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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

The Walkmen
9 p.m. Wed., Oct. 8
Republic, 828 S. Peters St., 528-8282; www.republicnola.com

The New York-based Walkmen — former members of the underground favorite Jonathan Fire*Eater — established a signature sound of droning, textured hipster ennui punctuated by chaotic rock breaks with the band's first three albums, starting out in 2002 with the critically lauded Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone . With the most recent release, this year's You & Me (recorded partly at Mississippi's Sweet Tea Studios), the jaded Brooklynites seem to have softened and perked up a bit. The trailing, echoey quality of the production is still there, but the songs are upbeat, with clean vocals, moody horns and humming '60s-style organ. It's essential Walkmen neo-rock shuffle, but as if a veil has been lifted off the layers of sound to suddenly present the group with clear immediacy . The effect is pure rock 'n' roll. Opening are the City Life, the lush, edgy local art-rockers, and the Little Ones, a perky, folksy pop-psych outfit from sunny California. Tickets $12 in advance, $14 at the door. — Alison Fensterstock

 

MUSIC

Juan-Carlos Formell
8 p.m. & 10 p.m. Thu.-Fri., Oct. 9-10
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com

CubaNola Arts Collective presents the Cuban composer, vocalist and guitar legend whose visits to New Orleans have become more frequent in recent years. He recorded his latest album, Johnny's Dream Club (for which these shows serve as a release party), at Piety Street Studios in April with local jazz bandleader and educator Dr. Michael White on clarinet. The shows are scheduled to commemorate the Cuban holiday of "El 10 de Octubre," which marks the beginning of Cuba's war of independence from Spain. The album is a delirious whirl of ethereal tone poems and intense, almost nightmarish guitar, all meant to evoke Cuba's chaotic history. The title refers to a legendary Havana cabaret of the '50s, and here it represents a symbolic place outside of time and tumult, where music rules. The all-star band includes White on clarinet, Cuban pianist Osmanay Paredes, Argentinian bassist Pedro Giraudo, Cuban percussionist Jorge Leyva, and Lewis Kahn on violin and trombone. Tickets $25. — Fensterstock

 

 

MUSIC

Buddy Guy
9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 11
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

Born in Louisiana, Buddy Guy cut his first single in Baton Rouge in 1957 before heading for the bright lights of Chicago, where he developed the scorching electric style that was as much a landmark for rock 'n' roll as for the blues. The Rolling Stones counted themselves big fans, and even a young Jimi Hendrix acknowledged Guy's early blistering experiments with fuzz as an influence on his own later travels into psychedelia. Guy's diverse career rides the night train through primitive Delta sounds all the way up into the spaceways. At 72, the five-time Grammy winner is actually a young pup compared to the other architects of the sound, and he's not quitting yet. His latest album, Skin Deep — which features guest spots from sacred-steel player Robert Randolph, Eric Clapton and Susan Tedeschi — was released in July. This show also features an appearance from House of Blues celebrity founder Dan Aykroyd, aka Elwood Blues. Tickets $40. — Fensterstock

 

 

EVENT

New Orleans Film Festival
Fri.-Thu. Oct. 10-16
Various locations; www.neworleansfilmfest.com

© 2008 Fox Searchlight Pictures
The 19th annual New Orleans Film Festival gets the action rolling with the opening night screening of The Secret Life of Bees , starring Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys (pictured). The following week includes an array of screenings at Canal Place, the Prytania and the CAC. Some of the feature films include Happy-Go-Lucky (also Friday night), New Orleans Mon Amour by local filmmaker Michael Almereyda, and Exiles , a project by Native American writer Sherman Alexie and art-house favorite Charles Burnett. Documentaries cover everything from Hurricane Katrina ( Axe in the Attic , Katrina's Children ) to the exotica of nerdcore music ( Nerdcore For Life ), the dirty politics of snowmobiles ( A Snow Mobile for George ) and an homage to tattoo artist Jerry the Sailor ( Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry ), who left his talented mark on thousands of soldiers and sailors who shipped through Honolulu during World War II, leaving the phrase "Stewed, Screwed and Tattooed" for posterity. There are showcases of local works, including Jason Berry's award-winning Vows of Silence about the Catholic Church sex scandal, and George Ingmire's Think of Me First as a Person , about a boy with Down syndrome. Film screenings continue through Thursday, Oct. 16. See www.bestofneworleans.com for reviews of many of the abovementioned films and more. Also check www.blogofneworleans.com for links to film trailers and more commentary. There also is a showcase of festival award winners and a slate of music-related films. See the festival Web site for a full schedule of films, receptions, parties and more. Individual films $9 general admission, $8 film society members, opening night $15. — Will Coviello

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