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What to Know Before You Go


The King Khan & BBQ Show
10 p.m. Tue., Nov. 6
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

It's fitting that the last King Khan and BBQ album (2006's What's for Dinner , In the Red Records) shows guitarist and drummer Mark "BBQ" Sultan sporting a turban and crystal ball. Watching Sultan and band-mate King Khan (aka Blacksnake) on stage together is a bit like watching two mediums performing a cacophonous séance to summon the callous-fingered spirits of garage-rock past. Live, the two former Spaces***s members string together originals and covers into one big manic ode to all those who have come before, from Chuck Berry to Johnny Thunders to the 13th Floor Elevators. Khan's intricate guitar work in particular seems otherworldly, at times trance-like, with BBQ providing structure on both kick-drum and rhythm guitar, among various other noisy accoutrements. Originally from Montreal and now stationed in Berlin, the duo has toured relentlessly over the past few years behind their two releases, What's for Dinner and a 2005 self-titled LP. The Carbonas and Guitar Lightnin' Lee open. — Ethan Clark




Taj Mahal
10 p.m. Sat., Nov. 10
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

Legendary bluesman Taj Mahal — known at home as Henry St. Claire Fredericks — boasts a career that's been anything but dull. A solid country/blues guitar slinger and piano banger, his musical experiments have led him to incorporate funk, jazz and a host of ethnic sounds (Caribbean, Hawaiian, Latin, African and Cuban rhythms) in with the American roots pantheon of blues, folk and zydeco. The multi-instrumentalist and two-time Grammy winner has traveled the world in search of new sounds to incorporate into his lexicon. After nearly 50 years in the biz, he's a walking, talking, foot-stomping musical encyclopedia with a mile-long resumé of collaborations including luminaries from Sam the Sham to Michelle Shocked. Besides being a straight-up houserocker and an accomplished ethnomusicologist, he's also the man who invented the term "hula blues." Soulful, twangy blues guitarist Ruthie Foster opens. Tickets $25. — Alison Fensterstock




Betty Harris with Marc Stone's All-Star 10-piece Band
9:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 9
Old Point Bar, 545 Patterson St., Algiers, 364-0950;

Betty Harris is another one of those singers who waxed a pile of great singles in the '60s and then disappeared. Her early singles include the epic sound of "Cry to Me" before she came to New Orleans to work with Allen Toussaint, who produced the ballad "Nearer To You" — which was recently covered by Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint on their River in Reverse CD — and the Meters-backed "There's A Break In The Road." Harris has made a comeback recently, and at Ponderosa Stomp a couple years ago, she showed that her voice has lost none of its power or emotional range. She will sing songs from her new CD Intuition . With the Marc Stone Band (which has played with everyone from Harry Hypolite to Mathilda Jones) backing her up, Harris has the chops and experience to make this show one of those intimate affairs that will have both smoldering soul and sassy brass. Tickets $20 at the door, $15 in advance through — David Kunian




Fiesta Latina
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., Nov. 10
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528-3800;

The all-day festival of Latino music and culture returns to the CAC for its second year, with two stages of music, Spanish and Latin American food and crafts, games and a Space Walk for the muchachos. The star attraction this year, hitting the main stage at 7:15 p.m., is Guillermo Anderson (pictured) — a leading Honduran singer/songwriter who, with his band Cebana, is known for mixing traditional Honduran rhythms with reggae, soca and other Afro-Caribbean beats. Filling out the bill is a panoply of local Latin and world music-flavored acts, including Fredy Omar con su Banda, Vivaz, Moyuba, Otra and the dance- and Brazilian-flavored percussion ensemble Casa Samba. Of particular note are local artists King Kali and Muneco Medina, who play reggaeton: an urban hip-hop hybrid of Jamaican reggae and dancehall with Latin bomba and merengue rhythms. Free admission. — Fensterstock



Asylum Street Spankers
9 p.m. Wed., Nov. 7
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

These Austin-based miscreants have been playing clever, satirical music for the past 14 years, adding a vaudevillian bent to their wry, tongue-in-cheek lyrics with the standard instrumentation of a '20s string band. Song choices over the years have included everything from a whimsical ode to beer to a friendly tune about Lee Harvey Oswald to a rip-roaring cover of Lil Johnson's salacious ditty "Shave 'Em Dry." On the local trivia tip, Morgan Higby Night, former owner of the defunct French Quarter rock club the Shim Sham, recently directed a music video for the Spankers' paean to the Iraq War, "Stick Magnetic Ribbons On Your S.U.V." Their latest album is the kind-of-for-kids tour de force Mommy Says No!, designed to warp youngsters with giggle-inducing lyrics like "The Eiffel Tower and the rock group U2 are made of boogers." Indeed, they are. Tickets $12. — Fensterstock

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 10
New Orleans Arena, 1500 Poydras St., 587-3822

Sugarplums pale in comparison to a Christmas full of symphonic heavy metal, pyrotechnics and lasers — that's according to the many fans of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, an orchestral rock ensemble that has been grinding out head-banging yuletide cheer since 1997. The group, founded by Jon Oliva (former lead singer of the concept-album-friendly metal act Savatage) records with a full 60-piece orchestra and choir, heavy on the guitar solos, for a crushing, thunderous assault of holiday rock that's a bit more metallic than tinsel. The intricate arrangements do much to showcase the virtuosity necessary for a certain kind of metal performance; think Yngwie Malmsteen in a Santa hat. Though the show is family-friendly — the heaviness is more Carl Orff than Megadeth, and the show revolves around a Christmas-themed story cycle. It won't be anywhere near a silent night. Tickets $34. — Fensterstock

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