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Where to go. What to hear.





Slaid Cleaves at Ashland Coffee and Tea

On the one hand, The New York Times calls Slaid Cleaves "one of the finest singer-songwriters from Texas," though Texas and New York might as well be different planets when it comes to singing and songwriting. On the other hand, Russell Crowe has recorded one of his songs on his own album, which throws a whole pent-up aggressive Australian twist into the mix. Are these good omens or ill? Whatever the case, it means Cleaves is getting noticed in the big old world. And besides that, his latest album, "Wishbones," is a great one, and he can tell a story, really tell a story. Whether that comes out with an Aussie accent is for fate to decide. He plays Ashland Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. $15-$20. 798-1702.



Kevin Nealon at the Funny Bone

Alas, it seems that there's room in the spotlight for only one tall, goofy-looking SNL comedian at a time (sorry, Chevy, here's some change for a coffee), and Will Farrell appears to be the chosen one at the moment, shooting himself in the neck with tranquilizer darts and hoping to find his dad. Nealon, however, always maintained a certain dignity, a certain good-natured, oblivious charm that would every now and then reveal a prankster or an outright sadist. He was the Subliminal Man, after all. Anyway, he's playing the Funny Bone Sept. 29-Oct. 2, so here's your chance to stimulate the open market of tall, goofy comics. $22. 521-8900.



Rockapella at the Modlin Center

Golldarn, how do they make all that music without no instruments? It's a real head-scratcher — invisible instruments, maybe — or perhaps something else. Perhaps a total mastery of the auditory variety of the mouth and voice box, more than even the guy in "Police Academy." It's a harmonic power that earned Rockapella the job of singing the theme to "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" and ultimately a worldwide fan base. Rock stars with no instruments: There's the magic. What's next? Invisible groupies? A-ha. They play UR's Camp Concert Hall, Sept. 30 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $8-$32. 289-8980.

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