Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Events for the Week: Sept. 29-Oct. 5

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/30/2008 1 comment
Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Wednesday, October 1

Wine Day Wednesdays (weekly event)
Stop by the Village at SouthPark and enjoy some new wines while listening to music. A portion of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. 5 p.m. Free. Corner of Sharon Road and Morrison Boulevard (in front of M5). www.elevatecharlotte.com.

Pop Life (weekly event)
After taking a month off to change venues, the popular Wednesday social networking event hasn’t missed a step. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, October 2

Alive After Five (weekly event)
This Charlotte staple is in its eighth year and from spring to fall you’ll find Charlotte’s professionals coming to this outdoor after-work party each Thursday. 5-9 p.m. Free. Wachovia Plaza, corners of Tryon St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.charlottealiveafterfive.com.

Epicentre at Five (weekly event)
Epicentre is the new hotspot, with its new bars and clubs (Whisky River, Suite, Howl at the Moon, BlackFinn, and more to come). This outdoor after-work party competes with Alive After Five and does a good job of drawing its own crowd. 5 p.m. Free. Pavilion at Epicentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.epicentreat5.com.

Friday, October 3

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-9 p.m. This week, after-party to follow. Free. LaVecchia’s Restaurant, 225 E. 6th St.

NoDa Gallery Crawl
Visit art galleries and shops, watch street performers, and duck in and out of bars for drinks and live music during the popular crawl in Charlotte’s art district. 6-9:30 p.m. Free. Area around corner of N. Davidson and E. 36th streets. www.noda.org.

South End Gallery Crawl
Tour eight art galleries throughout historic South End and let the trolley bus take you around. 6-9 p.m. Free. And there's a special stop on the crawl this month with Urban Bliss Salon holding "A Party for the Cure" to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 5-7 p.m. Trolley departs from Charlotte Art League every 15 minutes, starting at 5:30. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. www.historicsouthend.com and www.myurbanbliss.com.

Black Ski Networking Event
The Charlotte Breezers, a black ski club, hold their monthly event each first Friday. 7 p.m. Free. Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2020 Sugar Creek Road. www.charlottebreezers.com.

SCarowinds
The Carolinas’ popular theme park is transformed into a place of fright for the Halloween season. 7 p.m.-12 a.m. $34 and up. Carowinds, 14523 Carowinds Blvd. www.scarowinds.com.

Raphael Saadiq Live
See one of soul music’s best perform his hits. Presented by The Sol Kitchen. 8:30 p.m. $30 in advance. Amos Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. www.amossouthend.com.

Charlotte Style Magazine Launch Party
The city’s newest publication is rolling out the red carpet and celebrating the 25 Most Stylish People in Charlotte with its launch. 9 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Loft 1523, 1523 Elizabeth Ave. www.charlottestylemag.com.

First Fridays Charlotte
This installment of the monthly event includes a birthday celebration for Troy Veale and the “Purple Lounge.” Music by DJ Biz Markie. 9 p.m. Ladies free before 9:30. Cost varies. Stir, 3500 E. Independence Blvd. www.1stfridayscharlotte.com.

Free @ KISS
The first Friday of the month is free admission at one of Charlotte’s swankiest lounges. 10 p.m. KISS Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

Saturday, October 4

International Art Market (weekly event)
Experience art, music, and food from around the world. 4-10 p.m. Free. Area 15, corner of 15th and N. Davidson streets, NoDa. www.areafifteen.com.

NCCU vs. NC A&T
The North Carolina Central University Eagles and North Carolina A&T Aggies square off in front of an expected capacity crowd. There will be plenty of students and alumni coming to town—and there are plenty of alumni who live here. 5 p.m. $25. Memorial Stadium, 310 N. Kings Dr.

SCarowinds
The Carolinas’ popular theme park is transformed into a place of fright for the Halloween season. 7 p.m.-12 a.m. $34 and up. Carowinds, 14523 Carowinds Blvd. www.scarowinds.com.

Uptown Saturday Night
Party in the heart of downtown. Music by DJ Stretch-O-Matic. Presented by IV Horseman Entertainment. 10 p.m. $10 and up. Verona Lounge, 127 N. Tryon St.

The Fall Couture
It’s the party where you’re expected to dress to impress. Music by DJ Flemingo. Presented by Six Figure Entertainment. 10:30 p.m. Cost varies (get there early). GW Fins, 525 N. Tryon St. www.sixfigureentertainment.com.

Sunday, October 5

Ssshh! Sensual Seduction Sundays (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m. if you RSVP. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Jay Leno Knows Why Wachovia Was Sold

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/30/2008 No comments
Charlotte is still in shock over the announcement yesterday that Wachovia is selling its banking operations to Citigroup. The Wachovia as we know it will be forever changed, and the immediate attention now is on potential job losses at the Charlotte-based bank.

Last night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Leno talked about the Wachovia news. He showed this actual Wachovia commercial that he says he saw airing yesterday while the reports of the bank's sale were going on (I saw Wachovia commercials airing, too, on CNBC as the story was being reported). Leno said Wachovia was sold because the bank was doing poorly and the bank was doing poorly because it was giving away money, as is evidenced in this commercial. (When I look at it, I'm reminded of "making it rain." Man Law.)



It's not funny to those who are worried about their jobs, but sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Collaborate

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/29/2008 No comments
Jennifer Hudson, a past American Idol finalist, and Fantasia, a past American Idol winner, have collaborated on a new song titled "I'm His Only Woman." If you'll recall, Jennifer lost to Fantasia, who has gone on to have multiplatinum success, in season three of the popular show, but Jennifer has seen her own star rise as an Academy Award-winning actress.

It has appeared, though, that turning her into an R&B star will be more of a challenge. But with the release of "Spotlight," the first single from her upcoming debut album, and now "I'm His Only Woman," Jennifer seems to have found her voice.

Their new song is like Shirley Brown's "Woman to Woman." But newer and more ghetto.

