Nevermore Film Festival
Carolina Theatre—The ninth Annual Nevermore Film Festival gathers together 10 features and 14 shorts of scream-worthy horror flicks featuring everything from nefarious zombie romances to a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style hillbilly hoedown massacre and even a blood-splattering encounter with Big Foot. Catch the opening festivities tonight at 7 p.m. with a special screening of the '80s classic Highlander in 35mm print. A 10-film festival pass goes for $50 or grab individual tickets at the box office. Call 560-3030 for more info or visit www.carolinatheatre.org. —Kathy Justice
See "Nevermore Film Festival saves horror from those who would destroy it" for more on this weekend's lineup.
Dirty South Improv Festival
Various Venues—For six days in February, the gravitational center of the improv world will shift to Carrboro. The eighth annual Dirty South Improv Festival is billed as "The Largest Festival of Improv Comedy in North America," and though this statistic may itself have been improvised, as festivals go it's definitely one of the heavy hitters. Its sheer mass is expected to distort the fabric of the "yes-and" continuum, pulling in 65 acts from as far away as Toronto and Los Angeles.
The festival has grown thanks to the tireless efforts of Chapel Hill native and UNC grad Zach Ward. Founder of the Dirty South Comedy Theater, he trained in Chicago and returned in 2001 to start his own improv empire. This year the festival will span five stages: the DSI Comedy Theater, DSI Studio, the ArtsCenter, ArtsCenter West End and Cat's Cradle.
Among the headliners is Chicago's BASSPROV, a long-form fishing and beer-swilling expedition in which improv veterans Joe Bill and Mark Sutton channel their inner good ol' boys, Donny and Earl. New York standard-bearers Death by Roo Roo and MC Chris will also appear. Tickets are $10-14, $8-10 for students ($21 at the door, $18 in advance for Saturday's 9 p.m. show at Cat's Cradle). Check festival.dirtysouthimprov.com for a full schedule. —Marc Maximov
Susan Burch and Hannah Joyner
Quail Ridge Books and Music—Black and deaf, Junius Wilson was charged in 1925 with assault with intent to rape. He was declared insane, surgically castrated and sent to North Carolina's mental hospital for blacks. Although he may have been falsely accused and was never diagnosed as insane, he was jailed for 68 years. The story of Wilson encompasses issues of race, violence, hierarchy and disability discrimination. Susan Burch and Hannah Joyner retrace what should be learned from this man's tragic life in their book, Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson. They'll be at Quail Ridge tonight at 7 p.m. —Bruna Zacka
Nightlight—Blending post-punk angularity, shrill guitar squall and a ragged punk shamble, Bellafea wobble and roar in trapezoidal formations, lending underlying structure to a spiky sonic maelstrom. Frontwoman Heather McEntire's cooing vocals offer a glint of beauty and tranquility within a Brillo Pad squeak and squalor before she joins it, shrieking in concert with the crushing swirl of sound. Their full-length debut arrives in May on Southern Records, and they're already finishing the follow-up. Opener Nick Schillace (who records for Indy music editor Grayson Currin's label) is down from Detroit in a duo, and his softly flowing acoustic guitar instrumentals radiate an aching grace, reflecting landscape visions of the unspoiled American West. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker