Greil Marcus' curiosity about music, art and culture leads him down some eye-opening wormholes: He's shown the parallels between punk and the Situationists, considered Elvis' milieu and examined folk through the lens of Dylan bootlegs. His talk this week on "Our Old, Weird America" should be seen as a central part of the vision of Duke Performances for its offerings this year. From the season's start—with Megafaun, Fight the Big Bull, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Sharon Van Etten playing songs based on Alan Lomax's recordings—the thread leads to a more informed view of today's new "roots" music. Marcus speaks at 6 p.m. and the event is free. —Chris Toenes
Marcus will also be at The Pinhook Wednesday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. for a listening session co-sponsored by Duke Performances and the Nasher.