Lewis Black, Page Auditorium
America's foremost commentator on everything is bringing his fanatical rant fest to Duke University. As an author, comedian, political and pop-culture commentator and one all-around angry SOB, Black holds nothing back. His brazen, ornery, in your face stand-up has won him both acclamation and detestation. Duke West Campus. 684-4444 for ticket info. $30, $25 Duke students. 8 p.m.
Tango Workshop, Triangle Dance Studio
If it takes two to tango, make sure one of them is Luciana Valle. An insider in Buenos Aires' elite tango scene, Valle is anything but aloof--so passionate and dynamic is her teaching style that you're guaranteed to have a "lightbulb" experience, even if you think you have two left feet. A workshop series runs today through Sunday; get the full line-up at www.tangophilia.com. Workshop location: Triangle Dance Studio, 2603 S. Miami Boulevard. 598-3265. Register for classes via Tangophilia at 423-7681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nebula and The Needles Kings
Like the layer of dark grime coating the interior of Spicoli's bong, Nebula have a thick gritty sound that's gooier than caramel and redolent of long, late nights where it's always 4:20. Singer/guitarist Eddie Glass growls like Mudhoney's Mark Arm or exhibits a stony sneer reminiscent of Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott, according to his wont. Take the sludgy film from the couch where The Melvins slept last night, an old flier for Green River, and the guitar pick used on Blue Cheer's "Summertime Blues," and with a few magic words from Hermione, you could have your own Nebula.
Aya de Leon, Cobb Theatre
Black/Puerto Rican artist/activist/writer/teacher Aya de Leon will present her hard-hitting and often humorous political commentary Aya de Leon is Running for President this evening. As part of her Sept. 8-11 residency at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center at UNC-CH, the award-winning artist will also present two free creative writing workshops for students and the community. 150 South Road. $15, $5 students. 962-9001. 7 pm. Call for workshop times.
Native American Craft Day, Orange County Historical Museum
Come out and spend the afternoon with members of the Occaneechi tribe as you learn how to make arrows, baskets and other items used by early Native Americans. 201 N. Churton St. 732-2201. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. cary Malcolm Holcombe Six String Cafe--The music of western Carolina's Malcolm Holcombe takes root on the spot where haunted country, acoustic blues and rugged folk all meet, with whispers of Guy Clark, Fred Eaglesmith, Bill Morrissey and John Prine all echoing in his old-soul sound. Watching Holcombe--the owner of a voice that's all whiskey and woodsmoke and a glare that's as serious as a cyclone--prowl the stage is an intense, memorable experience. It typically takes Cary a few days to recover.
Twistingly Beautiful, ArtsCenter
As part of the World Arts Festival, ArtsCenter Live presents Tripsichore Yoga Theatre from Europe. Imagine Cirque du Soleil mixed with gravity defying yoga. Triangle Yoga will host a Tripsichore yoga workshop this afternoon before the evening performance. 933-YOGA for details about the workshop. 300-G E .Main St. 929-2787. $19. 7:30 p.m.
Spread Your Wings Benefit, Joe & Jo's
Matthew Ryan, a guy for whom the singer/songwriter tag feels like an overstarched collar and whose sound places him somewhere between Paul Westerberg in basement recording mode and Joe Henry, follows up his Spread Your Wings appearance in Charlotte with a Durham encore. Joining Ryan in an Americana showcase sponsored by the Porch & Garage Series are local heroine Sara Bell and acoustic country band Polecat Creek. Music is from 2 to 5.
David Cole, John Hope Franklin Center
The Institute for Critical U.S. Studies at Duke University presents a lecture by Georgetown law professor David Cole on "The Paradigm of Prevention: Civil Liberties, Security and the Rule of Law in the War on Terrorism." The lecture will be followed by a reception and a book signing. Cole was recently named a Human Rights Hero by the Individual Rights and Responsibilities section of the American Bar Association. 2204 Erwin Road. 684-2765. 4:30 p.m.
Rachel Sage, Berkeley Cafe
The marketplace is so flooded with female singer/songwriters they need sports jerseys to tell them apart. "Plays piano on spare, loping songs that gently build with strings and keys as the singer's confessional tone rises to meet the soaring, ethereal vocal line of the chorus," could describe Abra Moore to Vienna Teng to Sarah McLachlan. But Sage has talent and a DIY aesthetic, doing all the instrumentation and releasing her sixth album, Ballads & Burlesque, on her own label. If she's not original, at least she's doing it her way.
Get Politisophical, Regulator Bookshop
Duke University literature professor Michael Hardt and his coauthor Antonio Negri will be at the bookstore tonight to discuss their new book Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire. The book is a study of how everyday people can fight power by using the power itself. 720 Ninth St. 286-2700. 7 p.m.
Peter Rowan, Chatham County Line, Cat's Cradle
Sharing the stage with Bill Monroe was sometimes tough, remembers former Bluegrass Boy guitarist and singer Peter Rowan. "He'd check you with his shoulder and bang you," Rowan says. "It was like 'stand up to it,' in the sense he wanted you to be a man even though you were a boy." Although Rowan has experimented with tradition, he remains tied to the genre. "Bluegrass will not let me leave," he says. "Hitting that note, getting that ancient tone is something that strikes deep."
Trashcan Sinatras, Roddy Hart, Cat's Cradle
Wonderful, shimmering jangle pop from Glasgow, the Sinatras emerged in the early '90s, following the lead of The Smiths, Aztec Camera and Orange Juice. The guitar chimes, strings swell in the background, and singer/guitarist Frank Reader's wistful croon crawls over the majestic soundscapes like a wizened wanderer--tired, hungry and in search of shelter. This is pensive, pretty music suffused with warmth and melody. Their new album, Weightlifting, marks their return after an eight-year hiatus and establishes them as older peers to the lush sonics of The Delgados and Belle & Sebastian.