THURSDAY, JULY 30
The Dead Weather
War Memorial Auditorium
301 Sixth Ave. N.
7:30 p.m., $30
Rock’s newest super-group actually evolved from what was originally supposed to be just a jam session. But when Alison Mosshart (The Kills, Discount), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, The Greenhornes) got together the first time with Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) at his Third Man studio there was instant chemistry.
The results were followed by a period of intensive songwriting and recording that lasted nearly three weeks. Ultimately on March 11, 2009, The Dead Weather made their debut live public appearance, appearing at the formal opening of Third Man Records’ (White’s label) Nashville headquarters. Shortly after that performance, they issued the single “Hang You from the Heavens.”
Like all White’s bands, it disperses blues, rock, even punk and soul influences through its tunes, with Mosshart’s emphatic leads, and the supporting harmonies of White, Fertita and Lawrence proving unusual and arresting. White has used this setting to display a drumming style that is equal parts rudimentary, clipped and effective, while also playing both acoustic and electric guitar. Fertita is the keyboards maven, playing organ and piano as well as guitar and bass. Lawrence plays bass, guitar and drums. The instrumental configurations and choices often are just as intriguing as the performances.
See them perform Thursday night at War Memorial Auditorium.
— Ron Wynn
FRIDAY, JULY 31
Frist Fridays with Super-T
Turner Courtyard, Frist Center for the Visual Arts
6-9 p.m. (rain or shine), $8.50 (free for Frist members)
Hard to believe another season of Frist Fridays, one of the city’s most popular summertime destinations, is just about over. But before you get in a funk about it, get funky with it instead as Super-T is in control of the season finale.
Some know him as the front man for the Tyrone Smith Review; others simply as the Super-T, caped in brilliant blue. For nearly 30 years, he has entertained audiences in nightclubs, at festivals, in frat houses or at wedding receptions, laying down killer grooves and dance moves. Whether groovin’ to “Brick House” or movin’ with “The Bird,” the result is an evening of classic rock, funky soul music and great R & B.
Frist Fridays artists perform under the stars in the Turner Courtyard, where great entertainment and art mingle with cash bars and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.
Finally, underestimate Super-T at your own risk. This Southeastern legend has performed at two inaugural balls and at the wedding of Jenna Bush, daughter of the former President. But don’t remind him — he’s still trying to erase the memory of seeing G.W. do the Funky Chicken.
— Vincent Troia
FRIDAY, JULY 31
Arrington Vineyards Wine and Swine 2009
Belle Meade Plantation Carriage House
5025 Harding Pike
7 p.m., $75
This event is sure to make your mouth water. With Arrington Vineyards' Wine and Swine 2009 event, not only will the Kix Brooks-owned winery be serving up its award-winning wine, but also delicious pork dishes from local restaurants.
Here's a taste of what to expect: Parmesan pork loin and pork milano from Finezza Italian Bistro; pulled pork barbecue, baked beans and smoked sausage from Jim N' Nicks Bar-B-Q; carnitas, a Latin American stewed pork, from The Red Pony; and other pork-inspired treats from mAmbu, Sol and Clifty Farm. Plus, Royal Icing Custom Cakes will dish up decadent desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
Murfreesboro band and songwriting duo FarCry will provide the musical backdrop for the event, which is being held in the (newly air-conditioned) Belle Meade Mansion Carriage House.
So, enjoy a glass of white or red, sink your teeth into some juicy pork vittles and feel good about the whole thing because you are supporting the Circle of Hope and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
— Alexa Hinton
FRIDAY, JULY 31
Knowing Me, Knowing You: The Music of ABBA
3rd & Lindsley
818 Third Ave. S.
9:30 p.m., $10
Admit it: You sing along to “Dancing Queen” and every other ABBA song you hear on the radio. So be a super trouper Saturday night and head downtown to be a dancing queen looking for his angel eyes and — OK, yeah, that’s enough.
Artists ranging from Elvis Costello and Sid Vicious to guitar whiz Yngwie Malmsteen have covered individual songs by the Swedish supergroup, who have sold more than 300 million records since 1972. Erasure went a step further in the early ‘90s, releasing the Abba-esque EP.
But Nashville’s own Knowing Me, Knowing You brings an entire night of pop delight to the party. The group is headed up by Helena Johansson — yes, she is as Swedish as she sounds —and Nikki Williams of South Africa, who channel their inner Agnetha and Anni-Frid. They are backed up by a host of other musicians to help you get your groove on and on and on, Scandinavian-style.
If you want to head down to 3rd & Lindsley early, you can catch Etta Britt at 7. Britt has sung background vocals for an artist roster that includes Marty Stuart, Billie Joe Shaver and comedian Bill Engvall, among others. Her show costs $8.
