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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go


Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
7:30 p.m. Thu., Sept. 20
Tulane University, McAlister Auditorium, 523-6530;

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2007-08 season with a big night in McAlister Auditorium featuring conductor and musical director Carlos Miguel Prieto (pictured), pianist Philippe Entremont, members of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans and even a pre-show happy hour. The program of all 20th century compositions includes Gustov Holst's mysterious and rhapsodic celestial musing titled The Planets , Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G and Blue Cathedral by contemporary American composer Jennifer Higdon, written following the sudden death of her brother due to cancer. The evening is a homecoming of sorts. Fans of the former New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra will remember Entremont, it's former musical director. He's been a frequent LPO guest over the years. Several orchestra members have returned from a Katrina hiatus as well. The pre-show happy hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. and features a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets $25-$65 — Will Coviello


Provoked with Henry Rollins
8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 21
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

After almost a quarter-century in the spotlight, Henry Rollins — former Black Flag frontman, spoken-word artist, actor, columnist, cable TV host and ever-larger bodybuilder — shows no signs of stopping. Like an angry, post-punk Energizer Bunny, Rollins continues to spew art and opinion in multiple media in a way that makes him kind of like an annoyingly over-achieving friend. His releases are more copious, his interviews more incisive, his body mass index lower and his punk rock just É punker. After Black Flag split in 1986, he didn't skip a beat, forming the intense and experimental Rollins Band and, several years after, his publishing imprint 2.13.61, through which he published writing by other avant-garde luminaries like Exene Cervenka and Nick Cave. These days, he continues to write, record and perform his brand of vicious, often political and incisive spoken word, host episodes of the Henry Rollins Show on the Independent Film Channel (recent guests include Arianna Huffington, Gore Vidal, Steven Tyler and Peaches) and polish his muscles. Tickets $19.50. — Alison Fensterstock


A Fine Frenzy
8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 22
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

The child of two drama teachers, 22-year-old Alison Sudol — the artist behind the title A Fine Frenzy — found the inspiration for her curious, sweeping ballads in the literary fantasies of Dickens and C.S. Lewis. Combining folksy, tender vocals with a lush, sweeping prog-rock musical backdrop, Sudol crafts a hypnotic swirl of melody that's as curious as it is captivating. With a voice as familiar and reassuring as any classic jazz vocalist, she shakes it up — ever so gently — by laying it atop a sonic tableau as odd and lovely as the surface of the moon. She's joined on tour (VH1's ÒYou Oughta KnowÓ tour, the second in a franchise designed to introduce its adult-contemporary audience to newbies already signed to majors) by Brandi Carlile, a folk-rocker with a shattering voice whose latest album, the intense The Story , was produced by Grammy-winning roots and blues producer T-Bone Burnett. Tickets $16. — Fensterstock


VH1 Hip-Hop Honors Tour
8 p.m. Thu., Sept. 20
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

VH1's first annual Hip-Hop Honors Tour is the road version of the namesake TV special — an event that so far (now in its fourth year) has been an extraordinary and pleasantly surprising instance of a major entertainment-marketplace giant getting it right. True, in giving props to the most influential sculptors of the sound, they've got 20/20 hindsight to work with; but still, the inherent credibility of the special, which airs in the fall, is a refreshing chaser to the flash and dazzle of events like last week's VMAs. This inaugural tour sends originators Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie and MC Lyte (who recently stopped in New Orleans for Essence Fest to play and to speak on a panel with Dr. Cornel West) out on the road, laurels on their heads, alongside hip-hop inheritors the Roots. In the late '80s, Kane and Biz collaborated on many of the former's super-smooth lover-man raps as part of producer Marley Marl's Juice Crew collective. The Rockaway Beach-born Lyte infused her rhymes with feminist pride and community consciousness. The Roots (pictured), whose hybrid of rap and jazz combines old-school hip-hop DJ stylings with the instrumentation of a live band, is the perfect futuristic complement to the pantheon from the old school. Tickets $36. — Fensterstock

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