Our Critics' Picks 

Tommy and the Whale, Sigourney Cheek, Wycliffe Gordon, The Road to Guantanamo, First Saturday art openings and more


MusicTOMMY AND THE WHALE Guys, hide your girlfriends: East Nashville’s finest new pop group Tommy and the Whale will undoubtedly leave you impressed, downright envious and quite possibly single. These piano based rock ’n’ rollers sound anything but contrived with main man Tommy Hans sporting his soulful croon and the rest of the Whale dabbling in trumpet, lap steel and the occasional accordion. They’re currently finishing up their first full-length, Shot for the Moon, an affair chock full of vintage sing-alongs. So grab a hold of your barstool, take a swig of your favorite flavor and prepare to witness a rickety, Americana-tinged music hall romp. 9 p.m. the Exit/In —MURRAY SHARP


Mixed BreedsMANGY DOG RADIO HOUR CD RELEASE PARTY Local funnymen Chad Riden, Jesse Perry, Mark Anundson and Sean Parrott have been producing a comedy podcast for some time (available at mangydog.comedypodcast.com). Now the quartet has put together its first “greatest hits” CD, which extracts the best of its parodies, pranks and character-driven sketches, including “The Incredible Adventures of Texas Toast and His Talking Dog Jesus.” Besides celebrating the new disc, the comedians will perform live skits, songs and their individual stock-in-trade stand-up acts. Free CD with admission. 8 p.m. at Bongo After Hours Theatre —MARTIN BRADY


Dance PartyFUNKY GOOD TIME D-Funk and crew top off a very funky February with another installment of their super-swanky DJ night. It is guaranteed to put more dip in you hip, more cut in your strut and more glide in your stride. And it is certainly going to be better than watching that Eli Stone piece o’ crap that comes on after Lost. 10 p.m. at Bound’ry —SEAN L. MALONEY


MusicAN EVENING WITH THE REFUGEES: CINDY BULLENS, WENDY WALDMAN & DEBORAH HOLLAND These three veterans—songwriters, rockers, groundbreakers—have carved out such individual paths that it’s hard to imagine them coming together. But that’s also what makes this bill so exciting. Waldman emerged from the early-’70s California folk-rock scene, a gypsy poet with a beautiful voice who ignored genre restrictions to excel at several musical styles. Bullens initially created a stir in the late ’70s as a concise, blue-collar rocker. And Holland first gained notice in 1989 as the young leader of Animal Logic, a band featuring established instrumentalists Stanley Clarke and Stewart Copeland. At this point, they all write songs about survival, living in the moment and finding a way despite all the obstacles. 9 p.m. at the Bluebird Café —MICHAEL MCCALL


PoetryJUDSON MITCHAM A two-time winner of the Townsend Prize for his novels The Sweet Everlasting and Sabbath Creek, writer Judson Mitcham is also a highly regarded poet. A lifelong Georgian, Mitcham uses Southern settings to explore universal themes of love and loss—especially loss. Mortality is a central concern in much of his verse, as in these lines from his 1991 collection Somewhere in Ecclesiastes: “What if it were true, after all / that the body is a garment, a light cotton shirt / we will easily do without?” Mitcham will read and discuss work from his latest poetry collection, A Little Salvation. 8 p.m. in Vanderbilt’s Buttrick Hall, Room 101. —MARIA BROWNING


Looking for LangstonAFRICAN AMERICAN TEEN POETRY CAFÉ Recapture the future-is-now creative explosion of the Harlem Renaissance at this Black History Month event, which invites Nashville teens to freestyle, emote, lift their voices and express their literary impulses any way they choose. Light refreshments will be served. If you want to write, rap or sing but you can’t find a forum, don’t blow this off. You know what happens to a dream deferred. Sponsored by Nashville Public Library; call 862-5870 for more information. 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Richland Park Library Branch (4711 Charlotte Ave.) —JIM RIDLEY


No Crosby, No HopeTHE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’ controversial 2006 docudrama examines the case of the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were captured in Afghanistan on unfounded suspicion of terrorist activity and packed off to Gitmo for three years of interrogation, imprisonment and torture. The movie is this week’s selection in Vanderbilt’s Iraq War film series, free and open to the public. 7 p.m. at Sarratt Cinema —JIM RIDLEY

