The Musician's Exchange at One Night Stan's (2333 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood) celebrates its 27th birthday through this weekend with performances by, well, exactly the sort of groups you expect -- jazz and blues artists with lengthy résumés. Though Roomful of Blues and Toni Bishop concerts in the next two days may pull in greater numbers, we recommend tonight's NRBQ show. The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet began in Miami in the late 1960s. Despite remaining well below the radar of mainstream music, NRBQ still boasts a feverish contingent of fans. NRBQ's live shows are certainly the group's forte; legendary gigs include many in which the group swears to perform any and all audience requests. It's easy to see, then, why their fans love them so. The band performs at 8 p.m. Call 954-929-1566.
So you're tired of stumbling around the Home Depot, trying to get the dingbats who work there to help you with your home decorating needs. You can't take it anymore! Well, fear not, weary decorator. The Rocky Mountain Painting Co. presents a Faux Finishing Workshop at the Armory Art Center (1703 Lake Ave., West Palm Beach). Participants can learn the basics of wall glazing, antiquing, Venetian plastering, marbling, gilding, and wood graining, and they can discover the joy of faux. All supplies are provided, and the workshop runs for five days. After you've "graduated" from the class, you can take your impressive portfolio back to the Depot and give them the what for. Move over, Martha Stewart! Starts at 9 a.m. Call 561-832-1776, or visit www.rockymountainusa.com.
Perhaps the most successful power balladeers of all time, Chicago has widely revolted the critics while selling millions upon millions of records. That's hardly surprising, when one considers critics tend to pan power ballads in general. It figures that a group that made a career off of them would be similarly reviled. There are many in the world of music journalism whose faces take on strange, contorted expressions when "If You Leave Me Now" or "Look Away" comes drifting over the airwaves. And yet, we estimate a pretty fat crowd at Sound Advice Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansbury Way, West Palm Beach) at 7:30 p.m., when the group takes the stage. In cases such as this, critics and the public have never been able to reconcile their differences, though the Chicago-loving crowd has gotten considerably older since the band's heyday in the 1970s. Joining the group are the Neville Brothers, some of whom once led the way in New Orleans funk as the Meters. But under the auspices of brother Aaron, whose castrati-style vocals should be familiar to many readers, the group has definitely gone in a more Chicago-esque direction. Tickets cost $29.75 to $49.75. Call 561-793-0445.
Boy, Respectable Street (518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) has sure been packing in the industrial/goth/ experimental acts lately. And to put some meat in the industrial sandwich, Terrorfakt (wasn't that one of the Decepticons?), a self-described "hard-hitting power noise phenomenon," and Inertia, "the most aggressive band out of London," according to Gary Numan, are coming your way. Scrap metal, abandoned buildings, underground lairs, and danceable beats all combine for some fresh robotic grooves. Get ready for a night of dancefloor mayhem, deconstructed soundscapes, and some jams that sound like they belong in a Transformer's stereo. Take that, Autobots! Show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $8. Call 561-832-9999.
Who needs sound in movies? I mean, aren't aurals overdone, when overwrought facial expressions often work just as well? OK, maybe sound did make films better, but there was a time when it was just impossible. The silent-film era ended, naturally, with the advent of sound, which had the unfortunate side effect of ruining many silent-movie careers. The Delray Beach Public Library (29 SE Fourth Ave., Delray Beach) relives those melodramatic days of yore with the "Anything But Silent Film Series." This month's selection, Steamboat Bill, Jr. , features some of famed comedian Buster Keaton's most memorable moments, particularly when a house falls over on him and he manages to escape a crushing death by standing where an open window allows him to slip through unscathed. Keep in mind, this was in the pre-special effects days of 1928, and Keaton did all his own stunts. Nice! Admission is free. Call 561-266-9490.
After Michael Moore's brilliant documentary Bowling for Columbine, America seemed decidedly split on the topic of gun control. And good ol' Chuck Heston didn't help his case in the pro-gun arena, that's for sure (in one of the best scenes in the movie). But for those who defend their right to bear arms, the Markham Park Target Range (16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise) offers a Defense Pistol Club for ages 15 and older. Participants can practice defensive target shooting, learn all about gun safety, or just come and watch. We all know South Florida summers can get dangerous. "Crazy from the heat" takes on a whole new meaning. Be prepared. Class starts at 6 p.m. and costs $15 per person. Call 954-389-2005.
In times past, Leftover Salmon's use of washboard, mandolin, and other Cajun and bluegrass instruments set them head and shoulders above their competition in the broad field of jam bands on the festival circuit. Calling its sound "polyethnic Cajun slamgrass," Leftover Salmon consistently blew away audiences with improvisation firmly anchored by a talented rhythm section. But now, fans familiar with the Leftover Salmon of old may not know what they're in for. Bassist Tye North and drummer Michael Wooten left the band last year, and the group added replacements for those two as well as keyboardist Bill McKay. As if breaking in a new rhythm section weren't hard enough, banjo player Mark Vann died soon afterward and was replaced by newcomer Noam Pikelny. Though the band maintains it is reenergized and ready to go, you'll have to judge for yourself as Leftover Salmon performs at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $16.95. Call 954-564-1074.