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Circus Oz to Walton Arts 

WEDNESDAY 3/28

SCIENCE AFTER DARK: VINYL

6 p.m. Museum of Discovery. $10.

One day way back in, oh, I don't know, let's call it 1990 (it must've been 1990 or earlier, on account of that was the year the churches in my hometown kneecapped Comcast into dropping MTV because it made God angry) I was watching MTV News. Back then, that was how you found out about things like who Madonna was shacking up with and which up-and-coming glam rocker had most recently been killed in a car wreck by Vince Neil. Anyways, there was a segment about the death of vinyl records, which included some comments from Duff McKagan about all the things he was going to miss about albums: the big artwork, breaking the seal on a brand-new LP, rolling joints on a gatefold cover (he might not have said this one but you know he was thinking it), dropping the needle into the groove and so forth. You see, back then it was a foregone conclusion that these shiny, expensive plastic discs called "CDs" spelled certain doom for the record album. Twenty-something years later, who's having the last laugh? Vinyl, that's who. Of course, reports of the records death were slightly exaggerated. For most of the '90s and '00s, the format was all-but-forgotten by anyone not involved in the underground rap, punk, reggae, techno or metal scenes. But a funny thing started happening a few years ago: younger kids — many of them born in the '90s — started buying vinyl. Labels began pressing up a lot more LPs and 45s, and even the majors started issuing new albums on vinyl. The Museum of Discovery's monthly Science After Dark series focuses on all the ways vinyl has persisted, despite the numerous obituaries written for the format over the years. There will be some records for sale, as well as listening stations, demonstrations and a cash bar, which means this'll be a 21-and-older event.

WEDNESDAY 3/28

DAUGHTRY

8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $50-$61.

Though Chris Daughtry didn't win on American Idol back in '06, he and his band are undoubtedly among the most successful AI alums, eclipsing many of the show's winners in terms of album sales and lasting popularity. The band's first album, 2006's "Daughtry," was the fastest-selling debut in SoundScan history. Daughtry fan Ellen DeGeneres consoled him on her show, telling the furrowed-browed rocker that he's "somebody who's going to be a big star. You're going to be very, very successful, with or without winning." It's easy to hear why. While he often comes across every bit as ultra-serious as many of his peers, Daughtry can actually sing, as opposed to your Creeds and Nickelbacks and Matchbox 20s and assorted other yarlers who've been gumming up the modern rock landscape with their sub-Vedder vocal contortions for lo these many years. Nashville-based SafetySuit opens the show, offering earnest, guitar-centric alt-rock.

THURSDAY 3/29

'CIRCUS OZ'

7 p.m. Walton Arts Center. $39-$49.

Since it was founded in the late '70s, Circus Oz has been blending old-school circus acrobatics with rock 'n' roll and a comedic sensibility. "They wanted it to be funny, irreverent and spectacular, a celebration of the group as a bunch of multi-skilled individual women and men, rather than a hierarchy of stars," according to the group's bio. Some of the company's guiding principles include collective ownership, no gender discrimination, no rock-star attitudes and no exotic animals. In the mid '80s, Circus Oz performers began training with acrobats from the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe and incorporating some of the Chinese company's techniques and acts. A Circus Oz performance is a mix of slapstick, Keystone Kops-type stuff, with lots of traditional circus hoop-jumping, music, comedy and Australian eccentricity. This tour finds the company incorporating a sort of steampunk motif. The show runs through April 3, taking a day off April 2.

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