This weekend on a shoestring

Friday, April 13

• Enjoy clear views of Venus, Saturn, Mars, star clusters and more as the Astronomy Club of Asheville hosts a public stargazing event on UNCA’s quad as part of the 2012 North Carolina Science Festival. Telescopes provided. 8:30-10:30 p.m. Free.

• According to the band’s bio, “Cusses is a three-piece weirdo rock band consisting of a conjoint, raw, forceful drummer named Brian Lackey, an insane vocal box named Angel Bond and a gargantuan wave of guitar known as Bryan Harder. With a new lease on the vast world of music, the three set out to put a burn, rather than a mark, in an endless music community. They hope to become a home grown affair for the Savannah borough, and then anyone else that follows. The band looks forward to thrive in the live front, so please join them in a defiant release of optimism.” The animated hard rock trio plays The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave., with Albert Adams, Zombie Queen and Octopus Jones. 10 p.m. $5.

• From a recent Xpress blog, “Blue Jeans and Khaki Pants is not for the faint of heart. The band’s ‘X-rated honkey-tonk’ is many things: obviously satirical, intentionally crude and universally offensive. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard to tell where the joke ends and reality begins with BJKP, and it’s equally difficult to know whether to laugh or be appalled by its antics. Much of the band’s catalog aims simply to shock and get a rise out of the audience. However, one could argue that tracks like ‘Black, White or Gay’ — which includes lyrics and slurs that are reprehensible at face value — actually contain a backhanded message of tolerance, albeit hidden within the inflammatory rhetoric and satirical context. It’s murky water, no doubt, but BJKP walks the line with seeming ease. Maybe the band has a special knack for pushing things just far enough, or maybe it just doesn’t give a damn. Either way, the endless shenanigans certainly keep the audience guessing.” The band brings its satirical country twang to The Root Bar, 1410 Tunnel Road. 9 p.m. Free.



Saturday, April 14

• Learn about the medicinal and edible plants that surround us every day during an urban plant walk in West Asheville. Trip departs from the Center for Holistic Medicine, 779 Haywood Road. 10:30 a.m. $5/children free. Info: or 505-3174.

• Sample a variety of relaxing and invigorating flavors as Nourish and Flourish, 347 Depot St., Suite 201, hosts a free tasting of its “award-winning” Rishi teas, featuring everything from Houjicha green to jasmine and Sencha. Noon-1 p.m. Info: 255-2770.

• “Join the artists of the River Arts District the second Saturday of each month for a day of artist demonstrations, classes, open studios and fun,” invites the collective’s website. “Spend the day hopping from studio to studio to view a range of mediums and an abundance of creativity!” Stroll features more than a dozen galleries. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

• “Science is all around us, but we don’t always know it when we see it,” begins a press release for the Mountain Science Expo. “From professional scientists and naturalists to local businesses and organizations, we’ll explore the science at play in our mountain community and how to better understand and recognize it. Activities will include live animal demonstrations with Steve O’Neil from Earthshine Nature Programs, video presentations using the GeoDome from the Renaissance Computing Institute, guided nature hikes with Arboretum educators, and much more!” Hosted by the N.C. Arboretum, 100 Fredrick Law Olmsted Way, as part of the 2012 North Carolina Science Festival. 1-4 p.m. $8 per vehicle.

Wayne Erbsen, a local banjo master, multi-instrumentalist and host of WCQS’ “Country Roots,” invites fellow pickers to join a bluegrass jam at Grateful Steps Bookshop, 159 S. Lexington Ave., to celebrate the publication of his new books, Bluegrass Jamming on Mandolin and Bluegrass Jamming on Fiddle. 3-5 p.m. Free. Info: 277-0998.


• “Free comedy that shouldn’t be free? The perfect peppermint mocha? Inviting, friendly and cozy atmosphere? Come check this amazing opportunity out,” invites an event page for the weekly comedy open mic at Wall Street Coffee House, 62 Wall St. “Don’t be afraid to try out that comedy routine you have been mauling into your brain. We have a great crowd and atmosphere that isn’t too intimidating, but it’s just enough to wake your ‘jitter bug’ up on the right side of the bed.” Hosted by Ali Steinhoff. 9-11 p.m.


Sunday, April 15

Fletcher Valley Natural Foods, 1151 Naples Road, Hendersonville, invites the community to a honey bee festival, featuring family-friendly attractions like a tailgate market, car show, bounce house, live music, food, Q&A with beekeepers and more. Proceeds benefit honey bee restoration efforts. Free to attend. Info:


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