Our Critics' Picks 

The Felice Brothers, High Society, Tori Sparks, Solaris, Vadis Turner, Sasha and John Digweed and more


MusicTHE NOBILITY W/ KYLE ANDREWS Thursday night’s bill at Exit/In features two local acts that know a thing or two about the basics of a good pop song. Nashville indie poppers The Nobility put their stamp on a well-tread sound, yet somehow come off as intelligent and unpretentious. Their latest album The Mezzanine leans heavily on The Kinks and Ram-era McCartney, mixing catchy melodies and upbeat harmonies with an ambitious dose of horns and strings. Opening act and DIY extraordinaire Kyle Andrews traffics in a unique, kaleidoscopic brand of bedroom electro-pop. Whether playing a stripped down acoustic folk song or hiding behind a myriad of keyboards and drum machines, his songs always resonate. 9 p.m. at Exit/In —MURRAY SHARP

MusicAN EVENING WITH MARVIN HAMLISCH Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough with my life—then I hear about someone who has managed to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. This weekend, composer Marvin Hamlisch comes to the Schermerhorn for three shows with the Nashville Symphony. (I bet he leaves all those statues at home.) In addition to countless movie scores and myriad theater credits, Hamlisch now serves as the principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. What can I say, the guy’s no schlub. Thursday-Saturday at Schermerhorn Symphony Center —LEE STABERT

MusicTHE FELICE BROTHERS Most bands that use Bob Dylan as a reference point are egotistical hacks with shitty voices and an inflated sense of self-importance. Most bands that bill themselves as the “Something Brothers” are full of shit and totally unrelated. The Brooklyn-by-way-of-The Catskills quartet The Felice Brothers fall into neither category. These two siblings from upstate New York and a couple of their friends sound a hell of lot like the records Bobby himself made while he was living upstate—except these guys can sing, making them sound more like The Band sharing a spliff with John Prine. Their self-titled Team Love Records debut is an early contender for official summer ’08 BBQ soundtrack—warm and smoky. It’s the perfect complement to cold beer on a sunny day. 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge —SEAN L. MALONEY


FRIDAY 4/4ArtTIDE OF EMOTIONS: TONI DRANES HOOPER & TARA THOMPSON Hanging Around has always been known for its fun-filled art events, and now, with the opening of their brand new space on Eighth Avenue South, they have even more reason to celebrate. Tide of Emotions, the gallery’s inaugural exhibit in their new digs, features the work of mixed-media artist Toni Dranes Hooper and photographer Tara Thompson. Hooper, who has just returned from an exhibit in Florence, Italy, will be showcasing her newest paintings on Plexiglass and canvas. Thompson uses a variety of techniques to create her soft-focus, dreamlike images. April 4-30 at HA Gallery at Hanging Around (1506 Eighth Ave. S.); opening reception, 5-8 p.m. —JOE NOLAN

TheaterHIGH SOCIETY Philip Barry’s play The Philadelphia Story spawned a famous movie of the same name and also a subsequent movie musical, High Society, which in turn inspired this stage adaptation, that ran for five months on Broadway in 1998. The familiar tale traces the comic high jinks surrounding an impending Main Line marriage (think Belle Meade, Philly style). The Cole Porter score is excellent, including “True Love,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” “You’re Sensational” and “Well, Did You Evah!” Through April 5 at Murfreesboro Little Theater —MARTIN BRADY

TV Worth WatchingMUSIC CITY ARTS TV9 BENEFIT Those of you with cable TV have likely peeked in on the Music City Arts station, MCA-tv9, quite likely during a broadcast of Classic Arts Showcase, which features everything from opera to ballet to still shots of paintings accompanied by classical music. But since Brittany Conner arrived at the station, things are getting a helluva lot more local (and interesting). This Saturday at 8 p.m., the station premieres its live taping of Yo La Tengo’s January show at the Belcourt, and there’s more exciting programming in the works: Nashville’s New Sound and Vision will pair local visual artists with music acts—confirmed collaborations include Lesley Patterson-Marx/Cortney Tidwell, Julia Martin/Jennifer Niceley and Lain York/Hands Off Cuba—while Grimey’s Indie Hour will showcase three bands per episode, performing at Grimey’s record store and other local venues. (The inaugural episode, which airs in June, features The Selmanaires, The Whigs and The Spinto Band.) Come out and support the cause at this fundraiser, featuring plentiful door prizes and performances by Stone Jack Jones, Hands Off Cuba, Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner and poet Derrick Brown. $7 suggested donation. 9:30 p.m. at The Basement —JACK SILVERMAN