It makes perfect sense for these two to do a song together. Not because they both were discovered through a reality show competition, but because they both have very strong voices that don't fit the mold of today's typical light, airy pop sound. These ladies were born two generations too late, and they're reviving the great sound of the soulful music of the 1960s and '70s.

"I'm His Only Woman" is an ode to Shirley Brown's 1974 classic, "Woman to Woman." The song even has Fantasia and Jennifer having a phone conversation in the beginning, like Shirley has with a fictional Barbara. Jennifer brings the attitude and you know Fantasia, who lives in Charlotte, is as feisty as they come.

Charlotte and the financial world are buzzing this morning over the announcement that Citigroup will acquire Wachovia's banking operations. The breaking news, which started in the wee hours of the morning, created a long list of questions for the future of the Charlotte-based bank. A press release sent out this morning does a great job of addressing them.

Particularly of note is the paragraph at the end that states where the operations will be headquartered. If you live in Charlotte, you likely have friends and/or relatives (or you yourself) who work for Wachovia. I have friends and colleagues who do, and my sister works for Wachovia in Columbia. I hope all of their jobs are safe.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Wachovia today announced intentions to sell its retail bank, corporate and investment bank and wealth management businesses to Citigroup. Wachovia Corporation will remain a public company with two main operating subsidiaries: Wachovia Securities, the nation’s third largest brokerage firm, and Evergreen Asset Management, a leading provider of asset management services.

“During recent weeks, the financial landscape has changed significantly and presented us with unprecedented challenges,” said Robert K. Steel, CEO and President of Wachovia. “Today’s announcement is the best alternative for the company, enabling a resolution on the Golden West portfolio.”

Under terms of the transaction, Citigroup will pay $2.1 billion to Wachovia and assume the senior and subordinated debt of Wachovia Corporation.

The transaction is expected to close before year-end. It has been approved by directors of both companies and is subject to shareholder approval of Wachovia and the appropriate regulatory approvals.

Customers of both companies should continue banking as usual, and feel confident that their deposits are secure. Also, employees and vendors should continue to operate business as usual.

At this time, there are no changes to Wachovia’s board of directors and two Wachovia directors will join Citigroup’s board.

Wachovia Corp. will remain headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. Wachovia Securities will continue to be headquartered in St. Louis, MO. Citigroup will headquarter the retail bank in Charlotte and the investment bank in New York. Wachovia’s investment bankers were Goldman Sachs, Perella Weinberg Partners and Wachovia Securities, and its legal advisors are Sullivan & Cromwell and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nelly Concert Footage; First-Week Sales

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/24/2008 No comments
Here's some footage of Nelly's Myspace concert, which he performed earlier this month at the Neighborhood Theatre. I blogged about the show a couple of days later, saying that I would buy his new album, Brass Knuckles, because I was impressed with the new material he performed. The CD came out last week and I still need to go get it. According to the Soundscan numbers released today, Brass Knuckles sold just 83,700 copies in its first week.

Nelly's four-year absence from releasing new albums has taken an obvious toll. In 2004 he released two albums, Sweat and Suit, on the same day, selling 341,000 and 395,000 copies, respectively, during the first week. Sure, the music biz has changed in the last few years and no artist is putting up the kind of numbers they used to, but Nelly may have lost much of his fanbase. As he told one 18-year-old girl at his concert here, "I can understand if you don't know the words. You were 10 when this song came out."



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Check Me Out In Men's Fitness

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/23/2008 No comments
You can find me in the October 2008 issue of Men's Fitness, on newsstands now. I know what you're probably thinking, that I'm one of the buff dudes in the magazine with my shirt off, showing my bulging biceps and killer abs, covered in baby oil. Uhh, no. But you can read the feature I wrote, "Fit for the Pit," beginning on page 104. I chronicled the workout regimens of the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR teams. I bet you didn't know pit crews hit the gym like football players. The experience was fun and I'm happy with how the story turned out.


You'll also find me on the contributors page, which the magazine calls MFERS. There I give my tiny hometown of Rembert, S.C., a shout out.

The issue is filled with workout stories and fitness and sex tips, of course. And it also features a photo spread of Danity Kane ("The Bad Girls of Bad Boy") that you must check out. Man Law. In the Q&A that accompanies it, D. Woods says: "I'm very attracted to a man who takes care of his body. I like them firm 'cause I like to hold onto arms and the back."

I really must start hitting the weights.

Events for the Week: September 22-28

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/23/2008 No comments
Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, September 23

Tone X and Friends (weekly event)
Enjoy a night of stand-up comedy, live skits, improv, and music, along with a performance by the Hunnie Dipz Dancers. 8 p.m. $15. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. 704-890-0771.

Touch One Tuesdays (weekly event)
See Charlotte’s gifted poets perform—and if you have the courage, join them onstage—during this open mic event. Presented by Touch One Productions. Hosted by Filmore and music by DJ Flemingo. 9 p.m. $10. Wine-Up. 3306 N. Davidson St. (NoDa). www.wine-up.com.

Wednesday, September 24

Wine Day Wednesdays (weekly event)
Stop by the Village at SouthPark and enjoy some new wines while listening to music. A portion of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. 5 p.m. Free. Corner of Sharon Road and Morrison Boulevard (in front of M5). www.elevatecharlotte.com.

Pop Life (weekly event)
The popular Wednesday social networking event is back after a month-long hiatus and returns at a new venue. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, September 25

Alive After Five (weekly event)
This Charlotte staple is in its eighth year and from spring to fall you’ll find Charlotte’s professionals coming to this outdoor after-work party each Thursday. 5-9 p.m. Free. Wachovia Plaza, corners of Tryon St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.charlottealiveafterfive.com.

Epicentre at Five (weekly event)
Epicentre is the new hotspot, with its new bars and clubs (Whisky River, Suite, Howl at the Moon, BlackFinn, and more to come). This outdoor after-work party competes with Alive After Five and does a good job of drawing its own crowd. 5 p.m. Free. Pavilion at Epicentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.epicentreat5.com.

