Slow Bar RAINN Benefit ♦ Thursday, 8/9 

Music

Music

The Slow Bar hosts a special edition of the popular Departure Lounge Presents series, this one benefitting the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)—a D.C.-based nonprofit organization that operates the only nationwide hotline for victims of sexual assault. As part of a monthlong celebration of the birthday of one of RAINN’s founders, Tori Amos, local supporters of RAINN across the country are hosting fundraisers. The Nashville benefit features Slow Bar regulars The Departure Lounge and Fleming & John, as well as Joe, Marc’s Brother, Venus Hum, Swan Dive, and Josh Rouse. The show will start at 9:30 p.m. and the admission is $10—a great value for the local talent on display, and a good cause to boot. The toll-free number for RAINN is (800) 656-HOPE. The hotline is open 24 hours a day year-round, and promises confidentiality and expeditious handling of all calls, from the closest of their 869 rape crisis centers, if possible. Even if you can’t make it to the Slow Bar Thursday, donations are always accepted, either via an online form at https://www.shopnetmall.com/www.rainn.com/donate.mgi, or by mail addressed to 635-B Pennsylvania Ave. S.E., Washington DC 20003.

—N.M.

Thursday, 9th

Buzz Cason A pivotal figure in Nashville’s rock ’n’ roll history, artist/producer Cason started with the late ’50s group The Casuals, scored a solo hit under the name Garry Miles a few years later, and toured England in 1964 as lead singer of The Crickets. But it’s as a songwriter and producer that he achieved lasting fame—mainly for the anthemic Robert Knight single “Everlasting Love,” which he co-wrote with Mac Gayden and co-produced. He also co-wrote the Arthur Alexander hit “Soldier of Love,” which was covered by everyone from The Beatles to Pearl Jam. Cason reclaims his place in the spotlight with an early-afternoon show at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

—J.R.

The Doobie Brothers One of a dozen no-big-deal boogie bands that crossed over to mainstream success in the mid-’70s—when labels and radio programmers were desperate to recreate regional phenomena like Southern rock on a national scale—the Doobies may have actually hit their stride when recruited ringer Michael McDonald led the band to a sometimes insidious, sometimes magnificent lite rock sound that was, at the least, distinctive. The current incarnation of the band draws members from every era and plays songs that range from blithely rollicking to intensely mellow. You can groove to them at the Ryman Auditorium.

—N.M.

Mattie Groves Local roots-rocker Nic Giaconia publicly celebrates his one-year anniversary as a Nashvillian by playing songs from his band’s self-titled debut at a 9 p.m. show at the Exit/In. With a backing band that includes bassist John Massey (Dreaming in English), drummer Fran Breen (Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter), and guitar work by producer Dave Perkins and unsung Nashville singer-songwriter Kenny Meeks, Giaconia is sure to drive his memorable tunes home. The varied cuts have one thing in common—the heart of a man who’s been known to tuck photos of his wife and kids inside stage monitors for a constant reminder of what really matters in life.

—D.R.B.

Betty Blowtorch This L.A.-based metal chick group are the gloriously unholy offspring of Joan Jett and Axl Rose. Their debut, Are You Man Enough? overflows with enough guitar raunch (“Hell on Wheels,” “I Wish You’d Die”), shiny pop melodies (“No Integrity,” “Dresses”), good-time vulgarity (“Shut Up and Fuck,” “Rock ’n’ Roll 69”), and one adorable tribute to Lita Ford (“Big Hair, Broken Heart”). Let the Blowtorch help you rediscover the joys of balls-to-the-wall rock Thursday at The End.

—B.T.

Friday, 10th

Ben Vaughn In recent years, Vaughn’s become the Danny Elfman of TV theme music, best known for his twangy sci-fi stingers on the dearly departed Third Rock from the Sun. But pop fans still treasure his early-’80s work with the Ben Vaughn Combo (which featured relocated Nashvillian Lonesome Bob) and his engagingly quirky solo records—one of which was recorded in 7-track mono, another in his 1965 Rambler. He’s also produced Los Straitjackets and Ween, and Marshall Crenshaw did a swell cover of his “I’m Sorry (but So Is Brenda Lee).” He plays a rare Nashville date at East Nashville’s Slow Bar—and since his opening act is local favorite Garrison Starr, get there early if you don’t want to watch from across the street.

