Are you “Running On Empty?” Tonight would be a great night to “Take It Easy” with legendary folk performer Jackson Browne. He’ll be performing a special, all-acoustic benefit concert for the campaign to fight the controversial recall petition circulated by political opponents of 3rd District County Supervisor Gail Marshall. The show starts at 8 at the Lobero Theatre, located at 33 E. Canon Perdido. Call 963-0761 for ticket information. Muddy Waters offers a night of Middle Eastern music and dance, featuring live music, members of the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble and Troupe Seher. Guests are urged to bring their dancing shoes. Music starts at 8 and there is a $5 cover charge.


Legend + Harm + Monica = “barnstorming blues.” Tonight at SOhO, Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers will show you just how mean a jazz harp can be. The show is at 9:30 p.m. Mark Doty will be giving a reading at Victoria Hall (33 W. Victoria St.) tonight at 8. Doty has authored six poetry collections and has won several awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award. Or if you don’t wanna close your eyes (’cause you’d miss the armageddon), check out “Rocks From Outer Space: Meteorites and Meteor Wrongs” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. At 7.30 p.m. Local expert Dale Lowdermilk will teach you everything you want to know about how to rock in space.


Things are easy when you share your name with an Alphaville song. Corky Pigeon and the boys from Big In Japan play tonight with Digger, Army of Freshmen, and Panic In Detroit at The Living Room in Goleta. The Living Room is located at 430C S. Fairview Ave. For more information, call 692-8550. All ages are welcome. Big In Japan, be tight! Those who think that decorating gourds involves SharpiesTM and narcoleptics can expand their repertories at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden from 1-5 p.m. You’ll learn how to put those backyard natural materials together with basketry to create decorative gourds. The Botanic Garden is located at 1212 Mission Canyon Rd. Call 682-4726 for more information.

Sunday and Monday

Pop goes the Fulani. Senegalese pop star Baaba Maal plays an acoustic concert on Sunday in Campbell Hall. His blend of traditional African and Western pop sounds has won over the likes of the Los Angeles Times and Vibe magazine – they call his music “anything but clichZ.” The performance starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28/25 for general public, $19/$16 for students. On Monday, author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni reads from her work at 4 p.m. in Hatlen Theatre. USA Today declares her literary voice to be “a sensual bridge between worlds,” those of both an immigrant and a woman. This free event is presented by Arts & Lectures, the MCC, the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Center.


Perhaps the dead can’t dance, but Urban Bush Women (get your minds out of the gutter) certainly can. Tonight and Wednesday, the acclaimed dance theater ensemble performs “HairStories,” a collection of sketches about the relationship between African-American women and their hair. The show is at Campbell Hall tonight at 8. Tickets are $25/$22 for the general public and $19/$16 for UCSB students. For an evening of alternative acoustic, Tret Fure, Antara & Delilah, Kasey Lloyd, Craig Stewart and Jessica Peters play tonight at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club, located at 1221 State St. The show begins at 7. This show may not be for the politically squeamish! Call 962-7776 for more information.


Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome! Meet Texas: She’s a cunning linguist! Santa Barbara will be transformed into the gorgeously bisexual Kit Kat Klub of ’30s Berlin as the Tony and Oscar-winning musical “Cabaret” comes to the Arlington Theatre tonight and Thursday. The show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $45.50-$62, available at the Arlington box office and through TicketMaster. Please note that “Cabaret” is intended for mature audiences. Smuin Ballets/SF performs “Dancin’ with Gershwin,” the first full-length ballet set to the music of George Gershwin, tonight at the Lobero Theatre at 33 E. Canon Perdido. Tickets are $35/$25 and the show starts at 8 p.m.