This weekend on a shoestring

Thursday, Feb. 2

• Find out whether to pack up your sweaters or buy a new coat as Nibble the Groundhog predicts the arrival of spring at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road. Naturalist and educator Carlton Burke will also present a program on groundhogs as part of the afternoon’s festivities. 2 p.m. $6 for Asheville residents.

• “The incomparable harmony of their soaring, sultry vocals, prolific lyrics and unique fusion of Americana, bluegrass, R&B and roots music makeup the ‘heartfelt country soul’ Underhill Rose has become known for,” begins the trio’s bio. “… Their fresh sound, visually appealing performances and an extraordinary ability to blend a multitude of musical genres makes Underhill Rose a desirable addition to festivals, theaters and listening rooms across the country.” Join the band at The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave., for a performance premiere of its latest video. 8 p.m. Free.


Friday, Feb. 3

• “Dare Dukes’ music is a striking combination of incisive intelligence and sweet, doleful hooks,” says his website. “Looking past the shiny surfaces of American life, the Savannah, Ga.-based singer-songwriter chronicles the everyday world, mining the margins for the eccentric characters and bizarre events that are at the heart of his music. … Influenced by seminal post-punk groups like the Pixies and Fugazi, and musical raconteurs like Tom Waits and Kurt Weill, Dare fronted the Penelopes, a frenetic quartet that was a fixture in the city’s rock clubs. … Dare’s second album, Thugs and China Dolls, was recorded in Athens, Ga. Featuring members of the Modern Skirts, Sufjan Stevens’ band, Of Montreal and TV on the Radio, as well as a song produced by Jim White, the record is slated for release January 17, 2012.” Dukes plays the back room of The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave., with John Wilkes Boothe and the Black Toothe. 10 p.m. $5.


• Islam has become a hot-button issue in Western society, and views about the religion are often based on misinformation and exaggerations. Wade through the murk and go directly to the source as Carl Ernst, professor of religious studies at UNC, visits Malaprop’s Bookstore, 55 Haywood St., to share selections from his latest book, How to Read the Qur’an. From the author’s website, “How to Read the Qur’an offers a compact introduction and reader’s guide for anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how to approach, read and understand the text of the Qur’an. Using a chronological reading of the text according to the conclusions of modern scholarship, Carl Ernst offers a non-theological approach that treats the Qur’an as a historical text that unfolded over time, in dialogue with its audience, during the career of the Prophet Muhammad. Ernst explores the history of the text and its development in the Meccan and Medinan periods; the Qur’an’s important structural features, including symmetrical or ring composition; recent revisionist challenges to its textual integrity; and intertextual references in the Qur’an that relate to earlier works, such as the Bible.” 7 p.m. Free.

• Dying to perform? Holding onto a script you wrote years ago? Waiting for a chance to share your new song? Here’s an opportunity to bask in the spotlight. From The Magnetic Field‘s website, “Magnetic Midnight is a magical, mysterious, monthly event in which the best of The Magnetic Theatre meets the best of you. Arrive at 10 p.m. to participate with an original script, song, dance or routine no more than 5 minutes long, or if you wish to act or direct. Up to 13 acts accepted as they appear.” $5/free for performers.


Saturday, Feb. 4

• Whether you’re a painter, potter, craftsman or layperson, there’s something magical about witnessing a work of art take shape before your eyes. This weekend, Asheville Art Supply presents a free demonstration of new Golden Artist Colors acrylic paints, gels and digital grounds by painter Phil Garrett at The Artery, 346 Depot St. Info and RSVP: or 231-3440.

• The Blue Ridge Orchestra presents “A Concert of Light for a Winter’s Night,” featuring selections from Weber, Albinoni, Haydn and Saint-Saens, at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. 7:30 p.m. Free.

• Even though his birthday isn’t actually until Monday, Bob Marley is getting some serious love in Asheville this weekend, with at least three venues hosting birthday celebrations for the late, great reggae pioneer: The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., features tribute sets from Common Foundation and Dub Cartel; Emerald Lounge, 112 N. Lexington Ave., hosts Reggae Infinity and DJ Chalice; and The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave., brings Eastern Standard and DJ Passport to the stage. See websites for times and prices.


Sunday, Feb. 5

• Looking for an excuse not to watch the Super Bowl? Rosetta’s Kitchen, 116 N. Lexington Ave., presents Buskers for Change, a benefit for local buskers and the Asheville Homeless Network, featuring performances by Matt Getman, Sparrow, Fox Black, Drayton and more. 6 p.m.


• It’s safe to assume that nearly every local bar will host a Super Bowl party this weekend, but it’s hard to imagine a better place to celebrate than the spacious lot at The Bywater, complete with games, grills and a scenic river view. So whether you’re a die-hard fan or just in it for the commercials, head to 796 Riverside Drive for food, drinks and tailgating. 4 p.m. 



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