Thursday, June 30
• Every Thursday Black Mountain hosts Park Rhythms, a free concert series at Lake Tomahawk Park. This week, enjoy the soulful, retro blues of Motownblue. In case of inclement weather, concerts are moved indoors to the Lakeview Clubhouse. 7-9 p.m.
• The John Barry Conception doesn’t have much to say about itself. The experimental indie folk duo’s Facebook page simply lists its influences as “nostalgia, men, ships and the sea.” Nonetheless, the Virginia natives’ soaring melodies, percussive swells and eclectic instrumentation do plenty of talking. Catch the band at Firestorm Cafe (48 Commerce Street, 255-8115). 7 p.m.
Friday, July 1
• “Join in the commemoration of our 25th anniversary and ring in the future,” invites the N. C. Arboretum‘s website. “Enjoy music in the gardens featuring guitarist Larry Anderson and bluegrass band Sons of Ralph. Meet artist Terry Ashley, whose exhibit is currently on display at the Arboretum, and watch demonstrations by members of the Carolina Mountain Woodturners. Discover the history of the Arboretum on a heritage hike, and learn about the role of the American Chestnut in Appalachian life in an informative lecture. Geocaching, children’s activities and a 5K time trial are also planned for the day.” Free, and all parking fees are waived for the event. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
• There’s nothing like outdoor theater in the summer, especially when it’s free and you can bring your own food and drink! This weekend, The Montford Park Players continue their season with The Asheville Shakesperience, “a full evening of scenes and sonnets from the Bard’s folios,” according to the group’s website. “Comedy, tragedy and romance all in one night.” Performed at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Montford. Bring folding chair and umbrella in case of rain. 7:30 p.m.
• Dustin Spagnola‘s signature is all over town … literally. From traditional work in art galleries and bars to enormous murals plastered in back alleys and outdoor courtyards, Spagnola’s interpretations of iconic figures have become a permanent addition to the Asheville landscape. His latest work features “imagery of influential punk rock musicians of the past and local musicians connected to the artist,” according to a Facebook page for his opening this weekend at Harvest Records (415 Haywood Road, 258-2999). Local punk/hardcore outfit Just Die! will provide the music. 8 p.m. Free.
• Kovacs and the Polar Bear “want to play your house party,” according to the band’s Facebook page. If you’re not keen on big messes and angry neighbors, check out the band’s catchy indie folk at The LAB (39 North Lexington Avenue, 252-0212). Madeline and Madre opens. 10 p.m. $5.
Saturday, July 2
• “Bring your instruments, families, friends, lawn chairs and blankets and join us for good times at the new Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage,” invites the homepage for Shindig on the Green, downtown Asheville’s free, weekly concert series held at Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green. Now in its second year, the summer music series includes stage shows and informal jam sessions around the park. No dogs, alcohol or smoking, by city ordinance. 7 p.m.
• According to its website, “Poetry Slam Asheville celebrates freedom of speech with an Independence Slam at Blend Hookah Lounge and Gallery (106 N. Lexington Ave., 505-0067). The night’s champion slammer takes home a $50 cash prize. Sign-up starts at 7:30 and the show begins at 8 p.m. Performers are encouraged to arrive early as slots fill quickly. $5 cover; performers and volunteers free.”
Sunday, July 3
• Get your Fourth of July celebration started early as downtown Hendersonville’s Music on Main Street presents a special fireworks display and music by one-man-band Tom Brown. Bring a chair. 7:30-10 p.m. Free.
• “Lion Cub is an indie pop band from Cambridge, MA,” reads the band’s surprisingly straightforward bio. “With their giddy mixture of organic instrumentation reminiscent of their rural New England background and the sleek rhythms of electric drums and loops, Lion Cub is a constantly shifting and progressing take on classic pop music.” The band stops in Asheville for a show at Fred’s Speakeasy (122 College St., 281-0920).