ComedyALONZO BODDEN It might not hold the same cachet anymore, but just a few seasons back Last Comic Standing was a spotlight of hope for comedians not seasoned, well-managed or ass-kissy enough to land a network deal. This is the LCS that this Leno, festival-circuit and Comedy Central Presents vet won; the LCS that meant the most to struggling practitioners of the nation’s most underestimated art form. With a smart, sophisticated and purposefully subdued take on relationships that offers far deeper insight than the standard “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” gags, Bodden is clearly a man for whom emotional complexity is a performance cornerstone. Feb. 28-March 1 at Zanies Comedy Club. Last Comic Standing will hold auditions on March 3rd at Zanies: open auditions, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; callbacks, 7:30 p.m. ($10). —JULIE SEABAUGH


Evening With an AuthorSIGOURNEY CHEEK When four persistent flea bites drove Mrs. Cheek to the doctor, the diagnosis was a deadly form of lymphoma. Instead of retreating into isolated depression, she called on support from an ever-widening circle of friends, relatives and colleagues. A vital medium in this effort was email. Prayers and messages of love and support came pouring in through cyberspace. The best medical treatment Nashville could offer also helped, and after a course of chemo, she went into remission and organized a 60th birthday bash on Mallorca. Patient Siggy is her gutsy memoir not only of cancer, but of her full life. Mrs. Cheek appears as part of the Evening With an Author series. RSVP to eveningwithanauthor@yahoo.com. 6-7:30 pm at Stanford Fine Arts —RALPH BOWDEN


Disc DriveMAGICAL BLU-RAY TOUR It’s not so magical for Toshiba—which just last week threw in the towel on its competing HD DVD system, conceding the market for high-definition home entertainment to rival Blu-ray. (You can find HD DVD nursing a beer in the Losers’ Lounge with its friends Beta and 8-track.) But for most of us the question remains: What the hell is Blu-ray? Enter Disney with this touring interactive whistle-stop demonstration, featuring games, movie clips and preview footage designed to show off Blu-ray’s purported “picture quality at six times the resolution of standard DVDs and theater-quality uncompressed audio.” Feb. 28-March 1 at Cool Springs Galleria —JIM RIDLEY


Classical MusicTHE ART OF PERCUSSION Only one artist in the classical world makes a career as a solo percussionist: Evelyn Glennie. The Scottish native won her first Grammy for an album of music by Béla Bartók, and her second came in collaboration with banjo master Béla Fleck. She’s collaborated with vocalists Björk and Bobby McFerrin, written a critically acclaimed autobiography and collaborated on the film Touch the Sound. She’s also deaf. She’ll join the Nashville Symphony for John Corigliano’s “Concerto for Percussion Soloist and Strings,” before relinquishing the stage to the orchestra for Shostakovich’s grand 10th symphony. 8 p.m. at Schermerhorn Symphony Center —MICHAEL MCCALL


MusicSTEVIE BINGE & THE FORK HUNTS When this band of femme punks describe themselves as “drunken novices who took it to the next level by wearing cool outfits and writing dirty songs we could barely get through,” it’s not an exaggeration. Their show last year consisted of a handful of “songs” “played” by a gaggle of girls dressed in homemade Ninja Turtles costumes. But it’s the spirit of this train wreck that makes for an amusing night out. When punks proclaimed that the sloppy genre was all about how you play and not about whether you know how to play, these broads took it literally. 9 p.m. at Springwater —TRACY MOORE


MusicDAVID DEWESE Lanky local singer-songwriter David Dewese recalls Lemonhead Evan Dando’s heartthrob good looks—and his thoughtful, bittersweet tunes also channel the ’90s alt-crooner. Normally the frontman for pensive pop outfit the Luxury Liners and his less frequent project Foxymorons, Dewese plays this show solo. The demos on his MySpace page are a lo-fi lope through wistful pop, the sort that never indulges too long on the lament, instead focusing on sparse arrangements, strong melodies and clever phrasings. 7 p.m. at Edgehill Studios —TRACY MOORE

