For that Friday-night feeling on stone-sober Wednesday, no show this week'll top the long-anticipated arrival of neo-R&B sensation Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings at the Exit/In. Introduced to Nashville by WRVU DJ and Grimey's principal Doyle "D-Funk" Davis, who made their album Dap-dippin' with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings a personal crusade, Jones sings old-school funk with a torrid vitality that'll have you partying like it's 1969. Put some soul in your stroll Wednesday night and check out what we hear is one of the hottest live acts to hit town this year.
♦ In the Atkins Diet of music, Phil Lee is a big juicy steak: probably not good for your health in the long run, but mighty tasty and highly recommended. The roadhouse rocker who remains one of the city's least appreciated songwriting talents plays a gig Friday night with Walter Egan and Lou Vargo at Puckett's Grocery in Leiper's Fork. Come for the dinner, stay for Lee's generally good-natured threats to knife his fellow musicians.
♦ Kristi Rose hasn't knifed anybody, to the best of our knowledge, but you still don't want to piss her off. Possessed of a saloon-belter's voice that kills at 50 paces, Rose has a following that's even bigger overseas than in her own hometown. The voluptuous alt-country vixen gets a chance to settle the score in a one-shot appearance with her band Pulp Country at East Nashville's cozier-than-ever Family Wash, where the suds will wash you clean off your stool.
♦ A singer-songwriter who redeems the term, Cortney Tidwell used to book the punk basement at Guido's before embarking on her own performing career, recording spectral lo-fi electro-folk with occasional guest musicians. Recently Tidwell won what she calls a dream gig opening for indie-rockers Sebadoh on their "turbo-acoustic" stopover in town. It's worth arriving early Saturday night at the Exit/In to catch her set.
♦ So you stayed out too late watching Cortney Tidwell to buy Mom a box of candy, eh? Treat the mother in your life to a cocoa overdose at Sunday's Incredible Edible Chocolate Festival. If a foodstuff can be dipped, dunked, drizzled or drowned in chocolate, rest assured it'll be sitting somewhere on a platter at The Factory in Franklin for the day's duration. The sweet-tooth orgy begins 12 noon Mother's Day, and all proceeds go to Outlook Nashville. See www.outlooknashville.org for more information.
♦ Or take your mom to the movies on Mother's Day. If the times don't work out for Kill Bill Vol. 2, which is nothing if not an ode to kick-ass motherhood, opt for the visual candy-box splendor of Jacques Demy's 1964 musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg A romantic drama with Catherine Deneuve in the bloom of her stunning youth, it opens Friday at the Belcourt in a new restored 40th-anniversary edition, and the Alliance Française hosts a free reception and celebration after the 7 p.m. show Sunday night. There'll be food, music, and a sampling of rare French film treasures on 16mm.
♦ Mom drives you nuts, you say? Ditch her and exorcise your simmering resentment at the Angry Filmmaker Tour, which rolls into the Belcourt Monday night. Oregon-based filmmaker Kelley Baker will show his 1999 feature Birddog and a sampling of his wry, digressive short films. For more information, see Baker's site www.angryfilmmaker.com.
♦ The Stardust Drive-In in Watertown will likely be a no mom's land this weekend, thanks to a horror-geek dream double feature of Van Helsing and Dawn of the Dead. Mmmm, those zombies are making me hungry. Lurch with outstretched arms to the concession stand, whose delights can be perused at www.stardustdrivein.com.
♦ Finally, there are only two weekends left to catch the Frist Center's spectacular exhibit "From El Greco to Picasso: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection." Go before May 16, or prepare to sink into your own blue period.