Chapel Hill, Raleigh
Memorial Hall, UNC Campus/ Meymandi Concert Hall, Progress Energy Center—The North Carolina Symphony collaborates with the North Carolina School of the Arts for world premiere performances of Hamlet and Shostakovich, an innovative fusion of music, poetry and performance. A score by the brilliant 20th-century Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich originally provided atmosphere for the melancholy Dane in a 1964 Soviet film of Hamlet and is performed in a concert setting for the first time. Conductor John Mauceri describes the event as "a Hamlet-tone poem, with words and music, creating a drama to be performed by six actors and a symphony orchestra." After an opening night performance Thursday at Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall, the show moves to Meymandi in Raleigh Friday and tonight. All performances begin at 8 p.m.
Mauceri, chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts and long-time director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducts the North Carolina Symphony. The actors, all with North Carolina School of the Arts connections, are directed by Gerald Freedman, the school's dean of drama. (Freedman, a Bard expert, was the first American invited to direct at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.) —Laura Boyes
The concerts are the culmination of a week of events, beginning last Monday with a chamber concert at Humble Pie. Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Galaxy Cinema will screen the rarely seen 1964 Soviet Hamlet, translated into Russian by Boris Pasternak, poet and author of Dr. Zhivago. All events preliminary to the concert are free (although some require reservations). Consult the calendar at www.ncsymphony.org/hamlet.pdf.
Arlo Guthrie: Solo Reunion Tour—Together at Last
Carolina Theatre—Arlo Guthrie, who has most recently been making his biggest songs even bigger with the help of an orchestra and supporting Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (Google + striptease + Arlo?), comes to the Carolina ("Just a half a mile from the railroad track") in his strongest form: as a solo folksinger. He might not have all the edge that possessed him to fill the first side of his first LP with one anti-war rant, but Guthrie continues to serve as an iconic folk figure, one whose wry vocal touches have taken on a wizened tone, and one who can possess an audience, whether the song is three minutes or 18. Pay $33 at 8 p.m. —Margaret Hair
Tooth/ Legion of the Fallen
Jack Sprat—This coffeeshop and cafe continues to test the waters as an after-espresso, local-band venue. This weekend, it reaches toward two of the area's indie extremes: On Friday, Legion of the Fallen makes passable Chapel Hill black metal, its massive jagged arches of guitar lines spiked by blast beats and relentless growls. Durham's Tooth cools its liquid metal into a viscous, dangerous form. With Edward Teach. Today, Jack Sprat turns toward the area's heart-on-sleeves indie imprint, Trekky Records, which presents Butterflies, the charming Greensboro band lead by the yearn of Josh Kimbrough. Deleted Scenes—well-penned indie-pop shuffles and weepers—is down from Brooklyn. Monsonia opens like a backdraft. All donations at 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin
Greg Tate & Arthur Jafa
Duke Campus, Nasher Museum—Talking trades, Greg Tate is a cultural critic for the Village Voice, the bandleader of Burnt Sugar and the author of Flyboy in the Buttermilk and Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture. Arthur Jafa is a lecturer, writer and cinematographer who's worked with Spike Lee and Julia Dash. Don't expect a "What's It Like?" session, though. In 1994, Tate and Jafa combined for the keynote address at the first national conference of the Organization of Black Designers. Two years earlier, Jafa had presented his ideas on Black Visual Intonation, a new film paradigm that would shift shots with the indeterminate grace and feeling of a Coltrane. Expect big thoughts during this talk, titled "The Soul Aesthetic: Music & Barkley Hendricks"—in conjunction, of course, between Nasher's new exhibit and Duke Performance's almost-over Soul Power series. The 7 p.m. event is free. Visit dukeperformances.duke.edu. —Grayson Currin
The Bleeding Hearts
Slim's Downtown—All barre chords and Budweisers, the Hearts' blue-collar rumble is jeans and four-on-the-floor, with a sad one for the one that's gone and a loud one for the spirit that never dies (so long as there's still a Saturday night). They're prepping the follow-up to their 2004 garage-pop debut, Stayin' After Class. What else can you buy for $3 at 10 p.m.? Well, beer, and they'll have that, too. —Chris Parker