As one of the younger members of Miles Davis’ final bands in the late ’80s, saxophonist Garrett has learned more than a few points from his mentor’s later years. His albums and live sets can begin with tunes that have an overly slick, contemporary jazz feel, the trademark of bassist-producer Marcus Miller, who’s worked with both. These concessions to radio and popular taste may draw ’em in, but patient listeners will appreciate Garrett’s eventual excursions into free jazz blowing. His original voice, well-honed and lyrical when need be, but also hard-driving and fortified by funk rhythms, shows he’s worked through the major “out” traditions of alto and soprano sax. His forays into the sax hinterland take in and move beyond the confrontational statements of bop in Charlie Parker and, more typically, the harsh spiritual questing of John Coltrane, with a guiding touch of Ornette’s free-form experimentalism. Garrett’s quartet is scheduled to perform 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the two-day Main Street Jazz Fest. Public Square, Murfreesboro
Peter Rowan & Crucial Reggae feat. Burning Spear Horns Of all the roots music eclectics, none has ranged more widely than Rowan, nor have any been more determined to balance an interest in fusing disparate styles with a dedication to mastering each. His bluegrass can eerily resemble that of his former bossman Bill Monroe, while the bluegrass-reggae of 2002's Reggaebilly is deft, heartfelt fusion at its finest. Rowan's used the Crucial Reggae band name before to indicate a more wholeheartedly reggae performance, and the addition of the Burning Spear Horns increases the odds that this show will concentrate on framing his keening voice with something akin to a classic Jamaican sound, though the set will almost certainly be filled with plenty of originals. The Trap
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez A good gambler develops an instinct for the long shot, and Taylor recognized a potential winner when he spotted Rodriguez, a young fiddler in Austin, Texas. Since forming a September-May musical duo three years ago, the two have elevated each other's talents in the way good collaborators do. Their songs balance wisdom with lust, and quiet insight with go-for-broke nerve, creating slice-of-life folk-country that addresses both the higher and lower chakras. Taylor brings a rich backstory: The brother of actor Jon Voight, he wrote The Troggs' "Wild Thing," Merrilee Rush's "Angel of the Morning" and Janis Joplin's "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" before becoming a successful professional gambler. He returned to music a decade ago, obsessively cranking out six idiosyncratic songwriter albums before hooking up with Rodriguez for 2002's Let's Leave This Town and 2003's The Trouble With Humans. Both records teem with the perspective of an observant soul still in love with life's turns. Bluebird Café
Jump Of late, Jump (formerly Jump Little Children) have been accused of losing themselves in overproduction and relying too heavily on lead singer Jay Clifford's impressive range. Their new record, Between the Dim and the Dark, backs off the bombast some. Producer Rick Beato puts Clifford's vocals front-and-center in the mix and keeps the focus on the record's melodies, which are simpler than those of its predecessor, Vertigo. This leaves more room for Matthew Bivins' accordion and Ward Williams' cello, which are Jump's distinguishing characteristics. On the whole, Between the Dim and the Dark is an improvement, but Jump would do well to revisit the art school charm of 1995's Licorice Tea Demos, which was equal parts raggedy pop, Irish folk and country blues. Exit/In
Paul V. Griffith
Butterfly Boucher This Australian's recent debut, Flutterby, fits her given name. With the fitful yet delicate grace of a butterfly, she presents lightweight yet charming tunes that set melodic smarts atop dance grooves that pirouette rather than hammer. Each arrangement has sonic surprises, giving the songs a sense of wonder that matches the singer's personality. The precocious Boucher (rhymes with "voucher") plays all the instruments and, with help from Nashville producers Robin Eaton and Brad Jones, she shapes each tune into an airy confection. Just off a spring tour with Barenaked Ladies, she's gearing up for a summer spin opening for Sarah McLachlan. 12th & Porter
Less Than Jake Fusing ska and punk, Less Than Jake return to town to promote their new album Anthem, which revives the guitar riffs and rock influences of their earlier records and downplays their debt to ska (although horns still set LTJ apart from like-minded bands like Blink-182). Refusing to conform to a specific genre, LTJ blend angst with comedy and keep their tempos upbeat and their songwriting tight. Witty, compassionate lyrics about suburban teenagers unite punk, ska and frat boys at the band's all-ages shows, while sing-along choruses help incite the mad dance parties that inevitably ensue. Exit/In
