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Kodac Harrison's Speaking Bean Slam w/Gypsse Yo

For well over a year, Harrison, an Atlanta-based troubadour, has curated a monthly showcase for poets at this downtown coffeehouse. Sadly, Kodac’s now passing the baton to a local poet who’ll build on what he started, but for his final appearance he’ll do a longer set of his own than usual, and expose Savannah audiences to the Albanian-born poet Jonida “Gypsse Yo” Bego.

She’s a published author who’s toured a celebrated one-woman show throughout the States and Europe, and something of a sensation in her new home of Atlanta. According to Harrison, “She takes women’s issues out of the bedroom and transforms them into global campaigns.” She’ll draw on works from Alien Anthem, her upcoming CD. Thurs., 7 pm, The Sentient Bean.

The Alex Nguyen Ensemble

A Few months back, this Savannah native (now residing in Jacksonville, Fl.) won the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition in Bangkok(!). He’s also enjoyed residencies at some of the most prestigious jazz education programs in the world. Proficient on both the trumpet and the flÜgelhorn, he’s making a real name for himself as one of the new breed of jazzmen to watch, and for this free show will be backed up by three ace players (including bassist Delbert Felix). Fri., 9 pm, The Mansion on Forsyth Park.


Bottles & Cans

While most of the better area blues bands impress with their devotion to the art form and efforts at being as slick as possible, this local quartet achieves a similar goal through a different approach.

In broad terms, from the 1960s on, there’s always been two distinct schools of thought as far as blues bands go: either you aped the glitzy showmanship and refined air of, say, B.B. King, or you picked door number two, and played the more primitive blues typified by the Delta juke joints King worked hard to escape.

The only problem with such a didactic dilemma, is that it invariably leads to shucking and jiving at either end of the spectrum. Talented musicians buy into roles they’re simply not suited for – and there’s just as much to dislike about people dressing down in search of phony authenticity as there is people cloaking a raw repertoire in sharkskin and pommade.

Bottles & Cans succeeds not only because they’re good at what they do (mixing no-frills roadhouse R & B with two scoops of unhinged, Tom Waits lunacy), but because they look like they just rolled out of bed, and couldn’t care less what you think of their act. It’s true that the disconcerting dichotomy between frontman Ray Lundy’s speaking and singing voices implies affectation, but hey, even Mel Tillis stops stuttering when the music starts. Fri. - Sat., Mercury Lounge.

The Les DeMerle Band

One of Florida’s finest swing jazz groups, this four-piece unit of drums, vocals, bass and piano often gigs as an expanded group – sometimes swelling to almost twenty members. They’re based on Amelia Island (at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel), and have traveled as far as Singapore.

DeMerle is something of a minor drumming legend – having worked extensively with trumpeter Harry James’ band (following in the storied footsteps of incredible talents like Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson), Wayne Newton (who actually conceded to marquee billing with him in Vegas), plus Sinatra and Sammy.

Bonnie has a versatile and thrilling voice, and this lineup will likely dip into some Latin jazz as well as pop standards – all of which she can handle with ease. Call (843) 842-8620 for reservations. Fri. - Sat., 7:30 pm, Jazz Corner (Hilton Head).

JeWop, Armadildo, Subversivo!

This triple-bill of uncompromising, harsh and non-commercial punk-based music is bound to be a balm to some and a bomb to others, but that’s just the way it should be. JeWop is an agit-prop bass-and-drums duo from Florida which features the terribly talented Savannah native Adam Safer (formerly of the mid-80s hardcore act Clownknife). Armadildo plays noisy, off-color satirical set pieces, and Subversivo! offers instrumental rock that’s based around seemingly unrelated genres like surf music, Klezmer, speed metal and film noir scores. Love ‘em or leave ‘em, these bands demand to be taken seriously on their own (admittedly difficult) terms. Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.

Misty Berryhill Cancer Benefit

This fundraiser for a local 32-year-old stricken with Stage II breast cancer features local bluesman Eric Culberson and his band. Proceeds from the show will go towards Berryhill’s medical expenses (she’s already had surgery and is undergoing chemo now). Additionally, her employer (Joseph’s Salon) is hosting a silent auction. Tickets are only $10 and are available at Joseph’s, 116 West Jones St. For more info, call 236-8515. Mon., 6 pm - 9 pm, Il Pasticcio.