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For the week of July 5 through July 11

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In "Zinn-terpreting" U.S. history

Three "best bets" come together on Saturday evening at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham. It's a celebration of four days after Independence Day (herein to be known as "Zinn-dependence Day"). The three: Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, which tells the real story of our nation, warts and wonders both; Traction, the Durham lefties who do politics and fun, usually simultaneously; and Manbites Dog Theater's Jay O'Berski, who will direct a staged reading of the new volume Voices of a People's History, pairing Zinn's primary sources with a marvelous cast of local talent. Yes, Christopher Columbus (John Allore) starts it off. But Zinn & Oberski also give us John Brown (David Berberian), Emma Goldman (Dierdre Shipman) and Fannie Lou Hamer (Heather Fisher), among many others not usually featured in the American Pageant. No reservations, $15 donations accepted at the door. The show starts at 8 p.m. Manbites Dog Theater is located at 703 Foster St. For more information, contact Traction by e-mailing lanya@gettraction.org. --Bob Geary



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In big weekenders

The effects of the under-construction Raleigh Convention Center are anybody's guess, but its new downtown digging for upping tourism may raise the rent in such a way that places like Kings--which made lower McDowell Street interesting at a time when no one else seemed to care--won't make it in its current home. But this weekend isn't for worry, it's for celebration: The gangbusters Gong Show opens the seventh anniversary weekend on Thursday at 10 p.m., followed by a release party for Brian Walsby's Manchild 2: The Second Coming on Friday at 9 p.m. (read "The prodigal Manchild returns") and a Tribute to Sade on Saturday from TV Knife. For more, see www.kingsbarcade.com. --Grayson Currin



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In 3>2>1

If watching TV on the Radio and Bauhaus open for Nine Inch Nails at Alltel last month didn't suit your fetish for paranormal, out-of-context rock music, this guitar-heavy trifecta should satiate you. The Drive-By Truckers, an Athens five-piece banking on one of the strongest triple-songwriter teams in history and a handful of really loud amplifiers, are one of the few bands revitalizing smart Southern rock while actually living in the South. They're used to smoky rock clubs, much like Robert Randolph & The Family Band, a 13-string steel guitar, big-boogie bottom, hand-clapping craze. On Wednesday, July 12, both bands will share the Alltel Pavilion stage with headliners The Black Crowes, whose hits stopped coming, in earnest, when George H.W. Bush was sent packing in Washington. Seriously, Robinson family rivalry can't be that compelling, can it? Guitars howl at 7 p.m. for $28.50-$38.50. --Grayson Currin



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In flying fiends

This Friday is First Friday in downtown Raleigh. That means the city's art galleries will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. for an evening stroll. It also means those who get an early start on the art can catch a free cult classic movie at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. This week's Natural Horror Picture Show offering is The Devil Bat (1940), in which horror film legend Bela Lugosi plays Dr. Carruthers, a man turned bitter by the betrayal of his employers who became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members. Quirky film shorts from the AV Geeks start off the evening at 5 p.m. with the feature starting at 7 p.m. The museum's resident mammal expert will be on hand with live bat specimens to look at, and the Acro Café will be open, so you can grab some beer, wine and food. The museum is located at 11 W. Jones St. on Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Raleigh. For more information, call 733-7450 or visit www.naturalsciences.org. --Fiona Morgan



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In modern myth

According to myth, Romans lured Sabines to a feast in order to abduct the women. Years later, when Sabine soldiers mounted a retaliatory attack, the women intervened between their fathers and brothers and their new Roman families. Eve Sussman's new video The Rape of the Sabine Women, based on Jacques-Louis David's 1799 neoclassical painting "The Intervention of the Sabine Women," sets the scene in the 1960s, on location in Greece and Berlin. This Thursday, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University unveils the 90-minute video, the latest work by Whitney Biennial superstar Sussman, made in collaboration with the Rufus Corporation arts collective (see page 34). The video will run on a continuous loop in the Nasher's gallery through Sept. 24 while Sussman works on the final cut. With this event, the Nasher proves willing and able to play on the stage of international contemporary art, providing local audiences with a truly cutting-edge viewing opportunity--and perhaps influencing a verdict on Sussman's latest creation. The Nasher Museum is located at 2001 Campus Drive on Duke University's Central Campus. Admission is $5, $4 for seniors, $3 for non-Duke students and free to Durham residents. For more information, call 684-5135 or visit nasher.duke.edu. --Michele Natale

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