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A&E Feature

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Mem Shannon and the Membership Live Recording
10 p.m., Fri., Feb. 9
Tipitinas, 501 Napoleon Avenue, 895-TIPS;

Some musicians sing the blues as an existential howl of pain or as a metaphor for the great questions of life. When Uptown native Mem Shannnon sings the blues, it is the blues of ordinary life. Mem sings of SUV's cutting him off in traffic or being tongue-tied when meeting a beautiful woman. In this, he makes poetry of everyday life in the same way that Charles Bukowski did (albeit without inebriation). It is this poetry that makes Mem's music so appealing. That, and the fact that he spits out fantastic, tasty guitar solos with the nonchalance that most people put into brushing their teeth. Mem is a gregarious frontman, and his live shows blend blues, funk, soul and New Orleans music into a great party, and that's what you'll get at his historic first live recording at Tipitina's. The sets will include some new tunes and hopefully some old favorites stretching back to his profound reflections about his former life as a cab driver. Gary Hirstius opens. Tickets $5. — David Kunian


Dick Dale
10 p.m. Fri., Feb. 9
Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF

Californian Dick Dale is well-known as the inventor of what could be called the sound of the endless summer: the unmistakable, slightly creepy and hypnotic minor-key electric instrumental style that is the surf guitar. The spooky, addictive sound is exactly right for Dale's famously odd and maverick personality. Legend has it that in the late '50s, he blew up nearly fifty Fender amps in front of Leo Fender himself — who personally presented Dale with a Stratocaster prototype — with his attempts to play guitar "like Gene Krupa played drums." (Fender finally wound up designing an amp, speaker cabinet and transformer especially for Dale.) His forceful licks remain futuristic-sounding — nearly metal — today. He's even written original music for Disneyland's Space Mountain ride and opened Tomorrowland by standing atop the ride without benefit of safety equipment, playing "Misirlou," looking, one would imagine, like a strange and furious god of noise. Incidentally, Dale has also owned, at various times, a lioness, a jaguar and a Sumatran tiger. Tickets $15. — Alison Fensterstock


10 p.m. Sat., Feb. 10
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

If this is not every tour-following, bong-hitting, in-a-field-spinning jam band fan's new favorite band, they will be soon. Tishamingo combines the best of full-speed-ahead good ol' boy Southern rock in the vein of Bad Company, the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Classic rock riffs meet long, jammy improvisations in the vein of the hill-country stoners the North Mississippi Allstars, except this is no laid-back sunny-day sound. Well-oiled guitars crank them full speed ahead. They've checked off almost every milestone on the hippie-roots to-do list, including jam cruises, a Jammy Award, the Bonnaroo Festival and shared stages with Gov't Mule, Galactic and Widespread Panic. The Athens, Georgia-based quartet has been touring and recording incessantly for the past five years, and its upcoming release The Point is sure to lock down the group's place in the pantheon, with a gassed-up on super premium country-blues sound and a guest turn on Hammond B3 organ from none other than The Band's Garth Hudson. Atlanta's Blueground Undergrass, a gang of jazz and jam band-leaning pickers, and golden-voiced country torcher Shannon McNally open. Tickets $12. — Fensterstock


Mystic Krewe of Barkus Parade
2 p.m. Sun., Feb. 11
Armstrong Park and French Quarter;

Carnival is going to the dogs. Parading under the theme "A Street Dog Named Desire," the Mystic Krewe of Barkus showcases costumed canines and their human escorts trotting through the streets of the French Quarter. Hundreds of masked dogs will participate, most hoofing it, some riding on elaborately absurd floats. Spectating dogs can expect excellent throws from the krewe including doggie treats and toys. The Barkus royal court includes Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose's Katrina/pound rescued dog Biscuit. The 15-block parade starts and ends at Armstrong Park, site of a pre-, post- and during-parade public Pawty, which offers food and drink for pets and people. All proceeds benefit local animal welfare groups. Good Friends Bar on Dauphine and St. Anne streets is the site of the parade reviewing stands. All dogs are welcome to join the Krewe of Barkus, and can be registered online at up until Friday, Feb. 9, or at Armstrong Park on the day of the parade. Advanced registration $40, registration on the day of parade is $50. — Emily Hohenwarter


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