Smart Bets

Fiesta Latina

The festival season may be drawing to a close, but it's not tapped out yet. In fact, one of the spiciest takes place this week:¡Fiesta Latina! Celebrating lucky-13 years. The cultural festival (which falls, naturally, during national Hispanic Heritage month) promises a full day of family fun.  Latin foods, arts, crafts, children's activities (pinatas!), music (Son de Cuba, Karen Y La Rebelion, Cachita and more) and dance take center stage. There's also a Reina Del Puerblo concurso — Queen of the Festival pageant. According to press, the event "also provides opportunities for local businesses, organizations and public health agencies to reach the local Latino community with informational displays and services. Saturday, Oct. 2, noon-8 p.m. at the WNC Agricultural Center. $2/free for kids under age 16. Info: 707-7449.

Lingua Musica World Premiere

Part performance, part panel discussion, Lingua Music is a new sort of listening experience. Conceived by WNCW’s midday host Joe Kendrick, Lingua Musica "showcases a rotating cast of musical artists, journalists and industry professionals as panelists who talk about music news, history and culture while inviting the audience to take part." It's live streamed and live-tweeted, but the best way to participate is to be in the live audience at The White Horse on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m. That show featured local indie-rock trio Grammer School and a music business panel discussion. $7.

UNC Asheville Invitational Art Exhibition

The name of the show is a little dry, as is the block lettering and droll tone of the invitational postcard: "Artworks by a diverse group of artists invited by the Art Department faculty and representing work created within the six media concentrations currently offered at UNC Asheville." But the all-star artist roster promises a stellar show: Christina Z. Anderson, Black and Jones, Joyce Blunk, Bill Byers, Ron Fondaw, Celia Gray, Taiyo La Paix, Phillip McGuire, Josh McNolty, Anat Pollack, Michelle Rozic, Easton Selby, Tom Turner and Gerry Wubben. Opening reception is Friday, Oct. 1, 6-8 p.m. at the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery in Owen Hall; the show is up through Nov. 9.

Banned Books read-a-thon

Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 is Banned Books Week, when libraries and bookstores countrywide focus on the importance of the freedom to read without censorship. In that spirit, local bookseller Spellbound Children's Bookshop (19 Wall St.) holds a read-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 2 from noon-5 p.m. Local personalities (including members of the Blue Ridge Rollergirls, Asheville Radio Group and Xpress) will read from banned books like In the Night Kitchen, Heather Has Two Mommies and Captain Underpants. Plus, 25 percent of the day’s sales goes to benefit Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Jeffrey Hyde Thompson

Check out singer/songwriter Jeffrey Hyde Thompson's Myspace page and all of his October dates are in Boulder, Colorado. Check his website and there's an announcement for a July show in which "The Jeffery Hyde Thompson Band will be playing through all of Jeff Buckley’s Grace and all of Radiohead’s OK Computer." Lots of interesting events in the mix for a guy who left Asheville 7 years ago to pursue a Masters Degree in Counseling. But never mind all of that: Thompson has moved back to Asheville and is rekindling his music career, starting with a homecoming show at the Grey Eagle on Thursday, Sept. 30. 8 p.m., $8 advance/$10 day of show.

Cotton Jones at Broadways

Cotton Jones, from Cumberland, Maryland, used to have a longer name (The Cotton Jones Basket Ride) and a shorter outlook (it started as a side project for singer/songwriter Michael Nau of Page France). Now the darkly resonant, folk-tinged indie-rock group (a duo with Whitney McGraw) is a full-time band with seven albums and EPs including recently-released Tall Hours in the Glowstream. Of the album's inspirational body of water Cotton Jones says, "It's not really called the Glowstream — just a stream that rolls to a dead end by the train tracks downtown. A place to sit, undisturbed in the cool shade, and see the interstate bend around glowing steeples, as cars and trucks break their speed…" Cotton Jones plays Broadway's on Friday, Oct. 1, 9 p.m. with experimental duo Pepper Rabbit.


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