Witherspoon Center

Filmmaker Tim Kirkman graduated from N.C. State in 1990 and left for the opportunities afforded by New York City. His subsequent filmmaking career, however, reveals a continuing interest in his home state. Dear Jesse, his 1998 debut, was a cinematic assault on the gay-bashing Sen. Helms on the eve of his reelection campaign. Loggerheads, his latest, is a fiction feature set in North Carolina and tells a moving story about a young gay man estranged from both his biological and adoptive parents. Kirkman appears at a 9 p.m. screening on N.C. State’s campus. Tickets are $2.50, $1.50 for students. –David Fellerath

Chapel Hill
The Cave

The name of this Charlotte-based trio is more than just a good pun; it’s truth in advertising. These guys have the making of vivid, careening pop-rock down to a science, and they’re always up for flights to (Freddie) Mercury. This is the late show, kicking off around 10 p.m. –Rick Cornell

Chapel Hill
The Human Element
Health and Sciences Library

Compared to da Vinci for the technical detail and comprehensive, multi-level understanding found in his work, Dr. Frank H. Netter is commonly acknowledged as the consummate visual detailer of the human body, and his watercolors and drawings–published between 1953 and 1993–are still used extensively in medical textbooks around the world. Rarely seen originals will be on view from Oct. 20 until Dec. 9 at the remodeled Health Sciences Library on UNC-CH’s campus. The library is also the home of a large collection of Netter’s papers and a beneficiary of the Frank H. Netter M.D. Endowment. For more, visit

Third Thursdays with Kaze
Local 506

Kaze and family bring local hip hop back to the 506 with this monthly night of rhymes and good times. Shelly B, the ferocious fire-breather who performed along with Kaze at the Indy music awards last year, features prominently in this lineup. Shellz is a not-to-miss hard lady rapping, flinging confessional, often confrontational lines like arrows from her quiver. The show also includes a beat and MC battle with five open mic slots. $10 needed for the 10 p.m. start. –Chris Toenes

Ambulance Ltd., the National
Cat’s Cradle

The very baritone Matt Berninger fronts The National, five Cincinnati friends that only got together musically after they wound up living in close proximity in Brooklyn. That’s appropriate, as Berninger’s songs come stock with characters lost for a clue as to what they want; left to their own devices, the protagonists–washed-up heroes, loquacious drunks, emotionally conflicted sentimentalists–always find something, but never really commit or, at best, remit years later. Their 2004 album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, jerked tears from simultaneous sadness and laughter, and this year’s Alligator does much of the same with congealing acoustics, electrics and strings. The epitome: The lover in “Karen,” an empathetic, almost apologetic imprecation of modern life, revealing a character as perfectly formatted but as ultimately unsatisfied as George Babbitt. Ambulance LTD. headlines; We Are Scientists opens. –Grayson Currin

Riverkeeper Film Festival
NC Museums

How do we know when a movement has arrived? When it has its own film festival. For 25 years, the Neuse River Foundation has protected the Triangle watershed. The organization is sponsoring its first Riverkeeper Film Festival, with 20 films covering topics from whitewater kayaking in Russia to the latest in organic farming. After a reception Friday at 6 p.m. and Paperhand Puppets Saturday at 6 p.m., films screen at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the N.C. Museum of History. Screenings are $6.50, $6 in advance . Visit –David Fellerath

Lakewood Shopping Center

According to its founders at USA Weekend magazine, National Make a Difference Day is “a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors.” Durham’s commUNITY fest will start by bringing neighbors together under the always alluring offer of free live music–from hip-hoppers Language Arts and bluesmen John Dee Holeman and Billy Stevens to Brother Yusef Salim’s Generations Jazz Quintet and jammers Boney Maroney–and lots of food and crafts. Also on the docket: history displays from various Durham neighborhoods, salsa lessons, a moon walk, street performers and The Scrap Exchange. The fun starts at noon and runs until 6 p.m. at 2000 Chapel Hill Road.

