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Dwight Yoakam at Innsbrook After Hours
He plays such despicable bastards in "Sling Blade" and "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," invoking some deep well of ignorant small-town hatred. But hey, his music is great! It comes from the good side of the small town, this old-time country sound that is heavy on drawl and even dips into an occasional whine, almost a wail lamenting lost love or heroin addiction. He explores his range Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m. $10-$30. 794-6700.
The Walkmen at Canal Club
It's hard to decide if the flawed rasp of singer Hamilton Leithauser's voice is a quirky strength, like in a Dylan fashion, or just gets in the way of perfectly self-respecting pop. The guitar-driven sound of this New York band is certainly more distinctive as a result, garnering acclaim from Billboard, Pitchfork and Entertainment Weekly. Said voice gives a swervy, drunken quality to what would otherwise be very clean. But this gives it character, like the excellent mariachi flavors that tie together the band's latest album, "A Hundred Miles Off." The Walkmen play Saturday, Aug. 12, with Nashville's Bobby Bare Jr., 8:30 p.m. $5. 643-2582.
Dick Kniss and Paul Prestopino at Ashland Coffee & Tea
Dick Kniss and Paul Prestopino rocked it with John Denver
at least as much as you might imagine John Denver rocking. "Rocky Mountain High" gets pretty close. Anyway, Kniss was his bassist, and both he and guitarist Prestopino also did a lot of work with legendary folkies Peter, Paul and Mary. Now they join locals George Turman, Daniel Clarke, Jackie Frost, Libby Dunton and Frank Coleman in the Ashland listening room for a night Mr. Denver would be proud of Thursday, Aug. 10, at 8. $20. 798-1702.
Community Block Party
Once a year, thanks to Eziba Muntu African Dance & Cultural Foundation along with Tuesday Verses, poets and spoken word artists are allowed to come out of their dark bars and theaters to throw verbosity at the sunny world! A block party features Tuesday Verses poets Ayo Morton, Dyore and guest poet Taalam Accey, the Ezibu Muntu dancers, soul music by Joe Bibbs & The Experience, and hip-hop by Guillotine X. Expect spontaneous displays of art, music and theater heck, even flame twirling and belly dancing. It's a good reason to get out of your poetry hole Saturday, Aug. 12, noon-10 p.m. on East Main Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. Free. 304-6857.
The Cheap Seats, Brent Gorton and Liza Kate at Alley Katz
And now for your indie moment: Richmond's pop darlings The Cheap Seats, guilty of some good-looking lyrics and rock that's kind of tender, are joined by Albany's Brent Gorton and The Tender Breasts (his band is his girlfriend and her friend, and congratulations on the band name of the week). Gorton and his Breasts cobble together intricate pop arrangements that might hail from the 1960s if that decade had come up with such a good name. Rounding out this love-in is our own singer-songbird Liza Kate opening for the show Thursday, Aug. 10, 7-11 p.m. $6. 643-2816. SClick here for more Calendar Events