It’s hard to dispense with Superchunk in a mere 100 words or so. They are, after all, a band that has been a staple in indie rock for more than a decadeboth through their band and their record label, Merge, which has consistently released some of the most interesting records in the genre (Lambchop, Spoon, The Magnetic Fields). The ’Chunk’s latest record, Here’s to Shutting Up, purrs along through quieter material than much of their previous music. The quartet is aging gracefullycranking out taut pop songs still alive with crunchy guitar dissonance. Their live show is always hella rocking, and for this appearance at 328 Performance Hall, local pop-rock faves Lifeboy regroup to open the evening. Their high-energy pop has much in common with Superchunk and should be a perfect appetizer for the main course.
Jimmy Bosch Other than Steve Turre, only Bosch stands supreme among trombonists in Afro-Latin and salsa ensembles. A star for over two decades, Bosch has sparkled as a member of groups led by Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz and Rubén Blades, among others. He’s also earned some pop plaudits through his work with Marc Anthony. Yet Bosch didn’t get a shot at making his own album until 1998, and he’s remained a prolific session contributor and bandleader ever since. Bosch brings “salsa dura,” a sizzling blend of traditional salsa, jazz and other Afro-Latin sounds, to Vanderbilt’s Langford Auditorium as part of the Great Performances series. Professional dancers will also be on hand to teach salsa steps.
More Guilty Pleasures If you missed the Slow Bar’s recent “Guilty Pleasures” Red Cross benefit, at which local club rockers played their secret-shame faves, you missed co-owner Mike “Grimey” Grimes rocking the house on John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses”; Departure Lounge’s Tim Keegan and Kim’s Fable’s Kim Collins demonstrating a scary familiarity with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”; and a large crowd engaging in the ridiculous “Safety Dance.” In case anyone remains unconvinced that the music of the ’80s really, really sucked, the Slow Bar is hosting another night of trashy treasures. You may get to hear Grimey and Slow Bar partner Dave Gehrke serenade the ladies with “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”
Mike Plume Band A Canadian singer-songwriter-rocker with pals and bandmates from Austin, Texas, Mike Plume stirs up a raucous mixture of Great White North power-pop and Great Southwest barroom twang. He’ll be serving generous portions at 12th & Porter.
The Samples The army of neo-hippie jam bands who patrol our nation may have been inspired by The Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler and Phish, but the grassroots model that they follow was fairly well defined by The Samples, a Colorado-based world-pop quartet that have spent over a decade building up a sizable fan base for their eclectic, expansive, always melodic groove-making. They play the Exit/In.
An Evening of Jewish Song Plumbing the riches of Yiddish theater and Jewish music, soprano Amy Jarman and pianist Amy Dorfman perform Simon Sargon’s “On Grandfather’s Knee” and selections in English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino (a Hebrew-Spanish hybrid spoken by Sephardic Jews). The concert is free and open to the public, and it is presented in conjunction with Vanderbilt’s Holocaust Lecture Series at Steve & Judy Turner Recital Hall, Blair School of Music.
Last Thursdays Alt-Country Hoedown Melba Toast emcees Springwater’s monthly Americana showcase with a lineup that includes Chris Scruggs, Suzette & the Neon Angels and Melba’s own Fancy Assortment.
Spike & Mallets/Fl. Oz. These two Murfreesboro cabaret-pop acts are terrific, but do they have to play every show together? They’ll be fused at the hip as always when they play 3rd & Lindsley.
true love always/track star Charlottesville, Va.’s True Love Always are on TeenBeat Records, which has produced some of the most original, tuneful independent music of the last 15 or so years. The trio’s own sound is marked by pleasing melodies, strummy guitars and, increasingly, subtle variations in texture and rhythm. So where their earlier records were more straightforward, their more recent music shows the kind of maturity you’d expect from a band who’ve been together for six years. Beyond that, there’s something downright friendly and welcoming about TLAa recognition that music is a shared experience between artist and listener. They’ll add a nice, warm glow to the downhome environs of Springwater. They’re currently joined on their U.S. tour by San Francisco’s Track Star, another group in the indie-pop mold. The two bands should complement each other well: While TLA’s music is more driving and harmonious, Track Star’s is more languorous and spacious. Pontius Co-Pilot open the show.
Audity Central 91 Rock’s monthly benefit series spotlights the latest in drum ’n’ bass, trance and other electronic-dance subgenres. WRVU-91.1 FM DJs Chek, Mindub and Jolby man the decks for extended sets at The End.
