Here's some musical food for thought: The OrchestraX concert "Ancient Traditions: A Musical Celebration of Culture" places the works of Arabic and Jewish composers side-by-side. And that's no coincidence. "The timing of this concert echoes many of the current fears and hopes of the world," says OrchestraX artistic director and conductor John Axelrod. Collaborating with the Southwest Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and the Daniel Pearl Foundation, the youthful orchestra will play works by composers Karim Al-Zand and Leonard Bernstein. And the performance culminates in the joyful noise of Beethoven's ninth symphony, "Ode to Joy."If that isn't heartwarming enough, the students of the Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts in Laredo, the third-poorest district in the state, have raised funds to travel here for the concert. Mary Carroll, director of piano studies there, wanted her students to hear Beethoven's Ninth live. They'll also get to hear Axelrod's message loud and clear: "There is no place for hate." 2 p.m. brunch matinee, and 7:30 p.m. evening performance, Sunday, March 30. Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For brunch tickets, call 713-627-3490, extension 127. For evening tickets, call 713-315-2525. For information, call 713-225-6729 or visit www.orchestrax.org. $28.-- Eric A.T. Dieckman
This Is the End
Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin's The Ends of Things explores the emotional vibrations of endings. Its protagonist goes about ordinary, mundane activities, attends a party, chats up women and ultimately winds up humiliated and stuck in a monotonous, solitary limbo. Guerin theorizes that in most cases, endings grind to a quiet close instead of exploding in violent chaos. In early 2000, when she was developing the piece, Guerin worked closely with Sydney composer Jad McAdam. Also a popular DJ, McAdam experimented with the sounds of endings, such as the scratch of a needle on a record that's finished playing. That July, McAdam died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. The show is dedicated to McAdam, giving it a silent resonance. 8 p.m. Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-335-3445, $10 to $20.-- Troy Schulze
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Lou Barlow's No One-Hit Wonder
In 1996, Folk Implosion (John Davis and Lou Barlow) had a Top 40 hit with the song "Natural One," off the duo's soundtrack to the movie Kids. Then Folk Implosion dropped off the radar. Well, the mainstream radar, anyway. So be it. It's enough that Barlow is an indie rock all-star, an icon of the low-fidelity sound that emerged from the underground rock movement of the late '80s. The prolific artist's direct contributions can be heard in the music of Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and solo recordings galore. Recently re-formed (Davis quit in 2001) as the New Folk Implosion, the group has just released a record. Yes, Barlow's still holding court, off the radar, in his underground kingdom. The New Folk Implosion appears at 10 p.m. Sunday, March 30. The Proletariat, 903 Richmond. For information, call 713-523-1199. $10. -- Troy Schulze