Cultural calendar, September 18-25, 2003


Cultural calendar, September 18-25, 2003

THURSDAY, September 18
PERFORMANCE
Coffeehouse 13:
For the last production at its Market Street space, Live Arts returns to its roots with the legendary cabaret performance series that put the theater on the map. Light fare, drinks, and desserts are served beginning one hour prior to showtime. Runs through October 11. Free tickets available at the box office for tonight's show. See news story. 609 E. Market St. $8-12, light fare $7-10. 977-4177 x108.

Scene setting study for teens: In this weekly class, students ages 13-19 explore language and character while sharpening skills of self-awareness, observation, and articulate use of the voice and body. Classes begin today and run through October 30, culminating in a final presentation in Live Arts' new space. Instructor: Amanda McRaven. Live Arts LAB, 609 E. Market St. 5-7pm. $60 Live Arts members/$75 all others. 977-4177 x100.

FAMILY
Little literati:
The five-and-under crowd can fall into autumn at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. Stickers and cookies are part of the fun too. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

WALKABOUT
The Wright path to flight:
Find out the nuts and bolts about brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright and how they built their first successful airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer. Exact, full-scale replicas of the early gliders and the 1903 Wright Flyer are on display at the museum. The Virginia Aviation Museum, 5701 Huntsman Road, Richmond International Airport. Free. 7pm. 804-236-3622.

WORDS
Stonewall:
Come discuss all aspects of the Shenandoah Campaign of 1862 with UVA's Gary W. Gallagher, editor of a new book of essays on the famous Civil War campaign. Barnes & Noble, 7pm. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-0461.

TUNES
The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival at the Jefferson Theater:
The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival runs September 18-October 2. This week's show focuses on Clara Schumann's Three Romances for violin and piano, Op. 22, Johannes Brahms's Clarinet Trio, Op. 114 and Antonin Dvorak's Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 87. $14/$20/students $5, 8pm.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Waylandsphere at Starr Hill: Come see the group that guests on the new Dave Matthews solo album. Their mixture of New Orleans jazz and contemporary funk and R&B have long made them a sight (and sound to behold). Opening is Waylandsphere, whose instrumental ramblings will be music to the ears of lovers of the jam. $14/$12 advance, 10pm.

Jim Waive (country-folk) at the Blue Moon Diner. Free, 8pm (W)

Karaoke Night with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free, 9pm (W)

Chicken Head Blues Band at Dürty Nelly's. $4, 9pm. (W)

Jan Smith Trio & Lauren Hoffman and the Lilas at Gravity Lounge. $5, 8:30pm.

Southern Funk Orchestra (jam) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 11pm.

John D'earth and friends (freeform jazz) at Miller's. $4, 10pm. (W)

Lyman, The Hint, and Above the Fray at Outback Lodge. $3, 10pm.

Game Night at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 5pm. (W)

Middle Eastern Belly Dance Class at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 6:30pm. (W)

Kathy Olsen Trio (jazz) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. Free, 9:30pm. (W)

Cars Can Be Blue, The Smittens, and VHS & the Babies at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

Fountainhead (jammy rock) at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 8pm.

FRIDAY, September 19
PERFORMANCE
Coffeehouse 13: See Thursday, September 18. Tonight's show is at 8pm.

Contra dance: Albemarle Chapter of the Country Dance and Song Society hosts a contra dance with caller Paul Ackerman and music by the Toad Mamas and others. Municipal Arts Center, 1119 Fifth Street Ext. Free beginners' workshop at 7:30pm, dance 8-11pm. $7 adults, free under 12 years. 971-8863.

Much Ado about Nothing: Staunton's acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the Bard's lighthearted romantic comedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

No Shame Theater: Up for a theatrical nightcap? Join performers at this alternative venue for original material by anyone about anything. The first 15 people who show up get a spot on stage. Or you can just watch the carryings on. Live Arts LAB, 609 E. Market St. 11pm. $5 at the door. 977-4177.

WALKABOUT
Wintergreen orchids and fungi:
Terrestrial orchids have complex life cycles that include interactions with fungi. Please bring a covered dish, dessert, coffee and wine will be provided. 5.30pm. $5 members, $10 non-members. 325-8169.

FAMILY
Equinox exploration:
Fall officially arrives on September 23 at 6:47am, and this year's harvest moon rose on September 10. The Science Museum of Virginia's director of astronomy, Ken Wilson, enlightens visitors on these and other cosmic phenomena in an interactive planetarium show tonight at 6pm. Afterward, the Richmond Astronomical Society set up their telescopes on the museum's lawn for a guided tour of the night sky at 9pm. It's all free. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

Star struck: The view is out of this world at Public Night at McCormick Observatory from 9-11pm (weather permitting). UVA's research telescopes on O-Hill will be pointed heavenward, and Astronomy Department staff and students will be on hand with a slide show and answers to starry questions. Free. McCormick Road. 924-7494.

WORDS
Cut short:
If you thought JFK's life was too brief, imagine squeezing it into a lunch break. Northside Library kicks off its Books Sandwiched In series with Robert Dallek's biography, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963. Review and discussion led by David Coleman of the Miller Center. Noon, 300 Albemarle Square. 973-7893.

Seeing lying: Movies, lie detectors, Scandinavia… it's a cryptic combination, but surely a riddle worth solving. Attend this lecture by Carol Clover of UC Berkeley, but don't forget to watch Jagged Edge first. Sponsored by the Forum for Contemporary Thought. 4pm, Minor Hall, UVA. rhk5i@virginia.edu.

Learning from Las Vegas: UVA Professor Dell Upton examines the controversial ideas (as of 1973) of architects Robert Venturi, Steven Izenour, and Denise Scott Brown, who advocated architecture that mirrors the values of everyday folks. Campbell Hall, room 153, UVA. 5pm. 924-4298.

TUNES AND PERFORMANCE
TechnoSonics at Old Cabell Hall:
Featured music at the annual TechnoSonics concert, which features digital and multimedia musical performances, will include composer Anna Rubin's Family Stories: Sophie, Sal; Jose Miguel Candela's Bajan Gritando Ellos&endash; They Descend Screaming, and Paul Lansky's Alphabet Book. Free, 8pm. 924-3984.

