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What to Know Before You Go


9 :30 p.m. Fri.-Mon., Nov. 14-17; daily through Nov. 27
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858;

If anyone is going to kick down the wall between martial arts and the performing arts, it's former karate-champion and action-movie hero Jean-Claude Van Damme ( Street Fighter , Hard Target , Last Action Hero , Universal Soldier ) — though maybe not the aging, broke, down-on-his-luck Van Damme who's getting kicked around in family court by his latest ex-wife and is an embarrassment to his own daughter in JCVD . But that's the point. Director Mabrouk El Mechri is a fan of Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman (the director/writer team behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation ) and it shows. Mechri envisioned his own account of Van Damme's off-and-behind-the-camera life and convinced the Muscles from Brussels to star in it. In the film, Van Damme is cast in worse and worse projects by directors who don't respect him and an increasingly disinterested agent. He goes about his daily life in his hometown, where people actually see him as the screen hero, but does that mean he could stop an actual bank robbery? In a long and brilliant confession straight to the camera, Van Damme discusses his troubles, thoughts on women and existential doubts. Truly, Jean-Claude Van Damme as you've never seen him before. Tickets $7 general admission, $6 seniors, students, $5 children/Zeitgeist members. — Coviello




New Orleans Bookfair
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Nov. 15
Frenchmen Street, between Decatur and Chartres streets

Via bumper stickers on Volvo sedans, Texans strive to "Keep Austin Weird." Thankfully, due to yearly events like the New Orleans Bookfair, Louisianans harbor no such burden about our cultural center. (That it falls this year in the middle of the inaugural New Orleans Fringe Festival doesn't hurt.) The seventh annual celebration on Frenchmen Street — branded "the thinking man's Bourbon" by event organizers — offers local and national literati outsiders a different kind of press club: Zines, comics, authors and illustrators cluster at tables both inside clubs and outside on the curb. Participating venues include the Blue Nile, Ray's Room, Yuki Izakaya, d.b.a., Cafés Negril and Brasil, and the envelope-shoving Faubourg Marigny Art & Books, the festival's epicenter at the corner of Frenchmen and Chartres streets, whose bohemian bindings will come to colorful life for blocks in every direction. Auxiliary events include a pre-party (6:30 p.m. Friday at Sound Café), post-party (time and location TBA) and several certain during-parties. Visit for more information. — Pais




9 p.m. Mon., Nov. 17
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

America changed on Nov. 4, but if it was up to Murs, it might have happened sooner. The Los Angeles MC threw his hat into the Beltway ring with September's Murs for President (Warner Bros.), a major-label debut that toes the line between uplifting speechifying and battle-rapping, 8 Mile -style dissing. "The future all depends on the power of our quotes/ The power of a pen, the power of a vote," he preaches on soul-poached "Can It Be" verses before spitting, "I could've pulled a Nas and said hip-hop is dead/ I got up off my ass and I did something instead." An acolyte of El-P's Definitive Jux crew, Murs is neither as experimental nor as excruciating as many of that label's frontline talents. He's more of a hybrid, crossbreeding the buttery flow of Common, the feel-good positivity of the Jurassic 5 crew's first records, and the inspired weirdness of vintage Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. Friends Kidz in the Hall, rapper Big Pooh and Isaiah open. Tickets $8 advance purchase, $10 at the door. — Pais

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