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Black Valentine's Ball at Gallery5
If you insist on going out Valentine's Day, remember restaurants are going to have the expensive couple's deals ("Oh look, Charles! The key lime pie is heart-shaped!"), but Gallery5 offers reasonably priced entertainments. There's the power-rock duo El Zombie, the trippy new new wave of Myotis, A Roman Holiday's contemplative indie rock, and Wiseacre's sawdust-and-shotglass country. And they're all doing covers of love songs! Love gone sour! Which tastes of key lime pie. The show starts at 7 p.m. $5. 644-0005.
Akron/Family at the University of Richmond
Brooklyn's Akron/Family would seem to be designing the soundtrack to a new religion, something that sets spiritual frenzy to music, moving from free-form jazz to a hymnal-quality folk. The group also throws in Tibetan prayer, chanting, lots of clapping and a sax. It's all tickled along by a mandolin and the harmonized voices of a band that recorded the latest album, "Meek Warrior," while delirious from touring and lack of sleep. Akron/Family has definitely gone somewhere else and come back with something worth hearing. The band plays the UR Commons with opener The Young Sinclairs Friday, Feb. 16, at 9:30 p.m. 289-8505.
Chris Williams Memorial Benefit at Sin é
Because Richmond's musicians mix and swap and integrate, a single musician's effects on the local scene can be profound. As can be seen in the benefit concert for Chris Williams, a local drummer who died last year and whose various musical cohorts have come together to raise money for a scholarship fund to be awarded to local music students. Williams, one of the founders of the Pat McGee Band, is honored by fellow bandmates in Fighting Gravity, New York's Alex Nackman and South Carolina's Travis Allison Band. Rounding out the bill Friday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. is Buffett cover band B2B and Wonderground, playing its final show. $10. 649-7767.
Giant Bear at Poe's Pub
Strange and wonderful, Memphis' Giant Bear mixes any kind of music that rolls off the mountain with funk and, because it's Memphis, the slow rumble of the blues too. Ah, it's a complex, well-orchestrated mess, bounced between male and female voices. Wait there's a classic violin! Or is it a jouncing fiddle? It's like that the whole time, and it's a joy just to try to keep up. Holly opens Thursday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. $5. 648-2120. SClick here for more Calendar Events