TUNES
Foreigner featuring Lou Graham at Fridays After 5 on the Downtown Mall: "Feels Like the First Time?" "Cold As Ice?" The hits you know and more at probably the most entertaining show FAF has had all year. Prepare your mullets and 1979 World Tour t-shirts– Foreigner's here to make it all all right. $3, 5:30pm.

Charlie Byrd Tribute: "Brazilian Nights" at PVCC's Dickinson Building: Bassist Joe Byrd and his quintet come to town to perform a reprise of the 2000 tribute to Byrd's brother, jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd. $17 adults/$12 seniors/$6 students, 7:30pm.

Darrell Rose at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. No cover, 9pm.

Retrofonics at Dew Drop Inn, Scottsville. No cover, 10pm-1am.

Pat DiNizio (of The Smithereens) with Lance Brenner at Gravity Lounge. $15, 8:30pm.

Makia Groove at Jabberwocky. No cover, 11pm.

Left Foot Braking at Miller's. $4, 10pm.

William Walter & Co. at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm.

Sundried Opossum (jam) with Agents of the Sun at Outback Lodge. $6, 10pm.

Quinton Parker (jazz piano) at Rapuunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 7pm.

Old Time Music Jam at Rockfish Valley Community Center. $2, 7:30. (W)

Vevlo Eel with The Winners of the Rock Starr Showdown, Hot Lunch and George W. & the Weapons of Mass Destruction at Starr Hill. $6, 10pm.

Monolith, Devil Talks, and The Hind Most at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

Dinah Pehrson (blues) at Mountain View Grill. $5, 8pm.

SATURDAY, September 20
PERFORMANCE
Tartuffe:
Staunton's acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of Moliere's comic masterpiece in the Blackfriars Playhouse. Tonight's opening night! 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Knight of the Burning Pestle: Staunton's acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare presents Francis Beaumont's raucous Elizabethan farce at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 2pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

Make a Living tour: Country blues-inspired artist/photographer/raconteur Andy Friedman brings his unique storytelling slide show to the Gravity Lounge. 8:30pm. 103 S. First St. $5 cover. 977-5590. See Performance feature.

Try out!: New Lyric Theatre holds auditions for its January 2004 production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, directed by Gweneth West. Seeking up to 15 men and 15 women. By appointment only; call to schedule. 1-5pm. Village School, Third and High streets. 977-7478.

Getting a kick out of Cole: Horseshoe Bend Players presents a musical tribute to the genius of Cole Porter, arranged and performed by Tara Ford. Ford and friends offer a selection of light and comical numbers along with notes on Porter's long and successful career. 8pm. Victory Hall Theatre, 401 Valley St., Scottsville. $8-10. 286-7400.

Dance master class: PVCC begins its third season of dance master classes with a class taught by the University of Maryland's Doug Hamby, combining Merce Cunningham-based technique with movement phrases from his own choreography. 1:30-3:30pm. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 501 College Drive. $10. 961-5376.

CSDS Swing Dance: Charlottesville Swing Dance Society offers an evening of Swing dancing and a variety of other dances. The DJ will be local favorite Michael Smith, and a free East Coast Swing dance lesson is included with admission from 8-9pm. Municipal Arts Center 1119 5th St. Ext. Dance 9-12midnight. $12 adults, $6 students, $9 members. 980-2744 or avenue.org/swing.

Coffeehouse 13: See Thursday, September 18.

WORDS
Juvenile writing workshop change of venue:
So many people have signed up to find out what not to do when submitting manuscripts to editors, organizers have changed the venue for the SCBWI mini-conference. New location is Church of our Savior, 1165 E. Rio Road. 1-4pm. $30; $25 for SCBWI members. 973-9579.

Drumroll, please: The Library of Virginia announces its 6th annual Literary Awards recipients. UVA's Greg Orr is up for a win, along with Richard Bausch, Carrie Brown, Nelson Lankford, Ellen Bryant Voight, and Charles Wright. Louis Rubin, founder of Algonquin Books, will receive the Lifetime Achievement award at the gala celebration. Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St., Richmond. 804-371-4795 for ticket information.

Pigskin pedagogue: Tommy Reamon teaches life lessons of pro football, and movie fans may remember him as wide receiver Delma Huddle in the football classic North Dallas Forty. Many of his real-life high-school protégés have gone on to the NFL, including Aaron Brooks and Michael Vick. And then there's Alan Iverson-&endash; but that's a different story. Come hear some more; he's got a bunch in his new memoir Rough Diamonds: A Coach's Journey. Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 7pm. 984-0461.

WALKABOUT
Fall Court Days:
Arts and Crafts festival in the Downtown Mall Amphitheater, featuring artisans from Maine to Florida with jewelry, pottery, clothing, candles, woodcrafts, and much more. Free. 296-8548.

Jamesfest: Celebrate Scottsville with two days of parades, races, shows and entertainment across this historic town. 286-9267. See Family feature.

Non-violent resistance training: A workshop organized by the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice to educate those who wish to participate in civil disobedience or non-violent direct action. Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. 1901 Thomson Road. 10am-3pm. Bring lunch. Suggested donation $15. 961-6278. See Walkabout feature.

Antiques appraisal fair: Professionals from Motley's Auctions and the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities will appraise antiques in the garden at the John Marshall House. 1-4pm. Appraisal fees will include a tour of the house. $15 per item for APVA Preservation Virginia members and $20 per item for non-members. 818 E. Marshall St., Richmond. 804-649 7998.

Tufton fern walk: Fran Boninti, Peter Hatch, and Peggy Cornett lead a two-hour cross-country walk through the pristine, relatively undisturbed, and isolated natural woodland along Henderson Creek in the forests of Tufton Farm, pointing out the native plants as they go. There is no trail on substantial sections of this two-mile hike, so be prepared for briar scratches, spider webs, and uneven terrain. Reservations required; call 434-984-9822. Meets at the Monticello Garden Shop, 9:30 a.m. $10

Wintergreen destination hike: Walk about 4.5 miles along the Appalachian Trail from Dripping Rock to Reeds Gap with beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley. Bring lunch and water. $3 members, $5 non-members. 9:30am. 325-8169

No more smelly dogs: Dog wash to benefit Caring for Creatures animal sanctuary. Wash prices based on dog size: small, $5, miedium, $10, large $15. Fun includes visit from Rags, the "bite prevention dog," a raffle, and a pet and owner lookalike context. 10am-4pm. Whole Foods Market, Shoppers World. 842-2404 or 973-4900.