Foo Fighters After Kurt Cobain's death, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl turned his basement recording project into the Foo Fighters, a band that found immediate success but that subsequently has had a revolving cast. Like Nirvana, Foo Fighters combine hummable pop melodies with punk sensibilitiestheir latest recording, One By One, features both overdriven guitars and exceptionally polished production. Grohl has all of Cobain's distorted enthusiasm, but lacks his screaming self-hatred and misanthropy, which makes the Foos less relevant but more mainstream. Best Buy Stage, 9:50-11 p.m., River Stages
Paul V. Griffith
Wyclef Jean On record, Clef continues to struggle to tap the gestalt the way he did when The Fugees made him a household name eight years ago. Live, though, his multicultural hip-hop and one-world ecumenism come together in a heady brew. The Preacher's Son, as his 2003 album defined him, has a folksinger's sense of justice and a Caribbean parade leader's feel for celebration, and where his solo albums lose focus from scattershot ambition, his live shows bring it back home with a mix of acoustic chords, Island rhythms and hip-hop shout-outs. Hardee's Star Stage, 8-9 p.m., River Stages
Drive-By Truckers These Southern rockers bring a punk-rock ethos to their twin-guitar stomp and a pulp-fiction writer's edge to their blue-collar songs. They've built a grassroots following boosted by critical acclaim, and their last two albums, 2003's Decoration Day and 2001's Southern Rock Opera, display a belligerent ambition that separates good bands from roadhouse also-rans. Hardee's Star Stage, 6:30-7:30 p.m., River Stages
Amy Grant The contemporary-Christian superstar performs a rare "intimate evening of music" 7:30 p.m. at The Factory in Franklin with special guests Michael Peterson, Marc-Alan Barnette and Jimbeau Hinson. Preceding the concert will be a silent auction and the auction of a signed Vince Gill guitar, with columnist Brad Schmitt serving as MC. All proceeds go to Outlook Nashville, which provides a multitude of services for the developmentally disabled and their families.
Patty Griffin It's not just because she has such a strong and expressive alto, and it's not just because she writes such brave lyrics. What makes Patty Griffin one of the most popular singer-songwriters in America is the emotion she conveys with her voice and her words. Yet while her emotional depth stays constant throughout her albums, the presentation continually changes. Griffin is a restless creator, and each album experiments with how to deliver her work, with her new Impossible Dream taking another dramatic turn. Working with producer Craig Ross, she goes for an impressionism that's dark yet dreamy. Strings, keys and voices swirl with delicate yet ominous weight. The production can be distracting at times, beautiful at others. Miller Lite Stage, 7:30-8:30 p.m., River Stages
Ween Modern rock's great satirists lately have set aside their obsession with eccentric concept albums to embrace anew the electric sweep of contemporary pop. Last year's Quebec featured carefully constructed goofs on garage thrash, psychedelia, Beatlesque rock and acoustic folk, while the upcoming Live From Chicago offers a hefty dose of Dean and Gene's creepiest dark-humored ditties, from "Spinal Meningitis Got Me Down" to "Touch My Tooter" to "The H.I.V. Song." In a festival setting, the duo will delight some, shock others and cause many to scratch their heads and wonder if these guys are serious or not. Miller Lite Stage, 9-11 p.m., River Stages
George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic P-Funk is a conflation of Parliament and Funkadelic, Clinton's two primary psychedelic-funk collectives. Despite breakups, make-ups and all manner of hybridizations, Clinton has led a parade of characters through his always entertaining lineup, which at various times has included keyboardist Bernie Worrell, bassist Bootsy Collins and sax legend Maceo Parker. Commanding the Mothership has taken a physical and legal toll on Clinton, but anyone who witnessed his performance at the 2004 Grammy Awards will tell you that P-Funk can still tear the roof off the sucker. Miller Lite Stage, 8:30-10 p.m., River Stages
Paul V. Griffith
DJ Micro Long Island DJ Michael Marsicano followed in the footsteps of pioneering techno DJ Frankie Bones. When he and a handful of other DJs, including Alex That and Moby, created the legendary techno night Caffeine, he distinguished himself with his ability to whip dance floors into ecstatic chaos with his spine-tingling drum rolls, ear-splitting bass grooves and head nodding acid melodies. When Caffeine closed, Micro turned his eye to production and to touring the national dance circuit. He mixes hard and progressive house, trance and occasional breaks on the aggressive side of the New York dance music tradition. Opening for Micro is Freaky Flow & MC Flipside, a hip-hop duo from Toronto who combine the fast, booming beats of Freaky Flow's scratching with "Flippy's" rapid-fire rhymes to create their own mixed-media style. Exit/In
