Love it or loathe it

Two of hearts: Babs and Augusta make an appearance on the LaZoom “Let Your Love Roll” ride.

You can spend February 14th (and the days preceding and after) staring into the eyes of your soulmate. Or you can spend it with the company of Chinese takeout and a good book. Or you can head out on the town for some live entertainment, either as a duo or solo (or trio, or quartet — we're not judging). Here are some ideas for the pro- and anti-Valentine's Day celebrants. For more, visit Clubland and Calendar.


• If you can't ride off into the sunset with your sweet baboo, you can at least ride off on a purple bus together. LaZoom offers its Let Your Love Roll two-hour Valentine's adventure, complete with couples' games, entertainment from Augusta Wind, Babs and Sister Bad Habit, and music from real-life sweethearts The Stereofidelics. The ride is geared toward couples of all genders, but passengers must be 21 and up. The bus leaves from the Thirsty Monk (92 Patton Ave.) Friday, Feb. 10 through Tuesday, Feb. 14., 6 and 8:30 p.m. $60 per couple. Reservations at

• Long-running Valentine's party Loveapalooza returns to The Garage at Biltmore. It's an electronics showcase featuring Thump, Don Winsley, Futexture, Jables and Bookworm. Friday, Feb. 10, doors at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 before 11 p.m. and $10 after 11 p.m.

• Because it’s all about finding the perfect match, Pisgah Brewing offers up this heavenly union: A pint of “chocolate covered cherries” (Pisgah’s chocolate stout, made with the French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s cocoa nibs and poured with Red Devil) paired with two limited-edition Chocolate Lounge truffles (a chocolate stout truffle and a Red Devil truffle). To sweeten the deal, local neo-soul outfit The Secret B-Sides takes the stage. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Pisgah Brewing taproom. The pairing is $8 and runs from 8-10 p.m.; the 8:30 p.m. show is free.

• Pan Harmonia's Second Sundays at the Altamont Theatre 10-concert series begins Sunday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. Artistic director/flutist Kate Steinbeck and pianist Fabio Parrini perform a program of "American Valentines," by Aaron Copland, Arthur Foote, Joseph Schwantner and Paul Schoenfield. During the second half of the program, Steinbeck and Parrini will be joined by Parrini's daughter (award-winning 14-year-old cellist Maria) in a trio by French Romantic composer Louise Farrenc. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

• If everything you ever learned about kissing came from a round of spin the bottle, you might be in need of the Asheville Tantra School's Conscious Kissing Class. "There is an art to kissing that is delicious, invigorating and can lead to immense amounts of pleasure and passion," says a Facebook invite for the Monday, Feb. 13 event. Bring a partner (or go solo and hope for a match-up). Stay after class for Loose Lips: A Kissing Documentary by Spyce. 7 p.m., film at 9 p.m. $20 for individuals, $35 for couples, $5 for film only. Pre-register at

• Little is sweeter than ice cream. Unless you were to add a nectarous duet or two. The Hop has all of that in its "live music from your favorite local honeys" Valentine's Day show. Uncle Mountain's Ryan Furstenberg teams up with Melissa Hyman of For the Birds while Dulci Ellenberger and Jason Mencer of Now You See Them debut a duo set. Tuesday, Feb. 14, 6-9 p.m.

• Go all out with dinner and a show at Jack of the Wood. Never mind that the bands’ names — Shovels and Rope and Broken Lilacs — sound more anti- than pro-romance. They are, indeed, both made of up of real-life couples (and both are garage-y folk-rockers). Plus, the pub reveals, “We will be running a couples’ and singles’ special dinner menu with a Champagne special.” Tuesday, Feb. 14, 9 p.m. show. $5 in advance (tickets available at Jack of the Wood or Harvest Records) or $8 day of show.

• Asheville Lyric Opera brings Cosi fan tutti to the Diana Wortham Theatre. The opera's title means "All Women Are Like That;" its alternative title is "The School for Lovers." It's the story of two sailors who disguise themselves as cowboys and woo each other's girlfriends to test their fidelity. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, 8 p.m. Tickets range $30-$35.


• It seems that the lonely hearts club is maintaining a healthy membership: Last year's I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Anti-Valentines Tribute to Hank Williams Sr. "was a wild success," reports hosts The Gin Fits, "and we are all quite excited to be doing it again." The local alt-rock band gears up for another round of raucous broken-heartedness at The Get Down on Friday, Feb. 10. Matty Mongomery, Young Couples, Alex Gordon and others also take the stage, starting at 8 p.m.

• On Saturday, Feb. 11, ZaPow! hosts Zombies and Lusty Ladies, “a costumed masquerade vernissage.” The event promises prizes for best fictional character zombie, best lusty lady zombie and most gruesome zombie, as well as live music from The Mad Tea and French Broad Wee Heavier libations. Parental discretion is advised (though there is a kid-friendly “Art With Heart” event the next day, 2-4 p.m., where youngsters and families can craft G-rated valentines). 7-9 p.m. free.

• Remember last year’s pillow fight flash mob? It’s back! Inspired by San Francisco’s annual Anti-Valentines Day Pillow fight, Asheville’s battle takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 14 in Pritchard Park. The rules: “remember no feather pillows! Also, take your glasses off before the fight or they'll get knocked off your head.” 5:30 p.m. Read the invite here:; watch a video from last year’s pillow fight here:

• If, when you hear "Al Capone" suggested as a dress code cue for a Valentine's event, you know exactly what you'll wear, then this party is for you. Lush Life Productions hosts the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, a Prohibition-era-themed party at The Vault. Bring a date or not (just say you're married to the mob). DJ Lorruh provides music; the event begins around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14. No cover.

• "The show's demographic will be Valentine's-haters who want to have fun on Valentine's Day, all alone in this cruel world, and also Valentine's haters who realized all too late that their significant others aren't actually Valentine's-haters," says Tom Scheve of the Asheville Disclaimer. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, Disclaimer Comedy presents Dave Stone (recently named “Atlanta’s Best Comedian”) at The LAB. "Other date-less people performing that night include Asheville's Grayson Morris and Peter Smith-McDowell," says Scheve, who hosts. 9 p.m., $5 advance at or $7 at the door.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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One thought on “Love it or loathe it

  1. TuckerdogAVL

    Sure would have loved to see this type of coverage for last week’s National nightmare, the Super Bowl. :-)

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