FAMILY
Party time:
The town of Scottsville just wants to celebrate with Jamesfest 2003. See Family feature.

Book party: You'd never believe it to look at her, but Amelia Bedelia is turning 40 and Barnes & Noble is celebrating. The party for kids up to age three includes readings from the new book Bookworm, a chance to play "pin the hat on Amelia," and other special activities. 10am. Free, but registration is requested. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Gone a courtin': Central Virginia's longest-running arts and crafts festival is here again for another season. The 26th annual Fall Court Days offers fine arts and crafts, demonstrations, and live entertainment in a brand new location this year: the Downtown Amphitheater. 10am-6pm. Free admission. East end of the Downtown Mall. 296-8548. cvilledowntown.org/fall.html.

Little toot: Trains are pulling into the Broad Street Station again at the Science Museum of Virginia's 26th annual Model Railroad Show. Intricate, tiny villages and cities spread out as far as the eye can see with trains of all scales chugging through them. Model railroaders with ailing engines can bring them along for a consultation with the train doctor who will be "IN" at the show. 9:30am-5pm. Included in the price of admission. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

Because it's there: Today is the last day visitors to the Science Museum of Virginia can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the daredevils who struggle to reach the vertiginous summit at 29,028 feet in the IMAX film Everest. Tickets are $6.50. The combination ticket that lets you see the exhibits too is $10.50 for kids 4-12, $11.50 for adults, $11 for seniors. Call for times and reservations. 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. 800-659-1727. smv.org.

TUNES
Andy Friedman with Jeffrey Foucault at Gravity Lounge:
Visual artist Andy Friedman brings back his drawings and Polaroids to Charlottesville, where his combination discussion/art shows have been receiving praise from the street for a little while now. $7, 8pm.

The Hogwaller Ramblers at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books: Charlottesville favorites the Hogwaller Ramblers bring their bluegrass mayhem a little south of town to the pleasant scenic burg of Lovingston, where Rapunzel doles out caffeine to the eclectic crowd. $5, 8pm.

The Guano Boys with Las Gitanas at Starr Hill: Local reggae group the Guano Boys is joined by Las Gitanas ("The Gypsy Chicks") the local female folk-etc. powerhouse. $6, 10pm.

The Dawning: Terminal Ready at Tokyo Rose: "Electronic based industrio-goth rock," or so Chris Knight, organizer for The Dawning, describes local rock stars Terminal Ready. Come see what all the hoopla is about-&endash; their live show is rumored to be one of the best around. $5, 10:30pm.

Ronnie Johnson, acoustic, at the Dew Drop Inn, Scottsville. No cover, 10m-1am.

Betty Gone Bad (rock) at Awful Arthur's. No cover, 10pm.

Calf Mountain Jam (jam) at Jabberwocky. No cover, 11pm.

King Wilkie (bluegrass) with Open Road Bluegrasss Band ("Colorado bluegrass") at Miller's. $4, 10pm.

Sweetwater (country/southern rock) at Outback Lodge. $5, 10pm.

The Fair Weather Bums (bluegrass) at She Ben. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

Acoustic Muse Show at Mountain View Grill. $5, 8pm

Chocolate Workshop at Orbit. No cover, 10pm.

SUNDAY, September 21
PERFORMANCE
King Lear:
Staunton's acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the Bard's monumental tragedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. 2pm. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

A Body in Motion: Central Virginia Restorative Justice sponsors this play based on the stories of survivors of crime told in Howard Zehr's book Transcending. The play explores "some of the many varied and complex responses to a violent event with hope of transcendence." Zehr will be present to sign copies of his book, and a reception will follow the performance. 2pm. V. Earl Dickinson Building, 501 College Drive. $5 (all tickets sold at the door). 220-3737.

UVA chamber music series: This season-opening concert features Bach's Sonata in F minor for Flute, Harpsichord and Continuo, Haydn's String Quartet Op.54 no.2, and Samuel Barber's Summer Music for Woodwind Quintet. A reception will follow the performance. 3:30pm. Old Cabell Hall, UVA Central Grounds. $10, $5 students, free under 18. 924-3984.

Sunday salsa: The Charlottesville Salsa Club sponsors a weekly opportunity to learn and practice salsa and other dances in a smoke-free nightclub atmosphere. A basic lesson (usually salsa) gets the evening started at 8pm. Complimentary water and sodas. The Outback Lodge, 917 Preston Ave. 8pm-midnight. $3-5. cvillesalsaclub.com or 979-7211.

FAMILY
Park it:
As part of Sundays in the Park, "Natural History Day" makes the McIntire Golf Course off-limits to golfers from noon until dark so others can frolic. Guided walks offered by community experts include a stream walk at 2pm, a tree identification walk at 3pm, and a twilight birding walk at 6pm. Dogs are welcome, but must remain on the leash. Free. 970-3589. charlottesville.org. See News story.

Autumn in the highlands: Ash Lawn-Highland takes kids back in time to the plantation of President James Monroe during the 19th century during "Autumn on the Plantation." Young history lovers can participate in preparations for winter as they dip candles, make felt, learn to spin, prepare spices, robe a bed, stuff a mattress, play colonial games, and meet a miniature saddle horse. Costumed interpreters demonstrate open-hearth cooking, tinsmithing, quilting, and more. Fiddler Becky Ross accompanies the Scottish Highland Dancers as they perform and teach period dancing. Picnics are welcome. 1-5pm. Admission is $5 children 3-11, $9 adults, $8 seniors and AAA members. James Monroe Parkway (Rt. 795). 293-9539.

Gone a courtin': See Saturday, September 20. Times today are noon-5pm.

Little toot: See Saturday, September 20. Times today are 11:30am-5pm.

Party time: See Saturday, September 20.

WALKABOUT
Jamesfest:
See Saturday, September 20.

