Funny how we scrutinize and scrutinize the people who run for president, but we could give a rat's posterior about the folks who run for relatively dinky offices. And then they turn out to be gay governors who sleep with their employees or elections supervisors who can't design ballots. This time around, let's really rock the vote by knowing who we're voting for. Christmas tree-ing your ballot is artistic and all, and it worked well on the SATs, but it's kind of passé. Come to the Candidate Forum at the Broward Community College North Campus (Building 60, 1000 Coconut Creek Pkwy., Coconut Creek) armed with intelligent questions (No "Macs or PCs?," please!). Various candidates for U.S. Congress and state House seats will speak. Any candidate worth your hanging chad should jump at the chance to yap about all the great things they're going to accomplish. Call 954-201-2125.
First, there was Sublime. Just before the band's first major label album was to be released (and sell 5 million copies), its singer, Bradley Nowell, made a rock star-style exit from the world with a fatal drug overdose. Then, there were the Long Beach Dub All-Stars -- a sound-alike band featuring survivors of Sublime. That group splintered in 2001. Now, like a phoenix -- no, like a punk-rock genie smoking a big fat blunt -- rising from the ashes, there is the Long Beach Shortbus. This band continues the groove-heavy, reggae-tinged legacy of Sublime and LBDA with tunes like "Every Superhero Needs a Theme Song" and "Alley Stumble Dub." The Shortbus pulls into the Kelsey Club tonight (700 Park Ave., Lake Park). Call 561-296-1407.
Filmmaking in the past decade has seen loads of creative new breakthroughs with movie plot. Never before have filmmakers delved into the nether regions of the subconscious, returning with such conceptual masterpieces as Planet of the Apes, Psycho, Ransom, and Ring. Oh, wait... those are remakes. Damn. It's becoming so common that no one really notices anymore. But, alas, some story lines just don't get old. Like Chicago, the 1927 true crime story turned movie that was remade two years ago. It's got all the elements of a timeless urban tale: sex, booze, murder, and the relentless pursuit of fame. You probably watch Queen Latifah's talk show, so why not check her out on the big screen? Chicago is shown with Top Hat tonight at Huizenga Plaza (corner of Andrews Avenue and Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale). The screenings start at 8 p.m. Call 954-760-9898.
Chris Carrabba left Further Seems Forever and went on to rake in millions of dollars and face time on MTV with his side project, Dashboard Confessional. Are his former bandmates jealous? Sure they're not! They've got their own thing going on, which includes a new album (Hide Nothing, which dropped on the 24th), a two-month tour that's taking them to legendary clubs like Emo's in Austin and the Knitting Factory in New York, and a really gorgeous website, www.furtherseemsforever.com, that comes complete with fans crying about who's loved the band the longest. So they're doing just fine, thank you. Catch 'em at the Factory (2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) tonight with the Kicks, Brandtson, and Salem. Call 954-564-ROCK.
Good portrait photography lies not just in camera angle or lighting. It's also in the mood of the subject. And if you don't work well with your model, well, you should probably stick to macramé. But if you're like photographer Nancy Brown -- who has 19 years of professional modeling experience under her belt -- you can see things from both sides of the lens. And if you stop by the Palm Beach Photographic Centre (55 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach), you can check out "People and Places: 40 Years With Nancy Brown." Whether she's shooting humans or horses, Brown knows exactly when to snap the picture. Even when the subject is obscured, such as in Red Cloak Figure, the posture and clothing are enough to elicit feeling. "Give me passion. Give me desire." Sure, just buy me lunch. The exhibit runs through September 25. Admission costs $3. Call 561-276-9797.
Despite the popularity of non-Western stuff like yoga and telephone psychics, most people still think New Age is synonymous with weird (though a lot of naysayers are secretly curious). It's the same old prejudice that's always plagued mainstream thinking -- scoff at what you don't understand. It happened to the so-called Salem "witches," and it happens today, albeit on a much subtler level. Though Wicca is a growing religion, misconceptions still abound regarding its beliefs and practices. Wiccans don't kill goats, they're not Satanists, and they don't stand around cauldrons putting spells on their neighbors. Rather, Wiccans believe in ideas like gender equality, the sacredness of nature, and a little magic too. What's so weird about that? Learn more at tonight's Wicca Discussion at New Age Books and Things (4401 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). The free discussion starts at 7 p.m. Call 954-771-0026.
Those who would dismiss Michael Moore as a wacko conspiracy theorist would do well to remember all those nifty ideas thrown around by Republicans during the Clinton presidency: Jim McDougal's death in prison (murder!), Vince Foster's suicide (murder!), and the Lewinsky scandal (off with his head!). Of course, this stuff happens only when the economy is booming and Americans aren't worried about issues like gay marriage. So after a best-selling book was written about the ten-year campaign to take down Big Bill, Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry decided to bring the story to film. Now a full-length documentary, The Hunting of the President makes its Florida premiere tonight at the State Nightclub (320 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Making an appearance are Thomason and Susan McDougal, Clinton's former business partner who was convicted for contempt of court during the Whitewater trials. Now we just need Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to make a film called Hunting with the Vice President. We know how Dick Cheney likes words that rhyme with duck. The event starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $30. Call 305-673-4567.