School of Social Work, UNC Campus—Pregnant women are bombarded with birth stories that range from the truly horrific ("30 hours of excruciating labor") to the flippant ("I just said,'Gimme that epidural'") to the too-good-to-be-true.
The documentary Orgasmic Birth seems to fit into the last category. Filmmaker Debra Pascali-Bonaro, a doula, spent five years documenting births around the world, capturing "stunning moments of women riding waves of pleasure." You read that right. Not only are women's bodies built to give birth peacefully, the film argues, many women have a "joyous and sensuous" experience.
Interviews with doctors, midwives and World Health Organization experts attempt to debunk the notions of birth that lead American women to schedule C-sections or experience the life-changing event passive and fearful on a hospital bed. However rare the orgasmic birth experience may be, hopefully this screening, one of many worldwide, will feed a much-needed discussion of America's urgent need to reform obstetric care. The United States ranks very poorly in maternal and infant mortality, with more than 1,000 American women dying before, during or after childbirth each year. So tune out the screaming emergencies of TLC's A Baby Story and check out this screening and discussion with the filmmaker, as well as information on local alternative birth services. Just don't feel like a failure if your own birth falls short of orgasmic. Screening at 7 p.m. Suggested $20 donation benefits UNC BirthPartners. For more information, check out www.trianglebirthnetwork.org. —Fiona Morgan
Memorial Hall, UNC Campus—There are giants in jazz—players, leaders, innovators—and then there is Ornette Coleman. A true, yes, maverick, Coleman pushed the free jazz movement of the '50s and '60s into the realm of the establishment, and his singular vision meant he rarely appeared as a guest on others' recordings. In fact, the term "free jazz" came from the title of a 40-minute Coleman record with an octet. He disliked it as a genre name, as his music required a good deal of composition.
Coleman's influence and status led him to friendships with fellow saxophonists like Albert Ayler, who similarly favored a bluesy heart in his music, and eventually to his recognition outside of jazz as a great thinker at large. In recent years, Coleman has continued to challenge the norms of jazz, matching himself with much younger players. In 2007, his album Sound Grammar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music. Carolina Performing Arts is lucky to have him: Such a behemoth of both jazz history and modernity casts an engulfing shadow over most everything. Don't miss this. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show cost $10-$65. —Chris Toenes
David Allan Coe
Volume 11 Tavern—Because his career defies any rubric of interpretation, David Allan Coe—the writer of "Take This Job and Shove It," "The Ride" and "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)"—is one of the most unsettling figures ever to emerge from American music. Though he is an empathetic father and husband who's long disavowed racism, he's claimed he's been on death row, consistently written about carnal and corporal pleasures, and played his infamous race songs on guitars painted to look like Dixie flags. But he's from Ohio, quotes Eminem and Bob Dylan, and formed a metal band with Pantera's Dimebag Darrell. The paradoxical 69-year-old sacrifice to Southern culture returns. With Automag and White Knuckle Trucker at 7:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin