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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go


The History Boys
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Oct. 17-18; 3 p.m. Sun., Oct.19; through Oct. 26
Southern Rep, The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., third floor, 522-6545;

High school history might bring back bad memories for some, but Alan Bennett's The History Boys takes a humorous and engaging look at the lives of students on the cusp of adulthood. Set in England in the early 1980s, the play recounts the exploits of a rambunctious class of schoolboys and their preparation for the Oxbridge University entrance exams. Guiding them through this critical period in their lives are three unique professors with contrasting teaching styles. Through the lesson plans of the instructors, the show examines the importance of education in the maturation process. The History Boys is the second show in FourFront Theatre's inaugural season. Fred Nuccio directs David Hoover, Lucas Harms and a large cast. Tickets $20. — Davis




High on Fire
8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 18
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Oakland, Calif.'s High on Fire emerged from the ashes of singer/guitarist Matt Pike's well-regarded stoner-metal act Sleep, and both bands have been held up as influences by the ever-proliferating ranks of sludgy stoner metal. The band proves that slow and steady wins the race. Even its sound moves like hot lava — menacing, fiery and slowly devouring everything in its path. The band has been around for a decade now, slowly building cred, fans and relationships with musical luminaries, metallic and otherwise. Its work has been produced by Steve Albini and Jack Endino of Mudhoney and Nirvana fame, the band toured with Megadeth, and it boasted a former Melvin on bass. High on Fire opens for Opeth, a Swedish prog-metal band with surprising jazz influences. Also on the bill is Baroness, a Southern punk-metal quartet. Tickets $21.50. — Fensterstock




Martin Sexton
8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 18
The Parish at the House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Photo courtesy of Crackerfarm Former street singer Martin Sexton knows the power of persuasion. He allegedly sold 15,000 copies of his 1992 demo In the Journey out of his guitar case while busking. (There are no stats on how long it took him to do it.) The heavily jazz-influenced acoustic folkie has an earthy, soft pop/soul style made arresting by his multi-octave vocal range. His singing has been compared to the soothing sounds of Al Green and Van Morrison. He worked his way up to an Atlantic Records contract and a pair of major-label releases, and then split to form his own label, Eastern Front. His latest record is 2007's poppy Seeds . Jammy Bostonian singer/songwriter Ryan Montbleau opens. Tickets $20. — Fensterstock




Kenny Neal and John Mooney
Sat., Oct. 18, 10 p.m.
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS,

This is a great date for Louisiana blues lovers. Kenny Neal (pictured) comes from a blues family. His dad was Baton Rouge blues patriarch and bad mamma-jamma Raful Neal, who taught most of his large brood how to play. Kenny added a touch of soul and has toured the world. Longtime New Orleanian John Mooney has been playing incendiary shows in town since the 1980s. When he starts attacking his guitar strings with a slashing motion and stomping his boot while playing under- and overhand on the guitar neck, one gets the feeling that he is one of the few current bluesmen who could hold his own against Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and some other blues legends. Neal and Mooney have been friends for years so there is a good chance that they could be facing off by the end of the night. Tickets $10. — David Kunian


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