—J.R.

Tom House The title of House’s unflinching new album, Jesus Don’t Live Here Anymore, is, in many respects, the leitmotif of not only the handful of trenchant records he’s made since the mid-’90s, but of the hundreds of rants and poems he’s cranked out over the past 20-25 years as well. The itinerant bard’s verses give voice to the sense of outrage and betrayal—and soul-sucking spiritual alienation—felt by those who find anything but consolation in the prevailing values and institutions that comfort most folks. And pitting homey strains of mandolin and guitar against sprung rhythms and avant-garde flourishes, House’s recordings make for particularly stiff draughts of gall. He plays at Bongo After Hours with neo-folkie Joe Nolan.

—B.F.W.

Bill Lloyd As All in One Place, Lloyd’s snappin’, cracklin’ collection of tracks he’s contributed to various compilation and tribute albums over the years, attests, even his odds and sods are head and shoulders above most of the pop and rock that’s out there these days. And a hell of a lot smarter—and hook-filled—too. Lloyd appears with Rayon City Quartet at the Exit/In.

—B.F.W.

Jason White If White’s clever lyrics don’t grab you, his infectious melodies and changes will—but the two usually bite at once on Shades of Gray, the Nashville songwriter’s debut album. Fresh off a brief tour that took him through his old stomping ground of Cleveland, White has been playing local shows with increasing frequency of late. But this week offers a chance to see him in a slightly different setting than usual; he scales down for a two-man show, accompanied only by friend and guitarist Jack Silverman for a 9:30 p.m. performance at the Radio Cafe. You can also catch him opening at the Uptown Mix on Wednesday, Aug. 15 (see below).

—D.R.B.

Tennessee Coalition Against State Killing Benefit From Spearhead’s new concept album about capital punishment, to agit-punk Jon Langford’s forthcoming multi-artist CD focusing on the issue, to the righteous stumping of Steve Earle, the death penalty is getting loads of attention lately—and, thank God, almost all of it negative. Add a crew of soulful Nashville all-stars—Dave Olney, Fred Knobloch, Jelly Roll Johnson, Pat McLaughlin, and The Reprieves—to those who are singing out against the racist, classist, utterly barbaric institution. They play a benefit show at 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill starting at around 8 p.m.

—B.F.W.

Chimaira/Ill NiNo A night of big-band metal at NXT Generation Performance Hall, with Roadrunner labelmates Chimaira and Ill Niño packing the heat. Cleveland’s Chimaira just lost founding guitarist Jason Hager—who opted to care for his pregnant wife—so replacement Matt DeVries will be revving up the chainsaw carnage from the group’s new CD Pass Out of Existence. And on their just-released Revolution...Revolucion CD, the members of New Jersey Latino-metal sextet Ill Niño put some spice in their lunging riffs, introducing flamenco flourishes and beats from their South American backgrounds.

—J.R.

Saturday, 11th

Pernice Brothers While listening to the catalog of this Massachusetts-based band, you get the feeling that frontman Joe Pernice is methodically closing in on the perfect pop song. Fortunately, his creations have quite a bit more heft than your typical three-minute ditty; he couches image-rich, decidedly depressing subject matter in tasteful, often upbeat waves of orchestration and melody. Catch the group at 12th & Porter, and try to determine whether it’s the subject matter that’s moving you, or the sheer beauty of the music. Locally based group Swan Dive—who themselves know a thing or two about lovely pop—open the show. For more on the Pernice Brothers, see the story on p. 31.

—D.R.B.

Sarah Masen/Peter Wilson Nashville singer-songwriter Masen recently returned from a tour of pubs in the U.K., and she’s brought reinforcements—namely friend Peter Wilson, founder of Irish act Booley, who splits a 7:30 p.m. bill with Masen at the Radio Cafe while in town to do some recording work for his band. This musical summit of sorts is bound to be fruitful, since the piano-based Wilson and the guitar-based Masen each have a knack for generating smart, communicative pop songs—his leaning toward rock and hers based in acoustic folk.

—D.R.B.

