Thursday, Aug. 30
• Let’s begin with a bit of shameless self-promotion. Full disclosure: I’ve been playing with Kovacs and the Polar Bear for the last several months. That said, they’ve been one of my favorite local bands for far longer. Nonetheless, I’ll leave the rest up to someone else. From an Xpress feature last year, “For a bunch of self-proclaimed slack-asses, Kovacs and the Polar Bear have sure had a stellar year: headlining The Grey Eagle, high-profile gigs opening for Tyler Ramsey and War On Drugs, winning a best Music Video Asheville award, slots at Bele Chere and Birmingham’s inaugural Secret Stages festival. Oh yeah, and the local Americana band just finished up the swaggeringly beautiful Second Sister, hands-down its best album to date. …As anyone who’s caught one of the band’s mesmerizing live shows can attest, there’s damn good reason why the local four-piece is knocking on national buzz’s door. One minute they’re lulling you in with a gorgeous, harmony-drenched folk tune, and the next they’re blowing you back on your heels with a soaring, cymbal-crashing, Southern rock epic.” Catch Kovacs when the band performs at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., with You Won’t and Bombadil. $8/$10. 8:30 p.m.
Story by Miles Britton
Friday, Aug. 31
• “The apple has been called the loveliest of all fruits,” boasts the website for the 66th annual North Carolina Apple Festival. “It is also one of the most important agricultural crops grown in Henderson County. During a normal year it brings in an average income of 22 million dollars or more. … The North Carolina Apple Festival is proud to include local apple growers in the Street Fair. You can purchase a few apples or bushels of fresh locally grown apples. Many of the growers also feature items such as fried apple pies, apple cakes, apple butter and apple cider at the Festival.” In addition, the festival will include live music, dancing, arts and crafts and more. Held throughout downtown Hendersonville through Monday, Sept. 3. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
• CLAP: Celebrate Live Arts Performances in Asheville will mark Labor Day weekend with a variety of outdoor performances by local arts organizations including the Montford Park Players, LAAFF, Shindig on the Green and the Asheville Symphony. The free events will take place at Roger McGuire Green and Hazel Robinson Amphitheater each evening through Monday, Sept. 3. See website for complete schedule.
• • From an Xpress review last year, “On one hand, The Anam Cara Theatre Company‘s third installment of Naked Girls Reading was exactly what one would expect: naked women reading from an unadorned stage. But within the first five minutes it was clear that the production’s entertainment value had little to do with nudity, beyond the novelty of witnessing three performers casually disrobe and take their seats. The concept began three years ago in Chicago, and performances have been hosted by local companies across the country. … All and all, the night was playful, fun and laid back from start to finish, and the performers were relaxed, charismatic and engaging throughout. Of course nudity was always a part of the performance, and it was always supposed to be. But by the end of the night, it was an afterthought and something that seemed completely reasonable, proof that the performance’s mission had been fulfilled. From the program: ‘When naked or nearly-naked female bodies are displayed publicly, this typically occurs in a hypersexualized and objectifying manner. Furthermore, only certain, idealized versions of the female body are made visible … By contrast, Naked Girls Reading Ashevile has created a space in which real women are empowered to be naked publicly in a creative and autonomous manner.’” Catch the series’ eighth installment, selections about “mischief, magic and mayhem,” this weekend at 203 Haywood Road. 18 and over. 8 p.m. $10 in advance. Performances run through Saturday, Sept. 1 Info: 545-3861.
• Meet fellow cyclists and enjoy the cool night air during the next full moon pedal party. Riders are encouraged to dress in costume and bring lights, music and friends. Meets at the traffic circle in the River Arts District at 9 p.m. Free to attend.
