Durham, Be Easy

CCB Plaza, 201 N. Corcoran St.The centerpiece of sorts for the City of Durham’s summer of free and local programming downtown, Durham, Be Easy, mixes audiences with a host of bands, poets and readings. Author Ashanti White sits on the same bill as stolid emcee J Bully; hip-hop and reggae benders The Beast share space with Dasan Ahanu, the leading light of the Triangle’s spoken word scene. The main attraction, though, is The Mountain Goats, the banner of Durham-dwelling songwriter John Darnielle. Darnielle generally tours the world with a full band that includes Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, but tonightin a rare treat that happens here more than anywhere elsehe goes solo. Alone onstage, Darnielle is a tumult of emotions and energy, sneering into the microphone as he sings about broken romances and bothered childhoods, pawing at his six strings until one of them breaks, or plucking his notes gently, cooing in a distinctive, nasally speak-sing about places and possibilities imagined. A sensational showman, Darnielle turns some of the best lyrics being written into tiny little spectacles live. The free show runs 6-10 p.m. Visit durhambeeasy.com. Grayson Currin

Third Friday Durham

Various venuesThis time out, Durham’s monthly Third Friday event has a theme: bella Italia. Come out and say ciao to fellow citizens in a variety of events. At Durham Central Park, Durham Cinematheque is presenting “Crazy Italian Night,” billed as a pastiche of travelogues, narratives, opera and “lost in translation” moments. After the pre-show music ends, the films start at dark (around 8:30 p.m.); the rain location is the Farmers’ Market Pavillion across the street. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

Other venues are getting into the spirit, too. Piedmont Restaurant offers a take-out special fitting the night’s theme so patrons can carry their pasta and pizza to the park. If you’re not into the whole theme thing, other hot spots are eschewing it in favor of more traditional fare. Golden Belt presents its downtown art walk, featuring artist Amanda Barr’s new works and dance company Nia’s performance centering on audience participation. An on-site shaman will be available to guide participants in rituals. What kind of rituals? We’re not sureyou’ll have to find out for yourself. For more information, visit www.thirdfridaydurham.com. Sarah Ewald

Annemarie Gugelmann

Durham Arts CouncilLocal artist Annemarie Gugelmann is known around the Triangle, previously showing at Raleigh’s Visual Art Exchange and Carrboro’s Open Eye Cafe, among other venues. After laying low since June, she returns to the scene for one last show in the area before she pursues an industrial design graduate degree at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. Opening tonight and showing through Nov. 1, Gugelmann’s new exhibit, New Glimmers of Old Glamour: Painting Durham, explores how the city is changing through semi-abstract large-scale paintings of historic downtown sites, such as Golden Belt and Brightleaf Square. Gugelmann and Preservation Durham will be on hand to discuss the featured sites. The opening is 5-7 p.m., coinciding with the beginning of Durham’s Third Friday. The DAC will also lead patrons on a downtown walking tour. For more information, visit www.durhamarts.org. Sarah Ewald

Retrofantasma: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Carolina TheatreThe word “uncanny” comes from a German word meaning “un-home-like,” which translates to “disturbing because it is unfamiliar.” The 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers contains one of the most uncanny images in SF/ horror cinema; it involves a dog whose head is not that of a dog. Philip Kaufman’s remake of the 1956 classic directed by Don Siegel updates the original’s McCarthy-era paranoia to the post-Watergate streets of San Francisco, with Donald Sutherland as the health inspector who discovers the pod people are taking over. Filled with both chilling images and hilarious satire on the self-absorbed 1970s, it’s one of the rare remakes that stands its ground with the original and might even be better. Retrofantasma screens the film at 7 p.m., followed by the 1986 H.P. Lovecraft adaptation From Beyond at 9:30. It’s an uncanny double feature full of thrills, chills, spills and kills. For more information, visit festivals.carolinatheatre.org/retrofantasma. Zack Smith

Chapel Hill

The Barn at VallahaSusan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK) is a one-woman revolution. A walking muse, she’s authored 15 books and created hundreds of products designed to enhance the creative experience, including the book A Creative Companion. If you find yourself blocked in your creative endeavors, SARK will help inspire you at an interactive talk and book signing today, followed by an in-depth, two-day retreat Saturday and Sunday. Let your imagination finally run wild. Tonight’s event costs $25 and runs from 7-9 p.m.; the two-day intensive costs $450 and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.goddessinbloom.net or www.planetsark.com. Zack Smith