Our Critics' Picks 

Bluegrass Nights at The Ryman, A Bend in the River, Hypericon 4, Daylight Brigade, Becky Schlegel, Sacaea, Color as Field and more

THURSDAY 6/26

MusicBLUEGRASS NIGHTS: EARL SCRUGGS W/THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS The Ryman kicks off its Bluegrass Nights summer series by bracketing the history of the genre, pairing the banjo player who helped get it all started (on the same stage) back in 1946 with one of the hottest new groups around. Sweetly enough, the two acts also bridge the historical gap musically: Scruggs has never stopped putting his picking in new contexts, while the Stringdusters regularly touch on the classics—in fact, their resonator guitarist, Andy Hall, has performed with Scruggs in the not-too-distant past. The banjo master handpicks the ensemble for each of his appearances (son Gary is the most constant presence, followed closely by his younger brother Randy) and takes advantage of the unique combinations, while The Stringdusters are ferociously tight, thanks to a positively ridiculous touring schedule. This bill offers a perfect blend of contrasts and continuities—just the right way to get the season’s bluegrass ball rolling. 7:30 p.m. at Ryman Auditorium —JON WEISBERGER

MusicSARAH HAYS CD RELEASE The title track of Sarah Hays’ solo debut Water seems a bit prophetic right now: “Water, where there’s water / Flooding in the lowlands / And dry up on the hill...” But instead of approaching looming environmental disaster with literal or preachy lyrics, she employs subtle imagery to make her point: “We thought it was lovely when the sun was beating down / But I can hear that bunny scratching at the ground.” Other standouts include the piano-poppy “Drop Me a Line,” the banjo stomper “Tricky” and the mournful “Anyhow,” which bathes Hays’ airy, angelic voice in a Lanois-esque fog of echoey baritone guitar and vibraphone. The disc was produced by Ken Coomer (former drummer for Uncle Tupelo and Wilco), and his spacious, rootsy arrangements spotlight Hays’ vocals without overwhelming them. (Hays and Coomer will tie the knot just days after this CD release celebration.) 8 p.m. at Family Wash —JACK SILVERMAN

MusicJASON ISBELL Eventually the young must leave the nest, so perhaps Jason Isbell’s departure from world-class Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers was inevitable. Still, he had one helluva internship, playing alongside two of the generation’s better writers while sharpening his own estimable chops. From his fatherly caveat “Outfit” to the Stones-y ode “The Day John Henry Died,” Isbell established himself as a comparable talent, so after six years and three albums, the 28-year-old went his own way last year. His solo debut, Sirens of the Ditch, mostly explores similar Southern/country-rock territory, but with more songs than the handful he’d handle on each Trucker’s album, there’s more room to experiment, as with the piano-driven torch blues “Hurricane and Hand Grenades” and the country-folk tune “In a Razor Town.” 9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge —CHRIS PARKER

TheaterACT LIKE A GRRRL Actors Bridge Ensemble producer/director Vali Forrister founded Act Like a GRRRL in 2005. Since then, the annual four-week intensive has established itself as an opportunity for personal discovery, confidence-building and creative expression for young women ages 12-17. The ALAG mission—driven in part by an awareness of the emotional challenges encountered by girls as they enter adolescence—strives to channel youthful energies and sensitivities through writing exercises and to foster friendships among peers from different backgrounds. The 2008 ALAG experience culminates in this public performance conceived, crafted and enacted entirely by the program participants. Admission is free; donations are welcome. June 26-27 at Darkhorse Theater —MARTIN BRADY

MusicCHASE PAGAN Sometimes you need to shitcan your act and go in another direction. Memphis resident Chase Pagan did, cutting ties with Geffen, producer Ross Robinson and nü metal in favor of theatrical pop. Suggesting Rufus Wainwright chasing the Tindersticks, Pagan plies his willowy tenor with grand gesture. Despite the occasionally overweening drama, his debut Oh, Musica! is enjoyable thanks to richly imagined arrangements, infectious piano-driven melodies and vibrant performances all around. Tracks like the acoustic folk shuffle “Paper Boat,” with its gentle, capering flow, signal Pagan’s ability to succeed without the histrionics. 9 p.m. at The 5 Spot —CHRIS PARKER