University City Race Taste
This annual event is a celebration of good food and good times in the University City area, featuring live music, pace car rides, interactive displays, fireworks, and, most importantly, food from University City’s best restaurants. 5-8:30 p.m. $8-$10. Nationwide Insurance Garage at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Pkwy. South, Concord. www.ez-tixx.com.

Charlotte Film Festival
This annual four-day event (Sept. 25-28) is in its third year and continues to grow. See independent films from filmmakers from around the country. Opening Night Gala and Awards Ceremony, 6-8 p.m. War Eagle, Arkansas is the opening night film, 8:30 p.m. There are numerous screenings scheduled at various venues throughout downtown Charlotte. And after-parties Friday and Saturday night. Visit website for times, film info, and prices. www.charlottefilmfestival.org.

Lotus Anniversary Party
The trendy boutique celebrates the third anniversary of its Dilworth location. Peruse the racks of the store's fall lineup, while enjoying complimentary beer and wine. 7-10 p.m. Free. Lotus Dilworth, 1247 East Blvd. www.ladyinlotus.com.

Friday, September 26

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. To learn this week’s location, text “rendezvous” to 58714. 6-9 p.m. Free.

Presidential Debate Watch Party
It's the first debate between presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain and you can watch it while getting your drink on. Presented by GenerationEngage. 6-10 p.m. Free. Cans. 500 W. Fifth St. www.generationengage.org.

Charlotte Film Festival
This annual four-day event (Sept. 25-28) is in its third year and continues to grow. See independent films from filmmakers from around the country. There are numerous screenings scheduled at various venues throughout downtown Charlotte. And after-parties Friday and Saturday night. Visit website for times, film info, and prices. www.charlottefilmfestival.org.

Mint Condition and Jon B
Watch these R&B sensations serenade the ladies. 8 p.m. $42-$52. Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. www.ticketmaster.com.

Jamdown Reggae Festival
Carolina Reggae Vibes and Reggae Central present a five-hour show featuring Crucial Fiya, Reggae Infinity, and Mr. Senti. Caribbean food will also be served. 9 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Tremont Music Hall, 400 W. Tremont Ave. www.carolinareggaevibes.com.

Saturday, September 27

International Art Market (weekly event)
Experience art, music, and food from around the world. 4-10 p.m. Free. Area 15, corner of 15th and N. Davidson streets, NoDa. www.areafifteen.com.

Charlotte Film Festival
This annual four-day event (Sept. 25-28) is in its third year and continues to grow. See independent films from filmmakers from around the country. There are numerous screenings scheduled at various venues throughout downtown Charlotte. And after-parties Friday and Saturday night. Visit website for times, film info, and prices. www.charlottefilmfestival.org.

Mary J. Blige with Robin Thicke
See the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and new Prince of Blue-Eyed Soul perform live. Doors open 6:30 p.m., show starts 7:30. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd. www.livenation.com.

Signs: The Virgo/Libra Edition
If you were born in September, you’ll get in free and receive VIP (you must RSVP at theikons@gmail.com). If your birthday is another month, you’ll still enjoy this party. 10 p.m. $10. Verona Lounge, 127 N. Tryon St. www.ikonent.com.

Soul Bowl Lounge
The popular bowling and social event is held in a dozen cities including Charlotte, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. In addition to knocking down pins, enjoy live music, a soul food buffet, and card games. 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $25. AMF Carolina Lanes, 11210 Brigman Rd., Matthews. www.soulbowllounge.com.

Sunday, September 28

Charlotte Film Festival
This annual four-day event (Sept. 25-28) is in its third year and continues to grow. See independent films from filmmakers from around the country. There are numerous screenings scheduled at various venues throughout downtown Charlotte. And after-parties Friday and Saturday night. Visit website for times, film info, and prices. www.charlottefilmfestival.org.

Ssshh! Sensual Seduction Sundays (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m. if you RSVP. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/22/2008 No comments
Today is the first day of fall--autumn if you're proper--and it feels like it. Great weather. No more unbearable Southern summer heat. Cool nights so you can sleep with your bedroom windows open. Beautiful to see leaves changing colors (though dreadful to have to rake them). Fairs and festivals going on every week. Carowinds turns into SCarowinds. Renaissance Festival runs for seven weekends. High school, college, and professional football in full swing (Go Independence! Go South Carolina! Go Panthers!). Baseball playoffs. New episodes of television shows return.

How could you not fall for it?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Voters Have a Choice On Sunday

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/19/2008 No comments
A voter information and candidate forum called "Your Voice. Your Vote." is being presented by the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists this Sunday at the Levine Museum of the New South (I'm prez of CAABJ). Just last night, the Barack Obama campaign announced a "Change We Need Rally with Barack Obama" for the same date and time as YVYV and will be taking place only a few blocks away downtown.


I can honestly say that my organization, along with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists-Charlotte and GenerationEngage, has worked hard over the last four months to plan this event, secure sponsors, and to line up more than 25 local and state candidates (Democrats and Republicans) to attend. It's a coincidence that our primary reason for putting on this event is because the presidential election is overshadowing local and state candidates and issues, and we want our community to be informed when it's time to vote in November--there will be much more on the ballot than the office for president.

This is absolutely not a rant against the Obama campaign, and we obviously can't compete with Obama's star power. But the people of Charlotte now have a choice on Sunday: Will they go to the pep rally or will they go to class? And I betcha Obama won't be serving free food from Mert's Heart & Soul--fried chicken, macaroni, cornbread, sweet tea--like we will! This is food for thought...you do the dishes.

Your Voice. Your Vote.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
12-4 p.m.
Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh Street, Charlotte
www.caabj.org

Jada Pinkett Smith to Film New Show Here

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/19/2008 No comments
Jada Pinkett Smith will star in and executive produce a new TNT drama called Time Heals. According to reports, Pinkett Smith will play "Nancy Hawthorne, a strong but caring director of nursing at Charlotte Mercy Hospital in North Carolina, a single mother who always puts the pain of others first."


