March Madness Marching Band
9 p.m. Feb. 19 at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester. $15. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.
Stuff brass, reeds, percussion, hula hoops and a plentiful dose of performance zeal in a blender, then turn that sucker on high. What you have will be the celebratory local sounds of the March Madness Marching Band.
The ensemble has become something of a regional institution during the past few years, having played Louisville's mighty Forecastle Festival last summer and Lexington's homegrown Boomslang last fall, among many other events. More important, March Madness has reflected an immense sense of community pride with visible roles in scores of area fund-raisers.
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This weekend, we get to give a little love back to the band. The all-volunteer group, which boasts more than two dozen day job-bound musicians and dancers, is trying to stir up enough bucks to hit the road for a performance at the Honk! TX festival of community street bands next month in Austin, Texas.
To that end, it will headline a fund-raiser of its own Saturday at Buster's. The guest list will be large. There will be performances by Rebel Without a Cause, FUMA, Prefab Rehab, Gail Wynters, Hallwa, Rakadu Gypsy Dance, Sabi Diri, Chip Chop, Amalgamation Fire Nation and the Holler Poets.
So what if it's the middle of February? March Madness will be in full swing Saturday for what will truly be some Texas-size fun.
Words, music and images
Local music goes from the page to the screen at two events this weekend.
Friday night at The Morris Book Shop, 408 Southland Drive, songwriter James Friley, who performs and records under the name Idiot Glee, will help celebrate the DVD release of Elbow of Light, a documentary on the life and work of Kentucky writer/photographer James Baker Hall. Friley composed the film's musical score. (6 p.m. Free. (859) 276-0494. Morrisbookshop.com.)
Over at Natasha's Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade, Central Kentucky's long-running Reel World String Band will team Friday night and Saturday with poet/novelist/writer Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, who will read from her musically informed 1995 novel Come and Go Molly Snow and other original works. Saturday's show is sold out. (8 p.m. Friday. $8. (859) 259-2754. Beetnik.com.)
Born Mark Silverman, he became a classically trained, jazz-proficient artist who today performs professionally as That 1 Guy. Although versed on the upright double bass, Silverman's musical weapon of choice these days is an instrument of his own design called the Magic Pipe. It's a mutation of pipes, joints and strings that stands more than 7 feet tall. On Sunday, That 1 Guy will slap and pluck his progressive and percussive sounds from the Magic Pipe at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Avenue. (9 p.m. $10. (859) 309-9499. Cosmic-charlies.com.)
How long has it been since Randy Newman played Lexington? April 1978, when the famed songwriter performed at the University of Kentucky Student Center Ballroom while riding high on the popularity of his radio hit Short People. Since then, Newman has become one of Hollywood's most distinctive and prolific film score composers. But when he makes his way-overdue Lexington return Wednesday at the Lexington Opera House (7:30 p.m.; $45.50-$55.50), Newman will be armed with only a piano and a library of songs that shift from the sardonic to the unsentimentally sensitive.
Newman discusses his 40-plus-year songwriting and composing career in Sunday's Life + Arts section. For more ticket information, call (859) 233-3535 or go through Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.