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Weekend preview: The heart and art of a dog

16 things to do in South Florida this weekend and beyond.

For years, I walked the Earth thinking Henry Gross’ 1976 hit “Shannon” was about the saddest song I’d ever heard, especially it being based on a true story. Imagine losing the love of your life in a drowning, you clinging to the faint hope that she might be “drifting out to sea” toward some island.

OK, so I grew up, and learned the song wasn’t written about his high-school sweetheart, but instead was a lament over the loss of a dog (Beach Boy Carl Wilson’s dog, which didn’t drown exactly, but that’s more story than we have room for). The thing is, when I found out the song was about the drowning of a family dog, not a girlfriend, it was even more crushingly sad. Is it wrong to feel that way?

This weekend brings the South Florida premiere of musical polymath Laurie Anderson’s film “Heart of a Dog,” which weaves her feelings about the literal loss of her rat terrier Lolabelle — the paw-painting, piano-playing puppy-mill rescue that she and Lou Reed shared a home with until Lolabelle’s death in 2011 — and a kaleidoscope of other distress, from 9/11 to the death of her husband.

The Los Angeles Times review of Anderson’s “experimental marvel” called the film “that rarest of pieces, an unabashedly experimental work that's as inviting as a visit with an old friend, one who may not always make sense, who's sometimes goofy, but has been through a lot lately and treasures the opportunity to artfully unload.”

“Heart of a Dog” begins weeklong runs on Friday at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale (FLIFF.com) and Coral Gables Art Cinema (GablesCinema.com). The film will screen at the Stonzek Theatre in the Lake Worth Playhouse beginning Dec. 18 (LakeWorthPlayhouse.org).

Henry Gross has other songs besides “Shannon,” of course, which is the point of his new residency at Lafayette’s at CityPlace in West Palm Beach. Performances are 7 p.m. every Sunday through the end of January. A friend says that along with songs from more than 20 solo albums, Gross is quite the funny storyteller. Trivia: Gross was once a member of Sha Na Na, and at age 18 the youngest person to play the main stage at Woodstock. Surprisingly, admission to Gross’ show is free. Info: Lafayettes.com, HenryGross.com. You can listen to "Shannon" here.

THE BOSS IS LOOKING FOR YOU

Reminder: Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for a performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the BB&T Center in Sunrise on Feb. 16. The River Tour supports a new retrospective box set, “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection” (Columbia Records) that re-examines his 1980 double album, “The River.” Tickets cost $55-$150, and are available at the box office and all Ticketmaster outlets, including Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

BEER NICE

Wait, the beer craftiness of LauderAle married to the flavorful sensations of the be nice restaurants group (Red Cow, Coconuts, G&B Oyster Bar, the Foxy Brown  and Top Hat Deli)? Made in heaven! The brewery (3305 SE 14th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) hosts a five-course, family-style be nice beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 10). Cost is $50, which sounds like a great deal to me. Info: Facebook.com/redcowftl.

FEET, COME FLY WITH HIM

Frank Sinatra made music not only to swoon at, but to dance to. The Rhythm Foundation’s Dance Band Night series is back at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach) 7-10 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 10) to celebrate his centennial with the pulsating sounds of the XJB Big Band from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Get there at 7 and dance instructors will show you how it’s done, then hit the floor at 8. It’s free with a $5 suggested donation. Info: RhythmFoundation.com.

SWEATER WEATHER 

You’re going out in that? Yes, dear. Yes, I am. The Ugly Holiday Sweater Crawl brings seasonal psychedelia to downtown West Palm Beach 2-9 p.m. Saturday, with food, drink and swag specials at some of your favorite bars, restaurants and shops. A ticket, which gets you four drinks (well liquor, MillerCoors and Sam Adams products), costs $30 in advance, $40 at check-in 2-6 p.m. at the corner of Clematis Street and South Dixie Highway. The event is a benefit for Toys for Tots (they’re also collecting new, unwrapped toys). Info: UglySweaterCrawlWPB.com.

SO MUCH FUNUKKAH

In Adam Sandler’s irreverent song about the holiday, he pitched Hanukkah as a great time “to drink your gin and tonicah” — but that was only because He’brew beer hadn’t been invented yet. The craft beer from Shmaltz Brewing is a centerpiece of the “Chanukah Ho Down,” 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 10) at Riverside Market South (3218 SE Sixth Ave, Fort Lauderdale). Expect kegs to be tapped and dreidels to be spun, says the Riverside’s Julian Siegel. Info:  Facebook.com/RiversideMarketSouthShmaltzBrewing.com

HEAVY DRINKING

Meanwhile, over at the Riverside Market proper, Siegel will break out the heavy artillery on Tuesday for Stout Night. Among the many offerings in bottles and kegs, Due South’s Mexican Stand Off, Funky Buddha’s Last Snow,  Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Ops, Cigar City's Marshall Zhukov and DogFish Head’s Choc Lobster are just some of the beers that I am not man enough for. Info: Facebook.com/RiversideMarket.