MusicFIDDLE & PICK GRAND OPENING Nashville’s far west side gets a musical boost with the opening of the Fiddle & Pick, a multipurpose music center that will offer education and performances geared toward traditional music. The project is the brainchild of fiddler Gretchen Priest-May and her guitar picking husband, Tim May, and to celebrate the occasion, they’ve put together two days’ worth of entertainment and activities, most notably performances by members of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Radiola (the string-swing-and-more unit put together by mandolin master David Harvey) and the Mays’ own Plaidgrass, who fuse bluegrass and Celtic stylings. The schedule is rounded out by an array of demonstrations, from Irish step-dancing to bouzouki playing. A no-brainer for area residents, it’s also worth a trip for city folk. For information, visit musicheritagetn.org. Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee (456 Highway 70 South, Pegram) —JON WEISBERGER

TheaterMISALLIANCE One thing you can always count on from playwright George Bernard Shaw: entertaining intellectual provocation. Misalliance finds the master yet again probing sexual politics and the nature of courtship and marriage. For Shaw, there’s the apparent reality (men chase women) and then there’s the truth (women chase men). These propositions are played out at a country estate, where the pat rules of engagement are radically interrupted by a plane crash bringing a strong-minded Polish lady acrobat. Meanwhile, an angry socialist lurks nearby. Terryl Hallquist directs the new Vanderbilt student production. April 4-12 at Neely Auditorium —MARTIN BRADY

Theater (With Beer)GO, DOG. GO! ADULTS ONLY No one wants to grow up these days—twentysomethings play kickball, dodgeball leagues are popping up all over the country and cartoons have been reclaimed. Here’s the basic formula: Take something you liked as a kid that inspires nostalgia and requires minimal skill, add booze (or other controlled substance), rinse and repeat. This week Nashville Children’s Theatre is making a grab for all those Peter Pans with an adults-only performance of the classic P.D. Eastman story Go, Dog. Go! There will be beer, popcorn, whimsy and—of course—a no-kids-allowed policy. For information, visit nashvillechildrenstheatre.org. 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. reception) at Nashville Children’s Theatre —LEE STABERT

TheaterTHE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER Murfreesboro playwright Mike Parker has crafted this adaptation of the Mark Twain classic. The new Circle Players production features veteran character actor Jack Hoke narrating the story as Twain, while Ike Hawkersmith, as Tom, avoids the schoolhouse and Bible classes to pursue extracurricular excitement. Moriah Williams plays Becky Thatcher and Michael Tajalle is Injun Joe. Clay Hillwig directs. Schoolchildren will receive a free copy of the classic novel. April 4-20 at Looby Theatre —MARTIN BRADY



MusicTORI SPARKS With an easeful moan that strains against various country, soul and blues grooves, Tori Sparks sounds suitably dislocated on last year’s full-length Under This Yellow Sun. A Chicago native who moved to Nashville in 2005, Sparks sings about love gone bad, love as a battlefield, and love in—of all places—Providence, R.I. If her lyrics don’t always get down and dirty with details, Sparks has a nice feel for the ready-made pop song, which means she’s most effective when she lays back a little. “Most Alone” is blues that rolls along in the manner of some funky New Orleans guitarist—Snooks Eaglin, say, or Walter “Wolfman” Washington. David Henry’s production adds trumpet, organ and cello to a set of swinging, controlled performances. “I’m dying out here in the cold,” Sparks sings, but the music’s warmth belies that statement. 7 p.m. at 3rd & Lindsley —EDD HURT


