Imagine this entry from the diaries of Lewis & Clark, trekking their way through our country in 1805: "Dear Diary: We're itching less; there's fewer mosquitoes the further west we go. As we make our way down the Columbia River, we're surprised to find chicks! Tons of them. Seems a lot of these communities are led by women. One particular group of Indians, the Wasco Nation, weaves the most faaaabulous baskets. They cut us a great deal: We're taking a bunch home. They'll look great in our cabin!" Okay, maybe it didn't happen quite like that, but if baskets are your bag, you can get an idea what a Wasco model looks like when Pat Courtney Gold, a member of the Wasco Nation, delivers a slide lecture during a meeting of the Tribal Arts Society at 8:00 p.m. at the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables). Gold was recently commissioned by Harvard University's Peabody Museum to weave a contemporary basket for their collection. She'll offer a seminar on her specialty as well from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, also at the Lowe. Admission is five dollars for the lecture; $95 for the basket-making class. Call 305-442-0068 or 305-448-2425. (NK)
"Let me take your hand, I'm shaking like milk" -- the immortal words of Robert Smith, frontman for the Cure. That song, "Let's Go to Bed," it could be argued, was the first to signal today's ambisexual hetero-vague sensibility with its refrain: "I don't care if you don't, and I don't feel if you don't, I don't want if you don't ... Let's go to bed." It's deliciously to the point, anything but straight, dangerous, and poetically nonpoetic. The Cure has endured. Tonight a bevy of local bands you've probably never heard of with names like Waxburn, Glossy, Shuttle Lounge, the Easies, and Lexus of Pembroke Pines honor the ghoulish vibe that continues to inspire all good Goth kids to paint dark circles under their eyes and tease their hair into a frenzy. The event, Friday I'm In Love: A Cure Tribute Show begins at 9:00 p.m. at I/O Lounge, 30 NE 14th St. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-358-8007. (JCR)
We don't care what you think. Come the third Thursday of November, we wine lovers scream: "Vive La France!" unashamed to welcome bottles and cases of Beaujolais Nouveau to our shores. It is an age-old tradition that goes back to the roots of humanity. Today the Alliance Franaise welcomes the youthful vintage with a wine tasting and country-style buffet. The young wines, formed during the hot summer of 2003, are expected to be among the best years ever. And in true Dionysian spirit, the Francophiles will be serving up a party complete with dancing and divinity. The party starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Alliance Franaise, 1414 Coral Way. Admission is $30. Call 305-859-8760. (JCR)
Pop culture commentator, beatnik performer, and artist extraordinaire Red Grooms shows off more than 100 works made over the past 40 years in the exhibition "Red Grooms: Selections from the Graphic Work" at the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables). Nashville native Grooms has lived in New York and Chicago and depicted structures like the World Trade Center and the Woolworth Building, yet he's managed to retain a distinctively folkie element in his work, not to mention a sly and gentle sense of humor. The show, which opened just yesterday, runs through Sunday, January 18. Admission is five dollars. Attend today's Family Day (noon to 4:00 p.m.), featuring an array of art-related activities, and you'll get in free. Call 305-284-3535. (NK)
Are all those Master and Commander commercials you keep seeing on TV making you want to take to the high seas on a tall ship and sail around the world? Sure, it could be a grimy enterprise, but consider the cool outfits you'd get to wear. Everyone looks better in epaulets! Well, Nathaniel Philbrick's book, Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, might make you think twice about your maritime fantasy. Philbrick documents the exploits of Charles Wilkes, who set out in six ships with 346 men including scientists and artists to chart the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, put anyone out to sea for several years, and he is bound to go nutty. And Wilkes turned out to be a rather uninspiring leader. Among his ills: promoting himself to captain, getting panicky in bad weather, and flogging sailors. Not to give away the book's end, but one of the largest scientific studies in the history of Western exploration comes to an ignominious finale. Can you say "court martial"? Philbrick reads at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408. (NK)
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Since the beginning of time, folks have been mucking their way through the Everglades and acting like the giant swamp is a big deal. How do we know this? Environmental anthropologist Laura Ogden of FIU told us. And she'll tell you tonight at 7:30 when she talks about early Everglades naturalists and gladesmen guides during a meeting of the Florida Native Plant Society at Fairchild Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables). Currently working on a project dealing with white Glades settlers who hunted alligators and fished the waters, Ogden specializes in exploring the process people use to attach cultural significance to natural landscapes. Admission is free. Call 305-255-6404. (NK)
So the Muslim world has been fasting for a month in observance of Ramadan, a holy month of abstaining from sensual pleasures. That's right. Just around the time we begin our perverse foray into the holidays, Muslims worldwide are emerging from 30 days of no food, no Jgermeister, no Hooters. No shit. Depending on the lunar calendar, today may be the last day of the fast. The day before Thanksgiving! What better time for all good Americans to build bridges with their Muslim neighbors. Invite a starved and fun-deprived family over to gorge on your turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. Smoke a peace pipe to symbolically end strife and hatred between the cultures. (JCR)