I can't say that the initial information for the show sounds interesting, but it would be cool to have a show produced here. TV critics are comparing it to other TNT dramas such as The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, and Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter, as shows with a strong female character at the center played by an A-list actress.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let Them Have Football

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/18/2008 No comments
A city the size of Charlotte should have a major college football team. The only college football we have is Johnson C. Smith. And while the JCSU Golden Bulls often field a strong squad and get great support from alumni, they play in the CIAA. UNC Charlotte, our largest college by far with more than 23,000 students, got one step closer to its efforts to start a team. UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois announced his recommendation this morning that the university should start a football program and field a Charlotte 49ers team by 2013.

You can read more about Dubois' announcement below, but here's my take. A group of dedicated folks have been pushing hard for the past two years with this campaign to launch a team. It has plenty of support from current students and alumni and, to me, that's all you need to make it happen. Well, it will also take about $80 million, which includes the cost of building a stadium, but it's worth it. Football is part of the college experience that every student should be able to enjoy. So I say give the kids a team!




From press release

CHARLOTTE – Sept. 18, 2008 – In a presentation Thursday to the University’s Board of Trustees, UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois recommended the University should start a football program and field a team by 2013. The proposal came during the board’s meeting at the Harris Alumni Center.

The trustees took the chancellor’s recommendation under advisement. They will make the final decision whether or not to accept the recommendation, and the decision likely will come in November.

The chancellor’s recommendation comes after 21 months of deliberation and research by a football feasibility committee, Dubois and others at the University. Dubois has given several previous reports to the trustees on the issue of whether to add football to the University’s roster of athletic programs.

In his presentation, Dubois said he felt the time was right for football at UNC Charlotte because it helps foster a full university experience that many students crave in their undergraduate careers and could help build even closer relationships with the greater Charlotte community. The University is expected to have 35,000 students by 2020.

Dubois said the issue was not really about whether UNC Charlotte will play football in 2013. Instead, “this should be a question of where UNC Charlotte wants to be 20 years after 2013.”

The soonest the trustees are expected to make a final decision would be at the board’s Nov. 13 meeting. If football is approved, the most likely scenario would have UNC Charlotte fielding its first team in the fall of 2013.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

'Real World' Coming

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/17/2008 No comments
If you're looking for a new career opportunity, say as a future D-list actor, cheap calendar model, or traveling nightclub party host, here's your chance.

YOU could live here! ... For a few months.

MTV has begun casting calls for The Real World 22 and they'll be in Charlotte this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Fox & Hound in uptown, 330 N. Tryon St.

Click here for casting details.

Michelle Obama in Charlotte Tomorrow

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/17/2008 No comments
Michelle Obama will attend an economic round-table for working women in Charlotte at McGlohon Theatre. Doors will open at 9 a.m.

Tickets are free, but required and can be picked up at the Obama campaign Charlotte office, 1523 Elizabeth Ave., 704-333-7694. McGlohon Theatre is located at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Events for the Week: September 15-21

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/16/2008 No comments
Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, September 16

Tone X and Friends (weekly event)
Enjoy a night of stand-up comedy, live skits, improv, and music, along with a performance by the Hunnie Dipz Dancers. 8 p.m. $15. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. 704-890-0771.

Touch One Tuesdays (weekly event)
See Charlotte’s gifted poets perform—and if you have the courage, join them onstage—during this open mic event. Presented by Touch One Productions. Hosted by Filmore and music by DJ Flemingo. 9 p.m. $10. Wine-Up. 3306 N. Davidson St. (NoDa). www.wine-up.com.

Wednesday, September 17

Wine Day Wednesdays
Stop by the Village at SouthPark and enjoy some new wines while listening to music. A portion of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. 5 p.m. Free. Corner of Sharon Road and Morrison Boulevard (in front of M5). www.elevatecharlotte.com.

Pop Life
The popular Wednesday social networking event is back after a month-long hiatus and returns at a new venue. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, September 18

Alive After Five (weekly event)
This Charlotte staple is in its eighth year. From spring to fall you’ll find Charlotte’s professionals coming to this outdoor after-work party each Thursday. 5-9 p.m. Free. Wachovia Plaza, corners of Tryon St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.charlottealiveafterfive.com.

Epicentre at Five (weekly event)
Epicentre is the new hotspot, with its new bars and clubs (Whisky River, Suite, Howl at the Moon, BlackFinn, and more to come). This outdoor after-work party competes with Alive After Five and draws its own crowd. 5 p.m. Free. Pavilion at Epicentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.epicentreat5.com.

Business After Hours
Held at a different venue each month, this event offers great hors d’oeuvres and drinks while you mingle with Charlotte’s business leaders and professionals. Presented by the Charlotte Chamber. $15 for non-Charlotte Chamber members, free for members. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Hampton Inn & Suites SouthPark, 6700 Phillips Place Ct. www.charlottechamber.com.

Cufflinks and Cocktails
Presented by Charlotte’s Kappas, this monthly event draws an elite group of well-dressed professionals, from 20- to 40-somethings. Free. 6-10 p.m. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of 5th and College streets). www.cltkappas.com/cufflinks-cocktails.

Charlotte African-American Film Festival
This inaugural three-day event (Sept. 18-20) will feature top independent films from African-American filmmakers from around the country. An advanced screening of Universal Pictures’ The Express will also be shown. Check website for times and prices. Ballantyne Village Theater and ImaginOn Theater. www.runandshootfilmworks.com.

Charlotte NC Fashion Week
While more like a half-week (Sept. 18-20), this is the city’s most ambitious fashion event to date. CNCFW will feature runway shows, industry workshops, vendors, entertainment, and designers from Charlotte, New York, Atlanta, and other cities. Visit website for times and prices. Blake Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. www.charlottencfashionweek.com.

