Durham & Chapel Hill
Chuck Palahniuk, author of such books as Lullaby, Choke and Diary, will be on hand tonight to discuss his latest, Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories. (You'd be most familiar with his book Fight Club, which was made into a movie starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.) Hosted at noon at the Bullshead Bookshop, UNC campus, 962-3450 and at 7 p.m. at the Regulator Bookshop, 220 Foster St., Durham, 560-4514. $2 admission (refunded if you buy the book).
John Butler Trio
White boy natty dread hippie-roots band--John Butler's been called all that and more, and he survived. Hell, he's prospered. It took a move to Australia for the former L.A. native to make it big, winning the Australian equivalent of the Grammy for Song of the Year for his "Zebra." Butler's 12-string, hard-driving acoustic music gives folk rock a well-deserved shove in the right direction. --Grant Britt
Six String Cafe
When I first encountered the song "Gold Heart Locket," the centerpiece of Jeff Black's stripped-down and piano-heavy B-Sides and Confessions, I knew it was a song that I'd be listening to for the rest of my life. Nashville's Black has a voice that's as rich and warm as a pot of fresh-brewed, and he's got a smart pen, too: His songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Waylon Jennings to Sam Bush and Jo-El Sonnier. --Rick Cornell
Five Artists*Five Faiths
Ackland Art Museum
Five Artists*Five Faiths: Spirituality in Contemporary Art is an exhibition by artists of Buddhist, Christian, Hindi, Jewish and Muslim descent, with works tracing the artists' cultural histories and heritage. Every Thursday through Dec. 9, the Ackland will host a different narrative performance that includes music and dance in conjunction with the exhibition. UNC campus. 843-3676. 7:30 p.m. $25 series, $8 individual performance, $5 students.
Flicker Film Festival
For the next three days, the Flicker Film Festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Screenings and workshops will be held at Local 506, the ArtsCenter in Carrboro and Cat's Cradle. Flicker's aim is to preserve low budget film making--they'll even lend out equipment and take submissions. Check out www.flickerfestival.com for the complete list of films and events. ArtsCenter: 929-2787. Cat's Cradle: 967-9053. Local 506: 942-5506.
Praise Be To Ha Ha
Vital Link School
Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour stops in Raleigh this weekend as part of a 30-city tour. The show has been receiving critical acclaim nationwide for its revolutionary use of comedy to bridge social gaps between people of Muslim and non-Muslim faith. A sell-out is expected. 1214 E. Lenoir St. 1-866-666-8932. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $20.
Goldie with Bailey
Goldie (real name Clifford Price) is one of the few true stars of electronic music, starting in the mid-'90s when he co-founded the influential British collective Metalheadz. Goldie became the famous gold-front-toothed face of jungle and its current offspring, drum 'n' bass, sub-genres born from break-beats, house music, hip hop and reggae. He has since raised his profile to cult celebrity by acting in films and television, but his strength is in moving people in smaller clubs. With the current drum 'n' bass revival, Triangle dance music fans should take this opportunity to see one its flagship artists. British DJ Bailey opens. --Chris Toenes
Griffith Film Theater
The Center for International Studies hosts a presentation on Turkish films by critic Fatih Ozguven and film scholar Asuman Suner. There will also be a screening of featured director Zeki Demirkubuz's Masumiyet (Innocence) and a panel discussion with critics, professors and Demirkubuz. Bryan Center, Duke West Campus. 660-3032. Noon. Free.
Old Durham Athletic Park
Country music and beer at a ballpark--it doesn't get much more all-American than that unless they're also serving up hot dogs and apple pie a la mode. During the afternoon session of the All About Beer-sponsored World Beer Festival, Chapel Hill's Randy Whitt and his band The Grits supply the rocking country music, and brewers from all over the country provide the beer. Let's hope that Whitt and company have added "What Made Milwaukee Famous" to their repertoire for the occasion. --Rick Cornell
Blue Ridge Restaurant, NCMA
The Friends of African and African American Art invite you to a gallery discussion of Ellis Wilson's painting To Market. There will be a Caribbean-style celebration with music from the Wilton Dubois Ensemble afterward. Festive Caribbean attire suggested! North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd. 833-3548. 7-10 p.m. $40.