Get ’BonedNASHVILLE JAZZ ORCHESTRA FEAT. WYCLIFFE GORDON The Rodney Dangerfield of jazz instruments, the trombone gets no respect, which is odd, because few instruments possess such expressive range—mournful, sultry, brash, comical. In the right hands, it’s a deadly weapon, and few hands are righter than Wycliffe Gordon’s. An alum of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, a gifted bandleader and a faculty member at Juilliard, Gordon is a brilliant performer, able to bop with the heaviest and cut up with the craziest. Gordon joins the NJO for a program titled “Basie, Boogie and the Blues,” featuring Gordon’s own compositions plus a few standards and Count Basie classics. 8 p.m. at Ingram Hall —JACK SILVERMAN


MusicWE WERE THE STATES “We Were the Band Name” is the latest in indie-rock nomenclature—à la “Adjective City Nouns” in ’99 or “Band Name So Long You Think It’s A Sentence” circa 2003. But don’t let that fool you: The States aren’t as trendy as the name indicates. The Murfreesboro quintet have been quietly toiling under the radar for the last five years, crafting a concise garage-rock sound that is equal parts pogo-punk and pop bliss. Their debut Believe the Thieves, produced by local luminary Doug Clutter, is available March 11 on Austin, Texas’ Chicken Ranch Records. 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge —SEAN L. MALONEY


Oddball BirthdayFREE CAKE FOR LEAP DAY BABIES This intercalary year, approximately one in every 1,506 people is in for a treat at Whole Foods, where there’s free cake and a $10 gift certificate for anyone who can prove they were born on Leap Day. What a great chance to meet your fellow leaplings. And if you happen to hit it off with someone in particular, remember the other Leap Year tradition: the woman proposes. All day at Whole Foods Market CARRINGTON FOX


MusicKEITH GATTIS W/DOS COJONES Gattis made a fine Music Row country album in 1996—and like many albums that stray from the norm, it didn’t attract the attention it deserved. Since then, Gattis has made an even better, decidedly non-Music Row album, Big City Blues, while working in the L.A. country-rock underground. He’s joined by the return of the swinging Dos Cojones—the band featuring singer-guitarist Chuck Mead and drummer Shaw Wilson that pre-dated BR549. The stripped-down setting should allow both the duo’s off-the-cuff humor and engaging personalities plenty of room to roll. 9 p.m at Family Wash —MICHAEL MCCALL


Bach FestCHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL BACHANALIA Johann Sebastian Bach was a prolific composer—turning out music to meet the demands of his job as Director of Music for the churches of Leipzig—providing a wealth of material for this six-hour Bach marathon. Many area choirs, soloists and ensembles will participate and the event presents several unusual voicings for his music—saxophone quartet, trombone choir, an ensemble of double reeds and a concert whistler. The evening will close with a couple jazz interpretations and a piece by one of Johann’s descendants, P.D.Q. Bach. Don’t worry about your stamina—listeners are welcome to come and go as they please. 5-11 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral —DAVID MADDOX


MusicJASON ISBELL & WILL HOGE Former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and Nashville mainstay Will Hoge both channel a casual Southern soulfulness into their breed of rocking Americana. Isbell’s strength has always been his earnest wit, attention to detail, expressive—but never wanky—guitar playing and mournful tenor. Always the new kid on the block next to Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, Isbell is nonetheless impressively polished and mature—perhaps a bit too much so at times: it’s easy to miss the contrast of grit and beauty his Truckers songs always offered. 9 p.m. at Cannery Ballroom —LEE STABERT


MusicDHARMAKAYA It’s safe to say that any band that’s been hauling it in and out of local dives for nearly 13 years is no longer concerned with reaching for the brass ring. And the lead track, “Let You Down,” off Dharmakaya’s latest Garmonbozia suggests they’re aware of the fickleness of Nashville crowds: “We’re the bastards of Nashville’s burgeoning music scene,” screams vocalist Stacy Fleeman (who can regularly be seen taking door at the End). The title hints at a warning contained in the lyrics: “Next time we come around / We’re gonna let you down.” That’s probably true for anyone who left sludgy Mudhoney-esque grunge behind in the ’90s, but steadfast devotees of bands who take their names from the Buddhist bible should find something pleasantly familiar in Dharmakaya’s vintage style. Cock-rockers The Titts open. 9 p.m. at The End —TRACY MOORE


