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Arts & Culture

Your Weekend Is Here: A Family Band, A Film On War And Fleetwood Mac (Kind Of)

Jacob Laven-Pursell

The Weekend is here and you can check out a variety of hot music, or watch  a film following an Iraq War vet. First off, if you head down to the Cove Friday, you're in for a treat. The Laven family, fronted by Rachel Laven will be playing from 6:30-9 p.m.

“We're a family band, so it’s my brother and I and my parents," she said.

Each family member has individual musical inclinations that they bring together when they play.

"We're all kind of different artists ourselves. My brother's more bluesy and I'm more folky and country, and my mom and dad are more country and a little bit of rock," Laven said. 

If you've not been to the Cove it's an indoor/outdoor kind of place with the band set up where it's cool.

"There is air conditioning. Absolutely! And cold beer,” she said. “And plenty of good food to go around. And a playground for the kids, so it's really kind of an all-inclusive kind of place."

For those of you who follow Rachel Laven’s career, you're fast running out of chances to see her with her family.

Credit Nathan Cone
Rachel Laven

"I'm going to be moving to England pretty soon. I've done quite a bit of touring over there,” Laven said. “So this is one of the last months you can see me with the Lavens for a good while."

IF YOU GO What: The Lavens Where: The Cove When: 6:30 p.m. Friday Cost:  free

Then tomorrow you can catch a modern day war film, but actor/director Christopher Martini says Trooper has none of the Hollywood war movie glory.

"Trooper is the story of an Iraq War veteran coming home from being deployed and with PTSD and a host of other physical and emotional issues,” Martini said. “And he comes home to where his father, a Vietnam veteran, takes him in at home, who's also dealing with his own issues from Vietnam — PTSD and agent orange exposure.”


It's not a documentary, but clearly Martini takes the subject seriously. And he says there’s a disconnect between the effort we as a society make before sending soldiers to war, and once they’ve returned.

“We go to great efforts to train and arm the greatest fighting force on earth, but not much is done for these men and women when they come home,” he said.  

He said the issues these veterans face stateside are things that most civilians don’t even know about.

“And there's not a whole lot that's done to sort of teach our society on how to embrace them. They're suffering alone,” Martini said. “Their suicide rate is huge. A lot of the public just doesn't know what's going on.”

There are two screenings at Lackland Air Force Base

IF YOU GO What: Trooper Where: Lackland AFB When: 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday Cost:  free (must be a veteran, or be chaperoned by one to attend)

Then on Saturday night, Sam's Burger Joint is going to sound like Fleetwood Mac has reunited. Brooke Alyson sings the Stevie Nicks parts in this band called Nightbird.

“We're a tribute band that recreates the sound and the experience of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks onstage. We try to get it as close as possible we can.”


Alyson does this for a living, but Nightbird’s origins have as much to do with fun as with making a living. 

"I started this tribute because so many people said, ‘You look and you sound like Stevie.’ I really started it for fun, to be perfectly honest, because I love Stevie and Fleetwood Mac's music," she said.

Alyson said she can trace that love back a long way.   


"I grew up with it; my parents were a duo in the 70s and I kinda came into the world knowing Stevie's song Dreams for instance. My parents did that," she said.

With costuming and lights, their efforts are more than just what you hear coming out of the speakers.

“We try to capture the spirit of their music,” she said. 

IF YOU GO What: Nightbird (Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac tribute band) Where: Sam’s Burger Joint When: 9 p.m. Saturday Cost:  $13-$16