Hayes Carll
The Pour House

With two strong records under his belt and a lot of miles under his feet, Hayes Carll is making a lot of Next Big Thing noise in the Texas singer-songwriter world. His latest release, Little Rock, gets a thumbs up from the old guard in the form of collaborations with Guy Clark and Ray Wylie Hubbard, and there’s even a breathless, stream-of-consciousness number in “Down the Road Tonight,” kind of an “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” for the roots set. Music starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10. –Rick Cornell

Chris Knight
The Pour house

Chris Knight might come off as if he’d be much more comfortable up a tree stand than on a stage, but the Kentuckian sure can write a song. Just ask Montgomery Gentry, who had a big hit with Knight’s “She Couldn’t Change Me,” or for that matter, anybody who’s heard Knight’s three records–smart and rustic efforts in valiant search of an audience. Knight has a knack for finding the prime hunting spot between country, commercial or otherwise, and damn-the-frills roots rock, and he tells a good story while he’s at it. New Orleans acoustic duo Jeff & Vida opens. $10 gets you in for the 7 p.m. show. –Rick Cornell

Escapism Film Festival
Carolina Theatre

Today’s the last day of the Escapism Film Festival. Screenings continue all through the day, with two last chances to see the original War of the Worlds (roll over, Spielberg) on the Fletcher screen at 3:40 and 9:30 p.m. Fans of Asian ultra-violence will want to catch Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a 2002 film from Chan-wook Park, whose more recent Mr. Oldboy played on local screens earlier this year. A more benign offering is MirrorMask, an enchanting adaptation of a Neil Gaiman tale. It will be hanging around after the festival for a regular theatrical engagement at the Carolina. –David Fellerath

Chapel Hill
Orenda Fink

The presence of a track entitled “No Evolution” on Invisible Ones–the solo debut from Orenda Fink, the other half of Azure Ray–shouldn’t suggest a theme. On that note, if your primary interest in Fink is her contribution to Azure Ray, skip this one. For the rest of us, Invisible Ones finds Fink on an outbound journey from her Omaha/Athens circle of friends, traveling to India, Cambodia and Haiti in a quest to absorb the music and observe the archetypes that construct the chambers of the human spirit. The results can sometimes sound like late ’80s Sire world pop to a fault, but when Fink hits it, it’s gorgeous and evocative. Be careful: Neva Dinova makes heartbreak hurt in a big way. Alina Simone–Chan Marshall meets narrative eloquence–opens. –Grayson Currin

Bill Smith

The first cookbook from longtime Crook’s Corner chef Bill Smith combines an anecdotal approach with an array of recipes, from sorbets and sauces to gratins and gravies. Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook’s Corner and from Home is not only a useful guide for directing Southern gourmet to new waters, but also an actual read that’s as fascinating as Smith himself. That’s a tall order, too: He speaks four languages, is an extensive collector of local art, sits on WXYC’s board of directors, and takes weekend trips to other continents. –Grayson Currin

Wednesday next
Michael Columbia

Musical divisions are frequently thin and highly unnecessary, but–oftentimes–crossing them can be like pulling up to Charon’s pass with a bag of Cheetos and a pocketful of wooden nickels. As such, don’t expect to see Michael Columbia–the duo of Dylan Ryan (Icey Demons) and David McDonnell (Olivia Tremor Control, Need New Body)–to be opening for Particle or appearing in Relix soon. The Particle mention isn’t accidental, either: Michael Columbia drops saxophones, synthesizers and a Tony Conrad-styled droney violin into heavy pockets of big-beat, way-hard-bop grooves, but their love of Miles seems tied more to Faust than Garcia. There are no jam analogues for Crowmeat Bob when he’s bleeding into his sax, which he’ll certainly do when he opens with Apartments for the Dead, his new crew with Randy Pelosi. –Grayson Currin

Chapel Hill
Cantwell Gomez & Jordan

Do not go gentle into this good night, true believers. Between Cantwell Gomez & Jordan, In the Year of the Pig and Ho-Ag, all sense of rhythm and melody may be altered, the definition of “vocals” will become elastic, and terms referring to bands as being post-something will be long forgotten. Ecstatic, swerving rock (CG&J), metalloid reduction (YotP) and haunted aggro (Ho-Ag) that usually includes a dry wit. $5 gets you twisted at 10 p.m. –Chris Toenes