Peace picnic: Bring a dish and share it with your fellow citizens for a fun afternoon of hope and reconciliation. Lee Park, from 1pm. All faiths, nationalities, ideologies, and political persuasions welcome. Bring a drum if you have one. See Walkabout feature.

What's a sod? Find out on this overnight hike to the Dolly Sods wilderness area in West Virginia, with Blue Ridge Mountain Sports experts, leaving at 8am from Barracks Road. Four-mile hike into campsite, but great views and changing leaves make it worth it. $40. Equipment rentals available. 977-4400.

TUNES
The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival at the Jefferson Theater: Featuring Beethoven's "Horn Sonata, Op. 17," Golijov's "Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind," and Dohnanyi's "Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, Piano and String Trio, Op. 37." $14/$20/students $5, 3pm.

The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash with Geoff West at Starr Hill: Modern "outlaw country" from the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. The pop to country gateway drug. $5, 9pm. See Tunes feature.

The Hogwaller Ramblers (bluegrass mayhem) at Escafe. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Catherine Carraway Quartet (jazz) at Gravity Lounge. $3, 7:30pm.

MONDAY, September 22
WORDS
The Uneasy Chinese-North Korean Alliance:
Chen Jian lectures at the Miller Center. Professor Chen is the first C.K. Yen professor of Chinese American Relations at the Miller Center and professor of History at UVA. His work focuses on Chinese-American relations, modern Chinese history, Chinese foreign policy and security strategies. 11am. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924 7236.

TUNES
Ezra Hamilton's Birthday Party at South Street Brewery:
One of the hardest working musicians in Charlottesville, Ezra Hamilton doesn't even take off for his own birthday. His funky/smooth grooves and take on guitar rock will be on show tonight. Come celebrate the hallowed day of Hamilton's birth with him! No cover, 9:30pm.

Open Mic Night with Charles Davis at Baja Bean. No cover, signup 8:30pm/9pm. (W)

Jackson Gibson at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Max Collins (experimental acoustic) at Michael's Bistro. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Open Mic Night at Miller's. Free, 9:30 signup/10pm start. (W)

TUESDAY, September 23
PERFORMANCE
Live Arts acting LAB:
This weekly Tuesday night class with instructor Carol Pederson allows actors to review the fundamentals of acting technique, brush up audition skills, and explore scenes from the plays in Live Arts' new season. Drop-in session from 7-8pm, full session from 7-10pm. The Attic, The Glass Building, Studio 208, 313 Second St. SE, Studio 208. $10 drop-in. 977-4177 x100.

Scottish country dancing: First night free, no partner necessary. Parish hall, St. Paul's Church, Ivy. Call if you need a ride. $3. 6:30pm. 979-0939.

WALKABOUT
Adventure slide show:
Come hear the travel stories of outdoor enthusiast Robyn Vorous as she shares her recent adventures traveling through Chile and Peru. Blue Ridge Mountain Sports. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 7pm. Free. 977-4400.

Wintergreen heritage trail hike: Virginia Foster leads a seven-mile round trip over gently rolling hills along the Rivanna River. Bring lunch and water. Please register by Tuesday at noon. Moderate difficulty. 8:30am. $7 members, $10 non-members. 325 8169.

The New Male Empire: Meets at 7pm at Gordon Ave. library to talk about marriage, divorce, money, love, and more. 961-7762.

TUNES
The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival at the Jefferson Theater:
Featuring Ravel's "Violin Sonata," Kernis' "The Four Seasons of Futurist Cuisine," and Beethoven's "Piano Trio." $14/$20/students $5, 8pm.

OM Trio with TBA at Starr Hill. $5, 10pm.

Karaoke Night at Baja Bean. Free, 8pm.

Jamie and Rolland (partial bluegrass mayhem) at the Blue Moon Diner. No cover, 8pm. (W)

Glen Mack at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Steve and Timmy Ryalls (acoustic duo) at Dürty Nelly's. $3, 8pm. (W)

Robert Walter's 20th Congress (jazz/funk) with The Greyhounds (funk/soul from East Texas) at Starr Hill. $12/$10 advance, 9pm.

WEDNESDAY, September 24
PERFORMANCE
Coffeehouse 13:
See Thursday, September 18. Tonight is pay-what-you-can night.

MFA Reading Series: New Dominion Books hosts weekly readings by writers from UVA's well-known MFA program. 8pm. Free. 924-6675.

Country dance night: Couples and line dancing at Fry's Spring Beach Club. Runs simultaneously with the Club's Latin Dance Night. Dance lesson free with cover. Lesson 7pm, dancing 8-11pm. 2512 Jefferson Park Ave. $7 cover, $4 full-time students. 977-0491.

Latin dance night: Latin dancing at Fry's Spring Beach Club. Runs simultaneously with the Club's Country Dance Night. 8-11pm. 2512 Jefferson Park Ave. $7 cover. 977-0491.

Much Ado about Nothing: Staunton's acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare presents the Bard's lighthearted romantic comedy at the Blackfriars Playhouse. 10:30am. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. $10-26. 540-885-5588.

FAMILY
More little literati:
The five-and-under crowd can hear storyteller favorites at Barnes & Noble's preschool story time. Stickers and cookies are part of the fun too. 10:30am. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

Tartuffe: Staunton's acclaimed Shenandoah Shakespeare presents a new production of Moliere's comic masterpiece in the Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. 10 S. Market St., Staunton. Pay what you can night. 540-885-5588.

TUNES
Josh Mayo at Awful Arthur's. No cover, 10pm (W)

Benny Dodd (cover-man) at Coupe DeVille's. No cover, 10pm. (W)

Jeff Decker and Mike Rosensky Quartet (jazz) at Miller's. No cover, 9pm. (W)

Siamese at Orbit. No cover, 10:30pm. (W)

Open Jam at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 7pm. (W)

Atlas at South Street. No cover, 10pm.

Mark Goldstein and Tusker (acoustic rock) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. No cover, 9:30pm. (W)

THURSDAY, September 25
PERFORMANCE
Coffeehouse 13:
See Thursday, September 18. Tonight's show is at 7:30pm.

Scene acting study for teens: See Thursday, September 18.

