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Looking for fun this weekend?

TWO BLIND MAESTROS

All the commotion might be downtown or at the Fort Benning gates, what with the SOA Watch protest and the God Bless Fort Benning events. But the best music will be elsewhere.

• Near: The band Parachute Musical performs Friday night at Roosters in Auburn. They're billed as "ragtime throwbacks" and "Stevie Wonder white-boy soul." Umm, Stevie's black, guys. Granted, he's blind, but we're not. Anyway, The Group Hug and Stale Fashion are also on the bill. The show starts around 10 p.m. and there's a $5 cover. Check out parachutemusical.com.



• Farther: Legendary bluegrass picker Doc Watson — also blind — performs at Hoofer's in LaGrange on Saturday night. Showtime's 7 p.m., and tickets are $25-30. Details: 706-884-4186 or www.hoofers.com.



• Farthest: Glen Hansard, of the Irish band The Frames, and Marketa Irglova together form the duet The Swell Season. Together they charmed us in the fabulous movie "Once." And now the show goes on the road. They're at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Martha Wainwright (daughter of Loudon and brother of Rufus) opens. It's $25. Details: 404-249-6400.



— Brad Barnes

CHILL OUT AT A PARTY

Two words can cure the uncomfortable onset of cold weather — body heat. Really, it's not even that bad outside, so don't bother trying the "I'm too cold to go out tonight" excuse. While living in Wisconsin, I trudged through the snow in heels to get to the townie-packed local bar.

But that's beside the point.

There's some great options for partying this weekend, regardless of the temperature. Here's some highlights:

Friday and Saturday, head to eclectic hot spot Muldoon's, 6499 Veterans Parkway, for back-to-back performances by local party band Autumn Haze. It's the band's last Columbus show of the year, so if you're a fan, you won't want to miss it.

Looking to reuse a Shoot 'Em Up Girl Halloween costume? Don't forget about the Cowgirl Cutie Contest Saturdays at Knockin' Boots, 1047 Broadway. It's free to enter, and weekly winners advance to the finals.

And remember, Saturday is also Little Black Dress Night at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. Wear a black dress and you'll get free admission, plus a $10 gift certificate for the bar.

That way, you'll be able to save some extra cash to buy the leather jacket you've been eyeing. Which you totally don't need.

— Sonya Sorich

GOD BLESS IT!

This weekend, it’s time to show your unwavering love of country/need to protest a vague concept and head out to the annual God Bless Fort Benning and SOA Watch extravaganza. These events draw thousands of people who believe in something to our community each year, and regardless of your politics they should be supported.

Because, honestly, there’s not much better than outsiders putting cash into government coffers via sales tax. As long as the money’s green, you can protest Cheetos for all I care.

The gala kicks off Saturday downtown, and nothing beats the sheer thrill of standing in the midst of a crowd filled with a righteous vision and a need for a shower. Traffic will be awful, but you can get to the heart of the action by taking Ninth Street from Veterans to Front Avenue. Take a right on Front to sneak down to, hopefully, an empty space in a parking deck.

Bring your American flags/Che T-shirts.

On Sunday, attendance is required at the front gate of Fort Benning. I hope to get a good spot near the line drawn in the sand with camera in hand. Imagine the angst and exhilaration of those who trespass onto Fort Benning in order to peacefully change the policies of their government.

I plan on pushing a co-worker over the line just for yuks.

For those of you who aren’t into dense crowds, I suggest expanding your horizons by striking up a conversation with some protesters at Ruth Ann’s or a coffee shop downtown where they tend to congregate. It is the mark of a true intellectual to be able to peacefully hear beliefs contrary to your own and use them to better your understanding of others and the world around you.

Or you can just crack open a beer and complain about all the God bless’n hippies.

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