Slumdog Millionaire; Dhoom: 2
N.C. Museum of Art—Last year's international hit Slumdog Millionaire has had something of a troubled afterlife, only four months after taking home the best picture Oscar. Directed by English director Danny Boyle, the award-sweeping favorite tells the rags-to-riches tale of three street children battling out their destinies on the rough-and-tumble streets of Mumbai. This classic Dickensian tale of child exploitation and abuse in one of the world's most dynamic nations has been shadowed by controversy about the salaries paid to the youngest trio of actors, and the media has reported on their continued difficult living conditions.
This film is the second half of a weekend double bill of Indian cinema. Friday night is Dhoom: 2, a Bollywood smash from 2006. With superstars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan, Dhoom: 2 is a swank valentine to the love of making movies and attending them. An action comedy and musical, the film is in enamored with the possibilities of the cinematic imagination. If you've been curious to see a Bollywood movie, this is the place to start. Catch both films outdoors underneath the stars on NCMA's Indian Movie Weekend, at 9 p.m., both nights for $3. Visit ncartmuseum.org. —Kathy Justice
Rock and Reggae Summer Splash
Lincoln Theatre—Lincoln Theatre circulates touring reggae artists through the Triangle with surprising regularity. Here, the locals get the spotlight, rendezvousing as ambassadors of the roots sound while embracing rock cousins. Take Crucial Fiya, which plays originals and classic covers: At a mini-festival night like this, they figure prominently as the loyal reggae purists—area journeymen with recurring weekly gigs. Solo singer Mike Pinto, however, plies acoustic jam-style songs that have more in common with Jimmy Buffett than Bob Marley. Ultimately, it's all about that relaxed feeling, and these acts—including Ballyhoo and The B Foundation—just want us to slow down a bit. The show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $8 in advance, $10 at the door. —Chris Toenes
Mark Holland's Rhythm Force
The Cave—The band Jule Brown once traveled twisted, dark paths of Southern groove. Guitar and primitive drums led the way, hooks bending down like long tree branches. Post-Jule Brown, co-founder Mark Holland now leads his Rhythm Force, a quartet that funks it up with a Rhodes organ (and released a live album, On the Rhodes, last month). Distorted guitar and incessant drums still feature prominently, but the overall sound is more celebratory, heavy jams calling listeners to dance. The grit remains, though, even beneath this mix of international funk and roots. Come on in at 10 p.m. The Houstons open. —Andrew Ritchey
Moore Square—The Tubes once shocked with over-the-top theatrics, but that was three decades ago. Indeed, the band's 1977 "breakout" single, "White Punks on Dope," is rather tame by today's standards. "She's a Beauty," their lone Top 10 charter, came six years later and aged as gracefully as most everything else from the '80s, which Downtown Live continues to recall oh-so-fondly. Today, The Tubes feel like another bunch of washed-up old dudes running through their (relatively scant) hits for money. Nothing to see here, folks.
On the other hand, since singing the line "What the world needs now is another folk singer like I need a hole in my head" on the opening track of Cracker's 1992 debut, David Lowery has lived by his own mantra: The cynical alt-rock meets Americana that followed (and tonight wrongly opens for The Tubes) should ruffle feathers and inspire a few choruses of "Hell yeah!", depending on which side of the fence you stand.
The Loners' revved-up garage rock anchors a decent slate of local openers, starting at 1:45 p.m. with second stage performers Do It To Julia and continuing with 5th Generation, Ascella Vega, Balsa Gliders and Mosadi Music. It's free, though the booze will cost you (at the very least) money. See raleighdowntownlive.com for details. —Spencer Griffith