may be the last chance to catch them at all at this farewell show following an extended break. When Girls & Boys began as a vehicle for Ben Patton’s reluctant muse, his Motown-tinged pop songs pulled the band’s sound toward an ambitious, femme-fronted, keyboard-infused classicism. The experimental group had conspired, at least conceptually, to wed the elemental pop of late-’90s Wilco or prime-era R.E.M. to the roster of Philles Records—which proved to be as perilous as it was aspiring. Despite the strength of Patton’s songs and the band’s increasingly articulate playing, the girl-group dynamic never fully gelled, occasionally leaving the well-intentioned wall of sound slightly unsteady at its foundation. Drummer Brian Fuzzell’s departure last year to join the artist-formerly-known-as-Jetpack UK effectively ended their progressively tenuous existence and closed a curious, if all too brief, little chapter of local indie. The End —ANDREW J. SMITHSON

KYLIE HARRIS Kylie Harris didn’t move 10,000 miles from New Zealand to Nashville to become a TV star—it just kinda worked out that way. In fact, the effervescent host of GAC’s Americana video show The Edge of Country is herself a talented singer-songwriter who has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, opened for Kenny Rogers and Ricky Skaggs and served as a member of Patty Loveless’ backing band. As a songwriter, she conveys both emotional depth and a frisky wit, and the lilting speaking voice you’ve heard on TV becomes an appealing, engaging singing voice onstage. Check out her MySpace page to preview a couple of songs from her upcoming second American album. 3rd & Lindsley —CHRIS NEAL


THE CRIPPLE BEATERS Local miscreants The Cripple Beaters operate within breakneck speeds, churning out snotty and reckless fits of teenage aggression played by honest to goodness teenagers. As their name implies, this music isn’t nice: The Cripple Beaters bludgeon their listeners with classic metal-tinged hardcore—with songs about not conforming to society and, you know, rebelling—but they manage to successfully navigate the minefield of clichés synonymous with that territory. Lending authenticity to their attack is age—punks young and crusty enough to be confused with Napalm Death circa 1982—but the sheer gusto in the band’s delivery sets them apart from their more veteran counterparts. The Muse —MATT SULLIVAN


DEFTONES Despite recurring Family Values tour appearances and an association with Korn that goes back to their beginnings, the Deftones should never really have been lumped in with nu-metal at all. While they left unforgettable impressions among the genre’s fans and inspired rabid imitation with albums Adrenaline, Around the Fur and White Pony, they were also simultaneously pushing beyond the clichés embraced by the majority of their peers. Indeed, the Deftones have from day one suggested intelligence, melody, atmosphere and an underlying yearning to reveal the delicate aspects of their voice. But, while frontman Chino Moreno and DJ/keyboardist Frank Delgado—easily one of the most understated, non-clichéd DJs working in a rock band today—have consistently brought a vision of ambience to the band, the Deftones’ live sound was always in danger of collapsing under the bulk of the band’s lumbering rhythm. Now, with a new album that finally delves full-on into Moreno’s Cure fixation, the Deftones have a chance to temper the set rather than stomp their way through it, as they have in the past. City Hall —SABY REYES-KULKARNI

LOS DURAN Gerard Duran and his band blend R&B, funk, jazz and guitar-centric rock for a sound at times similar to their fellow East Los Angelenos Los Lobos, though with less of a Latino bent. On 2005’s Spirited Tales, echoes of the Allman Brothers, Moonflower-era Santana and the vintage Stax sound also filter into the mix. For the most part, the music has a decidedly barroom vibe, which would suggest that they’re best savored live. For this show, Duran and his homies—including drummer Andrew Jaimez, who’s been a member of seminal L.A. punk band Fear, and bassist Doug Lunn, who’s played with everyone from fusion practitioners such as Brand X and David Torn to MC5 co-founder Wayne Kramer—will be joined by recent Nashvillian Reeves Gabrels on guitar. (Gabrels, of Bowie fame, moved here from Los Angeles last year and has played on most of Los Duran’s recordings.) Family Wash; the band will also participate in Gabrels’ weekly “Loud Night” showcase Sunday at the Wash. —JACK SILVERMAN