Third World Celebrating their 30th year, this Jamaican group merge reggae rhythms with contemporary R&B, creating a slick Island style rife with positive lyrics packed with Rastafarian references and calls for peace and unity. Over the years, they've collaborated with Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Stetsasonic and pop-jazz instrumentalist Gerald Albright. Their recent album, Ain't Givin' Up, sticks to the sweet, smooth sound on which the band staked their reputation. But also expect them to draw heavily from their just-released career retrospective, 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection. Hardee's Star Stage, 9:30-11 p.m., River Stages
Fountains Of Wayne These New Jersey cult-rockers hit the charts at last, thanks to their sweetly lustful and super-catchy single "Stacy's Mom." But the reason critics and longtime fans went nuts for last year's Welcome Interstate Managers has more to do with its cohesive vision of glistening suburbia and the nagging discontent that makes it hard to completely embrace pristine mini-malls and backyard pools. The best songs on the record are subtler, like "Hackensack" (about a man who pines for a high school classmate turned celebrity) and "All Kinds of Time" (in which a quarterback sees his future life flash in front of his eyes while standing in the pocket) and the sublime "No Better Place" (a reassurance that greener grass isn't really greener). Best Buy Stage, 7-8 p.m., River Stages
The Strokes The relative lack of forward movement of The Strokes' second album Room on Fire had some jaded hipsters chuckling that the New York gutter-rockers have never been more than hype, to which less picky pop scholars could only reply, "Yes, and...?" Beyond the fact that The Strokes are, at the least, a kick-ass rock banddistinguished by Julian Casablancas' sleazy rasp, Albert Hammond's snaky guitar leads and the pingy rhythms provided by the rest of the quintetit's also inevitable that sometimes the best rock detonates and disappears. If the band stays together and records again, Room On Fire probably will be regarded as the unjustly underrated follow-up to Is This It?, and if the band collapses, the album may join the ranks of long-forgotten punk sophomore discs beloved by aficionados. Best Buy Stage, 8:30-10 p.m., River Stages
Ollabelle This Manhattan sextet are causing a sensation in roots-music circles for the artful yet primitive way they resurrect old-time gospel and traditional folk songs. Striving for something spare and haunting, the band aren't singing "Jesus on the Mainline" and "John the Revelator" to convert souls; instead, they're mining old sounds as a hip meditation on archaic Americana, and they're in search of nothing more than a cool musical feel. They're skilled and earnest enough to keep it from sinking into ironic posturing, but let's hope that they connect with the material on a more personal level onstage than what comes across on their recent debut album. Miller Lite Stage, 2:30-3:30 p.m., River Stages
Subdudes Sometimes, an extended break is just what a good band needs. Eight years after breaking up, this New Orleans crew reformed around three of its four original members. They're refocused on what they do best, with Tommy Malone's soulful tenor and slide guitar gliding over percussionist Steve Amedee's slippery groove and accordionist John Magnie's contagious bounce. They've retained their gospel-on-the-grounds sound, resembling a stripped-down Little Feat backing a testifying quartet. Their weakness has always been inconsistent material, and the comeback album, Miracle Mule, suggests the hiatus allowed them to stockpile stronger songs. 3rd & Lindsley
Tortoise It's easy to mistake Tortoise's emotional restraint for intellectual detachment. Indeed, much of the Chicago quintet's appeal lies in how outwardly methodical their work comes across. Despite their intuitive approach, the band's awareness of the scientific aspects of recording and composition is unavoidable. Even their most panoramic pieces are shaped in a space that feels flat and dry, like a detailed schematic of a distant, almost intangible future. All of this, however, only accentuates the layer of drama that pulses unobtrusively throughout their compositions. The unexplained "it" in the title of their latest album, It's All Around You, provides a clue to the more visceral side of the band; like "it," the music never reveals itself clearly, but not because it's deliberately evasive. Ambiguityfor its own sake, its beauty and passionis one of Tortoise's great gifts. Exit/In
Paola Antonelli Nashville Cultural Arts Project was recently awarded two impressive grants: one from the National Endowment of the Arts, the other from the Graham Foundation. As these are matching funds grants, NCAP must now raise money in order to receive them. Meanwhile, the group continues its "Outta Site!" art and architecture lecture series with Paola Antonelli, curator of design and architecture at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Antonelli, a Milan-trained architect, plans MoMA projects such as the upcoming "Safe: Design Takes on Risks" exhibition and 2003's Objects of Design, a book highlighting the museum's collection. Antonelli speaks 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at the NCAP building, 1315 Adams St.
