Thursday, Aug. 8
• “We’re throwing a pre-party in anticipation of our fall festival and you’re invited,” begins a website for Big Love Fest, which includes live music by Pleasure Chest. “The raffle features some incredible prizes including: One full year of email marketing from MyNewsletterBuilder — up to $2,500 in sending costs and matched small biz email marketing and consulting fees, totaling up to a $5,000 value; one full year of free advertising for your business at Ray’s Weather; $100 gift certificate to Hip Replacements Clothing; special gift packages from Highland Brewing, Asheville Grown and the Big Love Fest; and a smattering of goodies from local businesses, as well as hand-crafted items from our featured vendors. … Each raffle ticket is only $2 and proceeds go toward creating the best Big Love Festival yet!” Held at The Bywayter, 796 Riverside Drive. 5 p.m.
• From a bio on The Grey Eagle‘s website, “Before there was Kool Keith, Old Dirty Bastard or 2 Live Crew — before there was hip-hop, for that matter — there was Blowfly, performing X-rated songs with a funky groove. Born 60 years ago in Cochran, Georgia, Miami’s Clarence Reid has recorded more than 40 albums during his illustrious career. He got his nickname as a child when his grandmother, after hearing him sing dirty versions of then popular songs — like ‘Suck My D••k’ for ‘Do the Twist’ — proclaimed, ‘You is nastier than a blowfly.’ In reality, there’s a split personality involved in this man’s music: there’s Blowfly, the outrageously garbed creator of trash classics such as ‘Shittin’ on the Dock of the Bay’ and ‘Porno Freak,’ and then there’s Clarence Reid, who has recorded more than a dozen ‘clean’ albums over the years and penned songs for the likes of K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Gwen McRae, Betty Wright and Sam and Dave. Many people cite Blowfly as the first rapper with his 1965 Rap Dirty record, which was re-recorded for disco giants T.K. Records after the smash success of Sugar Hill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ Blowfly himself credits the ‘soul talking’ Southern radio DJs of the ’50s and ’60s as the pioneers of rap, but he is without dispute the first rapper to have a song banned, after an Alabama record store was busted for peddling Porno Freak. … Blowfly’s sounds are a staple of modern-day hip-hop. His music has been sampled by many rappers, including Jurassic 5 (whose hit ‘Quality Control’ is backed by the outro from ‘Weird World of Blowfly’), Ice Cube, Atmosphere and Puff Daddy.” The foul-mouthed, pioneering rapper returns to Asheville on Thursday. Doomster opens. 185 Clingman Ave. 9 p.m. $10 in advance.
Friday, Aug. 9
• “Join Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Highland Brewing Company and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the very first Razor Wit Partnership hike,” invites an event page. “Come out and hike the recently protected property adjacent to Razor Mountain in Asheville’s backyard. Over a mile and a half, hikers will climb approximately 1,300 feet of elevation and see a pristine and unscathed hardwood forest landscape. Along the way, SAHC Field Ecologist Chris Coxen will demonstrate some tree I.D. techniques and point out some of the evening time birds. … The group will take in spectacular views as the sun sets, while enjoying a light dinner from Maney Fields. At dusk, the group will head down the same way and enjoy the peaceful approach of another summer night. As of right now, this hike is 3 miles long and considered moderately strenuous. Some of the details could change in the coming weeks. Please stay posted.” RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-0095, ext. 205. 6 p.m. Free.
• Social Justice Film Night at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, will feature a screening of Passionate Politics, a “one-hour documentary that brings Charlotte [Bunch]’s story to life, from idealistic young civil rights activist to lesbian separatist to internationally-recognized leader of a campaign to put women’s rights on the global human rights agenda,” according to a synopsis of the film. “Interweaving past and present interviews with rich archival material, this is at once a deeply emotional portrait of a lifelong activist and an inspirational chronicle of the building of a global movement.” 7 p.m. Free; donations accepted.
• “Giant Giants is an Asheville-based music project headed by Reid Weigner,” explains the band’s bio. “Begun as a solo project in 2009, Giant Giants has expanded and evolved to include many talented musicians based in the Southeastern U.S. In live form, the music has a heavy percussion emphasis, often including two drummers, along with various other instruments including guitars, keyboards, etc. Giant Giants currently has one release, A Place I’d Like To Meet You, on Asheville-based label Diatom Bath.” The band plays Apothecary, 39 S. Market St., with Elisa Faires, Shane Perlowin and Otho. 9 p.m. $3-$5.