Moe Denham Organist Moe Denham can play funky blues, soulful melodies, outside solos, or superb accompaniment, and has done so with such luminaries as Ray Charles. His style and technique are every bit as accomplished and inventive as that of a Dr. Lonnie Smith or Larry Goldings; he just doesn’t have a big record deal. Fortunately for the Nashville jazz audience, Denham continues making appearances at various local stops. Saturday night, he’ll be appearing at Cafe 123.

—R.W.

7th Annual Hadley Park Heritage Festival Billed as “A Salute to the Spoken Word,” the Hadley Park gathering offers a cultural celebration of theater, performance poetry, and music. “Spot Lite: The Vibe Lives On” reunites performers from the well-remembered hip-hop/poetry showcase The Spot and brings in new blood, in a talent roster that includes Shawn Whitsell, Church, Tenazity, Iayaalis, Elisha Monique, Tony Scott, Keisha D. Rucker, and Smoke & Sleep. And the New Directors Workshop presents “New World Chorus,” writings by Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and other poets, performed by cast members Zorina Pritchett, Pamela Rowe, and Alicia Benjamin-Samuels. The festivities begin 2 p.m. at Hadley Park, 1037 28th Ave. N. For more information, call Metro Parks & Recreation at 862-8424.

Sunday, 12th

Afro-Rican Ensemble The Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society has had another banner year presenting their summer concerts, and the 2001 series nears its end with a great attraction. The Afro-Rican Ensemble from Columbus, Ohio, specialize in Latin-soul and Afro-Latin jazz from the ’60s and ’70s, blending a blazing front line with outstanding drummers and percussionists. They’ll get things jump-started Sunday night at 6 p.m. at Belle Meade Plantation.

—R.W.

Gold Circle/last soul company/trilobite cafe From the classic rock document of the shooting of activists by university police in the ’60s to current hardcore acts like the New Terror Class and Gold Circle, Kent, Ohio, has long been a fertile spawning ground for protest music. Gold Circle, named for a Kent discount store, certainly adhere to certain hardcore formulas: They play it fast, tight, and politically correct. But they also keep things fresh, contrasting the bombast with some melodic nods to new wave and a hipster’s sense of fashion. Rich and Ann Zaccheo’s Last Soul Company sound better than they have in years, reinvigorated by a new drummer and a less serious approach. Their raunchy, noisy blues collision is more tuneful and prone to experimentation, giving Rich a chance to showcase his considerable chordal vocabulary against Ann’s angular, inventive figures. Trilobite Cafe round out the bill with a sound that recalls the muscular-endurance- jam portion of the Minutemen catalog.

—C.D.

Monday, 13th-Tuesday, 14th

Channel Four London Shoot In what appears to be a surreal stroke of magnificent fortune, the BC’s Channel Four has decided to send a crew over to film the goings-on at Springwater. Really though, it’s no surprise that sooner or later, the word would get out. If nothing else, the otherwordly, pseudo-transcendent garage rock of Dave Cloud and his Gospel of Power could shame just about anybody on either side of the Atlantic, but this two-night bill also features the irresistible LiLiPUT-esque clatter of Slipshaft, Trophy, and the recently formed supergroup, Paul Booker and the Dynamite Operators.

—W.T.

Monday, 13th

Osker This L.A. punk trio share a label (Epitaph) and a basic attitude with bands like Rancid and the Descendents; lead singer Devon has adopted the basic faux-Brit vocal style, and he applies his buzzsaw guitar to thrashy pop-punk songs. In a way, the adherence to genre conventions is unfortunate, since Devon’s strong compositional skills get obscured somewhat by what sounds like a cynical sonic similarity to Green Day. Those who are patient enough—or are big enough fans of loud, emotional rock—will find it worth overcoming Osker’s generic elements to enjoy their second album Idle Will Kill, and their performance of songs from same at Indienet Record Shop.

—N.M.

Pete Yorn This faintly twangy L.A. popster has been placing songs on soundtracks for the past couple of years, and just this year coBled together enough material for a full album, the lively and tuneful Musicforthemorningafter. He should feel right at home when he brings his passionate vocals and catchy guitar-rock to the Exit/In, where such things are prized.

—N.M.

