Valentine’s Day happenings in and around Asheville

LOVER’S LEAP: Gritty and bracing, rapper Musashi Xero’s newest project, 'Self-Hate as a Viable Currency,' might be the antithesis of traditional romance. He'll perform as part of a community-centered Valentine's Day celebration. Photo courtesy of Tyler Jackson

Like spooning ice cream straight from the carton, Asheville’s newest Valentine’s Day soirée doesn’t quite embody traditional romance. Slated for The Mothlight on Thursday, Feb. 13, the Sad Boy Bad Boy Pre-Day V-Day Eat Yr Heart Out Let Yr Art Out Kickback Party ditches the roses and serves up a five-hour, multigenre lineup instead.

“The common thread between the performers is emotional transparency,” says organizer Tyler Jackson, better known in the hip-hop world as Musashi Xero. Jackson will be joined onstage by rapper Davaion “Spaceman Jones” Bristol; producer Cliff B. Worsham (aka MOTHER HOOD) and producer/synth player Javier Bolea (aka Boy in Sleep) of the electro-soul trio RBTS WIN; and “Mad” Mike Martinez of the indie-soul collective Natural Born Leaders. Each will deliver a 30-minute set. DJ Juan Bounce will bookend the evening with a saucy blend of Latin, hip-hop, disco and house music.

Showgoers can expect gritty deliveries from Jackson’s newest record, Self-Hate as a Viable Currency. A response to a close friend’s fentanyl overdose, the album tells a “poetically cathartic narrative” vis-à-vis abrasive, in-your-face lyrics. “Sometimes it’s like I’m having a breakdown onstage,” Jackson says. “I try to bring so much passion.”

Sincerity is at the heart of the Sad Boy Bad Boy party, including the ridiculously long title. “We all touch on personal subject matter in honest ways — mental health, politics. In my mind, some of us are sad boys, some of us are bad boys, and some of us are good at being both,” Jackson says with a laugh.

Through unabashed realness, Jackson implores listeners to chew on those Valentine’s Day sentiments — both positive and negative. Whether you’re fresh out of a long-term relationship or sitting pretty with a significant other, the night is more than a concert.

“It’s about human connection,” says Jackson. “I want people to get together with their best friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever. Reconnect and get rejuvenated.”

A self-described foodie, Jackson has also arranged for Bodega Cubana to serve empanadas and pork and rice plates. And it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate, so Conjure Craft Chocolates will dish out sweets, too. “Everyone who knows me knows how much I love to eat, so bring an appetite,” he says.

The show begins at 9 p.m. $10. themothlight.com

More to love

• Love, lust and libido make up the V-day trifecta. Presented by Whet Productions at Asheville Beauty Academy, 28 Broadway, on Thursday, Feb. 13, Whet Appetites: Sexy Storytelling is sure to undress all three with blush-worthy narratives. The survey in sexual tension begins at 8 p.m. A steamy DJ dance party and specialty cocktails follow. $20. avlbeautyacademy.com

NOT A THING TO WEAR: ‘The Great American Strip-Off: Valentine’s Edition’ offers “sexy ridiculousness like you’ve never seen before” at The Magnetic Theatre. Photo of Kathleen Hahn, aka Boo Velvet, courtesy of the artist

• If you thought love potions were the stuff of fairy tales, think again. Concoct an aphrodisiac during a workshop at the Asheville Salt Cave, 16 N. Liberty St. Resident herbalist Luci Orofino of Nature’s Cure Apothecary will suggest swoon-inducing essential oils and herbs. Thursday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. $28. ashevillesaltcave.com

• LaZoom Tours, 76 Biltmore Ave., has created an anti-Valentine’s Day homage: Kiss My Axe invites cynics to board the bus, drink Champagne and toss some axes at Axeville Throwing Club. A whole new meaning to bloody valentine, right? Retro-soul group FWUIT will serenade both lovers and haters while en route. Thursday, Feb. 13, 6 and 8 p.m. $69. lazoomtours.com

• “In a pawn shop in Chicago / on a sunny summer day / a couple gazes at the wedding rings / there on display,” croons country duo George Jones and Tammy Wynette in their 1976 hit, “Golden Ring.” Asheville may be miles away from Chicago, but on Friday, Feb. 14, Stardust Mine will present George & Tammy: Forever Valentines at Ambrose West, 312 Haywood Road. Local musicians Kevin Fuller of Gold Rose, Bailey George and Jukebox Jess, Liliana Hudgens, Brody Hunt, Vaden Landers, Gracie Lane and Erika Lewis will deliver the covers, 8-10:30 p.m. $12 advance/$15 day of event/$17 VIP. ambrosewest.com

• Grab the black eyeliner and cheap liquor — it’s time to rehash breakups of decades past. Emo Night at Tiger Mountain, 112 N. Lexington Ave., is all about OG angst. Waynesville’s DJ Adam Ben-it will serve up ’90s pop punk bangers like My Chemical Romance and Panic! At the Disco. Oh, and the dress code? “Black attire suggested but no one really f**king cares,” reads the Facebook event description. Friday, Feb. 14, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $5.  facebook.com/tigermountainthirstparlour

• Grab your beau and get your vino on at the Love Date Night, hosted by Wine & Design, 17 Sweeten Creek Road. Create a take-home masterpiece while imbibing brews and vintages. Friday, Feb. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. $37. wineanddesign.com

• Described as “sexy ridiculousness like you’ve never seen before,” The Great American Strip-Off: Valentine’s Edition offers back-to-back burlesque-meets-improv shows at The Magnetic Theatre, 375 Depot St. Kathleen Hahn, aka Boo Velvet, conceived of and directs the productions; improv performer George Awad co-hosts. Friday, Feb. 14, at 7 and 10 p.m. $23. themagnetictheatre.org

• Comedian Jessimae Peluso has appeared on “Girl Code,” “Deal With It,” “Last Call With Carson Daly” and “Chelsea Lately,” as well as other shows and various festivals. On Friday, Feb. 14, she’ll perform a two-show comedy special at The Funkatorium, 147 Coxe Ave., at 7 and 9:30 p.m. $15 general admission/$20 VIP. avl.mx/6vf

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About Lauren Stepp
Lauren Stepp is an award-winning writer with bylines here in these mountains and out yonder, too.

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