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What to Know Before You Go


Bury the Dead
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., Sept. 13-15; through Oct. 20
N. Rampart Community Center, 1130 N. Rampart St., 891-6815;

As reports on the status of the war in Iraq pile up, Cripple Creek Theatre Company opens Bury the Dead . Written by Irwin Shaw and first staged in 1936, the play is about dead soldiers whose spirits refuse to be buried. Amid the carnage of World War I, a chaplain prepares to give last rites when the soldiers' ghosts rise and beg to rejoin the living. It turns into a stand-off in which the army is pitted against its own fallen heroes. Cripple Creek stays true to the World War I setting, but is following the vision of playwrights like Shaw and Clifford Odets who believed theater should actively engage the social and political issues of its time. Bury the Dead was Shaw's first play, but he is better known for his later popular fiction, including Rich Man, Poor Man , which was serialized for television. Andrew Vaught directs a large cast. Tickets $10. — Will Coviello




Shannon McNally with Kenny Brown
10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 15
The Parish at the House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

The literate, twangy roots-rock that Shannon McNally has been putting out for the past five years has made her a local favorite. Sadly, it's also launched her into a frequent national touring schedule that, along with Katrina (which ultimately compelled her to move to Mississippi) has meant her local shows have recently been few and far between. This brief stop at the Parish is even more of a must-go because of the appearance of Kenny Brown, the lazy-voiced, ponytailed Mississippi Hill Country slide guitarist who was the longtime sideman to the late and famously irascible bluesman R.L. Burnside, among others. Brown is the latest to join the illustrious list of sidemen McNally's matched up with. She's also worked with Charlie Sexton, legendary producer Jim Dickinson, and a host of other pickers who've helped craft sounds for artists like Emmylou Harris, Fats Domino and Joni Mitchell. Tickets $12. — Alison Fensterstock


Magnolia Electric Co.
10 p.m. Mon., Sept. 17
The Howlin' Wolf, 907 South Peters St., 522-9653;

Much like his compadre Will Oldham, Jason Molina distills his brand of haunted, hung-over country/rock from equal parts of Townes Van Zandt's moonshine confessionals and Neil Young's moonlit brays. Molina, founder of both the defunct one-man band Songs: Ohia and the thriving fivesome Magnolia Electric Co., already seems destined for Young's prolific longevity rather than the alcohol-fueled flameout (ˆ la Van Zandt) that his six wounded records since 2003 might otherwise suggest. Half of those albums have been issued in the last year, and his most recent one, the boxed-set collector's item Sojourner (Secretly Canadian), isn't a single platter so much as four: a tribute-paying treat for completists that pairs new songs with reinterpreted material, all packaged in a slide-top wooden crate alongside a bronze medallion emblazoned with the MEC logo. It's a lavish treatment but an appropriate honor for one of modern Americana's most treasured emblems. Not bad for a onetime one-off. Lawrence, Kansas' Drakkar Sauna and local folkies Silent Cinema open. Tickets $10. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


Indigo Girls' Benefit for Sweet Home New Orleans
10 p.m. Sun., Sept. 16
Tiptina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

With a two-headed guitar assault that's about as aggressive as acoustic can get and earthy, complex vocal harmonies, Grammy-winning folk-rock duo the Indigo Girls have been going strong for two decades now. They recently celebrated the anniversary with the release of this summer's Despite Our Differences . The pair traveled to New Orleans in May to perform as part of Tipitina's "Musicians Bringing Musicians Home" benefit, along with artists from all over the country. Now they're returning solo for this concert, which benefits Sweet Home New Orleans — an umbrella relief organization that pools the resources of 14 area musicians aid groups. One of the group's main focuses is to help New Orleans artists with housing-related problems, one of the primary obstacles for many musicians trying to return to the city. In a statement to the press, Indigo Girl Emily Saliers says, "There is no other city in the world like New Orleans, and the heart and soul of the city beats and breathes by its music and musical heritage. We want our brothers and sisters from New Orleans to be able to get back home and continue to share with us the unique and powerful gift that is their music. What happens to any of them happens to us all." As an added enticement, a chance to join the pair onstage to sing their 1989 hit "Closer to Fine" is up for auction online at Three5Human opens. Tickets $20 advance, $25 at the door. — Fensterstock

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