Night & Day

february 25
When you talk to Fury III singer-guitarist Stephen Nutt, you get the feeling that one day, as he's being led away in handcuffs, his neighbors will be standing in their front yards saying to reporters, "He seemed like such a nice guy." And he does. But it's only after talking with Nutt for a while that you begin to notice his quirks. Like when the Dallas Observer ran a story on his band last year and he wanted to use a photo of a coffin in lieu of one of him and his bandmates, bassist Benjamin Johnston and drummer Jeff Ryan. Or when he approached us at the CD release party for Fury III's EP Poor Me a few months ago, offering us a couple of razor blades, saying cryptically, "You might need these." Whatever. We learned a long time ago that when Nutt does things like that, he's probably joking. At least we hope he is. Besides, Fury III's music (think early Kinks, then stop thinking) is enough to make up for Nutt's skewed sense of humor. Just don't take anything he says too seriously. Fury III performs on Thursday at Club Dada, 2720 Elm. The show starts at 10 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Call (214) 744-DADA. The cover charge is $5.

february 26
If you've ever wondered what motor oil tastes like, go down to your local pub and order a pint of Guinness. We like beer as much as the next guy. In fact, occasionally we have drunk enough for us and the next guy, but Guinness is where we draw the line. On the few occasions we've ingested the thick black liquid, we've awakened the following morning with the strange sensation that we'd eaten one of our pillows while we slept. It was like having a beer float. Call us crazy, but we like to have our dessert with a cup of coffee, not in our beer. Many people out there might scoff at our distaste for the creamy beverage and point out that we are something of a disgrace to our Irish heritage. Fine. We're comfortable with that. At least more comfortable than we'd be if we ever had to drink another pint of Guinness. If you disagree, head down to The Old Monk on Friday to participate in the Great Guinness Toast, an effort to get in The Guinness Book of Records for the most people toasting at the same time. Celtic rock band The Killdares will perform at 8 p.m. The Old Monk is located at 2847 N. Henderson, and there is no cover. Call (214) 821-1880.

february 27
The Dallas Video Festival doesn't start for several weeks, but beginning Saturday, The MAC and the Dallas Video Festival are offering a preview of this year's showcase. Well, sort of. The exhibit, Wired for Living, features 13 video and film works by visual artists, including Matthew McCaslin, Nam June Paik, Kaleta Doolin, Brian Fridge, and Nic Nicosia. It's an acknowledgment of how far video art has come, finally on par with "painting and sculpture as collectible items," according to Bart Weiss, director of the Dallas Video Festival. That may be true, but it's still going to take a while to convince us that the medium responsible for Saved By the Bell: The New Class can be thought of in the same terms as painting or sculpture. See for yourself when Wired for Living opens at The MAC, 3120 McKinney, on Saturday with a free reception from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. The exhibit continues through April 3. The 12th Annual Dallas Video Festival happens on March 25-28. Call (214) 953-1212.

february 28
Pardon us for raining on its parade, but the lineup for the two-day Third Annual Texas Independence Day Music Festival doesn't exactly strike us as, uh, exciting. It looks more like a Deep Ellum junior varsity scrimmage, featuring the likes of Shame Shame, Resident Hero, Tiffany Shea Band, Eden Automatic, Seventh Veil, and another fine mess. Kinda makes you wonder who'll be playing at the Galaxy Club and Curtain Club, since all the usual suspects will be at Sons of Hermann Hall for the festival. Of course, there are a few standouts. Well, two, actually: blues man (and Observer contributor) Josh Alan and snotty punks The Visitors. But sorry, fellas, two out of three dozen ain't good. Prove us wrong. The Third Annual Texas Independence Day Music Festival happens 2 p.m.-midnight Sunday and 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm. Tickets are $15 on Sunday and $10 on Monday. Call (214) 823-3966.

march 1
Since December 1990, the USA Film Festival has presented classic films on the first Monday of every month, giving people a chance to see some of the best films Hollywood ever produced as they were intended to be viewed: on a big screen. While we question the film that started the series (Funny Face), for the most part the festival's picks have been unimpeachable--not only critics' faves, but just plain good movies, whether they are Bruce Lee flicks such as Enter the Dragon or underrated gems such as The Night of the Hunter. The USA Film Festival celebrates the 100th screening of its First Monday Classics series with Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Notorious, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. The screening happens at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatres, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $7, $6 for USA Film Festival members. Call (214) 821-FILM.

march 2
In honor of Duke Ellington's 100th birthday, the UNT Symphony Orchestra presents a special concert of Ellington's songs, featuring the composer's former assistant Randall Keith Horton as a guest conductor. Horton will also lead his own big band and a 200-voice choir, which will join dancers, vocal soloists, and narrators in a production of Ellington's final work, "The Sacred Music." The concert happens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora. Tickets are $10-$75. Call (940) 382-9948.

march 3
The pairing of the Amazon region in South America and IMAX film seems like a natural combination. After all, the Amazon is bigger than life, and IMAX is just big enough to capture it all. So the resulting film, Amazon, has every right to be phenomenal. And it is. The plot, what there is of one, mirrors the Sean Connery film Medicine Man closely, following two medicine men as they trek through the Amazon in search of plants with mythical power. But the cinematography is where the film really proves itself. It's breathtaking, re-creating the actual feeling (or so we imagine) of walking through a rain forest, the colossal trees intertwining and forming a canopy 100 feet overhead, strange plants and animals filling every square inch of the screen. It packs much more of an emotional punch than, say, Kevin Costner's latest, Message in a Bottle, and unlike that film, it's worth the price of admission. Amazon opens on February 26 at The Science Place's TI Founders IMAX Theater (located in Fair Park) and shows daily through the end of the year. Admission is $5-$6. Call (214) 428-5555.

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Zac Crain
Contact: Zac Crain