NXT Generation Halloween Show All ages, pop to punk, with Silent Friction, Breakdown, Epidemic, Stitch AD8 and Soul Shift. It starts 7 p.m. at NXT Generation Performance Hall.
Friday, 26th-Saturday, 27th
Music Show By the light of the night, Jon Wright of Milkshake? will make things all right with his annual Halloween Rocky Horror revue, which draws such a mob to 12th & Porter that it has become a two-night affair. Yes, song-and-dance man Jody Faison returns as The Criminologist, but this year newcomer Jerry Dale McFadden steps in as the skulleted Riff Raff. Coolest of all, the role of Janet will be filled by Jen Cohen. To all you sickos who just want to see the comely vocal dynamo in her underwear, all we can say is you better not obstruct our view.
Friday, 26th-Sunday, 28th
Cricket’s Franklin Jazz, Blues & Heritage Festival The caliber of talent at this annual music confab continues to improve, while expanding to include representatives from blues, Texas swing, fusion and traditional jazz, as well as the usual bop and mainstream entries. Performances are scattered over three days and three stages at The Factory at Franklin, and a wide array of local and national artists will be represented. A few of the highlights include a Friday night kick-off by The Dixieland Jazz Band; a Saturday appearance by the excellent Buddy Spicher & the Nashville Swing Band, who mix Southwestern influences with classic arrangements and furious solos; and a Sunday set by the wonderful San Rafael Band. For a complete schedule, see our Music Listings on p. 43. The concerts are free.
Lambchop Most Nashville bands, even the good ones, are reacting to pop-music trends that already peaked a year or two ago or more. So it’s a rare occurrence when the British music press uses a Nashville group as a point of referenceas happens frequently these days with Lambchop’s visionary melding of ambient country, roiling R&B and an indie-rock je ne sais quoi. Not that those comparisons will hold for much longer: The ever-mutable group’s new record, slated for release early next year, is said to depart from their horn-laden sound of recent years. To hear tomorrow’s sound todayor at least a sound you won’t have heard beforecheck out the enormous band’s rare local appearance at the Slow Bar, which may be able to wedge in some patrons along with the group.
The American Plague On their self-titled EP, this Knoxville power trio kick in the door with axes blazing, banging out primordial three-chord punk-metal with a maniacal energy and tautness that offsets the sense of been-there-done-that. Singer/guitarist Jaw served with former Misfit Bobby Steele in New York horror-rockers The Undead; bassist Dave Dammit played with the thrash outfit Nocturna; and the drummer has the awesome name B.J. Fontana. The group rattle the roof of Springwater with special guests More Plastic and the Flaming Nahdbits.
The Esquires “I want to sing that rock ’n’ roll,” sing Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on their new album Time (The Revelator), “ ’cause everyone keeps makin’ a sound so big and loud it keeps drownin’ me out.” Ain’t nobody drowning ’em out in their garage-days-revisited side project The Esquires, where they join David Steele and a revolving-door group of special guests to bang their heads. The show’s at the supposedly closed Radio Cafe, which appears to have stayed in retirement about as long as Garth Brooks.
Michael McDaniel A gifted and versatile performer who has been working extensively with saxophonist Waldo Weathers as part of Waldo & the Mix, McDaniel includes selections with blues and R&B influences as well as improvisational touches on his self-titled new release. He’ll be appearing Saturday afternoon in the Jazz@Bellevue Center local artists series.
Polline Photographs of Gainesville, Fla., band Polliné crudely costumed as sheep raise the question: Are they just another group of counting sheep, or are they wolves in sheep’s clothing? The ambient pulse of their recent CD Parallel Canvas suggests something in between. Polliné play at Red Rose Coffee House with Florida lo-fi art-jazz instrumentalists The Mercury Program.
Tommy Womack One of Nashville’s sharpest wits and hardest rockers, Womack previews material from his upcoming LP at The Sutler, with special guest Dana Cerick.
9th Annual Blues Celebration & Awards The city’s blues community comes together for this event at Congo Square, and among the night’s headliners are the Delicious Blues Stew, Blue Mother Tupelo, Dave McKenzie, Les Kerr & the Bayou Band, and Mr. Blue Jones. The party gets under way at 1 p.m. For more details, call 251-0404.
Cake/Beulah Two smart, immensely entertaining American pop bands share the stage at Ryman Auditorium. First up are the super-sized pastoral psychedelicists of Beulah, whose current album, The Coast Is Never Clear, offers beautifully arranged, lavish retro-pop in the vein of Apples in Stereo and The Olivia Tremor Control, only smoother and more lush. Headlining the show is Cake, whose wry observations and taut, crunchy rock have been entertaining collegiate hipsters since the mid-’90s. They get more cleverand betterevery year.
