In not failing me now

LITTLE FEAT‘s “Willin’” deserves a prime spot on the list of best alt-country songs recorded long before there was anything officially called alt-country. Lowell George, the face and main voice of the band (and the author of “Willin’”) died in the summer of ’79, but Little Feat has kept–to steal the title from a kindred-spirit song of similar vintage and punctuation–truckin’ along. They continue to traffic in a sound that’s somewhere between The Allman Brothers Band and mid-period Steely Dan, with just a tease of Texas courtesy of keyboardist, band cofounder and Lone Star Stater Bill Payne. The long-running Feat will visit Durham’s CAROLINA THEATRE on Thursday, June 8. Tickets are $30, and the music starts at 8 p.m. THE JON SHAIN TRIO opens, which means Shain will have shared the Carolina stage with Ian Anderson and Little Feat. Suppose that means–just guessing here–Steve Winwood is next for him. –Rick Cornell

In local treasures under the sun

DJANGO HASKINS is, without question, one of the best songwriters on the East Coast, a sartorial savant and eloquent wordsmith able to embrace both the pizzazz of romance and luxury and the love-skunk blues of the common man in arresting three-minute vignettes. Frank Sinatra, Randy Newman and Astor Piazzolla mark his long list of musical heroes, and his talent rests also on an ability to meld those influences into something all his own. His band, The Old Ceremony, is heading into final mixing territory for its exciting second record, so Haskins heads outdoors to the SAXAPAHAW RIVER MILL for a studio break on Saturday, June 10. The 6 p.m. concert is part of the Saturdays at Saxapahaw series, which presents some of the region’s finest through Aug. 26. Visit for all the details. Other outside giggers this weekend: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT at MOORE SQUARE PARK, JEFF HART & THE RUINS at BYNUM GENERAL STORE, and TAD DREIS at SHAKORI HILLS. For more on those shows, see our music calendar. –Grayson Currin

In outdoor cinema

Those who saw PRIDE & PREJUDICE in theaters will remember the sight of the happy lovers at the end, sitting barefoot outside in the summer breeze as the fortunate husband whispered, “Mrs. Darcy … Mrs. Darcy.” We think this movie will be a smash outdoors on a summer night, and this Friday and Saturday evening, Pride & Prejudice can be seen at the NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART. Keira Knightley, in her Oscar-nominated performance, is the intelligent and rebellious Lizzie Bennet, the second of five daughters of an impecunious middle-class family. Matthew Macfadyen plays Darcy, the most famous catch in the history of literature, with little more than a world-weary glower, but it’s good enough–as long as he’s got that truly swank estate for the lucky bride. In a nice departure from the conventions of cosseted literary dramas, the film’s design team creates a workaday England that actually looks lived in, rather than ready for the coffee table. This may not be your English professor’s Pride, but it’s a vastly entertaining version of what is fast becoming our most cherished romantic story. The 9 p.m. screenings cost $3. —David Fellerath

In happy protests

New York artist SHERYL ORING brings her unique mixture of art and public opinion polling to Raleigh this weekend. THE BIRTHDAY PROJECT, a free celebration of President Bush’s 60th birthday, is an exercise in democracy. Oring asks passersby to share their opinions with the president, and she types a letter to him using the remarks from one-on-one interviews. She then gives each person a stamped and addressed envelope to be sent to the White House. Let your best birthday wishes fill the pages of Oring’s art Sunday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the flea market at the STATE FAIRGROUNDS in Raleigh. For more information, visit –Michael Massey

In strange trips

The WANDERING STAR PROJECT bring its uniquely psychedelic blend of multimedia art and music to woods outside CAFFE DRIADE, the European coffee shop oasis in Chapel Hill, this Thursday through Saturday. FOOLS FIRE: EXPLORING UMBRAS features photographic installations composed of hundreds of cascading images projected onto large screens suspended in a forest setting, with ambient music by Lisa Ray and a roster of guest collaborators: Thursday, Cab Caligari rocks the electric upright arachnobass; Friday, Make Out with Bears from Shreveport, La., performs its “fashion experiment,” Our Bodies, Our Sleeves; Saturday, Chapel Hill indie rockers Twilighter join the party. The free shows happen June 8-10, from 7-11 p.m. The outdoor photography exhibit runs June 8-17 from dusk ’til 11 p.m. Caffe Driade is located at 1215-A E. Franklin St. —Fiona Morgan