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Set List 

Where to go. What to hear.



"The Empire Rocks Back" at ComedySportz

Who knows whether the spoof or the musical part will prevail? The minds responsible for "The Musical Matrix" and "Finding Leeloo" conjure up another song-and-improv show in honor of the release of the final "Star Wars" film, May 13 at 10 p.m. The movie may end up being as corny as the show, but at least ComedySportz intends it thataway. Through June 25. $12-$14. 266-9377.

Old Crow Medicine Show at Groovin'

Bringing AC/DC zestiness to a jug band sound, Old Crow does it up with pre-war blues and mountain music. Bluegrass of late has been drawn into some strange alliances with hip-hop and rock, and Old Crow is right up there, evoking a banjo-smashing spirit. They play Lewis Ginter May 12 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $18-$20. Call 794-6700 or visit www.richmondconcerts.net.

Mastodon at Alley Katz

Some heavy-metal outfits struggle for years to coax a stage-diver onstage or a pit to form. Some, like Mastodon, have a little luck and a precise sound that gets their fans head-banging. They had a demo out within a year of forming and burned up a lot of miles touring with Queens of the Stone Age, Cannibal Corpse and Clutch. Last year's release of "Leviathan" got them a lot of acclaim and a lot more headlining gigs. Like the one May 16, playing with Cult of Luna and The Autumn Offering, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12-$14. 643-2816.

Grand Funk and Heath Haynes at Innsbrook

Yes, they're still an American band. And now Grand Funk Railroad is playing with a Richmond band, the rock-with-a-twang Heath Haynes and the Crying Shames. Style Weekly takes over the West End venue May 11 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 794-6700 or visit www.innsbrookafterhours.com.

"Venetian Carnival"

The Richmond Symphony's "Baroque and Beyond" series plays the classics with a mischievous twist. In this case, the symphony's getting festive with works by Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Monteverdi and others for two "carnival" concerts: May 13 at Randolph Macon College at 7:30 and May 15 at the Modlin Center at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5-$20. 788-1212.

Israeli Independence Day at the Weinstein JCC

Israeli folk singer Tami Rimon, sort of a Middle Eastern Carly Simon, comes to Richmond with pianist Ophir Atar for a concert sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and the Weinstein JCC May 12 at 6 p.m. to celebrate Israeli Independence Day. It's followed by a talk by Amos Guiora on "Prospects for the Future" at 7:30 p.m. Free. 5403 Monument Ave.

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