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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

The Heartless Bastards with Pearlene
9 p.m. Wed., Sept. 12
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net

Fat Possum recording artists the Heartless Bastards, hailing from Cincinnati, are small-town kids made good — driven largely by the shack-shaking, sandpaper-edged vocals that emanate from frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom. The group's 2006 album All This Time , the follow-up to the aggressive barroom-rock debut Stairs and Elevators, finds the band toning down the all-out assault in favor of craftier melodies and touches of gentle psychedelia, although it still serves up enough muddy, bluesy rock 'n' roll to get everyone in the house plenty dirty. The Bastards are joined by Pearlene, a quartet of fellow Ohioans whose organ and piano-heavy garage-blues sound is addictively groovy. At times, its rollicking Americana evokes feel-good roots-rockers like The Band. Then the band tears into trippy, guitar-driven powerhouses that sound as if Syd Barrett crossed frequencies with Canned Heat. Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door. — Fensterstock

EVENT

The International Cultural Arts Foundation Presents Cultural Diversity Day
2 p.m.-10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 15
City Park, Marconi Meadows, 569-9070; www.ashecac.org

With world music, an arts and crafts pavilion and — perhaps most enticingly — an international foods area featuring Caribbean comestibles like jerked chicken and Haitian rum cake, the International Cultural Arts Foundation's third annual event celebrates the influences of African, Latin and island cultures on New Orleans with exuberant tropical style. Produced in conjunction with the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, the event features the funky, globally influenced rhythms of Cyril Neville and his Uptown Allstars, reggae-hybrid acts the Revealers and Bamboula 2000 featuring the African percussion of Luther Gray, and many other performers. The Children's Global Playground features kid-friendly events all day, with face-painting, mask-making, painting, storytelling, dancing and drumming. Tickets are available at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center (1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.). Free parking. Tickets $25, free for children 12-under. — Fensterstock

STAGE

The Red Light District Variety Show
11 p.m. Sat., Sept. 15
Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com or www.myspace/redlightdistrictvariety

The Red Light District Variety Show took some time off this summer just when a crop of scandals came into full bloom. But the affairs of senators Vitter and Craig don't appear to be going away soon, so the show's writers have plenty of material to hit the ground running. The biweekly late-night variety show resumes Saturday, Sept. 15. Expect the usual mix of comedy sketches, political satire, musical guests and surprises from many local theater veterans. Master of ceremonies Jim Fitzmorris is joined by Aimee Hayes, Sean Patterson, Cammie West, Evan Prizant, Morla Gorrondona, Rebecca Frank, Angie Joachim, Farrar Hudkins and the ever-popular Ray Nagin Puppet. Special guests include the Broken Smokes (pictured) and Trixie Minx of Fleur de Tease. Tickets $15. — Coviello

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