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The To-Do List, Nov. 18-22 

THURSDAY 11/18

JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER

7:30 p.m., Staples Auditorium, Hendrix College. Free.

The Crain-Maling Center of Jewish Culture, an organization that aims to "enhance knowledge about Jewish culture and raise awareness of Jewish life" at Hendrix, went a long way towards furthering its mission by bringing Jonathan Safran Foer to campus. A writer who's rarely mentioned without the word "wunderkind" trailing near behind, Foer is perhaps most famous for his widely praised debut novel, "Everything Is Illuminated." Published when he was 25, the book follows the travels of a young American Jew who travels to Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis; the Jewish newspaper The Forward called it "the first great American Jewish novel of the twenty-first century." Foer has followed up with another acclaimed novel, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and, most recently, a non-fiction account of his vegetarianism, "Eating Animals." He's currently at work on a new edition of the "Haggadah," the Jewish text that tells the story of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt. So he's certainly got the bona fides to rep for the Crain-Maling Center and to deliver a lecture called "Why Jews Laugh at Things That Aren't Funny." A reception follows the talk in Mills Library. LM.


FRIDAY 11/19

BRAD PAISLEY, DARIUS RUCKER

7:30 p.m., Verizon Arena. $25-$59.75.

Brad Paisley had a good week last week. He co-hosted the CMA Awards, where he debuted a new, sure-to-be-anthem, "This Is Country" ("It ain't hip to sing about tractors, trucks, little towns, and mama, yeah that might be true / But this is country music and we do"). And after being nominated five times prior, Paisley finally took home the ceremony's coveted entertainer of the year award. In fact, it's been a pretty good recent career for Paisley. In less than five months, he's played for more than 750,000 fans on his H20 tour. In a little more than 10 years, he's sold 10 million and landed 25 singles on the Billboard country charts, including 10 straight number ones. In 2008, former Hootie and the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker became the first African-American singer to top the country charts since Charley Pride in 1983. He's done it three more times since, most recently with "Come Back Song," the first single off his recently released sophomore album. Poyen, Arkansas native Justin Moore has plenty to draw from in his anthems about country livin': his grandma's name was Faynette, he grew up on 100 acres, he was on a deer stand before he was one. He's sure to get a rousing welcome from the hometown crowd in the opening slot. Double date and save some dough: four pack tickets are available for $79.00 and $199.00. LM.

CODY BELEW

8 p.m., Wildwood Park for the Arts. $25-$50.

n This one's easy to wrap your head around: Do you support the mission of Big Brothers/Big Sisters? Enjoy funk and soul? Well then, this benefit concert's for you. Cody Belew, the blue-eyed soul shouter known for his spot-on renditions of '60s and '70s hits, is bringing his full arsenal to Wildwood, including songs from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Annie Lennox, Chaka Khan, Percy Sledge, James Brown, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Patti LaBelle, Al Green and Prince. He'll be supported by his crack backing unit, The Mercers. The $50 VIP tickets get you reserved seating, a drink voucher, an event poster and access to a VIP after party. Get tickets a wildwoodpark.org. LM.


SATURDAY 11/20

RIVER MARKET ON ICE GRAND OPENING

9:30 a.m., River Market Pavilions. $8 for skaters.

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