This weekend on a shoestring

Thursday, April 26

• Treat yourself to a delicious meal while contributing to a great cause. A number of local restaurants — 12 Bones, The Admiral, Boca, Chai Pani, Curate, Doc Chey’s, Laughing Seed, Sunny Point and many more — will donate 20 percent of the day’s proceeds to the WNC Aids Project as part of the annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser. See website for locations and times.

• Just in time for hiking season, REI, 31 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square, hosts a free Compass Navigation Basics Class. From the company’s website, “Come learn basic navigation skills using map and compass to find your way. In this in-store class you’ll learn the parts of a compass, how to read a topographic map and how to use them in tandem.” 7-8:15 p.m.

• From the band’s bio, “In 2008 [Jonathan] Ammons and the Electric Ghost released You’ll Never Make it in Nashville, a five song EP recorded in Nashville over the course of a week. The record served as a polished introduction to the bar-band’s repertoire. In mid 2010, Ammons released the last recording from the original Electric Ghost, Just Beyond Jackson, a brief EP recorded in the kitchen of the band’s house in 2008, engineered and produced by Ammons. The record reflects the more eclectic and raw sounds of the founding members of the Black Mountain-based collective, and the songs coarsely capture the trips and pitfalls of life in a small town Carolina town.” On Thursday, Ammons celebrates the release of his latest “old-school country” effort, Swinging for the Fences, with a performance at The Magnetic Field, 372 Depot St. The performance will also be filmed for a live DVD. Pilgrim opens. 8 p.m. $7.


Friday, April 27

• It might have been a cold start to the week, but local gardeners are just getting warmed up, and this weekend, several organizations will be on hand to help get your garden started. The Blue Ridge Horticulture Association hosts a plant sale at the WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Road., Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The Men’s Garden Club of Asheville will host an additional sale at the Asheville Botanical Gardens, 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd., Fri., 1-6 p.m. and Sat., 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

• While you’re at the Botanical Gardens, 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd., check out the Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage, featuring tours of the gardens, a presentation about orchids, birding trips and more. $5/$1 students. Info and registration available here.

• According to its bio, “RBTS WIN‘s music is many-faceted, both dark and ephemeral, tough and tender, scary and comforting. It’s a fantastic study of electronica, pop, rock, chillwave and trip hop that transcends all of those elements and surfaces in a new place. Lush, rhythmic, star-lit, cool and expansive, it manages to both suck the air from the room and breathe into space.” See for yourself when the band plays Emerald Lounge, 112 N. Lexington Ave., with Old Flings and Lo Ultimo. 9 p.m. $7 advance/$9 door.



Saturday, April 28

• Learn the basics of beekeeping and screen the documentary The Vanishing Bees during “Beekeeping 101,” a free presentation by Kathleen Lamont. Hosted at the Haywood County Public Library, 678 Haywood St., Waynesville. Refreshments provided. Info: or 452-5169.

• “Fire on the Mountain celebrates the art of the blacksmith,” according to a website for the annual festival. “It is held the last Saturday of each April in Spruce Pine, N.C., and features nationally renowned demonstrators, diverse blacksmiths, tool vendors, a gallery exhibit and a free hands-on tent.” Held throughout downtown. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. More info available here.

The Astronomy Club of Asheville invites the public to a night of star gazing at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This high-elevation location offers an almost 260-degree view of the sky. Bring warm layers. 8 p.m. Free, but reservations required: 926-6251.

• From a recent Xpress blog by Alli Marshall, “Braden Dotson (lead singer of Asheville’s Antique Firearms) has a voice that makes you go, ‘Whoa, who’s that?’ It’s a breathy rasp, sore and rough, sometimes a nasal wheeze and sometimes a forced yowl — but it’s also compelling and dreamy, swooning into an easy falsetto for just a note or two, here and there. … The band is good, too. Solid, spare, a perfect backdrop of muted tones and haunting melodies, so moody and aloof that its as much atmosphere as song. But that doesn’t mean that Antique Firearms is the sort of band you only listen to with headphones, or on a Sunday morning or after a breakup.” The local five piece plays Asheville Music Hall, 31 Patton Ave., with Shorty Can’t Eat Books. 10 p.m. $6 advance/$8 doors.



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