TIM FINN New Zealand pop-rock legend Tim Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers) first came to Nashville in 1999 to record a somewhat overlooked solo release, Say It Is So, utilizing some of Music City’s more prominent rock musicians for a record that was decidedly off-kilter but still pop at its core. Last year, Finn again collaborated with respected Nashville players, notably John Mark Painter, half of Fleming & John and a respected session player. But this time he gave the reins to someone with a more mainstream résumé—Bobby Huff, who’s worked with LeAnn Rimes—for a record, Imaginary Kingdom, that’s far more polished but still undeniably Finn-ish. Although he won’t be joining brother Neil for the Crowded House reunion tour, which visits Nashville on Sept. 11, this show should still serve as a warm-up for that performance, especially if Finn plays “Salt to the Sea,” his tribute to original Crowded House drummer Paul Hester. 3rd & Lindsley —JASON MOON WILKINS

CURSIVE W/THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES Cursive sired in the shadow of Fugazi, blasting jagged shards of rhythmic guitar and chunky distortion in tense, dynamic arrangements. Over a dozen years they’ve undergone a number of iterations, from guitarist Steve Pederson (’95-’98) and cellist Greta Cohn (’01-’05) to the current tour’s horns, brought on to re-create their latest, Happy Hollow. Frontman Tim Kasher’s always had a theatrical streak, but graduates from stage drama to cinematic tour-de-force on the religious-themed Hollow, where the horns are like a Greek chorus punctuating his take on sin, faith and hypocrisy. While there are moments when These Arms Are Snakes recall the tense pulse of Fugazi’s Repeater, they’re as informed by math rock and Northwest hardcore as they are D.C. post-punk. The clean, steely guitar doubles back on itself to ambush the galloping bass, while singer Steve Snere goes from slow, drawling malevolence reminiscent of Jesus Lizard’s David Yow to that hardcore hector/scream has become Henry Rollins’ musical legacy. Psychedelic breakdowns spice a tightly wound attack that will trap you in its endearingly chaotic squall. Exit/In —CHRIS PARKER

LEON RUSSELL Unless you’ve been living in Antarctica, you’ve probably heard of Leon Russell, or at the very least heard a Russell song. Ray Charles covered “A Song for You,” Joe Cocker performed “Delta Lady” and The Carpenters covered “Superstar”—and those are just a few of the titles in his catalog. The former session master has been a mainstay on the rock, pop and country scenes since the late ’60s, collaborating with and writing songs for such chart toppers as Cocker, Rita Coolidge, Phil Spector, Herb Alpert, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Rolling Stones. Russell’s solo work is flavored with country-rock, blues and gospel, tailored to fit his gravelly, Southern-fried vocals. For those who like boogie-woogie, honky-tonk blues, Russell is a must-see. Belcourt Theater —TRACY M. ROGERS


OZOMATLI Reflecting the urban polyglot of their Los Angeles home, Ozomatli purvey a Latin dance party fueled by horns and covering a seamless expanse of hip-hop, jazz, rock, funk and salsa. The vibrant sound is impressive live, and the band won a Grammy for its third album, 2004’s Street Signs. Like the Mothership if it had landed south of the border, Ozomatli’s shows are ablaze with booty-motivating bounce, light-hearted attitude and effortless groove. Conga lines form spontaneously in the audience and the infectious energy is attractive enough to even draw back-row Bobs and Bettys into the action. Ozomatli’s new album, Don’t Mess With the Dragon, continues the 10-member collective’s multicultural explorations with a particular emphasis on its Latin pop roots. If there’s ever been any doubt, this album definitively establishes Ozomatli’s dance-band pedigree. The album highlight is the limber, wacca-wacca rap and rumble of “City of Angels,” a shout-out to their home in which they note, “My hood is tough like it’s Clubber Lang.” Mercy Lounge —CHRIS PARKER

JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO Born in Hollywood, Napolitano came of age in the heat of punk. She formed Concrete Blonde with guitarist Jim Mankey in the mid-’80s. Their first foray, the terrific “Still in Hollywood,” off their self-titled debut, sounded like a decade-later answer to X’s “Los Angeles,” fueled by the same restless anomie and disgust. They quickly became a college-rock sensation on the combo of Mankey’s moody guitar and Napolitano’s smoky vocals, which were like Chrissy Hynde as a goth chick, or maybe Exene Cervenka channeling Patti Smith. They scored a minor hit in ’90 with “Joey,” keying an album driven by relational Bloodletting. Unfortunately, grunge’s asteroid-like arrival killed off all but the hardiest creatures, and Concrete Blonde called it quits in 1994. Napolitano fronted a pair of short-lived acts (Pretty & Twisted, the Talking Heads without David Byrne) after that, and in the last five years has released a series of solo albums. She still possesses powerful pipes suited to her dark, haunted lyrics and the rootsy, surf-inflected guitar that buttresses her bittersweet romantic tales. Tonight she’s celebrating the release of her latest and most fully-realized/well-produced solo disc, Scarred, highlighted by the hearty, hopeful “The Scientist.” 3rd & Lindsley; also playing at Grimey’s 6 p.m. Monday, 28th —CHRIS PARKER


