Says Indy film critic Godfrey Cheshire: "The Invisible Man (Gadfly) is my favorite Don Dixon CD ever." As usual, Cheshire's on the money. Don Dixon's latest platter, an ambitious song-cycle that summarizes the entire life of a single character, contains hook-laden pop topped with a twist of irony. Reviewers adore The Invisible Man, but, according to Dixon, "it's the worst-selling record I've ever made." To the bassist and his wife Marti Jones, a fine singer with liquid pipes, it's an old familiar tale: Critical hosannas don't beget big paychecks.
So much for commerce. Let's talk about art. Simply because the music swings, the Jones-Dixon juggernaut will reprise tunes from the record live at the ArtsCenter Friday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m. Also on tap will be three brand-new compositions from the soundtrack of director Stacy Cochran's film, Drop Back Ten, the duo's latest project. "This will be the first time Marti and I will play stuff from the movie in public," says Dixon.
There's no opening act for the Carrboro date, so expect the unadulterated Jones-Dixon experience. Solos by each with a guitar. Grinning duets. Requisite wife-hubby banter. And cool-rockin' combo interplay co-starring longtime bandmates guitarist Jamie Hoover and drummer Jim Brock. Call 929-2787 for details. --Joe Vanderford
Chilean-born guitarist Oscar Lopez (pictured) has risen to the forefront of the world music scene since relocating to Canada in the 1980s. Lopez blends Latin and soul influences into a distinctive, elegant style that matches flawless technique with remarkable heart and feeling. His 1998 Narada release, Heat, reached the top 20 of the Billboard World Music chart, while his latest, Amando's Fire, garners exceptional critical praise. You can feel the heat of Lopez' music at the Irregardless Café in Raleigh at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, thanks to the Friends of World Music. Tickets are $15. Call 787-2798 for information.
North Carolina's most electric Celtic music and dance ensemble, Cucanandy, returns to the ArtsCenter in Carrboro for an 8 p.m. Saturday concert. Cucanandy, which debuted their CD He Didn't Dance at the ArtsCenter in August 1999, has toured from Nova Scotia to Georgia with an exciting, upbeat presentation. The group includes veteran musicians Mike Casey, Stephanie Johnston and Jason Cade, and noted step-dancer Malke Rosenfield, a member of the original London cast of Riverdance. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $10 for ArtsCenter friends. For information, call 929-2787. --Art Menius