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Weekend In Entertainment: Swords, Live Music And Artists Address Affordable Housing


It’s another busy spring weekend around Charlotte. This weekend’s entertainment options include an eclectic group of events from swallowing swords to a live album recording. Ryan Pitkin, editor of Queen City Nerve joined WFAE's Mark Rumsey to dive into the list.

Ryan Pitkin, editor of Queen City Nerve

Mark Rumsey: Hi Ryan

Ryan Pitkin: Mark, good to see you again.

Rumsey: The weekend gets off to a bit of an early start Friday morning with an event that we want to talk about and deals with both the local arts and culture scene and also an issue that the Charlotte area is dealing with very much these days and that is affordable housing.

Pitkin: Right. This is a great example of how that can sort of mix with the arts and culture scene for people to work together. Facilitators from Art Place American Center for Performance Practice will be coming together with local artists from Charlotte as well as from Nashville to talk about ways in which artists can sort of play a role in helping meet affordable housing goals in certain cities like Nashville and Charlotte where it's needed.

You have certain presenters like M. Simone Boyd who's a writer from Nashville who has worked around creative nonfiction, her novel "The Day Sunny Died" touches on some of these issues. You have someone like Hannah Hassan, who is one of Charlotte's most gifted storytellers and poets. These are all presenters who are going to be talking about ways in which sort of community development initiatives in place-making strategy and stuff like that can use arts to sort of tackle affordable housing and make some real impact.

Rumsey: Okay. So the intersection of arts and affordable housing that's Friday morning 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Let's move on to Saturday and a chance for people to do something that they don't probably have the chance every weekend and that is to actually sit in on a live album recording of a local band right?

Pitkin: Absolutely and this is one of those times where you get to go see the show and that show will forever live on as a full album. And this is from ‘Brut B,’ very eccentric...they're described as an abrasive jazz band. I would call that avant garde. That sort of brings in a lot of different aspects. Everything from hip hop to cool jazz to punk they touch it all in a improvisational way, but they're also bringing a lot of their friends and this is a great lineup full of people from Liana Eden who has recently moved to Nashville but comes back to Charlotte enough to where I'd still call her a local artist. I feel like we all call Liana one of our own as far as the fans of hers here in Charlotte.

You got That Guy Smitty and Justin Aswell. Two big deejays that you might know from nocturnal and other local events. Indigo Joe, one of Charlotte's best upcoming rappers we had him at RIP Fest in November, one of Queen City Nerve’s events and he just tore the house down. One of the headliners.

And then you have Blues. I think a lot of people know Blues as one of Charlotte's best spoken word poets and he's always been around. He's got a new book out this year so he'll just add just one more level of talent to this recording to this show. And it's just great that to sort of be in the crowd for that and then get to listen to it later when they drop that as an album will be a pretty amazing experience I think.

Rumsey: So how would people be in the crowd?

Pitkin: Right. You got to go to Snug Harbor in Plaza Midwood. That's an early show. The doors open at 5:00. I think the show starts at 6:00. So it's a good way to start the late afternoon early evening and then you can, you know, go have fun after that.

Rumsey: And also Ryan on Saturday, an event that's tagged America's creepiest sideshow couple. I'm not sure I want to ask but go ahead.

Pitkin: Yes. So this is a Stray Cat Sideshow and I say after the show at Snug Harber you can have fun somewhere else afterwards. This is actually right next door at Common Market in Plaza Midwood at 9:00 p.m. and a Stray Cat Sideshow is one of the few groups here in Charlotte doing some great fringe arts, fringe performance arts that don't get enough attention. Secoria, one of the two members is one of the world's most daring sword swallowers. She's actually known for being the first woman in history to swallow a model T Ford car Axl. She does have plenty of YouTube videos for you to see. Since October, she's been in the process of trying to break the Guinness World Record for the longest sword ever swallowed. So you never know, you stop by there on Saturday night you might be able to see that.

Rumsey: Nine o'clock, Saturday evening for the Stray Cat Sideshow in Plaza Midwood. Well, I think eclectic was a good word to sum up the weekend arts and entertainment offerings. Ryan Pitkin with Queen City Nerve. Thanks a lot for coming in.

Pitkin: Appreciate it Mark. It'll be a fun one.