SOULPHONICS FEAT. RUBY VELLE These Hotlanta funkateers are the newest band on Doyle “D-Funk” Davis’ Outta Sight Records, home of Charles Walker and The Dynamites. Soulphonics don’t veer too far from The Dynamites formula—tight, hard funk with a heavy James Brown influence—but they do have a secret weapon: the wonderful Miss Ruby Velle. Velle has the kind of strong, soulful voice that’s built for Saturday-night party anthems, and the stage presence to send ’em home sweat-drenched and satisfied—think “Fuck Me Pumps”-era Amy Winehouse, but with good dental hygiene and a girl-next-door charm. 9 p.m. at The Basement —SEAN L. MALONEY

Bang on the Drum All Day

50TH LOVE DRUMS COMMUNITY DRUM AND DANCE WHIZBANG Just a couple of months back, at our semiannual State of the City summit, the Scene editorial staff vociferously lamented Nashville’s woeful dearth of whizbangs. Little did we know that a monthly whizbang has been taking place the first Saturday of each month for several years right under our noses. So come free yourself at the 50th such gathering of whizzers and bangers, featuring performances by Ed Haggard & The Love Drums and percussion duo RhythMystik, hoop dance demonstrations by Hooprama’s Sunny Beck, a facilitated open drum circle and an assortment of dances. There will also be an exhibition of art, crafts, jewelry, tie-dye clothing and candles by Ayesha Nur. $5; free for children 12 and under. Check your inhibitions at the door. 7:30-11 p.m. at First Unitarian Universalist Church (1808 Woodmont Blvd.) —JACK SILVERMAN

Garden VarietyPERENNIAL PLANT SOCIETY OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE SALE There’s still time to turn the soil and mash the manure around before the Middle Tennessee growers arrive with a bounty of phlox, irises and lilies all looking for happy homes. The annual sale—the sale is annual, the plants are perennial—includes thousands of specimens for sun and shade, including ground covers, grasses, vines, shrubs and, OK, even some annuals. So grab your gardening gloves. Hosta la vista, baby. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Tennessee State Fairgrounds —CARRINGTON FOX

The Angry Red PlanetSOLARIS Perhaps the most baffling candidate ever for a major-studio Hollywood remake, Andrei Tarkovsky’s cerebral, hallucinatory 1972 science-fiction epic (based on a Stanislaw Lem novel) strands a Soviet space station just beyond the planet Solaris, where an apparently sentient sea makes manifest the memories and desires of its orbiters. I confess that I’ve tried to watch this three different times on VHS and DVD in the past 10 years and settled each time into a deep and untroubled hypersleep—an excellent reason to see the film as intended, in wide-screen on projected 35mm (the only such print in the U.S., courtesy of Kino). Selected by staffer Max Chester. Noon April 5-6 at the Belcourt —JIM RIDLEY

Temple of CultureTEMPLE ARTS FESTIVAL In only its fourth year, this annual juried art sale has earned a national reputation, luring artists and craftsmen from across the country. This year, 500 works of art ranging from porcelain vessels to outsider art will be offered at prices between $40 and thousands of dollars. Works will include metal sculpture by Henry Royer, woodwork by Binh Pho, trompe l’oeil sculpture by Nashvillian Sylvia Hyman and mixed-media creations by Fisk University assistant professor Alicia Henry. Advance purchase certificates for $250 to $2,000 are available for buyers who want an early look at the show on Saturday. The sale opens to the public at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with general admission costing $20. Sunday is free from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, visit templeartsfestival.com or call 352-7620. Saturday & Sunday at The Temple (5015 Harding Road) —CARRINGTON FOX

Contained EnthusiasmTEN THOUSAND VILLAGES: “VILLAGES IN BLOOM” P. Allen Smith, watch your back. There are new container gardeners in town. Certified master gardeners Belinda Butler and Donna Harrison will demonstrate miniature garden designs using containers from the fair-trade retailer. Planting lessons will take place at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Shoppers can enter a drawing for an herb garden planted in a Vietnamese planter. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Ten Thousand Villages —CARRINGTON FOX