Slow Food benefit: Slow Food Virginia, the local branch of an international movement to preserve traditional food preparation, hosts a pre-concert reception and lecture, "Marinetti's Futurist Cuisine," at the Virginia National Bank location on the Downtown Mall. The event precedes an 8pm concert by the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival at the Jefferson Theater. 6-7:30pm. $20 with new Slow Food membership, $30 members, $40 general public. 971-5566.

Much Ado about Nothing: See Wednesday, September 24. Tonight's show is at 7:30pm.

FAMILY AND WALKABOUT
Fairly fun:
It's time for the granddaddy of all fairs: the State Fair of Virginia. Carnival rides, demolition derby, Rawhide Rodeo, Funky Farmworks, exhibits, livestock shows and rides, agriculture shows, Word War I re-enactors, West Texas Rattlesnake Show, antique shoppers row, Heritage Village, mad scientists, games, live entertainment, food, a parade a day, fireworks, and much more. Today through October 5. 10am-10pm. $18 adults, $14 children ages 3-6. Richmond Raceway Complex (I-64 to the Strawberry Hill exit). 804-569-3247. statefair.com.

More little literati: See Wednesday, September 24.

TUNES
Jim Waive (country-folk) at the Blue Moon Diner. Free, 8pm (W)

Karaoke Night with DJ Wild Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings. Free, 9pm (W)

Chicken Head Blues Band at Dürty Nelly's. $4, 9pm. (W)

John D'earth and friends (freeform jazz) at Miller's. $4, 10pm. (W)

Game Night at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 5pm. (W)

Middle Eastern Belly Dance Class at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books. Free, 6:30pm. (W)

OM Trio at Starr Hill. $5, 10pm.

Kathy Olsen Trio (jazz) upstairs at Tokyo Rose. Free, 9:30pm. (W)

Bruce Lee Power Kicks and 40 oz boys at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30pm.

ONGOING AND UPCOMING
WALKABOUT
Join the conversation:
English as Second Language learners interact with native English speakers at the Dialogue Café in the Adult Learning Center at 1000 Preston Ave. Thursday mornings, 11:30am-1pm. 245-2815.

Historic Downtown Charlottesville: Walking tour given by the Albemarle County Historical Society. $3. Meet at the McIntire Building, 200 Second St. Saturdays 10am. 296-1492.

Flora and fauna: Each Sunday at 9:30am through the end of October, Monticello offers a free guided walking tour of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway, the linear park along the Route 53 entrance corridor to Jefferson's mountaintop home. The leisurely walks led by naturalist Jay Kardan cover three miles and last about two hours. Meet at Kemper Park, at the base of the Parkway. Rain or Shine. Call 984-9822 for more information.

Seminar on stained glass: Every Saturday, geared to beginners but open to anyone. Call by Friday to reserve a spot. Blue Ridge Glass &Craft, McIntire Business Park at 1724 Allied St. Free. 3:30-5pm. 293 2876.

Settling down: Midday meditation, Tuesdays 12:15-12:45pm and Thursdays, 12:15-1:15pm. Free, but donations are accepted. Gesher Center, 1824 University Circle. 970-7836

2003 Spirit Walk: The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society announces open auditions on Saturday, September 27, at 10am and 7pm for actors who would like to participate in the October 24, 25, and 26 Spirit Walk. No experience necessary. Auditions will be held at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society at 200 Second St. NE. Behind-the-scenes volunteers are also needed. 296-1492

WORDS
Bulked up:
The Charlottesville Writing Center has a larger Fall schedule of classes with courses on screenwriting, journaling, and "Matters of Life and Death" supplementing the perennial fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. My favorite this year is a workshop called Sit & Write, in which Heather Burns teaches us to sit still and focus. A writing oasis, as it were. Course schedules, fees and bios on line cvillewrites.org/class.html. Or 293-3702.

FAMILY
Making tracks:
The Autumn Leaf Rambler chugs into the forested countryside of rural Buckingham County offering folks a unique peek at the peak of fall foliage from the vantage of a vintage passenger train. Early reservations are recommended for this very popular excursion offering morning and afternoon round trips from the Dillwyn station on October 11, 18, and 25. Fare is $20 for adults, $10 for children. Rt. 15 in Dillwyn. 800-451-6318. odcnrhs.org.

Pickin' apples: Now through October 31, folks are invited to join in the harvest and pick your own apples at Carter Mountain Orchard. Pre-picked fruit is also available along with fresh cider and the orchard's famous apple cider donuts. Priced per pound. Bags are available. Off Rt. 53. 977-1833.

Fan club: UVA sports fans in grades eight and under can join the crowd for a variety of games and get special perks besides with a Cavalier Kids Club membership. For $35, Cavalier Kids get admission to regular season home games for men's and women's soccer, women's basketball, men's and women's lacrosse, and baseball; an official T-shirt and lunch bag; special seating and court-side meet-and-greet opportunities at basketball games; drawings and prizes; and more. Enrollment is open all year, but the sooner you sign up, the sooner you can start cashing in. Entry forms available on-line or at the Athletic Ticket Office in Bryant Hall. 982-5600. virginiasports.com.

Discovering plants and animals: The Virginia Museum of Natural History at UVA offers another Lewis and Clark exploration. Visitors can learn about the plants and animals that the Corps of Discovery encountered on their historic journey in the exhibit "Natural History Pioneers: The Flora and Fauna of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" through December 11. Admission is free. 104 Emmet St. 982-4605.

ART LIST
Through November 1 at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, "Whichaway? Photographs from Kiwirrkura 1974-1996" by Jon Rhodes, and "Sacred Circles: The Tingari Cycle in Western Desert Art." Also, anthropologist Dr. Fred Myers of New York University presents a talk, "Giving to Canberra? Getting a Motorcar? Pintupi Painting at Yayayi in the 1970s" at the gallery on Friday, September 26 at 7pm. 400 Peter Jefferson Place, off Route 250 East at Pantops. 244-0234.

The Free Union County School design competition winners' designs are on display at the Main Street Market Gallery through September. 416 W. Main St. 244-7800.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church shows "Transitions," an exhibit of oil paintings by Tom Walsh, through October 5. 717 Rugby Road. 293-8179.

Pam Reynolds exhibits "Skin Artifacts" through September 24 in the V. Earl Dickinson Building at PVCC, 501 College Drive. 977-3900.

