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Charlotte Symphony, Bright Eyes

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Thursday, November 17

The Charlotte Symphony's Neighborhood Concert 2 launches a four-night sweep that reaches from Davidson to Matthews. Tonight, the music is at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3301 Beatties Ford Road. On tap is the world premiere of Daniel Thomas Davis's Yet They Abide, commissioned specially for the Symphony. Nothing humdrum about the rest of the fare, as the spotlight falls on principal cellist Alan Black for Boccherini's Cello Concerto #9. Rounding out the program is Respighi's delicious suite for small orchestra extracted from The Birds. Friday night, CSO flutters down to Matthews United Methodist Church; Saturday, they nest at St. Gabriel's on Providence Road; Sunday, they migrate to Duke Performance Hall at Davidson College. General admission for the roving 8pm concerts is $15 for adults, $5 for students and children. Call 704-972-2000. (Tannenbaum)

The Sierra Club and the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation have teamed up to host a screening of the acclaimed new documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, a critical look at the organization's business practices. Catawba riverkeeper Donna Lisenby, who has fought to prevent Wal-Mart from exposing the river to pollutants, is featured in the film. The screening is 6:30pm at the Palmer building, 2601 East 7th Street. For more info, call 704-374-1125. Also see Jared Neumark's story in this issue's News section. (Brunson)

Everybody seems to be calling it The Homeless Concert, so why should we be different? What's exciting about A Gathering of Song: Giving Thanks Through Song is the centerpiece of this benefit for the Uptown Shelter -- it's another world premiere composition. California contemporary composer Henry Mollicone has taken the text for his Beatitude Mass from both the traditional Catholic liturgy and his own conversations with the homeless. The 7:30pm concert at Providence Baptist Church, 4921 Randolph Road, will be sung by Carolina Voices. Yup, those "Singing Christmas Tree" folks are coming down to earth at last. Audience members are asked to bring canned goods for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Admission to the Thursday concert is free. The program repeats on Sunday at 5pm at First United Presbyterian Church, 201 E. 7th Street, with the Johnson C. Smith University Concert Choir appearing as guest artists. Tickets for the Sunday concerts are available in advance for $12 through the Carolina Voices office (704-374-1564) and $15 at the door. (Tannenbaum)

A New Orleans musical institution for more than a quarter-century, The Radiators continue to tour widely, now playing benefits for Hurricane Katrina relief. The Rads' "Fish Head Music" is a Crescent City mix of blues, bayou funk, soul, rock, jazz and anything else they can crank out for the party. Expect a rhythm-soaked tribute to the perseverance of denizens of the drowned city. 8pm tonight at the Visulite. Tickets are $20. Further details at visulite.com or 704-358-9200. (Shukla)

Ready for a night of high-concept rock & roll? Athens, Georgia-based power trio The Tom Collins, who open for critical darlings the Drive-By Truckers tonight at Tremont Music Hall, have pulled a Southern Rock Opera of their own. The Collins, upon first listen, sounds a lot like Led Zeppelin; as one online wag put it, their music sounds like the result of Jimmy Page listening to Television before recording In Through The Out Door. The Collins' new album, Daylight Tonight, takes the Zep fascination to a new level, thanks to a concept-style song cycle dealing with a break-up and its aftereffects. Sounds a bit like what the headlining act did with that opera about the good ol' days (and bad ol' crash) of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Tickets are $18, available at tremontmusichall.com or etix.com. (Davis)

Seen enough Drive-By Truckers? Want to move on to another critics' darling? Cruise up to Asheville and check out Bright Eyes. Forget the "next Bob Dylan" junk: sad-sack Bright Eyes front man Conor Oberst is just an extraordinarily good songwriter (not to mention a k.d. lang doppelganger). But look out, the backlash is here: After not one, but two Bright Eyes discs arrived in 05 -- the acoustic, country-rockish I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and electronic, Radioheadish Digital Ash in a Digital Urn -- critical opinion began to split dramatically, with some maintaining Oberst is a genius and others crying fraud. (Hell, he didn't release any more CDs this year than fellow genius/fraud Ryan Adams.) Form your own opinion when Obserst and company hit the stage at 8pm in Asheville's Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Tix are $24; if any remain, you'll find them at www.ticketmaster.com or 704-522-6500. (Kemp)

Friday, november 18

Soulganic -- the band formerly known as Organic Soul -- is one of Charlotte's premier neo-soul outfits. With Afro-Latin sounds, funk and post-bop jazz in the mix, this quartet expertly delivers intimate, honest music. Lead crooner Anthony Rodgriguez is certain to reach the emotive core of every listener in the house. And master percussionist Lucas Torres' drumming will get bodies swinging, whether or not you're familiar with the 60s soul-jazz heyday (think Les McCann et al.) that inspires Soulganic. Show's at 9pm at Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson Street. Tickets are $8 (singles), $12 (couples). (Crazy Horse)

The laws of physics and gravity will be suspended at Booth Playhouse for two evenings as Rennie Harris Puremovement puts its jaw-dropping hip-hop wizardry on dizzying display. Hailing from the City of Brotherly Love, these Philly brothers have made a name for themselves with their message-laden choreography and inflamed, improvisatory performances. Expect 90 minutes of sweaty, breathtaking intensity -- and a heavy backbeat -- as the dance troupe rolls through such staples as "Students of the Asphalt Jungle," "P-Funk," "Continuum," "Endangered Species" and "March of the Ant Man." Tickets for the 8pm performances Friday and Saturday are $35-$40. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

The latest large-screen endeavor to hit the IMAX Dome at Discovery Place is Beavers, which begins its run today and will continue into next spring. The film centers on two young beavers who encounter all sorts of obstacles after they leave their overcrowded colony to build a new home for themselves. Described as "lyrical and humorous," this is a safe bet to please those countless moviegoers who made the summer release March of the Penguins such a sleeper smash. For further details, including showtimes and admission costs, call 704-372-6261 or go online to www.discoveryplace.org. (Brunson)

Monday, november 21

He's no Salman Rushdie, all gushing imagination and politics, but Michael Ondaatje, whose rugged looks belie his literary twee-ness, has many more readers. Rushdie, who was Davidson College's annual Joel Conarroe Lecturer, is followed this year by the Canadian novelist and author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost, as well as earlier, more experimental and more interesting works such as The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. Ondaatje will speak at 8pm in Duke Family Performance Hall. The event is a sellout, but some tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7pm. Those who can't get into the lecture can still enjoy it in simulcast in the College Union Smith 900 Room. For more information, call 704-894-2000. (Grooms)

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