AARON MORGAN BROWN/ROD DANIEL In his series of oil-on-canvas works Still Life for the 21st Century, Aaron Morgan Brown juxtaposes familiar images of wholesome America with odd, mysterious and occasionally sinister elements that—like any good art—challenge the viewer’s instinctual desire for comprehension. In “Natural Law,” a traditional suburban living room scene is infiltrated by what look like two coyotes on the prowl. In “Procession 1,” a school-age marching-band drummer strolls past a window in which we see pedestrians, a monkey, missiles, the Acropolis and—a recurring theme—armless mannequins. Think Norman Rockwell meets David Lynch. Desolate highways, abandoned theaters and deserted cafés may seem like tired tropes for black-and-white photography, but Rod Daniel’s keen eye for framing, perspective and contrast gives his photographs a sublime depth and richness. (His visual talents should come as no surprise—before recently returning to Middle Tennessee, the Vandy grad was a successful Hollywood director whose credits include WKRP in Cincinnati, Newhart, Magnum, P.I. and Teen Wolf.) April 5-May 23 at The Arts Company; opening reception 6-9 p.m. —JACK SILVERMAN

VADIS TURNER For the latest show of their ongoing residency in the downtown Arcade, TAG Art Gallery presents an exhibit of work that embraces, challenges and examines the value of traditional crafts and skills that have long been associated with women and domesticity. Ever seen a frosted cake made of tampons? How about lacy lingerie made of wax paper? The real strength of New York artist Vadis Turner’s work is that, in lieu of reactionary posturing, she embraces the symbolic language of femininity to transcend cookie-cutter stereotypes, making her own unique power-play without resorting to the simply shocking or the tired tropes of girl-illa militancy. It doesn’t hurt that Turner’s immaculate, sculptural installations demonstrate the skills of a master craftsperson, ensuring that her art is never in danger of becoming an easily dismissed message in search of a medium. April 5-26 at TAG Art Gallery; opening reception 6-9 p.m. —JOE NOLAN



Size Matters NASHVILLE’S SMALLEST ART GALLERY: THE IDES OF MARCH Mark Twain once said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Following that tenacious train of thought to its bitter end, a new player in the Nashville art scene is looking to stake its claim, one tiny, ferocious nibble at a time. Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery occupies the exterior storefront wall space between Peabody Shoe Repair and Posh Shoes in the heart of Hillsboro Village. The hip little space—measuring 29 by 40 inches—also holds the distinction of being the greenest art gallery in town: It uses solar powered lighting. The Gallery’s latest show, The Ides of March, gathers illustrative work by three artists: San Francisco’s Ferris Plock, Washington, D.C.’s Matt Curry and Nashville’s own Rachel Briggs. 1807½ 21st Ave. S. —JOE NOLAN




The Art Of HealingPAUL SEAWRIGHT If we are to believe art history, painting, poetry, dance and music originally emerged from human consciousness as a means to heal the mind and spirit, not only of the individual, but of society as a whole. With its latest lecture, the Lipscomb University Department of Art invites Professor Paul Seawright to address “Art Conflict and Social Fracture.” Seawright is known for his moving photography examining the aftermath of conflict in his native land—he grew up in the midst of the IRA movement in Dublin, Ireland. Expect an engaging discourse on the power of visual images to change the world. 7 p.m. in the Paul Rogers Board Room in Lipscomb’s Ezell Building —JOE NOLAN