John Ruseau exhibits his own work at John Ruseau Watercolors in York Place on the Downtown Mall. 112 W. Main St. 977-0627.

Mixed-media collages by Nym Pedersen hang at City Centro during September. 323 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 996-2655.

UVA art faculty bid adieu to Fayerweather Gallery in an annual faculty exhibit, "Last Tango," through September. Rugby Road. 924-6123.

Through September 30: "Jewels of the Night," a space photography exhibit by members of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society. Northside Library in Albemarle Square. 957-4231

"Technogaia," work by Mark Graves and Clark Whittington, is now on display at Gravity Lounge, 103 S. First St. technogaia.net. 977-5590.

Jerry O'Dell's paintings and stained glass creations are on view at Blue Ridge Glass & Crafts, 1724 Allied St. 293-2876.

In September, the McGuffey Art Center presents work by painter Gresham Sykes and an exhibit by the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild. Sykes' exhibit, "Myth and Metaphor," features a series of recent paintings that evoke a sense of mystery and primitive power, like the archaeological ruins of an ancient civilization. The paintings by the CVWG members are executed in traditional watercolor as well as gouache and other water media. Both shows run through September 28. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

The Second Street Gallery jumps back to its '70s self with an exhibit titled "Artists Among Us: Art by Second Street Gallery Artist Members," through September 28. 201 Second St. NW. 977-7284. See Art feature, page XX.

Anne de la Tour Hopper exhibits at Bozart Gallery through September 28. 211 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. 296-3919. bozartgallery.org

Kate Coughlin Dahmen exhibits her watercolors, oils, artist books, and ceramic tiles of verdant spaces, hidden gardens, lakes, and marshes at the New Dominion Bookshop through September. 404 E. Main St. 925-2552.

In September, Transient Crafters presents Barbara Albert's pastel paintings of Italy, through September. 118 W. Main on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

At the University of Virginia Art Museum, "Purple with Love's Wound," Tim Rollins' collaboration with K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), middle-school students from the South Bronx, opens September 19 and runs through November 9. The exhibit combines images and themes from classic literature. Also at the museum, "Roads Taken: 20th Century Prints and Drawings from the Collection, runs through October 5; and Gay Outlaw's "New Work," a site-specific installation, runs through October 12. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3952.

In September, at Art Upstairs, Coy Roy exhibits "Here and Over There," a series of watercolors. 316 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall above the Hardware Store Restaurant. 923-3900.

An exhibit of paintings by Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association members is on display at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport in the upper level mezzanine through September 30. 201 Bowen Loop. 973-8341.

At Les Yeux du Monde at Dot 2 Dot, take a trip in the time machine with "Hindsight/Fore-site Revisited," an exhibit as reflection on the city-wide installation project of the same name which took place a few years ago. This exhibit also marks the publication of "Siting Jefferson," a book of essays and photos about and of that exhibit, through September 27. 115 S. First St. 973-5566.

Radar

Marcus Alan Vincent exhibits "Sojourn in a Dream" at the Williams School Library at Washington and Lee University, through December 31. Lexington. 540-458-8602.

Sea Aviar's "3," a show of new work, runs through September 30 at Caffè Bocce, Valley St., Scottsville. 286-4422.

Jonathan Lee Weaver exhibits his "Stay in the Circle, Sue," new works in vinyl, through September 26 at the Miller Gallery in the Kline Campus Center of Bridgewater College. Bridgewater. 540-828-5684.

The Baker Gallery at Woodberry Forest School features the paintings and sculpture of John Lynch in an exhibit entitled "Applied Metaphysics,"through October 31, with an opening on Thursday, September 18, at 6pm. Orange. 540-672-3900.

Sunspots Studios in Staunton offer live glassblowing demonstrations every day with master glassblower Phillip Nolley and art glass artist Minh Martin, both in residence. Corner of Lewis and Middlebrook streets in downtown Staunton, across from the train station. 540-885-0678.

Danette Zirkle exhibits "Tell Me About the Rabbits," an exhibit she describes as "bunnies, critters, and country scenes" in acrylic through the end of October in the Bank Building at the corner of Market and Mason streets in Harrisonburg. portrait@shentel.net.

At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the distorted realism of Robert Lazzarini is on view October 5 - January 4. 2800 Grove Ave., Richmond. 804-204-2704.

FEATURES/FEATURES/FEATURES
ART
Looking back: Second Street's making a move
BY AARON STEINBERG ART@READTHEHOOk.COM

The failed and largely inconsequential journey of a certain pair of explorers may have occasioned something of a civic extravaganza lately. But don't let that hoo-ha overshadow a more modest and certainly more locally relevant recent anniversary.

The Second Street Gallery celebrates its 30th year this month with a show that also marks its last hoorah at the old McGuffey building. On October 31, Second Street will hold opening ceremonies for their brand new space on the corner of Water and Second streets.

In 1973, a small group of local artists formed the Second Street Gallery as an artist-run space open to new forms of modern art. (If you get a chance, check out the photograph the Second Street staff dug up and posted on the front of their Fall newsletter. It catches the original early '70s members looking very rakish in their gallery's inaugural year.)

The space was established to give Charlottesville a place for local modern art as well as a place for exciting new art from up and down the Atlantic coast. Three decades on, the gallery still adheres to that mission.

The Second Street decided to mark their anniversary and leave the old space with a bang by packing the gallery with artwork by 55 artists who have exhibited there over the years. The gallery asked only one thing of the artists– that they adhere to a certain size restriction. Quite a few submitted a little something, and the walls are absolutely packed with work.

The exhibit, "30 Years, Three Decades of New Art at the Second Street Gallery," does look a little like a McGuffey show. After all, the wild range of work on display doesn't fit into the typical, stylishly curated Second Street style, and there are more than a few regular McGuffey members displaying work here.

Alan O'Neil's placid geometry and Judy McLeod's collaged and ruddy, basket-carrying women, as just two examples, are familiar sights for McGuffey hallways. Nevertheless, this is all in good fun–a fitting and outsized tribute to 30 years of art and curatorial smarts.

The Second Street is responsible for more than its fair share of Charlottesville's most innovative exhibits. There's nothing wrong with advertising that every few decades or so.