Dance PartyLESS RAVE, MORE PARTY Michael Madrid and Justin Kase are back again with the second installment in their “Youth Group” party series, which could be re-titled “Less Bible, More Thump.” Refusing to rely on retro-shticks or the glossy commercialism of the glow stick set, the “Youth” crew has the future funk to make the room go boom. Their event last month was packed to the gills and surprisingly unpretentious, so show up early and stay real late. 9 p.m. at The Trace —SEAN L. MALONEY


Running From the LawRACE JUDICATA No, it’s not a marathon for rabbis. It’s a play on the Latin phrase res judicata (res rhymes with “rays”), which is legal jargon for a matter that has already been decided. In this case, so to speak, the matter is the fifth annual road race hosted by the Young Lawyers Division of the Nashville Bar. A 5K starts at 8 a.m. and a 10K takes off at 9, with proceeds benefiting St. Luke’s Community House. For information, call Allison LaRue at 259-9080. (If you’d rather be sentenced to hard labor than run six miles on a perfectly good Saturday morning, it still might be fun to see thousands of lawyers standing at gunpoint, even if it is just a starting line.) Steeplechase at Percy Warner Park —CARRINGTON FOX


V-Day ReduxTHE VAGINA MONOLOGUES This version of Eve Ensler’s call to arms appears slightly later in the game than the usual V-Day events, but the message is just as strong. The African American cast is under the direction of highly-respected Stella Reed, who will also perform in the show. The ensemble otherwise comprises notable stage locals such as Helen Shute-Pettaway and Persephone Felder-Fentress, plus film and TV actresses like Terri J. Vaughn and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney. Comedian and talk-show host Michael Colyar serves as master of ceremonies. 8 p.m. at TPAC’s Polk Theater —MARTIN BRADY

THE BIG PAYBACK Nashville’s go-to destination for installation art, Twist Gallery presents a new environment for your approval: local artist Rachel Hall Kirk’s The Big Payback. Kirk’s recent “Arts in the Airport” show featured the outstanding graphite portraits she is known for. With Payback, she abandons her pencils to create a multimedia installation that turns the tables on every bully she’s encountered through her life. In the process, she also manages to fire off a few shots in favor of good, old-fashioned class warfare. March 1-29 at Twist Gallery; opening reception 6-9 p.m. —JOE NOLAN


A DOUBLETAKE ON THE GREAT AMERICAN HORSE: WORKS BY MAGGIE MOORE & KRISTOFFERSEN Third Avenue South’s Take 121 Arts presents a photographic homage to the American horse. An equestrian for four decades and the owner of five Tennessee Walking Horses, Moore is known for her equine portraits, and has published a 200-page hardcover collection of her photographs entitled Walking With Friends. Kristoffersen’s work includes images of wild horses, Steeplechase races and Civil War reenactments. The reception features frozen mint juleps, wine and appetizers. Hoof it on over, or risk being saddled with regret. March 1-April 25 at Take 121 Arts; opening reception 6-9 p.m. —JACK SILVERMAN


WORKS IN PROGRESS: EMERGING ARTISTS, NEW ARTWORK If Nashville is beginning to establish a contemporary photography scene, Hollis Bennett is at the front of the wave. The Arts Company describes Bennett’s haunted spaces as “landscape photography,” but his large prints of empty train yards, borders and cemeteries read like gorgeous anthropological documents: taking the measure of human lives from the places we’ve departed. Works in Progress also features sculptor Nelson Grice, photographer Kimiko and painter Calvin Morton. March 1-28 at the Arts Company; opening reception 6-9 p.m. —JOE NOLAN


 Makin’ It Rain (But Not Like Pacman)SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN Circle Players take on the challenging task of mounting this stage version of the 1952 Hollywood classic. Director Terry McLemore, a veteran of Twyla Tharp’s 1985 Broadway production, will strive to make sure his cast maintains the energetic spirit and wisecracking fun of the script. On tap are the simply excellent songs and plenty of (tap) dancing. The company has also filmed some original silent-movie footage in keeping with the period feel of the story. Through March 9 at Looby Theatre —MARTIN BRADY