FRIDAY 6/27

MusicLORI McKENNA Songs pour out of Lori McKenna with such heartfelt authenticity that they barely seem written. The title track from last year’s Unglamorous is a fine example of McKenna’s pretense-free style, opening a window into her “no frills, no fuss,” cable-free family life. McKenna came up in the Boston folk scene, beginning at age 27, after she’d already married and had three children. She released several albums and in 2005 Faith Hill covered four of her songs, including the title track of Fireflies, helping McKenna secure a major label deal. Unfortunately, she struggles under the weight of the production, diluting her effortless immediacy, a fact apparent on the subsequent “unplugged” EP, which offers a superior version of “Unglamorous” better suited to the song’s spirit. 6 p.m. at The Frist Center —CHRIS PARKER

Conventional WisdomHYPERICON 4/JOE R. LANSDALE If Nashville’s homegrown “speculative fiction” (or sci-fi) convention did nothing else but bring Joe R. Lansdale to town, it would qualify as a civic good. Perhaps best known as the author of the novella “Bubba Ho-Tep”—yes, it inspired the cult movie with Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK—the bawdy bard of East Texas (and martial-arts expert) has penned everything from Westerns to Batman: The Animated Series episodes in his three-decade career. He’s the literary guest of honor at this year’s con, and he’ll also do an author talk and book signing 3 p.m. Sunday at the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St. Other special guests this year include best-selling Spring Hill novelist Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron); award-winning illustrator Alex McVey, whose work accompanied Stephen King’s “The Mist” in the Dark Forces horror compilation; Glen Cook, author of The Black Company fantasy novels; and many more. In addition, there’ll be movie screenings, a short-film competition, burlesque shows, art exhibits, parties and performances by the Known World Players, Big Daddy Cool, Sideshow Bennie and others. Come for the masquerade contest, stay for the Elegant Gothic Lolita tea party. Registration is $35 at the door. June 27-29 at the Days Inn Stadium, 211 N. First St. For information, visit hypericon.info. —JIM RIDLEY

ArtJUNG GUNS Another new group rising into the one-night show phenomenon is Jung Guns, a collection of emerging artists working in 2D. Inspired by various members of the Fugitive Arts Center, three recent Sewanee grads—David Hellams, Charlotte Caldwell and Andrew Doak—came together with local artists Ashley Lofton, Trey Mitchell and Casey Pierce to curate an exhibition that employs Carl Jung’s idea of the “collective unconscious.” The show will feature painting, drawing and photography employing playful concepts executed in a serious manner. Doak’s photograph “White Still Life With Chicken” humorously subverts the idea of a still life while maintaining the compositional values of color photography. Carl Jung states, “The creative mind plays with the object it loves.” These artists do exactly that, letting the passion of their medium allow ideas and humor to run rampant. 6-9 p.m. at 427 Chestnut St., Room 225 —AMANDA DILLINGHAM

They Call Him MISTER GlassGLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN 12 PARTS How does Philip Glass make a pizza? It sounds like a joke setup—the punchline might be “Call Papa John’s” repeated 64 times in the same descending musical phrase—but the answer lies somewhere in the pieces of this fragmentary portrait of the renowned minimalist-romantic composer, directed by Scott Hicks (Shine). It screens as part of the Belcourt’s ongoing “Summer Doc Block” along with a few more showings of the must-see My Name Is Albert Ayler. June 27-30, July 2 at The BelcourtJIM RIDLEY

MusicRANCID For as hard as Berkeley skate punks Rancid have tried to slough off critical backlash tagging them as derivative Clash mockups and sub-par sisters to L.A. hardcore, these untidy revivalists have managed to keep it together longer than anyone expected. It’s true longtime Rancid drummer Brett Reed bowed out of the band in ‘06 and was replaced by Brandon Steineckert, formerly of Used. It’s true side projects The Transplants and The Bastards have recently taken priority and called into question Rancid’s rocky prospects. And it’s true that Rancid’s brand of neo punk is a shrinking niche market being all-but cornered by Green Day. But after five years without a release to tour behind, here they are again on a 52-stop trek across the States ready to stir up ska nostalgia. Openers Th’ Legendary Shack*Shakers will be welcoming new guitarist Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard, Hank III, Tomahawk) into the fold. 8 p.m. at Rcktwn —DUSTIN ALLEN