The Second Street Gallery jumps back to its '70s self with an exhibit titled "Artists Among Us: Art by Second Street Gallery Artist Members" through September 28. 201 Second St. NW. 977-7284.

WORDS
Think about it: Philosophy takes to the airwaves
By ELIZABETH KIEM WORDS@READTHEHOOK.COM

Well, actually they're taped. But man oh man, what air-time they're getting. The pilot program of "Thinking Out Loud," a new channel 13 talk show, will air twice weekly through September and October. And we're talking prime-time!

And yes, we're talking public access.

"The irony is I don't have cable. I can't even see my own show," confesses producer and host Steve Donaldson.

Donaldson, who's skipped merrily from med school to personal growth counseling during his many years in Charlottesville, is a serious philosophy group junkie. He's a regular at the Socrates Café at Barnes & Noble, and earlier this year set up the Tea With Socrates forum at Twisted Branch in order to get his "open, honest, and civil discourse" fix on the B&N off-weeks.

In his spare time, when he's not debating essential questions with like-minded discoursers, he's very likely transcribing past discussions on to his website. From memory.

In fact, Donaldson originally hoped to release these deep discourses into the public access airwaves by radio (in which case he would probably have had to record them). But since Charlottesville lacks such an outlet, he enrolled in a certification course to get hooked up with channel 13.

Last week, with technical expertise from his daughter Mickie, Donaldson aired the first installment of "an ongoing series of philosophical dialogues with everyday people." Ten of them, to be exact. The topic was the timeless question, "What is love?"

For an hour, the mic passed, the cameras panned, and the guests talked. Many requested clarification: "Are we talking romantic love, erotic love, I love my dog love?" "Love is the answer, what's the question? "What do you mean by 'is'?"

Others proudly bared their "everyday" credentials by repeating the age-old canard that the earth's very rotation is mechanized by love. One guest won this viewer over when he pronounced friendship "the most underrated love."

Donaldson says he's pleased with the initial episode of "Thinking Out Loud." At the least, he's confident that it stands up well beside today's higher budget talk show format, most of which Donaldson finds "too aggressive."

His moderator role-model is not, in fact, Socrates (who was aggressive himself in the way of a stately sage), but the late Fred Friendly, the television journalism talk show pioneer who resigned from CBS in 1964 when the network pre-empted Congressional Hearings on the Vietnam War in favor of "I Love Lucy."

You can understand how that hurts a fellow who values thinking as a virtue.

Thinking out Loud airs Tuesdays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 10:30pm repeating the season premiere "What is Love" through September. Episode II (What is Evil?) will be taped Monday, September 22, and guests are still being selected. To participate or suggest a topic (What is Evil Love?) contact Steve Donaldson at 296-5554 or philosopher@growingagain.com

WALKABOUT
Come together: Teaching the fine points of peace
BY SOPHIA COUDENHOVE WALKABOUT@READTHEHOOK.COM
At the downtown Mudhouse in March this year, two off-duty Marines were arguing about what to do with Charlottesville's anti-war demonstrators. The younger had come here on his last day before deployment to Iraq in order to throw tomatoes at protestors and their placards.

"Hey, these guys may be morons," said the elder, "but it's those freedoms you're going over there to protect." The younger reluctantly agreed, and stuck to picking arguments with the cafe's clientele.

He wanted to find anti-war activists, and saw Charlottesville as the best place in the area to do so. A few days later, protesters marched down West Main street and occupied the intersection at Ridge-McIntire as well as Congressman Virgil Goode's office. Eight were arrested.

Six months later, nobody seems placated, on either side of the political spectrum. But on the weekend of September 20 and 21, a few Charlottesvillians will make an effort to help fellow citizens either air their anger (political or otherwise) in non-violent ways, or get rid of it altogether.

On Saturday, September 20, the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, which organized much of last Spring's anti-war activity, holds a Nonviolent Resistance Training workshop. The next day is the United Nations' International Day of Peace, and a Peace Picnic in Lee Park is set to mark the occasion.

Mary Grace and Sue Frankel-Streit, both veteran activists who have been arrested at several political demonstrations, are the workshop leaders.

Does such action really promote peace?

"There's a difference between aggression and violence," Grace says. "It's vital to be aggressive in our demands, but I draw a very clear line. I won't hurt an individual, and I won't scare anyone."

While the workshop hopes to educate those who wish to participate in civil disobedience and provide information about upcoming actions, its goals are far broader: to train participants in peacefully engaging with any kind of adversaries, be they security guards, traffic cops, or family members.

"We do our best to look them in the eye and engage with them in a non-violent way," Grace says.

And in a recent court battle with her brother, she said they both did handstands before entering the court room– in an attempt to establish an old childhood bond.

Unlike the workshop, Sunday's Peace Picnic lays down the concept of resistance, at least temporarily, and is born of an effort to make activism breed unity rather than divisiveness.

"There's a place for outrage, but there's a place for getting rid of that," said organizer Brian Wimer. "Let's dump all the divisive talk, sit down and break bread together… We're trying to reach out to different, disparate– even diametrically opposed– groups and get them together."

The Nonviolence Resistance Training is Saturday, September 2,0 10am-3pm at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 1901 Thomson Road. Suggested donation $14. Bring lunch. 456-6028.

The Peace Picnic is Sunday, September 21, from 1pm at Lee Park, whatever the weather. Bring a dish. groups.yahoo.com/group/cville_kucinich

FAMILY
Jamesfest! Scottsville's new park shines
BY LINDA KOBERT FAMILY@READTHEHOOK.COM

For the town of Scottsville, the 1830s and '40s were a heyday. Hundreds of batteaux and packet boats from Richmond arrived in this tiny inland port each day delivering tobacco, corn, and wheat destined for Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and beyond.

This weekend, Scottsville celebrates their former glory days along with the opening of the new Canal Basin Square park with "Jamesfest 2003."

"It's an outdoor history museum that's been five years in the making," says Mayor Steve Phipps of the park.

During the festival, visitors can tour Canal Basin Square with its working model of a river lock and a life-size replica of the flat-bottomed boat called a batteau that were crafted for the park by volunteers. Just across the street, Scottsville Museum offers history buffs more fascination with self-guided tours of the current exhibit "Whispers from the Past."

