Friday, June 19
• I would be remiss if I didn’t start this list with Downtown After Five, Asheville’s free monthly street festival (during the summer months). This Friday marks DTA5 #2 for 2009, with a TGIF-perfect lineup: Brit-poppers The Cheeksters (pictured), bluegrass act Brushfire and headliner Australian bluesman Geoff Achison with special guest Randall Bramblett. It all starts (as the name implies) after 5 p.m. on Asheville’s Lexington Ave. near the 240 overpass and it’s—this bares repeating—free.
• Greenville, S.C.‘s acoustic indie (and alliteratively-named) trio O Mello Cello Tree performs at Picnics (371 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, 258-2858). 6 p.m., free.
• The Montford Park Players continue their run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Show time is 7:30 p.m. at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre (behind the Montford Community Center, 34 Pearson Dr, Asheville). Shows run Friday-Sunday; Midsummer ends June 28. Free; bring a picnic dinner and a blanket or lawn chairs.
• Beards and Bats, from Virginia, are only half-beardy. Which is to say two of the four metal band members sport facial hair. Stands to reason the other two wield bats. They play The Boiler Room (11 Grove St., Asheville, 505-1612) with Machines Of Sin And Sorrow, Telic and Dissent. 8 p.m., $5.
• Local singer/songwriter Taylor Martin will be at Fred’s Speakeasy (122 College St., Asheville, 281-0920) at 8 p.m. $5.
• The Black Mountain Inn (1186 Old Hwy 70 West, Black Mountain, 669-6528) hosts Outdoor Movie Night on the lawn. Catch a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (Cary Grant, Grace Kelly). Piano music by Dave Foraker and concessions will be offered. 8 p.m., donations appreciated.
• Starting at 9 p.m., a night of positive, uplifting reggae music kicks off at The Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave., Asheville, 232-5800). Inner Visions, Zema, Reggae Infinity and That Reggaewoman offer “a gift of love and healing to all in the Asheville area” in the form of a free show.
• Asheville’s acoustic roots-punk quintet Hillside Bombers claims to have gotten its start within the confines of a storage unit. The band takes the Stella Blue (55 College Street, Asheville, 236-2424) stage (with headliners The Go Devils and Kitty King & The Whistlin’ Skulls). 9 p.m., $5.
• Dub act Bitter Gemma brings the evening to a very groovy conclusion at Hendersonville’s Hannah Flanagan’s (300 N Main St., Hendersonville, 696-1665). 10 p.m., free.
• Brittany Reilly with the Almost Acoustic Band plays the Feed & Seed (3715 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher, 216-3492) at 7 p.m. Free.
• Huntsville, Alabama’s Sandia performs energetic prog-jam at The Garage at Biltmore (101 Fairview Rd. Suite B, Asheville, 505-2663). Wayfarers All and other bands also partake in this Solstice Party. 8 p.m., $5.
• Hudson K (of the colorful wigs, cute party dresses and indie-pop piano playing) stops by The Back Room (2702 Greenville Hwy., Suite C, Flat Rock, 697-6828)
• Worth noting: Alien Music Club—an indie-jazz project that includes a comprehensive super-star lineup of Asheville musicians (Jonathan Pearlman, Stephanie Morgan, Chuck Lichtenberger, Peggy Ratusz, Frank Southecorvo and others)—stops by Asheville’s Hannah Flanagan’s (27 Biltmore Ave., 252-1922) for a free 9:30 p.m. show.
Sunday, June 21
• Asheville’s Dubalicious will be on the patio at Wild Wing Cafe (161 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, 253-3066) from 5-8 p.m. free.
Special bonus: Tuesday, June 23
• New York City-based alt-jazz artist Michael Bellar brings his AS-IS Ensemble to BoBo Gallery (22 Lexington Ave., Asheville, 254-3426) for 2 sets, beginning at 9 p.m. $5.
• Asheville Hoops offers “a two hour long, Hula Hoop Dance and Hooping experience. Led by local Hoop-dance ambassador: Melmacpink.” It’s at downtown Asheville’s Pritchard Park, every Tuesday throughout the summer from 5-7 p.m. Free.
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter