Carrboro Music Festival

All over townWith more than 160 musical acts at 24 different venues, the annual and free Carrboro Music Festival suggests that, indeed, most everyone in Carrboro plays an instrument in at least two bands. Held a week earlier than usual this year, the festival offers a variety of genres, ranging from Southern rock to hip-hop to punk and beyond. Among the highlights are Des Ark, whose aggressive lyrics are delivered with equally powerful and lovely soul, and The Pneurotics, who offer a mix of tender and tough with their trio rock. Old 86 jams from a backbone of funk, while singer/ songwriter Crys Matthews combines blues with folk and soul over an acoustic guitar. Joe Lies plays songs as sentimental as a band name referencing the classic ’80s teen flick Say Anything would suggest, while Starfish and Coffee build playful irony around their strong melodies. Hwy 54 plays classic rockabilly tunes, and CRASH offers one of the day’s few bursts of hip-hop. If you’re looking for the unorthodox in this indie rock town, Magnolia Klezmer Band plays what can only be described as music for old-timey Jewish parties. There will be a free shuttle bus and trackless train to transport attendees to the various venues. For children, the Town Commons will feature arts and crafts and other activities along with kid-friendly snacks. The festival lasts all day, with some of the indoor venues hosting bands after dark. For the full schedule, see Whitney Ayres

The Bobs

Papa Mojo’s RoadhouseWhile Grammy-nominated The Bobs are best known for noninstrumental rearrangements of classic songs, they are far from your squeaky clean college a cappella group. After 26 years together, The Bobs work more like an improv troupe that is only allowed to communicate in song, deconstructing old favorites and pirating them for parody. The Bobs also have a large repertoire of original material, with songs on a range of topics, from shopping mall security guards and turtles to post office violence and celebrity autographs. For The Bobs, no topic is too wacky or sacred to be joked about and sung. Tickets are $25 for a 6 p.m. start. See Whitney Ayres

Lawrence of Arabia

Carolina TheatreIf you’ve only seen David Lean’s 1962 masterpiece on television or DVD, then you’ve never seen it. Period. The film that made Steven Spielberg want to make movies only works if it’s seen on the big screen, where the copper-colored sands of Arabia dwarf the tiny humans lost in its beauty. Though it’s not the original Super Panavision 70 version, the Carolina Theatre has the next-best thing in a gorgeous 35 mm print of the restored 227-minute version. Yes, this is nearly four hours of wandering in the desert, but the magnificent vistas and the surprisingly uncompromising storywith its intimations of homosexuality and anti-imperialismmake it a film you don’t so much watch as absorb. And of course, there’s the killer performances by Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness and Omar Sharifyou can also see Sharif this week in Monsieur Ibrahim (see Wednesday, page 23). The screenings start Sunday, Sept. 20 (with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and continue through Thursday, Sept. 24, with one show nightly at 7. For more information, visit Zack Smith

Rethink Afghanistan

Manbites Dog TheaterDuring the Bush administration, Robert Greenwald emerged as a maker of urgent, exhortatory advocacy documentaries, with such targets as Fox News and Walmart. With his latest, Rethink Afghanistan, Greenwald is becoming akin to an 18th-century pamphleteer. Even more than usual with Greenwald, Rethink Afghanistan is indifferent to aesthetics, preferring to pose simple questions on the screen, then present a string of talking heads who supply variations of the answer. How many troops are necessary to make Afghanistan more secure? Were the women of Afghanistan liberated by the U.S. invasion? (Answers: Too many, and no, our presence endangers them.) Word to the wise: The film also contains gruesome footage of military and civilian injuries. Greenwald has tilted into stiff winds in the past, but on this issue, opinion across the political spectrum is blowing in his direction. It’s a sign of how much the mission has drifted that his film doesn’t even address the original reason for the invasion: to root out al-Qaida. The Durham activist group Traction hosts tonight’s screening at Manbites Dog Theater. Film at 7; visit David Fellerath