Friday, Sept. 24
• Get your weekend started early with a ranger-guided hike along the East Fork Pigeon River. This trip is open to all skill levels and will traverse the Bridges Camp Gap trail, beginning at the Looking Glass Rock overlook, milepost 417 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 10 a.m. Info: 298-5330, ext. 304.
• Studio 103 (103 West St., Black Mountain, 357-8327) hosts an opening for Asheville artist, Ben Betsalel — the exhibit runs through Oct. 27; the artist reception is from 5-8 p.m. Free. According to a press release, “Betsalel’s fluid approach explores the relationship between attitude and outcome. Raining down on canvases, he fearlessly pushes his medium, capturing reality through images which occur. His latest work is a further searching of ‘the weather or not’ series.”
• Check this one out if only for the name: Vincent’s Missing Ear plays Firestorm Cafe (48 Commerce St., Asheville, 255-8115 ) at 7 p.m. Says the band, “So this is a BIG DEAL. It’s not just some concert with a bunch of dirty hippies abusing acoustic guitars. This is VINCENT’S MISSING EAR. We’re premiering 9 of our most recent compositions, song that we’ve been delicately (and sometimes not so delicately) tweaking and fine tuning in a laborious process lasting many moons. All for you dear concertgoer. So you should come and enjoy the sonic feast that we are providing, that glorious banquet of sounds and textures that we like to call guitar based avante-garde contemporary pop music. It’s the start of something new, something hip, perhaps even (dare I say it) something revolutionary. You’ll want to be the there for this.” Tips encouraged.
• Rumor has it local Brit-pop band The Cheeksters are at work on a new album. You know what that means: new songs at their upcoming shows. Fun! Dig out your mod boots and head to Pisgah Brewery (150 East Side Dr., Black Mountain, 669-0190). 8 p.m. (note: no kids after 9 p.m.). Free.
• If you’re worn out from that hike early morning hike, take a load off at the LAB’s back room (39 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC, 252-0212) while local singer-songwriter Aaron Burdett performs a laid-back set of acoustic driven folk to celebrate the release of his latest effort Stand Up Eight. Burdett “ranges from melodic acoustic-pop to neo-traditional Appalachian mountain tunes, and covers commendably diverse lyrical territory for a young songwriter,” according to his website. 9:30 p.m., $5.
Saturday, Sept. 25
• Sieze the day with some good ol’ fashioned wholesome family fun at the Third Annual Apple Festival, held by Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community (3963 Gerton Hwy, Gerton, NC, 712-4926) at its organic apple orchard. But only if you’re a fan of apples. And definitely not if you’re allergic. Events will include “apple picking, an apple piñata, an apple pie contest, bobbing for apples, pressing apple cider, and sampling various apple goodies,” according to organizers. A raffle and silent auction to support the orchard’s internship program will also be held. 1-5 p.m. Free.
• Full Moon Farm — “an organization for abused and refused wolfdogs who find themselves in need of love, shelter, and care” — hosts it’s monthly Howl-in, an open-house that includes guided tours of the 17-acre property and a chance to oogle at some its majestic tenants. Five dollar donation includes food and soft drinks. 3 p.m., potluck at 5 p.m. Call 664-9818 for directions.
• Local favorites Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work bring their rambling alt-country and gritty roadhouse blues to the French Broad Brewery (101-D Fairview Road, Asheville, NC, 277-0222) for an early performance guaranteed to kick-start your night and leave you plenty time (and money) to catch another show. 6-8 p.m. Free.
• Waiting for a chance to wear that sweet flapper dress you found at the thrift store? Here’s it is. BoBo Gallery (22 Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC, 254-3426) hosts the Red Hot Sugar Babies’ “vocal and instrumental jazz of the roaring ‘20s and ‘30s.” Screaming Js open. 9 p.m.
• West Asheville’s latest addition to the bar scene — The Get Down (1045 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC, 505-8388) — hosts the pop-friendly Americana of the Zealots (featuring George Terry and Aaron Price). Warns the band’s myspace, “Lazy conformists beware of these sharp hooks which drop from the sky like vicious arch-angels.” 9 p.m.