919 Noise Showcase
Nightlight—Perhaps you've heard all the manners of pop, rock, folk, roots and beats that teem in our collective triangular backyard, but some of the outsider music banging at those vertices might still catch your ears by surprise. With a monthly series at the area's most inclusive arts space, Nightlight, and a rudimentary Web site (www.919noise.org) built for music banter and event listings, 919 Noise hopes to change that. Like similar organizations in cities not known necessarily for their outbound sounds (Richmond's 804 Noise, for instance), 919 advocates for an experimental approach simply by presenting it. Clang Quartet—the one-man spiritual parable of Scotty Irving—is one of the state's must-see acts, as dependent on high drama as it is on high volume and distortion. Five acts open: Yanni Eham, Luv Jax, Joe Hendrix, Ghost Hand and Cheez Face. Hey, man, when it razes, it pours. The $5 show begins at 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin
Chapel Hill and Raleigh
Memorial Hall/ Meymandi—More so than many classical composers, a Tchaikovsky symphony isn't necessarily an expression of what was going on in music when the piece was written. In more than one instance, his work is an expression of what was going on in the composer's personal life, pushed through the Russian Romantic's filters of his own bombast and his understanding of Western form. That's the case with his Symphony No. 4 in F minor, written as he made a misguided decision to propose to a woman he didn't love. The marriage led to divorce.
The piece anchors a concert program filled out by guest pianist Marc-André Hamelin performing Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1. Tonight ends a three-day run that begins in Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall on Thursday and moves to Raleigh for Friday and Saturday engagements. All shows begin 8 p.m. and tickets start at $37. Visit www.ncsymphony.org. —Margaret Hair
"Race in N.C."
Chatham County Courthouse—Several months ago, ChathamArts began to curate a locally oriented film program called the 100 Mile Sustainable Cinema series to showcase the serious work being done by filmmakers located within the stated radius. This weekend, the programming takes an even more adventurous turn with a two-day forum called "Race in N.C." The films scheduled for today include Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the N.C. Fund, from Durham veterans Rebecca Cerese and Dr. Steven Channing (February One), and FBI-KKK, a more recent film from Michael Frierson, whose father infiltrated the Klan in the 1960s under the J. Edgar Hoover regime—one that was no special friend of the Civil Rights Movement. Another Saturday title is Macky Alston's fine, sensitive Family Name, a study of his surname, common among whites and blacks in the Piedmont, that turns out to originate, inevitably, in a Chatham County plantation. Sunday's showing is We Shall Not Be Moved, a film about the continuing struggle for survival of the residents of Tillery, N.C., one of a few remaining New Deal-era resettlement communities for black sharecroppers. Film producers and directors will be on hand to discuss their films, and live gospel music and art installations will buttress the cinematic offerings. For more information, visit www.chathamarts.org. —David Fellerath
Carolina Theatre—1970s radio has a reputation for being boundary-free. That is, it was the norm to hear songs by, say, Blue Oyster Cult, Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, Leo Sayer and Deep Purple in succession. I did enough transistor time as a teen in the '70s to know there's truth to that rep.
In that sense, Arrogance, a group with UNC-Chapel Hill roots, was the perfect band for that decade: The members loved their Beatles (and everything British, actually, from Free to Black Sabbath) and their blues, and they concocted a sound that honored both '60s rock 'n' roll and '70s singer-songwriter fare. They dosed that blend with a shot of R&B. It was more than enough to make Arrogance the first favorite local band for a lot of college kids, though the stages on which the quintet generally played were small enough that you could possibly muster the courage to invite Robert Kirkland or Don Dixon back to your dorm to hang at night's end. That indelible connection is why 50-somethings—often with teenage kids in tow—continue to fill the room whenever Arrogance reunites for a flashback. And this time, they get a big stage for their 40th anniversary. Tickets are $28, and the show starts at 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell
Manbites Dog Theater—I interviewed an American once who had been in Rwanda at the time of the 1994 genocide that claimed about 800,000 lives. His tone was detached but haunted; he had not seen the worst of what had gone on around him, but he knew how close he had been to true horror. Most of the world remains ignorant, perhaps willfully so, of one of the most brutal events in recent human history. J.T. Rogers' play The Overwhelming explores what happened from an American perspective, showing the events through the eyes of a journalist trying to find his friend and discovering the true depths of the Rwandan tragedy. It's a suspenseful and ultimately eye-opening look at a part of the world that few people know or truly understand. The show opens Thursday, March 19 and and runs through April 4. Tickets are $12-$20. For more information, visit www.manbitesdogtheater.org. —Zack Smith