— Geert De Lombaerde
Food Network's Southern Food & Wine Festival
FRIDAY, JULY 31-SUNDAY, AUGUST 2
Gaylord Opryland Hotel
One Gaylord Drive
Hours and prices vary per event
Love watching celebrity chefs on TV?
Bring the family out this weekend to see your favorite Food Network stars at the Southern Food & Wine Festival at Gaylord Opryland.
Nearly 100 exhibitors, food and wine samplings, food competitions, plus live cooking seminars and opportunities to meet Food Network chefs Alton Brown, Bobby and Jamie Deen and The Neelys await attendees at an event organizers want to make an annual Nashville fixture.
If national celebrities aren't your fancy, check out Nashville's own celebrity chef Carol Fay, The Loveless Cafe's "Biscuit Lady," who will present cooking seminars Saturday and Sunday. Check Gaylord Opryland's Web site for an hour-by-hour schedule of events.
But get your tickets quick. Some events including An Evening with Alton Brown, billed as an exclusive private dinner tasting of "Tennessee's Tomatoes and Corn in All Their Glory" are already sold out.
While the grownups may be more excited about the celebrity chefs there's plenty to keep the kids entertained. A series of interactive exhibits for children includes stations to make fruit sushi, decorate your own cupcakes, build your own ice cream sundae or make a salt dough sculpture.
A portion of the proceeds from wine tastings will go to Women Rock For The Cure, a nonprofit organization committed to fighting breast cancer by finding inspiring ways to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Nashville.
— Sherry Phillips
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1
Shakespeare Allowed! King John
Nashville Public Library, Main Branch
615 Church St.
1-4 p.m., free
Bard fans and political wonks alike can come together and take advantage of a free opportunity to engage uniquely with one of Shakespeare’s history plays.
The Nashville Shakespeare Festival is hosting community readings of the complete canon of the William Shakespeare. In a room within the downtown library, 12 chairs will be placed in a circle, and anyone who wishes to read aloud is welcome to do so. Everyone — regardless of accent or voice type — is welcome, provided they can read.
The series continues on Saturday with a reading of King John, an early history play attributed to Shakespeare that deals with political themes drawn out in later works. Fans of Henry V and Richard III will find much to embrace in the play, and Shakespeare Allowed! may be one of few opportunities to get to know this work without reading it at home in solitude. King John is one of Shakespeare’s least-performed plays, though it was popular during Victorian times.
Listeners are always welcome at the readings, and all involved are encouraged to come with a sense of humor. With a group of Nashvillians recreating an attempted coup from the air-conditioned comfort of the library, the reading will surely be a nerdy good time.
— Amy Griffith Graydon
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1
Wasted Thread: A Textile Recycling Project
6-9 p.m., free
Tiffany Denton is helping save the planet one sock at a time. While many are focusing on recycling paper and plastic bottles, Denton, a local artist, is collecting tired, worn out pieces of clothing from around the world to use in her framed collages and in projects she makes with her students as an elementary school art teacher.
After creating a blog to spread the word about her “Wasted Thread” project, Denton started receiving donations of worn out fabric from around the world.
Her latest installation, opening at Nashville’s new Blend Studio on Saturday, was created using a sewing machine to stitch individual fabric segments into one long piece that will pour out of a trash can suspended from one corner of the ceiling. People will be able to walk in, around, and under the flowing piece.
The fabric she doesn’t use will be recycled at a textile recycling facility, and any proceeds from her artwork sales will be donated to Kiva.org, a popular Web site that connects donors to people looking for micro-loans.
Blend Studio in the downtown arcade is the creation of artists Samantha Callahan and Ben Vitualla, and it’s fast becoming a home for artists who work on community-based projects.
— Bennett Davidson
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1
Big Band Dance featuring The Usual Suspects Orchestra
Centennial Park Event Shelter
2600 West End Ave.
7:30 p.m., free
Times are tough. Though it's hot and muggy in the city, perhaps a beach vacation is not an option this summer. Thankfully you can still dance the Carolina Shag on a sand-dusted dance floor every Saturday night at Centennial Park.
Our parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression through their own resourcefulness and strength of character and, not coincidentally, they also knew how to dance. Social dancing could be the perfect diversion during tough economic times — you don't need any special equipment, even shoes are optional if things get really tough, all you need is music.
This Saturday, the 20-peice band The Usual Suspects Orchestra will perform songs from the swing era perfect for stepping out with your baby. If you haven't been spending your involuntary furlough practicing the foxtrot, don't despair — instructors from Dance World will lead a group dance lesson at 7 p.m. Both the lesson and dance are free.
— Helen Stevens