Thursday, Dec. 29
• Cultivate your funny at “The Wonders of Improv Comedy,” an improvisational scene building workshop “in the long-form style of Upright Citizens Brigade.” Hosted by Anam Cara Theatre Company, 203 Haywood Road. $7 with an original haiku for the teacher.
• “Take two parts Carolina moonshine, one part San Francisco liquid acid, three parts 4-track rap and a pinch of ‘60s punk and you have the Fist Fam’s new record Posted, a far cry from what any other hip-hop act is doing this day and age,” reads a post for the group’s upcoming performance at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave. “In a world of over produced, squeaky clean, polished horse shit, insulting Roger Troutman rip-offs and ironic hipster rap, the Fist Fam brings something different to the table: low-budget, grimy, soulful chaos.” The Fist Fam performs with The Ville Boyz, Youngin Go Hard & SuperHero Tito, Foul Mouth Jerk, TOPR and DJ Football.
Friday, Dec. 30
• Chances are, you’ve seen Blind Boy Chocolate and the Milk Sheiks busking on the streets of downtown with guitars, mandolins, saws and buckets. But this weekend, the self-described “dirty, street-performing” jug band brings its old-time charm indoors for a performance at Southern Appalachian Brewery, 822 Locust St., Hendersonville. 8 p.m.
• “From the opening notes of New Elements (the sophomore release by local singer/songwriter Darien Crossley, who goes by just her first name on stage), it’s easy to get caught in the spell of sweeping vocals and the complicated poetry,” begins a recent Xpress article. “The album is at turns wrenchingly beautiful and sweetly charming, shot through with the twilit hum of cello, crisp snap of snare and Crossley’s ethereal voice. Nowhere does Elements sound sophomoric, though this musician is barely more than a sophomore herself. A senior at Carolina Day, Crossley writes with a wisdom beyond her years. Which is to say, Elements is not the carefree romantic musings of a teen girl. ‘It’s a reflection of my journey into adulthood,’ says Crossley. ‘This has been a time of transitioning and growing up. That’s sad sometimes. You’re letting go of childhood, you’re learning that things aren’t innocent anymore. But as you’re losing whatever goodness came with childhood, there’s also the realization that you can handle it.’” Darien performs at The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave., with Mystery Cult. 9:30 p.m. $5. Read the full story here.
• “The music of Zansa (a Nouchi slang word from the Ivory Coast meaning combination, or blend) is a mix of traditional and modern styles from West Africa, America and beyond,” explains the band’s bio. “The Asheville-based ensemble blends African folk songs with modern Afropop and the driving, pulsating rhythms of African drumming. Hints of rock, Afrobeat and Latin music are also woven into the mix. The result is an original take on the authentic sounds of West Africa.” Catch Zansa at BoBo Gallery, 22 Lexington Ave., with DJ Adama. 10 p.m.
• According to the band’s Facebook, “Saint Famine Society was formed in 1995 and has spent a decade and a half recording and performing at some of the country’s most legendary venues (including CBGB and The Continental). After a hiatus they are back with new material and beginning rehearsals for upcoming performances. They have earned a solid reputation for their incendiary live shows and unique song crafting.” But perhaps more telling is the band’s headline, “Celebrating 15 years of hearing loss, strong livers and questionable behavior.” The hardcore rockers play The Get Down, 1045 Haywood Road, with Dark 30 and By Any Means Necessary. 9 p.m. $5.
Saturday, Dec. 31
• Asheville Free Media hosts its 2nd Annual Satellite Dance Party, featuring DJs from the station spinning in two locations. Held downtown at The Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge, 7 Rankin Ave., and in West Asheville at the DeSoto Lounge, 504 Haywood Road. 9 p.m. $10 at The Vault includes champagne toast/$5 at DeSoto.
• “Join us at The Bywater this New Year’s Eve for a funky good time,” invites an event page for the bar’s New Year Bash and Funkstravaganza. “Music by The Messengers for your listening/bootyshaking pleasure. Bonfires, cocktails and funk, capped off with a live ball drop!” 9 p.m.
• Dance in the new year and enjoy mega-cheap drink specials as Asheville’s favorite trivia host, DJ Kipper Schauer, spins records into the early morning hours at Arcade Asheville‘s New Year’s Eve/First Birthday Blowout. 130 College St. 10 p.m. $5 includes champagne toast.
• It’s become an annual tradition for former Ashevillian and Drunken Prayer frontman Chris Geer to leave his home in Portland to ring in the new year with his Appalachian family. This year, Geer performs at The Get Down, 1045 Haywood Road, with his gritty country outfit Unholy Trio, featuring David Wayne Gay of Freakwater and Reigning Sound‘s Lance Wille. DJ Lorruh, The Vaygues, Ryan Sheffield and The Treatment open. 9 p.m. $5.