Friday, September 19

Where Is the Love?
The relationship series continues and this installment's topic is “Where are the Black Men in Church on Sunday?” and “The State of the Black Church.” Presented by Not the Average Chicks. 6:30 p.m. Free. Jillian’s, 200 E. Bland St.

Charlotte African-American Film Festival
This inaugural three-day event (Sept. 18-20) will feature top independent films from African-American filmmakers from around the country. An advanced screening of Universal Pictures’ The Express will also be shown. Check website for times and prices. Ballantyne Village Theater and ImaginOn Theater. www.runandshootfilmworks.com.

Charlotte NC Fashion Week
While more like a half-week (Sept. 18-20), this is the city’s most ambitious fashion event to date. CNCFW will feature runway shows, industry workshops, vendors, entertainment, and designers from Charlotte, New York, Atlanta, and other cities. Visit website for times and prices. Blake Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. www.charlottencfashionweek.com.

Saturday, September 20

International Art Market (weekly event)
Experience art, music, and food from around the world. 4-10 p.m. Free. Area 15, corner of 15th and N. Davidson streets, NoDa. www.areafifteen.com.

Charlotte African-American Film Festival
This inaugural three-day event (Sept. 18-20) will feature top independent films from African-American filmmakers from around the country. An advanced screening of Universal Pictures’ The Express will also be shown. Check website for times and prices. Ballantyne Village Theater and ImaginOn Theater. www.runandshootfilmworks.com.

Charlotte NC Fashion Week
While more like a half-week (Sept. 18-20), this is the city’s most ambitious fashion event to date. CNCFW will feature runway shows, industry workshops, vendors, entertainment, and designers from Charlotte, New York, Atlanta, and other cities. Visit website for times and prices. Blake Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. www.charlottencfashionweek.com.

Secret Society
Enjoy a fun night out in the venue’s two levels and outdoor patio. Music by V101.9’s DJ Chase. Presented by MingleBerry.com. 10 p.m. Free admission until 11:30 with an email pass.
Presto’s, 445 W. Trade St. www.mingleberry.com/charlotte/secretsociety.html.

Sunday, September 21

Your Voice. Your Vote.
This is the one event you need to attend to learn everything you need to know about the upcoming election. Meet your local, state, and judicial candidates, including those running for county commission, governor, state representative, and U.S. Senate. Complimentary food by Mert’s Heart and Soul. Presented by the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists-Charlotte, and GenerationEngage. 12-4 p.m. Free. Levine Museum of the New South. 200 E. Seventh St. www.caabj.com.

Ssshh! Sensual Seduction Sundays (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m. if you RSVP. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Help Out the Red Cross

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/14/2008 No comments
The American Red Cross is providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Ike as well as those who've experienced flooding in the Charlotte area. Visit www.redcrosshelps.org, the website of the Greater Carolinas chapter, to see how you can help.


A Little Bit of Musiq

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/14/2008 No comments
Here's a short video excerpt of Musiq Soulchild's performance at Amos' Southend Friday.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Free Stuff Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/12/2008 No comments
Impending Hurricane Ike has sent gas prices skyrocketing today. I'm sure you're just as ticked as I am. During times like this, you could use some free stuff.

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is offering a buy-one-get-one-free sale of balcony level tickets to many of its upcoming shows. But the offer is for today only. Shows on sale include Traces, Chicago, Rent, Soweto Gospel Choir, Mother Load, Janice Ian, Savion Glover, Charlotte Symphony's George Goes Gershwin, Richie Havens, Jose Parcel Ballet Flamenco, and many others. A limited number of these discounted tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for more info.

But don't let your FREEdom stop there. A few free events are going on this weekend, including the Friday Afterwork Rendezvous and the Musiq concert after-party tonight and the Sunset Jazz Festival tomorrow. You'll find them under Events for the Week on this blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Register to Vote at DTLR

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/11/2008 No comments
DTLR, the urban fashion store where you can usually here hip-hop music exuding from when you pass it in the mall, is holding voter registration drives at its many locations, including Charlotte. Dates and times are below.

When Nelly was in town last week performing his free Myspace concert, while rocking a "Respect My Vote" tank top he summed it up best: "In 2008, if you're 18 and older and not registered to vote then you're a f-ing idiot!"

DTLR Voter Registration Drive

Thursday, September 11
6-8 p.m.
Northlake Mall
6801 Northlake Mall Dr.

Saturday, September 13
1-3 p.m.
Westerly Station
3250 Wilkinson Blvd.

Tuesday, September 16
6-8 p.m.
Westerly Station
3250 Wilkinson Blvd.

Saturday, September 20
1-3 p.m.
Eastland Mall
5601 Central Ave.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wachovia Makes Women's List

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/10/2008 No comments
Wachovia Corp. made Pink magazine’s second annual list of Top Companies for Women in the ladies mag's September/October issue. I would've put the Charlotte-based company at the top of the list with my own unscientific research. Everywhere I go around Charlotte I meet lots of women who are employed by either Wachovia or Bank of America (apparently Wachovia treats its women better). They're half the reason after-work networking events are so popular here.

Pink did its research, though. It picked companies based on the number of women reporting to the CEO, how quickly the ranks of women in middle and senior management are growing, upward trends in women among the highest earners, and several other criteria.

Thirteen companies made the list. The others are American Express Co., Bebe Stores Inc., FedEx Services Inc., Grant Thornton LLP, Heller Ehrman LLP, KPMG LLP, Liz Claiborne Inc., Manpower Inc., MetLife Inc., Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Turner Broadcasting System Inc., and UPS. Get your resum├ęs together, ladies.

Events for the Week: September 8-14

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/10/2008 No comments
Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Wednesday, September 10

Wine Day Wednesdays
Stop by the Village at SouthPark and enjoy some new wines while listening to music. A portion of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. 5 p.m. Free. Corner of Sharon Road and Morrison Boulevard (in front of M5). www.elevatecharlotte.com.

