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A&E 

MUSIC

Snow Patrol
8 p.m. Tuesday, May 31

House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE; www.hob.com At last year's Voodoo Music Experience, Snow Patrol played songs from Final Straw (Polydor), then an underground pop pleasure a good-sized handful of people knew about. As the set went on, the crowd grew in both size and enthusiasm for the Scottish group led by Gary Lightbody. His presence is as unassuming as that of any indie singer, and his words and singing convey sincerity. Even when you suspect that some of the lyrical wordplay is humorous, it feels like serious fun. Like so much good British pop, Snow Patrol draws musical inspiration from so many sources that songs sound like they emerged from nowhere. If you focus, though, you can hear a 'Waiting For the Man' pounding piano under 'Chocolate' or an anthemic, U2-like chord progression in the chorus of 'Run.' As is the case with the best British pop, the hooks are so immediate as to make picking at the band's sources irrelevant. Tickets $17.50-$20. -- Alex Rawls


MUSIC

Bright Eyes
8 p.m. Friday, June 3

TwiRoPa (Indie Room), 1544 Tchoupitoulas St., 232-9503; www.twiropa.com It'd be easy to hate Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst. At 24, the indie-rock boy genius (who's been recording since age 13) has a well-respected label, Saddle Creek, and that rare combination of street cred and commercial success. He also plays well with others; Oberst is well known for his collaborations with other rockers, including members of indie favorites Rilo Kiley, Azure Ray, the Faint and the Postal Service. Plus, he's got excellent bone structure and pretty eyes. Golden-boy status notwithstanding, as Oberst nears the quarter-century mark, his delicate, folk-tinged indie-pop output has become inarguably mature and cohesive. This year brought the release of a pair of Bright Eyes projects: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning is an achingly gentle, folk-inflected work featuring a guest appearance by Emmylou Harris, and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn is an entirely different animal, comprised of clattering percussion and electronic experiments. With the Faint and Airborn Audio. Tickets $25. -- Alison Fensterstock


STAGE

Shawn Ryan: 'Blue Skies'
8:30 p.m. Sunday, June 5; 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 6

Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com If there's one thing guests attending Carl Walker's current mounting of My O My at Le Chat Noir noticed, it's that Shawn Ryan (as emcee Danni LeMoine) is one helluva charmer, which is doubly impressive considering the Los Angeles cabaret performer had never done drag before. Right after My O My finishes its well-received run at Le Chat, Ryan will stick around, climb out of his girly clothes and into something a little more gender-appropriate for his 'Blue Skies' show. Ryan will perform many of the standards that comprise his recent, eponymous debut CD, which includes 'I Got Rhythm,' 'Wink and a Smile' and 'Bewitched.' What Ryan lacks in vocal histrionics, he more than makes for in a smooth, assured delivery, as well as a respect for and love of the material. He will be backed up by the Kelly Park Trio and special guest Shaynee Rainbolt. Monday's performance is already sold out. Tickets to Sunday's performance are $30. This should serve as a great warm-up for the welcome return of New York cabaret superstar Karen Akers at Le Chat the following week. -- David Lee Simmons


EVENTS

'Back to the Beach' Festival
6 p.m. to midnight Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 3-5

Next to Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena, Franklin Avenue and Lakeshore Drive, 836-7283 or 836-2215; www.saveourlake.org The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation throws its 16th annual Save Our Lake 'Back to the Beach' festival, a family affair that features arts and crafts, inflatable games, summer food and more. This year's music lineup includes the Mixed Nuts, Rockin' Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Tab Benoit (pictured), Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, tributes to both Jimmy Buffett and ZZ Top, as well as Bag of Donuts, Bobby Cure & the Summertime Blues, the Bucktown All-Stars and the Top Cats. Along with three days of music, there will also be a one-mile run and a 5K run at 7 p.m. Friday sponsored by the New Orleans Track Club (467-8626 or www.runnotc.org). On Sunday, Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet (282-1464) sponsors a car show for street rods, custom cars, race cars, dragsters, bicycles and antiques. Registration for both the two run/walks and the car show (per car) is $25 each. In addition, Captain 'Deadly Dudley' Vandenborre, of Castaway Rods on Geaux Fish TV, will present a fishing clinic. Each participant will receive a pack of 'Deadly Dudley' lures. All proceeds benefit Save Our Lake, a membership-based citizen's organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the Lake Pontchartrain Basin through education, regulation and advocacy. Visit Web site for complete schedule and details. Tickets $7 general admission, $3 seniors/kids ages 12-under. -- Katie Walenter