Saturday, Aug. 10
• “Mark your calendars for our Tomato Festival, Aug. 10 at Asheville City Market from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.,” reminds the ASAP Connections website. “What can you expect? Lots of fresh local tomatoes to purchase, of course, plus the chance to vote on your favorite variety, get tomato cooking tips from Chef William Dissen of the Market Place and talk maters, growing maters and mater recipes with farmers. What’s more, the first 200 attendees will receive a free Tomato Festival T-shirt! We’re also hosting a recipe contest leading up to the event.” More details available here. 161 S. Charlotte St. Free to attend.
• According to a website for the event, “The Sourwood Festival fills downtown Black Mountain with wholesome entertainment for both adults and children in August each year. More than 30,000 people from all over America will be in attendance at the festival, which grows in popularity each year. Music, dancing, arts and crafts, super food, kids’ rides and games, face painting and more in a no-alcohol environment make it the perfect event for you and your entire family. With roughly 200 vendors, you will discover lots of local and unique arts and crafts and there will be something to please every palate with BBQ and vegetarian faire, custom-crafted ice cream and funnel cakes and jellies. Summertime favorites include the sausages and corn on the cob.” The festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 9 with the “Sourwood Idol” singing competition at 7 p.m. and continues Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free to attend.
• Much like the music-loving humans it serves, Harvest Records is getting older, and this weekend, the West Asheville record haven celebrates nine years in business with sale and party featuring 15 percent off all new items, 20 percent off all used items, raffles, door prizes, free posters and a basement sale featuring thousands of otherwise-unavailable used stock for $1. 415 Haywood Road. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
• “It wouldn’t be summer without the Anything That Floats Parade,” begins an event page on the RiverLink website. “Groups building watercraft of all kinds have an opportunity to show off their creativity and their cause and have a blast. Participants can construct their vessels out of anything they can find that floats and parade them by the festival grounds. The only rules are that they must float and must be powered by wind, solar or our own herculean strength — no motors allowed — and be removed from the festival grounds upon completion of the race. If you don’t have time to build a ‘yacht’ to be on the river that day, rent a tube and enjoy the festivities from the water.” Not interested in getting wet? Enjoy the spectacle at French Broad River Park with live music, art, crafts, food vendors, local beer and a variety of kids’ activities. 1-7 p.m. Free to attend.
• From a feature in this week’s Xpress, “Haw, the new LP from Durham’s Hiss Golden Messenger, is not a jubilant record. Sure, the songs move with a loose country amble, but they’re shaded with searing guitar solos, eerie strings and the knotty croon of leader M.C. Taylor, a distinctive instrument that slinks through this album like a snake through the garden, moving discretely only to strike with unexpected power. His words further the spiritual journey that has dominated previous albums. He claims that ‘the serpent is kind compared to man’ and refers to his God — more or less the Christian one — as a conqueror, for whom he will be the sufferer. These thoughts are hardly cheery, and while there are brighter moments on Haw, the overall vibe is one of anxious uncertainty.” Taylor brings his croon to Asheville for a show at Apothecary, 39 S. Market St. State Hospital Wilderness opens. 9 p.m. $8/$10.
Story by Jordan Lawrence
• “Waving the ‘psych-my-delic’ banner, The Shine Brothers achieve an alchemic balance of slanted sunshine pop song structures with howling devilish rhythms, crowned by dirty, weaving vocal harmonies,” according to the L.A.-based quartet’s bio. “The Shine Brothers’ ensemble includes Nate Ryan (ex Black Angels), Colin Ryan (ex Woven Bones), Oakley Munson (ex The Rondelles) and Ryan Rapsys (ex too-many-bands-to-name).” Catch the psych-pop purveyors at The Double Crown, 375 Haywood Road, on Saturday, Aug. 10, 9 p.m., and Blackout Effectors, 98 N. Lexington Ave., on Sunday, Aug. 11, 10 p.m. More on each show available here and here, respectively.
Sunday, Aug. 11
• Close the weekend with a relaxing Sunday in the park as the Asheville Storytelling Circle presents “folktales and foolishness” at Buncombe County Recreation Park, 72 Gashes Creek Road. Free. Info: 581-4603.