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What to Know Before You Go

A Night of Puppet Pageantry
10 p.m. Tue., Jan. 15
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Thanks to the underground efforts of Ninth Ward puppet-mistress Miss Pussycat, New Orleanians are for the most part well aware that there's more to the art of puppetry than Elmo. Local puppeteer and musician Jayme Kalal — who frequently pulls strings on Miss P's epic puppet efforts — has curated this extravaganza of New Orleans' best alternative puppet shows. Kalal, who also performs as the one-man noise band the Microshards, headlines with his own dark and bizarre puppet game show "Twanky Snax," which is performed entirely in a language of his own invention ("It's gibberish, but I wouldn't call it utter gibberish," he says.") Also on the bill are Pink Ink's puppets, who will be performing an undersea-themed "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" ballet to live accompaniment by the Cephalopod Squad Orchestra. Rounding out the night are the live but puppet-inspired antics of Lafcadio's Bazaar, which includes aerial trapeze and fabric acts, and clowning. The sprawling horn-and-accordion ensemble Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? close out the night. Tickets $8. — Alison Fensterstock


Six Organs of Admittance
10 p.m. Sat., Jan. 19
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-9100;

Ten-year anniversaries don't come much quieter than Six Organs of Admittance's. Ben Chasny formed the one-man psych/rock outfit in 1998 and has since produced roughly a record per year under the ominous moniker (Drag City released Shelter From the Ash , his 10th album, in November), but the guitar virtuoso always seems to receive more ink for his various instrumental contributions: to cut-up experimentalist David Tibet's Current 93 project; to improvisational drone-folk collective Badgerlore; and, not least, to lysergic California hard-rockers Comets on Fire, who didn't go orbital until bringing Chasny aboard for their 2006 mindbender, Avatar . Although it features vocal assistance from Magik Markers chanteuse Elisa Ambrogio, Ash's controlled burns put the spotlight solely on Chasny's wild six-string gifts, which play with convention by placing flickering acoustic ragas up against flamethrower electric riffs. Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


Tipitina's 30th Anniversary Ball feat. Allen Toussaint
10 p.m. Sat., Jan. 19
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

From a clubhouse for a party-minded gang of fourteen Professor Longhair fans in 1977 to national prominence as one of the best-known independent music venues and charitable foundations in the industry, in 30 years, Tipitina's has come a long way, baby. Tonight's ball is the pinnacle of a month's worth of shows celebrating that journey, and three decades' worth of fans, friends and artists are sure to crawl out of the woodwork. The $70 VIP ticket gets you access to a reserved section with open bar and light snacks, but any seat in the house will get you in to a comparatively rare public show from New Orleans musical mastermind (and snappy dresser) Allen Toussaint. With his history penning, arranging and producing nearly every iconic New Orleans funk and R&B hit, it's more likely than not that he'll be joined onstage by some of his illustrious collaborators from his 50 years in the business. At the very least, he'll channel Fess, Tipitina's patron saint. Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentleman open. All proceeds benefit the Tipitina's Foundation. Tickets $20 general, $70 VIP. — Fensterstock


Krewe du Vieux
6:30 p.m. Sat., Jan 19
French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny;

The Beatles will never sound the same after Krewe du Vieux has its filthy way with the band's catalog Saturday night in a parade titled "Magical Misery Tour." John Lennon will roll in his grave, some former local politicians will cry in their jail cells and Yoko Ono won't look so bad after all. The raunchy and satirical krewe is planning a record-breaking tribute to the Fab Four, bad puns, the until-now partially revealed sins of David Vitter and another bizarre year of rebuilding the city that care forgot while seriously hungover. Ronald Lewis, founder of the Big Nine Social Aid and Pleasure Club, reigns as king. He leads 17 subkrewes full of masked revelers and more than 15 brass bands on a new route. The parade starts in the Marigny, progresses up Franklin Avenue, travels all the way across Royal Street to Conti and then loops back on Decatur Street and Frenchmen Street to its ball (2121 Chartres St.). The ball features musical guests 101 Runners, Juice, Honey Island Swamp Band and Quintron and Miss Pussycat. See the Web site for detailed map. Tickets for the ball are $25 and available at Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St.), Up in Smoke (4507 Magazine St.) and Miss Claudia's Vintage Clothing & Costumes (4204 Magazine St.). — Will Coviello

click to enlarge CHERYL GERBER
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