TheaterALONE TOGETHER Veteran screenwriter and playwright Lawrence Roman passed away last month at the age of 86. Best known for the hit Broadway farce Under the Yum-Yum Tree and a host of teleplays, including 1984’s Anatomy of an Illness, Roman also had a brief New York run with this domestic comedy, in which empty nesters Helen and George, looking forward to finally getting reacquainted after years of child-rearing, watch their grown kids return home one by one. Dietz Osborne directs, with David Compton and Martha Wilkinson starring as the parents, and Elijah Dies, Nate Eppler, Topher James and Jennifer Richmond playing the younger set. Through July 5 at Chaffins Barn Dinner Theatre —MARTIN BRADY

SATURDAY 6/28

Star QualitySUDEKUM PLANETARIUM GRAND OPENING The GOTO Chiron optical-mechanical star projector at the Adventure Science Center’s new planetarium is the only one of its kind outside of Japan. It can display 6.5 million pinpoint stars—including a realistic Milky Way—which means the dazzling $24 million renovation of the planetarium cost just less than 4 bucks a star. Opening day will feature guest speaker David Aguilar from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who will speak on the solar system at 11:30 a.m. and aliens at 1:30 p.m. The original film STARS will play on the 63-foot dome every hour on the hour starting at 11 a.m. The new Space Chase, located on the first floor, will debut its anti-gravity activities and 63 interactive displays, including space-related craft projects and experiments. Admission to the Adventure Science Center is $11 for adults, $9 for children and seniors. Planetarium shows are $6 for non-members; $4 for members. Extended hours, June 28-29: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adventure Science Center CARRINGTON FOX

MusicCLAIRE LYNCH BAND Recent Nashville transplant Claire Lynch is one of the classiest acts in bluegrass today, capable of turning bona fide classics like Jimmy Martin’s “Hey Lonesome” and the Osborne Brothers’ “Up This Hill And Down” into her own even as she pays homage to the brilliance of the originals. Her infinitely expressive voice has earned her guest appearances with the likes of Dolly Parton, but it’s best heard in front of her own band—anchored by senior member and award-winning guitarist Jim Hurst, it has recently incorporated underrated fiddle and mandolin player Jason Thomas and redoubtable bassist Mark Schatz, most recently of Nickel Creek. That’s a formidable lineup, and Lynch wisely gives them plenty of room to shine, but in the end, it’s her sensibilities—and talents—that shape the sound into one delicious whole. 9 p.m. at Station Inn —JON WEISBERGER

Feets of AthleticismJEFF FISHER & FRIENDS CHARITY SOFTBALL GAME Slow-pitch softball is like the arena football version of baseball: It’s all about the long ball. Add to the equation some pro-football muscle, a lineup of good causes and a postgame fireworks show, and you’ve got yourself a veritable spectacle. Titans head coach Jeff Fisher once again leads the charge in this event, which will feature the likes of Vince Young and Keith Bulluck swinging for the fences. Beneficiaries include Mercy Ministries, Second Harvest Food Bank and Soles4Souls, who will be collecting “gently used” shoes (soles) for distribution to those in need (souls). 7 p.m. at Greer Stadium (gates open at 5 p.m.) —STEVE HARUCH

Rock Block ReduxRETURN TO ELLISTON SQUARE: THE ROYAL COURT OF CHINA/WALK THE WEST/CLOVERBOTTOM The new Spat! Records comp Return to Elliston Square 1979-1989 is a single disc many nostalgic Nashvillians will wish was a box set: a 22-track Wayback Machine that sets the dial for the formative years of next-wave Nashville rock, from Music City punk pioneers Cloverbottom to the White Animals all the way to the late-’80s onslaught of F.U.C.T. and The Grinning Plowman. (Raise your hand if you haven’t heard The Enemy’s “Jesus Rides a U.F.O.” since Bill Boner was mayor.) Return this weekend to those days when The End was Elliston Square and Adam Dread was a 91 Rock deejay, as folkie metalheads The Royal Court of China and cowpunks Walk the West reclaim their stake in the Rock Block with reunion sets—along with The Bunnies and (perhaps most impressive) the resurrected 30-year-old Cloverbottom. Cover is $10—a cheap price for time travel. 9 p.m. at the Exit/In —JIM RIDLEY

