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What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

Of Montreal
9 p.m. Tue., Nov. 11
Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St., 522-9653; www.thehowlinwolf.com

Of Montreal fans might well have figured that Kevin Barnes ran out of new ways to shock and awe his audiences. After all, 2007's operatic opus Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? candidly revealed everything from Barnes' marital woes ("dodging lamps and vegetables") to his mental imbalances ("come on chemicals!"). Well, as it turns out, those fans were wrong — salaciously, offensively, irrepressibly wrong. Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl), the Athens, Ga., band's latest rave-up-cum-album, scales new heights of confessional absurdity. Over what sounds like a spaceship's satanic jukebox, stuffed with '70s soul and disco samples and set to reshuffle in 20-second intervals, its fearless leader betrays every last inner demon, sparing nary a detail. Lest all this come off as some sort of feigned studio act, Barnes has taken his freak show on the road: At one concert in New York City, he rode a white stallion onstage wearing nothing but a shimmering, golden Speedo; at another in Las Vegas, he showed the crowd what lay beneath. Chicago's Icy Demons open. Tickets $18. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

 

 

MUSIC

Joe Jackson
8 p.m. Wed., Nov. 12
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

Joe Jackson's Web site has a special header (next to the usual "photos" and "bio") titled "smoking." When you click it, you not only get pictures of the wry, irascible artist smoking, you also get a measured manifesto about his mission to combat antismoking laws. This fits in perfectly with Jackson's history as an inveterate nose-thumber. Since 1979, when the skinny-tie and porkpie-clad Jackson joined artists like Elvis Costello at the crest of the snotty, poppy New Wave with his debut Look Sharp (which contains the biliously catchy tracks "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" and "Happy Loving Couples" that he's still best known for), Jackson has steadfastly refused to be pigeonholed. From 1981's Jumpin' Jive , a collection of classic R&B and jump-blues covers, through experiments with reggae, jazz and long-form composing (the latter of which paid off in 2000 with a Pop Instrumental Recording Grammy award for his Symphony No. 1 ), he's remained a consistently experimental — and challenging — artist. His latest release is the jazzy, piano-based Rain , which came out in January. British singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore opens. Tickets $35. — Alison Fensterstock

 

 

STAGE

New Plays Festival
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 14-15; 6 p.m. Sun., Nov. 16; through Nov. 23
Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com

Le Chat Noir's annual playwriting competition threw down the gauntlet this year, challenging playwrights to submit works that in some way captured New Orleans. Judge for yourself how the winners did. The result is an assemblage of 10 5- to 15-minute scenes arranged by director Carl Walker (pictured) into a two-act presentation titled "— in other words, New Orleans." Approaches range from dark to comic, and since many of the works reflected the Hurricane Gustav evacuation that occurred weeks prior to the entry deadline, several playwrights took up the issue of how outsiders perceive the city. Contributing authors include Jason Cutler, Bud Faust, Mary Louise Wilson, RJ Tsarov, Bradley Troll, Andrew Farrier, Mindy Mayer and Jamie Wax. The festival also presents plays by Pat Bourgeois and Gabrielle Reisman. Tickets $25 (includes $5 drink credit), New Orleans Fringe Festival passes accepted (reservations encouraged). — Will Coviello

 

 

MUSIC

New Orleans Hip-Hop History
9 p.m. Fri., Nov. 14
Dragons Den, 435 Esplanade Ave.

Local entertainment impresario Dick Darby (pictured) — a music producer, filmmaker, skateboard and clothing designer whose new style of hip-hop is dubbed New Age Rock-Hop Popadilic — has brought innovative rappers from all over the world to the Dragons' Den for fusion nights. For this gig, the native Ninth Warder looks closer to home. He's put together a stellar roster of rappers, DJs and producers from New Orleans' oldest of the old-school. The bill includes special guest Mannie Fresh, the star producer responsible for the signature sound that drove the Cash Money label into the big leagues in the '90s. Joining him is sly, dirty-mouthed bounce rapper Bust Down, whose local hit "Pop That Thing" is considered by many to be the basis for Luther Campbell's (of 2 Live Crew) runaway hit "Pop That Coochie." Also appearing are rapper Gregory D, who worked extensively with Mannie Fresh in the '90s, DJ Baby T, Tim Smooth, DJ Wop, Lord Denny D, Six Shot, DJ Tricky B, DJ HC and DJ MaxMillion. A special treat for New Orleans hip-hop and soul fans will be an appearance by DJ Slick Leo, a New Orleans club and radio DJ who was an '80s version of what local DJ celebrities like Tex Stephens and Dr. Daddio were for New Orleans' R&B scene in the '50s. Tickets $12 or free with show flyer. — Fensterstock

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  • Pippin @ Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
    616 St. Peter St. http://www.lepetittheatre.com

    • Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 2
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    1200 Port St.

    • Fri., Sept. 30
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    4557 N. Rampart St.

    • Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 7 & 9 p.m.
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    300 to 600 blocks

    • Sat., Oct. 1
  • Close Me Out @ Hi-Ho Lounge
    2239 St. Claude Ave. http://www.hiholounge.net

    • First Saturday of every month

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