John Prine: Funny as Woody Guthrie, crafty as Bob Dylan, and with an eye for detail that rivals Bruce Springsteen's, John Prine is one of the four or five greatest singer/songwriters to emerge from the Seventies. Over the course of fourteen albums and a pair of compilations, the craggy-voiced Prine has mastered topical folk ("Sam Stone"), searing hard rock ("Saigon"), evocative storytelling ("Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone"), rockabilly ("No Name Girl"), burned-out country ("Sweet Revenge"), and mainstream rock and roll ("Picture Show"). The just-released Live on Tour covers as much ground, from the only-slightly-dated "Illegal Smile" to the stuff from his last two sets of new material (The Missing Years from 1991 and 1995's Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings), with a few fine studio tracks tacked on at the end. Prine is performing tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre (1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach). Tickets cost $21 and $25. Call 954-946-2402. (JF)
Bonnet House JazzFest on the Green: The historic Bonnet House (900 N. Birch Rd., Fort Lauderdale) and its beautiful 35-acre grounds become a garden of jazz delights this weekend as the Gold Coast Jazz Society hosts its fourth annual outdoor classical jazz festival. "Peanuts" Hucko and his All-Stars -- including vocalist Louise Tobin, vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, pianist Eddie Higgins, bassist Phil Flanagan, and drummer Bobby Rosengarden -- present a salute to Benny Goodman tonight at 7:00 p.m. Also performing tonight are the Phil Flanagan Quartet and the Eric Allison/Turk Mauro Quintet. The Grammy Award-winning Count Basie Orchestra, led by conductor Grover Mitchell, headlines the festival tomorrow at 9:00 p.m., with performances by the Eddie Higgins Trio, Simon Salz and the Gold Coast Jazz Society Repertory Orchestra, and the Western High Jazz Band beginning at 7:00 p.m. Both evenings at 5:00 p.m., the local duo of vocalist Julie Davis and guitarist Kelly Dow warms up the crowd. The festival runs both nights from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. Tickets cost $20 each night. Call 954-563-5393. (GC)
Unstrung: Puppets aren't just for kids any more. The Sideshow Marionette Theatre, a new performing arts organization, presents a theatrical program that'll change the way you look at contemporary American puppetry, tonight and tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). SMT combines puppetry with music, dance, and visual elements such as masks, found objects, and scenery to create a series of visually and intellectually stimulating theatrical vignettes that tackle complex contemporary issues. Mature audiences recommended. Admission is free. Call 954-987-1028. (GC)
U.K. Subs: Two decades ago four British lads made their way across the pond and launched a massive aural assault on American punk fans. They went on to open for the Ramones and the Police and had four hit singles and albums on the U.K. pop charts. The U.K. Subs have the distinction of influencing the likes of Henry Rollins, the Fastbacks, Hanoi Rocks, Guns N' Roses, and Dennis Rodman. U.K. Subs's original lineup celebrates twenty years of wreaking havoc tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Cheers (2490 SW Seventeenth Ave.). Up-and-coming Pittsburgh-based punks Anti-Flag and local bands Against All Authority and U.F.C. open the show. Admission is eight dollars. Call 857-0041. (GC)
Arturo Sandoval/FIU Jazz Festival: See Thursday.
Don't Stop the Carnival: The much-anticipated musical by Jimmy Buffett and Herman Wouk (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Caine Mutiny and Winds of War) opens tonight at the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove). Based on Wouk's 1965 novel of the same title about a New York publicist who leaves the big-city rat race for what he thinks will be the easy life of the Caribbean, this production is not your average theater experience: Buffett promises to serve jerk chicken in the lobby and unplug the air conditioning to engender a "real" Caribbean atmosphere. So leave your diamond tiara at home, put on that tacky Hawaiian shirt and Panama hat, and join the party. The show runs through May 11. Tickets cost $40. Call 442-4000. (JO)
L7: As the major labels continue to shove fake alternative bands down the collective throats of punk fans, it's nice to know that L7 -- whose 1992 hit "Pretend We're Dead" was one of the few genuinely great singles of the Nirvana era -- is still making some of the best punk records around. True, the new one (The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum) doesn't break much new ground. Nevertheless it's loaded with the kind of brutal, abrasive, but 100 percent catchy poppy-punk stuff that, in the face of all the generic angst-peddlers still moping around video sets and club stages, is all too rare these days. Go hear 'em tonight at Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale) with opening acts Plexi and local wailers Jack Off Jill. Tickets cost ten dollars. Doors open for this all-ages show at 7:00 p.m. Call 954-522-2068. (JF)
Workout for Hope: Move your body and sweat with the best fitness instructors in the area as they lead the ninth annual Workout for Hope today at the University of Miami Wellness Center (1 Hurricane Dr., Coral Gables). Contributions benefit HIV/AIDS and related cancer research at the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute in Los Angeles; last year's event raised more than ten million dollars nationwide. You can participate even if you aren't a hardbody: People of all ages and fitness levels are invited to work out at their own pace; a minimum of $50 in pledges is required. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The event kicks off at 10:00 a.m. Call 535-8666. (GC)
Corrosion of Conformity: Back in the mid-Eighties, C.O.C. was one of a million generic hardcore bands with an admirably leftist political stance and the usual buzzsaw riffs and rat-a-tat rhythms. Since 1991's Blind, however, this foursome from Raleigh, North Carolina, has evolved into one of the greatest heavy-metal bands on the planet, with a molten style that fuses the righteous roar of the MC5 with Black Sabbath's raunch and the groove of vintage Southern rock. The band is currently on tour with Metallica, whose frontman James Hetfield cameos on C.O.C.'s new album Wiseblood. Anyone who thinks Metallica is the only band that matters should definitely get to the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.) early; both groups are performing there tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $29 and $39. Call 530-4400. (JF)
Arturo Sandoval/FIU Jazz Festival: See Thursday.
