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What to Know Before You Go


Ralph "Soul" Jackson
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thu., Aug. 16
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600;

In partnership with the Ogden After Hours series, the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau present yet another ringer from their vaults of obscure and underappreciated soul and R&B treasures: Ralph "Soul" Jackson, whose early set at the Ponderosa Stomp this year was one of the surprise highlights of the marathon rock and soul revue. Jackson's status as a legend is partly due to the record-collector's ratio that equates rarity with quality. The half-dozen singles Jackson cut in Muscle Shoals in the '60s and early '70s have sold for more than a thousand dollars each on the U.K. collectors' market. While the wheels of fate kept Jackson from ever hitting the big time, his Stomp show proved he is not just another oddity from the crypt. His upbeat southern soul has an infectious, danceable groove that can't help but get crowds on their feet. His interview at the Ogden, by human R&B encyclopedia Dr. Ike Padnos, should reveal the workaday side of the music business in the South during the soul-drenched '60s, when stop/start careers like Jackson's were more the norm than shooting stars like Otis Redding. After 40 years, Jackson has never stopped writing, performing and recording. Tickets $10. — Alison Fensterstock




David Allan Coe
8 p.m. Fri., Aug. 17
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

The ongoing hipster revival of rural American signifiers has — in several waves of ironic chic — shone a spotlight on many things, including Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, trucker hats and, lately, mustaches. The tongue-in-cheek love affair with all things red of neck has also introduced the plainspoken, playfully rough-edged country star David Allan Coe to a whole new audience. Hipster cred aside, Coe's humorous outlaw-country style is the real deal. The former biker is the man behind s**t-kickin', truck-drivin' country gems like the hilarious "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" and the hard-drinker's anthem "Jack Daniel's If You Please." He also wrote the heartrending Tanya Tucker hit "Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)," suggesting that even the most grizzled rocker may have a heart of gold beating beneath his NASCAR T-shirt. In 2006, Coe released an album of material ( Rebel Meets Rebel ) that he recorded with members of the New Orleans-born metal band Pantera, including the late Dimebag Darrell. Rest assured, the man can still rile up a roadhouse. Bring plenty of drinking money. Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre open. Tickets $22.50. — Fensterstock


Saturdays in the Park with Susan Cowsill
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sat., Aug. 18
Washington Square Park (corner of Frenchmen and Royal streets), 558-6100

We quite like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's new mandate to bring more free festivals to the people of New Orleans — especially during the summer, when there's hardly anyone here but us locals. Its latest offering is this free Saturday afternoon concert series, which kicked off last week with a performance by the Charmaine Neville Band. A joint effort with the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, the series spotlights the ladies of local music. The schedule also includes Gal Holiday's Honky Tonk Revue (Aug. 25), Linnzi Zaorski and Delta Royale (Sept. 1) and the Pfister Sisters (Sept. 8). This week features Susan Cowsill, whose roots-inflected, sunny country/pop has been a mainstay of New Orleans' Uptown music scene since the days of the Continental Drifters. She has gained a following for monthly performances that feature her take on classic albums. Along with her originals, you're likely to hear selections from the Beatles, the Monkees, the Clash or Joni Mitchell. Anyone who is already growing parched thinking of standing outside during the day will be pleased to know that the series is sponsored by Evian and Malibu Rum, which will both have libations for sale on site. Free admission. — Fensterstock


This is England
7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Fri.-Thu., Aug. 17-23; through Aug. 30
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center, Tulane University School of Architecture, Richardson Memorial hall, 827-5858;

It's far easier to be nostalgic for the first wave of British punk than the more menacing and xenophobic skinhead movement that subsequently rose out of disaffected lower-class Britain under Margaret Thatcher. Yet Shaun, the 12-year-old lost soul at the center of This is England , falls into the skinhead movement for very sympathetic reasons, all pleasantly set to a reggae soundtrack. His father has been killed in the Falklands War, a relatively minor conflict that nonetheless helped Thatcher's conservative party win re-election. The film is an amazingly sensitive and gripping profile of Shaun's vulnerability to the preaching and ranting of Combo, a skinhead hardened in his racial hatreds by a recent stint in jail. Shaun's own streak of pride and anger earn him his skin stripes for standing up to bullies, no matter how big, but he isn't ignorant so much as immature. It's only a matter of time before he is exposed to Combo's true colors. The skinheads may be stuck on rage at government, Pakistani immigrants and economic stagnation, but Shaun is going through a painful adolescence and could grow out of it if he gets his head straight. Thomas Turgoose is outstanding as Shaun in director Shane Meadows' remarkable film, based in part on some of his own experiences. IFC Films brings welcome relief from Britain for audiences looking for a summer film with style and substance. Tickets $7 general admission, $6 students/seniors, $5 Zeitgeist members. — Will Coviello

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