“Sisters Under the Mink”NASHVILLE FILM NOIR FESTIVAL: THE BIG HEAT Hard and cold as a tombstone, Fritz Lang’s clammy, ambivalent 1953 thriller is a contender for the blackest entry in all of noir—the story of a good cop (Glenn Ford) whose single-minded obsession with a dirty town’s dirtiest citizen (Alexander Scourby) leaves a heap of corpses, destroys his family and reduces his noble principles to by-any-means-necessary thuggery. Lee Marvin makes a hateful villain as the mob boss’ sadistic henchman, but it’s Gloria Grahame as his tainted but redemptive moll—whom he disfigures with a pot of scalding coffee in one of cinema’s most horrific acts—who embodies the movie’s bitterly conflicted moral universe. Don’t miss it on the big screen. March 1-3 at the Belcourt —JIM RIDLEY


MusicWILCO W/JOHN DOE John Doe’s latest full-length, A Year in the Wilderness, finds the former X singer essaying various permutations of roots-rock. With duet partners Jill Sobule, Aimee Mann and Kathleen Edwards filling the sonic and emotional gap left by Doe’s erstwhile collaborator Exene Cervenka, and guitarist Dave Alvin making himself felt on the garage-rock “Hotel Ghost,” it’s one of Doe’s best records. Wilco have proven themselves equally adept at self-reinvention. It’s not that Jeff Tweedy doesn’t have something to say about alienation or, for that matter, experimental roots-rock, but his music benefits from the artifice his bandmates bring to last year’s excellent Sky Blue Sky. It lumbers like The Move’s Shazam and mixes in echoes of Dr. John and other ’70s studio-pop eccentrics, which makes Tweedy’s wan narratives all the more palatable. 7:30 p.m. at Ryman Auditorium —EDD HURT

MusicTOMMY KEENUM Jazzy pop with understated funk rhythms and crisp horn arrangements, Tommy Keenum’s latest full-length, Details Within…, finds the Nashville singer and alto saxophonist comfortable with open-ended song structures and conversational lyrics. The disco-flavored “I’ll Be Around” fleshes out Details’ theme of self-acceptance, as Kennum sings, “Jesus was a peace-loving, radical queer.” The Mississippi native has a knack for simple, effective songs that make melancholy sound like just another state of mind—and his music never overplays its hand. Touches of cello, accordion and organ combine with disciplined rhythm-section dynamics, and Keenum sings in a soulful, sincere tenor. 9 p.m. at 3rd & Lindsley —EDD HURT


ComedyLAST COMIC STANDING AUDITIONS Hey, you funny? Well, if you are—and if you can fit your unique brand of hilarious humor into a concise PG package—head down to Zanies and throw your hat in the ring. Enjoy watching people who think they’re funny bomb? Well, then head down to Zanies for the callbacks and cheer on your local favorites. Open auditions, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; callbacks, 7:30 p.m. ($10) at Zanies Comedy Club —LEE STABERT 


Slow FoodSLOW TRAVEL: CUISINE OF TUSCANY, SICILY AND MOROCCO Slow Food USA founding member Peggy Markel will make a stop at Marché in East Nashville. Join Markel as she shares photographs and stories of her travels, focusing on regional cuisine, farming, winemaking and other aspects of local culinary culture. Marché will provide Mediterranean-themed hors d’oeuvres to accompany the presentation. To sign up, call 262-1111; $15 per person. 6:30 p.m. at Marché Artisan Foods CARRINGTON FOX


Goes to 11ROBIN TROWER Plug Strat into Marshall stack, max that sucker out, channel Jimi Hendrix. Robin Trower’s simple equation has been providing old-school rock fans and guitar geeks with plenty of aural thrills for four decades now, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. He came onto the national scene in the late ’60s with Procol Harum, and in 1973 embarked on a solo career that’s still going strong. Despite his obvious debt to Jimi, Trower has plenty of his own tricks and has rightfully earned a slot in the classic rock guitar pantheon. 9 p.m. at Cannery Ballroom —JACK SILVERMAN


ComedyLAST COMIC STANDING AUDITIONS Hey, you funny? Well, if you are—and if you can fit your unique brand of hilarious humor into a concise PG package—head down to Zanies and throw your hat in the ring. Enjoy watching people who think they’re funny bomb? Well, then head down to Zanies for the callbacks and cheer on your local favorites. Open auditions, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; callbacks, 7:30 p.m. ($10) at Zanies Comedy Club —LEE STABERT