Curtis Salgado Salgado initially attracted attention for his strong contributions to Robert Cray’s 1980 release, Who’s Been Talkin’. He spent six years with Cray, then later fronted Roomful of Blues, but truly hit his stride during a mid-’90s national tour with Santana. The inspiration for John Belushi’s Jake Blues character in The Blues Brothers, Salgado is a convincing, soulful vocalist and a hot guitarist. His star has risen even more since joining the Shanachie label, and his release earlier this year, Soul Activated, has earned him rave reviews. He appears at Congo Square.
Sharif Iman This New York-born, Virginia-raised and now local singer-songwriter bridges the gap between acoustic troubadour stylings and contemporary lover-man soul of the D’Angelo/Ginuwine variety. He’s got a great voice, a gift for lilting melody and an astute knowledge of how to surround his guitar with satiny, sophisticated instrumentation. Let him woo you at 12th & Porter.
Michael Bolton w/The Nashville Symphony The throaty soft-rock himbo visits TPAC’s Jackson Hall as part of his “symphony tour,” wherein he oversings classic pop songs with underfunded local orchestras.
Boo Boo Bunny/Dr. Gonzo/CB Arnette/Pile of Face/Flesh Machine A scarier batch of Murfreesboro bands we couldn’t have assembled from Evergreen Cemetery, and The Boro Bar & Grill has ’em all. The fearsomely filthy Boo Boo Bunny blaze the path with songs from their Prom King of Auschwitz CD, preceded by diehard ’Boro punks Dr. Gonzo. Bonus points go to CB Arnette, named for the Murfreesboro historian and antique dealer.
Paul Booker’s Dynamite Operators/Dave Cloud’s Gospel of Power Halloween is an occasion when most of us give in to the theatrical impulse. What to do, then, if your regular performances already feature spontaneous character readings, spirit channeling and jokes about dyspeptic skeletons? If you’re Dave Cloud, you pledge to kick it up a notch, and arrive as a conductor to majestically guide your Gospel ship through the night of the walking dead. Seriously, one can expect to hear suspenseful spook stories set to a feedback pulse rooted in Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup and Bo Diddley riffs as well as a tone poem recanting the life of Dracula. Paul Booker’s Dynamite Operators co-chair the costume ball at The End.
Slow Bar’s 1st Annual Halloween Bash East Nashville’s hottest hangout greets All Hallows Eve with Spider Virus and Baby Stout. Wear a costume, lest you face an evening of merciless taunting.
Bonepony The deliriously percussive Nashville stomp-rockers bring their unique brand of acoustic-rooted mayhem to a Halloween set at the Exit/In.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust In a post-apocalyptic world, a vampire slayer faces off against a lethal adversary and his horrific henchmen. This visually dazzling anime thriller, making its Nashville premiere, kicks off a week of Halloween horrors; it opens Friday at the Belcourt.
The Shining/A Clockwork Orange The Belcourt’s month-long salute to Stanley Kubrick ends with two of the late director’s most popular films: his still controversial Anthony Burgess adaptation A Clockwork Orange, with Malcolm MacDowell as a dapper futuristic thug; and his Stephen King shocker The Shining, with Jack Nicholson as the troubled caretaker of the evil Overlook Hotel. See our Film Listings and Movie Clock for reviews and show times.
Daughters of Darkness A free video screening of Harry Kumel’s 1971 cult horror film, in which the blood-bathing seductress Elizabeth Bathory (Delphine Seyrig) hungers for the companionship of an innocent bride and her sadistic husband. It shows 7 p.m. Friday at Watkins Film School.
13 Ghosts A baker’s dozen beasties terrorize Tony Shalhoub, the new owner of a haunted house, in this remake of the gimmicky William Castle spookshow. The movie opens Friday at local theaters.
Resistance: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans Teenagers turned guerrilla warriors are among the heroes of Seth Kramer’s documentary, which salutes the European Jews who put up organized resistance to the Nazi onslaught. The film screens Monday and Tuesday at Sarratt as part of Vanderbilt’s Holocaust Lecture Series; two of the documentary’s subjects, Shalom Yoran and Eta Wrobel, will appear at Tuesday’s showing, and producer Kenneth Mandel will discuss the film Monday.
