FunStuff: Charlottesville events August 30 and beyond
Okay, it's Labor Day weekend, the summer's over, and you're stuck in town for the long weekend. After about 10 seconds of wallowing, get yourself on over to one of those events that are the reason you live in Charlottesville. We're talking Fridays After 5, and this week it's local band In Full. There's a reason this cover band is so in demand at every wedding, party, or festival up and down the East Coast: They make you want to dance. Whether it's Black Eyed Peas, James Brown, Adele, or Aretha, they've got it down and you up on your feet, in no small measure because of Anita Byers' kickin' vocals. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, grab a beer, and dance like it's a midsummer night's dream.
August 31, nTelos Pavilion, 5:30pm, free
Picasso and Gasman, together again
UVA Professor Lydia Gasman was a rock star in the world of Pablo Picasso scholarship in particular and modern art in general. Born in Romania, she came to Columbia University for her doctorate, and her dissertation on Picasso was so groundbreaking that she was offered a book contract. When Gasman died in 2010, she left her mammoth collection of manuscripts, books, and papers to two former UVA doctoral students, Victoria Beck Newman and Lyn Bolen Warren, who owns a hilltop art gallery with a French name. The two women are preparing to launch the nonprofit Lydia Csato Gasman Archives for Picasso and Modernist Studies on September 22, and this exhibit, "Picasso, Lydia and Friends," coincides with that. Along with the Picasso prints and Gasman's colorfully annotated Picasso's Writings, the show includes friends who share Gasman's vision: Anne Chesnut, Dean Dass, Rosemarie Fiore, Sanda Iliescu, David Summers and Russ Warren. The exhibit at 841 Wolf Trap Road is open from 1-5pm Thursday-Sunday throughout September, and by appointment. The opening reception is Friday.
August 31, Les Yeux du Monde, 5:30-7:30pm, free
First Final Friday at the Fralin
Those art institutions not on the Downtown Mall have learned to not compete with First Fridays. Hence the first Final Friday reception of the academic year at UVA's newly named Fralin Museum of Art, which some may remember as the Bayly. Several new exhibits kick off the season: "Ancient Masters in Modern Styles: Chinese Ink Paintings from the 16th–21st Centuries," "The Valley of the Shadow: American Landscapes in the Time of the Civil War," "Jean Hélion: Reality and Abstraction" and "Making Science Visible: The Photography of Berenice Abbott." And in celebration of the opening of "Ancient Masters" at the 155 Rugby Road museum, a student dance group called the Pride will perform the Lion Dance.
August 31, Fralin Museum of Art, 5:30-7:30pm, $3 for nonmembers
Rebirthin'– brass, Jefferson School
New Orleans institution and 2012 Grammy Award winner Rebirth Brass Band comes to clean the pipes in a benefit for the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. Rebirth adheres to the Big Easy's brass band tradition while infusing it with their signature brand of heavy funk. Formed in 1982 by the Frazier brothers and other members of their high school marching band in NOLA’s Tremé neighborhood, Rebirth has become the iconic soundtrack of New Orleans. We predict there could be dancing. With Envy. And don't miss their Second Line, New Orleans-style parade through the Downtown Mall at 3pm.
September 1, Jefferson Theater, 6:30pm, $25-$100
The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is making Audio September a month-long celebration of art + audio, and to kick it off, they're bringing in Chicagoan/artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival Julie Shapiro, who will spin an evening of stories determined by the people in the room. Storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms. It's back.
September 1, the Bridge, 8pm, $5
Psychedelic pop til you drop
One of the Hook's bands to watch in 2010, this group reminds us of the late '60s and early '70s, and hey, no coincidence. They call themselves psych pop, and cite influences from Fleetwood Mac to the Kinks. And Borrowed Beams of Light has a record release– "Hot Springs"– and show coming up and are playing in between other local bands– the Fire Tapes at 9pm and Corsair at 11pm. Feel the nostalgia to come at Random Row, and remember the show when the new Residence Inn is sitting there.
September 1, Random Row Books, 8:30pm, $5
Music in the mountains
Here's a stay-cation getaway for Labor Day weekend: The Blue Ridge Parkway, so close, yet so easily overlooked by locals. Humpback Rocks is loaded with options at mile marker 5.8. There's the brutal trail with its spectacular views, but for the less ambitious, the Visitor Center and Pioneer Farm offer a step back in time– and free music on Sunday afternoons during the summer. Bring a folding chair and enjoy the bluegrass and traditional music of the mountains by Close Enough under the walnut tree. Visitors can help harvest the garden at the subsistence farm– and be glad they don't have to grow or hunt every morsel they will eat for the winter.
September 2, Humpback Rocks Visitor Center, 2-4pm, free
Listen to the mushroom
Composer John Cage wrote essays about listening while hunting mushrooms, and in honor of his 100th birthday, local composer Chris Peck with the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is organizing a mushroom walk to celebrate Cage's widely influential philosophy of listening to all sounds— not just those created by musicians or composers, but also the sounds of nature or those created "unintentionally" in the course of daily life— as music. "So, in effect," says Peck, "the environment of the forest (including birds, insects, and wind in the trees as well as nearby roads and other sound-producing human activities) will provide the music for our walk." Participants will meet at the Bridge PAI at 209 Monticello Road and carpool to the Secluded Farm (off Thomas Jefferson Parkway, 10 minutes away) for an hour of musical mycology with Professor Manuel Lerdau of UVA's Department of Environmental Sciences.
September 5, the Bridge, noon, free
"Kraut guitar groove," "modular electronics," and "fixed-media music"– we have no idea what these terms found in a press release mean, but we're intrigued by the Chris Forsyth/Koen Holtkamp Duo upcoming Bridge Audio September performance. Turns out Robert Kraut is an esteemed guitar maker and that instrument apparently will be used. The two have a newish album called Early Astral, and their music has been described as a "psychedelic smog of wailing riffs." Also on the bill is an opening set of the aforementioned "fixed-media music" by composer Seung-Hye Kim, but you'll have to attend to find out what that's all about.
September 5, the Bridge, 8pm. $5
Madwoman on the Mall
Kay Leigh Ferguson has always been fearless in her theatrical choices, taking on multiple roles in Live Arts' production of Angels in America, or starring in The Visit in 1995, set at the Coal Tower beside the railroad tracks. Ferguson heads outdoors again, this time with a partially in-the-street production of The Madwoman of Chaillot. The first act takes place in a Parisian cafe– in this case, on the Downtown Mall corner of 3rd and Main Street. Act two moves to the Haven, where the audience may make a donation, half of which goes to the Haven. Rain takes the entire show indoors. Shows run Thursday-Saturday through September, with Sunday matinees September 16 and 30 at 2pm.
September 6-30, 3rd Street/The Haven, 6pm, donation