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SOULJA BOY In case you just emerged from a coma, Soulja Boy’s entry in the minstrel-rap sweepstakes is called Souljaboytellem.com—a savvy piece of viral marketing. The record itself is about as stripped down as can be—this is what rap would have sounded like if it had been invented in the 19th century: simple snaps, barely pronounced syllables, minimal percussion and a guy yelling “Youuuuuu!” in the background. The beats from Mr. Collipark (known for producing Bubba Sparxxx’s “Ms. New Booty”) are perfect for those who find The Neptunes’ rhythms too complex. That said, any album that features songs called “Bapes” (about shoes), “Booty Meat” (about asses) and “Donk” (also about asses) is bound to be fun. Opening for Chris Brown and Bow Wow. 6:30 p.m. at Sommet Center —BEN WESTHOFF


THE JANE SHERMANS The song “Young and Hungry” is a pretty solid introduction to The Jane Shermans’ sound—one that weaves together Blondie’s old-school new-wave cool with the indie-rock spunk and modern production values of female-led bands such as Sahara Hotnights and The Sounds. The tracks are filled with bass-driven strut, ringing guitar lines and sultry late-night city cool—courtesy of guitarist Angelo Petraglia, a songwriter and producer so established for his work (with Kings of Leon, among others) that his name doesn’t usually appear with his surname attached. The rubbery basslines are supplied by Kings’ Jared Followill, and the familiar trot comes by way of Features stickman Rollum Haas. (Live, frontwoman Eulene Sherman ably handles the bass duties.) If that ain’t enough icing, the record was engineered by Roger Moutenot, whose name often trails Yo La Tengo’s, and mixed by Jacquire King, the same dude who worked on Modest Mouse, not to mention The Features’ major-label debut. Stellar credits don’t always a good band make, but this one’s onto something. 8 p.m. at The Rutledge —TRACY MOORE

Family Values

ON GOLDEN POND Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre kicks off the new year with this well-known comedy-drama by Ernest Thompson in which generations collide, and love and family are rediscovered by all. Jenny Noel directs the promising veteran cast, which includes David Compton, Phil Perry, Martha Wilkinson and Fred Mullen and Stephanie Weaver as curmudgeonly New England professor Norman Thayer and his wife, Ethel. Jan. 10-Feb. 9 at Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre —MARTIN BRADY


BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES Anchored by Louisville drummer Van Campbell—yes, that Van Campbell, the one from Ghostfinger—the Black Diamond Heavies manage to contemporize their swampy blues by adding a heavy dose of punk momentum. John Wesley Myers is the other part of this vibrant two-piece equation—howling out gruff, soulful melodies and doing some brilliant abuse to his organ. He only hurts it cuz he loves it so. Also on the bill, locals The Alcohol Stuntband and Silver Lion’s 20/20. 9 p.m. at Exit/In —LEE STABERT


T.J. EDWARDS’ AUTOMATION Recently graduated from the Appalachian Center for the Crafts, potter T.J. Edwards was included in the Frist Center’s recent show of art by college students and recent graduates from Middle Tennessee schools. Edwards’ contribution was a large ceramic bowl filled with a multitude of small vases. The piece reflected the repetitive quality of production ceramics, while providing a mystical discourse on the vessel. The name of the piece was “Blessed Are The Barren,” a reference to the Beatitudes that underscores the quality of vessels displayed in a gallery—which usually contain nothing. Edwards’ show at the Vanderbilt Department of Art’s gallery is billed as an installation, and may travel further down the sculptural path laid out in his piece at the Frist Center. Also on display: Jon Stone’s Process Of Intuition. Through Feb. 8 at Vanderbilt’s Ingram Studio Art Center; opening reception, 4-6 p.m. —DAVID MADDOX