Shagadelic!MOD NIGHT FEAT. BRITT SAVAGE & TWANG DELUXE AND THE BOOZE Not only does Britt Savage’s new CD sound like a Tarantino soundtrack, her bio reads like one of his story pitches. A former gas station attendant, Playboy bunny and Star Search winner—we’re talking 100 large—Savage has performed on the Opry, at The Apollo, with Nashville Opera and at CBGB’s, not to mention recorded with Noel Redding, Nona Hendrix, RuPaul (!), Nastassja Kinski (!!) and little Billy Gilman (.). Thanks to a great voice, good songs and a killin’ backup band, her album “Fingerprints” manages to sidestep the kitschy pitfalls of dozens of other similarly retro releases. Atlanta’s The Booze are a raw, visceral inferno of ’60s garage-soul who might be more aptly named the Kinky Zombie Hermits. They’re sort of an all-dude Detroit Cobras (high praise), and even Perez Hilton thinks they’re cool (don’t hold that against them). Mod Night is a monthly celebration of everything mod, featuring go-go girls, martinis, vintage film clips and of course music. Oh, behave! 8:30 p.m. at The Rutledge —JACK SILVERMAN

DocumentaryANDREW JENKS: ROOM 335 A 19-year-old spends his summer vacation in Florida—wow, alert the media. The remarkable thing is how teenage filmmaker Andrew Jenks spent it: living for 36 days in an assisted-care facility, befriending his nonagenarian neighbor and filling his social calendar with bingo tournaments and Jeopardy! reruns. The result is this affectionate film, in which Jenks tries to learn from the full-time residents while getting a glimpse of the health scares and quality-of-life concerns he himself will someday face. It’s for that reason Vanderbilt junior Ariel Astrachan, a spring intern at HBO, set up a screening of the Cinemax Reel Life documentary and invited its cinematographer, Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew, to speak after the film. It’s free and open to those most affected by aging and the quality of assisted-living care: everyone. 7 p.m. at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Cinema —JIM RIDLEY

About FaceAMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL If you’ve got the right look, and you can act sexy and experienced far beyond your years, you too can become a hot runway model, a cooling property and maybe even a has-been—all by age 15. In his documentary, writer-director-star Darryl Roberts (How U Like Me Now) turns the camera on the American obsession with skin-deep beauty, delving into symptoms as diverse as plastic surgery, eating disorders and hazardous cosmetics; he even offers himself up for scrutiny, subjecting his photo to a website’s hot-or-not standards. Roberts will host the screening as well as a post-film panel discussion; a full list of panelists can be found at belcourt.org. 5 p.m. reception; 5:30 screening; 7:20 panel discussion at the Belcourt Theatre —JIM RIDLEY

Rave OnSASHA AND JOHN DIGWEED New York’s megaclub Twilo, the site of Sasha and John Digweed’s groundbreaking late-’90s residency, may have gone the way of disco, but Britain’s Dynamic Duo of house and progressive trance still command a groove continuum that stretches from Manchester, England, to Manchester, Tenn. If you missed them last year at Bonnaroo, their first joint U.S. tour in six years (since 2002’s arena-rocking “Delta Heavy” tour) started last week at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and continues on to Coachella—with a stop in between in Nashville? Talk about bucking the trend. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. at City Hall —JIM RIDLEY



MusicFUCK BUTTONS With the recent release of their critically lauded debut full-length Street Horrrsing, Fuck Buttons are poised to become the noise band of choice for people who don’t necessarily listen to noise. Sure, the harsher trademarks of the genre are present—muffled screams, distorted drones and the occasional pain-inducing bout of feedback—but the maelstrom is softened by elements of shoegaze, ambiance and a hefty dose of melody. Fans of Merzbow’s atonal cacophony and Postal Service’s glitchy melodicism can find common ground in Fuck Buttons. Opening for Caribou (see story on p. 42). 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge —MATT SULLIVAN

MusicETTA JAMES Hallelujah, the Queen Mother of gangsta boos is back in Nashville! Etta had a thuggish reputation 40 years before it was fashionable, and even though her crowds tend to be filled with boring old Baby Boomers hoping to hear their oh-so-trite wedding song, she’s still roughneck. Her last performance at the Ryman was chock full of menopausal Middle American moms who seemed nearly as horrified by James’ unflagging sexual vigor as their mothers had been during her Eisenhower-era escapades. In an age where so many R&B divas resort to cheap, sex-kitten shticks in order to stay relevant, Etta’s unrepentant septuagenarian aphrodisia seems oh-so appropriate. Janet, Mariah and Mary J. could all stand to take a few lessons in aging gracefully from her. 6 p.m. at Wildhorse Saloon —SEAN L. MALONEY