The End of a Beautiful FiendshipMY BEST FIEND Few directors made more than one movie with Klaus Kinski, the legendarily trying thespian who needed no Method for his onscreen madness. Werner Herzog made five—and in this fascinating 1999 documentary, made after Kinski’s 1991 death, Herzog details the fruitful exasperation of tangling with the volatile leading man of Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo and Cobra Verde in hellhole locations under the most trying circumstances imaginable. The film closes the Belcourt’s well-attended month of Kinski-Herzog collaborations. Noon June 28-29, 7 p.m. June 30 at The Belcourt —JIM RIDLEY

Vacation Bible SchoolCHRISTIAN SCHOLARS CONFERENCE The 2008 election cycle has been a Halloween grab bag of outrageous religious trumpeting, and the confections ranged from Rev. Wright’s Sugar-Coated America-Damners to Pastor Hagee’s Choco-pocalyptic Catholic-Bashers. But if you’re getting a tummy ache from all the grandstanding, David Lipscomb University’s Christian Scholars Conference may offer just the thing: nourishing dialogue between religious intellectuals who actually have their dignity to consider. This week’s discussion between Barack Obama’s faith advisor Shaun Casey and author/theologian Stephen Monsma promises a thoughtful exploration of the boundaries between religion and government. The two come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but their areas of expertise in politics and theology intersect nicely—Casey is also a Christian ethics professor at Wesley Theological Seminary and Monsma was once a state senator. Neither of them are running for office or trying to fill the coffers, so the odds that Bibles will be thumped or thrown are almost nil. 10:30 a.m. at Lipscombs Ezell Center —CODY DE VOS

ArtA CENTURY ON PAPER is ostensibly a retrospective of 20th century art, but the real interest here lies in the depth of the museum’s paper collection, some of which hasn’t been on view for years. The Cheekwood Mansion’s galleries make an impressive setting for this kind of retrospective, and it is the exhibit’s dedication to icons like Robert Motherwell, as well as lesser known artists, that makes this an important summer show, and not just a repeat of popular favorites. June 28-Sept. 1 at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art —JOE NOLAN

MusicDAYLIGHT BRIGADE With a name like the Daylight Brigade, it’s only fitting that this young, talented Nashville-based artists’ collective emerges from the cavernous, brick-walled confines of J. J.’s Market (where they’ve held all their previous shows) into the open air on the grounds of Bobbie’s Dairy Dip. In the past, they’ve brought together music, short films, short plays and visual art under themes like “Awkward Conversations.” But this time the occasion is a celebration of warm temperatures and high-quality burgers, fries and ice cream. On the bill are three acts with indie folk leanings—Sawgrass (a.k.a. ruminative singer-songwriter James Moore), female-fronted acoustic band Danger and the Steel Cut Oats, and the delicately-textured sounds of James Wallets—and ’60s country-style siren Caitlin Rose, along with short films from Team Genius (check out their goofy twentysomething guy sitcom Boy Friends online—teamgenius.biz—especially the King Kong episode). And to top it all off, it’s free. The experience that is, not the food. 7 p.m. at Bobbies Dairy Dip —JEWLY HIGHT

MusicMONOTONIX Easily the hardest touring garage band from Israel, Monotonix are making their second Nashville visit in just a few short months in support of their fantastic Body Language EP. The trio’s live shows are already the stuff of legends, with a drummer who stands, a guitarist whose ax could smother you and a singer who might just be a little nuts. Opening are locals Tim Chad and Sherry, whose clever, quirky pop shifts between lounge lizard grooviness and a sunny day on an island. 9 p.m. at Springwater —MATT SULLIVAN

CraftworkCRAFT: A CREATIVE COMMUNITY Need a painting for that new apartment? Want a knit-something-or-other for someone special? How bout a yummy brownie to scarf down with that double latte? Have no fear, CRAFT is here! Browsers and aficionados alike have a second chance at artsy-craftsy goodness as Nashville’s favorite artisan community repeats their regular first-Sunday gathering with another June round up at the Memorial Lutheran Church in East Nashville. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Memorial Lutheran Church (1211 Riverside Drive) — JOE NOLAN