Jazzy Country Eclectic

SUZY BOGGUSS When she hits it just right on her new Sweet Danger, singer Suzy Bogguss concocts a heartland hybrid that hints at country and jazz but sounds like pop. Perhaps best known for a string of early ’90s country hits, the Illinois native has recorded with Chet Atkins and Asleep at the Wheel leader Ray Benson, and covered songs by Nanci Griffith and Ian Tyson. On Danger, producer Jason Miles adds lightly funky rhythms and bossa nova guitar to a set of songs that evoke the gently heartbroken ’70s pop of The Carpenters. The spruce arrangement of “Even if That Were True” suits Bogguss, while Doug Crider’s “In Heaven” is an irresistible slice of weepy adult super-schlock sung to a dead boyfriend. Bogguss’ knowing voice inhabits the shadowy area where sophistication merges with nostalgia. She’ll be joined in the round by fellow eclectics Matraca Berg and Kim Carnes. The performance benefits Alive Hospice. 9:30 p.m. at Bluebird Café —EDD HURT


OFF THE WALL PRESENTS SEAMLESS MOMENTUM Beginning in February, TAG will take over Dangenart’s space for six months, and curator/owner Daniel Lai is going out with a bang, bringing Off The Wall back to his space in The Arcade. A local art collective featuring Jenny Baggs, Quinn Dukes, Janet Heilbronn, Mahlea Jones, Jaime Raybin and Iwonka Waskowski, Off the Wall’s last appearance at Dangenart was one of the gallery’s best shows. This time around, they present Seamless Momentum—a group-show featuring a small collection of work by each artist. If you missed the opening—which featured a collective performance—get by, see the show and wish Daniel the best before he takes a much-deserved break to concentrate on his own work. Through Jan. 26 at Dangenart Gallery —JOE NOLAN


THE LONELY HEARTS W/ TYLER & KYLE Tyler Cain and Kyle Whalum’s broad palette of influences ranges from R&B to Brit Invasion to twangy country rock. Who can argue with tracks “Life Is a Rhythm” or “Healthy and Happy,” which demonstrate the duo’s penchant for big-picture lyricism, bright bounding melodies, sweet harmonies and swaggering charm. Tyler & Kyle are celebrating the release of their self-titled debut. Joining them are The Lonely Hearts, who did some recording of their own last year. The so-called “Rebel Waltz” sessions feature more straightforward rock verve than 2006’s moody Paper Tapes. 9 p.m. at The Rutledge —CHRIS PARKER


NASHVILLE JAZZ WORKSHOP/WMOT 89.5 JOINT FUNDRAISER These two organizations—the first providing a wide variety of music classes and top-notch live performances, the second offering 24-hour jazz on the radio—amount to oases in Nashville’s jazz desert. To assure that local jazz lovers don’t die of thirst, they’re teaming up for a fundraiser featuring music by the NJW All-Stars, a superb collective of musicians/educators who collectively have played and/or recorded with many of the world’s top jazz, rock and country artists—George Tidwell (trumpet), Denis Solee (sax), Roy Agee (trombone), Chris Brown (drums), Jeff Hall (vocals) and NJW co-founders Lori Mechem (piano) and Roger Spencer (bass). Tickets are $50, and include wine and hors d’oeuvres. For reservations, call 242-5299 8 p.m. at Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Cave —JACK SILVERMAN

Barnstorming the Big Apple

THE DOYLE AND DEBBIE SHOW ON CONAN Amid the writer’s strike, Late Night with Conan O’Brien has booked local faves Bruce Arntson, Jenny Littleton and Matthew Carlton to perform a number from Arntson’s hilarious and oh-so-popular long-running Nashville stage musical hit The Doyle and Debbie Show. That’s one way to get quality comic writing on the tube without paying for it. Arntson & Co. will appear as Conan’s musical act—fully appropriate—and the TV gig is prelude to the D&D trio’s appearance the next night at the midtown Manhattan B. B. King’s. This is a big feather in the cap for Music City theater, and it’s about time New York got hip to what’s been funny to us for going on two years. 11:30 p.m. on WSMV-Channel 4 —MARTIN BRADY


SCHUMANN IN LOVE Classical enthusiasts, it’s your lucky day: Internationally known pianist Garrick Ohlsson will join conductor Arild Remmereit and the Nashville Symphony to perform Robert Schumann’s seldom-played Concerto for Piano in A Minor. After stints focusing on other forms of composition such as symphony, chamber and choral, the German-born Schumann returned to his true love, piano, for the appropriately titled Schumann in Love, a magnificent composition—and the only full-length piece he ever wrote for the aforementioned instrument. With shivering melodies and beautiful balance, Schumann’s piece delivers this stunning romantic tale of himself, a talented composer, and his piano teacher’s equally talented pianist daughter. Also on the program will be John Adams’ Lollapalooza and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor. 8 p.m. at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center —MURRAY SHARP

Commie Comedy

DON’T DRINK THE WATER ACT 1’s first show of 2008 is this early Woody Allen comedy, which opened on Broadway in 1966 for an 18-month run, then later became a 1969 Howard Morris-directed film starring Jackie Gleason. Apparently always dissatisfied with the movie version, Allen re-filmed the script for TV in 1994 with himself in the starring role. The plot centers around American tourists trapped inside a communist country, and while this production attempts a faithful re-creation of the ’60s atmosphere, it should be interesting to see if the jokes hold up—especially since there’s no longer an Iron Curtain for the high jinks to revolve around. Melissa Williams directs, and Tony Correro, John Michnya and Angela Gimlin co-star. Jan. 11-26 at Darkhorse Theater —MARTIN BRADY

Classic Sketches

THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW In the spirit of something new and unusual, this production by Dickson’s Amadeus Community Theatre deserves some attention, as the troupe revives comic material presented during the 11 years of television’s Carol Burnett Show. Burnett’s show was a rarity—a long-running TV variety program—that endured mostly on the strength of her personal popularity and versatile talents. Its regular comedy sketches, enacted with the assistance of hambone funnymen like Harvey Korman and Tim Conway, have gained a legendary status of their own. (In short, they were so bad they were good.) Whether the scripts stand on their own—without the original cast members’ penchant for improvisation—is another matter, but it should be interesting to find out. Among the scenes are the well-remembered “Gone with the Breeze,” in which Burnett played Southern spitfire Scarlett O’Fever, and a spoof on Bonnie and Clyde. Abigail Davis is the director. Show royalties are being donated to the Navajo Indian Children’s Scholarship Trust. Jan. 11-27 at Amadeus Community Theatre —MARTIN BRADY



CODAPHONIC CD RELEASE Good pop music walks that microscopically fine line between originality and familiarity, a tightrope act that Codaphonic pull off convincingly on their sophomore release, The Ballad of Codaphonic. All of the band’s cited influences (Beatles, XTC, Ben Folds, Harry Nilsson, Jellyfish) are present, yet, unlike quite a few current acts, songwriter/frontman Cody Newman knows how to borrow without plagiarizing. Opening track “Never Slows Down” features a synth sound straight out of the Rockford Files theme, and the first notes of “The Most Important Thing” recalls the Fab Four’s “I Dig a Pony,” but the resulting songs are never rip-offs. Instead, Newman creates his own tuneful microcosm that even in its darkest moments beckons you to skip down the sidewalk and hum along. 9 p.m. at The Rutledge —JACK SILVERMAN


PROTOMEN W/WAX FANG & VELCRO STARS Once every so often, a show comes along that promises so much potential “rawk” that one can scarcely believe there could exist a venue strong enough to contain it. Saturday, the Mercy Lounge presents one such event—a mega tripleheader that offers, quite possibly, the most bang for your buck you’ll get all year. It touts not one but two hyperbolic, theatrical rock mini-giants: The Protomen and Wax Fang. Down from Louisville, Wax Fang attack with a furious and whimsical blend of poppy melodies and thundering classic rock. The Protomen take it slightly further over the top with an ostentatious, fully costumed, synth-heavy rock opera based on the Mega Man video game. Chiming in with a drastically more humble but no less emphatic approach, the Velcro Stars kick out some sweet, jangly jams often compared to the indie-rock Chapel Hill days of yesteryear. 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge — SETH GRAVES

