Saturday 5.10

[MUSIC]

AFRICAN BEAT

Asheville-based quintet whip up a neo-griot frenzy

A Toubab Krewe show typically begins in the past, with a brief percussive disquisition on West African rhythms; gradually picks up velocity as more surf, jazz, dub, and hip-hop ideas are stirred into the mix; and ultimately climaxes in a futuristic, psychedelic, neo-griot frenzy. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, this usually all-instrumental toubab (Wolof for "white") quintet has spent considerable time in Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, studying with some of West Africa's finest musicians as well as performing (they played Essakane, Mali's remote "Festival in the Desert" last year), and they have an oversized bag of big, bad African riffs to show for it. Spoken-word radical Umar Bin Hassan, who joined the Last Poets in 1969, will open the show and later collaborate with the Krewe. At 8, Blender Theater at Gramercy, 127 East 23rd Street, ticketmaster.com, $15 RICHARD GEHR

[ART]

FINALLY, SATISFACTION?

Mothersbaugh's non-musical talents celebrated

Turns out that while Mark Mothersbaugh was on the road with Devo back in the day (1978—best SNL band appearance of all time?), he was sending back elaborately illustrated postcards. The hobby has persisted to this day, and now 3rd Ward presents a celebration of Mothersbaugh's artistic postal aesthetic in The Super Thing: NYC goes DEVO. As the title implies, the exhibit also showcases a slew of other artists who represent the Devo sensibility. Tonight, Mothersbaugh—whose recent gigs include music for most of director Wes Anderson's films as well as the Apple vs. PC campaign—will make a guest cyber-appearance. Feel free to wear funny hats! At 8, 3rd Ward, 195 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn, 3rdward.com, rsvp to: gallery@3rdward.com, free before 10 EUDIE PAK

[THEATER]

WANTED: A POET

A look at our own troubled times via Aristophanes

Obie Award–winning writer and performer David Greenspan, who was just nominated for a Drama League Award for his work in The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, wraps up Target Margin Theater's terrific two-season exploration of Greek works with an adaptation called Old Comedy (from Aristophanes' Frogs). While the story itself is ancient, its themes are as fresh as ever: Set in Athens during a terrible, losing war without political leadership, the play concerns a group of heroes who go in search of a poet with the wisdom to save them—a task that ends up being far more difficult than they can imagine. David Herskovits, artistic director of Target Margin, directs. In previews, opens May 11, through May 31, Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13th Street, 866-811-4111, $34–$50 ANGELA ASHMAN

 
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