Stuff that should be on your radar this week.
Updated: It's summer, so there's not a lot going on out there outside of the Essence Music Festival, though Friday also includes a great Texas folk-blues show with Monty Russell and Butch Hancock at Chickie Wah Wah.
Friday: D'Angelo at Essence Music Festival, 7 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Superdome: America has waited since 2000 and Voodoo for D'Angelo to return. Since then, he has cut tracks and promised albums that haven't materialized, but reports from this winter's European tour were enthusiastic, and his unannounced jam at Bonnaroo earned rave reviews. (tickets)
Saturday: Kevin Hart at Essence Music Festival, 7 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Superdome: It's a sign of how ridiculously big comedian Kevin Hart has become that he's a featured performer and not simply an emcee at Essence. Last year's stand-up special Laugh at My Pain changed his place in the comedy universe, making him one of the biggest draws going. (tickets) After the show, he'll be hosting a post-Essence birthday bash at The Republic that promises a load of Essence-oriented guests.
Monday: Harry Shearer, 8:30 p.m., The New Movement Theater: "The Megaphone Show" is the signature game for The New Movement's improv comedy show, and on Monday Harry Shearer will be the guest storyteller to start the ball rolling. The show is a benefit to help raise money for The New Movement's fall comedy festival, Hell Yes Fest. (tickets)
Tuesday: Outside In with Delfeayo Marsalis, 10 p.m., Blue Nile Upstairs: The Open Ears Music Series features improvised music, so it will be interesting to see where things go when Delfeayo Marsalis leads a jazz band that doesn't typically play "out" into more explorational territory.
Wednesday: Creepy Fest Opening Night, 8 p.m., The Big Top: This punk rock festival runs through Saturday night at venues around town, and it starts with a double feature of the B-movies Goregasm and Zombie vs. Mardi Gras, and performances by The Unnaturals and Cockface Killer MC. Check the festival's Facebook page for the full schedule.
Thursday: Blackbird Hour, 6 p.m., Ogden Museum of Southern Art: These former Kudzu Kings from Oxford, Mississippi are drawing from a lovelier pop tradition, then rendering it with as few instruments as possible to create a raw, vital thing from an orchestrated possibility.
Live From the Grayish Carpet: Julie Farman worked much of her life behind the scenes in music and television; now she's out of the game, cleaned up and blogging with wit, intelligence and honesty about the life she has led and the one she's leading. She's as good with the anxiety over what to do now as she is with the story of stars' bad behavior then.
Timi Yuro: The Complete Liberty Singles (Liberty/Real Gone Music): Yuro's one of those artists who are made for a cult following. These recordings from the 1960s suggest that she experienced no emotion in moderation - the catch in her voice on "I Apologize" is on the verge of tears, and the joy's about to burble over in "I Know (I Love You)." You can focus on her performance partly because the arrangements clear out around her, and because there's little in the material she was given to distract you. It's all serviceable after her spectacular debut with "Hurt."
The Long Goodbye: Robert Altman's 1973 revisionist take on Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe pissed off Marlowe fans, and while it lacks the dark ending of the book, where solving the crime is Marlowe's way of giving everyone in Los Angeles and the surrounding region the finger, it's cynical enough. Life is cheap in Altman's L.A. too, where police corruption's assumed and love (or lust) is just as cheap. Elliot Gould's not an obvious Marlowe in that he's no one's white knight, but he's not a part of the self-absorbed, self-serving world around him either. Altman takes liberties with Chandler's novel to reach the same end: to flay the hide of Southern California, and Gould puts a very human, chain-smoking face on the process.
Updated 10:05 a.m.
The New Movement's festival is the Hell Yes Fest, not the Hell Yeah Fest as first reported. The text has been changed to reflect the correction.