St. Crispin’s Day Fest Beer-drinking, hell-raisingand Shakespeare! In honor of St. Crispin’s Day this Thursday, the Belcourt will turn its patrons into a lusty mob of defiant ruffians, starting with an audience-participation screening of Kenneth Branagh’s exciting Henry V. The theater staff will pass out instructions and hold a contest to see which audience member can best deliver Henry’s stirring St. Crispin’s Day speech“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,” etc.and they’ll serve two-for-one British beers all day. If you’ve ever entertained Braveheart-like fantasies of rousing men to battle, this is your day to shine. Call 846-3150 for more info.
Bread and Tulips A dejected housewife (Licia Maglietta) gets an unexpected shot at romance and adventure when a tour bus strands her in Venice with no money. The Italian romantic comedy opens Friday at Green Hills, along with the romantic fantasy Happy Accidents, starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Marisa Tomei, and Barbet Schroeder’s shot-on-digital drama Our Lady of the Assassins.
From Here to Eternity One of the finest war films ever madewhere the sacrifices, pettiness, courage and terror of combat are encapsulated in the goings-on of a Hawaiian army base in the months prior to the Pearl Harbor attackcomes to DVD in a classy edition that includes a couple of featurettes and a commentary track by the son of the late director Fred Zinnemann, along with one of the filmmaker’s best friends.
Monty Python & The Holy Grail In a season overflowing with classic movies either making their DVD debut or reappearing in loaded new packagings, here’s yet another reason to empty your wallet. Although it lacks the classic English-to-Japanese-to-English subtitle track of the laserdisc, the “special edition” does feature an option to watch the film while the text of a Shakespeare play appears at the bottom; and there are commentaries, documentaries new and old, and countless silly special features that do a typically Pythonian job of mocking and relishing the absurdities of popular entertainment technology.
Songcatcher Although ridiculously melodramatic and laden with some cacklingly awful dialogue at times, this festival-favorite portrait of a folk song archivist (played by Janet McTeer) does feature some wonderful Appalachian music and a fascinating consideration of what a song is. It should make for a nice rental now that it’s available on VHS and on a no-frills DVD.
With a Friend Like Harry This French thriller is about a frustrated writer, his suffocating family and the old friend who wants to make his life easier however possible; it’s also one of the year’s best filmspalpably creepy, with a vivid illustration of both the dilemma of the creative person with responsibilities and the old warning that one should be careful what one wishes for. Director Dominick Moll’s terror-of-the-ordinary style has been compared to Hitchcock, but the exaggerated sound design and laconic tone is more reminiscent of the Coen brothers. Check it out on VHS or the featureless DVD.
Monsters Crash the Pajama Party No self-respecting psychotronic completist should be without this delightfully spooky DVD, a labor of love from the horrormeisters at Something Weird. The disc pays homage to the traveling spook shows that crisscrossed the South in the 1940s and ’50s, stage shows that used every trick from mock hypnosis to gallons of fake blood to give susceptible audiences the heebie-jeebies. Two features come in the package, but the copious supplements are the main attraction: two commentaries by legendary spook-show operators, archival trailers and shorts, vintage ads and stills, and an awful but amusing 3-D segment, replete with two pairs of glasses. Navigating the menu’s many Easter eggs is a little unwieldy, but the disc still documents a near-forgotten footnote to the history of American film exhibition.
American Roots Music Perhaps the gem among all the October music specials is the four-part American Roots Music, a series that begins Oct. 29 and runs every Monday night through Nov. 19. The program explores the origins, influence and impact of such genres as blues, gospel, country, Tejano and Cajun/zydeco, and blends historical clips and remembrances with analysis and insights. A huge companion book has already been issued with remarkable photographs andfor the most partincisive, accurate information. There’s also a musical highlights CD currently on the market, but that will soon be supplanted by a box set, as well as forthcoming DVD and VHS sets covering the entire program. The advance word on this one is that it will not only justify the hype, but it may exceed all expectations.
Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil Bill Harris’ treatment of the life of Robert Johnson features Max Johns in the title role, laying down howling vocals and striving to re-create the blues legend’s quest to be the best guitar player to ever emerge from the Mississippi Delta. Directed by actors Olivier Leroux and Pierre Johnson, it runs Saturday and Sunday at 328 Performance Hall.
The Second Lady Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre serves up a fanciful, farcical political romp, as a bachelor presidential candidate seeks a prospective first lady. Jack Sharkey’s script offers the kind of comedy of errors that Barn audiences should go for in a big way. Charles Burr directs a cast that includes a solid lineup of familiar talent, including Kim Nygren, Adam Burnett, Anne Tonelson, and Barn newcomer Jim Payne. The production runs through Nov. 17.