• From an Xpress feature last year, “Uncle Mountain performs with a disarming ease that makes it seem as though the trio was born playing breezy folk rock. And while congenital folkie is a stretch, it’s not as far from the truth as one might expect. Dan Shearin and Ryan Lassiter have known each other for nearly 15 years, and they’ve been playing with Ryan Furstenberg since the three came together in high school a decade ago. These days, they share a house, complete with a rehearsal space and recording studio in the basement, and spend nearly all of their time together. ‘If we’re awake, we’re around each other, with a few breaks here and there,’ Shearin admits. It’s not surprising then that the musical chemistry runs deep. But there’s a lot more to Uncle Mountain than chemistry. At the heart of the band’s appeal lies a knack for crafting pop-friendly folk rock grounded in complex rhythms, hints of Western twang and Appalachian harmonies with a Beatles-esque spin.” Sadly, the trio is calling it quits, but not before a final show at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., with Holy Ghost Tent Revival. $8/$10. 9 p.m.
• ”Blue Jeans and Khaki Pants is not for the faint of heart,” began an Xpress review earlier this year. “The band’s ‘X-rated honkey-tonk’ is many things: obviously satirical, intentionally crude and universally offensive. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard to tell where the joke ends and reality begins with BJKP, and it’s equally difficult to know whether to laugh or be appalled by its antics. Much of the band’s catalog aims simply to shock and get a rise out of the audience. However, one could argue that tracks like “Black, White or Gay” — which includes lyrics and slurs that are reprehensible at face value — actually contain a backhanded message of tolerance, albeit hidden within the inflammatory rhetoric and satirical context. It’s murky water, no doubt, but BJKP walks the line with seeming ease. Maybe the band has a special knack for pushing things just far enough, or maybe it just doesn’t give a damn. Either way, the endless shenanigans certainly keep the audience guessing.” See for yourself when the band plays Emerald Lounge, 112 N. Lexington Ave. Andrew Usher and Maggie and Her Mistakes open. 9 p.m. $5.
Saturday, Sept. 1
• “Celebrate 151 years of Transylvania County history with crafts, music, dancing, food and more,” invites a website for the fourth annual Founders Day Fair. “A Civil War encampment and, inside the Museum, family history displays as well as the current exhibit, Roads, Rails, and Trails, honor the heritage of the County. Opening ceremony is at 10 a.m., featuring our national anthem sung by Kit Owen, American Legion Honor Guard, and Salute by the 1st S.C. Rifles, CSA re-enactors. Local musicians and the Sylvan Squares entertain throughout the day. Proceeds from the day, including sale of baked goods, help support the preservation efforts of the museum.” Held on W. Main Street in Brevard. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free to attend.
• “This one-of-a- kind event, fun for the whole family, will feature live animal shows, award winning wildlife films and exhibits from a wide range of outdoor businesses, environmental educators and conservation groups from across the region,” begins a website for Wild Things Weekend, presented by Wild South. “A five dollar donation per person will give you access to presentations and films for the whole day. All proceeds will go to support Wild South’s wildlife education initiatives, delivering top quality environmental educators to area schools.” See website for a full schedule of presenters and events. Held in downtown Asheville’s Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
• From a website for the Beech Mountain Mile High Kite Festival, held on the meadow at the top of Beech Mounatin, “This family-friendly fun event is a wonderful tradition on Beech Mountain. … There is no charge for admission and free kites are given to the first 300 children, 12 and under. Decorating help and materials will be available for the free kites. There will also be a vendor selling a variety of kites, and folks are welcome to bring their own. A contest will be held for the biggest, smallest and best-decorated kite. All participants receive an official certificate from Beech Mountain Mayor Rick Owen that proclaims ‘I flew a kite a mile high on Beech Mountain.’ … Other activities include races with kids pulling parachute kites, face painting and a variety of craft and food vendors. Parking is $5 per car. … There’s also an all-ages dance on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. in front of town hall. The parking lot is covered with sand and a DJ plays a variety of family fun dance music.” In addition, the Beech Mountain Dog Show will be held at the “new bark park” adjacent to the kite field from 1-4 p.m. Festivities begin at 10 a.m.