Far from Home
N.C. Museum of Art—A walk through the just-opened N.C. Museum of Art's Far from Home exhibit leaves you feeling a little like artist Youssef Nabil's hand-colored photographs, which capture the artist in various transitional states while a veritable slide show of far-flung locales rotates through the background. There is much to ponder in our hectic global existence these days, and while it takes a certain fortitude to withstand the ever-accelerating collisions of society and culture, the payoff is a promise of both personal and communal enrichment. This exhibit confronts such issues head-on and is not afraid to jump right into the fray of the global disconnect.
The continents and cultures explored here are vast and wide, so come prepared for some serious visual globetrotting. Many of the selected artists are itinerant themselves, living and working in the U.S. and abroad. Themes explored include displacement and relocation, our connection (or dissolution) of self to place, and the myriad, dynamic juxtapositions of family and community in modern-day personal and social life. Works by major artists one might expect to see in a show of this type, such as Sebastião Salgado and the highly regarded South African photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa, fit well here. The exhibition especially favors photography, and portraiture is fittingly given particular emphasis. Sculptures such as Ledelle Moe's "Congregation" and Renée Stout's "Ogun" bring to bear both a highly biographical sense of self and a lively, refreshing notion of process.
The variety and breadth of art on display here is striking both in scope and in its adventurousness. Yet one can't help but feel that the show's real aim is not necessarily to simply expose a global diaspora or some cultural divide but rather to affix a distinct yet hereto unrealized aspect of our contemporary existence upon those willing to take a closer look. —Dave Delcambre
N.C. Museum of Art holds Art in the Evening, with wine and beer, every Friday night from 5:30-8 p.m. Far From Home runs through July 13. Visit ncartmuseum.org for more info.
The Urban Sophisticates
The Pour House—Greensboro's weekend road warriors The Urban Sophisticates bring their organic hip-hop party back through The Pour House tonight, a celebration for the rest of the work-for-the-weekend crowd. MC Benton James' smooth flow meshes with Aaron James' soulful croons, and the brothers (who are still, presumably, looking for that girl from Chapel Hill) are backed by a fine live band that features horns. Will she be there when the show starts at 9 p.m. with performances by Blount Harvey and O Period? Tickets are $6-$8. —Spencer Griffith
The Brewery—Back before the blogs took to Annuals and the band took to Sony/ Columbia imprint Canvasback Music, Annuals and its brother act, Sedona, split bills at The Brewery. Adam Baker led nebulous kaleidoscope chaos with the former and his guitarist, Kenny Florence, led loose yearning anthems with the latter (which actually existed first). They revive the tradition tonight, taking a break from finishing the second Annuals full-length and previewing material from the forthcoming first Sedona (now called Sunfold) release in six years, due this summer. Greenville's bastard sons of antifolk and Stevie Malkmus call themselves Lonnie Walker, and tonight they open. Also, I Was Totally Destroying It. —Grayson Currin
The ArtsCenter—Indiana singer/ songwriter Carrie Newcomer's early music was steeped in the dulcet sounds of soothing folk and the velvety soul of '70s singer/ songwriters. Now Newcomer's distilled that original sound into a full-bodied folk-stomp, as rich and rustic as it is sultry and dynamic. Her latest, The Geography of Light, finds Newcomer at her brightest, with sparkling melodies shaped into rustic beauties. The show is sold out, so arrive early but have a plan B for the night. —Kathy Justice
Some of the Parts
DesignBox—Ever wondered what artists would do with your art? Try visiting DesignBox Gallery tonight. Lee Coltrane, Rob Ruchte and Jon Williams designed a "content mixer" that allows them to remix and animate the public's submissions. This futuristic instrument alters music, images and text responding to the choice of the three artists. This digital interactive art goes beyond the limits of "classic" entertainment. It is truly interactive and mixes different media (music, images and texts). This experimental interactive entertainment system propels you into a postmodern world. E-mail your image, music and video files to firstname.lastname@example.org and go try it! —Bruna Zacka
Tonight's the big, final night, from 7-9 p.m. Artist talk begins at 7:30 at 323 W. Martin St. Call 834-3552 or visit designbox.us.
Blue Man Group
RBC Center—Donning slippery blue skin and simple black apparel, the Blue Man Group brings its theatrical cocktail of music, comedy and multimedia to Raleigh as part of its "How To Be A Megastar Tour 2.1." With it is DJ frontiersman and multimedia artist Mike Relm—who mixes music and video live, producing what he describes as a "soundtrack with a film." Relm has been touring with the Blue Man Group since January 2007, accenting its entertainment collage with his re-mixing. For more info, visit www.rbccenter.com or call 861-2300. Tickets are $49.50-$75. —Megan Stein
N.C. Central Campus—In West Africa, griots were the living libraries who learned, performed and passed on their village's folktales, history and family trees. That oral tradition is the model for four North Carolina storytellers who will use music, drums and their own unique style to tell stories of Africa for NCCU's theater department. Though rich in culture and history, the show will be first and foremost lively entertainment via the age-old art of telling a story.
"Africa: the Dreams, the Love, the Tales and the Magic" is tonight at 6 p.m. at University Theatre in Farrison-Newton Building, with a Q&A session to follow. The event is free to NCCU students with ID and $5 for the general public. —Juliana Hanson