Singer-guitarist Jay Farrar was once a member of the critically lauded altcountry band Uncle Tupelo, which he founded with friend Jeff Tweedy, who sang and played bass. But the band -- and evidently their friendship -- dissolved in 1994, and Tweedy went on to form Wilco, Farrar the roots-rock unit Son Volt. That band's jangly guitar rock scored the first time out, when the single "Drown," from 1995's Trace, became a minor hit. The stark soundscapes gave way to broader arrangements on 1997's Straightaways and blossomed even further on last year's Wide Swing Tremolo. Dour, sentimental lyrics and slide guitar are featured on the record, but the band is capable of putting out more upbeat tunes, like the rocker "Straightface." Son Volt will open for John Mellencamp tonight at Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets range from $16.75 to $39.75 for the 8 p.m. show. Call 561-793-0445.
The Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles is dedicated to producing plays by and about gay people. And like any other live venue, it must pay attention to the bottom line. So when ticket sales started to lag in the mid-'90s, artistic director Robert Schrock searched high and low for a show he thought would be a sure-fire hit. He knew already that the Celebration crowd loved musicals, but a musical about what, exactly? Then it hit him: nudity. He called on a few songwriter friends, and the result is Naked Boys Singing! -- a Broadway-style musical revue that celebrates the male physique in song, dance, and skits, all performed by eight actors in the buff. Schrock claims the show is about nudity as freedom, but naughtiness is a fixture in the campy songs. Consider these lines from "The Naked Maid": "Next you start disrobing, and then begin your probing/ For the tools you need to clean his house/ Paper towels and Bathroom Duck/And all the while he wants to...." (You get the idea.) Pop-rock numbers and ballads are also featured in the show, which has been running in L.A. since its March 1998 opening. The touring production hit the road last month, and Schrock serves as consultant for the production previewing tonight at 8 at the Drama Center, 2345 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach. Ticket prices range from $30 to $40. Call 954-571-7909. See "Stage" listings for a complete schedule.
The trick behind keeping professional wrestling interesting these days is planning what goes on not inside the ring but outside it. The soap operas featuring blowhard behemoths from rival camps are really what make World Championship Wrestling's Monday Nitro (on TNT) at least mildly interesting. And one of the latest brouhahas features a buncha good ol' boys headed by Curt Hennig and a street-savvy posse known as the No Limit Soldiers. In this battle between country and hip-hop, Hennig continually disses rap, especially the music of real-life rapper Master P, who leads the No Limit Soldiers. Also on the hip-hop side is Cuban-born, Miami-raised Konnan, who's known for the catch phrase, "Viva la Raza!" ("Long Live the 'Hood!"). Hennig and three of his boys will take on Konnan and crew during the WCW Bash at the Beach tonight at the National Car Rental Center (1 Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise). The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and the main event features "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Sid Vicious in a tag-team match against Sting and world heavyweight champ Kevin Nash. Tickets range from $15 to $35. Call 954-835-8000.
Originally written to bolster drama on the big screen, the emotive crescendos and decrescendos of movie scores now serve as soundtracks for the laser show Symphony of the Stars, which runs daily at the Aldrin Planetarium at the South Florida Science Museum (4801 Dreher Trl. N., West Palm Beach). Although most movie music takes a back seat to the action, it pretty much dictates the pulse of the laser effects in the planetarium format. The family-oriented show features laser-outlined dinosaurs dancing on the dome to John Williams' Jurassic Park theme. The Big Apple skyline appears when Frank Sinatra lights into "New York, New York" (from On the Town), and kiddie-film tunes -- "Circle of Life" (The Lion King) and "Chim-Chim-Cheree" (Mary Poppins) -- are balanced by adult fare such as the overture from Phantom of the Opera and "The William Tell Overture" (known to most as the theme from The Lone Ranger). Admission to the 3 p.m. show is $4. Call 561-832-1988.
Some may remember Gary Zukav, the Harvard University alum and Vietnam vet who, in 1979, made almost perfect sense of quantum physics in his book The Dancing Wu-Li Masters, which won the American Book Award in Science. A decade later he switched gears, leaving the physical world behind for even tougher subject matter. In The Seat of The Soul (1990), he contends that, for too long now, we've pretty much lived our lives according to the survival-of-the-fittest ethos, which suggests that humans take care of number one by overpowering everything else -- animals included -- through fear and intimidation. So how do we get beyond that? Through spiritual growth, of course. Zukav makes his case in easy-to-read prose that blends modern psychology and New-Age principles to explain the evolution of the soul and its existence in the afterlife. Zukav will discuss his best-selling book and signs copies at 7 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University, Assembly Bldg., 3200 S. University Dr., Davie. Admission is free. Call 954-723-0489.
After California hip-hop DJ Aaron Carter spent a couple of years immersed in the U.K. dance scene, he returned to the States and shared a rundown apartment in Los Angeles with his friend, a rock guitarist named Stephen James Barry. One day Carter was in his bedroom looping some dance tracks on a synthesizer when Barry picked up his guitar and began to play along. Both liked what they heard, and they formed Cirrus. Carter had no doubt come across U.K. techno bands like the Chemical Brothers, who were already experimenting with rock 'n' roll. But Cirrus doesn't just mix dance tracks with rock samples; both members sing and rap, and Carter plays bass while Barry splits his time between guitar and keyboards. Working with a minimal budget and equipment now considered obsolete, they recorded tracks for their debut album, Drop the Break, in 1997. The single "Superstar DJ" made Billboard's Top 10 dance chart, and with the addition of drummer-vocalist Rene Padilla, the group recorded its second album, Back on a Mission, in 1998. The title track appeared on the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation movie soundtrack, and the video has been featured on 120 Minutes and Amp. Padilla has since been replaced by a session drummer, who's on the road with Cirrus for its current tour, which stops tonight at the Chili Pepper, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Cover is $5 to $15. Doors open at 10 p.m. Call 954-525-5996.