STRAIGHT OUTTA CROWN HEIGHTS

You support indie rock? You don’t get much more indie than Bulletproof Stockings, an all-girl Hasidic Jewish quartet from Crown Heights Brooklyn on their first tour (in support of their first album, “Homeland Call Stomp”) and playing Saturday night at  Kelly Brothers Irish Pub (3045 N. Federal Highway) in Fort Lauderdale. Inspired by the orthodox teachings of their religion, they hope to play to women-only audiences. So, Kelly Brothers? Yeah, well, they were orignally scheduled to bring the tour, which opened at New York’s popular rock club Webster Hall, to the Culture Room. But they are new at this, and were so busy getting their album out and getting the tour started, that publicizing the road dates didn't get their full attention. With sluggish ticket sales, the show was moved to the amiable pub across the parking lot.  Could the slow business have something to do with limiting their focus to female audiences? Maybe. But they say there is a magical freedom in the air when they play for a room filled with women. Hit the link for an interview and more on the Bulletproof Stockings tour and concert.

SCHUMER TIME

As if things couldn’t be rolling any better for Amy Schumer (recently revealed as one of Barbara Walters' “most interesting” people of 2015), on Thursday she was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for “Trainwreck.” Think she won’t be in a good mood Saturday night at the BB&T Center?  Tickets are $49.50 to $125 at all  Ticketmaster outlets.

 

 

BEACH MUSIC

The live-music event of the weekend is the third annual Woodystock Festival, with the Expendables, Cris Cab, Maxi Priest, Bachaco and Future Prezidents performing Saturday on Virginia Key Beach in Miami in a benefit for the not-for-profit Woody Foundation’s efforts to help people with paralysis. Tickets to the festival, which includes art, food and drink, cost $20. Gates open at 2 p.m. Info: WoodyStockMiami.org.

THE LIFE OF BRYAN

Bryan Callen has the resume that should have been your resume, dude. He’s funny like you, likes the fights (cracking wise with UFC knucklehead Brendan Schaub on the Fox Sports podcast “The Fighter and the Kid”) and has impeccable taste in acting jobs: “Old School,” “Bad Santa,” “Entourage,” “Californication” … Is that you or what? Callen will do his standup thing Friday-Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv (550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach). Tickets: $20 (two-drink minimum). Info: PalmBeachImprov.com.

CALENDAR GIRLS

To simplify your struggle to find a gift for that certain someone, the girls of the Hooters Calendar will be touring South Florida this weekend with copies of their world-famous 15-month publication for sale. Led by cover model Meagan Pastorchik, they will make Friday stops at Hooters in Boca Raton (noon), Fort Lauderdale (7 p.m.) and Doral (9:30 p.m.), followed on Saturday by appearances at Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Place (4 p.m.) and the Sunrise restaurant (7 p.m.), and on Sunday in Hialeah (1 p.m.), Bayside (4:30 p.m.) and Coral Way (7 p.m.). Info: HootersCalendar.com.

C3P0 & PINOT GRIGIO

As you may be aware, a new “Star Wars” episode will be unleashed upon us next weekend. To remind us why we care, the Blind Monk (410 Evernia St., West Palm Beach) will offer a marathon of the original trilogy (“Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”) with screenings at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. The Blind Monk, you’ll be happy to know, is well known for its adventurous beer and wine menu. May the force be with you. Info: TheBlindMonk.com.

LYNCH MOB

Nothing says the holidays like David Lynch, so the frisky cultural nonprofit PAXy will begin its free retrospective of the filmmaker’s work 9 p.m. Friday with “Mulholland Drive” at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave.). Other scheduled screenings include “Blue Velvet” Jan. 11 at the stylish 1111 Parking Garage (1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach), “The Straight Story” Feb. 11 on the wall of the New World Center Soundscape (500 17th St., Miami Beach) and the Lynch documentary “Meditation, Creativity and Peace” March 4 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (2000 Convention Center Drive). Admission is, again, free. Info: PAXy.org.

WHO'S MAKING A LIST?

The Bad Santa Bus Loop, a charity-minded trolley tour of downtown Fort Lauderdale watering holes in which you and your co-conspirators are dressed as Santa or one of Santa’s “helpers,” is 6-11 p.m. Dec. 18. If you buy your ticket by end of day Friday (Dec. 11), it’s $25. After that, advance tickets go to $30, and then $35 at check-in. Stops range from America’s Backyard and Rhythm & Vine to Brass Tap and Fork and Balls. Info: BusLoop.org.

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email: bcrandell@southflorida.com.

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