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A Local Fête
"The little festival that could." That's how Janet Place likes to think of the Carrboro Music Festival, an annual event formerly known as the Fête de La Musique. Place, her husband Gerry Williams (the coordinator of this year's festival) and eight volunteers have scheduled over 100 acts to perform in 16 venues. And the planners are not alone in donating their time and energies: The performers are playing for free as well. "The idea is that this festival is to showcase the amazing talent in the Triangle, many of whom go unnoticed because there are not enough venues to go around," Place explains. "We have always fought the notion that someone can't be good if no one has heard of them or that no 'real' musician would play for free." This year's roster includes revivalist folk artist Lightnin' Wells, country-music-conscious groups such as Hobart Willis & the Back Forty, Hooverville, Place's own Brown Mountain Lights (pictured below), the NCCU Jazz Ensemble, the Magnolia Klezmer Band, and ska-inflected soulsters the Jumpstarts. Venture out and witness how a festival can be run on a shoestring budget--and a lot of hard work. Various venues in Carrboro. Sunday, Sept. 29, 12:45 pm-midnight. All events are free. —Rick Cornell


Video Game Invasion
Kaboom! The North Carolina Atari and Classic Game Convention boots up in Raleigh this weekend and promises a full-on time trip to the bleep-blip-bleep-dunaledunah! of the late '70s/early '80s. The fourth convention organized by local promoters since 1997, it coincides with big-time anniversaries for classic-game luminaries: It's the 20th for ColecoVision and 30th for Atari. And, in addition to a mind-boggling array of games and systems available for attendees to play, there will also be an equally varied wealth of classic game minutia--from a receipt for a 1979 Atari system purchased in Durham, to an original copy of the holy grail of Atari titles, Halloween (which sells for up to $400 on the Web). Oh, and don't forget about Friday night's lineup which features game-positive bands Blister, Clang Quartet, Electric Bird Noise, Sage Fool and Joseph Experimental. Bickett Gallery, 209 Bickett Blvd, Raleigh. Friday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.-midnight, and Saturday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 836-5358. Admission, $3. —N. Hollis Brown

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