LaCa Projects and Windsor Jewelers are teaming up to present this special engagement that raises money for McColl Center for Visual Art. Folks attending can browse art by Latin American artists — including large-scale works by Santiago Quesnel and other works by Otto Apuy, Juan Dolhare, Wifredo Lam, Ricardo “Chino” Morales (see pictured painting), and Jesús Rafael Soto — in the museum’s Disruption exhibit and contemporary jewelry by Ippolita. The shenanigans also include hors d’oeuvres from Uptown Catering Company, dessert from Fourth Ward Bread Co. and wine from D’vine Wine Cafe. (Anita Overcash)
Artists who make up the Triptych Collective have compiled a series of multi-media presentations that focus on the meaning of home and 1930s-era mill strikes in the southern Piedmont. In addition, this special event will also feature dance from the Moving Poets and live music from Ancient Cities and Colby Dobbs. Proceeds raised will benefit Charlotte Family Housing, a nonprofit organization that provides housing assistance to families in need. (Anita Overcash) $10
JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS
Christened a “voice that speaks directly to us” by legendary Blondie and Richard Hell producer Richard Gottehrer, Detroit’s Jessica Hernandez is edgy, sassy and soulful. After being bounced by Blue Note when the fabled jazz label was devoured by the Universal Music Group borg, Hernandez and her five-piece Deltas found a home with Gottehrer’s Instant Records, where they nestle in the sweet spot between commercial-pop smarts and angsty retro-rock. Riffs from forgotten snot-nosed kids The Nuggets, plus bits of Gogol Bordello’s ethno-punk and Tom Waits’ perpetually dark carnival fuel the Deltas’ high octane garage rock ’n’ soul. Amid a swirl of recklessly woozy trombone, creepy Farfisa, spaghetti noir guitar and jazzy-yet-jack-hammering drums, Hernandez belts with the bluesy pop polish of the Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa and the hyper-dramatic brass of Shirley Bassey. Inevitable comparisons to Amy Winehouse miss Hernandez’s elemental appeal by a Motor City mile. Lake Street Dive diva Rachael Price’s retrofitted sophistication hits nearer the mark, but Hernandez rocks harder than Price and LSD, and the Deltas dig deeper into their cinematic grooves.
The era of Emily Post and demure gals was excruciatingly dull and sexually frustrating, so it’s been a relief to all concerned to learn — thanks, Kinsey Reports! — that the girls are just as bawdy and sex-crazed as the boys. And that’s been the dirty little not-so-secret ethos that this Tennessee quartet has been playing up over their three-LP catalog. After a ramshackle, twangy debut and 2012’s riot grrrl-y, garage punk-flavored follow-up, Screws Get Loose, the Darlins’ new one, Blur the Line, smooths over some of the rough edges (courtesy of Roger Moutenot, long-time Yo La Tengo producer) that characterized the outfit before. The message, though, remains the same, summed up best in one of the snarling rockers, “Baby Mae” — “When she’s good she’s great/When she’s bad she’s even better.” Still, while the band’s sonic palette has added nuance, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to expand the songwriting tableau, too, as the message wears a bit thin by the time this one hits the wide grooves. But live, led by firecracker front-woman Jessi Zazu, Those Darlins are anything but meek or demure — and thank heaven for that. (John Schacht)
Ever since it moved Uptown from Winston-Salem 23 years ago, North Carolina Dance Theatre has staged the most enchanting celebration of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. First there was a darker, Freudian choreography by the late Salvatore Aiello, and in recent years, the more traditionally festive and candy-colored version choreographed by NCDT artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Since landing at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in the early ’90s, each year Belk Theater is transformed into a hall of wonder. The Nutcracker is a sensational explosion of resplendent sets, eye-popping costumes, live music by the Charlotte Symphony, the grace of the adult NCDT corps augmented by legions of adorable children, and a precious young Clara who annually flies off to Tchaikovsky’s special fairyland. More than 100 dancers perform the 2013 Nutcracker at Belk, Dec. 13-22, with conveniently early curtain times, since it’s all about the kids. (Perry Tannenbaum) $25-$90
Leave it up to the folks of On Q Productions to put some extra flavor in a program that spotlights the usual holiday suspects. A Soulful Noel is a one-night-only performance that features music, dance and spoken word by the ensemble of creatives. Alternative tweaks have been made to incorporate holiday fare like “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Go Tell it on The Mountain,” all of which are soulfully represented. (Anita Overcash) $15
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should create. This is a lesson well-learned in flicks like Frankenstein and The Terminator. In both films, disaster strikes — a mad scientist stitches together a lumbering monster and artificially intelligent machines attempt to destroy the human race — all due to man’s longing to create. Luckily, the latest mechanical pieces assembled by folks at Davidson College are far less threatening. Even better, the works are a parody of Norman White’s “Helpless Robot,” which was incapable of movement. Parodic Machines will feature works by artists Nick Bontrager, David Bowen, Matt Kenyon, Hye Yeon Nam and Fernando Orellana, while Desiring Machines will feature works by Paula Gaetano Adi, curator for Parodic Machines and longtime creator of robotic artwork. Reception on Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parodic Machines is held in Van Every Gallery. Desiring Machines is held in Smith Gallery.