MUSIC

Stanton Moore
6 p.m. Thursday, June 2

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600; www.ogdenmuseum.org Galactic drummer Stanton Moore will bring what may be the most interesting side project he's assembled to the Ogden Museum for one of the institution's Thursday evening performances. Moore has worked with various improvisational trio and quartet lineups, but the combination of Tim Green on saxophone and Mark Mullins on trombone is a brilliant pairing that not only is likely to sound great in the atrium of the Ogden but also makes it a truly New Orleans band. For the evening, three essential members of the local music community are joined by keyboardist Robert Walters, who recently moved here from San Diego. Mullins, a master of harmonies and head arrangements, and Green, an ever-inventive solo voice, were outstanding with the Radiators at Jazz Fest. They can handle anything from traditional to free jazz to funk and will fit perfectly into Moore's free-floating musical conception. Admission $10 for adult non-members, free for members. -- John Swenson


STAGE

New Orleans Ballet Theatre
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, June 2-4; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5

NOCCA/Riverfront, 2800 Chartres St., 835-6002 New Orleans Ballet Theatre (NOBT) Artistic Director Gregory Schramel and his wife, Associate Director Marjorie Hardwicke, wowed the audience at their Balanchine Centennial Celebration last summer. The production paired two of the legendary choreographer's works with a solo piece as well as the world premiere of the Schramel-Hardwicke collaboration, 'Where Were You When They Dropped the Pill?' The piece allowed the couple to explore the evolution from innocence to the cynicism of the 1960s, set to period music. The piece will serve as a companion to another of Balanchine's works, 'Concerto Barocco' to help open the NOBT's season. 'Concerto Barocco' is considered by many to be one of the better illustrations of Balanchine's neo-classical style, set to Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D Minor. At 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5, the NOBT will hold its 'Pajama Party' fundraiser at the home of Roger and Danielle Kavanagh, featuring a salsa band and food; pajama attire encouraged. Tickets $30 for the performances, $100 for the fundraiser. -- Simmons


STAGE

Eugene Mirman
10 p.m. Thursday, June 2

TwiRoPa (Tchops Room), 1544 Tchoupitoulas St., 232-9503; www.twiropa.com Stand-up comedians were once a staple of cable television, but they became overexposed. Eventually, people starting bits with, 'Don't you hate when Š' in front of the inevitable faux brick wall became too much of a cliche to survive. Stand-ups returned to the safe havens of the Chuckles, Guffaws and Yuk-Yuks comedy clubs of the world, in many cases safely out of the public consciousness. In that environment, comedians like Eugene Mirman developed ready-for-prime-time acts, as his CD The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman (Suicide Squeeze) shows. David Cross (of Mr. Show and Arrested Development fame) writes the liner notes, and Mirman shares a sensibility with him, self-consciously combining comedy styles of the past 30 years in a smart, very funny way. His attempts at observational humor turn the genre on its head, making the world seem like an educational Saturday-morning cartoon with Let's Get Small -era Steve Martin on hand to announce the message. Troubadour Langhorne Slim opens. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door. -- Rawls


MUSIC

Original Low Riders
10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4

Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com They are prohibited by an injunction from calling themselves by their original name, but we're not, so we can tell you that this is the nucleus of the band War. Guitarist Howard Scott, bassist B.B. Dickerson, harmonica player Lee Oskar and drummer and New Orleans native Harold Brown will be onstage with their singular, Latin-influenced R&B sound bringing you hits that radiated warmth, intelligence and a social conscience -- the hallmark of some of the best '70s soul and funk music. Of course the band still rips into songs like "Why Can't We Be Friends," "The World Is a Ghetto," "Slippin' Into Darkness" and "Cisco Kid," which are as relevant today as they were three decades ago. This is no nostalgic oldies act. These musicians are as passionate now as they were then, and if the opening bars to "Low Rider" don't get your backfield in motion, then you are in need of serious help. Tickets $12. -- David Kunian

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