Many a music fan has declared Hank Williams III to be more about image than talent. They've accused the Misfits-loving, tattoo-wearing cowpunk of milking the hellbilly persona of a hard-drinkin', Southern-fried outlaw, labeled him a novelty act, and sentenced him to forever toil in the shadow of grandpappy Hiram and daddy Bocephus. But we're certain "Hank 3" will offer up a twangy "fuck you" in his defense when he visits the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill in Tempe, on Wednesday, February 9. The third-generation country crooner, who claims to "put the dick in Dixie and the cunt in country," lives like an outlaw, answering to no one. He's already told off the country music industry in songs like "Trashville," and if the audience vacates the venue when Assjack, the death metal portion of his two-part set, begins, it's all good. Like Hank says, "I can't help the way that I am." The country thunder starts at 6:30 p.m. The Hazzard County Girls open the show. Call 480-829-0707. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Langston Hughes Project presents poetic chronicle
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When Langston Hughes died in 1967, Harlem's East 127th Street was renamed Langston Hughes Place in honor of the poet and playwright who influenced the neighborhood's legendary renaissance. "Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz" is Hughes' eloquent 800-line, 12-part poetic piece that reflects on the artistic and social struggles of the time. On Thursday, February 3, professors Ron McCurdy and John S. Wright of the Langston Hughes Project will lay it down, backed by live jazz, video and photos, at ASU's East Campus, 7001 East Williams Field Road in Mesa, at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Call 480-727-1173. -- Amy Young
Dog Eat Dog
Play features brothers up in arms
What's in a name? Well, if your name is Lincoln and your brother's name is Booth, you're already lacking historical harmony. Would bros by any other name still compete? Probably, but the brothers Lincoln and Booth in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog, presented by iTheatre Collaborative on Wednesday, February 9, face a foreshadowing that could only be more ominous if they were named Cain and Abel. "We come to find out lots of secrets that have affected their lives -- like infidelity and sibling rivalries over women," says director Charles St. Clair. "The play is raw. It's real. It's about two brothers who live in the inner city. There's some strong language and some adult themes. In fact, no one under the age of 13 will be admitted into the theater." The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. at ASU West, 4701 West Thunderbird. Tickets cost $6 to $15, and the production runs through February 13. Call 602-543-2787. -- Niki D'Andrea