Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
Shakori Hills—The organizers of the biannual Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, now in its seventh year, continue to explore beyond the expected folk and roots offerings, creating an expansive (and exhausting—see below) experience that covers the fringes of an ever-broadening Americana sphere. Hosts Donna the Buffalo make six appearances across the four days, Oct. 8-11—including a pair of performances each with zydeco ringleader Preston Frank and Yep Roc Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale. Canadian world music fusers The Duhks (Friday/Saturday) are another returning favorite. Festival circuit regulars Bearfoot (Friday), Casey Driessen (Saturday), Christabel and the Jons (Saturday), Two Man Gentlemen Band (Saturday), Mountain Heart (Sunday) and The Gourds (Sunday) are all worth your time. They're joined by plenty of relative newbies that merit a listen, too, such as And The Moneynotes (Friday) and The Belleville Outfit (Saturday).
There's plenty of local content, too: Anti-folk scene leaders Midtown Dickens kick the festival off Thursday night and are joined by rock 'n' roll vets Roman Candle, swingers Firehouse Rhythm Kings and danceable Dixiegrass punks Holy Ghost Tent Revival (also on Friday). Promising young quartets The Beast and Lafcadio have conflicting slots late Friday night, but fortunately both the hip-hop crew and indie folksters play again Saturday afternoon, along with Americana heroes Chatham County Line, pop/rockers The Never, vintage rockers The Jackets and ambitious indie pop orchestra Lost In The Trees. Other strong N.C. talent includes jazzy Asheville singer/ songwriter Kellin Watson (Friday), songwriting duo/ local legends Holsapple & Stamey (Friday) and good ol' bluegrass boys Big Fat Gap (Sunday). International flavors come courtesy of native Ethiopians dub Addis (Thursday), urban Latino partiers LocosporJuana (Friday), Kenyan soukous star Samba Mapangala (Sunday), Goldsboro norteño group Bravo Norteño (Sunday) and Afro-Cuban horn and percussion ensemble Different Drum (Sunday).
Saturday and Sunday are loaded with front-porch workshop sessions, from songwriting to hip-hop to ukulele, led by Lauderdale and members of The Beast and Mad Tea Party, respectively. The festival hasn't forgotten the dance component either, with several dance workshops included each day alongside exhibitions by the Apple Chill Cloggers, the Cane Creek Cloggers and Elikem African Dance Company. Other happenings include a poetry slam, band and individual instrument contests and children's activities. Four-day passes are $85-$95 while single-day tickets run $22-$37. Visit www.shakorihills.org for even more details. —Spencer Griffith
Quail Ridge Books and Music—Fans of Sarah Vowell's appearances on This American Life or her books, such as Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, can celebrate the paperback release of her latest book, The Wordy Shipmates, when Vowell makes a special appearance at Quail Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Shipmates concerns Vowell's investigation into the roots of American Puritans, discovering a rich history and culture along with many humorous contrasts to America today. For more information, call 919-828-1588 or visit www.quailridgebooks.com. —Zack Smith
Wilson Library, UNC Campus—Not just a traditional Irish musician, Mick Moloney holds a doctorate in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. With his wealth of musical knowledge and his masterful playing of the tenor banjo (which lacks a fifth string), Moloney preserves and rejuvenates the past. For work on his native Ireland's music, Moloney was given a National Heritage Award by the National Endowment of the Arts in 1999. His most recent album, If It Wasn't for the Irish and the Jews, examines minority collaborations in Tin Pan Alley, offering a fresh perspective on well-known work. He will discuss that work tonight with a multimedia presentation. A 5 p.m. reception precedes the free 6 p.m. presentation. —Andrew Ritchey
The Lady from Shanghai
Galaxy Cinema—The N.C. Museum of Art continues its programming while its facilities are closed for the final phase of renovations. The Museum on the Move series of programs includes film screenings at the Galaxy Cinema introduced by Indy contributor and NCMA Film Curator Laura Boyes.
If you thought Charlton Heston playing a Mexican in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil was bizarre, it's nothing compared to Welles directing himself as an Irishman named Michael O'Hara in 1947's The Lady from Shanghai. Welles took on writing, directing and starring in the film for free, needing money to fund a stage production of Around the World in 80 Days; he'd impulsively offered to adapt a book he'd seen a girl flipping through at the box office that he'd never read himself. The film was re-edited from his original cut, and reportedly even Welles himself couldn't quite explain what it was about. Not that it matters; the massively convoluted plot is full of images that linger in the mind, including a very surreal trip to an aquarium and a famous shoot-out in a hall of mirrors. It's almost a parody of film noir, and it's particularly interesting for the casting of Welles' then-wife Rita Hayworth, whose iconic red hair he notoriously had dyed blond. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $5. Visit www.mygalaxycinema.com/classic.asp or www.ncartmuseum.org/interim/events.php. —Zack Smith
Flee This Place
Meymandi Theatre at the Murphey School—Greek tragedy usually ends with most of the characters dead. Johannah Maynard's Flee This Place begins where these plays end, with Antigone and Medea trapped in the underworld, reliving their regrets—and anyone who knows drama or history knows they have a lot to regret. When a mysterious stranger enters this world, he must decide whether he belongs or not. The play is presented by The Distillery and Burning Coal's Wait Til You See This series. Performances are Oct. 8-9 and 14-17 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, or $15 for students, seniors, active military and teachers, with $5 for student rush. For more information, call 919-720-4533 or visit www.distillerytheatre.org. —Zack Smith