The rest of Saturday's fun will take visitors all around the town of today with a craft fair at Dorrier Park from 8am-5pm; a "Trash and Treasure Sale" at the Community Center from 9am-1pm; a "Bear Care Clinic" for ailing Teddys and other stuffed pets at the James River Animal Hospital from 9-9:30am; a Children's Tea Party at the library featuring Ratty, Mole, Badger, and Mr. Toad from 10am-noon; and a "Doo Dah Parade" (you'll have to see it to believe it) along the levee at 12:30pm.

After the dedication of Canal Basin Square at 2pm, Adam Longo from Channel 29 emcees an open mic opportunity for fearless performers from songbirds to storytellers. At 8pm the Victoria Hall Theatre presents a musical celebration of the songwriting genius of Cole Porter called "Getting a Kick out of Cole." And ghosts from Scottsville's past haunt the night with a "Spirit Walk" leaving from the theatre at 9:30pm.

Sunday's events include an antique car show and music at the Village Square Shopping Center, a guided History Walk of downtown Scottsville and its historic homes at 3pm, and an interdenominational Vespers Service at Canal Basin Square at 5pm.

It's not exactly a journey back in time, but Jamesfest 2003 is one of those festivals that offers a little something for everybody.

Jamesfest takes place September 20-21. A complete schedule of events can be found on the website. Most activities are free. For more information, call 286-9267. avenue.org/jamesfest. See news story about Canal Basin Square.

PERFORMANCE
Stories, art, blues: Friedman does it all
BY STEPHEN BOYKEWICH PERFORMANCE@READTHEHOOK.COM

Why is it that every time an artist takes to the road with a country-blues-inspired slide-show-and-storytelling tour, people act like there's something special about it?

If I didn't know any better, I'd think the whole world had forgotten about the original artist-storyteller, the great John Banvard, that titan of American art, the richest and most famous artist on the planet for a solid two decades in the second half of the nineteenth century.

But let's move on.

Andy Friedman, who appears at Gravity Lounge this Saturday, can draw like an angel. Or, as he says, "like Ingres, if he listened to Skip James and drank Thunderbird." He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. He once spent three years on an oil painting. He's a regular contributor to The New Yorker.

Not necessarily the guy you'd expect to find telling stories in back-country bars.

Since March 2002, though, that's just what he's done. Friedman has been all across America, accompanied by Charlottesville singer/songwriter Paul Curreri, on "The Make a Living Tour." Friedman's half of the show consists of a rambling, partially improvised monologue accompanying slide projections of his recent artwork: mostly Polaroids taken through car windows.

Friedman may refer to his works as "tracks" and his books as "albums." The captions that accompany his images may consist of stolen blues lyrics. It's true he named the company he founded to publish his first book City Salvage Records. But to call him a frustrated musician would miss the point.

This is a man who talks about Ingres and Thunderbird in the same breath. His new book offers his own version of Picasso's Desmoiselles D'Avignon. He's as serious about the visual as a visual artist can be. He wants something in addition, though, something the conventional visual art world can't give: the visceral connection with an audience that's the lifeblood of stage actors, stand-up comedians, and, well, musicians.

Whether Friedman knows it or not, he's right in line with old John Banvard, the man who painted a three-mile-long scrolling canvas of the Mississippi River and toured the world, delivering a rambling, partially improvised monologue while showing his work.

I'm all for Friedman making millions, as Banvard did. I'm all for the current Queen of England liking Friedman as much as Queen Victoria liked Banvard. I just hope Friedman doesn't wind up the way Banvard did: in a pauper's grave in North Dakota.

On the other hand, for a guy who loves the blues that much, it might be just the thing.

Andy Friedman performs at the Gravity Lounge on Saturday, September 20, with singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault. Performance begins at 8:30pm. 103 S. First St. $5 cover. 977-5590.

TUNES
Men in black? "Outlaws" pay tribute to Cash
BY MARK GRABOWSKI TUNES@READTHEHOOK.COM

It happens, as these things do, that I decided to write a preview of the modern country band Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash's show at Starr Hill only a short time before the death of the great musician himself.

The group's press makes it clear that the band name had the full blessings of Cash, who also helped the group earlier in their career, and because the act's music is sure to make for one of the best shows in town this week, I'm going to throw off the synchronicity of my choice and just get down to it.

The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, though quite different in sound and attitude than their faux-father, are worthy of a little periodical digression.

Formed in 1995 by singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Stuart, the San Diego-based Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash's big break happened when they obtained the opening slot for country legend Merle Haggard, which led to a string of openings for Willie Nelson and Dale Watson.

In 2000, the group released their debut, the "outlaw country" themed Walk Alone, and after a severe line-up change that left Stuart as the group's only remaining founding member, 2002 saw the release of the group's latest, Distance Between.

The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash are the type of neo-country group that even the most stringent pop aficionado could love. Their music, more pop with accents and slide guitar than songs about pickups (actually it's a Monte Carlo Chevrolet) and losing the farm, is the musical equivalent of a gate-way drug– aiding in the transition from something like the indie-pop group Apples In Stereo to say, Dwight Yoakum in a few easy moves.

Distance Between begins with "Monte Carlo," an up-tempo rebel-rouser– a driving song for lovers of 2/4 drumbeats. "I pour myself behind to wheel / Too tired to think and too numb to feel / and hear that 350 whining low," Stuart begins in a strong baritone, in what could be called the standard country-blues melodic progression.

The chorus is where Stuart's songwriting takes off-&endash; shades of Bryan Adams (hilarious, I know, but the man had the pop knack), mixed with a kind of countrified-Beatles come out to dance as guitarist Dean Cote plays down his affection for the slide and instead pulls out some George Harrison style lead-riffs.

"Hard Times" sounds like some lost U2 hit from the '80s, where Bono has taken his love of Americana to an extreme and even acquired the country accent. The album's title track would easily find a home on Sting's 1993 solo outing Ten Summoner's Tales (You or your mother owned a copy, remember?), catchy, simple, and immediately memorable.

Modern "outlaw country," a little edgy, a little sweet. And you better believe there will be a Johnny Cash cover or two.

The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash perform with Geoff West at Starr Hill, Sunday, September 21. $5, 9pm.