Tuesday, 14th

Walter “Wolfman” Washington “Wolfman” Washington first made his mark in Crescent City jazz and blues circles playing with Irma Thomas and Lee Dorsey. Then his booming vocal skills and red-hot guitar playing proved too strong for him to be content in the background. He’s been a bandleader since 1987, but none of his fine Rounder or Bullseye Blues releases can equal his great live show. Washington & the Roadmasters have been among the most spectacular small combos working the blues circuit the past 20 years. Hopefully, their Tuesday night gig at Congo Square will equal some of their previous engagements.

—R.W.

Wednesday, 15th

Jonatha Brooke/David Mead/Jason White You’d be hard pressed to find two more gifted vocalists on the same bill anywhere, so this week’s opportunity to see both Brooke and Mead for free at Uptown Mix is rare indeed. Between her incisive, idiosyncratic songs and his crooning pop, this is a win-win proposition; if you had put off seeing either of these artists’ Belcourt shows earlier this year, you’ve got one sublime chance to redeem yourself. And be sure to get there early to hear local rocker Jason White kick things off with his second set of the week—this time with a full band. The show gets underway at 6 p.m.

—D.R.B.

Film

The Others The talented Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar (Open Your Eyes) concocted this nifty ghost story set in a spooky mansion where the curtains must always be closed—lest the light hurt the photosensitive children of neurotic mom Nicole Kidman (who’s quite good). That’s all we’ll say—except it’s opening Friday. For more, see the review on p. 39.

—J.R.

Tabu Warning, movie fanatics: If you miss this legendary collaboration between F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) and Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North) on the big screen this week, you may never get another chance. Filmed in unspoiled Tahiti in 1929, with unprofessional actors, the silent 1931 film tells the story of two lovers who defy a tribal edict and the gods themselves—only to seal their fates. The result, in this gorgeous restoration released by Milestone Films (I Am Cuba), is ravishingly beautiful. It opens for a brief run Friday at the Belcourt.

—J.R.

New York, New York An overlooked masterpiece, or a great director’s biggest flop? Martin Scorsese’s extravagant 1977 musical has polarized viewers over the years, but an ever-expanding cult following finds this one of his most underrated movies. Especially in the rarely screened director’s cut the Belcourt’s showing this Saturday and Sunday, which restores Liza Minnelli’s big “Happy Endings” production number. Minnelli plays a 1940s big-band singer who falls for hothead saxman Robert De Niro (who learned to play for the role, natch); the movie swings between lavish, stylized set pieces—like the classic John Kander-Fred EB title song—and bitterly realistic arguments and break-ups.

—J.R.

Jump Tomorrow George (Tunde Adebimpe), a staid Nigerian man awaiting his arranged marriage at Niagara Falls, finds himself traveling by car with Alicia (Natalia Verbeke), a Latin beauty who’s as unpredictable as George is grave. Joel Hopkins wrote and directed this low-key screwball comedy; it opens Friday at Green Hills.

—J.R.

South of Heaven, West of Hell Dwight Yoakam directed and stars in this acid Western about a lawman who confronts his past while tangling with a vicious outlaw gang—maybe the only vicious outlaw gang in movie history that boasts both Paul Reubens and Michael Jeter. Yoakam’s screening last year at the Belcourt left audiences thoroughly bewildered, but we hear the movie has been re-edited—and the cast is certainly amazing: Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda, Billy Bob Thornton, Vince Vaughn, Joe Ely, Warren Zevon, and too many others to list. The movie opens Friday at the Belcourt for a week’s run.

—J.R.

Time and Tide We think Tsui Hark’s kinesthetic Hong Kong action flick is opening Friday at Green Hills—it’s been bumped at least three times in the past several weeks. If it doesn’t open, look for it in stores this week on DVD.

—J.R.

Osmosis Jones Outside, it may look like Bill Murray’s just catching a cold—but inside his body, streetwise white blood cell Osmosis Jones (voice of Chris Rock) and his rookie cold-tablet partner (David Hyde-Pierce) know something bad is going down. Gross-out specialists Peter and BoBy Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary) directed this partially animated comedy, which features the voices of Laurence Fishburne and William Shatner. The congestion starts Friday.

—J.R.

American Pie 2 No unsavory recipes for pie filling this time, just collegiate antics with Jim (Jason Biggs), Vicky (Tara Reid), Stifler (Seann William Scott), Oz (Chris Klein), Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth)—and our favorite character, Alyson Hannigan’s sexually adventurous flautist Michelle. The comedy sequel opens Friday.

