Thursday, May 3
• Celebrate the spoken word this weekend at the annual Asheville Wordfest. “This is the festival’s fifth year of celebrating the voices of poets from many cultural and aesthetic contexts,” according to its website. “… Asheville Wordfest maintains that if something someone says doesn’t speak to everybody, then it probably isn’t the truth. Join us as we revel in how poetry has a way of speaking to everyone.” The festival runs through Sunday, May 6, with a variety of mostly-free events, including a reading at Vanuatu Kava Bar, 15 Eagle St., featuring Barbie Angel, Ten Cent Poetry, Jonathan Santos and Jadwiga McKay on Thursday. 7 p.m.
Kathryn Stripling Byer at Asheville Wordfest 2010
Friday, May 4
• From an event page, “The WNC Chapter of the N.C. Herb Association represents the wide variety of herbalists and herb businesses in North Carolina: herb growers and vendors, natural gardening and landscaping specialists and makers of herbal ointments, balms, soaps, teas, medicines and other herb products. We hope you’ll join us and more than 25,000 other herb lovers in celebrating our 23rd annual Asheville Herb Festival May 4, 5 and 6 at the WNC Farmers Market. It’s the greatest festival in the whole southeast! … Whether you’re looking for herbal medicine, holistic treatment, herbal soaps and shampoos, gourmet cooking herbs, cookbooks or organic gardening information, you’ll find the products and experts you need.” Fri. & Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• “The geek and nerd fun that is ZaPOW continues on Friday, May 4th, with ZaPOW’s next party, ‘May the Fourth be With You,’” begins an entry on the gallery’s website. “This Star Wars-themed party will feature music from the infamous DJ Kipper, free wine, free beer from Asheville’s French Broad Brewery and, of course, the fun illustration and pop culture art that ZaPOW is becoming nationally known for. Partygoers are encouraged to ditch their work clothes and dress up as their favorite character from the Star Wars franchise, though costumes are not required.” 7-9 p.m. Free.
• “Worldline is a five-piece textured rock band, the brainchild of music producer Andrew Schatzberg, who has come out from behind the control board to continue his career as a prolific singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman,” reads the local quintet’s bio. “Formed in 2011, Worldline features seasoned veterans of Asheville’s music scene: Springs Wade on drums, Naren Schoenacher on guitar and backing vocals, Dave Mack on bass and Brian Turner on keyboards and backing vocals. With their varied musical experiences and influences — Beck, The Flaming Lips, U2, Pink Floyd, Radiohead —the five men of Worldline have created a distinctly dramatic sound that rises above the din of typical rock music.” The band celebrates the release of its debut album, Inside the Noise, with a performance at The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave. 10 p.m. $10 includes CD.
Saturday, May 5
• “Come to The Anam Cara Collective on Cinco de Mayo and hear some humorous stories — and maybe even tell one of your own,” invites a page for the Tales and Ales open mic storytelling event. “It can be embarassing, stupid or crazy — but anyone can take the mic to tell one. If that isn’t good enough, there will also be beer from the Asheville Brewing Company and wine available for a suggested donation.” 203 Haywood Road. 7 p.m.
• The Open Letter Music Series, an ongoing run of performances that highlight “cutting-edge avant-garde musicians” at a variety of locations in Asheville, presents a solo performance by “innovative percussion master” Tatsuya Nakatani, along with set from the series’ founder and curator, guitarist and Ahleuchatistas frontman Shane Perlowin, at Static Age Records, 110 N. Lexington Ave. 9 p.m. $5-$10 suggested donation.
• Think your facial hair is the best in the land? Find out when Tipping Point Tavern, 190 N. Main St., Waynesville, hosts the first annual Cinco de Beardo competition, featuring prizes for a variety of categories, including Ladies Faux Beard and Ladies Faux Stache, The Hillbilly, The Businessman, The Partial and Lip Curtain. 8 p.m. Free to enter.
• From the band’s bio, “In a world that is becoming increasingly digitalized and impersonal, The Honeycutters are building a reputation based on live performance and songs that tend to stick with you. …The Honeycutters are excited to introduce their second full length studio release, When Bitter Met Sweet… Like their first release, Irene, When Bitter Met Sweet features singer-songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, who has been hailed as ‘one of the best songwriters coming out of WNC these days’ by WNCW programming director Martin Anderson. Peter James accompanies her on lead and rhythm guitar as well as harmony vocals. They are backed up by Tal Taylor’s signature mandolin playing, Ian Harrod on bass and Jon Ashley on drums, creating an original brand of Americana that has proved equally appealing to both the musician and the music lover, the country and the city, the old and the young. Platt’s songs are shaped by a raw honesty that comes straight from the heart and emits a sort of melancholy happiness. The album features 11 tracks that touch upon childhood and loss of innocence, finding a sense of belonging and one’s voice, truth, love and patience, traveling and embarking on new life-journeys (and the fears that go along with these) and the understanding that comes about when life’s circumstances come full circle.” The band officially releases the album with a performance at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave. Moses Atwood opens. 9 p.m. $8 advance/$10 day of.
Sunday, May 6
• There’s no place like home, and this weekend, Big Love Fest celebrates Asheville with an all-local lineup of musicians, crafts and food vendors and more at Pack Square Park. Performers include Floating Action, Kovacs and the Polar Bear, The Critters and more. 1-8 p.m. Free.
• Join fellow bike enthusiasts for a cool evening ride through Asheville during the Full Moon Pedal Party. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume and bring lights, music and friends. The ride departs from the roundabout at the intersection of Clingman Avenue and Haywood Road in the River Arts District. 9 p.m. Free.