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by Jordan Green

The Greensboro Public Library celebrates the 93rd birthday of Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest of the Passionist order whose life work has focused on the intersections of ecology and spirituality, with a series of events this weekend. Berry is the author of The Dream of the Earth, The Universe Story and The Great Work.

Two of the events feature music. On Friday, singer/songwriter Earth Mama performs at New Gardens Friends Meeting, and on Saturday, Berry’s nephew and niece, Peter and Anne, respectively play Celtic harp and cello at Greensboro College. They’ll be joined by soloist Sarah Chowning.

Peter and Anne’s father, who attends my church, is Tom Berry, but not that Tom Berry.

“There were thirteen children in my family,” he told me. “He was born and baptized William. When he joined the monastery, I was four years old. He had to take a new name. He chose Thomas after Thomas Aquinas. That’s been nothing but trouble. I always accuse him of being an impostor.”

Also worth checking out this week:

Smashing Pumpkins appear at War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro on Thursday, and Australia’s Ten Tenors sing there on Friday, while country heartthrob Brad Paisley entertains at Greensboro Coliseum with assistance from Rodney Atkins and Taylor Swift on Friday.

Asheville’s SeepeopleS rock the Blind Tiger in Greensboro’s Whiskey District on Thursday.

Toubab Krewe appears at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem on Friday, while Bright Eyes presides at the Millennium Center.

Old Stone Revue and Thacker Dairy Road hang out at the Garage in Winston-Salem on Friday.

Back in Greensboro, Joe Garrigan’s time-honored cover show takes place at Greene Street on Friday, this time featuring reasonable approximations of CCR, the Meat Puppets, XTC, the MC5, the Germs, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Uncle Tupelo.

The NC Record and CD Show sets up in Greensboro on Saturday. You can find it at the Holiday Inn Express on Interstate 40/Business 85 and East Lee Street.

New York folk-core duo Paleface, whose members were reputedly acolytes of Daniel Johnston and an influence on Beck, school the kids at the Green Bean in Greensboro on Saturday with a helping hand from the Triangle’s Bombadil.

On the other side of the Triad, the Alternative Champs and Andy “Freakin” Mabe share the bill at the Garage on Saturday.

Missouri mandolinist Justin David and his band appear at the Brock Performing Arts Center in Davie County on Saturday. Call 336.751.3112 or e-mail sidnieesuggs@daviearts.org for more information.

North Carolina’s favorite fried-chicken hurling trash-rock band Southern Culture on the Skids makes the scene at Ziggy’s on Saturday.

And on Nov. 13, the Garage presents a free screening of Townes Van Zandt: Be Here to Love Me, a film about the late and admired Texas folksinger.

Asheboro rapper Ty Bru has been named one of five finalists for the rap/hip hop album category for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards. Kudos, brother.

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