Thursday, Nov. 15
• From the band’s website, “Midtown Dickens have never sounded more bold or graceful than they do across these 11 gorgeous meditations on the themes of home (both literal and abstract), family (blood and chosen) and space (within us and about us). Home is the sound of journey and motion; the pulling apart and coming together we experience as we search for our place in the world. … At first listen, it is clear that Home marks a dramatic shift in Midtown Dickens’ sonic world. While still anchored by acoustic folk instrumentation (banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, upright bass), the album also wields layers of overdriven bowed cymbals, musical saws drowning in reverb and walls of sound that push acoustic instruments to places they’ve never been before. Yet the band never allows the noise to obscure the soul of the song, and without a doubt these are the most realized and lucid songs Register and Edgerton have ever written, modern standards. Home evokes the stunning colors of Carolina tobacco fields and Appalachian mountain ranges, reimagined and re-contextualized in a way that is undeniably Midtown Dickens.” The band visits Asheville for a free performance at UNCA’s Highsmith University Union Grotto. 8 p.m.
• Wyla‘s Edward Madill has a gift for writing fuzzed-out psychedelia and droning noise that’s remarkably poppy and surprisingly accessible. It’s consistently loud and heavy, but one never knows whether the next chorus or bridge will bring crushing dissonance or blissful melody. Often, the answer is both, and either way, it’s welcome. Madill and Co. (drummer Matt Kotarba and bassist Robbie Breitweiser) headline a packed bill at Apothecary, 39 S. Market St., featuring Sin, Uzi Rash, Copdads and Rad with Envy. 9 p.m. $5 suggested donation.
Friday, Nov. 16
• From an Amazon.com synopsis of Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing (by former Xpress contributor Anne Fitten Glenn), “Drinking local harks back to the founding of Asheville in 1798. Whether it be moonshine or craft beer, the culture of local hooch is deeply ingrained in the mountain dwellers of Western North Carolina. Both residents and visitors alike enjoy Asheville’s wealth of breweries, brewpubs, beer festivals and dedicated retailers. That enthusiasm earned the city the coveted Beer City, USA title year after year and prompted West Coast beer giants Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Oskar Blues to establish production facilities here. Beer writer and educator Anne Fitten Glenn recounts this intoxicating history, from the suds-soaked saloons of ‘Hell’s Half Acre’ to the region’s explosion into a beer Mecca.” The local author visits, appropriately, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave., to discuss the book and answer questions. Free to attend. Info: 252-6255.
• According to the Asheville Area Piano Forum, “Mark Sandborn is a lifelong musician whose principal interest is centered upon the correlation of perception between electromagnetic waves and sound waves (color to sound.) A North Carolina native, Mark began his research and development on this theory in 1996. He has since become an international educator through his use of online materials, teaching and methodology, breaking the language barrier which exists in traditional music education. His analytical skills as a music theorist, composer and audio engineer were brought to bear in his investigation into the history, physics and perception of harmonic science. Over the course of the last 16 years, Mark has made multiple new discoveries and created new applications within the field of harmonic science, ultimately affecting such areas as tuning, key structure for duration and volume, color sound mixing and the ease and depth to which music can be learned and experienced by anyone. In 2001 Mark was awarded a patent on his technological applications of his theory, which has subsequently been employed by various music software manufacturers, including Apple’s Logic and Avid’s Sibelius. In that same year he began the creation of a completely new music methodology that is the only one in existence to be developed on principles of harmonic science. This methodology (now in electronic format and in its third version) includes new modalities of exercises and a series of more than 200 original compositions that are designed to demonstrate specific concepts of harmonic science. Over the last decade, the implementation of Mark’s methodology has proven that students of any ability or disability can easily learn to read and play music, reaching advanced levels at historically unprecedented rates. Currently Mark is the owner of Virtuoso music education center in the Grove Arcade where he teaches, composes, lectures and continues to create new products in order to change the landscape of music education.” Learn more about Sandborn’s groundbreaking research when the composer and developer speaks at the Forum’s next general meeting at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. Free and open to the public. 9:30 a.m.
• “Well, Asheville, it’s been THREE YEARS already!” proclaims the website for TallGary’s Cantina, 4 College St. “Where DOES the time go! Starting Thursday the 15th, TallGary’s Cantina will host a “Three Days of Three Years” celebration, and it will involve all the things we love to do: beer, food and music. Thursday will have an expanded Local Music Showcase with some surprise guests, Friday the 16th will be jam packed with music, as a lot of the musicians who have played here over the years come back to say “Thanks” for the time they spent on the big stage. It promises to be a tremendous night of music; we have so many people that want to stop by and show their appreciation that we will have to start the evening early and go all night. Saturday night will have the legendary Al Coffee and the Grinders doin’ the very best in rock, blues, R&B and dance music. And, of course, we will have TONS of specials for you to enjoy! We are also teaming up with MANNA FoodBank. We will waive our already low cover for folks who bring a donation down to the Cantina. This is all happening the week before Thanksgiving, and this is a good chance for you to reach out and help those most in need in WNC during this very important time. Everyone in these parts knows MANNA and the very fine work they do here to help those less fortunate, and we are PROUD to be associated with them. So here’s your chance to join us in celebrating our first three years AND do something positive for our community! It’s a WIN-WIN!”
Saturday, Nov. 17
• Believe it or not, the holidays are here again. Get in the spirit of the season this weekend as the City of Asheville celebrates with the Asheville Holiday Parade, featuring floats, music, Santa and an appearance by Olympic silver medalists Lauren Tamayo and Manteo Mitchell. The parade will wind throughout downtown Asheville, kicking off at the corner of Biltmore Avenue and Charlotte Street and ending at the intersection of Patton and South French Broad avenues. The celebration will continue in Pack Square Park with Jingle Fest from 1-4 p.m. Parade begins at 11 a.m. Free.
• It’s time to start thinking about holiday gift ideas, and here’s one for the budget conscious shopper. From a press release, “The annual Centerpoint Studios Holiday Pottery Sale will be free and open to the public for sales of functional porcelain pottery on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This festive event in the home showroom of artists Kathie and Robert Kline offers holiday shoppers an opportunity to buy handmade gifts at affordable prices. Porcelain pottery by Kyle Carpenter will be introduced during this year’s event. Pottery and wooden bowls by Centerpoint owners Kathie and Robert Kline will be sold, as well as a large assortment of unmarked pottery seconds at reduced prices.” 320 Lakewood Drive. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Local author Amy Willoughby-Burle visits Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St., Weaverville, to read from Out Across Nowhere, her debut collection of short stories. From Willoughby-Burle’s bio, “… Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Potomac Review, Inkwell, Sycamore Review, Reed Magazine, The MacGuffin and many others. She is the editor of Blue Lotus Review, an online journal for literature, art and music. Amy was raised in the small coastal town of Kure Beach, North Carolina. She graduated with a BA in English (and an unfinished Masters in Creative Writing — “sorry Mom and Dad”) from East Carolina University. She spent several years in her husband’s home state of Missouri before getting homesick for North Carolina. She now lives in the mountains near Asheville with her very gracious husband and three children.” 3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 18
• Dobra Tea, 78 N. Lexington Ave., hosts an evening of African music with Christy Clavio (Zimbabwean mbira) and Sean Gaskell (West African kora). 5-7 p.m. $5 suggested donation.
• Think you’re funny? Prove it. Pulp, 103 Hilliard Ave., below The Orange Peel, hosts Slice of Life Comedy, a booked open mic with free snacks, drink specials and a raffle for charity. Performers interested in participating should contact Sliceoflifecomedy@gmail.com in advance. 7 p.m. $5.