Bonnet House JazzFest on the Green: See Friday.
Unstrung: See Friday.
Willie Nelson: No one seemed to notice them, but Willie Nelson knocked out two of his greatest albums last year at a time when pundits and profiteers were claiming country music was heading quickly toward the dumper. Since Nelson no longer sells truckloads of records, it was probably easy for Nashville to overlook Spirit and How Great Thou Art, but both rival anything in Nelson's estimable canon of good stuff. The former is a dark, atmospheric set of broken-hearted ballads and soul-searching weepers, performed with only piano (compliments of sister Bobbie) and fiddle accompanying Nelson's aching vocals and breathtaking acoustic-guitar work. The latter takes a similar musical approach, but the set is composed of gospel standards such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Farther Along," and the title cut. In a word, amazing. Nelson is performing today at the Swap Shop (3501 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Cover charge is ten dollars; show starts at 4:30 p.m. Call 954-791-7927 for more information. (JF)
Desert Cliche: The Bass Museum of Art (2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach) tries to separate fact from fiction regarding contemporary Israeli life with the exhibition "Desert Cliche: Israel Now -- Local Images." The exhibition, which opens today and runs through June 30, is a collection of works by eighteen prominent Israeli artists who seek to challenge the myths about political and social issues in their native land by questioning the stereotypical images overused by the media, highly charged national symbols, and other popular visual cliches. (One work, Ariane Littman-Cohen's Holy Land for Sale, is made up of 150 signed and numbered bags of earth, held together with wood, linen string, and wax.) The exhibition opens today at 10:00 a.m. with a family-day program featuring a gallery talk with curators Tami Katz-Freiman and Amy Cappellazzo at 1:00 p.m. (free with museum admission); children's art projects with Israeli artist Noa Holzshtein at 1:30 p.m. (five-dollar materials fee); and "Silver Moon Tapestry: Jerusalem 3000 Tears," a benefit concert featuring jazz pianist Liz Magnes at 3:00 p.m. ($25). The exhibition runs through June 30. Museum hours are 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (open till 9:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month). Museum admission is seven dollars. Call 673-7530. (GC)
Duncan Sheik: Love hurts. Just ask Duncan Sheik. His self-titled debut album, a collection of gentle rockers and melancholy ballads, plumbs the aches and pains of romantic entanglements through melodic arrangements that recall the subtle pop stylings House of Love, Talk Talk, and the Smiths. But don't expect the mope of Morrissey: Sheik is optimistically reflective and doesn't seem to get mired down in self-pity. The South Carolina-born Sheik handled vocals, guitars, keyboards, and accordion duties when he recorded the lush organic album in a 150-year-old French chateau. Tonight he is backed by a full band as he takes the stage at Marsbar (8505 Mills Dr.) Neo-folkie pop singer Jill Sobule opens the show. Admission is ten dollars. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Call 271-6909. (GC)
Art 3 Ways: Three artists present their individual artistic visions in a comparative exhibition at art1037 (1037 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Cuban-born, HIV-positive painter and sculptor Cesar Augusto offers his "magical landscapes," which depict fields and mountains inhabited by peaceful animals as black tribal angels and other figures float above in the heavens. (Augusto's best-known work, the mural Hope for All, adorns Camillus House.) Photographer Kate Rudin juxtaposes frank images of gay life with religious icons and found objects in humorous and ironic contrasts that make for biting social commentary on homophobia. South Florida Art Center artist Beatricia Sagar's handmade prints involve innovative papers, paints, and other materials to demonstrate the endless possibilities for variety within repetition. The exhibition will be on view through May 5. Admission is free. Gallery hours are noon to 10:00 p.m. from Tuesday through Sunday. Call 534-3339. (GC)
Desert Cliche: See Sunday.
Frost in Florida: A Memoir: Borders Books & Music (3390 Mary St., Coconut Grove) celebrates National Poetry Month with an inside look at the life of poet Robert Frost. Tonight at 7:00 p.m. veteran journalist and author Helen Muir discusses her book Frost in Florida, in which she fondly recalls the friendship she cultivated with Frost during the 30 years that he was a part-time resident of Coconut Grove (in the Thirties, Frost rented a house on Avocado Avenue; in 1941 he rented a house on Ohio Street and visited the area every winter until his death in 1963). Admission is free. Call 579-2300. (GC)
Desert Cliche: See Sunday.
Art 3 Ways: See Tuesday.