You're never too old for a cardboard fort

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 1:00am

Paint and rule the cardboard castle or fort of your choice at Art & Invention's Fort Night

‘Prayer — America’s Hope’ with Ricky Skaggs
Sommet Center, 501 Broadway,
free, 11:30 a.m.

Politics and religion don’t usually mix well, but music remains universal. In that spirit, 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs will perform outside the Sommet Center to celebrate the National Day of Prayer.

A national day of prayer was first established in 1952 by President Harry Truman. Gov. Phil Bredesen proclaimed in 2005 that every first Thursday in May will be Tennessee’s Day of Prayer. Bredesen will be on hand at the event, along with Mayor Karl Dean, but we can all pray that neither join Skaggs on stage as background singers.

Known affectionately today as bluegrass music's official ambassador, Skaggs has brought the genre to greater levels of popularity than the father of bluegrass music, the legendary Bill Monroe, could ever have imagined. Since his first top hit, “Crying My Heart Out Over You” in 1983, Skaggs has put together a prolific career, including a coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year award.

The event is sponsored by The Operation Andrew Group and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, whose president, Journey Johnson, called the Y’s involvement “a blessing.”
— Vincent Troia

The Tits CD release show with Howlies and the Clutters
The Basement
1604 Eighth Ave. S., 254-8006
9 p.m., $5

“Hey mom, I started a band!”

“That’s fabulous, honey, what did you name it?”

“The Titts!”

Such was the exchange when the Titts first formed three years ago, before they dropped a T but kept right on rocking.

It’s a band name not even a mother could love in an era where band names are getting progressively weirder by the day.

The Tits’ penchant for oddball names bleeds over into the trio’s members, who take on fictitious personas Christian Rock, Sweet Davey Titties and Hollywood. And their new full-length album is humbly titled Jesus Says Relax.

Whatever the Tits lack in monikers, they make up for in rampaging sound, which is anything but relaxing. The group will unleash its new material at a CD release party tonight at the basement, which includes an undercard worth the price of admission as Howlies and the Clutters play in support.
— Nate Rau

Fiesta Belmont
Belmont University,
free, noon to 7 p.m.

Fiesta Belmont, Nashville’s largest and longest-running Latin street fair, returns Saturday for its fifth year. An annual celebration of Latin culture, Fiesta Belmont is a free event of Columbian, South American, Caribbean and Hispanic food vendors; folkloric Latin dance group performances; a wide variety of continuous Latin music including mariachi, conjunto/cumbias and salsa from some of the city’s top professional bands; plus children’s activities such as piñatas, face painting, bubble games and inflatable slides.

The festival was the idea of Belmont faculty member Dr. David Herrera and is student-run. Profits from the event will benefit the YMCA Hispanic Achievers program, which assists local youth and parents through membership and educational programs.
— Alexa Hinton

Dave Pahanish
The Listening Room Café
Located inside Cummins Station
209 10th Ave. S., Suite 200
free, 9 p.m.

At a recent Tin Pan South show at 12th & Porter, songwriter and country artist Trent Tomlinson played side by side songwriter Dave Pahanish as a group of top tunesmiths took turns rendering their songs. By the close of the second set, Tomlinson had dubbed Pahanish “Keith Urban on steroids.” Tomlinson also publicly declared that Pahanish was deserving of a major record deal. Legendary songwriter Harley Allen, also on that Tin Pan South stage, was seen repeatedly pointing out Pahanish’s unique playing and singing style to his sister from Kentucky seated on the front row, raising his eyebrows to
her as if to say “that's the real deal.”

The energy, emotion and passion Pahanish pours into both his guitar playing and singing makes for a riveting performance — and he’s got the goods when it comes to songs as well. Most visible of late, Pahanish is one of the co-writers behind country artist Jimmy Wayne's recent No. 1 country smash, “Do You Believe Me Now,” and Wayne’s current single, “I Will.” No offense to Wayne, but there’s no comparison to hearing these hit songs straight from the source. Expect Pahanish to be singing his own hits on the radio before too long.
— Drew Ruble

food drive
15th Annual Stamp Out Hunger
at your mailbox
free, all day long

Want to help friends and neighbors struggling during the economic downturn? Take part in this weekend's 15th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The event, which is co-sponsored by the Campbell Soup Co. and the U.S. Postal Service, comes directly to your home Saturday as letter carriers collect food left by mailboxes this weekend.

Food pantries around the country are experiencing unprecedented requests for service and a reduction in donations due to the economic downturn. This drive, the nation's largest single-day food drive, will help bolster local and national supplies for months to come. Items acceptable for donation include canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice. Please do not include items that have expired or are in glass containers.
— Sherry Phillips

play time
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, MAY 9-10 (every weekend until it snows)
Fort Night
Art & Invention
1106 Woodland St., 226-2070
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, $35-$75 per castle/fort

Meg and Bret MacFadyen, the fun-loving couple who own Five Points’ Art & Invention, are the Peter Pans of our day. The artsy sweethearts with endless imaginations remember a time when the delivery of a new refrigerator was a big event — not because of the appliance but because of the box it arrived in. The cardboard rectangle was not only big enough to play in, it was big enough to transform into a fort or castle!

To the MacFadyens, you’re never too old to get down and dirty with some paints and packaging material to fashion your dream bastion of cardboard and they want to share the experience. The MacFadyens will provide all the supplies and space you need — just bring your playful attitude. While families are the likely candidates, continue to think outside the box: It’s a perfect date night (afternoon) or adventure with a best buddy. So get your group together and make a reservation for this or any weekend until the weather turns nasty.
— Alexa Hinton

Roman Candle
Mercy Lounge, 1 Cannery Row
$7, 9 p.m.

Chapel Hill-based geek rockers Roman Candle play this Tuesday as part of a Paste Magazine sponsored co-headlining sweep of the Midwest and South with Nashville's own The Deep Vibrations. Touring ahead of the May release of their new album, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear, the Candles have sharpened their sound with this new batch of songs, each driven by lead vocalist Skip Matheny’s nasally delivery and hooks reminiscent of fellow Carolinian legends Superchunk, such as oh-so-ironic emo apology “Why Modern Radio is A-OK” and current single “Early Aubabe.” With their soul-heavy rock, The Deep Vibrations provide a rougher-around-the-edges compliment to Roman Candle’s relatively smooth pop tunes.
— Kyle Swenson

James Taylor
Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick Ave., 782-4000
$82, 8 p.m.

He didn't quite invent folk-rock in the manner that Bill Monroe created bluegrass or Charlie Parker changed the approach of alto saxophonists, but James Taylor’s 1970 album Sweet Baby James was among the most influential singer/songwriter releases ever. It was also one among many that have featured Taylor's brilliant lyrics and often underrated lead vocals. Such songs as "Fire and Rain" and "You've Got a Friend" are demonstrative and triumphant tunes. Indeed, Taylor did such an extraordinary job on "You've Got a Friend" that many still think he penned that number, even though it was one of several great Carole King tunes that Taylor made personal standards.

Although he's a master at tender ballads and sensitive numbers with acoustic guitar backing, Taylor has always had a fondness for soul and R&B. Some of his finest covers include Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is," "Handy Man" (Grammy winner) and "Up on the Roof." Taylor's newest release is Other Covers (Hear Music), a seven-song follow-up to his Covers CD that includes his versions of "In the Midnight Hour," "Knock on Wood," "Memphis" and "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."
— Ron Wynn