Steve Howell Band
The Pour House
The Steve Howell Band plays country music. If you don't believe it, just ask Howell and he'll make damn sure you know what to call the music he's played first in the Backsliders, then the Two Dollar Pistols and now in his own band. "I don't want any damn hybrid things attached to the band," the singer/guitarist says heatedly. "I don't want to see any kind of country rock--whatever. It's just country. I don't want any of that alt country mess either, man. Alt country--what the hell is that--country that ought to be but ain't? Take country music and just either like it or don't like it. Don't make it some kind of political or sociological movement." 6 p.m. $5. --Grant Britt
Latin American Film
Richard White Auditorium
The Duke Screen/Society presents War Takes (Tomas de Guerra), a documentary about the personal costs of warfare. The International Emmy Award-nominated film covers Colombian history, kidnappings by FARC guerrillas and personal stories from the directors, who skillfully incorporate coverage from local television, archival footage and narration to provide insightful analysis and historical background. Richard White Auditorium, Duke East Campus. 660-3032 or www.duke.edu/ web/film/screensociety/Fall2004Schedule.html. 8 p.m. Free.
It seems unlikely that the picture of primordial punk rock success for bands like UK Subs, The Exploited or The Sex Pistols was to have a digital picture of a European model named Nicolette gracing the merchandise section of their Web site clad in a shiny black PVC skirt. But there she is, the beautiful Nicolette, posing in a 12-pound skirt with a seductively spread pink V slapped across the front at vibrators.com. Such commercial extravagances can be excused for the long-running Vibrators, though, who formed in London in 1976 and have been off of the road or not in the studio rarely ever since. Eddie "Knox" Carnochan is still fronting the trio after all of these years, and--given the footage from the band's recent DVD debut that shows them playing punk clubs in Leipzig earlier this year--they haven't mellowed at all. In fact, they seem to have done the opposite, thrusting a Pistols effrontery back into the mix. These days, The Vibrators stimulate by way of a speedy punk blitz that recalls their ugly, early bashers "Stiff Little Fingers" and "Andy Warhol" rather than the slow burn of their lingering, Joy Division-leaning, slow-burning mid-era keepers such as "Outta My System." This is a rare, odd Monday-night opportunity to revisit history with those that helped make it; don't miss this. --Grayson Currin
Listen and Learn
Regulator Book Shop
Peter Perret, in addition to conducting the Winston-Salem Symphony, is also author of A Well-Tempered Mind: Using Music to Help Children Listen and Learn. The book discusses how Perret put music into the curriculum of poorly performing elementary students and how their scholastic performances improved. 720 Ninth St. 286-2700. 7 p.m.
A genre-and-finesse-flexing acoustic guitarist of the highest order and an album-rock inspired songwriter with a hand for nuance and a soul for empathy, Willy Porter has been making supple folk rock marked by a trademark subtlety and grace with more consistency than perhaps any other like-minded young writer of the past decade. The Madison, Wis.-based Porter should have been getting radio credit since day one, but--four albums into it--he's still content in clubs playing the part of a true first-rate troubadour.
Partnering for World Health
Can one good doctor cure the world? Dr. Paul Farmer has been trying for 20 years, and his work is making a huge impact all over the world. His organization, Partners In Health, is making headway on the dangerous convergence of HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant tuberculosis in Haiti, Peru and Russia. This afternoon, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tracy Kidder will read from his narrative nonfiction account of Farmer's life and work, Mountains Beyond Mountains, at 4 p.m. in the Rare Book Room of Perkins Library at Duke University. And at 8 p.m., Farmer (a Duke graduate) will join Kidder for a discussion in Page Auditorium. Info, call Dean Ryan Lombardi at 684-6389. Farmer and Kidder will also speak at a fund-raiser for PIH at Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m.