Love and Robots: A Puppet Rock Opera

The ArtsCenterRobots are so hot right now. From two-dimensional blue man H.E.L.P.eR. on Adult Swim’s The Venture Bros. to cinema’s pseudo-bionic man Tony Stark (known to the Marvel-verse as Iron Man) gearing up for a second outing, the metal man is having a moment in the cultural zeitgeist. The lo-fi entertainment kids make with glue and felt exists as a natural counterpoint and complement to all that metallic gadgetry. For the second season in a row, the Saxapahaw-based Paperhand Puppet Interventionso celebrated for its summer extravaganzasbrings a winter show to the community. We’ll wager there’s some singing involved, since Jimmy Magoo and the Paperhand Band will be on hand to score the work. The Web site blurb promises to “blow your circuits and rock your sockets,” and somehow we don’t doubt it. Performances run through March 7 in Carrboro before moving to Saxapahaw for another two weekends. Visit and Ewald

Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited

Duke UniversityThis week’s essential visit: The 64-year-old singer and guitarist Thomas Mapfumo, who now lives in Eugene, Ore., about 10,000 miles from his center of influence in Harare, the capital of his native Zimbabwe. Though Mapfumo was forced into exile by a government he helped bring into power during Zimbabwe’s quest for Rhodesian revolution in the ’70s, his mix of Shona rhythms and thumb-piano melodies with rock ‘n’ roll guitars and drums remains popular in Africa. And thanks to the persistent struggles of the commoner in his country and everywhere, for that matter, it remains relevant and vital, too. Mapfumo plays two shows tonight at Duke Coffeehouse, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and tickets are $5-$15. On Friday and Saturday, Mapfumo and his Blacks Unlimited support Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire in Reynolds Theater. Those 8 p.m. shows costs $5-$28. See Grayson Currin

Living Sacrifice, Shai Halud

The BreweryOn its latest, The Infinite Order, Arkansas Christian death metal quartet Living Sacrifice bristles with the sort of malevolence usually reserved for fans of Train. A fitting return after an eight-year absence, Order stacks grimy grooves, thrash riffs, proggy solos and brutal throb high and thick. Still razor sharp, the band avoids the numbing torpor that afflicts many similar acts, sailing along with a sleek coarseness so well-lathed it’s practically aerodynamic. Shai Halud infuses its frenetic hardcore rhythms with theatrical experimental-metal swerve. Its glinting, guttural majesty moves beyond most of its peers’ reach. Speaking of peers, War of Ages, Lionheart, The Great Commission, Embracing Goodbye and Joe Grizzley open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12. See Chris Parker


Galaxy CinemaThis 1969 French-language political thriller mockingly boasts a disclaimer in its opening credits: “Any resemblance to real events, to persons living or dead, is not accidental. It is DELIBERATE.” Based on the 1966 novel by Vassilis Vassilikos and set in Greece, Z gives a fictionalized account of the assassination of leftist Greek politician Gregoris Lambrakis and quite stealthily derides the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at that time. Directed by Costa-Gavras, the film was named the best foreign language film at the 1970 Academy Awards and has been recently restored for its 40th anniversary. Galaxy Cinema will screen this brilliantly satirical film in conjunction with the N.C. Museum of Art at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $3.50 for Museum, Cinema Inc. and Galaxy Cinema members, and $5 for the general public. Visit and Belem Destefani