A Westside Story Afterwork Event
Enjoy music, drinks, and a soul food buffet at this networking event held at a historic African-American club. Special invited guests include Kim Best and Harold Cogdell. Presented by Digital Divas. 6-10 p.m. Free. Excelsior Club, 921 Beatties Ford Road. www.digitaldivasevents.com.

Thursday, September 11

Alive After Five (weekly event)
This Charlotte staple is in its eighth year. From spring to fall you’ll find Charlotte’s professionals coming to this outdoor after-work party each Thursday. 5-9 p.m. Free. Wachovia Plaza, corners of Tryon St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.charlottealiveafterfive.com.

Epicentre at Five (weekly event)
Epicentre is the new hotspot, with its new bars and clubs (Whisky River, Suite, Howl at the Moon, BlackFinn, and more to come). And now there’s an outdoor after-work party to compete with Alive After Five. 5 p.m. Free. Pavilion at Epicentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.epicentreat5.com.

$3 Thursdays (weekly event)
Mingle and do a little light partying while enjoying $3 drink specials. 9 p.m. Everyone free before 10:30, ladies $3 after, men more. Prevue, 2909 N. Davidson St.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by poets from Concrete Generation. An after-party follows. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, September 12

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live jazz and drink specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-9 p.m. Free. LaVecchia’s Restaurant, 225 E. 6th St.

Musiq Soulchild Live
See the neo-soul artist perform songs from his new album, On My Radio, which drops September 16. Presented by The Sol Kitchen. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. (opening act 9:30, Musiq 10:30). $30. Amos Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. 704-377-6874, www.amossouthend.com.

Musiq Concert After-party
If you go to the concert, then you can just walk across the street to the after-party. If you don't go to the concert then you can get to the party early. Presented by The Sol Kitchen. 9 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Charmed
Enjoy a night out at one of Charlotte’s newest and hottest lounges. Music by DJ Stretch. Presented by Digital Divas. 10 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 and up at the door. KISS Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.digitaldivasevents.com or www.kisscharlotte.com.

Saturday, September 13

Sunset Jazz Festival
This annual event gets bigger each year. Performers include Ron Brendle, Michael Porter, Sweet Dreams, The Fuzz Band, and Eric Darius. And the Picnic Contest returns. Presented by Pride Magazine. 2:30-9:30 p.m. Free. Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall, 4400 Sharon Road. www.charlottesunsetjazzfestival.com.

International Art Market (weekly event)
Experience art, music, and food from around the world. 4-10 p.m. Free. Area 15, corner of 15th and N. Davidson streets, NoDa. www.areafifteen.com.

What Black Men Think
In one of the most provocative films of the year, filmmaker Janks Morton presents a searing examination of the role that myths, stereotypes, and misrepresentations have played in the destruction of modern black relationships. The filmmaker will be on hand. Presented in conjunction with Scene in America: A Contemporary Look at the Black Male Image. 8 p.m. $8. Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Road. www.mintmuseum.org.

Sunday, September 14

The Sunday Night Jazz Suite (weekly event)
Local, regional, and national jazz artists perform in an intimate setting. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a wine tasting reception. 6:30 p.m. $15. Madison’s, 115 E. 5th. St.

Ssshh! Sensual Seduction Sundays (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m. if you RSVP. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hilarious Barack Obama Parody

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/08/2008 1 comment
Occasionally I'll blog about something that's not specifically related to Charlotte. I was just watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and saw one of the funniest political parodies I've ever seen. The episode was a rerun, but I didn't see it when it originally aired about a week and a half ago.

This is a parody of the biographical video of Barack Obama that aired the night he gave his presidential nomination acceptance speech in Denver. It presents him as Simba from The Lion King, along with a few other characters from pop culture and history.

It doesn't matter whether you're for or against Obama, this video is funny.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Random Notes From Nelly's Myspace Concert

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/06/2008 No comments
Nelly was in Charlotte Thursday night performing live at the Neighborhood Theatre in a special Myspace concert. Fans lined up hours before the doors opened to get into the free show. Me, I watched it live online and actually enjoyed the experience. Great camera views made me feel as if I was there (while glancing periodically at my TV to watch my South Carolina Gamecocks play on ESPN).

The day of the show, Myspace's homepage was dedicated to Nelly's concert. Showing the rapper standing amidst our uptown skyline was a good look for the city.

Nelly took the stage about 9:40 p.m. Throughout the night, joined by his St. Lunatics, he performed about 25 songs, though in many cases just doing a verse or two. The main purpose of the event was to showcase his upcoming album, Brass Knuckles, which will be released September 16. And I can honestly say that after seeing him perform several of the songs from the new album, I plan to buy it.

With the promotion of this album, it seems that Nelly has been struggling to recapture the massive fan base and radio and video appeal he enjoyed for several years. He hasn't released a new album since 2004's double CD, Sweat/Suit. In hip-hop, most artists can't come back after a four-year absence. But the kid's still got it.

Okay, on to my notes.

