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The Belleville Outfit at The Berkeley Cafe; more

Thursday 2.14 

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Raleigh
The Belleville Outfit
The Berkeley Cafe—Like the Austin cousin of our Zippers and The Old Ceremony, The Belleville Outfit mixes old-fashioned gypsy rag and jazz with bluegrass bustle and dulcet boy-girl harmonies. Violinist Phoebe Hunt's sultry alto colors guitarist Rob Teter's high, reedy tenor like a ribbon of caramel, while Connor Forsyth's high-spirited piano keys the sextet's hip-swinging caper. Their nimble American roots blend was definitely brewed with a big block of Big Easy in the filter. Pay $8 at 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker



Raleigh
Taj Mahal Trio
Meymandi Concert Hall—Taj Mahal is 40 years in and still rolling steady, with stickers on his guitar case ranging from the Caribbean to the South Pacific. Such a trip allows for a variety of detours. One of the most interesting is also one of his first: the Rising Sons, a blues-rock group that also counted Ry Cooder and future Byrds drummer Kevin Kelley among its members. A bit later, pure blues immersion gave way to world music exploration, and children's records led to movie recordings. A move to Hawaii inspired an interest in hula music. So why sum up the eclectic sounds that soundtrack Mahal's journey when it's much more relaxing to simply bathe in the warmth of his musical presence? When he takes to the road these days, it's typically with a smaller ensemble: Longtime bassist Bill Rich and drummer Kester Smith join Mahal, who turns to piano and banjo when he wants to give his guitar a break. Small in numbers, sure, but that just provides more space for that Taj Mahal warmth to radiate. Tickets are $24-$34, and the music starts at 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell


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Durham
A/V Geeks' Valentine's Day Special
Center for Documentary Studies—In celebration of Valentine's Day, A/V Geeks screens selections about love and romance from its extensive collection of more than 20,000 16 mm educational films. Titles featured include Going Steady? and How Do You Know It's Love? A must-see for anyone hoping to relive the endearingly awkward discussions of the birds and the bees via the magic of a film projector. —Amanda Younger

The event begins at 7 p.m. at The Center for Documentary Studies; $5 donation suggested. This program will be repeated Feb. 17 at tir na nog in Raleigh. For more on A/V Geeks, a 2001 Indies Arts Award winner, visit www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A16064.



Durham
Othello
Common Ground Theatre—Don't dare think of Shakespeare as a Valentine's Day saint. Sure, the Bard penned his share of sweet romances and passionate trysts, but he was more intrigued by the frail human heart than Cupid's bow. Bare Theatre's Othello illustrates the ill-will of the jealous beast (with two backs) with a melodrama of tragic love, dastardly villains and damned women. If you're soured on romance or seeking out a shoulder to cry on (and we hope you find one), check out this Valentine's Day performance at 8 p.m. for $15. Call 771-3281 for reservations. —Kathy Justice


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Chapel Hill
State of the Union
Deep Dish TheaterState of the Union, by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, is a political comedy that speaks as much to the political scene now as it did at its first production in 1945. Directed by Paul Frellick, Deep Dish's artistic director, the play is the story of a business tycoon who, with the help of his family, is trying to win the presidency—and it won the 1946 Pulitzer Prize for drama. For more info, visit www.deepdishtheater.org or call 968-1515. —Megan Stein


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  • The Belleville Outfit at The Berkeley Cafe; more

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