—J.R.

Television

Johnny Cash—The Anthology It’s pledge-drive time at Nashville Public Television, and that usually means plenty of enticing shows to lure you to lend your support. This tribute to the Man in Black may not be a definitive look at the country music legend—there’s more clichéd backpatting from the likes of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Glen Campbell, and Rodney Crowell than there is real insight into Cash or his music—but the hour-and-a-half program (pledge breaks included) centers around 14 taped performances from the mid-’50s to the late ’90s that show Cash playing his biggest hits. It’s well worth watching, if only for the one interesting, behind-the-scenes tale (regarding Cash’s recording of “Ring of Fire”) and an electrifying performance of “Jackson” with wife June Carter Cash. The program airs 8 p.m. Aug. 9 on WNPT-Channel 8.

—D.R.B.

Theater

A Midsummer Night’s Dream One of Nashville’s signature yearly arts events is Shakespeare in the Park as performed by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, which offers provocative interpretations of the Bard’s classics in the idyllic outdoor setting of the Centennial Park band shell. This year, the theme of identity, as exemplified by the use of theatrical masks, is the focus of the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. NSF’s artistic director, Denice Hicks, directs some of Nashville’s finest actors, including Allison Metcalf Allen, Josh Childs, Brian Niece, Brenda Sparks, and Tony Williams. Original music has been composed for the show by Paul Carrol Binkley. All of the free performances also feature pre-show musical entertainment from a variety of gifted artists, including Annie Sellick, Butch Baldassari, Andrea Zonn, Ellen Britton, and The Gypsy Hombres. Opens Friday, Aug. 10, for a five-week run.

—M.B.

Art

Bennett Galleries Even artists get the blues. In this case, nine artists get them in a show built around that popular color. Blue is the dominant hue in each work but it’s also the subtext in some, whether it’s a moody landscape, abstract, or portrait. “The Blue Show” features works by David Arms, Scott E. Hill, Seth Conley, Dean Fisher, David Guidera, Josephine S. Robinson, Maxim, Lisa Jennings, and Ben Rea. Several of the artists will be at the opening reception 6-9 p.m. Aug. 10.

—A.W.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts One of the sections in Frist’s “An Enduring Legacy: Art of the Americas From Nashville Collections” exhibit explores the materials and processes artists use to create art, from the chair fashioned of wood and antlers by an unknown craftsman in 1890 to contemporary artist John Chamberlain’s sculpture of crushed sections of old automobiles. For a local view on the subject, don’t miss the panel discussion with Nashville artists Adrienne Outlaw, Sherri Warner Hunter, and Craig Nutt, 6 p.m. Aug. 9 in the Frist auditorium. Local arts consultant Susan Knowles, who also curated the “Enduring Legacy” show, is the moderator and admission is free.

—A.W.

Events

Scarritt-Bennett Center Tired of television reruns and worn-out summer film plots? Rediscover the art of the story at a free concert 7 p.m. Aug. 11. Tennessee storytellers Doc McConnell, Joe Keenan, Marilyn Thornton, Dru Markle, and Mountain Man Bob Phillips weave traditional and original tales at the event, which is presented by the Tennessee Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling (TAPPS). For more information, call 665-1784.

—A.W.

Nashville Farmers Market Ol’ Time Watermelon Festival Somehow the summer heat’s not so bad if you can cool off with a wedge of ice-cold, homegrown watermelon. You can do that and a lot more 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 11 during this event honoring Tennessee’s own melon season, now in full swing. Live jazz music, a seed-spitting contest, and free samples are among the highlights of the festival.

—A.W.

White Oak Crafts Fair The drive through the rolling hills of Cannon County, just east of Murfreesboro, is a pleasant one—but it’s even nicer Aug. 11-12 when you can stop at the Arts Center, a red barn-like building outside Woodbury, for this annual festival celebrating local craft traditions like basket-making and quilting. The juried event brings out some of the best in the area, plus there are craft demonstrations and plenty of good food to enjoy.

—A.W.

Picks written by Martin Brady, Doug R. Brumley, Chris Davis, Bill Friskics-Warren, Noel Murray, Jim Ridley, Ben Taylor, William Tyler, Angela Wibking, and Ron Wynn.

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