  • Nelly's wearing a Respect My Vote tank top. It's funny how every four years celebrities become political activists.
  • All of the St. Lunatics are on stage with Nelly. Those guys have been just as absent from the music scene as their leader. But I guess when you take the music world by storm and make so much money over a five-year period you can afford to take some time off. Minus Nelly, who'll give any NFL player a run in the muscles department, it's obvious they're eating good.
  • The first song he performs is "Party People." That song, which features Fergie, didn't grow as big as I'm sure Nelly thought it would.
  • Second song he performs: "E.I." That came out on Nelly's first album and with it I became a fan. "E.I." takes me back to my college partying days.
  • Third song he performs: "Shake Ya Tailfeather." Nelly's always made party, feel-good hip-hop music. We need more of that.
  • After performing his verse from "Where the Party At," he gets into songs from Brass Knuckles while mixing in his past hits.
  • Avery Storm comes out to sing the hook on one of the new songs. And they also perform "Here I Am," which they collaborated with Rick Ross on for Ross' album. I love that song.
  • I'm waiting for Nelly to say stuff about Charlotte, but he mostly shouts us out as North Carolina or Cackalack. What, no love for the Bobcats? I know they're not very good, but you own a stake in the team.
  • Nelly performs "One and Only" from BK. The dude is practically singing.
  • Nelly and the St. Lunatics perform "Air Force Ones," then he does "Stepped on My J'z." Yeah, they love kicks.
  • Next, they each do freestyles. The St. Lunatics are one of the few crews in which a rapper blows up and puts his friends on and each of the other guys are actually pretty good. I always felt that Murphy Lee could be a bigger star. His freestyle is only topped by Nelly's. I know Nelly's mostly known for his party songs, but the guy is a true lyricist.
  • Paul Wall comes out for "Grillz." He's the only surprise guest artist of the night. He then performs "Sideways." He should've chosen something better.
  • Nelly performs two more songs from BK: "LA" and "Lie." Both are very creative. "Lie" is about lying to a girl even after she's caught you. It's actually pretty funny.
  • After performing "Problems" from BK, Nelly asks the crowd who's registered to vote. Then he says: "In 2008, if you're 18 and older and not registered to vote then you're a f-ing idiot!"
  • Next, he performs three more songs from BK , including "Body On Me." What, no Ashanti? Then he does "Flap Your Wings" (drop down and get your eagle on girl) and then sort of closes the show with "Hot In Herre." The crowd goes crazy, as you would expect.
  • But before ending the show, Nelly says, "I need a Nelly fan who knows all the songs." So they proceed to search the audience for someone who claims to know all of Nelly's songs. Of course nearly every girl in the audience raises her hand. They eventually pull three girls on one by one and give each of them a difficult song to know the words to ("Country Grammar," "Ride Wit Me," and "Batter Up"). They all mess up. A fourth girl rushes the stage. Nelly then gives them one more chance by letting them perform an easy one together, "Dilemma." Midway through the song, the girls are escorted offstage and Nelly finishes it up. 11:25 p.m.
It was a good show. But my Gamecocks lost.


Marion Jones Is Out of the Slammer

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/06/2008 No comments
Former Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones was released from federal prison yesterday. Jones, who first gained notoriety as a track star at the University of North Carolina, served most of her six-month sentence for lying under oath about her steroid use. Rather than clearing her name, as she and so many athletes under steroid suspicion claim they will do, Jones eventually admitted to using "The Clear." You all probably remember her tearful public apology last year before she went into the big house.




I wonder what it was like for her watching or reading about this summer's Olympics and realizing that she'll never be looked at the same again. Let that be a lesson for all of you kids out there.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Observer Loves the Panthers

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/04/2008 No comments
I was scanning The Charlotte Observer online this morning as I do each day (please buy the print paper, though--they need it) when I went to the Carolina Panthers section. It suddenly occurred to me that almost every one of the 13 stories that linked from that page were overly positive and overly optimistic about the kind of season the Panthers will have.

Before you think that I'm a big cynic or hater, let me tell you that I'm a Panthers fan. I grew up in South Carolina and I remember when it was announced that "we" were getting an NFL team. I was a fan from the start. My mom bought my brother and I a Panthers T-shirt and hat. I think it was part of my back-to-school clothes.

Now back to the subject. It just seems strange that the Observer would offer so much praise to a team that has been a disappointment the past two years, going 7-9 last year and 8-8 in 2006. Plus, as a journalist, I think the news coverage should be unbiased. Bias and opinion is fine for blogs and columns, but not for articles across the board. I'm sure it helps the hometown paper saleswise when the local team does well, but they don't need to be sycophants.


The Observer adds stories throughout the day so I took a screenshot of what was online this morning. You can see some, but not all, of the headlines. "Powering up the backfield," "Transformation," "Sky's the limit," "5 can't-miss games," and "Time to believe" run amok. The latter is a column from sports columnist Tom Sorensen. He and fellow columnist Scott Fowler wrote columns in which they playfully take shots at each other as to who's done a better job over the years of predicting the kind of season the Panthers will have. Fowler's column is titled "Mediocre again." I agree with him.

The Panthers just haven't done enough in the offseason and preseason to shake up the team that hasn't been successful the last two seasons. Also regarding Fowler's column, someone posted this hilarious comment: " 'Mediocre again.' Curse you, Scott, I thought this article was a copy of your annual performance review. Now, that would have been more entertaining and, probably, more accurate." I sometimes enjoy reading the comments on these articles more than the articles themselves. Anonymity makes people feel as if they can say whatever they want. Everyone's a critic, right? So am I.

Read the Observer's Panthers coverage by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pop Life Returns In Two Weeks

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/03/2008 No comments
This is the third week in a row with no Pop Life, since organizers Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen severed ties with Loft 1523. Wednesday nights haven't been the same since.

Well, according to Carlton Hargro, editor of Creative Loafing, Charlotte's alternative weekly newspaper, Pop Life will return September 17 at the newly opened Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St., in South End (across the street from Amos' Southend). It'll be the same formula: 6 p.m.-until and free admission. But it'll be interesting to see what vibe the popular weekly networking/social event takes on at Apostrophe.

Poker Dealers Should Be Worried

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/03/2008 No comments
PokerTek is growing. The Matthews-based company builds automated poker tables, and I've received two press releases in the past week about casinos that have begun using the tables. Last week, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City began holding tournaments on its 12 PokerPro tables, PokerTek's flagship model.

I had the privilege of visiting PokerTek's office about two years ago and playing a round of Texas Hold 'Em on one of the automated tables. I don't have much poker playing experience, but I enjoyed it and had a bit of beginner's luck.