"Art Through the Eyes of Autism"/Vanderbilt Kennedy Center The Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt and the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee co-sponsor "Art Through the Eyes of Autism," a diverse exhibition featuring the artwork of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. An opening reception for the artists takes place at 5 p.m. Thursday in the lobby of the Kennedy Center, and will be followed by a panel discussion entitled "How to Adapt Art for Persons With Special Needs" (6 p.m.). The three panelists, each of whom have experience working or living with artists on the autism spectrum, are art therapist and teacher Renee Somers, MTSU art department member Lon Nuell and parent Peggy Murphy. The show runs through June 30.
"Celebration of a Beautiful Life"/Premier Art Decor and Designs The Premier Art Decor & Designs art gallery hosts an opening reception celebrating the work of artist Marvin Posey and announcing the establishment of the Marvin Posey Art Education Scholarship Foundation. Posey's father, Marvin T. Posey Sr., has created the scholarship fund in memory of his son, who passed away in February 2003 at the age of 38; it will "provide educational funding to students and art education institutions." Posey was a prolific artist whose work was inspired by musichis paintings often depicting musicians and scenes at jazz clubs amidst colorful, swirling abstract designs. The exhibition, which continues through May 31, highlights his art and achievements, and the reception, 3-8 p.m. Saturday, will feature music performances by jazz musicians.
Romeo and Juliet Nashville Ballet's finale of the 2003-2004 dance season is its most ambitious production yet. Artistic director Paul Vasterling has conceived new, original choreography for the elegant and stirring Sergei Prokofiev score, and the world premiere performances takes place April 30-May 2 in TPAC's Jackson Hall. For tickets, call 255-ARTS.
Ain't Misbehavin' This hugely popular, Tony Award-winning musical revue celebrates the songs of Fats Waller and the hip jive of a 1930s jazz club. In his last major contribution as Tennessee Repertory Theatre's producing artistic director, David Grapes directs a cast that includes Abby Burke, Connye Florance and Deanna Greene. Phillip D. Hall is charged with the demanding musical direction. Lynne Kurdziel-Formato returns to Nashville to design the choreography. Presented May 5-16 at TPAC's Polk Theater. For tickets, phone 255-ARTS.
The Exonerated A cast of intense and talented BroadAxe Theatre players will mount four performances of this galvanizing play, which is based on the true-to-life experiences of ex-convicts whose innocence was eventually declared through the benefit of DNA testing or the confessions of others. Presented 7:30 p.m. April 29-May 1 at the Belcourt Theatre, each show will also feature a post-event talk-back session. There's also a matinee at 2:30 on May 1 (no talk-back). For tickets, phone 329-0048 or 846-3150.
Lady Windermere's Fan A promising ACT I cast of 16, under the direction of Melissa Bedinger-Hade, takes on Oscar Wilde's hugely successfuland now classic1892 satire on late 19th-century marriage and mores. Key roles will be handled by Emily White, Kurt Schlachter and Caroline Davis. The play opens April 30 and runs through May 15 at the Darkhorse Theater. For reservations, phone 726-2281.