MusicEISLEY Kinda like The Corrs minus the obnoxious yodel-pop, this Texas quintet is a family affair: three sisters, a brother and a cousin who all possess a knack for crafting sugar-sweet, building harmonies. The folk sensibilities underlying the subtly ominous “Marvelous Things” and love-triangle lament “Ten Cent Blues” may sound remarkably mature, but not even the eldest DuPree was of legal drinking age when they embarked on their first tour (opening for Coldplay) six years into their career. Throw in driving guitar-rockers like “Over the Mountains” and “A Sight to Behold” and genre classifications further blur. How to best describe siblings that rock like Heart, emote like Kate and Anna McGarrigle and sling lyrics like Tegan and Sara? One word: unique. 7 p.m. at Rcktwn —JULIE SEABAUGH

MusicMAPS CD RELEASE SHOW Local instrumental outfit MAPS return with a solid new album, The Wick and the Fire, a more muscular and varied follow-up to their heavily Mogwai-influenced debut. The group is adept at channeling their influences (Don Caballero and other post-rock staples among them), but their latest effort not only has upped the energy but also adds a spooky, rumbling depth—in the form of some filthy-in-the-best-way organ tones—to the odd time signatures and slinking guitar lines. The band is at its best when tugging at the boundaries of a style that had a good run in the late ’90s only to seemingly run out of ideas. When MAPS keep things fresh, they do more with that era’s torch than just carry it. 9 p.m. at Exit/In —STEVE HARUCH

MusicRONNIE BOWMAN, CHRIS STAPLETON, SHAWN CAMP & JIMMY STEWART Songwriting was long an undervalued talent in bluegrass, with its legion of performers intent on reworking the canon established by masters of past decades. But no more: Nowadays, new acts search feverishly for previously unrecorded songs or gin up their own. The results have been a decidedly mixed bag, but one positive outcome has been the emergence of a cadre of writers who have found both bluegrass and mainstream country success. That development has been ratified by this lineup—the first night at the Station Inn to focus strictly on songwriters. Bowman, Stapleton and Camp are giants on both sides of the street, writing songs that look back to the music’s early days by eliding the differences between bluegrass and country, while Stewart is bidding to follow the same path. So think of this show as a songwriters’ in-the-round of sorts, bolstered by the performers’ well-established reputations as, well, performers. 9 p.m. at Station Inn —JON WEISBERGER

Jailhouse RockBRETT ROSENBERG Nashville is swimming in great singer-songwriters and monster guitarists, but the two talents aren’t often found in the same human being. This sometime Graham Parker sideman moved to town 10 months ago, and has been making his presence known at local venues, both avec et sans band. (Search YouTube for a live performance of his new song “Taken,” which shows he rocks just fine by himself.) Rosenberg looks a bit like a young Dylan, with whom he shares a dry wit, though musically he hews more toward his admitted influences, including Lindsey Buckingham, the Stones, Rockpile and Loudon Wainwright III. His performances are typically peppered with some pretty hysterical asides taken from real-life experience. (Ask him about his recently terminated temp job at a prison, where he had to share a restroom with the inmates, only to find that the liquid soap was always being stolen because...well, just ask him.) 9 p.m. at The Basement —JACK SILVERMAN

Raven OnLE CORBEAU Because it was made under the auspices of the French collaborationist studio Continental Films, this etched-in-acid 1943 thriller earned director Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique) a wrist-slapping after the end of World War II. But try finding an uglier portrait of the backbiting, betrayal and moral corruption bred by France’s Vichy government than the setting of Clouzot’s mystery: a small town that collapses into accusatory paranoia when pseudonymous poison-pen letters unmask the citizens’ darkest secrets. Remade for the McCarthy era by director Otto Preminger as 1951’s The 13th Letter, the movie screens one night only, free and open to the public. 7 p.m. at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Cinema —JIM RIDLEY


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