This weekend on a shoestring

Thursday, Sept. 6

• The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival kicks off in Burnsville with a screening of The Mystery of George Masa, the true story of a Japanese immigrant and photographer who helped Horace Kephart promote the idea of a Great Smoky Mountain National Park. A reception with the filmmaker will immediately follow. Held at the Yancey County Public Library, 18 Town Square, Burnsville. Additional events, including readings, lectures and Q&A sessions with more than 30 authors, will follow throughout the weekend. See website for full schedule. 7 p.m. Free.

Friday, Sept. 7

• “During this 2012 election season, Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan are on a national speaking tour to mark the 16th anniversary of the daily, independent, global TV/radio news hour and to launch their new book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope,” reads a webpage for the progressive talk radio program. This weekend, Goodman comes to A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium in support of Asheville’s own local, independent radio station MAIN-FM. 7 p.m. $10/$5 students.

• “In its third fabulous year, Clips of Faith is a beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show that’s coming to 18 cities coast-to-coast,” according to New Belgium Brewing. “We took our love for beer and fans and put them together in this one-of-a-New-Belgium-kind event. You’ll get to try our most esoteric beer offerings — up to 16 varieties on tap! — and pair them with inspiring short films created by fans. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds from beer sales benefit a local nonprofit that is working to improve your community.” The tour stops at Pack Square Park in Asheville for an evening of beer, amateur films and socializing. Proceeds benefit Asheville on Bikes. 7 p.m. Free to attend.

• From a feature in this week’s Xpress, “A cursory punk-rock encyclopedia confronts those who visit thespits.com. Its focus is explaining the history of the genre as it pertains to The Spits, a Seattle-based punk outfit with a decidedly old-school style and more than two decades in action. There are sections entitled “Punk Music History” and “Essential Punk Albums” along with pages that more directly address the band. One blurb boils down The Spits’ influences to the early punk triumvirate of the Ramones, The Clash and the Sex Pistols, a reductive but not entirely off-base explanation of the group’s punchy, potent and deceptively straightforward style.” Catch the old-school punk purists at Toy Boat Community Art Space, former home of the now defunct Garage at Biltmore, 101 Fairview Road. 8 p.m. $8.
Story by Jordan Lawrence

• “Magnetic Midnight is a magical, mysterious, monthly event in which the best of The Magnetic Theatre meets the best of you,” according to The Magnetic Field. “Arrive at 10 p.m. to participate with an original script, song, dance or routine no more than five minutes long, or if you wish to act or direct. Up to 13 acts accepted as they appear. Each month we also have a featured act and an opening song which kicks off the evening. Magnetic Midnight usually sells out — so arrive early!” Show begins at 11 p.m. 372 Depot St. $5.

Saturday, Sept. 8

• Learn about the useful and healing plants that surround us everyday during an urban plant walk focusing on medicinal and edible plants. Trip departs from the Center for Holistic Medicine, 779 Haywood Road. $5/children free. Info: 505-3174.

• Celebrate all things apple during the Apple Fest Fundraiser at Hickory Nut Forest‘s organic orchard and gardens, located off Route 74A in Gerton. The event will include apple picking, bobbing, cider pressing, a cake walk, pie contests and more. $3 per car. See website for directions. 1-5 p.m.

• “Heather Shirin creates Art Nouveau inspired portraits of women using gold leaf and mixed media,” begins the local artist’s bio. “Her work has a wonderful vintage feel, incorporating gold leaf and fine art paper, making these mixed media pieces simply timeless.” Watch as Shirin performs a live demonstration at Desert Moon Designs Studios and Gallery, 372 Depot St., as part of the River Arts District’s Second Saturdays celebration. 1-4 p.m. Free.

• “Crystal’s songs reflect her educational background in anthropology and ethnomusicology and her experiences playing and singing various styles — Mariachi, Chinese, Balinese Gamelan, Ugandan, Samba and more,” reads a bio for Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands. “She is a mad multi-tasker who relentlessly alternates between accordion, musical saw (self-taught through YouTube videos), piano, adungu (a Ugandan harp), concertina and bombo (Argentine drum) — sometimes more than one at a time! She possesses astounding vocal range and power that descends on a dime to delicate subtlety. One moment she sings, she soars — and the next … a falsetto whisper that slyly peeks behind the curtain.” Check out the self-described “kaleidophrenic cabaret” when Bright and Co. perform at The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave., with Stereojunk. 9:30 p.m. $5.

Sunday, Sept. 9

Traveling Bonfires describes itself as “Rock journeys and sublime madnesses: Community convergence — of arts, music and food — in celebration of global peace, family harmony and cultural diversity.” The “movable feast of family fun” brings music, arts and dancing to downtown Asheville’s Pritchard Park on Sunday, including a performance by The Zealots. 4-9 p.m. Free to attend.

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