Preschool Psychedelia

GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD If Adult Swim can find an audience by brokering an alliance between wiseguy tweens and 30-ish stoners—and ’80s club-rockers from Jason Ringenberg to Dan Zanes can find a huge new following playing parent-friendly tunes for tots—why can’t someone create a gumdrop world where “Puff the Magic Dragon” frolics in an autumn mist of twee indie psych-pop? Someone has: NYC illustrator-musician Morgan Taylor, bassist for Wilco side project The Autumn Defense, who devised this disarmingly daft bedtime-story vehicle for his Maurice Sendak-like drawings and whimsical wordplay. As Gustafer Yellowgold, a friendly little flamehead from the sun whose playgroup includes a dapper pterodactyl and Slimothy the eel, Taylor performs witty, wide-eyed songs catchy and wistful enough to pass for a kindergarten reworking of The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle, filled with bouncy sing-along choruses and cooed tributes to insect buddies, fantastic creatures and the joys of punching cheese. His Have You Never Been Yellow? DVD/CD set was hailed as one of 2007’s best releases for kids; live, he’ll perform a morning show for the little ones in Hillsboro Village, accompanied by his charming low-tech animation and projected illustrations. If you’re pushing 40 and still get choked up at the mention of little Jackie Paper, be there. 10 a.m. at The Belcourt —JIM RIDLEY


GOD IN MUSIC CITY LAUNCH The definition of religious music in this town goes beyond church hymns and Christian rock. God in Music City: The Sounds of Religion in Nashville, Tennessee is a two-disc compilation bringing together local musicians from every genre—pop songsmiths, church choirs, country singers, community choirs, classical performers—and every background—Christian, Jewish, GLBT and more. The launch will include performances and discussion; GIMC will also host a night at the Bluebird Jan. 15-16, and there is a series of educational and musical events scheduled for the coming months. For information, visit godinmusiccity.com. 7 p.m. at Vanderbilt’s Commons Dining Center —LEE STABERT


KUROSAWA COLOR CLASSICS: DERSU UZALA After the financial failure of 1970’s Dodes’kaden and a subsequent suicide attempt, Akira Kurosawa made a bold return to feature filmmaking with this 1975 period adventure, an account of a 19th century Russian explorer saved from the ravages of the Siberian wilderness by the resourcefulness of a wily native hunter (Maksim Munzuk). If you go, say hello to one of Nashville’s most die-hard movie lovers, H.G. Webb: it’s his favorite movie, and the Belcourt had been hoping to book it for a long time in part as a thank-you for his patronage. Noon Saturday and Sunday at the Belcourt —JIM RIDLEY


EDITORS If you like Interpol, you’ll like Editors, a kind of Interpol Jr. These guys are actually British and write better melodies, but draw from the same gloomy post-punk bag of tricks on debut The Back Room that made Pornography-era Cure, Joy Division et al. a brooder’s wet dream. And man does it still brood: Tracks off 2007’s An End Has a Start are everything you still want in a mess of maudlin, swirly, disco-y despair. As a second record, it’s a softer affair and certainly not much of a departure—the “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” intro evokes Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” and most tracks here meet, but don’t exceed, the beauty of the first album’s dazzler “Munich.” Is it shamelessly derivative? Sure, all that new post-punk is. But when you want to hit the nadir and wrap yourself in a dark cloak of grief-stricken malaise with soaring melodies, squalling kaleidoscopic guitars and a vague but palpable despair, Editors will be happy to tuck you in gently. With Louis XIV and Hot Hot Heat. 7 p.m. at Wildhorse Saloon —TRACY MOORE


