Stop lamenting your neglected acoustic guitar, sitting in a corner, collecting dust. Your short fingernails won't have to struggle to play it, and your tired back won't have to strain to sit up and strum it properly. No, you're not going to pawn it to buy that treasured collectible on eBay; instead you're going to attend the Saint Louis Classical Guitar Society's special performance (one of two this season -- Douglas Niedt plays a holiday program in December). The British New Pro Arte Guitar Trio's members, Raymond Burley, Cornelius Bruinsma and Arne Brattland (pictured), perform at 8 p.m. at the Ethical Society (9001 Clayton Road). And because the performance costs only $18 to $22, even oh-so-broke you can afford to attend. With the group's varied program of easily recognizable Leonard Bernstein West Side Story favorites alongside Spaniard Isaac Albéniz's Cordoba, you'll remember why you wanted to learn how to play classical guitar in the first place.
But perhaps this weekend doesn't work for you. Don't worry: New Pro Arte is just the first of several great Saturday shows this season. In October the ladies of Duo Erato kick off the Great Artist Series, and they're followed by Peruvian Jorge Caballero in January and the young Lukasz Kuropaczewski from Poland in February (he's joined by violinist Katarzyna Bryla); the series closes out with April's flamenco performance by Paco Peña. Series shows also start at 8 p.m. at the Ethical Society, and tickets cost $16 to $18. For more information call 314-567-5566. -- Alison Sieloff
While Marjane Satrapi's memoir/graphic novel Persepolis is often compared to Art Spiegelman's Maus -- and it's every bit as worthy -- her saga of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution owes nothing to anyone in terms of visual and storytelling style. The gut-wrenchingly honest, emotional tale unfolds in deceptively simple illustrations, taking in everything from her childhood prophetic visions to the history of radical Iran to her teenage obsessions with Kim Wilde and Iron Maiden. Satrapi discusses and signs the eagerly awaited sequel, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue); admission to the event is free. Call 314-367-6731 or see www.left-bank.com for more. -- Jason Toon
sigh for psi
Is there anything left in the world of music that can be considered "new," or has it all been done before? New Music Circle believes there's still some new-ness left, and the nonprofit wants you to believe too. Since 1959 NMC has brought innovative contemporary music to St. Louis, and this year is no different. The group's annual concert series kicks off at 8 p.m. at Christman Studio (6014 Kingsbury Avenue) with psi, a trio from Brooklyn, New York, that includes Jaime Fennelly working electronics, Chris Forsyth playing guitar and Fritz Welch providing percussion. It's time to listen and believe! Tickets are $6 to $12. For more information visit www.newmusiccircle.org or call 314-995-4963. -- Amy Helms
Dance to a Different Beat
In American Indian culture, a powwow is a "welcome party" from one tribe to another (or several others). The American Indian Days' free powwow at John L. Brown Park (4300 Calvert Avenue, Woodson Terrace) includes dancers from more than twenty tribes. Food and trader booths will be on hand, but the daily highlight is the Grand Entry, when a parade of dancers in full regalia arrives at the arena. On Friday, September 10, and Saturday, September 11, the powwow is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the Grand Entry is at 7 p.m. both days with a special 1 p.m. 9/11 Grand Entry. Sunday, September 12, the powwow's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Grand Entry is at 1 p.m. Call 636-294-8732 for info, and bring a chair. -- Jason Toon