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Things to see and do for $5 or less 

LEARN TO MEDITATE Take it from loyal practitioners of meditation: There's nothing like it to take the stress of your workday off your shoulders. That's why the Pain & Rehab Institute is offering a free class in the breathing techniques and imagery used in ancient qi gong meditation (betcha didn't know there was more than one kind). The office is located at 128 E. Plaza Drive in Mooresville. Classes are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Call 704-649-1629 to get started on the path to serenity.

POP LIFE Charlotte nightlife sucks? Well, yeah ... sometimes it does. To remedy that, the folks at Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen present: Pop Life. What the hell is Pop Life? It's a weekly, multimedia nightlife event featuring art, fashion, live performances and a host of DJs playing the most eclectic blend of music in the city -- from soul to funk to afro-beat, Brazilian, house and more. Pop Life starts tonight and pops off every Wednesday for just three months. Oh yeah ... and complimentary food from 6-9 p.m. so you can start your Hump Night happy. 6 p.m.-until. Prevue (formerly Gilda's), 2901 N. Davidson St, in front of the Highland Lofts.

NODA MICROCINEMA Experimental, World, and Classic cinema. May 26: Funeral Parade of Roses -- Part documentary, part fiction; an inspiration for A Clockwork Orange. Every Saturday, 8 p.m. The NoDa Microcinema is located in the Art House on 3103 Cullman St. For full details: www.nodamicrocinema.blogspot.com.

DISTINCTIVE LAUGHS Tired of the same old comedy club acts? A brand-new comedy night has dropped on the scene. Wednesdays, you're invited to experience underground comedy (shh, keep it low). Show at 8 p.m.; $5 cover. Location: The WineUp, 3306 N. Davidson St. Contact: charlottecomedy@gmail.com.

ELIZABETH BILLIARDS If you haven't discovered the coolest watering hole south of the Square, it's time for a trip to EB's (hip, regional lingo). Voted best pool hall as well as best first date place, it's also dirt cheap. Pool is free. Darts are free. Card tables can be set up to start a poker game for free. Friday nights, EB's orders pizza for patrons to consume for free. Catching the trend? OK, the drinks aren't free, but large pints are only $3 (we recommend the Red Hook IPA). EB's also has the best White Russians in town. For $5, you can get a bucket's worth of the delicious milkshake-like digestif. With a satellite signal EB's, located at 1400 Central Ave., in the giant parking lot behind CVS, is a great place to catch a ball game on TV.

TANGO & TAPAS Patou and the Charlotte Tango Society host this free informal lesson on the Argentinian tango, perfect for making friends. Learn this sensual dance and improve existing skills with instructor Daniel Arredondo. Monday nights at 7 p.m. Patou, A French Bistro, 1315 East Blvd. Call 704-376-2233 or visit www.patoubistro.com or www.passionfortango.com.

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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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