ONCE & FUTURE KINGS W/TALLEST TREES Once & Future Kings are more ballroom waltz than dirty dancing—their graceful pop carriage moves in a choreographed sashay whose moody, atmospheric pulse evokes Radiohead’s dramatic air. On last month’s debut EP Emergent Sea, guitarist Jess Edison keenly channels Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne—his willowy vocals mingling with the band’s lilting, distorted psych-pop shimmer. Justin Henderson’s keyboards offer ballast to the swelling arrangements, carrying the melodic figure while Edison’s guitar dips and banks above. Nice harmonies offer icing to the quartet’s richly elegant prog-pop confections. Tallest Trees are equally well crafted but more guttural, preferring a less adorned vibrancy. Thomas Samuel’s plaintive tenor is at turns woolly and playful, but never lacks for warmth—its ache echoes the music’s tender amble, suggesting Sparklehorse and to a lesser extent Sufjan Stevens. Bring a newspaper to this green-themed show to get a break on admission. 8 p.m. at The 5 Spot —CHRIS PARKER


ANDY HALL CD RELEASE PARTY Andy Hall’s second solo album, The Sound of the Slide Guitar, comes at an auspicious time for the young resonator guitarist, as his award-winning band, The Infamous Stringdusters, heads back into the studio after its IBMA triumphs. The ’Dusters provide their signature progressive bluegrass on about half of the new album, while the remainder pairs up Hall in duets with bandmate Jesse Cobb (mandolin), fellow barmeister Rob Ickes and guitar wizards David Grier and Tim Stafford—the latter also sings on an affecting Mark Simos song, “Fresh Flowers”—and ends with a gorgeous solo instrumental take on Norman Blake’s “Green Light on the Southern.” Hall can play flashy when he wants to, but he can also play the restraint card, and does both to perfection on the new release. Following the release party, the Stringdusters will offer one of their typically energetic—and typically crowded—shows. 8:30 p.m. at Station Inn —JON WEISBERGER


AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: KINGS OF LEON/ROKY ERICKSON A photo spread in Rolling Stone? Big wet kisses from the overseas press and an opening slot for U2? Yawn. But when PBS’ venerable Austin City Limits pairs you with one of rock’s most compelling cult heroes—well, clearly someone has joined the club. Coming off the nice year-end notices for their Because of the Times LP, Nashville’s fightin’ Followills split the most striking bill ACL has offered all season: a two-fer with Texas psych-rock legend Erickson of 13th Floor Elevators and “You’re Gonna Miss Me” fame, whose renewed vigor in recent years after decades of mental instability has raised fans’ hopes anew. See the excellent recent documentary You’re Gonna Miss Me for Erickson’s heartrending full story—but in the meantime, hope for horror-rock hellrides such as “Creature With the Atom Brain” and “Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer).” 8 p.m. on NPT-Channel 8 —JIM RIDLEY


RHONDA VINCENT & THE RAGE AT THE OPRY Vincent’s latest album, Good Thing Going, hit the streets on Tuesday. So while the well-traveled songstress is a frequent Opry guest, a special measure of bright-eyed enthusiasm is likely to motivate tonight’s appearance (as is the debut as a Rage member of talented guitarist/singer Darrell Webb). The disc is vintage Vincent all the way, from the careful matching of players to songs—Vincent’s at once a groundbreaker and a traditionalist in the way she mixes band members with studio guests—to the artfully crafted sequence of hard-driving ’grass tunes and acoustic country ballads. The material’s not always dead-on, but on songs like Jerry Salley and Lisa Shaffer’s “I Gotta Start Somewhere,” Connie Leigh’s “Who’s Cryin’ Baby” and Vincent’s own cheerful paean to a long-lived marriage, “Good Thing Going,” Vincent’s simply unmatched, and critics who bemoan the polish of her work need to think harder. 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. at the Ryman Auditorium —JON WEISBERGER