MusicNPT/NJW FUNDRAISER How much would you pay to enjoy dancing, wine and live big-band jazz featuring the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and more—while knowing that your 100 percent tax-deductible donation is going to support Nashville Public Television, which broadcasts not only the best nightly news show (The News Hour With Jim Lehrer) and those exceptional American Experience pieces, but also Frontline, Nova and tons of live concerts? But wait! If you act now, your money will also help benefit the Nashville Jazz Workshop, which not only provides jazz education to Nashvillians (including members of this evening’s group, the NJW All-Star Ensemble), but also books some of the best national touring jazz acts in its fabulous Jazz Cave! And for a limited time only, we’ll reserve a special place in heaven for those special few who understand the importance of vital, cutting-edge programming and arts education. 8 p.m. at Studio A, Nashville Public Television, 161 Rains Ave.; $50 per person, $350 sponsorship for a table of four —JACK SILVERMAN

Arrrgghh!HYPERICON’S ZOMBIE LUAU Please, please, please say that one of the super-geeks at Hypericon has figured out a way to bring Martin Denny and Don Ho back from the dead. Pretty please, with ooey-gooey brains on top? Puh-weeeze? We love us some undead party action, and totally jones for the sounds of mid-century exotica, so after a weekend of multiple nerdgasms our heads might just explode if they use some voodoo juju to exhume our Tiki Torch heroes. But short of an overly active afterlife, we’re gonna be ready to shimmy our rotting carcasses to those groovie ghoulies from Zombie Bazooka Patrol. To paraphrase the brilliant George Romero, what happens when there’s no more room in hell? The dead will shake their rumps. Duh. Midnight at the Days Inn Stadium —SEAN MALONEY

SUNDAY 6/29

MusicBECKY SCHLEGEL Starting off as a piano playing kid in South Dakota country shows, Becky Schlegel turned to bluegrass (and the guitar) as a Minnesota resident in the mid-’90s, eventually winning two titles as “Bluegrass/Old Time Artist of the Year” at the Minnesota Music Awards. Since then, more freewheeling inclinations have moved her into the nebulous singer/songwriter camp, though her music remains connected to those more traditional forms. Her latest, For All the World to See, benefits from the contributions of musical partner Brian Fesler, who, like Schlegel and many of the album’s supporting cast, shares both bluegrass roots and more wide-ranging tastes. The result is a satisfying collection that puts the singer’s winsome yet occasionally hard-edged voice in high relief. 8 p.m. at The Bluebird Café —JON WEISBERGER

Historic MusicSEVEN BRIDGES: THE ULTIMATE EAGLES EXPERIENCE There are stars in the Southern skies, folks, southward as you go…to Franklin on Sunday, when what Rolling Stone magazine calls “the best Eagles tribute band on earth” play at the Carnton Plantation. There’s something appropriate about this replica of a musical dinosaur playing a tour date at a home that was once a makeshift Civil War hospital. It’s all historical, after all. There’ll be a heartache tonight if you miss this show of greatest hits (“Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” “Hotel California”), deep album cuts and solo songs. You know it’s true. There ain’t no way to hide your lying eyes. 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Historic Carnton Plantation in Franklin; $10 for ages 13 and over, free to those younger —LIZ GARRIGAN

Slow, Dog. Slow!DOG DAYS OF SUMMER WITH SLOW FOOD NASHVILLE Leave it to the Slow Food folks, that dogged group of culinary activists dedicated to preserving local food culture, to rebuild the lowly nitrate-soaked hot dog as a beacon of all that is wholesome, local and fresh. City House chef Tandy Wilson will provide house-cured sausages made from locally raised pigs, and the Nashville Farmers’ Market will provide seasonal bounty to decorate your sandwich. Grab a dog at I Dream of Weenie and head to the Slow Food tent. For a small donation, you can sample condiments—think heirloom-tomato relish, corn salsa and homemade mustard—that will make you never look at a fancy ketchup packet again. 5 to 9 p.m. at I Dream of Weenie (1108 Woodland St.) —CARRINGTON FOX

