This weekend on a shoestring

Thursday, April 5

• It’s time to dust off that bicycle that’s been sitting in the garage all winter, but chances are it’s going to need some work before you roll out of the driveway. Learn how to lube chains, fix flats and make minor adjustments to bikes at a free maintenance class hosted by REI in Biltmore Park Town Square. No need to bring bicycles. 7 p.m.

Friday, April 6

• Browse the abundance of local arts and crafts during the first Asheville Art Walk of 2012, a self-guided tour of more than 20 galleries featuring a variety of mediums. Comprehensive guides are available for download here. 5-8 p.m. Free.

• The Nantahala Outdoor Center celebrates the famed Appalachian Trail with a Founders Bridge Festival, featuring a variety of outdoor activities, presentations, vendors, live music, bonfires, dancing and more. Celebration begins Friday at 2 p.m. and continues through Saturday night. 13077 Highway 19 W., Bryson City. All events are free. Onsite camping available for $5.

• “Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance presents A Party for Equality at Mountainside Wine in Spruce Pine,” begins an event page for the fundraiser. “There will be a live and silent auction of artwork by local artists to raise funds to help us fight Amendment 1 and to allow the Mitchell County GSA to continue its work. The suggested $5 donation includes a glass of wine and delicious food donated by local restaurants.” The event will also feature live music. 271 Oak Ave., Spruce Pine. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• “In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world,” begins a synopsis for The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature. “Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature’s path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each of this book’s short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands — sometimes millions — of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home.” Join the author and scientist at Malaprop’s, 55 Haywood St., as he reads from the novel and answers questions from the audience. 7 p.m. Free.

• From a recent Xpress review, “Justin Robinson is best known as a founding member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, but tonight the multi-instrumentalist brings a more varied sound to the mountains as his latest project, Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes, visits Asheville. Robinson parted ways with the Chocolate Drops last February after half a decade with the trio, citing the strain of heaving touring and the constant demands of being in a successful band. … His latest endeavor expands on the rootsy traditions of the Chocolate Drops, but in far less rigid form. Instrumentation ranges from banjo, autoharp and viola to drums, cello and electric bass, utilizing the Annettes’ five members for a broad and far-reaching sound that incorporates elements of hip-hop, classical, old-time, folk, country and pop. The result is unmistakably Appalachian, but with an intentionally modern slant.” Robinson plays Jack of the Wood, 95 Patton Ave., with The Twilite Broadcasters and The Driftwood Singers. 8 p.m. $8 advance/$10 day of.


Saturday, April 7

• Celebrate Easter with a family-friendly afternoon outdoors as the Asheville Downtown Association hosts Easter on the Green. Activities will include an egg hunt, egg roll, inflatable giant slide, obstacle course, bounce house, live music, games and a visit by the Easter Bunny. Held at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville. 2-5 p.m. Free.

• “Ten Cent Poetry is the brainchild and artistic expression of Asheville, N.C., based songwriter Chelsea Lynn LaBate,” begins the singer’s bio. “After spending years honing her songwriting and performance skills on the stages of NYC’s Lower East Side and Brooklyn, and becoming a mainstay performer in the New York anti-folk scene that has produced such talents as Regina Spektor and the Moldy Peaches, Ten Cent Poetry has quietly been building an army of avid followers. Through her own brand of melodic folk pop and a constant and relentless touring schedule, she has managed to win the hearts and minds of audiences throughout the country. Known for her lush and vivid ‘song stories,’ Ten Cent Poetry paints visual pictures with her words, lyrically exploring human suffering, personal triumphs, courage, solitude and lost love.” Catch LaBate at French Broad Brewery, 101 Fairview Road. 6 p.m. Free.


• Battlecat Coffee, 373 Haywood Road, hosts an opening reception for new works by Madd Maxx, featuring a poetry reading by Oliver Kelly, set to the music of local drone artist Villages. 7 p.m. Free.

• From a recent Xpress article, “Old-school Ashevillians may remember Morgan Christopher Geer as frontman of the seminal ‘90s outfit The Merle; newer residents have probably caught wind of his current projects The Unholy Trio and Drunken Prayer (both have a tradition of Asheville holiday shows). Regardless of how you know him, it’s clear that the prolific songwriter has kept one foot in Asheville since moving to Portland in the early aughts, and rumor has it that we’ll soon have him all to ourselves again. Geer’s decision to celebrate the release of Drunken Prayer’s latest effort, Into the Missionfield, with a performance at The LAB only fuels that speculation. The album, as with most of his work, is a dark and powerful mishmash of outlaw country twang and electric rock blustering, tempered with just enough pop (and the occasional spattering of horns) to keep Geer’s gruff delivery inviting.” As predicted, Geer has been performing a slew of shows in the area, and this weekend Drunken Prayer plays The Get Down, 1045 Haywood Road, with The Moodees and DJ Lorruh. 10 p.m. $5.





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