Thursday, Oct. 20
• Check out some of Asheville’s talented young musicians as UNCA hosts a concert featuring a number of student jazz combos under the direction of William Bares and Brian Felix, assistant professors of music. Held at the University’s Lipinsky Auditorium. 7:30 p.m. $5/students and children free.
Friday, Oct. 21
• Kind Arthur Sunshine tags itself as a “futuristic folk-punk duo backed by armies of robotic eagles and people who know magic. If you like Black Flag with your spaghetti, you will love King Arthur Sunshine. We have got GALLONS.” For whatever reason, this seems like the perfect pairing for a brightly-colored ice cream shop. Catch the band at The Hop West (721 Haywood Road, 252-5155). And don’t forget to BYOB, which the band clarifies on an invite page as “bring your own balloons.” 6 p.m.
• It’s that time of year for getting spooked. And while sitting through a scary movie can be nerve wrecking, it never beats the intensity of a well-told tale in a dark forest. So ditch the rentals and head to The Cradle of Forestry (Route 276 in Pisgah National Forest) for The Legend of Tommy Hodges, the story of a Biltmore School Student’s disappearance on Halloween night in 1906, staged on a one-mile walk along the Biltmore Campus Trail. 6:15, 7:30 & 8:45 p.m. Performances through Sat., Oct. 22. $5/children under 16.
• “Join us for the funniest Friday night ever — Friday Night Live at Elaine’s with Disclaimer Comedy,” invites Elaine’s Dueling Piano Bar (located inside the Grove Park). “The show starts at 8:15 p.m., with some of the funniest local and regional comedians, and gets rockin’ at 9:30 p.m. with our hilarious Dueling Pianos. As always, doors open at 8 p.m. with no cover! So grab a group and get here for the funny!”
• Local indie-folk favorites Kovacs and the Polar Bear have become a fixture of downtown festivals and opening slots at The Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave., 232-5800). This weekend, the band celebrates the release of its latest LP, Second Sister, with a headlining performance at the aforementioned music hall. Read more about the band and the album in this week’s Xpress. The Critters open. 9 p.m. $8.
Saturday, Oct. 22
• “Unlike any other fair, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is an experience, a place to show off the talent and innovation of Guild members,” reads a website for the event. “It is diverse: crafts rooted in Appalachian traditions are featured along with the work of contemporary artists, reinventing their medium to accommodate the modern world and to reflect their view of it. The Fair focuses on the process of craft, often lost in a highly mechanized and digital world, the work of the hand — iron is hammered to become a fireplace tool, splints of white oak are harvested to become a basket. This theme is reflected in the scheduled demonstrations as well as the individual craft booths. Visitors interact with highly-trained craftspeople selling their work and sharing a bit about their process and inspiration.” Featuring more than 200 exhibitors and live music by regional artists. Held in the Asheville Civic Center Fri., Oct.20-Sun., Oct. 23. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $8/children under 12 free.
• “At a time when popular music has devolved into a lifeless and formulaic auditory spank-fest, The Dark Shave proudly presents its own unique brand of musical entertainment,” begins the self-described “indie prog rock” trio’s bio. “Facing a world controlled by the depraved, exceptionally unscrupulous elite, the band fights back with its incendiary, socio-political commentary and highly juvenile sense of humor. The band is constantly striving for uniqueness by mixing tight compositions with catchy pop and a serious message with a blissfully mindless one. Having hand-picked only the finest musical influences, The Dark Shave has mushed them all into a big juicy musical ball of rock, and wants to share it with you.” The band shares a packed bill at Craggy Brewing Company (197 Hilliard Ave., 254-0360) with Art Bell, Grammar School and The Drawlstrings. 6 p.m. Free.
• Blues musicians with a slide guitar are a dime a dozen. Less common, however, are those who wield slide dobro and boast a background in ballet dancing and yoga. From Bret Mosley‘s bio, “With a dobro on his lap and a slide on his finger, Bret grooves the folk & funks the blues with a milky voice that echoes his life in Brooklyn. Rarely can an artist be said to transcend, yet include, the most raw and real elements of Delta blues, roots rock, folk, funk and rap. Nevertheless—with bone-deep authenticity—that’s exactly what Bret Mosley does, wrestling deftly with longing, belonging, and world-weariness.” Mosley performs at Root Bar (1410 Tunnel Road in Swannanoa). 9:30 p.m. Free.
• If You Wannas aren’t much for talking about themselves. A Facebook page dedicated to the band’s free show at The Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave., 232-5800) simply states, “Hey!! Lookie here! It’s a FREE SHOW!!” Luckily, that’s what Xpress is here for. From a recent review of the quartet’s latest, game-themed release, Electric Toaster and the Battle Axe, ” … with a hand-glued-and-folded sleeve, Electric Toaster takes on the look of an old Nintendo cartridge, complete with 8-bit renditions of the band members and some goofy, fantasy-cart art. There’s a bare-chested man with a bare-chested woman’s arms around his hips, riding an armor-plated dragon, warding off some sort of knight and demon monkey. It’s awesome. If we’re thinking in terms of classic video game character archetypes, then where Cox is the wizard, guitarist Conner is the warrior. He levels up on songs like ‘You Tried to Crawl After the Ball You Dropped,’ where his upper-octave arpeggios sound right at home in the retro realm Electric Toaster imagines. Bassist Stoia is the valkyrie — the armor for the group. He holds Electric Toaster together with his catchy bass riffs, and even pulls some magic of his own on songs like ‘Silver Disc,’ with a bowed double bass.” See for yourself as the band performs with Joshua Carpenter and Curtains. 9 p.m. And yes, it’s free.
Sunday, Oct. 23
• Dogs like to celebrate holidays too. Especially Halloween. And especially when they get to dress up like the humans. Or at least we like to think so. Test the patience of your furry friend at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue‘s “Dog-O-Ween,” an afternoon event featuring treats, games, ghost stories, a haunted house and a costume parade for dogs and children that promises to be a cute overload. 31 Glendale Ave. in Asheville. 4-9 p.m. $3/$7 for haunted house.