The Native American Health Coalition holds its Third Annual Pow Wow today at Bartle Hall, 14th and Broadway, so it is, to quote the movie Smoke Signals, "a good day to be indigenous." Entertainment includes champion hoop dancer Jackie Bird and Anne Ortiz's Native American Fashion Show. Dance and drum contests, a craft fair, and a kids' circle round out the event, which runs through Saturday. Doors open at 9 a.m.; single-day admission is $5, and two-day passes are $8. For more information, call 816-333-7500.
While Tempus Fugit at the Nelson has enjoyed well-earned praise, Kansas City's art lovers may have overlooked one of the museum's concurrent exhibits. The compellingly titled Snake Cult Goddesses of Ancient India explores the idea that objects in nature -- mountains, rivers, snakes -- hold special powers, a belief that was prominent in the first millennium B.C. and carried over into the next one. The collection of monumental sandstone Naginis, or sculptures of snake goddesses, sits amid panoramic color photographs of India that create an idyllic setting for the pieces. Tempus Fugit is not forgotten here, though: Part of the exhibit is dedicated to the scientific process of how sandstone weathers. The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum is located at 4525 Oak. For more information, call 816-751-1278.
Looking at only the title of OX 45's new album, 668 ... The Neighbor of the Beast, and factoring in the use of numbers and "X" in the group's moniker, it would be easy to peg this band as a clone of Blink-182 or NOFX. However, the music comes closer to Ozzy Osbourne's solo material than to anything by these pop-punk titans. OX 45 is working hard, perhaps too hard, to rock out '80s style. The title track, which should be a lighthearted throwaway, turns out to be an overwrought whine-fest. In fairness, OX 45 has studied and practiced diligently. The rhythm section swings and bops like Tommy Lee porn, guitarist Jason Deans has swagger to spare, and vocalist JZUN has a way of combining the best and worst parts of the Ozzy style with touches of Mike Patton's range and Chris Cornell's somberness. Aging Motley Crüe fans will be overjoyed when they hear such hard-driving songs as "Spastic" and "Friday" at Niener's, 815 N. Noland Road. For more information, call 816-461-6955.
Enjoying art films can be lonely and alienating. But now art-film lovers who have had enough ridicule for sighing wistfully at subtitles and whole scenes without dialogue have a place to go: the Westport Presbyterian Church, 201 Westport Road, which hosts Westport's Film Chat Room. This is not the kind of cyber room where chatters use the safety of made-up screen names to say preposterous things. It is an actual room, and people actually talk, with audible voices. This evening's 6:30 screening might, in fact, be the perfect opportunity for novice art-film watchers to get involved, since Four Weddings and a Funeral (a comedy starring Hugh Grant as a single guy whose friends keep getting married) can be considered "foreign" only because it's set in Britain. For more information, call 816-931-1032.
Traditionally, religious education leaves out the parts of sacred texts that hint about what happens between "knowing" and "begetting," but apparently the Old Testament, after all, offers some wisdom along those lines. And tonight at 7:30, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the best-selling author of Kosher Sex, discusses his new book, Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W. 115th Street in Overland Park. Einstein Bagels serves pizza prior to the lecture, but don't expect pepperoni -- like the sex, dinner is kosher. Tickets are $10 per person and include the pizza. For more information, call 913-327-8066.
Such heretical geniuses as Galileo could be forgetful, too. From the letters exchanged between Galileo and his daughter, which are included in Dava Sobel's book Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, readers might be reassured to discover that Galileo sent his daughter, Maria Celeste, a gift basket, then asked her to return it when he remembered that it was not his to give. Such lapses didn't seem to affect their relationship. Sobel describes how, in "a world that did not yet know its place," Galileo found a kindred soul in his daughter, whose 124 letters he kept bound in a tidy manuscript. Sobel discusses her book at 7:30 this evening at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street. Complimentary tickets are available at Rainy Day Books, 2706 W. 53rd Street in Fairway. For more information, call 913-384-3126.
While Big Sandy of Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys has been described as "buttery voiced" and "a pretty startling approximation of Buddy Holly," his Fly-Rite Boys have been said to "nearly bring a smile to Johnny Cash's face (assuming Johnny Cash can smile)." The group makes an appearance tonight at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire in Lawrence, playing some older tunes but mostly introducing songs from its latest album, Night Tide. Although the group usually is pegged as an upbeat rockabilly band, the new songs' lyrics are decidedly gloomy. "Tequila Calling" conjures up a man's lost love for a curvaceous tequila bottle, and "When Sleep Won't Come" tells the tale of a 1940s bandleader who went to prison for killing his wife and then wrote letters proclaiming his love for her. Lively instrumentals are bound to cheer things up a bit. For information, call 785-841-LIVE.