The Taming of the Shrew A “value-added” presentation of two scenes from Shakespeare’s classic battle-of-the-sexes comedy, designed to salute the impending arrival at TPAC of the traveling, Tony Award-winning revival of Cole Porter’s Shrew-based musical, Kiss Me, Kate. Two of Nashville’s finest actors, Denice Hicks and Brian Niece, will perform the excerpts from the Bard’s wittily caustic script, while scholar Ann Cook Calhoun offers insights into the play’s historical context. In addition, TPAC representatives will hold a drawing for tickets to the musical, which lands in Jackson Hall on Nov. 6. The event takes place 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at Davis-Kidd Booksellers.
Vampire Monologues This ironic, twistedly humorous script from the mind of actor/writer Jeremy Childs was a surprise success during Actors Bridge Ensemble’s 2000 season. It returns to Bongo After Hours Theatre for a two-week run, this time under the producing aegis of BroadAxe Theatre. Childs and his comical brother Josh have returned from the original cast, joining forces with a mostly new company of players, including Rachel Agee, Ross Brooks, Misty Lewis and none other than noted singer-songwriter Steve Earle. Brandon Boyd directs. This very funny, adult-style Halloween fare runs Oct. 25 through Nov. 3.
Bennett Galleries Quirky is the operative word for the art in the latest show at this Green Hills gallery. Michael Madzo’s works involve appropriated fine-art images from books, postcards and posters, which the artist reconstructs into new visual worlds that pose a kind of guessing game for the viewer. Husband-and-wife artists John and Lynn Whipple also display a peculiar view of things: He places twisted characters in mixed-media collage, while she takes found photographs culled from antique stores and gives them new identities in her own paintings. Finally, John’s mom, Marty Whipple, contributes new jewelry created from old buttons, chains and other found objects. Join the artists for an opening reception, 6-9 p.m. Friday.
Cumberland Gallery Gallery owner Carol Stein introduces her new fall lineup of artistsBen Bridgers, Jeff Danley, Anderson Kenny, Adrienne Sherman and Andrew Winn. Works range from abstract and figurative paintings to mixed-media works on marble. Meet these “New Kids on the Block,” as the show’s title dubs them, at an opening reception 6-8 p.m. this Saturday.
Watkins College of Art & Design Nashville gallerygoers may remember Greg Pond’s mechanical cowhide-covered sculptures at ruby green a while back. Pond unveils his latest creationsincorporating video, mechanical and kinetic elementsin this Watkins show, which kicks off with a reception 6-8 p.m. Oct. 25.
Bill Flanagan The mere title of Flanagan’s debut novel, A&R, twangs so resoundingly that many Music Row movers and shakers may declare the book a hit before they’ve even read it. Flanagan’s day job continues to be with VH1, where he created Storytellers and Legends; in A&R, he has created hilarious scenes set in the music business, ones likely to make Music Row’s graying ponytails stand on end. He reads and signs 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at Davis-Kidd.
El Dia de los Muertos/Latino Fiesta Day Both Cheekwood and the Scarritt-Bennett Center celebrate the traditional Latin American holiday honoring the dearly departed Oct. 27. Cheekwood’s “Day of the Dead” activities include bilingual storytelling by Grandma Irene, salsa dancing, bilingual poetry reading with Joe Speer, gourd painting, mask-making, the creation of Mexican paper marigolds and much more. Guests can also enjoy authentic live music by Viva la Musica and sample authentic Mexican foods. Bilingual volunteers will be present at all activities during the day and will lead tours of the museum, gardens and sculpture trail. Meanwhile, over at Scarritt-Bennett, you’ll find more Latin music, dancing, food and fun things for the kids.
Tennessee State Museum The state museum becomes the “Haunted Museum” 2-4 p.m. Oct. 28, with costumed storytellers spinning traditional Tennessee ghost stories, the decoration of miniature pumpkins, face “tattoos,” refreshments and other Halloween fun stuff for the kids. The event is free.
Barefoot and Independent It’s tough to gripe about the music scene in our town when it’s secretly teeming with people ready to support it in myriad ways. Murfreesboro-based film and video production outfit Barefoot and Independent has just come up with a new scene-boosting contest. The six-person crew of filmmakerswho initially came to Nashville from Colorado to make a featureare offering to make a free video for one lucky local band. The rules are simple: Send them a tape by Oct. 30 and be prepared to go along with everything they say. President and producer Jason Heath promises that the end result will be “MTV-sellable quality.” If you’re interested in finding out more about the contest, visit barefootandindependent.com/contest.html.
Picks written by Todd Anderson, Diann Blakely, Martin Brady, Chris Davis, Jonathan Marx, Noel Murray, Jim Ridley, Angela Wibking and Ron Wynn.
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