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What to Know Before You Go


Chico Hamilton
8 p.m. Fri., June 23
NOCCA/Riverfront, 2800 Chartres St., 940-2900;

For more than five decades, legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton has been the kind of musician that makes everyone around him better. A 2004 Jazz Master fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts recognized a career at the top of the jazz world. From a precocious start playing with Charles Mingus, Buddy Collette and Dexter Gordon while still in high school, Hamilton went on to accompany some of the biggest names in jazz. He backed Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald and worked with everyone from Duke Ellington to T-Bone Walker. While New York dominated the jazz world in the '50s and '60s, Hamilton was on top of the then-overshadowed West Coast scene. But he endured the test of time and grew as both a composer and bandleader. Now his band is serving as a launching pad for budding young talent. His 2006 release, Believe, is full of swinging sounds driven by his fluid, rhythmic energy. Tickets $25, $20 CAC or NOCCA Institute members/students, $10 student rush tickets available at showtime. — Vi Landry


One River Mississippi
6:30 p.m. Sat., June 24
The Wharf at RiverSphere (Off Henderson Street. at the river), 865-5106;

An event meant to recognize the river as a shared natural resource and source of inspiration, One River Mississippi is a unique, simultaneous, multi-site dance performance. New Orleans artists and academics have created a locally themed installment to be performed at the RiverSphere, along the riverfront near the cruise ship terminal, while six other performances take place in locations stretching from Itasca, Minn., to Woodland Plantation in Plaquemines Parish. Choreographers Barbara Hayley and Monique Moss have organized a troupe of local dancers to perform with live music provided by the Soul Rebels, Kid Merv and Fruits of the Spirit. Their piece salutes the resilience of New Orleanians in dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The performance starts at 7:15 p.m. Beforehand several environmental groups and Tulane and Xavier universities' new Center for Bioenvironmental Research will offer information on the river's ecology. The event will be simulcast on WWNO 89.9 FM. Free admission. — Will Coviello


Deadboy & the Elephantmen
10 p.m. Sat., June 24
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Probably the band currently most fed up with being compared to the White Stripes, onetime New Orleans residents Deadboy and the Elephantmen, a roots-punk duo with a boy on guitar and vocals and a young lady on drums, are back in town to headline upstart local music magazine Antigravity 's two-year anniversary party. Their debut release on Mississippi blues label Fat Possum, We Are Night Sky (2006), is a haunted amalgamation of flavors from the spare and mournful ("Evil Friend") to grinding and desperate ("Blood Music") Ñ the latter features the unrelenting garage-rock thudding of drummer Tessie Brunet, who channels Mo Tucker as if demonically possessed. Blues and folk sounds place their provenance squarely here in the swamp, as do Dax Riggs' ghostly vocals, which travel easily from whisper to howl, but there are touches of sludgy metal and psychedelia hiding in their dark forest as well. Local weirdo rapper Ballzack opens. Tickets $10. — Alison Fensterstock


Todd Barry
10 p.m. Fri., June 23
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Todd Barry has been fighting for your attention two minutes at a time. You may have caught him on Letterman or The Tonight Show or Late Night with Conan O'Brien complaining about the Disneyfication of Disneyworld, or casting doubt on punk bands hosting charity events. If you're already a fan of his dry, New Yorker's wit, you might have noticed him on the Chapelle Show or his one-time only cameo as "ordinary guy" on Sex in the City . Either that or dues paid on the national comedy circuit convinced Comedy Central to give him his own half-hour special. Now, he's got a gig of his own at One Eyed Jacks as part of his "Cities I've Never Performed In" tour. The show is a continuation of a series by , a group dedicated to supporting the local comedy scene. Comedian Bill Dykes founded the group in November after making the comedy rounds for years, foreseeing the need for laughs post-Katrina. The group hosts a comedy open mic every Wednesday at Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar, and hopes to attract more big name comics to New Orleans. "New Orleans could be a big comedy town," Dykes says. "People here love to laugh." Dykes and Mike Strecker will also perform. Tickets $10. — Daniel Castro

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