Kid NationADOPTION PANEL Not for the first time, members of Tennessee’s General Assembly are trying to ban unmarried couples—homosexual or otherwise—from adopting children in state custody who are desperately awaiting permanent homes. (Paradoxically, these cornpone lawmakers are targeting cohabitating adults who are unmarried—but not singles—because the true aim of the bill is to keep gays and lesbians from becoming adoptive parents.) To shed light on this injustice-in-the-making and to offer intelligent discussion of this important issue, The ACLU, Vanderbilt’s Center for Child and Family Policy, the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, the Family Project of the Human Rights Campaign and the Tennessee Equality Project are sponsoring a panel about adoption in Tennessee that will feature legal experts and child welfare advocates. Reception 5:30 p.m.-6:15 followed by the program, Downtown Library auditorium. —LIZ GARRIGAN

MusicTHE CHIEFTAINS Since forming in 1963 under the direction of piper Paddy Moloney, no one has done as much to take traditional Irish folk melodies and dance tunes from the pub to the concert hall and the world stage as The Chieftains have. They did so by giving the music an unprecedented gravitas and emotional weight that resonated with popular audiences, thanks in no small part to the classical leanings of former harpist Derek Bell (who passed away in 2002). That they also managed to collaborate with a Who’s Who of grownup pop stars—Mick Jagger, Sting, Sinéad O’Connor, Van Morrison, The Corrs—hasn’t hurt their cause either. 7 p.m. Schermerhorn Symphony Center —AARON JENTZEN

MusicDARLA FARMER CD RELEASE SHOW Seven young Nashville musicians make up the heavily orchestrated, ragtag art ska collective Darla Farmer—a name borrowed from a local bank teller. Lead singer/guitarist Clint Wilson uses intensely descriptive lyrics and a theatrical delivery to depict a vivid world of characters and emotions. Their new album, Rewiring the Electric Forest, features music that mirrors Wilson’s witty literary themes, boasting a diverse musical backbone that is as dense as it is accessible. Their ramshackle mix of blasting trombones, trumpets, violins and keys results in skin-piercing music that lands somewhere between a frightening nightmare and a comforting dream. 9 p.m. at Exit/In —MURRAY SHARP

Listen, You Screwheads…NASHVILLE FILM NOIR FESTIVAL CLOSING NIGHT: MEAN STREETS/ TAXI DRIVER Wow, Nashville, you like it rough. The Belcourt’s monthlong, self-programmed noir retrospective turned out to be an inspiring success in both content and attendance—a triumph for the theater’s film programmer Toby Leonard and a mandate for similar series throughout the year and beyond. So bid the dark city and its shadowy streets goodbye with this fabulous double bill of Martin Scorsese 1970s neo-noirs: 1973’s Mean Streets, with Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro in star-making performances as young mobsters on the make, and 1976’s Taxi Driver, with De Niro as a ticking urban time-bomb in New York’s festering city of night. (Full disclosure: I’ll be introducing both films.) Both movies will also screen over the weekend at midnight. Midnight Feb. 29-March 1; 7 p.m. March 4 —JIM RIDLEY


MusicKATHY MATTEA always brought a sense of integrity to her years of country music stardom, partly due to her grounding in folk music. She’s continued to maintain a strong following and a steady career for the same reason. Now she’s set to release the most overtly folk album of her career—and one of her best. Produced by Marty Stuart, Coal is an album of mining-themed songs that draw on her West Virginia roots. Mattea—whose alto remains remarkably warm—will preview the album with two consecutive nights of club performances. 9 p.m. March 5 & 6 at Station Inn —MICHAEL MCCALL

ArtVICTORIA BOONE / MARLA FAITH When Parthenon visitors have seen enough of Nashville’s garish goddess of wisdom, they can wander down to the lower level galleries to explore the work of two very different local artists. The paintings in Victoria Boone’s Gravity and Merit use pictograms and fabricated script to examine the dynamics of written language. Most of the paintings are abstract, forcing the viewer to contemplate symbols as entities independent of assigned meaning. Boone’s work also references the string theory of matter, pointing out the physical/conceptual duality inherent in both writing and physics. For those who like their art less highbrow and more heartfelt, Marla Faith’s Abundance offers oversize portraits of diverse Nashville women, incorporating themes of nature’s generosity, nurturing and peace. Gravity and Merit runs through April 19; Abundance runs through April 5 at The Parthenon. —MARIA BROWNING


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