Working hard to break out of its regional touring turf while reaching out into the greater concert world, Cabinet is working the byways plying its wares — sweet bluegrass and traditional country music. The Pennsylvania combo obviously loves to jam and make music where simplicity is key and harmony comes natural. The sextet plays American roots music with gusto, with an occasional tip of the hat to the Grateful Dead, while a touch of reggae steps into the mix on occasion and some instrumentals unfurl into progressive rock territory. The young outfit’s warm old-time music should keep things nicely stirred on this Saturday night. (Samir Shukla)
Single Cell Productions returns with its twisted holiday BDSM-style party. The event features live performances by Djinn the Nytechylde, Lillian Malice and Miss Mandy, and electronic music from DJ Harkonnen and DJ Jennocide. VIP “dungeon” area with interactive fetish demos by folks like Dr. Spankenstein. Forget being nice! (Anita Overcash) $12-$25
Gals and guys dress in their bearded best for this holiday-themed bar crawl. Stops include Bar Charlotte, Tilt On Trade, Sip, Hooter’s, Ri Ra, BlackFinn Saloon, Fitzgerald’s, Howl At The Moon, Prohibition, Strike City, Tin Roof, Wild Wing Cafe, Suite, Whisky River, Roxbury and Bubble. Drink specials include $3 beers, $4 shots and $5 cocktails. Ho, ho, ho! For more information, visit www.santabarcrawl.com. (Anita Overcash) $14-$20http://www.santabarcrawl.com
Not everyone wants to be fat and happy like Santa Claus, but nonetheless you’ll find folks dressed in his signature red suit at U.S. National Whitewater Center for its Just Be Claus Festival. The event kicks off with Santa 5K Trail Run and is slated to feature live music and a bonfire throughout the day. (Anita Overcash) Free admission ($5 parking)
This 2010 release, a deserved Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature, may in fact not even be a documentary — or at least that’s what some folks have claimed since the film’s release. A Frenchman named Thierry Guetta contemplates making a film about street art, but the enigmatic British street artist Banksy opts instead to make a movie about Thierry. Thierry eventually transforms into a successful hack artist named Mr. Brainwash, but is he a real person or is the film an elaborate hoax by Banksy? It’s a mind-bender to match that same year’s Inception, but either way, the picture offers a delicious examination of haute monde hypocrisy as well as the subjective nature of criticism. (Matt Brunson) Free
Om! Playwright Mallery Avidon grew up in an ashram, and in O Guru Guru Guru, or Why I Don’t Want to go to Yoga Class with You, her heroine Lila will thoroughly explain to us why she has strayed from the path. It’s a three-part journey at CAST, including a PowerPoint presentation, a puppet show and a visit to the Eat Pray Love ashram, where we can expect a Julia Roberts sighting. Be prepared to take off your shoes, maybe sit yogi-style on a cushion, and drift off into meditation as Lila — actually the luminous Cody Harding — invites us to see things her way. If you’ve never entertained the notion that spirituality in America is overly commercialized, you will be shocked, shocked by Lila’s attitude in this comedy directed by CAST artistic director Michael R. Simmons. (Perry Tannenbaum) $18-$28
A former heavy metal fan, Orlando rapper Caskey didn’t immediately take to hip-hop. Admitting he “wasn’t a bad-ass kid,” Caskey says he hated gangsta rap, and it wasn’t until he heard the righteous lyricism of Nas that he came to the MC table. Though his recent signing to commercial label Cash Money rings ominous chimes of conformity, Caskey continues to be curious, candid and mature beyond his 21 years, addressing issues far thornier than working the game on a trio of mixtapes recorded over two years. The ache of inexplicable loss informs “Letter to my Father,” a subdued, yet clear-eyed examination of his dad’s downward spiral into suicide. Likewise, “Guns,” from recent mixtape The Transient Classics, is a matter-of-fact litany of street violence that avoids a preachy conclusion, allowing the listener to connect the dots. Transient’s centerpiece, “Too Much Information,” wrestles with the mental water-boarding of ceaseless marketing and thought control. When Caskey rattles on about Mayan mysteries and Area 51, his couplets can bounce off the edge of coherence, yet he still gets points for suggesting that the message should be the medium and not the other way ’round. (Pat Moran)
Corny as it is, the folks at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre are bringing back A Tuna Christmas, its favorite (or so we’re guessing, based on numerous past runs — last year was an exception) holiday hell-raiser. Set in the “third smallest town in Texas,” a rambunctious Christmas Eve simmers with the vandalism of Christmas lawn displays, a production of A Christmas Carol that’s threatened by unpaid bills and the arrival of aliens from outer space. Actors Tom Ollis and Jack Utrata portray more than 20 characters (yep — that’s a lot of costume changes), including a duo of radio personalities, snowed in at the station, who report on the town’s chaotic current affairs over the airwaves. (Anita Overcash) $18-$28