THE LAWS It isn’t always a good idea for married couples to work together. Cher and Gregg Allman, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos—why, history is littered with wedded pairs who should have kept their careers separate. On the other hand, one listen to the deeply human blend of sweetness and grit in the harmonies of John and Michele Law is enough to know The Laws were correct in extending their partnership to the stage and studio. Michele plays bass, John plays guitar and mandolin and the two co-wrote most of the alternately wistful and playful songs on their just-released fifth album, Ride It Out. The collection of swaying acoustic gems opens with the haunting “Am I Still the One,” this year’s winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at the Merlefest music festival. Lyrix Music Bar and Café —CHRIS NEAL


ACT LIKE A GRRRL BENEFIT/ANNIE SELLICK Since 2005, Actors Bridge Ensemble’s monthlong summer program for young women ages 12 to 17 has focused on personal storytelling, the development of acting skills and positive role-modeling, culminating in a final performance created by the youthful participants. In support of ALAG’s scholarship activities, popular Nashville jazz singer Annie Sellick, backed by the Hot Club, will headline a 7 p.m. benefit concert on May 29 at the Belcourt Theatre. For tickets, phone 383-9140 or visit belcourt.org. —MARTIN BRADY

WOMEN’S WORK The final weekend of this theater festival—presented by the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project—offers original plays and musical pieces by four different creative playwrights: Christy Hall, Ginger Newman, Carolyn German and Margaret Kemp. Performances are May 24-27 at the Looby Theatre. For tickets and scheduling information, call 681-7220 or visit twtp.org. —MARTIN BRADY


RACHEL DOVE, ERIC GIBBONS AND KATHRYN SNELL-RYAN The latest show at Nashville’s new alternative-space gallery is a denial of lost innocence. Featuring three artists from distinct locales, “We Were Kids Before We Were Assholes” features sculpture, installation work and drawings that are equal parts play and purpose. Ohio’s Rachel Dove uses common household items—a mattress and a storage bin—to create landscapes of desire. Texan Eric Gibbons’ drawings combine pop-music themes with disturbing images. And local artist Kathryn Snell-Ryan shows off her draftsmanship with drawings that explore both mystery and memory. The exhibit opens with an artist reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 25. The show continues Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sooplex is located at 427 Chestnut St. —JOE NOLAN


SUMMERTIME As a lonely spinster who awakens to passion under the spell of Venice and the attentions of an oily suitor (Rossano Brazzi), Katharine Hepburn gives a real erotic charge to David Lean’s impeccable 1955 romance, photographed to a vacationer’s dream in sensuous Technicolor by Jack Hildyard. Go ahead and snicker when Lean signifies seduction by cutting away to skyrockets in flight—but like Hepburn, who’s radiant with desire, the movie’s willing to risk looking silly for the sake of ecstasy. Screening this weekend, the movie wraps up the Belcourt’s tribute to arthouse pioneer Janus Films, which has provided Nashville with some of the best moviegoing experiences of recent years. I can’t wait to see what comes next. —JIM RIDLEY

VINEYARD PRODUCTIONS The first company to pounce on Tennessee’s new film and TV production incentives is Vineyard Productions, a Utah-based outfit relocating to Middle Tennessee. A maker of small-budget features and large-form IMAX documentaries such as Roving Mars, Vineyard isn’t a stranger to the state: it filmed the three-part Mormon saga The Work and the Glory in East Tennessee. “We’ve always loved Tennessee and loved what it had to offer,” says Vineyard CEO Jeff T. Miller, who adds that his company plans to take advantage of new incentives for production teams to move their headquarters here. He intends to have Vineyard’s office set up by July. A planned National Lampoon comedy fell through, but Vineyard, which Miller says averages about $12 million in production each year, hopes to start work late this summer on a family feature called The Assignment. To “say hello to the community,” Miller says, the company hosts a benefit 6 p.m. Friday at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel for the Bridges Academy of Nashville (bridgesacademynashville.org), a private Christian prep school for inner-city boys. —JIM RIDLEY


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