MONDAY 6/30

MusicRTX W/IMAAD WASIF After dissolving Royal Trux, frontwoman Jennifer Herrema eventually formed RTX—a heavy, Camaro-rock version of the Trux. Grittier than her former band, RTX possess all the swagger and snarl of rock ’n’ roll excess but deliver straightforward bar-room jams. Opening is Los Angeles-based Imaad Wasif, formerly the touring second guitarist for Yeah Yeah Yeahs. His plaintive psychedelic-tinged folk serves as a nice counterpoint to RTX’s adrenaline-drenched joyride. 9 p.m. at Springwater —MATT SULLIVAN

MusicSACAEA Sharing personnel with punk/metal locals Dawn and Karoshi, Sacaea is embedded in Nashville’s underground hardcore punk scene. Expanding on the grindcore flirtations of those bands, Sacaea issued a seven-song demo that clocks in at barely over six minutes. Their short bursts of brutality obviously owe a debt to Napalm Death, but the dual male/female vocals keep things fresh. As one set of serrated vocal cords falls over the other, the band is able to slice through explosions of aggression at lightning speed without relying solely on blast beats. Their strengths lie in concision rather than in pushing the limits of speed, keeping the band from the one-trick-pony status that plagues many grind bands. 7 p.m. at The Muse —MATT SULLIVAN

MusicDELTA SPIRIT have the swaggering nightclub strut of The Walkmen, a strong roots-soul foundation that owes a debt to the Band and the soft-focus psych-pop warmth of Dr. Dog. This San Diego five-piece’s bustling Americana maintains a strong backbeat while dipping deep into ’60s folk. Singer Matthew Vasquez’s impassioned croon sways with smoky cabaret vamp. The easy charm of their songs quickly garnered a following, and last year’s self-released full-length debut Ode to Sunshine was picked up by Rounder in May for rerelease. It’s no surprise, as the album earned raves, highlighted by the anxious garage pop nugget, “People C’mon.” 9 p.m. at The End —CHRIS PARKER

TUESDAY 7/1

Improv ComedyTHE OXFORD IMPS England’s comedy tradition surely has its riches (Beyond the Fringe, Monty Python), but the improvisational energies of American entities like Second City and SNL have had a definite impact on the other side of the pond. That includes this outfit associated with the University of Oxford, which was first formed in 2003. Besides the troupe’s regular gigs at a near-campus pub called The Wheatsheaf, they’ve appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a few other European locales, while making the occasional foray to the U.S. The Imps promise fast-paced, PG-13 comedy with a British twist. They open with a series of short-form games and scenes, then follow that up with a 45-minute improvised musical. The Imps’ appearance is a homecoming of sorts for producer Christopher Schuller, who graduated from high school in Nashville before heading off to college overseas. Some of the gate proceeds benefit the Belcourt Preservation Fund. 8 p.m. at The Belcourt —MARTIN BRADY

Oz FestDESIGN A SCARECROW FOR CHEEKWOOD Here’s your chance to create a piece of public art that can while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers, consultin’ with the rain. The second annual Scarecrows exhibit will be on display in Cheekwood’s Botanical Garden from Sept. 27 through Nov. 9, and you’re invited to participate. Cheekwood will provide the scarecrow’s framework, and helpful hints for construction are provided on the registration form, which can be found at cheekwood.org. Individuals and small groups are encouraged to take part, and designs must be family-friendly. The registration deadline is Aug. 8, but space is limited, so the sooner, the better. I’d design one myself, if I only had a brain (and a shred of artistic talent). Visit cheekwood.org for details. —JACK SILVERMAN

WEDNESDAY 7/2

ArtCOLOR AS FIELD: AMERICAN PAINTING 1950-1975 This first major Color Field exhibition in nearly two decades was organized by the American Federation of Arts with pieces selected by guest curator Karen Wilkin, who describes the works as “of nothing, about everything.” Color Field artists took the color-play ball of Henri Matisse and ran with it, far away from Jackson Pollock, countering the angst of Abstract Expressionism with a cool approach to abstraction. The exhibit spans seminal works by artists such as Mark Rothko through Color Field pioneers Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis and beyond. These are not just larger-than-life paintings, they’re experiences. Color as Field is presented with the counterpoint exhibit Shades of Gray: Four Artists of the Southeast. Through Sept. 21 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts —BRENT ROLEN

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