Miss Posey Addresses the Ladies on the Relative Virtues of Chekhov Seeking free entertainment that tells the history of Nashville through a "masked-theater" adaptation of the comic work of Anton Chekhov? Under the sponsorship of Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum, writer-director John Holleman heads up a company that will be presenting just that April 28-May 15. Friday and Saturday performances will take place at Garage Mahal art gallery in East Nashville, with Wednesday and Thursday shows at Travellers Rest. Showtime is 8 p.m. and admission is free, though donations to Travellers Rest will be gratefully accepted. This engagement continues Travellers Rest's experiment with "museum theater," whereby live events are used to enhance museum programming. For more information, phone 832-8197 or visit www.travellersrestplantation.org.
Social Security Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre returns to meat-and-potatoes fare with this Andrew Bergman comedy about husband-and-wife art dealers whose life is upended by invading relatives. The experienced cast includes Martha Wilkinson, Bobby Wyckoff and Hank Gibson. The show opens May 4 and plays until June 5. Phone 646-9977 for reservations.
The Trojan Women This ambitious foray into what is called "environmental theater" finds Actors Bridge Ensemble performing amidst the concrete-and-rust innards of an abandoned machine shop on the grounds of Germantown's Neuhoff Siteformerly home to a slaughterhouse. A team of ABE company members has re-envisioned the classic Euripides tale of female war victims, drawing inspiration from the input of members of Nashville's local Kurdish community. Opens April 30 for a run through May 8. Show time is 8 p.m. For reservations, call 341-0300 or e-mail to actorsbridgecomcast.net.
Rhythm & Blues in Black and White The John Seigenthaler Chair for First Amendment Studies at MTSU and the Country Music Hall of Fame will sponsor a panel discussion titled "Rhythm & Blues in Black and White: A Discussion of Race and Music." At issue will be the ways in which R&B music gave voice to black experience and advanced the cause of the civil rights movement during the 1950s and '60s. The event is being held in conjunction with the Hall of Fame's current exhibit, Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970. Panelists include Mark Anthony Neal, associate professor of American studies at the University of Texas at Austin; Guthrie P. Ramsey, associate professor and chair of graduate studies in music at the University of Pennsylvania; and Brian Ward, chair of the Department of History at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Moderating the discussion will be columnist and critic Ron Wynn. Two panel discussions will take place: the first at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the State Farm Auditorium in the Business and Aerospace Building on the MTSU campus, and the second at 12:15 p.m. Friday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Both events are free and open to the public.
Paul V. Griffith
Nashville Film Festival The city's 35th annual celebration of foreign and independent features, documentaries and animated and experimental shorts continues through Sunday at Regal's Green Hills megaplex. Hot tickets include The Five Obstructions, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Bright Leaves, Grand Theft Parsons, Cowards Bend the Knee, The Saddest Music in the World, Go Fish (hosted by producer Christine Vachon), Give Me Your Hand, Since Otar Left, Pre-Madonna, Blind Shaft and The World's Greatest Sinner. For more information, see last week's Scene cover story at www.nashvillescene.com or the official festival site, www.nashvillefilmfestival.org.
Mean Girls Falling for the wrong guy lands Lindsay Lohan on the wrong side of "the Plastics," her high school's vicious lipstick vogue of catty teens. Freaky Friday helmer Mark S. Waters directed from a script by SNL's Tina Fey. It starts Friday along with the Robert De Niro clone shocker Godsend, the Jack Black-Ben Stiller comedy Envy, the John Grisham-scripted Little League comedy Mickey, and Jim Caviezel in the golf biopic Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, co-written by Nashville columnist/screenwriter Bill Pryor.
"Eight-Thirty" Two brothers' wishes for the future come true, but not in the way they expect in Nashville actor-filmmaker Greg Pitts' short film. Just back from last weekend's Southern Film Festival in Memphis, Pitts hosts his local premiere 3 p.m. Sunday at the Belcourt.
Good Bye, Lenin!/Intermission The sad irony is that the Belcourt, Nashville's year-round arthouse, gets emptied for a week every year by the Nashville Film Festival. No problem: Wolfgang Becker's blockbuster German comedy moves there from Green Hills, for anyone who missed out, along with the Tarantino-esque comedy Intermission with Colin Farrell. Were these occupying festival slots (which they did last fall in Toronto) instead of regular commercial release, they'd get the crowds they deserve.
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