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Annual Reynolds Lecture, Anthony David, Jamie Kennedy

Wednesday, September 20

Davidson College will be holding its annual Reynolds Lecture, featuring British-novelist Zadie Smith. Smith's first novel, White Teeth, won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Award, and the Commonwealth Writers First Book Prize, among others. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize, proving she avoided the typical writer's sophomore slump. She will speak in the Duke Family Performance Hall at 8pm. The event is free (the best kind!) and open to the public. Those wanting to breathe in Smith's words in the hopes of writing a brilliant novel of their own might want to get tickets as soon as possible. Tickets can be found at the Alvarez College Union ticket office or they can be picked up in person an hour before the lecture. Book signing to follow. For more information, call 704-894-2135. (Anita Overcash)

Thursday, September 21

We're definitely not in Alabama anymore when Grammy-Award winner Alison Brown puts her jazz-inflected licks on the banjo. Her fans trace her work back to her backup days with Alison Krauss and Union Station. The acoustic Alison Brown Quintet comes to McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square -- a pleasurable place for savoring the bluegrass and Celtic elements that sometimes get mixed into the musical brew. No, Alison isn't a hayseed, sporting an MBA from Harvard and her own record label. The pickin' and groovin' begin at 7:30pm with tickets priced at $21-$28. Call 704-372-1000 or click www.blumenthalcenter.org. (Tannenbaum)

Aimee Mann, despite far less publicity than her 70s counterpart, is quickly becoming the Joni Mitchell of indie world, and quite possibly, the new century. Consider this, the opening lyric from Mann's latest, The Forgotten Arm: "Cotton candy/was king/on the midway/that spring" ... all in once, you're in a theme park, thanks to the cotton candy part; you're likely back in the 1960s or 70s, thanks to the somewhat outdated "midway" reference; and you're probably in the South, as hinted at by the thinly veiled reference to "King Cotton." Sure, it's a little explicative (read: eggheaded) guesswork, but try finding that sort of depth in a Cat Power lyric, for instance (yeah, I said it). Perhaps the only other female artist writing about relationships with equal honesty and poignancy is, coincidentally enough, also named Aimee -- author Aimee Bender. Mann performs at the Neighborhood Theatre with David Ford. Tickets are $25. Details: www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Davis)

What goes on in Vegas is not staying in Vegas. Neon Mirage is ready for export, heading toward Carolina Actors Studio Theatre and its newly configured octagonal stage platform -- for an exclusive engagement (as desert hipsters say) through Oct. 21. Can comedy at 1118 Clement Ave. get any gaudier than this? A comedy anthology by six young playwrights, Mirage promises the full kaleidoscope of tawdriness that Las Vegas has become. On the revolving stage, we behold the spiritual Capitol of Kitsch where America's biggest losers, winners, and weirdoes gather. With a live tiger and an Elvis ghost tossed into the cage. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm. Adult admission is $20, students/seniors $18. Call 704-347-5838. (Tannenbaum)

Friday, September 22

Up and coming R&B crooner Anthony David performs new songs from his jazz-touched neo soul record Red Clay Chronicles tonight at Tempo. The recording is slated for release on Sept. 26. David has written tunes for India.Arie and others. Another fine songwriter, Gordon Chambers, will open the show. Chambers has penned tunes for Beyonce, Anita Baker, among many others. He'll croon songs from his jazz-soaked Introducing Gordon Chambers record. Showtime is at 9pm. Admission: $10. Further details at 704-605-8668 or www.thesoulmovement.com (Shukla)

It's not often you run into a rock quartet where all four members are songwriters. They are also all multi-instrumentalists. Chalk up Virginia Coalition and its percolating blend of pop, rock, soul, blues and a few other genre-hopping forays as tightly-woven party vibe. They'll be at Visulite tonight beginning at 9pm. Backyard Tire Fire will open the show. Tickets are $10. Further details at www.visulite.com. (Shukla)

Blues guitarist Duwayne Burnside can rip blazing blues rockers or mellow out with slow-motion blues jams. His guitar licks are rife with southern soul from Memphis and country blues from his home turf of Mississippi. The son of blues legend R.L. Burnside has been around blues since emerging from the womb. And that background, along with years of touring, has resulted in his latest recording of hill country and soul blues called Under Pressure. Burnside and the Mississippi Mafia turn up the heat at Double Door Inn tonight at 9pm. For all the details visit www.doubledoorinn.com. (Shukla)

Sunday, September 24

In a classical season that's starting off sentimentally with anniversary celebrations, you can take refuge at the Providence United Methodist Church, where the Providence Chamber Music Series is launching its 2006-07 season with an evening of Roussel, Bridge and Debussy. Refreshing tonal variety -- on an intimate scale -- will mark the 7pm concert, featuring Two Poems by Ronsard for soprano and flute by Albert Roussel, a sonata by Frank Bridge for cello and piano, and Debussy's Children's Corner Suite, transcribed for flute, cello and harp. All this lovely musicmaking is free and open to the public at the crossroads of Providence and Sharon Amity. Call 704-333-9536. (Tannenbaum)

Tuesday, September 26

Jamie Kennedy ... Ja-mie Kenn-e-dy? Oh, now I remember, he's that guy from the Scream movies that laid out the guidelines on "How to Survive in a Horror Movie" and then he was killed in the last one, go figure. Kennedy is also a very successful comedian that's made a career out of being a damn good character actor. Remember B-Rad, the Jewish "homeboy" he played in the crazily successful Malibu's Most Wanted? Having already conquered film and TV, well, sort of with his short-lived "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," he's primed to take on stand-up. Kennedy stops by the Comedy Zone-Uptown tonight at 8 and 10:15pm. Tickets are $25. For reservations and information, call 704-348-HAHA (4242) or log onto www.thecomedyzone.net. (Calloway)

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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