COUNTING CROWS REMAIN PRECIOUSLY EARNEST
Dirt Altar, The Rough & Tumble, Dirt Altar, 'Les Miserables,' Troy Lukkarila and Community First Seawalk Music Festival also on tap
Some of our music-snob friends cast aspersions on our ongoing affection for Counting Crows, the Berkeley outfit that basically reimagined Van Morrison and The Band for the preciously earnest post-grunge era. Sure, that radio-please-play-us cover of “Big Yellow Taxi” was obnoxious. And yeah, so are Adam Duritz’s 49-year-old-white-guy dreads. And OK, we see how lyrics that always circle around Duritz’s mental issues and/or relationship dysfunction (although, dude reportedly sacked both Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox in their primes, not to mention Emmy Rossum) could get tiresome. And that last LP of originals, 2008’s Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, wasn’t exactly a peach. But scrape past the hits — some good (“Round Here,” “A Long December”), others not so much (“Accidentally in Love”) — and occasional misses, and we’d argue that few ’90s mainstays have albums that hold up so well for long, deep-cut albums that are layered and spacious and intricate and, yes, preciously earnest. With Toad the Wet Sprocket 6:30 p.m. June 14 at St. Augustine Amphitheatre, $40-$80.
THE ROUGH & TUMBLE
Nashville duo The Rough & Tumble describe themselves as “ambient folk chord-organ-driven hillbilly crunch,” but there’s an element of sugary innocence to Scott Tyler and Mallory Graham’s ramshackle Americana. Aside from some aesthetic peculiarities, including a perpetually drowsy English Mastiff named Butter who shares the stage, an authentic Nashville twang is what truly sets TR&T apart. Tyler picks out minimal, but effective, acoustic notes, keeping time with a foot-strap tambourine while Graham’s smooth, delicate voice soars. Their sincere songwriting and innate melodic sense strike just the right balance between precious and profound. 8 p.m. June 17 at Burro Bar, Downtown, $5.
COMMUNITY FIRST SEAWALK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Rock-reggae quartet Sidereal, still glowing from the juried music prize and that five-figure check at One Spark, unleashes those island vibes once again, leading a pack of seven of the hardest working bands in Duval – Woody & the Peckers, On Guard, Ivey West Band, JacksonVegas, Herd of Watts, Corbitt Brothers Band, S.P.O.R.E. and The Band Be Easy — as the summer tunes reverberate early at the Community First Seawalk Music Festival. Noon June 14 at the SeaWalk Pavilion, Jax Beach, free.
THE LOOKING LAB
Jim Draper, as well-known for his landscape painting as his strong views on land use and water responsibility [Cover Story, “The Natural,” Kara Pound, Dec. 11, 2012], collaborates with New York artist Casey James and curator Staci Bu Shea on Dirt Altar, a project on themes of devotion. Examining spiritual narratives as well as ecclesiastic and secular iconophilia from their disparate geographical perspectives, the artists have prepared this installation over the past year. It’s the fourth and final installment in The Looking Lab – a Cultural Council Spark Grant initiative created and directed by Joy Leverette [Cover Story, “The Big Empty,” Carley Robinson, March 26, 2014]. Reception, 6-9 p.m. June 13, with readings of fictional stories by Draper 7 p.m. June 18 and June 25 at 107 E. Bay St., Downtown, free. The readings are accompanied by a live score by Robin Rutenberg.
For the first time ever — seriously — Inspector Javert’s hunt for Jean Valjean, Prisoner 24601, in post-Revolutionary France is making its way to a local stage, as Theatre Jacksonville concludes its season with the uplifting epic Les Miserables. Set against the backdrop of class warfare, in which men go to jail for stealing a loaf of bread, this most famous of stories offers intrigue, theft, love triangles and ultimately redemption. No need to worry: This cast has better pipes than Russell Crowe. The production continues 7:30 p.m. June 12 and 19, 8 p.m. on June 13, 14, 20 and 21 and 2 p.m. June 15 and 22 at Theatre Jacksonville, San Marco, $20-$25.
Riverside resident Troy Lukkarila gets more than his share of Internet death threats. They range from the simple “I hope you die” to the more visceral “I’m going to pop your stupid head off, you idiot.” That anger is in response to his can-I-piss-you-off YouTube series, Your Magical World with Percy, including “Trolls Are Real,” “Fairies Are Real” and “God Is Real.” Lukkarila says he’s surprised that the most negative feedback comes from him murdering fairies, not stabbing a pig-squealing, tentacle-armed God. His videos are a mix between Mr. Bill, Tim and Eric Awesome Show and a satanic version of The Doodlebops — as campy as they are disturbing. For one night, Lukkarila screens a selection of short films. 7 p.m. June 12 at Sun-Ray Cinema, 5 Points, $5.