TAYLOR SWIFT A couple of weeks before Christmas, Swift turned all of 18, but America’s music fans have been giving her presents all year long. The latest gift is pushing Swift’s bouncy pop confection “Our Song” to the top of the country singles chart. Swift is yet another example of how unpredictable the music industry is, and how it remains in a constant state of self-renewal. The precocious teen has sole or shared writing credits on all of the songs on her debut, and has a gift for pairing simple, catchy melodies with memorable lyrics. 8 p.m. at Sommet Center —WERNER TRIESCHMANN


Musical Theater

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS Two con men working the well-heeled ladies of the French Riviera in search of easy riches are dismayed to discover that there’s only room for one scoundrel in this exotic locale. The obvious solution: they make a wager, and the loser leaves town. This musical adaptation of the 1988 feature film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine ran for 666 performances on Broadway and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. The music and lyrics are by David Yazbek (The Full Monty). Through Jan. 13 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall —MARTIN BRADY

Jane Addiction

THE COMPLETE JANE AUSTEN What better time to curl up with a batch of Jane Austen than deepest winter—and into spring when romance blooms? Beginning this Sunday, PBS will air adaptations of the Austen canon along with a biopic about her life (Miss Austen Regrets), including new productions of Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility, the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth chestnut Pride and Prejudice, and Kate Beckinsale’s take on Emma. Things get started with Sally Hawkins (The Painted Veil, Vera Drake) as the broke, heartbroken, and—gasp—as yet unmarried 27-year-old Anne Elliot in a wonderful, achingly measured Persuasion. Anne struggles to maintain her composure when reintroduced to Capt. Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones; Match Point, The Four Feathers), the love of her life. In two weeks we get the largely entertaining Mansfield Park, featuring Fanny (Billie Piper; Doctor Who) and her cousin Edmund (Blake Ritson; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) finding their way to each other—which takes a while, despite their having growing up in the same household. “The Complete Jane Austen” begins at 8 p.m., Jan. 13 and airs on subsequent Sundays through April 6 on WNPT —MICHELLE JONES


Sit for Kids

“CHAIR”ISH THE KIDS The annual auction of unique chairs benefiting Kids on the Block youth prevention program isn’t until the spring, so you’ve got until March 7 to design a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. The Kids invite anyone with an artistic eye and a generous heart to contribute a work of art—an actual chair or a chair-themed creation—to the auction, now in its 11th year. In past years, artists have created sterling silver ladder-backs, limestone fauteuils, handwoven hammocks—even a chair-shaped garden fountain welded from copper tubing. From Monet-inspired benches and photographs of Adirondacks to sequined rockers and needlepoint stools, the seating is unlimited. Kids on the Block will gladly give you a chair to paint, upholster, découpage or otherwise embellish, and all contributors receive free admission to the April 11th party at Cheekwood. For information or to pick up a chair, call Alice Parkerson at Kids on the Block, 279-0058, ext. 130. —CARRINGTON FOX


JULIA MARTIN, EMILY LEONARD & JOE DECAMILLIS TAG opened the new year—and its latest show—at its temporary home Estel Gallery. Featuring two local favorites and a first-timer to Nashville, the exhibit dispels any worries about the gallery’s chronic wandering. This show finds the character’s in Julia Martin’s portraits still reflecting on silent moments, while the artist continues to invest their ruminations with equal parts emotion and imagination. Emily Leonard’s large landscapes are vital, beautiful renderings of light and darkness, trees and sky, but what makes them exceptional is their ambivalent refusal to be either only mournful and elegiac, or hopeful and redemptive. Be sure to take a look at Birmingham artist Joe Decamillis’ multimedia, book-based paintings, featured in Estel’s small spaces in the back of the gallery. Through January 26 at Estel Gallery —JOE NOLAN


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