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Where to go. What to hear.

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Billy's Band at Gallery5

In its month-long quest to stir the pot of Russo-American relations, Gallery5 has snagged the darlings of St. Petersburg (Russia) to play Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Inspired by the barroom gravel of Tom Waits, Billy Novik and his band have cobbled together a sound that pays homage to He Who Waits, mixing in blues, jazz and an accordion. The diversity of their music inspired discussion of what exactly to call the style, and what they came up with was "Funeral Dixieland with an Infinite Happy End," which probably makes a lot of sense in Russian. But the accordion speaks a universal language. Special Ed and the Shortbus opens. $10. 644-0005.

The Tombstones at Wonderland

What's the link between rockabilly and a fascination with death? No one knows, but it's probably something to do with having a good excuse to wear black and drive fast. Anyway, The Tombstones, led by Stevie Tombstone, put new spins on Southern and Gothic with twang tunes that celebrated the afterlife-style. Tombstone hung up his skull belt in the early '90s, but has recently found a new lease on the afterlife (last time, really) with the release of the compilation album, "Twang From the Grave." Hence the touring. They play Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 10 p.m. $5. 643-9233.

Miwa Gemini at Poe's Pub

Joining our above-mentioned imports from Russia and hell, Japanese singer-songwriter Miwa throws her cat in the ring — a porcelain one named Sasha. Coming to us with guitar and banjo, and a voice that draws comparisons with Björk and Tom Waits (who's getting around this week), Miwa's style is similarly diverse: blues, Cajun, rock and folk. But it's the voice that contains so many voices that gives it sense and/or sensibility. She plays Poe's Saturday, Nov. 11, with Dean Fields at 9:30 p.m. $5. 648-2120.

Spiral 5 at Alley Katz

Tom Doland's art/music/video/fire thing, Spiral, now in its fifth incarnation, is really sort of an aesthetic orgy. Alley Katz is filled with paintings and video projections, and people juggling fire, and a lot of spoken word, so that the effect of walking through it is of, perhaps, total artistic immersion — of getting felt up by art, or experiencing it safely, at a distance, if you prefer. Spiral 5, "Esperanza," gets started Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. $7-$10. 643-2816.

Lee Roy Parnell at Canal Club

Considering how much of a sideshow Virginia's political race has been, it might have missed your attention that mystery writer Kinky Friedman was running for governor of Texas. Yes, another novelist. Not the point! The point is, Lee Roy Parnell got his start in the country scene playing with Kinky Friedman's Texas Jewboys in the mid-'70s. Since then, he and his slide guitar have kicked around Texas, migrated to Nashville and collected styles: Western swing, honky-tonk, rock, gospel. And now, apparently unaffiliated and stumping only for the music, he plays Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8:30 p.m. $17.50-$20. 643-2582. S

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