If I was a professional poker dealer I'd be worried. If more and more players find these automated poker tables enjoyable, human dealers could soon be out the door. Casino owners are probably already looking at how much money they could save. I don't know how much a PokerPro table costs, but I'm sure it eventually is less than a salary and benefits.

It's only a matter of time before we're all replaced by technological advances. Soon, I'm sure, there'll be a computer that types itself and I will no longer be needed. And that's when I'll retreat into the wilderness to survive like Michael did in that episode of The Office.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Anthony Hamilton's 'Cool'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/02/2008 No comments
Here's Anthony Hamilton's first single from his upcoming album, The Point Of It All. The song is called "Cool" and features David Banner.



If you want to keep up with what the Charlotte native is doing, join the "I Love Anthony Hamilton" group on Facebook. His publicist says he'll be starting a promo tour in October and you'll soon be able to find a list of dates and cities there.

Events for the Week: September 2-7

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/02/2008 No comments

Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, September 2

Touch One Tuesdays
See Charlotte’s gifted poets perform—and you have the courage, join them onstage—during this open mic event. Presented by Touch One Productions. Hosted by Filmore and music by DJ Flemingo. 9 p.m. $10. Wine-Up. 3306 N. Davidson St. (NoDa). www.wine-up.com.

Tone X and Friends (weekly event)
Enjoy a night of stand-up comedy, live skits, improv, and music, along with a performance by the Hunnie Dipz Dancers. 8 p.m. $15. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. 704-890-0771.

Wednesday, September 3

Wine Day Wednesdays
Stop by the Village at SouthPark and enjoy some new wines while listening to music. A portion of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. 5 p.m. Free. Corner of Sharon Road and Morrison Boulevard. www.elevatecharlotte.com.

Thursday, September 4

Yiasou Greek Festival
This four-day festival (Sept. 4-7) is all about the food. Let's just be honest. But in between stuffing your face you can also enjoy authentic Greek music and cultural exhibits. Visit website for times. $2. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. www.yiasoufestival.org.

Alive After Five Oyster Roast
This week’s installment of the popular weekly series is the annual Oyster Roast. Mimosa Grill will be serving fresh oysters and low country peel-and-eat shrimp. 5 p.m. Free, plus cash bar. Wachovia Plaza, corners of Tryon St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.charlottealiveafterfive.com.

Epicentre at Five (weekly event)
Epicentre is the new hot spot, with its new bars and clubs (Whisky River, Suite, Howl at the Moon, BlackFinn, and more to come). And now there’s an outdoor after-work party to compete with Alive After Five. 5 p.m. Free. Pavilion at Epicentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.epicentreat5.com.

Nelly Myspace Concert
The St. Lunatic is performing a free concert if you’re one of the lucky few to get a ticket. Or watch it live on Myspace. A limited number of tickets will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis at the venue starting at 9 p.m. Doors open 8 p.m. Free. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.

$3 Thursdays
Mingle and do a little light partying while enjoying $3 drink specials. 9 p.m. Everyone free before 10:30, ladies $3 after, men more. Prevue, 2909 N. Davidson St.

Friday, September 5

Yiasou Greek Festival
This four-day festival (Sept. 4-7) is all about the food. Let's just be honest. But in between stuffing your face you can also enjoy authentic Greek music and cultural exhibits. Visit website for times. $2. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. www.yiasoufestival.org.

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous
End your work week on a high note at this networking event. Enjoy live jazz and drink specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-9 p.m. Free. House of Jazz, 8630 University Executive Park Dr.

NoDa Gallery Crawl
Visit art galleries and shops, watch street performers, and duck in and out of bars for drinks and live music during the popular crawl in Charlotte’s art district. 6-9:30 p.m. Free. Area around corner of N. Davidson and E. 36th streets. www.noda.org.

South End Gallery Crawl
Tour eight art galleries throughout historic South End and let the trolley bus take you around during this monthly gallery crawl. 6-9 p.m. Free. Trolley departs from Charlotte Art League every 15 minutes, starting at 5:30. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. www.historicsouthend.com.

Black Ski Networking Event
The Charlotte Breezers, a black ski club, hold their monthly event each first Friday. 7 p.m. Free. Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2020 Sugar Creek Road. www.charlottebreezers.com.

First Fridays
This month’s event is titled “Addiction” and signifies the end of summer. 10 p.m. Ladies free before 10:30. Cost varies. Jillian’s, 200 E. Bland St. www.1stfridayscharlotte.com.

Saturday, September 6

Yiasou Greek Festival
This four-day festival (Sept. 4-7) is all about the food. Let's just be honest. But in between stuffing your face you can also enjoy authentic Greek music and cultural exhibits. Visit website for times. $2. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. www.yiasoufestival.org.

International Art Market (weekly event)
Experience art, music, and food from around the world. 4-10 p.m. Free. Area 15, corner of 15th and N. Davidson streets, NoDa. www.areafifteen.com.

2008 Charlotte Literary Festival
This annual event promotes youth and adult literacy by presenting local, regional, and national authors from various genres. This year the festival will have seven speakers, six best-selling authors, two bands, an Author's Lane with local and self-published authors, and more than 40 vendors. Featured authors and speakers include Terry Brooks, Susan L. Taylor, Susan Jeffers, Stephanie Mills, Karrine Stephans, Mike Minter, Omar Tyree, and more. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. $10. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. www.charlotteliteraryfestival.com.

Sunday, September 7

Yiasou Greek Festival
This four-day festival (Sept. 4-7) is all about the food. Let's just be honest. But in between stuffing your face you can also enjoy authentic Greek music and cultural exhibits. Visit website for times. $2. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. www.yiasoufestival.org.

The Sunday Night Jazz Suite (weekly event)
Local, regional, and national jazz artists perform in an intimate setting. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a wine tasting reception. 6:30 p.m. $15. Madison’s, 115 E. 5th. St.

Ssshh! Sensual Seduction Sundays (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candle light. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $5 before 10 p.m. if you RSVP. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

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