Thursday, Feb. 9
• Early in the 20th century, chestnut blight devastated populations of the once plentiful hardwood in the eastern United States. Join Mila Kirkland of the American Chestnut Foundation as she discusses efforts to breed a disease resistant tree and restore it to North American forests at The Bullington Center, 33 Upper Red Oak Trail in Hendersonville. 3 p.m. $5. Info and registration: 698-6104 or http://www.bullingtoncenter.org.
• “Marcus Lazano, chased by two thugs, is run over by Frank Cain’s car and awakens in the hospital with amnesia,” begins a synopsis for the pilot episode of Tomorrow Waits for No One, a locally produced web series. “Romantic sparks fly between Det. Cole Washington and Marcus as the detective investigates the ‘missing persons in reverse’ case. Frank is the only one who knows Marcus’ identity (or is he?) but keeps mum as a fortune may be up for the taking.”
More about the producers, from a Kickstarter page for the project, “Santa Lorena Productions is an Asheville, N.C.-based not-for-profit film production group that provides local residents access to filmmaking opportunities. Working with established filmmakers, residents have the opportunity to learn new techniques and hone existing skills. We rely on the contributions of people who support the arts and independent filmmaking.” Screen the pilot, along with trailers for a number of other locally-produced indie films, at The Fine Arts Theatre, 36 Biltmore Ave. 9:30 p.m. $8.75.
• It’s safe to say that The Critters are Asheville’s most raucous rock outfit. From ‘60s psychedelia to gritty garage pop, the band blends its own quirky impulses with the best of foregone eras for a classic sound that’s as unruly as it is infectious. Get a rowdy start to the weekend when the band joins The Luxury Spirit, Albert Adams and Birthday Boy (Kovacs’ Chris Lee) at Emerald Lounge, 112 N. Lexington Ave. 9:30 p.m. $5.
Friday, Feb. 10
• Juniper Bends is a quarterly reading series that aims to “create a space for hard working local writers to share their work with the world.” This weekend, it celebrates the first reading of 2012 with an event at Downtown Books and News, 67 N. Lexington Ave., featuring Kate Zambreno, author of Green Girl; Katherine Soniat, author of The Swing Girl; Jesse Rice-Evans; and Adam Jernigan. 7 p.m. Free.
• Join Montford Books and More, 31 Montford Ave., for its third anniversary celebration, featuring an opening reception for “animated ‘village’ figures” by potter Annie Clingenpeel and “a collection of images from nature” by painter Jocelyn Reese. The party will also include locally-crafted gift items like jewelry and note cards, along with hundreds of sale-priced books. 6-8 p.m. Free. The celebration continues Saturday, Feb. 11.
• From a roundup in this week’s Xpress, “It seems that the lonely hearts club is maintaining a healthy membership: Last year’s I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry Anti-Valentines Tribute to Hank Williams Sr. “was a wild success,” reports hosts The Gin Fits, “and we are all quite excited to be doing it again.” The local alt-rock band gears up for another round of raucous broken-heartedness at The Get Down on Friday, Feb. 10. Matty Mongomery, Young Couples, Alex Gordon and others also take the stage, starting at 8 p.m.”
Saturday, Feb. 11
• There’s no denying that it’s been an especially mild winter. That said, most of us would still cringe at the thought of leaping into a pool of 50-degree water. However, watching dozens of others do so is another story altogether. This weekend, Meals on Wheels hosts its 4th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at the Asheville Racquet Club, 1 Resort Drive (behind the Crown Plaza Resort), featuring a host of costume-clad divers willing to buck common sense for a good cause. 11 a.m.
• From a Patton Avenue Pet Company event page, “What is all this talk about raw pet food and how can I safely make it myself? Find out the answers when Kristi King of local WNC company Green Earth Pet Food hosts a free raw pet food class! Come learn about the benefits of feeding a raw diet to your dog or cat (such as strong muscles, clean teeth and shiny fur) and how to safely prepare the food. She will cover basic nutrition for dogs and cats and what ingredients are necessary for a balanced diet. You will be given sample recipes for your own home-prepared dog and cat food, along with local resources where you can purchase the necessary ingredients. You don’t need a degree in pet nutrition to feed your pet well … just a little time, energy and knowledge!” 1388 Patton Ave. Noon-1:30 p.m.
• “Join us on Saturday, Feb. 11 for our special Valentine’s Day masquerade party and art opening,” invites ZaPow! illustrative art gallery, 21 Battery Park Ave., Suite 101. “Dress up in your best zombie or lusty lady costume … or combine both! Costumes are not required, but prizes will be won for the best! There’ll be FREE BEER from French Broad Brewery, scoops from The Hop Ice Cream Cafe and awesome tunes from The Mad Tea! Best of all? It’s FREE!” 7-9 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 12
• Celebrate Black History Month with harmony and melody as local African American choirs and soloists perform old-time spirituals at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 1 Dundee St. 3 p.m. Free will offering.