Ok, so I totally hate myself for slacking on posts for over a year in our Melt Your Face and In Your Face categories. Sure, there’s a couple things posted there, but I’ve been to so many shows, concerts, plays, films, festivals, restaurant/bar events, poetry readings, fundraisers, dance parties, etc., in and around Harrisonburg, that I’m ashamed I’ve only promoted/reviewed less than 1% of them. What doubly sucks is that all of these things are key reasons that I love this town and the awesome people in it, and I want OSH to reflect that. So, here’s just a sample of the cool things on the radar right now here in the ‘burg. If you don’t know, now you know, ninjas.
1) Adaptive Snowfest (fundraiser/fest) at Wintergreen Resort, January 11-12. Ok, so it’s not in Harrisonburg, but it’s organized by someone who is as towny as they come and lives within walking distance of downtown. Seth Whitten is probably the best known one-and-a-half-legged man currently living in Harrisonburg. He’s a long-time Wintergreen Adaptive Sports volunteer instructor, and he’s organized an event this weekend to raise funds for the program. It’s billed as “a winter sports celebration benefiting athletes with disabilities; includes sports demos and a special screening of The Movement: One Man Joins an Uprising, which is an inspiring story of five adaptive skiers.” All you need to do is go ski/snowboard and tell the folks at the ticket counter that you’re there to support Snowfest/Adaptive Sports. A portion of your ticket will go to support this great program. Live music provided by Tara Mills and DJ FAYO. For more information call: 434-325-2007. You can also listen to Seth speak about it on The Spark on WMRA Friday (1/10) at 6:20pm.
2) Second Saturday Night Out featuring Clementine/Hank’s/Thunderbird (fundraiser/dinner), at OCP, January 11. Pretty much every second Saturday of the month Our Community Place teams up with local restaurants to host a dinner with proceeds benefitting OCP and a community in Haiti. The meals are created by a local restaurant and service is provided by members of the OCP community. The next Second Saturday Night Out will take place Saturday, January 11th, 5:00-8:00pm. Suggested donation $20 per person (It’s ok if you want to donate more). 25% of proceeds go to help Nan Boukan, a community in Haiti, where folks usually eat one plate of rice every other day. The meal is served right at OCP, 17 E. Johnson Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia – where it crosses N. Main across from Little Grill. The whole community thanks you!! You can make a reservation right here.
3) Date Night at Larkin Arts (kidsgetart/parentsget…) January 10, 6-9pm. Hey parents, drop off your kids and treat yourselves to a night on the town. This is one of the coolest ideas ever (from some of the most creative folks downtown) and they do this and other events like Ladies Night pretty regularly. Here’s the skinny: Cost is $25 and the instructor is Kayla Koslow. “Drop off the kiddos with us anytime between 6-9pm and enjoy a night out. They will be so happy you did! Kayla is a certified art teacher with a knack for allowing students to self-guide and helping them reach individual goals. Call ahead to save your spot. 5-12 years old. And for those of you who plan ahead: the Feb night is the 14th! Have a great Valentine’s out OR stay here for our COUPLES NIGHT!”
4) Inside Llewyn Davis showing at Court Square Theater (movie/popcorn/beer/wine) all this week (1/10-1/16) at 2:00, 4:30, 7:00 & 9:20. Following a GREAT run of Philomena, Court Square Theater is the only place in town you can see this most recent film by the Coen Brothers. If you didn’t know, CST has teamed up with Visulite Cinemas to bring great films to Harrisonburg, so get on down to your local theater for some great entertainment. “From the creators of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. One of the best films of 2013, Inside Llewyn Davis has received a slew of awards, including American Film Institute’s Best Film of the Year and Cannes Film Fesival’s Grand Jury Prize. This film has already been nominated for three Golden Globes including Best Feature and Best Actor. As Oscar season approaches, this is one film you won’t want to miss!” (CST has also been bringing some incredible live music to downtown. Next up is The Claire Lynch Band on Thursday, January 23 and The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band on Friday, February 21. You should probably join their email list to stay in the loop ‘cuz they’ve got lots happening.)
5) The John Cowan Band at Clementine (food/music) January 23. Clementine has been bringing some of the best music to the valley since 2008 and deserves much credit for invigorating the music scene here in Harrisonburg. Sometimes it’s local, sometimes it’s emerging artists, sometimes it’s nationally touring acts. It’s always a good idea to check-in to their event calendar to see what’s coming up. Nothing cures seasonal affective disorder like shaking your booty to some live music. Don’t worry, Netflix will still be there when you get home. “John Cowan, also known as the Voice of Newgrass, has been singing his heart out for thirty-five years now, and his soaring vocals have only improved with time. A true innovator, John applies his powerful pipes to genres from country, bluegrass, and gospel to soul, jazz, and rock-and-roll – often within the space of a single concert. His ability to move fluidly through multiple styles, and carry mesmerized audiences on the journey with him, has set him apart as one of the most loved and admired vocal artists of his generation, not just by fans and critics but among fellow musicians as well.” Advance tickets available for some shows. (Also, don’t miss James McMurtry on January 30!)
6) An Evening with Trent Wagler at Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza (food/music) January 14. Actually, this event SOLD OUT in 2 days! But it’s still worth mentioning. The latest restaurant on the scene downtown, Bella Luna will sometimes feature events and music like this. Definitely join them on Facebook and their email list to stay in the know. And if you haven’t visited yet, get in there! Great beer and wine selection, prosecco on tap, wood-fired pizzas featuring locally-sourced ingredients…it’s hard to go wrong.
7) The Littlest No Requests (dance party USA) at The Little Grill, January 13. This is going to be fun. And sweaty. I can already see the fog dripping down the windows. No Requests is a monthly dance party hosted by local DJs FAYO and NEALS BARKLEY; usually held at The Blue Nile. It often features serious cred DJs from NY/Philly/DC/Richmond/etc and sometimes some of the best from the area. No Requests is a chance for these excellent DJs to showcase a panacea of the latest urban dance music without the annoying necessity to placate musically-illiterate sorority girls and their awful boyfriends. They’re not above party favorites and guilty pleasures, but sometimes it’s best to let the DJs do what they’re paid to do; hence, no requests. I mean, they don’t show up at your job and slap the…
(Also check out the first ever PYRAMIDS: Underground House/Techno Party with FAYO and FIGZ, January 16 at the Blue Nile. Pyramids is a new monthly party focusing on underground and experimental sounds within house and techno music and their intermarrying cousins. New, old, classic, avant, weird, dark, whimsical. It sounds a little something like this.)
8) The 24-Hour Project (everything but the kitchen sink) at Court Square Theater, January 24 @ 5pm through January 25 @ 5pm. That’s right. It runs a full 24 hours and features a whole pile of local talent, from amateur to semi-pro. Someone will be doing something on stage throughout the entire 24 hour period, even at 4am. It’s described as “drama, comedy, music, dance, spoken word, and many other performance art forms. Not just a fundraiser for your local theater, but a showcase of everything the theater and the town has to offer.” This is totally new to Harrisonburg and personally I can’t wait to see how awesome and awful some of it will be. But let me be clear, the worst performance will still be ten times better than any of those people that sit on their hands. I’m proud of all the folks in this town putting themselves out there, and I’m proud of those that give support. I’ll see you there. More information can be found here, at the bottom of the page.