Contemporary jazz sax player Boney James will be appearing with up-and-coming neo-soul singer Donnie at Durham's Carolina Theatre on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. James, who grew up listening to funk, soul and R&B, honed his craft blowing with everyone from the Isley Brothers to Teena Marie, before developing his own sound and topping the contemporary jazz charts. Critics have compared Atlanta native Donnie to such neo-soul breakthrough acts as Maxwell and Macy Gray on his debut disc, The Colored Section. Call 560-3030 for ticket information.
The Eels' new CD, Souljacker, produced by John Parrish (PJ Harvey), is named after the '90s serial killer who claimed he not only killed his victims--he took their souls. With this as a starting point, Eels frontman E (pictured above) introduces us to his obsessions with ghosts, dog-faced boys and other honest-to-God freaks, aided by band members Parrish, Koool G Murder and others. E, actually singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Mark Everett Oliver, grabs samples a la Beck, riffs like a big dog and plays disturbingly catchy keyboard parts. First gaining a following with the '96 release Beautiful Freak and the track "Novocaine for the Soul," E's music has since graced countless film scores and attracted scads of high-profile collaborators. Danceable and hook-filled, with E's vocals ranging from smooth-sweet to funky falsetto, The Eels rock. And--as if the band itself isn't eccentric enough--Cat's Cradle owner Frank Heath says they've requested a mime for their opening act. Get to the Cradle Wednesday, March 20, and see why the Eels are worshipped in England. Call 967-9053 for details. --Angie Carlson