Big Wig: From New Jersey, the state that gave the world Bruce Springsteen, the Misfits, and Bon Jovi, among others, comes Big Wig -- a hyper-catchy melodic-core band that packs a punk punch. The band's recent album, UnMerry Melodies (on Fearless Records), boasts a dozen fast-paced, moshibly delightful numbers, as well as the most bugged bunny imaginable on its cover. Big Wig goes off tonight at 9:00 p.m. at the House of Rock (5360 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach), with local bands the Vacant Andys and Radio Baghdad. Admission is five dollars for those age 21 and over, seven for those ages 18 to 20. Call 954-429-9966.
august 29 Gilberto Gil: One of the most significant and beloved singers, composers, and instrumentalists of contemporary Brazilian pop music returns to Miami as the Rhythm Foundation presents Gilberto Gil, performing songs from his new album, Quanta, tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.). Three years ago Gil performed in Miami with Brazilian chanteuse Gal Costa in the 25th anniversary celebration of tropicalia, the musical and pop culture revolution he founded together with singer-composer Caetano Veloso in the late Sixties. Always at the forefront of popular Brazilian music, even during a period of exile in London in the early Seventies, Gil has infused the music of his nation with not only its popular samba and bossa nova beats, but with the traditional rhythms of his home in Bahia -- xote, xaxado, afoxe, and bai‹o -- and other rhythms from the Caribbean and Africa. Tickets cost $20, $30, and $40. Call 672-5202.
Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show/Fort Lauderdale Fall Home Show: If it's time to start thinking about remodeling and redecorating the old homestead, there are two places you'll want to be this Labor Day weekend. Dade dwellers can head over to the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach) for the Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show. The show features more than 1200 displays, including furniture and accessories from more than 30 countries; architecture and interior design services; home improvement products and seminars; and fine art, hardware, electronics, and gardening items. A highlight of the show is a series of rooms custom-decorated to fit the personalities of five local radio personalities. The show runs today and Tuesday from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m.; tomorrow and Sunday from noon to 10:30 p.m.; and Monday from noon to 7:30 p.m. Admission is seven dollars. Call 667-9299. If your dilapidated shack is farther north, you might want to visit the Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) for the 26th annual Fort Lauderdale Fall Home Show. The show encompasses more of the same, plus a new-home display, a pet expo, a stress-relief-gadget area, and a Music in Design showcase, with live performances in rooms decorated in classical, rock, jazz, country, and rap motifs. Show hours are 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. today; 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday; and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday. Admission is $6.50. Call 954-966-0704.
Ife' Ile' Dance and Music Ensemble: Neri Torres, founder and director of Ife' Ile' Dance and Music Ensemble, celebrates the opening of the troupe's Cuban Dance and Music Center with a fundraising performance tonight at 9:00 p.m. at Power Studios (3701 NE Second Ave.). A dancer and choreographer trained at Havana's Instituto Superior de Artes (she recently toured as a dancer and choreographer with Gloria Estefan's Evolution world tour), Torres has devoted herself to educating the public on the finer points of Afro-Cuban culture, exploding myths and celebrating its richness, and exposing Cuban-American children to their roots. Tonight's performance, titled Ache, consists of dances of the oricha, rumba, palo, and son montuno traditions. Tickets cost $30. Call 863-2151.
American Indian Powwow: Celebrate this Labor Day weekend with the color and rhythm of Native American dance and music at the ninth annual American Indian Powwow at C.B. Smith Park (900 Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines). The fest features intertribal powwow dancing, specialty dances such as the eagle and the hoop dances, and flute music, plus tepee displays, Native American arts and crafts, and traditional foods. (Maybe the event will make you think about the inappropriateness of naming a football team the "Seminoles." The "Fighting Caucasians," anyone?) Admission is three dollars (kids under six get in free). The festival runs today from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., tomorrow and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call 954-437-2650.
Always First-Ever In-Progress Arts Festival: Okay, so Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale) has actually hosted a whole bunch of these, but they are always first-evers because they are each unique. What makes this In-Progress Arts fest installment unique is the reunion of veteran Fort Lauderdale band Black Janet, which tonight celebrates the sixth anniversary of its first show at the club. Just for the occasion, a plethora of players from the band's ever-changing lineup will come out to jam; the first 50 people at the door will receive a copy of the band's most recent CD, She. As is common practice at In-Progress fests, amateur and professional artists are invited to draw and paint, for prizes, on paper draped over the walls. Doors open at 9:00 p.m. Admission is five dollars for those age 21 and over, seven for those ages 18 to 20. Call 954-522-2151.